Thursday, August 27, 2009

Stay at home baby daddy.

Last Friday, we survived my husband's first full day of his foray into the land of stay at home dads (albeit only for a couple of months). Only one phonecall to inquire where towels were - at least it was not asking where the kids were! Survival tips for all the ladies brave enough to let your husband be the stay at home dad to four children 5 years and under:

~upon your return home at the end of the day, to keep your BP in check -do not look down for any reason. Instead enjoy the super excited children who think it is Christmas - I mean every kid just loves letting their imaginations go wild as they make obstacle courses for Mommy with anything that is movable in the house! Ignore the guilty look on hubby's face as he tries to make a path for you to get into the house! Instead laugh inwardly at his feeble efforts to prioritize as he tries to figure out which obstacles create more of a safety hazard!

~ Do not for any reason fail to leave clothes out for the dear children -though it creates great comedic relief at the end of the day seeing children dressed by a color challenged father, the children might find it so yesterday being the subject of tear-inducing, side-holding laughter from mommy and the other moms as he goes to pick up their kindergarten-going brother.

~Oh so enjoy the look of utter confusion on husband's face when you ask him what is for dinner after a ten hour stint with said children. I mean, you were home all day, can't a girl get a three course meal? :) And take advantage of your husband's greater appreciation for you and accept that offer to get you a present for no apparent reason!

~Give up the need to know what and how often a child was fed - you will most likely be met with a mumbled "I don't remember" as his wheels start turning trying to remember if said child was fed! Phew for children who will not let a meal time go by without letting you know about it!

~ Do not let your one-child friend whose wife wants more children know that daddy is the new stay at home parent. The priceless look on his face upon it dawning on him that he might one day be left alone with more than one child! Worked better than any contraceptive as he resolved they are only having the one child! They have a sweet one-year old and he nearly gets a heart attack worrying that she might hurt herself when he has to watch her for a little while if her mommy needs to go somewhere.

All in all, it was a good day for daddy and the kids. They adore him and he is tireless when it comes to playing and goofing around with the kids. Part of my panhandling proceeds might get invested in some knee pads - playing horsie for hours with three kids might wear out the old knees!

Friday, August 21, 2009

My "real" son.......

Isn’t reality a funny thing? I spent the last couple of weeks semi-paralyzed with fear and worry until the sudden realization that that had not changed a thing (except leading me to my new career as the panhandling mom :). Not sure how that would look in court as we try to convince the powers that be that we are capable of raising our children and their interests are best served by being with us). Being so powerless to do anything about “our news”, I irrationally felt that I was busy doing something about “the news” when I was consumed with fear and worry. Now that I am not spending my time in tears or bent over a toilet bowl - maybe I should continue with this one - it was doing wonders to my weight loss aspirations :) - I can get back to the business of enjoying the present!

Like excitedly preparing my “real” son for his first day of kindergarten. Seriously, when asking about my children, someone asked me how my real son was doing!!!!!!! That was before she asked me if I intend to have more children of my own?????? Okay, please tell me every mother with four children ages five and under gets this question? I was able to jokingly say I could not answer her question about my “real” son since I did not have any fake ones so I was not sure who she was referring to. That did not deter her from asking the second question, but again I was able to jokingly ask her if she would have asked me the same question about my procreation plans if I had four bio children. At least I got a nervous laugh from her with my response! I did not even get excited enough to start doing my mad dance after the ridiculous questions. Because in the grand scheme of things when you are willing to give up everything and then some to protect your “fake” children, and afraid that you might lose them, what are a few stupid ignorant questions about the worth and value of adopted children.

My baby is not a baby anymore! He will not take his perfectly good “Thomas The Train” backpack to kindergarten. Instead he wants his daddy’s way too big backpack! I being the practical mom that I am, was going to remind him how much he loves his “Thomas The Train” backpack because daddy's backpack just would not work. But I thank God for a husband with forward thinking and who wants to save us the expense of future therapy - dh remembers being five and not wanting to stand out by being the baby of the five year old gang! So today we go shopping for an appropriate backpack for an oh so grown up five year old who also starts soccer today! All that before I pack up my troopers to enjoy our second camping trip this Summer. I want to preserve the memories from this stage – last month when we all went camping, everyone kept raving how joyful and well behaved my children were. They really enjoyed camping and just went with the flow with millions of laughs and giggles and not one whimper about having to be sleep in a tent. Who, you ask goes camp tenting with a five year old, two one year olds and a five month old. Me! Because I will need these sweet, sweet memories next year to tide me over when we hit the terrible twos (x2) with a younger child just a year later to keep me on my toes!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Off to a Faraway Island......

Or not! I have been dreaming nightly that I have taken the children to a far off uninhabited Island and we rough it until they are 18 years old. After which we return home and I am promptly handcuffed and led away! Not pretty, but I think worth the cost to protect my children.

Everything is out of my control and I need to get done with the uncontrollable crying that seizes me at odd moments - i.e. in the middle of a trip to the store, at work, talking to a stranger or while reading a book. I have read a lot of case law in the last week regarding the appeals process and I have not been reassured.

Bio mom and dad are enjoying our State's hospitality in some of our fine penal institutions after almost killing one child and leaving permanent evidence of physical abuse and neglect on our children. The taxpayers are sparing no expense to ensure they get good representation and they are being represented by attorneys from some of our finest law schools. Our county is sparing every expense to ensure the victims in this case (our children) are represented by a "fine" attorney who is in private practice (but who is paid by the county with taxpayer dollars) and who has had his license suspended in the past for professional misconduct. The attorney representing the county also was served with the appeal motion, but for two months, it never occured to him that the children's social worker and the children's parents had a right to know that an appeal had been filed. Our social worker also failed to verify if an appeal had been filed (public information) before reassuring us that all was good and dandy and we should sign paperwork to proceed with the finalization in October. In order to ensure that the best interests of the children are protected and to keep us in the loop - a family law attorney paid for by us out of pocket at $300 per hour! So when you see a mother on a street corner with four children in tow holding out a tin cup, please be merciful - we will be panhandling for attorney fees! Per the family law attorney, we cannot have representation during the appeals process. However, we will get our status changed to de facto parents next month so that we are entitled to get court reports.

To say we feel totally helpless is an understatement. But, that is also the place where God will show His faithfulness, because in this matter, we are totally dependent upon him. How do you advocate when you do not have a voice and the people who supposedly speak for the children have been less than stellar! All in His capable hands!

Monday, August 3, 2009


Head reeling, heart pounding, feeling faint, and sick to my stomach! Describes just a little of how I feel tonight. As of this morning, we were all gearing up for the twins' October adoption finalization. As of this afternoon, we got totally broadsided when I called my social worker on an unrelated matter. Oh so matter of factly she told me that she had some news - bio mom filed an appeal and it could take a year to get a hearing! The appeal was filed two months ago, but somehow they forgot to mention this to us! I was trying to hold myself together during the phone call and all I could think about was that I needed to get off to phone fast so that I could run to the bathroom and throw up.

This was the adoption that was 99% risk free (and 99% simply because the social worker could not say 100%, but she repeatedly reassured us that it was the most risk free adoption she had dealt with). Tonight I hold my babies tighter and love on them like crazy while trying not to cry. The social worker assured me that bio mom can only appeal the process, but not the decision to terminate parental rights. Somehow, I am not reassured - how could anyone have missed that important piece of info i.e. that there was an appeal filed and that we needed to know. Hopefully tomorrow, my mind will have cleared a bit, I will not be so overcome with fear, and I will be feeling less sick. Tonight though, I am broken, silently screaming and clinging to my Lord.