Sunday, October 23, 2016

Yay! It's Over

This weekend was the most stressful one for Jasmine yet. On Friday night she marched at a football game. Then on Saturday all the area schools competed in the district 2 Florida Band Assessment for marching bands. Her band got a superior, which was no surprise.

You can see Jasmine in white.

Then today the band had their big annual spaghetti fundraiser.
Jessica and Hunter were celebrating their anniversary, and Adam was at his reserve weekend.

We had a sweet group of girls. And Kealen so Ty wasn't the only guy. Yeah, I know you're wondering. They were so busy arguing with Rick about what to wear that they hadn't left the house yet when we were seated, so they missed it.

The band members were dressed as lumberjacks.

So the most stressful band weekend is now behind. There are three parades coming up --Veteran's Day, Christmas, and Millville.

In the next post I'll share about Ty and my date with River!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Fun Friday: Singing Cats

Because it's never too early for a Christmas carol!

Answer to last week's brain teaser: Turn on the right switch and leave it on for two minutes. After two minutes, turn on the middle switch and leave it on for one minute. When that minute is up, turn off both switches and enter the room. One light bulb will be hot (1st switch) and one will be warm (2nd switch). The cold bulb will correspond to the switch you didn’t turn on.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Mixed Feelings about Adoption Classes

In Florida, MAPPS has been replaced by Quality Parenting Training. I think it's a better program, and the homework seems better. Haven't really done it, so not sure about that :)
In a way, it's pretty much all review since we've been through MAPPS three times, and we've also been both foster parents and adoptive parents.

The class requirements are that we have to sit in on a court hearing, and we have interview a foster parent about their experiences, talk to the schools about how to enroll a foster child or talk to a doctor's office about whether or not they accept medicaid. Well, we are foster, not adopt, so some of it will be different for us. And we did all the other stuff when we were foster parents in GA, and it can't be that different. But we will do it all anyway.

So far we have gone to four classes, and Rick, Ty and I have all been fingerprinted for our background check. We've talked about the basic stuff--trauma, cultural and racial differences, abuse, etc. 

A few weeks ago, I told one of the caseworkers that we had four older boys we are interested in. She said that since we are looking at older boys who are already in the system, our home study will get done sooner. But then last night when I mentioned to one of the other caseworkers that I hoped the boys we are interested in aren't all chosen by time we get our home study done, she said not to expect anything to happen in a hurry for us because they all have their own caseload of kids they have to get through court. 

I said I was hoping to have a child in the home by summer so that he'd have that time to get used to us before starting school. She said something like "don't count on it."

But I'd really like to transition during the summer when we are doing activities so that he gets to know us through whitewater rafting and tubing rather than having to change schools during the school year and not really having a chance to get to know us first.

If you missed our last post, these are our top choices. We started out with a long list of boys. We aren't supposed to have any more information about them than what is on the website, but someone in the system did us a favor and told us which ones have obvious issues or needs that would make us not the best family for them. Our favorite turned out to be someone who was sexually abused and as a consequence he has some behaviors that make it better for him not to be in a home with younger children. We ended up eliminating 8 boys. One of them was only because he's in Miami and that would be a 12 hour drive one way for visits.

Because it's on the website and you could simply look it up yourself, I'll include what the website says about each.
Christian is a polite, reserved, intelligent young man. His hobbies include video games and playing basketball. His favorite subject is math and hopes to become an Architect. Christian's favorite foods are pizza and chocolate but won't turn down any food offered to him.

 Justin is a fifteen-year-old white male. He is a good kid that gets along with others well. He is shy initially but warms up when he gets to know you. He likes to swim and play video games. He has a long-term goal of joining the Marine Corps. 

 Parris is a talkative and social young man. He is physically active and enjoys yoga and tumbling. He says that he is pretty good at a back handspring. Parris's favorite color is blue and he loves to eat Mexican food. Parris also mentioned that he enjoys attending church. Parris is open to being adopted and wants to be a part of a forever family.

 Antwan is an outgoing teen who describes himself as smart and intelligent but with a playful side. He enjoys making people happy either by making them laugh or cooking them a meal. He is very active and is hoping to join the track team at his school this coming year. Antwan also has a creative side which he exhibits in drama and performing R&B and gospel music. Antwan is looking for a fun and accepting family that will be there for him throughout his life. Antwan has the potential to accomplish so many great things and just needs the love and support of a committed adoptive family. He would be a joyful addition to any family!

The thought of adding one of these boys or a different one to our family both excites and scares me!!

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Tough Weekend

This top picture makes me smile. And I need that!

It was a tough weekend. Kayla decided to rage Friday afternoon and Saturday. Wrote the F word in cleaner on the kitchen ceiling. Made threats against the pets and siblings. Not the cheery stuff blogs are made of so I'll spare you the details. Waiting to hear from the counselor tomorrow.

A classmate of Jasmine's got a sinus infection. It went into his brain, and he died Friday. Just like that. Jasmine has been having bad dreams about it. Going to talk to the counselor about that too. Have already talked to her about some ways to process it. But the raging from Kayla has made it all worse.

Kaleb had a swim meet. He moved up from novice to level one. His starts from the blocks are better, but he still came in 23 out of 24 on 50 yard freestyle, 23 out of 23 on 50 yard back crawl, and he DQ'd in 50 yard breast stroke. He used a scissor kick instead of a true breast stroke kick. His freestyle was 10 seconds faster than last time. His back crawl was 10 seconds slower. He slows down as he nears the wall because he doesn't know how close he is. I told him to use the flags. Once you go under the flags, count your strokes to the wall. I don't know why the coaches haven't worked on that. It's pretty basic. If he'll do it, it may help his time next meet. Thing is, he has no competitive spirit at all. When he saw he was 23 of 24 he said, "But that's good, right?" Well, that depends on how you look at it. Good he finished. Good he didn't DQ. Good he is okay with it. But he's also very complacent about it. That's okay unless he wants to compete in high school or wants to get a scholarship. Time will tell.

The twins spent some time playing trombone together this weekend. I played saxophone with them, and Jasmine played drums. It makes practice time more fun to do it together. Jasmine has marching band assessment next weekend at a different high school. 


We ended the tough weekend with some music together.

River is getting more and more mobile. She walks quite well with her push toys. She interacts and recognizes her special people and rewards them with a smile. On Tuesday Jessica, Tyler, River and I went to Dory during the day while the others were at school. River and I lasted about five minutes. I was actually happy she was fussy so I had an excuse to leave. We went out and played in the mall play area.

much more fun than sitting through a movie!
My 9-year-old step grandson is in football and taking down kids three years older than himself! He's in Indiana, so I won't get to see him play.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Fun Friday: An Oldie

Probably everyone has heard this one before:

You’re standing in a hallway with three light switches on the wall, each of which turns on a different lamp inside a closed room. You can’t see inside the room, and you can’t open the door except to enter the room. You can enter the room only once, and when you do, all the lamps must be turned off. How can you tell which switch turns on which lamp?

Last week's answer:  Take the first letter of each word and place it at the end. It will spell the same word backwards. So you had it right, Christina!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Child 9?

Yes, there may be a number nine. We have felt for a long time that there was an empty spot in the family. But our state is not easy to work with. They are much easier now that we are looking for a teenage boy!

Our children go like this:
Ashley    33
Tyler       26
Jessica     25
Jeff          23
Adam      21
Jasmine   15 
twins       11

Jasmine is so much younger than the original four that she never had a playmate. Ty and Jess played together, and Jeff and Adam played together. We tried to adopt from the state and nothing. So we adopted from Haiti. I should have realized that by getting twins and them being four years younger that they wouldn't be her playmates, but it seemed like they belonged in our family. And they do!

About 18 months after they came home, a caseworker in Daytona Beach who had our very outdated home study wanted to place a child with us. But our county and their county did not see eye to eye on things, and he was placed in a home she wasn't as sure about. A year later he was back on the list and we went through the same thing. But he has since then gotten a family.

Jasmine has wanted a brother near her age. There is one child she wants who is closer to the twins' age, but she likes his looks, description and hobbies. However, he may be snatched up before we complete class and get our home study. We have to do the class because they switched from MAPPS to QPT plus we are 8 years outdated! We have finished week 3 out of 8.

There are four children we are looking at. Two are five hours away, and two are farther. We don't know if they will be a good match or if they would be willing to move. Plus there is the chance someone else may choose them. 

Since they are already on the photo listing which is public, I'll post their photos here. Two are 15, one is 14 and one is 12. The problem with the 15's is that they could be 16 by time we get them and we'd only have two years to really parent them. Of course if they turned out to be awful, we'd only have two years :) One wants to go into the marines. The 12 year old is only 11 months older than the twins, so I'm not sure about that. But he looks like an amazing kid. Wish he was a year older!
Christian, 15

Justin, 15

Parris, 12

Antwan, 14

What do you think? I'd be in trouble if I had to choose between these four. I want them all!!!!! Good thing a caseworker will be the one to decide if we are the best family for any of them. We also have to realize that things might not go as planned and for some reason we don't get a child. Sigh.

Those of you who have adopted teens, what do I need to know? How did you prepare?

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Weekend

Monday is usually when I talk about what we did over the weekend. This weekend was stressful. Jasmine had to march at a football game Friday night. The band left school at noon on Friday. They went to an elementary school for a concert. Then they went to the game. They got back to the school to unload after 11, and she got to bed after midnight. 

She was up the next day to help us set up at a flea market. We were selling stuff to help the twins raise money for their mission trip. Unfortunately we didn't raise a lot because people wanted to pay a quarter for everything!!! I had all the clothes for $1 and people would walk up and ask if we'd take .25 for an almost new pair of men's pants. So frustrating. I had taken some of my books to sell, but never put them out because I knew they'd offer me a quarter!

Tara came to pick Jasmine up at 9:30 to take her to the school to go to two competitions in AL. The bus had problems, so they missed the first one. They were supposed to be home at 10 p.m. but got home at midnight! 

While Jasmine was at competition, we took the jet ski out one last time for the year. That's because the flea market was at the bay where we jet ski. Jessica ate lunch and took out a kayak and the jet ski once and then headed out. She'd been at the flea market since 6 a.m. setting up and had to work in the evening.

It was a beautiful day and hot even though it's cool in the mornings now.

We even went back and got the dogs after most people had left. First time the dogs had kayaked in a year.

Sadie's first time in the kayak.

Travis even went on the jet ski, although he wasn't sure he liked the noise.
I think they liked the grill hot dogs best of all.