Thursday, February 24, 2011

Am I Too Old For This?

Spielberg, Pitt, Bullock, Crow, Flockhart, Aniston (oh come on, it's just a matter of time) are just a handful of the well knowns that have adopted (or considered it) at a, errr, "seasoned age". I have yet to hear any guffaws over their choice to adopt at this particular phase of life. It is all butterflies and warm fuzzies in the media and public at large. As it should be. I have to wonder, has anyone had the gall to question them if they've done the math?

Because I've sure been asked...

DH and I are well aware of our ticking clock. We started this journey later in life but are far from porch sitters. Yes, it has crossed my mind that when Little Buddy is old enough to vote, I'll be old enough to receive AARP discounts. When Sweet Pea is rockin' her 21st birthday, DH will be considering Social Security options.

No need to remind me, m'kay?

As you all know, at times I struggle with self doubt (especially when my age is pointed out by others). I know some of you may be considering taking the leap into foster care but don't follow your heart because of your age.

So how old is too old to make a difference in a child's life?

A story that really spoke to me was that of county singer Jimmy Wayne. His life started out rough. Really rough. In and out of his birth mother's life, foster care and group homes, he was headed down the wrong path. How could he not? What got him back on the right track was the love and support of a couple in their 70's, Russell and Bea Costner.


At age 16, after mowing the Costner's lawn for a time, Jimmy was invited to live with them. From the People Magazine article from January 21st, 2010 : "I'm here because someone helped me. Amazing things happen when you give a kid a chance.."

For the first time he felt safe. He finished high school, went to college and was later discovered in Nashville. He would go on to tour with the likes of Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley and his star continues to rise.



Not only is he an amazing singer/songwriter, he is a champion for kiddos in foster care. In 2010 he launched Meet Me Halfway (a post to follow about his amazing organization) and walked from Nashville to Phoenix, raising awareness about foster children and their plight as they age out of the system at the age of 18.

Jack, Jill, Mannie, Sunshine, JuneBug, Little Buddy and SweetPea will probably never aspire to some celebrity status. However, no matter where their lives take them, I know we made a positive impact and our time together will continue with them on their journey. Our memory has surely faded for some of our past little angels but their souls will never forget. Did they see us as a number, worry about the extra wrinkles or care about our age? Is there still air in my lungs and room in our hearts and home? How old is too old?

What do you think Mr. and Mrs. Costner would say?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My BirthMom Seach.. Take 2...

Over a year ago I hired an acclaimed investigation service to try to find my birth mother. The same company that works for (rhymes with) Boy The Nocator. They are big time (and truly nice people). I figured if anyone could find her, they could. Right?

Um, not in a 30 minute episode come to find out..

We hit a dead end from the get go. The same issue I've had since I first started looking over 10 years ago (when I found out I was an adopted county baby). My birth name is beyond common. So much so that my non-identifying information was of little use. Zilch in the clues department. We had more questions that were not addressed in the original non-id info letter and I was advised by my investigator to contact my county of birth and look into it.

Did I mention the county's post adoption services is a wee bit understaffed? With a population of over 11 million and me not having a medical emergency, the 3 months I was told it would take to assign a social worker to turned into a year.

And that would be TODAY.

I finally got a call from my social worker this afternoon. She is going to crack into the archives and see if she can answer some of the questions. If she can, we move forward.. if not, it's a done deal. Basically we're teetering on the edge of something huge...

... or nothing at all.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Rescue In Need ~ OT But Oh Well!


As an owner of several "Dangerous Breeds" (Doberman, Husky, Bull/Lab mix), I am passionate about breed education (especially debunking myths). As someone involved in rescue for years, I'm an advocate for spay/neuter. In the past I have supported Villalobos Rescue Center financially. In addition to being an awesome rescue, they are champions in their community (holding free clinics for spay/neuter and classes).

They are now in need of our help.

If you watch Pitbulls & Parolees, you are familiar with Tia and her crew. They have moved to a new location but are having issues with a few citizens and a hearing for permits is taking place tomorrow. They are asking for letters of support (below is a sample of what they need):

Last day to get your letters to Tia, sent to: pitbullrescue13@gmail.com. Here's some last minute suggestions: Please send your letter of support either in the body of an e-mail OR in a Word attachment.

DON’T FORGET TO INCLUDE YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION (name, address, phone number, e-mail address if possible).

If you are a Kern County ...resident, please state in your letter’s subject line. If you are a Tehachapi resident, please ESPECIALLY state in your subject line.

IF YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL, PLEASE STATE SO IN YOUR LETTER. (I.E., Teacher, Professor, Doctor, Lawyer, Accountant, Business Owner, Probation Officer, Corrections Officer, Law Enforcement, Prosecutor, Etc.)

TALKING POINTS OF SUPPORT LETTER (addressed to KERN COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSIONERS:

WHAT NOT TO SAY:

Please do not say anything about how the county or community hates pit bulls or breed, etc. If you send an e-mail with something like "you hate Pit Bulls, parolees are dangerous, etc" The planning commission will disregard our side and dismiss us as ‘crazy’.

WHAT TO SAY:

This is a hearing to decide if Villalobos Rescue Center, Inc. can operate a business in a residential neighborhood (called a “conditional use permit”). That means the organization will abide by all rules pertaining to this permit. The important points which people should be making are that Villalobos:

· is not polluting the environment
· maintains a low noise level
· maintains an acceptable dust level
· only takes in the amount of dogs that we can comfortably and well-care for;
· that Villalobos takes proper care of the dogs

Other points to emphasize are:

· The way Villalobos dogs are handled -- professionally and safely
· That the Villalobos kennel is always clean and well maintained
· The barking is kept under control
· Villalobos has a high adoption rate thus they are not hoarders
· Villalobos currently has good relationships and is considerate of their neighbors
· Villalobos is a valuable program that not only has always abided by the rules set before them, but also assists with saving dogs out of public kill shelters and keeping men out of prison thus making a difference to us taxpayers

Perfect Moment Monday


Perfect Teamwork

Saturday, February 19, 2011

R.E.S.P.I.T.E. Find Out What It Means To Me...

That's right, after nearly 3 months of going nonstop, this Mommy & Daddy get a night off. Little Buddy is headed to his former foster Mommy's house to spend the night (they have a really good, healthy relationship). Gramsie and GramPapa are coming over this evening and watching SweetPea for a few hours. DH and I are going to go on a double date with AuntieMoo & Uncle Kiwi (my SIL and BIL) for a lovely dinner.

Sweet relief.

Ever kicked around the idea of becoming a foster or fost/adopt home? Did you know that you can become a respite care provider and "get your feet wet" to see how it all works (without making the full blown commitment)? Us foster families so appreciate being able to have a few hours (or overnight) to recover and regroup. It keeps us healthy and, in turn, is great for our kiddos, as well.

Exhale...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Guy Time...

DH was out of town on business for the better part of this week. A worker had picked up LB and SP from daycare and brought them home last night. As I greeted them at the door, Buddy had only one question,

"IS DADDY HOME YET???!"

and screeched past Yours Truly with little more than a glance when the answer was, "Yes!" ..

Girls were banned from the family room as the building (of what looked like Lego Speed Boats) commenced.


If I'm not mistakin', I do believe I heard grunting à la Tim Allen and Tool Time.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's DayAfter...

Teeth still buzzing, skin breaking out, tummy aching.. it must be the day after Valentine's Day..


Hope yours was as great as ours!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Perfect Moment Monday

Saturday we met up with some of Little Buddy and Sweet Pea's bio family at the children's museum. There are some very positive relationships (in this case) we are trying to maintain. It was so good to see them interact and you can almost feel the healing taking place.


Sunday, our family came over for a lovely Valentine's steak dinner. We haven't had a chance to see each other since Christmas (thanks to all our plagues) and it was so nice to visit. Although we couldn't get the Wii to fire up, it was a fantastic evening.

On our way to day care this morning, Little Buddy said it was a Perfect Family Weekend and that was my Perfect Moment.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Inhale...

Much to my surprise, what started out as a brutal week (to the point of me questioning my own abilities) ended quite smoothly. I now brace myself for a weekend spinning with activities.

For a few short moments, as my loved ones sleep, I enjoy a perfect cup of coffee, bask in peace and give thanks to the Good Lord for getting us through a rough last few days.

And Breathe ...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Super Bowl Spin Out...

Somersaults, dancing and spinning in front of the big TV on Super Bowl Sunday eventually resulted in SweetPea taking a header into the couch. Naturally, she landed on the least-padded area on the entire piece of furniture and had a nice little goose egg to show for it.

She sat quietly as I placed frozen peas on her owie, few tears shed. Seriously, this little girl is a trooper. Being the fine caretaker that she is, once we were done she made sure Daddy was okay, too.


Loves me my little doctor...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Let's Dance...

For all the cute pictures and silly conversations I share, we've also had plenty of pot holes and speed bumps (errrr, craters and mountains). I believe Little Buddy's internal clock is telling him it's time to leave. Or if he acts out, they'll get to move.

But to where?

His little heart needs to know what is happening.. where they are going to be. Unfortunately, the case isn't at a place where his workers can give him a definitive answer.

For now there is no peace.

As far back as our initial training, we were taught that the kids tend to focus their hostility on the foster mom. They're angry at their own birth mothers and guess who takes the brunt?

So true.

Every previous case we've had has proven that theory correct. This one is no exception. When he's mad (ie: not getting his way) and goes to "that place" he'll go for the jugular... pulling out all the stops. From, "You're not a real mom" to "I'm packing now" and everything in between. He'll throw out whatever he thinks might hurt my feelings or get me to snap back. My best response?

Walk away.

He's used to confrontation and being disrespected. Not acknowledging or engaging totally throws him for a loop (and calms the situation.. eventually).

Sometimes it's not that easy. Biting tongue is not my forte. I'm famous for my cutting one-liners. Being disrespected is no fav, either. When the moment is right, DH will step in and let LB know his behavior will not be tolerated (trust me he straightens up real quick-like when Daddy speaks).

DH also leads by example and there's times I think LB is getting it.

Every moment here is like a dance. Some are beautiful waltzes and others, a mosh pit. You never know what's next but one thing is for sure...

I do love the two fellas on my dance card.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Parenthood For Me 2011 Grant Cycle

From the Parenthood For Me Newsletter:

Parenthood for Me is now accepting grant applications for the 2011 grant cycle. We ask that you please read the FAQ page on our website before requesting an application. Click here to read specifics about each type of grant.

Deadline is May 1, 2011.

*Please note that you cannot apply for both a medical grant and an adoption
grant from Parenthood for Me, Inc. in the same grant cycle.

Parenthood for Me is thrilled that so many people across the country are aware of our mission. We look forward to awarding more grants in July of this year. Please keep in mind that without the help of donations we cannot continue to offer grants to prospective parents. Any donation, no matter how small makes a difference. You can help in other ways as well. We will assist you in holding a fundraiser in your community. If you have someone in mind who may be interested in a Partnership Package (sponsorship opportunity) with Parenthood for Me, please email us at info@parenthoodforme.org.

We are a 501 c(3) tax exempt charity.
Donations are tax deductible.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Our Home ~ Our Petri Dish


Yes it's true.. SweetPea is battling The Goo once again. The night before last she was cranky and overly-clingy (the combo we found out quickly was a red flag). Last night she wasn't hungry, a little lethargic and her nose was extra gooey.

At 1am she was up coughing and crying. I gave her some meds and rocked her to sleep. At 2am we were at it again. This time I stayed in the room and let her sleep on me until 3:00. She was up on and off (as was I).

Poor little Boo!

Today I am home (thank God my employer is so understanding!) waiting to see how she does when she wakes up. A day of rest is in order (and possibly a trip to the doctor). And to think she almost made it two weeks straight without being sick.. a record..

DH is still recovering from our last round and, although I managed to dodge the last two PlagueBullets, I now have a cough and a scratchy throat, as well. Sigh...

One Tough Season

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mama Gets A Schoolin'...

Yesterday turned out to be quite the icy commute. Pulling out of the driveway we actually slid sideways. That was a sign of things to come. The top news stories ended up being about our bitter cold weather and all the accidents caused by the slick roadways.. Like this:


On our way home (the roads were still crummy), I commented on the "dumb person" riding my bumper. Really? Driving at excessive speeds and on my tail? Not cool.

From the backseat Little Buddy piped up:

LB: Mommy, you said a a bad word.

Did one slip?

Moi: What was that?

LB: You said dumb.

M: Oh baby... that just means, "not smart" and isn't a curse word. That person was tailgating and it's dangerous.

LB: Mommy, I know it's not a swear but it's a hard word. Like when you told me not to say hate.. it's too strong. And it's a mean word.. and you even told me not to use it before.

Silence. (Totally true I might add).

M: Baby, you are right. If you can't use hard words than neither can I.. I am very sorry.

LB: That's okay Mommy.. and don't worry, I forgive you.

He listens and forgives .. *proud mama*
 

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