Friday, March 25, 2011

nephew Oliver

I am so happy to welcome another nephew into the world. I got to have fun taking care of 4 kids by myself tonight while my brother and his wife were taking care of a newborn. Thankfully I will have Bryan back to help in the morning.

We got to meet my newest nephew, Oliver, when he was just a few hours old. So wonderful to hold such a sweet little baby! I did hear him screaming over the phone but in person, he couldn't have been more perfect. I think he actually enjoyed getting jostled by the kids and listening to all of the noise they make. It must have soothed him. Kirk and Chrystine, just let me know if you want me to bring my boys over to make some more noise and put your baby to sleep.

Monday, March 21, 2011

science fair memories

Sunday night I went to bed with excitement in my head. I was excited to do something where I used my brain. I was excited to relive part of my past. I was excited to judge science fair projects.

I had such a blast today. I was in a bit of a rush getting through it all to get done and home before Bryan had to leave for work at 3:30. He was at home with the boys today after their fevers yesterday. Even in rushing, I loved it. I loved talking with 7th and 8th grade kids about science experiments that they had performed. I hope all of them fall in love with science even if they don't win anything. I hope they all do it again and come back next year.

I judged 12 physics and astronomy projects by junior high kids at the Minnesota State Science Fair. All of the kids had already been selected from regional science fairs to compete at the state competition. So these kids, for the most part, knew what they were doing and talking about. Of the 12 kids I talked with, 11 of them did a great job. One kid did not want to be there. He had been required to do a project at regionals. He read notecards to me and never wants to do this again. That is too bad but he seemed to know that he was good at working with his hands so hopefully that is his take-away from this experiment. I don't know who will win but the awards will be given Tuesday morning.

After I got home, I told the boys all about it. It was hard for them to understand what a science fair is. They saw a 30 second clip on the news this morning before I left so they knew where I was going and what the place looked like. I dug around in our storage bins and found pictures of me at science fairs in 10th, 11th and 12th grades. (Jaden cared much more about the awards than the pictures. J-"Can I have your ribbon?"... Me-"No, you have to earn awards like that.") Those were some important events in my life. That helped me realize I was good at science and math and good at giving a presentation. I won lots of awards but never made it to the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), which is the ultimate award to compete internationally. Science fair gave me confidence but also made me realize that I was not the best. I have been frequently reminded that I am not the best and it keeps me humble.

Ahhh, the science fair memories...they live on.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

potential changes

We have officially completed our classwork for the Foster Care Adoption Option program through Hennepin County. We have already filled out a bunch of paperwork. There are a few more forms to go. We need to get our reference letters in and need to get our home study scheduled. The home study is the next big step in order to approve our family for another kid in our home. We have narrowed our focus to a little girl, 1 to 4 1/2 years old, of any race.

We have been preparing mentally for this for awhile now but now the physical preparations will need to begin. We do not have a car seat or a crib for a one year old (let us know if you have one we could borrow if needed). My preference is still for a 2 or 3 year old and then we have a toddler bed and a car seat. And we will need to convert our toy room into a bedroom. The physical preparations will not take much time but will need to happen eventually. Right now this change still seems a ways off but it could happen within a few months. For now I am putting this off.

We continue to think about this future potential girl that will be in our house. We are reading adoption materials and books and are involved in some support groups. This will keep it all in the front of our minds.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

foster care and adoption

Bryan and I have spent over 30 hours learning about adoption and foster care. We have 6.5 more hours to go before we are allowed to begin our home study where we are asked every personal question imaginable.

We started out wanting to adopt and examined our options: international, domestic infant or waiting children. We decided to go with waiting children because we don't want an infant and don't want to invest a bunch of money into something that will have a big wait. I think the money thing changes you mentally and makes people devastated in the waiting and longing for something they don't much so that it becomes unhealthy sometimes. So we avoided the costly route and went with the county waiting children. Then we found out that most waiting children are 10 years and older. We knew we wanted a child younger than our youngest (Clay is 4 1/2). We knew we also wanted only one girl because we have two boys and it would be hard to avoid the infant stage with two kids younger than Clay. And Bryan would say we are not ready for 2 more kids.

So that led us to the Foster Care Adoption Option where you get foster kids (some available younger than 10) in the hopes that you can adopt that kid(s). We have been through the adoption classes and are now finishing with a few foster care classes. Last night was our first foster care class and we are now considering Foster Care only. We love the idea of helping out a child and parent(s) to restore the relationship and heal some of the wrong stuff that has happened. At the same time, if that didn't work out, we would be happy to adopt. We are also considering 1-2 girls now, still younger than Clay.

This process continues to develop. We are not set on the fact that we need to adopt a child in order to feel fulfilled. We just know that we are supposed to pursue this process and see what comes of it. We have love, compassion, discipline, empathy and loyalty to share. We know that we will most likely not get a white child or one that looks like us (93% of the kids are of color) and that is exciting and challenging.

We love talking to our kids about all of the potential that lies ahead of us. I love their acceptance and questions. This has led to all sorts of challenging conversations. I love it!

This process of growing our family is a conclusion or set ending. We could have another child in our home in 3 months or it may take a year. We are trying to be ready for anything coming our way.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

want for blogging

I want to keep blogging. It is healthy for me to process life. There are many things in my life that are blog-worthy every day but I don't always make time to retell the events.

I do not write for others to read, although I know there are a few people reading. I do like keeping up with people and I like exposing all of my insides to others. I have never been a person to hide things inside. If you know me for any length of time, you probably know that I don't shy away from any topic and will always answer personal questions. I enjoy conversation and asking questions of myself and others.

I am in want of my own blogging. I want the healing and completeness it brings to my life.