Friday, September 2, 2016

Who's There?

Well, from my roll call it appears readers are a combination of singles, married with no children, married with biological children, adopted children, foster children or any combination of those three, and grandparents.

If I had to identify myself, I would be:

  • a mom of two biological children
  • a mom of one step child
  • a mom of five adopted children, three of whom are from Haiti, one adopted after coming to us as a foster child and one privately adopted through Bethany Christian.
  • a grandmother of two "step grands"
  • a grandmother of one bio grand

but really I'm just "Mom," "Grandma Kathy" and "Gigi." Doesn't really matter how any of the children joined the family as far as considering them mine. It matters as far as what behaviors or genetic tendencies they brought to the family, though.

If you don't know my crew, here they are:

He takes care of all of us.


He works custodial at the mall and enjoys making costumes for comic con. He currently lives at home.


She has a criminology degree with an underwater crime scene investigations certification. But she currently is mom to 8-month-old River and works part time at a restaurant on the beach. She is married to Hunter (who does not like his picture taken.)

Jeff is in the army. He has attachment issues and currently is not in touch with any of us.


Adam recently started a new job. He's also in the Marine reserves. He doesn't live at home, but he stops by, and he supports the younger kids in their endeavors. 


Jasmine is a singer and drummer. She also enjoys drama.


Kaleb is a runner, swimmer and beginning trobmbone player.


Kayla is the tallest of the three. She just started trombone on Wednesday.


My stepdaughter Ashley is a hair stylist.  She and her husband Mike have two children, Griffin (9) and Phoenix (12).

Mike's sister (white shirt) is also in this picture.

Me with all three grandchildren.

There is a six year gap between Adam and Jasmine, and then a four year gap between Jasmine and the twins. However, there is only 12 months 3 weeks and a day between Tyler and Jessica. And Jeff is on the mid line (within a day) of Adam and Jessica. So those four are 26, 25, 23 and 21. Jasmine is 15, and the twins are 11. Ashley is 7 years older than Tyler.

I'm going to comment now on some of the comments on the roll call post.

 I enjoy reading about the 'adventures' you take with your family!

When we travel, we have the motto, "It's all 

about the journey." So we try to find new 

things to do along the way. We also try to

find new things to do nearby that are


When the four oldest were younger and we

moved to new places with the military,

we always told them we were exploring

when going anywhere new in case it didn't

work out. Since they didn't know where we

were going, they weren't disappointed if we

couldn't find what we were looking for, 

because we always found something!

It's also fun to meet up with other adoptive

families and be able to tell people, "Oh,

this isn't a lot of kids with us, we have 

19 between the two of us!Plus sons in laws

and grandchildren."

 Interested in adoption stories.

I have shared about the adoptions along the

way and if you've followed, you know that

recently, Jasmine met her birth mother for

the first time that she could remember.They

were last together when Jasmine was a 


You may all know that when we moved from GA

 to FL we tried to certify for foster care,

but we have five under 18 and that was the

 limit. Later when we tried again, GA 

wouldn't send our records, and FL wouldn't

take us without. We applied to adopt, which

 they accepted, but we unlike some states,

they don't immediately try to match you with

a child once you're approved. You have to

look at the listing and have your home study

sent for each child you're interested in.

We were never chosen. Then they stopped

updating home studies unless someone chose

 you for a child, but even when a case

worker from another county asked for ours

in 2011,they wouldn't do it.

Well, we have gone back and forth on whether 

or not our family is complete. The older kids

think yes but say it's up to us (which it 

is), but the younger kids think no. 

Jasmine especially wants a brother her own

age because all the other kids are in 

"pairs"-- Tyler and Jessica, Jeff and Adam,

Kaleb and Kayla. It does feel kind of 

empty with only three in school. And

Jasmine is a sophomore in high school!

We called just to see if the state would be

willing to update our home study. They said

there is a new class (we did MAPPs three

times!) and we'd have to take the class. So 

we are going to take the class. Are we

going to adopt another child? Who knows.

That remains to be seen. The class doesn't

start until September 27. If we were to 

adopt, it would be a teenage boy.

Have read all your blog and learned so much about managing 


I am still trying to figure it all out. My

biggest mistake with the first two adopted

children was to take things personally.

They'd steal anything I set down and lie 

about it, and it was very hard to separate

the child from the behaviors, and I was

angry a lot. Now I take it in stride, tell

them they made the choice to do such and 

such and by doing so, they have also chosen

______ and I set the consequence. They don't

steal nearly so much, though, and I'm able 

to talk with them about it. They can be

quite stubborn though, but they did spend

the first almost five years of their lives

doing pretty much what they wanted since

the orphanage was so overcrowded.

We do many things as a family that everyone 

takes part in. And there are some activities 

that require a child to display trust and

responsibility to take part in, so they

realize that their choices may mean not 

getting a certain privilege or activity

because they have display the correct 

behavior to get it. 

We do lots of do over, and I do lots of doing

the right thing whether or not I feel

like it!

I have a parenting blog HERE that has more 

formal parenting topics.

I'm interested in the choices for homeschooling, charter schools, 

and how adoption works out for families....

I talked a bit about school choices HERE,

 and one mom shared about her choice

to home school HERE. I was going to write

about other options, but there didn't

seem to be much interest.

How adoption works out for families is a BIG 

topic. And it changes. You really never

know what you're getting into when you

start the journey. You usually know little

about the child's genetics, and it plays

a big role. I was a very strong believer

in nurture over nature --or how you raise

the child is what really makes the

differences--until we adopted children.

Adam is so much like his birth mother, and

so is Jasmine. And I did not parent Adam well

for his personality. Sometimes it is really

hard to figure out what are values issues

and what are personality differences. Or to

separate their behaviors based on their

very different personalities from


I think parenting is a lifelong learning


I read it but don't comment because I live it with you! Guess WHO!

It's a wild ride we're on, and I couldn't do

it without you!


Felicia said...

Great looking group there at the white water ride! We need to do it again next summer!

Kathy Cassel said...

Yes! The kids are counting down. And who knows what this coming year will bring???