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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Wanting Momma time

It's been awhile since Char has wanted and craved that momma/daughter time we used to have so frequently.  After she hit 13, she shut me out for awhile.  90% of that was depression and I knew it, although of course, everybody else said it was being a teenager.

She's started coming out of it though and we've spent time playing Mario together, she's requested back rubs and reading to her at night.  She's requested I fix her snack at night instead of her.  She's helped me cook a few times.  She's even climbed in bed before bedtime and asked for me to lay down with her.

Yesterday I took off of work and she claimed to be sick and wanted to stay home. I knew she was faking so I told her to go to school and the nurse would call if she needed me.  She braces knocked loose during the day and I ended up picking her up early anyway to take her to the ortho.  Ironically though, as soon as she got home, she "felt fine" and was up to jumping on the trampoline for awhile.

I was off on a hot date with hubs when we got the call from school. We were sitting there eating sushi and left to go pick her up.  She was so thrilled to find out we left from there to come get her. It made her feel important and that she was first.  (we didn't tell her we only had one piece of sushi left and popped it in our mouth and asked for the ticket quick, we did tell her about standing up to get them to rush ticket over though, she loved that and felt like her feelings really mattered).

I crave the momma/daughter time more than her, so I'm loving that I've got my daughter back, for however long I have her.

Everybody says it's because Christmas is coming. I'd like to think it's not such a shallow reason.

When she's shutting us out, it's visibly distressing to her when we try to push through, so I'm pretty sure it's real.  

The Nutcracker

We have an annual tradition of going to the Nutcracker.

It started with us getting 3 tickets one year to go in hopes that our child would be found in time to go.  She wasn't, so we had a spare seat beside us.

The following year, we got 3 tickets, she still wasn't found so we took our Godson.  It was amusing to see him watching the girls, but even more so to hear hubs tease him asking if he'd have his pic taken with a ballerina.

Fast forward a year!! FINALLY!!! Our lovely daughter got to go with us.  She loved it so much she requested we make it a yearly tradition. We'd gotten in the habit, so that was pretty easy to do, we just added a tradition of getting a nutcracker there in addition to going.

This year we got 4, thinking if S wasn't with a family, we could steal her for the day. Since she is in transition, we didn't ask and asked Char's BFF to go instead.

That was money WELL SPENT!!! Char always loves it and BFF was absolutely nuts about it. They enjoyed it so much and I think we now have a new tradition to take her with us.

We got them nutcrackers too and shirts.

Here's Char's collection, left to right: 2014, 2013 and 2012

Thanksgiving Day

We were invited to spend Thanksgiving Day with S and her new family.

I was hesitant to say yes, thinking first overnight and not moved in yet, plus first holiday for the siblings together since being separated.

The SW though, said unless it would adversely affect Char, they would really appreciate it if we could say yes though, because they're struggling with convincing S that she can still see her sis after adoption and for them to have us for a holiday together would go miles to help prove their willingness to maintain the connection.

We went, we had a good time, but it was a little odd to spend Thanksgiving with people we barely know (outside of S).  They are really nice and we're optimistic that it will work.

We left when we noticed that Char seemed to be getting a little tired of the constant attention.  I think we'll save holiday visits for a day near the holiday instead of the actual holiday.  We all missed our traditions, totally want to spend time with them again, it was fun, just not on the holiday.

We came home and put our tree up and had our Thanksgiving meal on Saturday at home.

Sibling Visit

Char's baby sis is still in visits with her future family.  We spent Thanksgiving Dinner with them and they were seeing her every other week.  This past weekend was their weekend to have her and we took Char and her BFF to see the Nutcracker.

Since we'd be in a central location for that, we suggested they meet us for dinner Sunday.

Saturday at 6 pm, I get a text that they beat us to the restaurant and went ahead and got us a table.  Eek!!! I was scrolling like crazy to make sure I hadn't given them Saturdays date instead of Sunday.  Thankfully it wasn't my mistake, but I sure was stressed thinking of baby S there waiting on her sister and not seeing her.

We replanned for a quick lunch before because turns out 6 pm on Sunday wasn't even good, they'd said yes thinking Saturday.  After lunch, I snookered Char into going to see Santa with sis and BFF. We got the best pic of the 3 of them with Santa.  Memories to cherish.

First meltdown for S almost happened at lunch, but she held it together and her new dad handled it perfectly.

Char said she thought S was going to pull her arm off of her though. Char was so ready to get out of there, loves her sis, but gets annoyed quickly.

The more I see them together though, the more I understand the need to keep them as only children.  So glad they're close though for frequent contact.

The girls exchanged presents and S went all out on Char's gift. We kinda did for S, but that's normal for us, S spent her own money, plus made cookies.

I wish there wasn't so much guilt with those 2 and so much triggering.  They adore each other and didn't deserve to be put in this situation. The first 2 pics are what Char received from S, I forgot to take a pic of what she gave S, other than the picture she made her, so sweet.

Jessica Elf

Wow!! I've been lazy, it's been over 3 weeks since I've posted here. I may have to go back and figure out where I left off so I can catch up.

Lots of facebook posts of people elves on a shelf. I can not for the life of me figure out why people would waste a bunch of sugar for snow angels, go to the trouble of decorating cheerios for donuts and most of all have their elves do mischievious things instead of setting good examples.

Our elf has been Char's "friend" since day 1, her secret keeper, a way to get messages to Santa and stuff like that instead of shaming her.  Although last night for the first time, after getting annoyed with repeated food binging in the middle of the night, Jessica ended up on the fridge door. No shame, but at least a way to make it more difficult to open the door unnoticed.

Sometimes I wonder if the food issues will ever stop.

We can't lock it up, that would be counter productive and make her feel unsafe.  Having so much food available helps her feel safe. The downside is that if she wakes up in the middle of the night and gets stressed, without us or the pups awake to help remind her of healthy coping skills, she binges on unhealthy stuff, raw dough mostly.

If anybody has ideas, please feel free to share them in the comments.

She has a snack box. She has approved foods, we only ask that she doesn't eat stuff like that. We've even asked that she wake us up for us to cook it, but when she's stressed her brain doesn't operate as it should.

Oh wait!! This was suppose to be about Jessica, right?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Being Thankful

So many people on facebook are doing the daily thankful challenge. Not really much of a challenge for me, I'm thankful every day, but is IS alot of fun and I enjoy coming up with different things that I'm thankful for and how to express them.

Here's a few things I'm thankful for, some that I posted on facebook, others not:

thankful for our beautiful, amazing daughter that I fell in love before I even saw her....
Our baby girl an amazing young lady that is a ton of fun to be with, strong, funny, kind to animals and very loved. I enjoy momma/daughter time with her as well as family time. I love when we go swimming, hang out in the gazebo, watch movies, go to shows/concerts/trips, read Arlo, play yoshi, hammock time, giggle together over nothing or something, and more. I fall more and more in love with her every day and she will ALWAYS be my baby girl, love herto the moon and back, infinity and beyond.

I'm so thankful for my hubby, who makes me laugh daily and today and many days he makes me laugh until I cry. He's my best friend, he's with me through thick and thin, puts up with me and is a good daddy to our daughter and the furkids. He'd move heaven and earth for our family and I appreciate his commitment and passion for his beliefs

obviously I'm thankful that our home was blessed with adoption, but I'm also thankful that our baby's little sister is currently having visits with a family that has a desire to create a forever home for her and I'm thankful for friends that I've met because of the adoption journey and that I have friends that have a heart for these special kiddos!!Our daughter has calmed down a TON since this has happened. It's been stressful to be the big sis and handle that guilt/worry over her sis.

thankful that our daughter has been using her words more than actions lately and letting us know things she needs (ie. last year we went to the parade because we thought she'd enjoy it, this year she asked us to not "make her go", she didn't really enjoy the crowds, so we went to the movies and dinner instead and had a nice family day)

thankful that our daughter let me kiss her on the head when I left for work without pulling away (very unusual)

thankful that we were invited to baby sis's new families Thanksgiving so that the girls could celebrate their first holiday together since being separated

thankful that we were invited to the Governors Mansion for the Adoption event. Out of 418 adoptions in Virginia in 2013, 20 families were chosen to this event and we were one. I think it helped our daughter to see she's not alone and see how important she really is. 1) an event celebrating her and others like her and 2) that we thought it was important enough to drive 3 1/2 hours to go to it. She dressed up like a girl with no real complaint and was the prettiest girl there, lol (she said I owed her for dressing and behaving like a girl for the night)

I'm thankful that we've found a trustworthy babysitter for the pets so we can continue doing weekend activities without worrying about the babies. I know Lucifer and Arlo in particular love their sitter. He spends quality time with the crazy pets and they don't seem stressed at all when we come home, happy to see us, but zero stress and that's important for all of us. Lee sends photo updates while we're gone, which we all love, especially our Char Bear. They're family, but can't go on trips with us After mom died, we were worried we'd never find the right sitter that would make our babies comfortable with us being gone, so it's nice to know they're being loved on. When we got back from Atlanta last weekend, the pups told us they got lots of treats.

thankful for technology. How fun are google, facebook, digital cameras, cell phones, gps, and more (if I'm honest, digital camera is probably my favorite cool thing)

despite my whining about the cold, I really am grateful that we don't have to heat our house the old time way. My "Granny Grunt" used to cut a tree and put the trunk thru the door and scoot it in the wood stove a little at a time. So glad we have modern conveniences to keep us warm and not have to get out in the cold unless we want to....warm house, heat pump, gas and electric fireplaces and lots of warm blankets on the bed. I'm not the muscle woman she was, nor the resourceful woman that could always make something out of nothing!! and for a Keurig to make quick hot Earl Grey tea to warm me up.

thankful that after 7 months, we have a new tenant for mommys home, giving us the money to keep her house in good shape and the rest for the spoil the daughter fund. If this tenant stays the same time that the last one did, they'll likely be the last one and Char Bear will be the next one to live here

I'm thankful she wants to live next door to us when she grows up and that the cycle continues

National Adoption Day

There are currently 895 children up for adoption in the state of Virginia, 142 of those are advertised on

I'd like to think that the rest aren't advertised because they're matched and pending adoption finalization or in visits with their future family now.

But, realistically, I think somebody has dropped the ball here.

We waited nearly 3 years to be matched with our daughter. The first time she was up for adoption and TPR had just happened was almost exactly the timing when we were approved, but we had no idea she even existed.

We went to an Adoption Awareness event at the Governors Mansion this week and it's very exciting that the governor has a task force in place to create awareness around the need, but the 20 families invited had all had finalizations in the past year. It was a great place to celebrate, but really preaching to the choir.

If only we could create the passion 12 months a year to find these kiddos a forever home.  A forever home can make all the difference in the world for a child and for the future of our communities.