Methodical Missy

Just a mom in Texas that wants to die knowing I lived life to the fullest. This is mostly my attempt to keep my family & friends up to date on what's going on at our house. If you're one of those people that don't like personal blogs, I'm not here to entertain your a$$, so just move on.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Little did we know, three and a half years ago, that losing our daughter, Faith, would set in motion the events that would lead us to this day; such a legacy for some one that was on this earth for just a few hours.

Today was the day we made the adoption complete. A lot of people asked me if I was excited and I have to say, I was excited, but also calm. It's like having a baby. Up until your due date, you stress about what's going to happen, how painful it will be and if you and the baby will be ok, but when the day comes and you're in labor, a sense of calm comes over you and you're no longer as scared as you were. You just know that you are ready and willing to do whatever it takes to birth this tiny little baby.

The adoption of the boys was the same way. The last six months have had their ups and downs. We've been scared, frustrated, happy, nervous and even angry. We asked each other constantly if we were crazy for getting ourselves into this. In the last week, though, a sense of calm has come over us. We know these boys were meant to be with us and we know we can handle this. We're completely ready to face the road ahead. That long, long, long, loooong road ahead. Kidding!

So...our date started as usual. The boys were the first ones up and just like every morning, they sat in their beds and talked to each other as if they were on opposite sides of the house. In other words, we could hear every word because they were yelling.

We were running late to the court house, because after six months, we still haven't figured out how to get out of the door on time with three children. Just like Depelchin warned us, we got to the court house and did a lot of waiting and waiting and more waiting. When it was finally our turn we approached the bench and our lawyer asked us a bunch of questions:

What is your name?
Have you had these boys for 6 months
Have you been given all their background information and read it?
Do you want to adopt these two children?

After all the yes's and I do's and a few teary eyes (even Jaime...sssh!)the judge pronounced us a family. We took some pictures and that was it. I think were in there for a total of FIVE minutes. The judge was very nice. He let us behind his desk to take a picture and then all the kids, including Grace, got teddybears.
Memaw (my grandma), Grandma Grace and Uncle Nelson all came along to support us. We discouraged most of the family from coming because taking 30 minutes to drive down town, paying $15 to park and waiting over an hour in the lobby just didn't seem worth it for a five minute show. The funny part of all this was as we're walking out of the court house, Grace starts crying. She's just bawling and hanging onto my hips as we walk past all the other families waiting to adopt. She was tired and unhappy because her stomach was hurting. (We got some bad kolaches for breakfast) But, as I'm walking out, I'm wondering how many people are looking at her and thinking, "That poor girl. She doesn't want her brothers."
This was such a wierd day, because after all the classes, paperwork, homestudies, checkups by Depelchin and CPS, the ending was so anticlimatic. It was like running a 50 mile marathon and getting to the finish line only to find a bunch of empty plastic cups and soggy streamers lying on the ground. I guess part of me expected balloons to drop from the ceiling and President Bush to come out of a side door to shake my hand. Not to worry, because we had a nice lunch where we were joined by Grandpa Paco (My dad, who is much better company than the President) and Aunt Shannon (much goofier than the President).

To top it all off, I got to come home to this:

along with dinner waiting for me in a cooler. I just want to tell Tammy, Ken, Michelle, Kenny, Lisa, Kurt, Kim and Mike that you guys are the sweetest, nicest most thoughtful people. I love you all and we want all of you in our lives forever...even if our kids become mortal enemies.

It's official now. We are a "par.t.of.five" and couldn't be happier.

Now could somebody please pass me a glass of wine? Make that the bottle!

Dominic the comedian

The conversation that unfolded as I handed Dominic his drink:

Dominic: Thank you, Mommy
Me: Uh huh
Dominic: Mommy, you are supposed to say, "You're welcome"
Me: I'm sorry. You're welcome
Dominic: From now on, when I say thank you, you need to say you're welcome.

In another conversation:
Dominic: Daddy, I have two words for you
Dad: What's that?
Dominic: Teetee and Poopoo
Dominic: First I'm going to go teetee and then I'm going to go poopoo
Dad: Thanks for the rundown Dominic

Thursday, May 24, 2007

E & B Peach Orchard

We went peach picking and came home with a large box filled to the rim with peaches. If anyone has a great peach recipe, please email it to me. I need to get rid of these things.

The rest of the pics are

Friday, May 04, 2007

Conversations at our house

Dylan: Mommy, look at my big fat tummy

Me: You don't have a big fat tummy.

Dylan: Oh? Just you and daddy?

Me: Ummm, yeah?

"Wishblows" per Grace

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

How cool is this? It's a coffin that takes the environment into consideration. I'm in love with the one pictured below, however, I'd like to personalize mine by pasting pictures to it. Maybe flowers? Messages to my loved ones? OR, how about a banner that says, "Cya in heaven, suckers!"

Thanks to boingboing for discovering this for me!
Click here to order one of your own.


Monday, March 05, 2007

February-March Adoption Update

Written in late Jan 2007

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The honeymoon period is definitely over. The first week home was filled with fun, games and lots of hugs and kisses. The boys worked hard to lock in their place in our hearts and once they settled in, the real fun began! If talk of poopy diapers offends you, just skip the first couple paragraphs.

Lets dive right in with The Bad
DW’s potty training has been somewhat…hmm…what’s the best word…interesting?? If we guide him to the toilet several times a day, he’ll generally comply and drop a little donation to the sewer god. Yay! Other times, it’s not this easy as he prefers the comfort of his own home when he feels the desire to “go”. This, I can deal with. After all, you’re talking about the parents that would leave a restaurant in the middle of a meal to rush Grace home at 100 MPH because, “OMG! She has to go and she wants THE TOILET!” The difficult part is when he does #2 in his pull-up and doesn’t tell us. I’m using the #2 term loosely as it looks more like a mixture of 1 & 2 that has been stirred into a soupy mess AND HE’S HAPPY TO SIT IN IT. To add do the dilemma; the poor thing has had several bouts of diarrhea. For reasons I cannot explain, HAZMAT has blocked my number, so I’ve become somewhat creative when it comes to cleaning DW’s underpants. The first time, I just wrapped up the package with the Spiderman print and threw it in the trash. After realizing I couldn’t keep tossing underwear, I threw them in the backyard to be hosed down later, which I conveeeeniently forgot about. There’s nothing like surprising your hubbie with frozen poopie pants when he’s going outside to cook hamburgers.

This brings me to my next challenge, lactose intolerance. Here’s a glimpse into the day we discovered it.
Cop-hubby to DW: DW, Do you have poopie pants?
DW shakes head no.
Cop-hubby: Are you sure?
DW shakes head yes.
Cop-hubby to Missy: Um, I think DW needs a diaper change
Me: Ok. I think I have an appt to get splinters shoved under my fingernails. Bye! See ya later! Nice to know you!
Cop-hubby takes DW for a change.
Note: a change after #2 always involves a bath because no matter how good the diaper is, it was not made to corral soupy #2. To get a good visual (like you haven’t heard enough already), just picture DW standing in the tub, while we, (oops, I mean Cop-hubby) take the removable nozzle and hose him down.
Cop-hubby calls Foster Dad
Cop-hubby: Hey Sergio. Sooo…DW has been experiencing severe bouts of the big D and I don’t mean divorce. Is he by annnny chaaance, possibleeee lactose intolerant?
FD: Oh yeah. I forgot to tell you. DW can’t drink much milk or he gets sick.
Cop-hubby: Really? Well, it might have been nice to know that.

Next on the list of challenges is breaking down the walls that DJ has built. DJ’s greatest desire in life is to be loved by mom. I mean, of course every child wants that, but, I think he’d be content to sit in my lap all day, while I kiss his forehead and scratch his back. Definitely a momma’s boy. The problem lies in when DJ gets in trouble. DJ’s motto is DENY. DENY. DENY. He could take a toy from DW right in front of us, but if we ask him if he did so, he flatly denies it. I don’t think he lies on purpose. He is just scared to death of getting in trouble. Once he realizes he’s caught, the walls come up. His head lowers and his eyes gaze toward nothing in particular in the distance. Once he enters this state, he hears absolutely nothing you say. We suggested shock therapy to CPS, however, they weren’t too keen on that idea, especially since Cop-hubby’s taser wasn’t designed for such use. [KIDDING!] So, lots of TLC is in order to slowly draw him out.

DJ also cries at the drop of a hat. He can turn the tears on and off like a faucet. I’m planning on putting him into acting, so he can one day make billions of dollars and buy Cop-hubby and I our dream house in Costa Rica. The sound he makes when he’s shedding his crocodile tears is enough to break your eardrums (HA! You thought I was going to say break your HEART). This isn’t because it’s loud, but because you’re so sick of hearing it that your eardrums want to spontaneously rupture to keep from having to listen to one more second of it. It’s like a child saying Moooo, but cut off the “M” and just say the “ooooooo” part. See what I mean? All you non-parents out there aren’t allowed to judge me for saying that. Come spend a day with me and I guarantee I can turn you to the dark side.

DW is easy going most of the time, but he is hilarious when he’s mad. He crosses his arms, leans on one leg & pushes a hip out, wrinkles his brows and puts on his biggest frown. He looks like a miniature man when he does this.
DW is also unbelievable clumsy. If we get a swing set, it will be the death of me. At one point, he was featuring a black eye (DJ hit him with a bat), a scratch down the side of his face (leaning on coffee table only to fall off the edge), a knot on his forehead (bumped heads with DJ) and a knot on the back of his head (bumped heads with DJ again). He looked like a boxer or a hockey player. The bruising is now gone, but I have him wearing a helmet around the house every day until Depelchin comes for their first check up on the 29th.

Now The Good
Eating has gotten much better. DW eats EVERYTHING and DJ no longer looks at green vegetables like they're something the aliens left on our doorstep. We’re getting closer to the ultimate test of being a good eater, swallowing spinach! Crying before bedtime is also getting better. I’ve introduced the boys to Lifetime Fitness and they looove to go to the gym with me. Lifetime = leverage. Time out = NO LIFETIME FOR YOU!! Monster truck shows are also great leverage, especially if you don’t really want to go in the first place and your husband is forcing you at gun point.
Every morning when I leave for work, the boys yell, “I love you Mommy” about 5x each until I’m in the garage. When we come home, no matter how bad my day is, it all melts away when I have six little arms wrapped around my legs and my waist that belong to three kids so delighted to see me. Remember that commercial with the puppies that are crawling all over the child in the grass? Well, it’s kind of like that, except, it’s not puppies, & try as I might to act like one once in a while, I’m not a child and well, our floors are wood and tile, so there’s not much chance of me rolling around on them. Oh yeah, and the kids don’t lick my face. THANK GOODNESS!

Shannon has been wonderful. Not only does she help with the kids, but she has also helped plan meals, clean house, do homework and she’s my always-willing workout buddy. It’s totally unrealistic for any woman to be able to do it all. (I.E. Give 100% at work, at home and still not forget yourself in the process) There is just not enough time in the day no matter how gifted you are. If you are one of the few that haven’t been able to make it to the house, I implore you to please schedule your visit before August. If you wait until September, when Shannon has moved out, I cannot guarantee the house will be in decent shape. Also, you will be required to sign a release when you enter in case you trip and fall on a toy & split your head open like I almost did last night. Said toy almost made it into the garbage can.

DJ and DW have impeccable manners…when they’re not arguing with each other. They say, “Bless you” when you sneeze, “excuse me” if they need to get by and, “I’m sorry” if they accidentally bump into you. They also sit patiently at the table until everyone is done eating. These two boys are also very close. Even though we are a family, they have a special bond. They constantly tell each other, “I love you”. The other day, after DJ came out of time-out: tears still in his eyes, and DW came over to put his arm around DJ’s shoulders.

Grace is still trying to be the mommy. One minute she’ll be reading to them, or teaching them some new trick and the next she’ll be threatening to put them in time out for trespassing into her room. One night, she wanted affirmation that she was our REAL daughter and I had to explain that all our children are our REAL children. After a particularly hard day, she asked if we could return them. When Cop-hubby told her that wasn’t possible, she said, “How about just keeping one?” Her opinion about the boys varies depending on what day you ask her. Overall, I think she’s glad they’re here. She reads to them and kisses them goodnight every night.

This last month has been very stressful. Between DJ only wanting mommy to do everything, the constant rain that keeps us from playing outside, the laundry that has to be done every other day, the cooking every night, the kids not going to sleep when they’re told and countless other things, we’re going non-stop until we collapse in bed at night. I confess that there was a 24-hour period where Cop-hubby and I kept our distance from each other. To be fair, any couple would probably be on edge after being together 10 days straight under strenuous circumstances. Aside from that one day, I can happily say this process has reinforced that we are a team. I have his back and he has mine. If I’m bathing the boys, he’s cleaning up after dinner. When I’m reading to them at night, he’s getting Grace’s teeth brushed. Honey, are you reading this? I love you!

The Ugly
Ok. Truthfully, there is no ugly. I mean. C’mon! The mere sight of them makes my heart explode into a million pieces. It’s all I can do to not drop to my knees with a giant bowl of ice cream and beg their forgiveness for all the vegetables I’ve made them eat and the toys I’ve made them pick up. I’m so mean.

We are still going through the bonding process, which is very hard to explain. One day you feel a tight bond and it’s as if the children have been yours all along. Other days, that bond weakens, you feel useless as a parent and you start to doubt that you have the ability to handle everything. It’s not easy at all. If you’re considering adoption, my best advice is to be 100% sure you are ready for the challenge. And you may want to start stocking your medicine cabinet with Valium. Or maybe some Ambien? Prozac? Well, at the very least, Bourbon.
March Update
For the longest time, I held on to the email above because things around here were changing at such a rapid pace, that everything I said was quickly out of date. I finally decided to just send it and add a little update at the end, so here it goes....

DW is officially potty trained and what a huge relief. Also, by process of elimination, we figured out he is also allergic to peanut butter.
Also, both boys have learned to love spinache, salads, and lots of other green stuff. All I have to do is tell them it will make their muscles grow strong and they gulp it down and check the size of their arms after each bite.
We bought a playground & Cop-hubby finished building it today. I've already had to use one ice pack and have several more waiting in the freezer.
DW is still clumsy. In the course of one outing at the zoo, he fell in the parking lot and skinned his knees, got hit in the head by a turnstile, rolled off a turtle statue and walked into a hand rail. [sigh]
Best of all, DJ has learned to talk through it when he gets in to trouble. We are seeing a lot less of the silent treatment out of him and he's much happier.
Lastly, things have become much easier. Cop-hubby and I are feeling more relaxed and settled in and all without the help of any of the drugs mentioned above.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Surviving the first week


Sorry this is so late. It's been a long time coming, but I promise I haven't had a moment to myself since the TWO boys arrived. I am so thankful to be back at work, where I can actually sit without having to get up and get juice, change a "pull-up" or break up a fight.

Anyway, the best way to sum up our first week is CHALLENGING. I'm happy to report, though, that we have survived everything thrown at us and we are currently doing victory laps around the house. Yay! Below is a day by day account of our time together since the boys were placed with us on Dec 29th. Some of it may be more than you need to know, but please be patient. This is for my own diary and I want to write about every moment so that when I get alzheimers, and the kids come visit me in the senior-care home, I can verify that they are indeed my children. If you've had enough of hearing about this by now, well, I don't blame you.

Friday, Decmeber 29th
The boys arrived with a mountain of paperwork. I'd equate the number of times you have to sign here and initial there to when you buy a house. Most of it had to do with a big fat promise that we would under no circumstances spank or hit the kids in any way. Not a problem there. The rest was basically proof that we have custody of the kids. One thing we have to do is place a copy of the documentation in the boy's room. If the boys feel they are in dire trouble, they have Tina's (their caseworker) phone number to call and tell her what evil people we are. I'm convinced CPS is going to show up at my front door every time I deny the kids cookies before dinner time.
The case worker left her number for us too in case we had any second thoughts about what we got ourselves into. She said we could call and they would come back for the boys if we felt we couldn't handle them. I practically busted a gut laughing. Give them back? Are you kidding? Over my dead body!
Mom came over and made a delicious spaghetti dinner and it only took us about 20 minutes and 8 trips back and forth from the kitchen before we could relax and enjoy our first meal at the dinner table as a family.
The boys opened a ton of Christmas presents, spread them all over the floor and played until they passed out on them. They had never seen so many toys in their lives.

Saturday, December 30th
Our first entire day together was BY FAR the hardest day. The boys were the first up. We'd soon learn that this will be the case every morning. They talked for a while in their room and then we'd hear footsteps outside our door. They'd peek in the room, but refused to enter less they awaken the sleeping giants. These two boys are tiny. DJ, who is 4 1/2 wears size three and DW (age 3) wears size two. The mother was average height and we have no info on the fathers, so there is no telling if they are just hitting their growth spurts late or if we have future jockey's on our hands.
We hung out at the house, while friends came by for introductions. Every time someone came over, DJ and DW wanted to show them their bedroom. They were very proud of this room. The room they came from was four empty walls with two sets of bunk beds on each side. It wasn't much to look at, so a colorful room with decorations and toys was way cool.
The boys played, napped and played more. There were, of course, several fights over which toy belongs to whom. I don't think I sat down once the entire day; not even to eat. If you were one of the people I said, I'd call, please forgive me. I can only plead ignorance as to how crazy things would be at the house. I haven't forgotten about you. I swear!
At one point, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and almost didn't recognize the person looking back at me. I had no make-up on, my feet looked like shrek's feet , my hair was half up and half down, but totally not in a pretty wind-blown kinda of way. It was more like I was the survivor of a house who's roof had been ripped off by a tornado. Cop-hubby took one look at me that night and said in a completely serious tone, "Are you ok?" All I could think was, "You have Tina's number on speed dial, right?"

Sunday, December 31st
We were feeling a little more human this morning. Energy levels were up again and we were ready to face the day. We visited memaw and pepaw (my grandparents). They had presents for the boys, but all they wanted to do was explore the house. They went upstairs and hung out for a while with memaw and then came back down for homemade ginger bread and more ginger bread and you guessed it...more ginger bread.
Next we went to Grandma Grace's and Grandpa Co-Co Pops house (Cop-hubby's parents). Cop-hubby's siblings showed up and the boys opened up more presents. DJ took a strong liking to my Sister-in-law, Gina. He rarely left her side. At one point, someone asked him where Daddy was and he pointed at Uncle George. We're still not sure if he was trying to send us a message. Gina and George would have kidnapped him in a second were it not for the whole 4 brothers are police officers problem. Next, we stopped by a New Year's Eve party in Katy. At this point, the boys started looking a bit stressed being around lots of people, so we didn't stay too long.

Monday, January 1st
After a normal morning, we went to Mary Jo Pekham Park. This place is going to be my sanctuary. I can sit and talk with friends while our kids run rampant from one playground to another. We had a fabulous time and GA was in hog heaven. In the past, when GA and I had gone, we'd each visualize how it would be when we could come one day with a sibling, let alone two. I'd be able to sit on a bench in the sun and relax instead of chasing GA around the play sets and GA would have her brothers to chase her, which was much more challenging than her old mom.
It was a gorgeous day and I gave cop-hubby the day off to ride his motorcycle. He had 2-3 hours to go wherever he wanted and he ended up meeting all of us at the park after being away for 30 minutes. He couldn't stay away. Hee hee! But, all I kept hearing was how wiping boogers off kids noses was not doing anything for his biker image.
After naptime, DW had a total meltdown. We were so glad to see him cry because the boy doesn't show emotion very easily. He broke down and cried for about 30 minutes while sitting like a little frog on Daddy's chest. I think being groggy drew it out of him. We met friends at the movies and I told Cop-hubby to take that break he didn't get earlier He did this time. After showing up about 15 minutes late ( takes time to get 3 kids together and in the car), and getting help herding the kids and our goodies to our seats (Did I ever say "Thank You" Tammy?) we had a great time. DW confiscated the popcorn bag and sat on the stairs in the aisle of the theater...happy as a clam.

January 2nd and forward...
Concentrating on schedules, naps and normalcy

The rest of the days are pretty much a blur. The kids needed a mental break from being surrounded by people, so we stayed close to home, venturing to the school or around the block once in a while to play or ride bikes. I think we made 2 trips to Sams and 2 trips to HEB within a 6 day time frame. I still haven't accepted the fact that I have to buy more than 1 gallon of milk at a time.

Shannon arrived and is now living with me and taking care of the boys through summer. She gets GA and DJ on the bus in the morning. DJ started PreK at GA's school and is now enjoying it after some initial resisting. He gets picked up after half a day. DW stays home with Shannon all day and plays games & goes on walks with her. He really wants to go to school with his siblings, but that won't come until August.

The kids nap every day, although, DJ challenges that decision every day. His canned response to naptime is, "I don't wanna take a nap", to which I reply, "You must take a nap". This goes back and forth about 4 times with DJ's reply getting more and more desperate until he is all out crying and limp in our arms as Cop-hubby or I carry him upstairs. We get to rehearse the scene all over again at bed-time. Joy! DW is usually happy to go to bed. I think he does it just because he knows the tickle spiders are coming.

Bath time is interesting. The boys act like they've never been able to take a bath. This doesn't surpise me since they came from a group home. You have to run an assembly line to get 6-8 kids fed, bathed, etc. When I fill up the tub, DW gets in and does his naked dance. He looooves water. He's up, he's down, on his stomach and then on his back and he's waving his arms above his head the entire time. DW also loves to take the bucket of water and dump it over his head. DJ, is quite the opposite. If so much as a drop of water splashes into his eye, he has a small fit. The only way to get them out of the tub is to withhold dessert until they're in pjs.

Eating has presented it's challenges also. Where DW eats almost everything, DJ refuses most food. Our dialoge at every meal goes something like:
DJ: I don't like this
Cop-hubby: Try it before you say that.
DJ: I don't want it
Cop-hubby: Try it or no dessert.
DJ: Can I have ketchup for it?
DJ wants ketchup on EVERYTHING. He eats green beans with ketchup, spaghetti with ketchup, everything with ketchup. You show me a piece of food and I'll show you a kid that will dip it in ketchup & put it in his mouth. DW has strange tastes too. For lunch yesterday, he requested a peanut-butter, jelly & pickle sandwich. DW also has a habit of storing his food in his cheeks like a chipmunk. One day I found a piece of hamburger he had tucked in there for about an hour. Now, we have to do a mouth sweep each time we leave the dinner table.

GA is a fabulous big sister. She is constantly explaining things to the boys, playing with them, escorting them to the bathroom and making them breakfast. She is really enjoying the company. GA has also staked her territory. Her bedroom has become her sacred place. She seeks refuge there when she needs quiet time. She has also requested a lock for her door. She adores her brothers, but if you so much as mention going over to a girlfriends house, she's out the door before you can say Shazam.
A couple days ago, she had a blowout with DJ over her Barbie laptop, I told her one day that if she had any toys that were very special to her & that she didn't want to share, she should take them upstairs to her room. GA proceeded to pull everything out of her toy closet and take it upstairs. After realizing she'd be the one to carry it all up, she compromised and only took a small stack to her room.
GA has also figured out how to get a toy she wants from the boys. Yesterday, DJ had her special Yo-Yo that lights up. He wasn't giving it up for anything. The way it works in our house is whoever had it first gets to play with it. This "sharing" thing is over-rated. I don't think it's fair to make a child give up a toy (s)he's had after a set amount of time when the other child that wants it only wants it because the first one has it. Anyway, when DJ has something GA wants, she just gets one of his favorite toys and starts to play with it. It's only a matter of seconds before DJ comes over and asks for it, at which point, GA is happy to trade. I don't mention DW in all this because if DW has a toy, all you have to do is ask and he hands it over. He loves to make his "brudder" and sister happy.
To make sure GA is doing ok, we let her stay up a little bit past the boys bedtime to talk and hang with us. This makes her feel special and she cherishes the time alone with mom and dad.

All three kids love to cuddle. As you can imagine, three boney butts sitting on your legs isn't exactly a comfortable way to relax, but we're happy to comply.

That, my friends, is our first week in a nutshell. If you haven't met the boys, yet, please don't be afraid to call. If you don't, I promise to call you. If you are interested in learning about adoption, I'd be glad to talk to you about the entire experience in person & get you in contact with some great people.
I hope everyone has a blessed and happy New Year.

Peace, Love and Happiness,
Missy (& Cop-hubby)
P.S. After 10 days together, we had our first accident. DJ whacked DW in the head with a nerf-bat yesterday. DW has a small black eye and a scrape on his eyebrow. Boys. Aren't they fun?!?!?

Meet the boys

Our weekend: (Pardon to those of you who've heard the story in person

We pulled up to the Foster home and both boys were looking out the storm
door at us. They had their faces pressed up to the glass as they tried to
get a good look at these people they’d been referring to as Mommy and
Daddy. When we got inside, they immediately gave us hugs and wanted to
show us where they had been staying. They showed us their room and where
they had hung our pictures on the wall.

The Foster family has been so great to them. They were always honest with
them. The boys have always known that mommy and daddy would come get them
when the time was right. This particular foster home has had many kids
come through and they have seen many kids go home with their own mommies and
daddies. In the past, some of these parents have had to explain to him
that they weren’t his mom or dad and that his parents would come for him
soon. When we arrived, DJ kept saying, “This is MY daddy.” He was so
proud to finally have one to call his own.

When it was time to go, DJ was ready. He had no qualms about leaving for
the weekend. DW, on the other hand, wasn’t so sure about all this.
He’d been with his foster family since he was 1 yr old and they were all he
knew. He kicked and screamed for a bit, but G sat next to him and
talked him down and gave him toys to distract him. Five minutes down the
road, both boys were playing with the toys we brought them. A police
motorcycle for DJ and some Matchbox cars for DW.

Our first excursion was to see an aircraft carrier. The boys (& GA) had to
climb into every cockpit they saw on the aircraft carrier. They were
already calling us Mommy and Daddy. “Daddy look at me! Mommy pick me up!”
We picked out favorite airplanes and had several bathroom emergencies. One
of those emergencies being we left the bag with DW's pull-ups in the
car. Lovely! So GA and I took the kids to the bathroom while Jaime ran
all the way back to the car (which was not close) to get the diaper bag.
GA totally stepped up as a big sister. She helped them with everything
from lifting them on to benches so they could see better to showing them
how legos worked.

We ate lunch afterward (cop-hubby had all the Whataburger employees oohing and
aahing over our story) and then stopped by the Harley Davidson store so the
boys could see the motorcycles. They are completely enthralled with the
fact that Daddy rides a motorcycle, so this was cheap and easy fun. DJ
brought his toy motorcycle in and within minutes, he had all these big
tough Harley guys following him around. I swear we almost brought those
guys to tears with our adoption story.

We had planned to go to the movies, but cop-hubby and I were worn out, so a
movie back at the hotel worked out just as nice. The kids played and played
until bedtime. It was right out of an American Express commercial. Leggos -
$15.00. Princess Monopoly - $8.00. Playing with the balloons from Lubys –
Priceless. When it was time to lie down, DJ started crying crocodile
tears (so totally fake) and DW followed suit. I ended up lying in bed
with them, patting backs and singing lullabies until they fell asleep. I
don’t quite recall, but I’m pretty sure I passed out in the middle of brushing
my teeth that night. I can’t remember the last time I was so tired.

The next morning AT 5AM the kids were awake. Lord, help me. If anyone is
looking for a job as a waker-upper, I’d like to hire you to wake the boys
up from 2am-5am every night so they’ll fall back asleep until at least 8am.
I will pay you well! Trust me. My sleep is very important to me. I was
never a napper in my life, but now I am officially turning to the dark
side. Oh, the things I won’t accomplish now that I’m a napper.

Of course, the next day at breakfast, cop-hubby was telling the waitress about
the adoption, who told the rest of the wait staff. I think they wanted to
adopt all of us by the time we left. Next on the list was the aquarium.
Let me say, I have always been the type of person to see something and move
on. Whether it was work or fun, it was something to be checked off on a
to-do list. Dolphins? Check! Otters? Check! Now, I totally get why some
parents can sit at an exhibit for an hour at a time. That is how you build
your energy reserves back up. We sat in the room with the underwater view
of the dolphins & practically had the place to ourselves. While cop-hubby and I
sat on the bench, the dolphins swam back and forth along the glass totally
playing with the kids. It was hilarious to watch the kids chase them. I was
convinced even the dolphins knew our story too. Do you think that wore
them out, though? HECK NO!

We took DJ&DW back to their foster home late that afternoon and hung out for
a while. The family pulled out baby pictures for us and we compared notes
on the kid’s personalities. DJ is the talker. He could be a sports
commentator one day. That child gave us a play by play of every minute of
the day. DW is the strong silent one. When he got mad, he just walked
away, pushed his lower lip out and sat by himself. DJ is a momma’s boy.
He likes to sit in my lap and put his cheek on mine. DWwants daddy to
hold his hand, fix his toy, carry him, etc. DJ is very outgoing. He’ll
talk to anyone anywhere, but as far as activities, he’s a little unsure of
himself. He’s afraid of swimming pools. DW is the opposite. He flies
into the pool with wild abandon despite the fact that he can’t swim, yet.
DW is quiet for the most part, but when he does talk, you better
listen because it is something important to him.

When it was time to go, DJ didn’t want to get out of my lap. He kept
saying he wanted to go home with us. He said it over and over again.
DW, who is pretty attached to his foster-dad, whispered in cop-hubby’s
ear, “I want to go home with you, Daddy”, and then buried his face in
his shoulder. This was huge. We were worried about when the time would
come to pull him away from the foster home, but he is showing signs of
being ready, so we feel much better about it. As we pulled out of the
driveway, it hit me for the first time how bleak the weather was all
weekend. It was fitting for the drive home without our boys. I was
physically ill all night that night and have barely eaten since.

Due day is still Dec. 29th, but fear not. We’ve waited this long and we’ll make it 14 more days.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Full House by Christmas

Hi Everyone,

By now, most of you have heard the news that we found out yesterday we will be adopting TWO boys. Not just one, but TWO! Just so you know, "'TWO" will forever be capitalized when I write about these boys. Because, hello?!?! We're getting TWO!! TWO!! We must be crazy.

When I sent the email yesterday to let everyone know, I was half out of my mind, so I apologize if I left you off. Besides, it gave me an excuse to talk about the boys again. You are not allowed to hate me just because I can't shut up about this.

Yesterday, I received an email from my matching specialist, Emily. She said there were TWO boys that were on the adoption website for an hour and CPS received what ended up being over 100 responses from families wanting to adopt them. She had said in the email that we would be in the top 3 selection staffing. CPS had narrowed it down from over 100 families to three families, and we were one of those families. Emily wanted me to answer a few questions about our work schedules, hobbies, etc so she could arm herself with some information that would make us stand out against the other families.

Well, I responded with an email, which, frankly, I felt was awful. I had very little notice and she wanted a quick response. I sent her the email and followed it up with another email to most of you to pray hard for us and then I put it in god's hands. It has been such an emotional rollercoaster, that I didn't want to get excited about it. You see, we've made the final four other times and nothing came of it. Most of those times, we didn't even know until after the fact.

Later, at about 2:30, I received a call. It was Emily. She said, "Congratulations, the boys are yours!" Just like that. There was no, "Are you sitting down?" or "Are you ready for some good news?" I had no clue the lucky family was going to be picked that same day. I immediately ran into the conference room, got tears in my eyes, my heart started beating rapidly, my knees got weak and I broke into a sweat. It was kinda like being around Jaime without the crying part. Kidding! Emily said some other things afterward, but I can honestly tell you I have no idea what she said. We agreed to talk today when I was sane once again.

The background: [Eliminated due to privacy issues]

According to their foster mother, whom they call Grandma, they are very happy, well adjusted kids. They know their caseworker is looking for their forever family, but they haven't grasped the difference between a bio-mom/dad and an adoptive mom/dad. Our scrapbook will be sent overnight so they can get used to our faces before meeting us. Their names are somewhat unusual and I feel it is in their best interest to change them for their protection so they can’t be tracked down later. I’ll let you know their names as soon as we make that decision. The oldest is blonde with fair skin and the youngest is more like Grace but a little lighter.

Side note.... It is ironic that these particular kids will end up with us. Twice, when Jaime was off duty, he has come across children wandering the street alone. Trust me when I tell you that you don't want to be the mother he confronts when he brings your crying 3 year old to your door in filthy diapers. If you have bed head, you might as well go ahead and stick out your arms so he can cuff you right there. Both times, we would have been happy to just quietly tuck that child into our backseat and keep him or her. Alas, that is illegal and it really wouldn’t fair well, especially with Jaime being an officer, you know?

Ok, one more side note.... The youngest boy was born two weeks before Faith, so he's the same age she would be now. I'm telling you these kids were meant to be with us.

After I hung up with Emily, I called cop-hubby. I was so excited, I couldn't speak. It was like my tongue kept getting in the way and the words wouldn't come out right. When I got the msg across, he was floored. It's a good thing he was off work by then, because if he were like me, he would have been useless the rest of the day. We can't have an officer patrolling the street with his head in the clouds, right?

Next on the agenda, was to send an email to thank everyone for their prayers and spread the joy. I was so surprised at the responses I received that said how emotional my email was. I would have been satisfied with coherent. Thank you for all the sweet things you said to us.

When we got home, we stood Methodical daughter in front of the Christmas tree and broke the news to her. Do you remember that old Atari paddle ball game? Well, she was the ball. The girl wore herself out. Her first request was a picture to carry with her to school. The second was to go get a couple gifts to take to the TWO boys. She picked out a large police motorcycle and some emergency vehicle models. Now, don't get me wrong. I have no wish to encourage these kids to get into law enforcement. We have enough of that in our family already and HPD can deal with two less Giraldos on their payroll.

December 8th, we will go meet the TWO boys for the first time. We will stay for the weekend and spend as much time with them as possible. Then, the caseworker will fly them here and place them with us permanently. The chances are excellent that the boys will be with us by Christmas.

If anyone is considering adoption and would like to know what it's like to go through the process, I would be happy to pass on what I know. It was relatively fast and painless for us....just a little emotional.


Go forth and conquer!

P.S. Our household is currently accepting hand-me-down clothes and toys for TWO boys!