Category Archives: adoption

Introducing Oak’s Acorns; A Parent’s Vlog on Parenting – Episode 1

Spring Break Happenings 

Here is a YouTube video of the kiddos through out this week.  A little glimpse into what more time with the kiddos will be like. Enjoy, thanks for reading and watching

Quick Updates

As the month of March rolls into its second full week, it it occurs to me that our baby puzzle updates have been short coming as of late.  That is simply because there has been little change to our cases.  We are still waiting for an adoption date for LR.  We should hear something soon.  B-Rad and sister’s court date is April 11.  

The kiddos are doing well.  We are learning lots of words.  Personalities are coming through.  We love seeing the little  changes that make them who they are.  We will keep everyone up to date as soon as we hear.

Below is a quick YouTube of the Littles and their 2016.  Thank you for reading.

http://youtu.be/wC_R4QQiXyM

Groundhog Day 2016

Today is Groundhog Day.  I cannot go a single Groundhog Day without thinking about Bill Murrey and his desperate to escape living through a day that repeats it’s self without end.  He tried so very hard to get it right, then he tried so very hard to get it wrong and still he would wake to hear Sonny and Cher sing their love ballad.  

Well if you didn’t hear on the news, the groundhog did not see his shadow which tradition and lore tells us it will be an early spring.  Why is that tradition?  Why do we except it as fact?  How in the world does one relate to the other?  I have heard and read sever different explanation, but at the end I still wonder why?  Why except things as fact just because that is how they have been?

As we posted, LR’s bio-parent’s rights were severed.  Cheryl and I have contacted our licensing agency and an adoption attorney.  From the best we can tell it will be about 4 weeks (so around the beginning of March) before our home is an “approved” adoptive home.  It will then be about sixty to ninety days before the adoption date can be set (so somewhere in the start to mid May).

I can say with certainty that I am naive about the process that we were to go to for the adoption.  It feels like the more paperwork we fill out the more we are asked to fill out.  It feels like the closer to the end we walk the further away the date gets.  I don’t believe that my own genius is anywhere close to the comic genius of Mr. Murray, but at the same time it feels a little like I imagined as a young adult that the character it Groundhog Day was experiencing.  

Today we recived an email from our licensing agency with changed to the licensing requirements.  Lots of changes have been happening to AZ foster care system ever since we have been involved. With the changes we see at least two areas that will most likely need to change to maintain our licenses.  For me the safety and well being of the children is the most important thing.  However the changes seem less about a practical application and more about changing things just so it is different.  Why continue to throw hoops and hurdles.  We are trying our hardest.  The changes were supposed to give more support to the families and the children.  The largest change I have seen has been a change it leadership reporting, very little to assist the children.  Why do we settle for things to stay the same just because they are tradition or lore?  Why can’t improvements be made at the practical level?  We don’t need more hoops, we needs more supports.

Thank you for reading.  I will post an update as we hear back from our adoptive lawyer and when we meet our new case worker.  Happy Groundhog Day.

Our Day at Court

Today was LR’s next court date.  We arrived to court about 30 minutes early.  You never know how long traffic will take so we left a little early.  Walking into the court house we go through a metal protector and make our way down to the court room.  It is a long hallway and there are other court rooms on the way.  Lots of people and families trying to make their own ways through the system.  Finally we make it to outside our court room and find two seats together.  

We sat and waited, people watching.  I wondered to myself the many stories that brought them here.  About twenty minutes of waiting we finally see a fimiliar face, the bio mom’s attorney.  She stops and asks us if we have seen the bio mom, we had not.  She merges back into the crowd looking for her client. A few minutes later we see the GAL.  Before making her way over to us, the GAL stops and talks with the the mom’s attorney.    

In the hand of the bio mom’s attorney was a piece of paper; the two attorney talked about its contents for a few minutes.  Finally the bio mom’s attorney gets up and leaves.  We get a chance to talk with the GAL and she says that the document was a concent letter to severe bio mom’s rights.  Cheryl and I have a moment of a sigh of relief.

We go back to waiting 10:30 ( the court time comes and goes).  Time creeps to 10:50 and the court room sign clicks off.  A feel a lump in my throat as the court room attendant comes out and calls for a different case.  Repeat 11:25 same lump same results, another case and again at 11:40 and again at 11:55.  By this point the crowd has wind led down to just the people in our case.

Finally 2:15 and we are called in.  The proceedings are fairly technical, but by the end the judge made the ruling that the bio mom’s rights would be severed.  Now, we are onto adoptions.  We have all ready contacted our lawyer.  We will have to wait to be assigned a new DCS worker for adoption.  From what we have heard, the process and timing takes about 3 months.  However, as we have learned over the years, time may take longer.  We will keep you posted.  Thanks for reading

Foster class – Session 5

Yesterday we met for our fifth foster licensing class.

Since the first class the presenters have been saying they end the class meeting on a positive note which we found out yesterday that it was more in jest then seriousness. The topic of the class was foster parent complaint and CPS investigation. The largest take away received was the idea of openness and communication. It may or may not be natural to pick up the phone and call someone to file an incident report every time something happens but it sounds like that is what should be done so that they are running records of the situations. I think our presenters thought it would be a scary thing, but it makes sense that parents who have had they children removed will try everything to get them back even if it means trying a bit of creative story telling.

After our presenters talked for a time we had the chance to meet foster parents. They have 10 children in their home, 2 biological children, 6 adopted children and 2 foster children. Very interesting to hear the parenting styles and the things they do to be effective. They both work in independent jobs which lets them have more time in the home which is probably how they can manage 10 children. They talked a bit out a parenting program called Love and Logic which in Buckeye Nick was trained on the teacher side of things. It is Truly an amazing to hear the things that they have set up to be effective.

At the of of the session two of our classmates declared that they had other arrangement for the last class. We have been going to these classes for five weeks, splitting up our Saturdays. After next Saturday we will be done. We received more then the typical amount of homework this week, it looks a lot like we will be using the homework as our main driver for interaction for our single session next week.

That is all for now, thanks for reading.

Picking up steam

A lot more has happened since the last we wrote and updated the baby puzzle.

Last week we attended class 4. (Which was sessions 6&7). Lots more good information. The presenters are concreting our idea of what it will mean to be foster parents. Our largest take away is we should expect anything. It actually makes sense because the children who enter care come from so many backgrounds. One large part of the conversation last Saturday was about transition at the end of foster care and what a smooth one might look like. Communication and preparation seem like the big common themes to transitions that are successful.

This week our worker started to prepare us for our home visits. They have to interview us as individuals and then again as a couple. Something like 8 hours of interviewing. The state also comes out and does an inspection of our home. All of these interviews and the inspection will be completed by November 22nd at around 5 or 6. Some time this weekend we will go through our home and triple check everything to make sure it is ready for our inspection.

Next Sunday will be our welcome to parenting foster party at 1:30 at the park right around the corner from our house. We tried to remember to in its everyone we thought would want to attended but from phone calls we have found out we left out a few people. If you are one of those contact and we will give you the details. Sounds like it is going to be a full house… well full park. The party will come the day after our last class meeting.

So many things to do in the coming weeks. Our last two classes, welcome party, interviews, home inspections and depending on the license time frame maybe even placement of a kiddo. Thank you for reading , we will try to be more diligent in the coming weeks about posting as the individual events happen.

Inward

Today is our third class in becoming licensed to be foster parents.  In the last two weeks (we did not post after last week’s class) there has not been a lot of outward shows of movement.  It has been familiar like the ebb and flow of so many other months in the last almost eight years.  It feels very much like the “hurry up and wait” of the past.  

We have had a few inward pieces of progress; the first of which has been in finding a suitable location for child care.  Earlier in the process we had made a decision to go to one place however that location does not meet the DES requirements which sent us back to the drawing board.  Because we are more like casual onlookers into the foster world then the full throttle ones we drew upon finding another place to the ways we knew how; you guessed it first a Google search.  We found lots and lots of places but every time we would research a bit further they all did not meet the needs that we have.  Finally the good old fashioned phone coupled with a lucky Google search led us to two very good possibilities both close to the path to or from work.  Some time in our future we want to go to tour the facilities in person, maybe one un-booked Sunday in the next few weeks.

A second glimpse of inward progress came last weekend after class.  We took some time together to reconnect.  Sure we do lots of things together and do not have lots of non-work related time apart.  On Sunday we had some good old fashioned bonding time.  Somewhere in the middle of all of that togetherness we thought of how special it is going to be in just a few short weeks to have another person in our home.  Home will feel different, but during that time that we were together we remembered how the different is something that we have been working towards.

The Saturday before last (which was the last time we posted) we ventured over to mom’s house to conquer another inward planning side of making ourselves ready.  This is more for the physical needs of preparing a home for children.  All of the things that a foster child needs as they are coming to a new place to live with different people.  In class, the presenters talk all about the importance of having a few comfort things.  Show the kids around, make sure they know they are safe and give them a chance to explore.  Because we have never been parents before we do not have all of the things that a parent would have had.  None of the toys, or the cloths or the diapers or the furniture or any other the other things that a parenting unit might have.  More over we do not really know the age or the sex of the child/children that will be living with us.  The typical thing for new parents to do is to have a “baby shower”.  After lots of brainstorming and debate we have decided to have a “welcome to parenting party”  even though we know that some feel this is some sign of greed.  Everyone will have their own opinion of our choice but for those of you who have followed our journey can see that it is just another piece of our puzzle.

Today, like last Saturday and the Saturday before that we will drive to Mesa (which sounds like an outward sign).  This drive already feels like routine.  Already feels like the high and lows of a reproductive cycle.  Just the thing that we do in the normal way and flow of trying to be parents.  For almost eight years we have found some much normalcy in going through that cycle.  One difference between this circle and the others in the past is the closeness that we now feel to finding an outcome of something other than a BFN.

To come… weeks 3, 4 and 5 of classes; home study (which we have not been scheduled for); welcoming to parenting party, placement and the life with helping to raise a child/some children.

Foster Class – Session 1

The foster class that we attended was in the far eastern part of Mesa.  We drove and arrived early.  The mutigenerational center that they have the classes in is an awesone idea because of the many many uses that it could have.

We were in “class 3”.  There were about 26 of us plus 2 presenters.  The first 2 hours of class the presenters went over the nuts and bolts of the foster system in Arizona.  They talked about those involved including the children, the courts, CPS, birth parents and the foster parents.  Lots and lots of information about the ins and outs of the the program.  The first part of class up to lunch really was like an orientation.

After lunch was served we did a quick ice breaker where some people were given foster parent cards and others were given foster children cards.  We found our matching pair and then introduced our partner to the group.  The second part of the class was much more interactive.  We looked at things that would leed one to be placed in foster care, feelings and then behaviors.  This led to lots of interaction and a better understanding that even though it is the intention to have as much information as possible, most likely a foster parent will be having to identify as they go along.  Once we completed this activity we were given a case study and a list of questions that we talked through as a group.

In all we both felt energized by moving forward.  It is going to be a good group.  The day was a long process, but at the end we will go through the whole curriculm in about 5 less weeks.

Quick Reflection

In 26 days we will have been married for 8 years. This means in less that 4 weeks we will have been trying to conceive one way or another for 8 full years. It has been more than 10 full months since we decided to go the most aggressive route we could. It has been a few days short of 5 weeks since implantation of our four embryos. And 22 days since we found out that they did not take… A long line of BFNs.

On Saturday we go for our first foster licensure class which will extend past our anniversary to the middle of November. We have gotten all of that pesky paperwork we can do without anyone else done (still have a doctors visit and a nitery sheet to fill out). With all of these facts, it has never seemed more real that we are so close to having the chance to share our love with another little one. It is kinda like we have made the boarder of the puzzle complete and now it is time to find out what the inside of the puzzle will look like.

Thanks for reading. We hope to post something about how the class goes latter this weekend.