Friday, December 29, 2006

Waiting Children....waiting parents.

So while reading The Open Window's blog I began thinking (again) about how utterly disorganized the US Foster/Adoption program is.

There are soooo many waiting children in this country, young (there are infants and toddlers out there -Lili was adopted as a waiting child at only 13 months) older, sibling groups, all races and ethnicities and varying abilities. But there are also waiting families out can that be you say? Because we have no system, we have no broad focused matching programs. Guatemala is considered a country ravished by poverty...yet they do more to find homes for waiting children than we are able to with all the resources and technology that we have.

Everything depends on where you live and what agency you go through. Our friends were licensed as foster parents this summer, they were very open in what they would accept and still waited months and months for a placement. Funny, I'm full and they're calling me twice a week. Our friends are licensed a private foster agency and we go through the Children's Division. We live within 15 miles of each other. My brother and SIL were waiting to be matched with an available child for almost a year....they're in a different county and their SW doesn't have access to the waiting kids 30 miles away. How sad is that?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

6 Weird Things

So Baggage tagged me to play a game of "6 Weird Things About Me" - the rules are you post your 6 things then "tag" someone else.....I don't really know 6 other bloggers (isn't that sad somehow?) so I'm just going to ramble about my personal weirdnocity.

1. I think I might be clutterphobic. My mood can be tied to how messy the house is. Having alot of knick knacks and "things" to look at can make me tense and I can't concentrate.

2. I can go days without seeing the outside of these walls. I'm a SAHM and I often get so wrapped up in diapers, naps, therapies, housework and meal planning that I don't leave the house for days at a time. Especially in the winter.

3. I ahdore reality TV. I know you're thinking "that's not so weird" but, with TIVO the possibilities are endless thus my addiction to multitudes of shows like: Little People Big World, I Shouldn't Be Alive, Beauty & The Geek, America's Next Top Model, Project Runway, Top Chef, Survivor, Amazing Race, American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance and soon...You're the One That I Want.

4. I don't really like chocolate. I don't hate it, there's not really anything I won't eat. But, given a choice I'd choose licorice or fruit flavored hard candy over a chocolate bar. I prefer fruit in my ice cream too.

5. I'm continually trying to perfect a process to everything. I have a formula for meal planning, house cleaning, bathing, drving to the park, organizing the spice name it...I break it down into a problem, produce requirements for solving the problem and find a solution that satisfies those requirements and makes the process both effecient and easy to follow. Blame it on my education as a designer.

6. It can't be too hot. I like to keep the thermostat at 76 degrees minimum....I just recently found out that it was weird - I was shocked to find out that most people keep thiers between 68-70. I like to take showers and baths that turn my skin red. I love the heat of summer and the sun on my face.

So there's the tip of the iceberg that is my weirdness. I know that I probably have some tendencies toward ADD and OCD and probably some sensory integration issues. But, being the non-employed spouse in a same sex relationship also means I don't get health care benefits. But that's the tip of the iceberg for a totally different post.


We had a great holiday season. The girls loved having their own menorah to light and Jo learned the dreidel song really quickly. The IL's came into town for Chrismakah and we had alot of fun. We even had J&C babysit one night and went out for adult drinks and dinner. Ahhhh real tablecloths and drinks in pretty glasses.

The girls were, of course, inundated with toys, clothes and books. This is one of the reasons I feel like we should continue to adopt and foster. The need is there and the resources are here. Cindy did a great post on "the need & the calling" here and it's been replaying over and over in my mind. New year's project is now redoing the basement to add some more unused space but more importantly....get the office/spare room turned into another bedroom for my future son/s.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Ways to help foster kids when you can't be a foster parent

I created this list a while back for www.soulofadoption/forums where I spend a great deal of my time daily. I thought I would repost it here to keep a copy for myself.

1. Help a foster care program in your state. Your contribution to these agencies will mean brighter and safer tomorrows for children and youth in your state and across America.

Check with the Child Welfare League of America to find out how to help your state program.

2. Mentor a young person. Research shows that children and youth with mentors earn higher grades and improve their relationships with friends and families.

The National Mentoring Partnership and In My Shoes are two places that will help you get started

3. Learn more about how policy, legislative and budget priorities affect children and youth in foster care. check with the Children's Defense Fund to see how you can help now.

4. Donate goods such as suitcases, books, games, computers, sports equipment, musical instruments, clothing, and school supplies to young people in foster care. Check with the National Foster Parent Association to see what the local chapter in your area is in need of.

5. Send care packages to foster care alumni attending college. Many youth who have aged out of the system still need some support when trying to further their education. The Orphan Foundation of America has a way to send packages right now!

6. Help young people in foster care organize a youth leadership or support group. The Foster club is a national nextwork for kids in foster care to connect with others going through the same experience.

7. Become a virtual mentor for a young person in college. Expand the circle of support for a youth in foster care as an email/online pen pal. The OFA will connect you with someone who needs someone to talk to online!

8. Become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer. In an overburdened system, abused and neglected kids often slip through the cracks among hundreds of cases. CASA volunteers can change that. CASA volunteers typically handle just one case at a time—and commit to staying on that case until the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. While others may come and go, CASA volunteers provide that one constant that children need in order to thrive.

9. Shop online and grant a wish for a child in foster care right now.
Little Wishes is a program in my area, St. Louis MO, that grants wishes for kids during the holidays. The wishes vary from action figures, art supplies, popcorn parties, sweaters, a class ring, and art lessons.

10. View the Heart Galleries and put a face to the nameless kids in the system. The Heart Gallery™ was founded by the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) in 2001 as an innovative way to help waiting children connect with adoptive families. Photographers volunteer their time to capture the personalities of kids in the foster care system. If you're not able to help in any other way please take a few moments just take a look at these beautiful photographs and look into the eyes of some wonderful kids!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

My hair hobby

Some people have hobbies like crafts, reading, knitting...lately mine has been hair. As an adoptive mom of two kinky, curly haired daughters I do hair daily. As an artist and creative spirit I create hair art daily. As a SAHM I often rebraid, oil, brush, condition or generally play with the girls hair anytime I get a whim or a new idea. I love learning new dos, buying new products and finding new beads, snaps and other hair pretties. Almost 1/3 of the girls gift budget this holiday was spent on good hair products that will last us almost a year.

I'm really intent on becoming a great cornrower. Not just okay, passable and kinda good. I want to be a professional quality braider. I love the creative parts and patterns the relaxing repetitive motion. I drool over great pics of cowrie shell designs, basketweave parts....This style is my goal for 2007.

Toddle away

I love my babies. I mourned the day they turned two and up until just a few weeks ago I still had newborn cries in the house. But every day I'm loving the toddler years more and more. Being able to talk to Jo on a regular basis is just about the only thing that keeps me sane....not being able to talk to Lili drives both of us nuts daily. I can't wait for Lili to start her preschool because it is an intensive speech program. .....but as usual I'm getting away from my point.

This evening I asked Josie what we should do about supper. She stated clearly "we eat pizza on couch, watch TV" -my inner mommy wanted to speak up and talk about healthy vegetables, table manners and limiting television viewing.....but I thought for a moment and said "that sounds like a fabulous idea"

We broke out into a rendition of "Pizza, couch tonight" (sung to the Finding Nemo tune -No eating here tonight) and I preheated the oven.

My back still hurts....but not as much as my overcompensating butt and calf muscles.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

aw crap

Yesterday I threw my back out again. DP was able to get the vertebre back into place but it still hurts like hell. My mom came up to help with the kids and has let me lay back and feel too uncomfortable to relax. My house hasn't been this clean in forever. My mom never sits down...we call her the energizer bunny.

They called about another newborn today. Good thing I was upstairs asleep. My mom told them I just hurt my back and now wouldn't be a good time to take a baby.

Friday, December 8, 2006

My First Post

Everyone has a blog right? Well I do!