Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Eve of New Years Eve...

WOW! Can you believe that tomorrow is New Years Eve and we will be ringing in 2009? I can't! It's amazing how things change in a year! Last year at this time Billy and I were waiting to begin our foster care training which then would turn into a few years of foster care. Now, don't get me wrong, we knew that we wanted to adopt when we started this process a year ago but just not yet. Now, a year later, I tucked our two little boys into their beds tonight and gave them goodnight kisses and hugs in their forever home. 
We have gotten the go ahead to contact the lawyer to get the adoption process rolling. I placed a call to him yesterday and am waiting a return call. We know we still have a few months and steps to tackle before we can finalize everything but meeting with the lawyer is a good first start! 
The past week has been a busy one to say the least. We spent a great deal of time with our families over the course of the extended holiday weekend. Sunday we traveled to Hillsboro to have a holiday dinner with Billy's dad's side of the family. We do not see them often so it was nice to see everyone and have the boys meet more family. I know the boys are overloaded with who is who in the family but they seem to enjoy getting to know everyone. We have started to call my parents and Billy's parents by Grandma and Pop and Mamaw and Papaw. The boys use these names and their first names but know who we are talking no matter what we say. "J" has also started to call Billy and I "mom and dad" sometimes. He will often ask "Where Mommy go?" or "where Daddy go?" and if you ask him "where is she/he?" he will point to one of us. It is such a great feeling to have someone call you "Mom".
Sunday evening we went to the Columbus Zoo with Cara, Doug, Hannah and Jeremiah to see the Christmas light display. It was a nice evening but the kids were disappointed that the monkeys and gorillas were sleeping and not allowed to have visitors. I suppose that gives us a good reason to go again in the warmer weather. Tomorrow evening we are going to be spending the night a hotel with the Laynes. We all figured the kids would enjoy ringing in the New Year  with a night of swimming in an indoor pool! 
We hope that everyone has a safe and happy New Year. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve excitement!

Today has gone by very quickly and very slowly all at the same time! This morning, "K" and I went and ran the last few errands I needed to get done. We came home, attempted to get two little men to take a nap but that failed miserably! "J" slept for about an hour and "K" didn't sleep at all. I told them they could not get out of their beds/room until their clock said "4:00" and at exactly that time "J" came running out yelling "Jennifer, zero, zero, zero!" Ok, quick baths and then off to Aunt Janet's for a evening of family visiting. We all had a good time visiting and catching up with our family. It is nice that everyone can get together and enjoy each other's company. I have always loved, and continue to, the fact that family is so important to mine and Billy's family. On that same note, I feel so lucky that my family is in Ohio now too to be with during holidays. I still get a bit emotional about that. Being away from my parents and sister on holidays was the hardest part about moving to Ohio. Not a problem anymore. 
The boys were very concerned that Santa would miss our house because it was late and he had to be getting close. Billy and "K" had a discussion last night about Santa not knowing that the boys were in their forever house now. Billy suggested that Santa may not have gotten "K's" change of address form on time! "K" didn't fall for it though. We got home, put out the milk and cookies and threw the bag of reindeer food out and then it was off to bed. After we knew the boys were asleep (which didn't take long at all!), Santa arrived and BOY did he leave A LOT of stuff here for those two! I must tell you, I think I am just as excited about the morning as the boys are. I can't wait to see the excitement on their faces when they wake up! 
Tomorrow is going to be a fun-filled day. It will be another day full of family time. I suppose I should get to bed! From all of us, Merry Christmas! 

Friday, December 12, 2008

Almost two months "home"...

I can't believe that is has been almost two months (Dec. 17th) since the boys moved in forever. It has gone by so quickly. Mom and I ran around tonight with the boys. Mom cracks me up because she just seems so exhausted after spending time out with them. I will admit that the boys can wear you out but it is still funny. They are NONSTOP! We stop at Hobby Lobby and "J" just wants to go! His hat got stuck to his velcro on his coat and he just thought that was the funniest thing ever. We went out for pizza and eating out is always a fun time! Off to Kohl's where "K" wanted to push the stroller/cart and "J" wanted nothing to do with that...he wanted Karen to push. We decided to divide and conquer the store. "K" did get a compliment for his manners while we were walking around the store. That made me proud. Hit Walmart after Kohls and used the same game plan. Walmart was NUTS! Afterwards we headed home. The boys were ready for bed. Billy went out to do some Christmas shopping with his parents. I enjoyed having a nice quiet house to myself. 
We are still working really hard on the potty training. "J" goes when we put him on the potty but doesn't ask to go yet. He is quite funny when he is sitting there trying to pee. Sometimes we just have to walk away. We have started the one M&M for peeing. He likes them so it seems to be a motivation for him. 
We signed "K" up for basketball. Tomorrow he has to go to for a skills evaluation. He is really excited about it. I am not 100% sure he even knows what basketball is but he is still excited about it. We hope that playing a team sport will help with issues of needing to be first, waiting our turn and not always winning. Keep your fingers crossed that it works! 
The boys are both really excited about Christmas. "K" wrote his letter to Santa the other night. His requests aren't difficult...a jeep, a car, a wagon, a lawnmower, and an Emily train. I told him we have a jeep in the driveway already and he told me that is one he can not drive! From his wants, you can tell that he is an outside kid. "J" wants an orange circle. Not really sure what that is, the only thing I can think of is something to do with a matchbox car that he may have seen somewhere. His speech and difficulty with word recall makes it hard for him to explain what his wants or needs are. I hope that the things Santa brings him are things that make him happy! 
On another note, our best friends Cara and Doug received word today that they have gotten the green light to head to Serbia and adopt another little girl. We are very excited for them and know that Mila will be just as lucky and blessed as Hannah (their daughter from Ukraine) has been! 

Monday, December 1, 2008

Another first...

Well today we had another first, well actually two firsts but one major one! Teays Valley (my school district) had a teacher work day so that meant that "K" had no school. The boys could have gone to the preschool for the day but when I was telling Diane (previous foster mom) about the day off, she offered to watch the boys for us. Great idea, we knew the boys would like a day with their special mom, dad and sister! So last night, the boys went back to their old house for a sleepover and day of fun. I must say, I was extremely nervous about it since "J" really wants to go "home" when he sees Diane. I went out to the house to pick them up tonight and both boys were fine with coming home. No tears at all! They were excited to come back and see Billy and their kitten, Patty. I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. I know it broke Diane's heart to have them leave but she said she knows the boys love it here. Last night as she tucked them in "J" was asking for me. It was so quiet here last night though. Billy and I both had a sad feeling when they left. Needless to say we are glad they are home! 
The other first we had tonight was "J" told us he had to go potty and actually went! We are working SO hard on getting him potty trained which runs hot and cold. My goal is to have him almost totally potty trained over Christmas vacation. Wish me luck! 
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My parents, Billy's parents, my sister in law and her family, and my sister were all here. It was a nice relaxing day spent with our family. The boys had a great time playing with their cousins and grandparents! Every holiday reminds me just how thankful I am that my parents have moved to Ohio to be closer to us. I get this overwhelming feeling of content seeing my WHOLE family together. We are truly lucky! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One on one time...

Billy and I have talked about spending time with each of the boys on their own but it just doesn't seem like time allows it. Well tonight I had to go get a new windshield wiper and I took "K"with me. Now I must tell you, it was Billy's idea to take him along for a ride. I was excited about the thought of going to the store alone. Quiet time is very hard to come by lately and we both jump at it when we get the chance. I am very glad Billy was able to convince me to take a buddy along for a ride. We went to Sam's Club, Hobby Lobby and Walmart. We also stopped off at McDonald's for a quick bit to eat. While at McDonalds, I was being silly and "K" said to the lady at the counter "Look at my Mommy, she is being silly!" I loved hearing that! We had a great time talking about kindergarten and preschool. We discussed how you can't get married until you are a lot bigger, like 100 years old! I had a shopping cart pushed into my ankle because the little man wants to push the cart. We looked at things that we want to ask Santa for, which included pretty much anything in the toy department. 
While sitting at McDonald's, we were talking about things that "K" is learning at school. I know they are talking about pilgrims and Thanksgiving this week at school. While we were talking about it, I began to think how different this holiday season is going to be for us and for Diane and Grover. We get to enjoy having the boys at our home for Thanksgiving and Christmas for the first time. On the flip side, Diane and Grover will be spending their first holidays without the boys in three years. I also started thinking about how much their biological parents have missed out on. Sitting talking to "K" today I just looked at him with this look of amazement at this neat little boy sitting across from me. What neat little men they missed out on. It makes me sad to think that someone could be selfish enough to care more about their own life rather then the life of a person who can't take care of themselves. As I was talking to Billy about my thoughts, we both said that the boys may not be who they are today if they had stayed with the parents who gave birth to them. Like we have said so many times before, the screw up of someone else's life has been a HUGE gain for Billy and I. We feel very, very luck to have the boys sleeping in the next room and to call home here!  

Monday, November 17, 2008

One month later...

Well one month ago today our boys moved into our home. WOW! A month has gone by really quickly at times but feels like forever at others. This weekend Billy said it feels like we have had the boys from birth. I would have to agree with him. It doesn't really seem like just a month and a day ago we were just two! November is the official start of our 6 month waiting period to apply for adoption. Until then, the boys are just placed in a pre-adoptive foster home. 6 months sounds like a long time but considering the speed of the past month, April will be here before we know it. 
This past weekend, Billy and I took the boys to The Great Wolf Lodge with Cara, Doug and Hannah. We had a good time celebrating the adoption of such a special little girl. The kids loved the water. I definitely think the favorite part were the 4 kid water slides. By the end of the night, the slides had three little butt marks from the many trips they took. Hannah took the cake on the water intake though. She was too funny when she would purposely fall into the water. It still amazes me that just a year ago, she was newly "sprung" from an orphanage. Watching her walking around the hotel halls and room just makes me smile. 
The boys are excited about meeting Aunt Susan this weekend. I know that it will be a week of craziness around here. Both boys are going to have a blast playing with and getting to know Susan. I know there will be a great deal of love all around. 
Well I suppose that is all from our happy home. We got some snow today. Nothing major but enough to make me remember I dislike winter greatly!! Oh well....Summer will be here soon. 

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A great Friday and a special visit make two happy boys

Friday night we went out to dinner with Aunt Cara and Hannah. The boys just love Hannah and Aunt Cara. Billy and Jeremiah went to a chorus concert afterwards and the boys and I went to Hannah's to play. It was a great time. The boys were excited to see Hannah's house since they have been asking about going their for days now. 
Yesterday the boys went to spend the afternoon at their first home with their special family. Their special family misses the boys so much considering they have had them for 3 years. "J" asks about mommy and daddy a lot so we all thought it would be good for them to go "home" and see that everyone is still where they should be. We were right! The boys and I went to watch their "sister" cheerlead" in a competition then the boys went home with the Temples. The boys came home around 8:30 and their sister played with them for a while. Goodbyes were said, a few quick tears were shed but all in all, everyone seemed happy. We made plans to go to Burger King with the playground on Wednesday. 
This morning the boys are up and ready to go. The weather isn't so great today, a bit cloudy and cold but nothing a few layers and gloves can't overcome. Outside they will go to run off some of their extra energy! We love having 7 acres for their little feet to run around on! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


That is the feeling that we have lately...completely exhausted! It's amazing how just overnight you can feel like you haven't gotten enough rest in quite a long time! I know it is all for a great reason, two little guys who are so much fun, but just a little more sleep would be wonderful. We, Billy and I both, got over being ill last week and luckily the boys didn't get it. Friday night, Halloween, we went trick or treating which was a blast! The boys had a good time getting candy and we had fun watching them. Afterwards we went to McDonald's with our friends, Cara and Doug and their daughter Hannah. Then it was back to our house to play for a while. The boys just love Hannah and Hannah seems to think they are pretty okay too. 
Sunday evening we went to Mom's for dinner. It is fun to see my parents interact with them boys. "J" knows that he has Karen wrapped already and plays into it so well. "K" likes to get Ray's expertise on road and building construction since "K" really enjoys playing with the same blocks that Susan and I played with for hours as little kids. Meal time is always an adventure since neither boy really enjoys waiting for anything. There are so many little things that Billy and I feel like we need to work on but we know baby steps are the best way to go. 
Yesterday the boys went to get their flu shots. Not a fun task for anyone involved including the two nurses who had the crap beaten out of them by "K"! Someone should have warned me how violent he gets because I would have been better prepared. 
Every time I start to second think this whole process, one of the boys does something that makes me realize that this is just how life is supposed to be! Each day we feel more and more like Mom and Dad rather than just two people the boys stay with! All in all, life is going smoothly around here! 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My oh my!

Well what a crazy few days it has been around here! Friday morning I woke up not feeling so swell but thought that it was really nothing. Boy did I think wrong! My 7:30 I was quite sick with the flu! It was a rough weekend to say the least. Thank goodness for my fantastic husband, wonderful in-laws and Jeremiah. They all were a huge help and took care of everything which allowed me to sleep. As Billy said "it's just what we need to do!" We all went back to our normal lives today and things are much better. "K" has had hives for about 5 days so we went to the doctor yesterday to make sure it wasn't anything major. She wasn't concerned but going to the get medical treatment of any sort with foster kids is tricky. The doctor's office questions who we are and we have to provide proof that we have custody of them. Just little hoops that you don't think about ahead of time. 
Last night was the Children's services skating party. We went with the boys. The boys "other mom and dad" were there. "K" was very happy to see them but just as happy to play with the other kids there. "J" on the other hand was a completely different story. He wanted NOTHING to do with us and followed "Mom" around like her shadow the entire two hours. When it was time to leave, I just had to pick him up, crying 3 year old and all, carry him to the car and try to comfort him as he cries "Mommy....wait....." He calmed down as soon as we got out of the parking lot but it was still heartbreaking. It is so hard to have this little person you love so much be so upset and not be able to help comfort him. 
Today the boys both had great days at school. "J" was happy to be at preschool and happily said "Bye Jennifer" as I walked out the door. "K" has had nothing but great days in Kindergarten. He seems to really enjoy going. That makes things easier in the morning. I noticed tonight that we are seeing a lot more of "J"s personality (at least the one we had seen over the past 5 months) tonight. He was so goofy and giggly tonight. He has the most infectious giggle. "K" had a rougher evening, I think due to over tiredness. He tends to yell at us when he he thinks we aren't doing what he thinks needs to be done. Tonight he went to bed without his desert of cookies because he yelled at me. We are working on things and have seen a lot less of the anger issues with him. 
So that is life here at the house. We are exhausted most of the time but both love the boys so much that we wouldn't trade it! All our love! 
So, that is our life around here. We love it. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"Mommy's house?"

3:30 AM - I hear "J" fuss a bit through the baby monitor. It gets quiet so I figured he fell back asleep. In a few minutes I hear little footsteps and "Jennifer....juice?" "Nope, "J" bed", "okay". We walk back to bed and the TV is on. "J" says TB off?" and I say "TV off, sleep!" and that was that!
We are getting into the swing of things in the morning. "K" is amazingly able to be more independent each day. He does things alone that we know he can do like put on his shirt and socks. He seems really excited about going to school and has had three great days. We think that maybe just going from full day to half day kindergarten has helped. He goes to preschool in the afternoon, where he gets to rest which he still really needs. 
Today was quite emotional for me. "J" is beginning to catch on that this isn't his normal 2 night visit. This morning he screamed and cried for "mommy" and I was not what he wanted. The whole way to school he continually asked me "Jennifer, mommy's house?" It broke my heart. I know he doesn't understand what is going on and no matter what we tell him he is still so confused. When we dropped him off at school he cried and cried. I left the preschool in tears. All morning I kept thinking "what the hell are we doing?" I know things will get easier and with time we will be the people "J" cries for but right now it is so hard to see this tiny little person so upset.
Tonight was pretty quiet around the house. The boys played outside with the dogs for about an hour then we had dinner, baths and bed. We are exhausted too! Hopefully we will all sleep in a bit on Saturday! 

Monday, October 20, 2008

We survived! (I think...)

Well today was the start of a new beginning. The boys started school at their new locations today. I had to work on getting three people ready in the morning. Boy was the a chore in itself! "J" woke up at 6:30 and wanted his "gogurt". I told him he had to wait. Billy tried to get it for him but "J" screamed "NOOOOO JENNIFER". I woke "K" up around 7 and the first thing he told me was the his belly hurt really bad. We talked about how he would be okay and that we would make it through the day. We had a few meltdowns along the way but made it to school with smiles on our faces. "J" walked into preschool, saw cool toys and forgot all about us. "K" and I left and headed to our school. "K" was nervously excited about seeing his new school and teacher. By 8:50 he was ready to go. It helped knowing that Aunt Cara was across the hall and he got to see his buddy Hannah before school. After Kindergarten, "K" and I headed to preschool for the afternoon. He was happy to spend the afternoon with his brother and rest. I went to pick the boys up at the end of the day and "J" screamed, he didn't want to leave. I suppose that is a good sign. 
All in all, we had a good day. I was nervous all morning as was Billy, my mom, Betty and Diane. We all decided we will do it again tomorrow. Hopefully with a little less stress in the morning! 

Friday, October 17, 2008

Move In Day

Well today is Friday. Just like the past 8 Fridays, our boys will be coming to spend some time with us. Unlike the last 8 Fridays, they will not go to their other home on Sunday though! WOW! It's really hard to believe that we are finally at this point. On August 8th, we sat in children's services and worked out a transition plan for the boys. That seems like so long ago. Billy and I were on our way to the Pumpkin Show last night and we were talking about this weekend. He asked me if I was nervous, scared, excited. I said ask me again on Sunday evening when they stay longer. He said he was feeling all sorts of emotions. Can we do this? Are we ready for this? Are we doing the right thing for us and for the boys? These are all questions we have talked about and went over many times over the last few months. We know we can do this and we are ready to be parents. I guess it's just the "oh my gosh" factor that life is going to change starting today.  Not a bad change though, just a different change.
We have a busy day ahead of us. Today is COTA today (teachers convention in Ohio) so Billy and I have the day off. We both have a lot on our plate to get accomplished before this afternoon. I know that the day will go fast. I also know that when the boys arrive today, they will both come barreling out of the car screaming "Jennifer" "Billy" and we will get huge hugs and kisses. Kyle will run around to make sure that all their pets are here and that their room looks the same and that their trains are still in the toy box. Jake will look at the TV and said "TV broken" because it is turned off. This is typical Friday behavior and we love it! 

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Just beginning

I guess I will take the lead from some others and begin "blogging" about our new and crazy life around here! I know this is a great way of keeping a bunch of people updated on the going ons of our household. So today I will start doing just that. 
Billy and I spent our last weekend as "a two person family" in Virginia for a dear friend, Stephanie's, wedding. We were able to catch up with some long lost friends which was so wonderful. We were also able to revisit my college and the towns where we spent a good bit of time getting to know each other. It was a great weekend, the weather was beautiful, the wedding was wonderful and we had a great time just being together. The downside of the weekend was that we were without our boys! 
Our boys, let me fill you in a bit about "the boys".  They are two boys we are adopting. We met the boys through a good friend and fell in love with them shortly after meeting them. The boys are brothers who had a rough start in life. They were moved to an older family who loves them beyond belief and because of that love know they can't be the forever family the boys need and deserve. That's where we come in. For the past 8 weeks, we have been spending weekends with the boys at our house. They love the idea of having two bedrooms, two sets of toys, new pets, new friends, the whole works! 
The boys are moving in FOREVER on Friday, October 17th. We are full of mixed emotions. On one hand we are so excited about this new life we are all starting. We are nervous about diving in to full time parenting. Over the past two months, each Sunday has gotten harder and harder to send the boys back to their other house. Each time we see them, we can't help but think out their biological parents are missing out on two of the best little people we have ever known. But on the flip side, their loss (and a huge one at that!) is our gain (and a huge one at that!) 
I am hoping that this blog will help keep all our family and friends updated on our new family!