Well, I don't blog much anymore because I've lost a lot of my anonymity and don't really want to write much of what I feel knowing people I know may read it. In short, I have marital problems, I suffer from depression that is under control but that does bring about some very bad days, and my kids have issues like all kids do. Oh, and I have issues, too. And I really appreciate the friends who have emailed with concerns. I working on myself, I promise.
Cookie is having more and more behavioral problems. Whoever coined the term "terrible twos" should be properly bitch-slapped. They lied. 3s are much worse. Couple that with a smart child, and you have one helluva backtalking princess/witch. She's really sweet and breathtakingly intelligent and articulate. She is also constantly in motion much of the time and has to have challenges to work on to keep her satisfied. She wears me out (of course, being 38 and out of shape does not help). Oh, and please don't respond with diagnoses for her - I really don't want them. It won't hurt our friendship, but it will piss me off and then I will cuss. And I'm working on not cussing before noon.
Bit-Bit has herpes. It's pretty crappy when the doctor says "Your daughter has herpes." Thank God this is the oral kind that most all of us have. Just most of us never experience a primary outbreak like this, and not many of us get a mouthful of sores. She is one unhappy camper. She turns two next month, and still weighs just shy of 25 pounds and is quite small. Bit-Bit still fits her moniker. She says lots of 1-word statements, and is quite nonverbally expressive. You can have an entire conversation with her - she just won't use sentences.
We are fostering kittens for the Humane Society because dumb-asses dropped off 31 kittens in the middle of the night a couple weeks ago, and the call went out to all who had fostered before to please re-up. So we got 3. They are stinky, and fuzzy, and cute, but I am not ready for them to go back. Mia loves the heck out of them and always wants them in bed with her. But she knows we are just fostering, and they they are not for keeps. I am gonna be strong on that. Correction - my allergies are gonna be strong on that.
I've been sick for months with recurrent sinus infections, bronchitis, and secondary infections that have made it tough to breathe. I've also hurt my back with all the coughing. I'm finishing a round of pretty tough and expensive antibiotics now, so I hope this will kill whatever has invaded me.
My BFF is moving here in less than a month to start on her PhD this fall. She's getting a cute apartment pretty close to the house, so the girls will have Auntie Megan around which makes me very, very happy. And it will be great for me, too. I missed having a great friend that lives in the same city. I don't make friends easily. I think I'm at the age where that is pretty tough. Also, I don't like weird people and prefer relatively sane ones so friend-making is not my forte.
I've created a new blog site on wordpress but haven't written anything yet. It will likely be a very mouthy hard-core brutally honest look at marriage, sex, life, parenting, and the sorts. If you'd like the addy, please leave an email in the comments section. I'll delete the comments to keep your emails private. Oh, and if you're someone I see on a rather regular basis IRL, please - no offense, I'd just rather this blog be for my blog-buddies eyes only so I can keep it quasi-anonymous and cuss and rant and self-disclose to the Nth degree.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Well, I don't blog much anymore because I've lost a lot of my anonymity and don't really want to write much of what I feel knowing people I know may read it. In short, I have marital problems, I suffer from depression that is under control but that does bring about some very bad days, and my kids have issues like all kids do. Oh, and I have issues, too. And I really appreciate the friends who have emailed with concerns. I working on myself, I promise.
Posted by Tamara at 10:27 AM
Thursday, May 28, 2009
I clearly need another blog for these types of posts, but until then, these are my thoughts:
"Why I Need a Wife"
She would be less likely to center her life around the viewing of sports, and the talking about sports.
She would want to make love with me, and want me to appreciate her and her body, and would appreciate the fact that I want to please her. She would be overjoyed with the amount of physical intimacy I would give her. She would like kissing.
She would take an interest in home improvement.
She would help me become a better person.
She would be concerned about my physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
She would want to keep our marriage alive and healthy and thriving.
She would want to have fun with me.
She would seek to find out what is wrong in our relationship and make every attempt to make it better.
OK, so clearly getting a wife would not guarantee I would get these things. I just think women do these more than men do (in general), so I find myself wondering if the roles were reversed, if I would be getting the better end of this marriage deal.
Posted by Tamara at 8:51 AM
Monday, May 18, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
After her bath she was sitting in front of me on the floor of the bedroom while I was blow-drying her hair (I had deep-conditioned it as it had gotten a little hay-stack lookin'). She was, of course, naked and wrapped in a towel.
She had her head down while I was drying her hair...and then she started to sing...
"Oh wormie, wormie, wormie...I've got a little wormie...Wormie, wormie, wormie, there's a little wormie..."
I peeked around her to see what she was doing
And yes, you guessed it...she was fiddling with her...um...
"papaya worm" shall we say
And was excited that it looked like a little worm
And told me how cool it was to have a wormie in her ba-gina.
Michael just died a little.
Posted by Tamara at 11:38 AM
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Thank you for all of your varied perspectives - always fascinating to see the multitude of views on "The System".
That being said, I failed to tell you about the way-cool Valentine's Day present my husband gave me: a shiny new hot-pink iPod - my very first one. He's has an iPod for a while now, but I've never jumped in. In fact, Cookie has an iPod too. But this is mamma's first!! The very best part - he had it engraved on the back with a sweet little message. Awwwwww. And then while I was sleeping that night, he loaded it up with all of my favorites. The greater message in that gesture: he's really, truly listened to me when I prattled on and on about this artist or that song - most of whom he's never listened to much before. He knows me, and he chooses to stay with me. Sweet!
Posted by Tamara at 12:55 PM
Saturday, February 21, 2009
A reader left the following comment on my last post:
I think it is awesome that you are looking for uses for the WIC donations, but this is a very unique time to most of our delicate histories, and personally I think you should not be accepting the WIC food if you cannot use it. Many other WIC families need that food and supplies are limited, as well as the funding which has all been cut recently and will only continue to dwindle. Please leave those resources for someone who cannot live without them.
I'm certain I don't know this person and I'm also certain I didn't ask for opinions as to whether I should or should not accept WIC. I'm certain she does not know our family or our circumstances. I never said I couldn't USE the food, but the types of food families receive seem skewed to me (i.e. the disproportionate amounts of cheese). Therefore, I'm looking for ways to incorporate these things.
Did this reader also fail to see where I said we donate unused food to the Jesus Cupboard at our church to feed the needy in our community? We currently have so many calls for food at our church, we cannot handle them all. The WIC we cannot use goes to feed others. We also donate more, but that is irrelevant and would be inappropriate for me to even discuss.
I'm also not convinced that our income is relevant. My children are adopted from foster care and receive government assistance because of that. The state gives these resources to the children, not on the basis of the income of the parents. If we limit assistance for foster children who are taken in by people in poverty or just above the poverty level, then we keep those children in the poverty they came from. The WIC is in their names, not ours.
It might also be a good time to mention that we also get a monthly adoption subsidy for our children that will last until they are 18. There are many months that we anticipate the day the check is deposited so we can stock up on diapers and wipes, laundry detergent, bread, meat, and all the other life necessities that WIC vouchers don't touch. We consider this a gift from the Lord, and use it for things we would not normally be able to afford, like extra-curricular activities such as swimming, dance lessons, music lessons, and advanced reading curriculum. It's to benefit them, and we use it for them.
Anyone else use WIC, or not and would care to comment? It seems I've opened up a larger topic than just recipes.
But it is so fascinating to see those who quickly jump to judgment of another without knowing them.
Posted by Tamara at 5:21 PM
Thursday, February 19, 2009
OK folks, I need help. Maybe we all need the help. My kid-os get WIC, and we are exceedingly grateful, but...
We get a jar of peanut butter each month and currenly have 4 unopened jars in addition to the one now opened. The kids really don't eat PB&J sandwiches as Mia doesn't eat bread.
So, anyone have favorite recipees or ideas for using the peanut butter?
We also get 5 pounds of cheese each month - yes, I said 5 pounds. OK, if I got milk instead of cheese for two of them I could cut it down to 3 pounds, but cheese costs more than milk, so I get the cheese.
Any favorite recipes or ideas for using cheese? It has to be cheddar, mozzarella, or colby sometimes, and can be shredded. But I currently have about 10 pounds of cheese in the freezer and am desperate for new creative ideas for using this stuff. Anyone have a fabulous homemade mac n' cheese recipe they can share?
Also, the cereal piles up - we usually donate a lot of it to the Jesus Cupboard at our church to help feed others. But sometimes I feel like donating WIC food is just donating what these folks already get, so I try to donate canned meats, etc. But the cereal piles up, too.
OK, so if you can send ideas or links, or recipes, I would be so greateful.
Posted by Tamara at 6:50 PM
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Hubby turned down the offer to leave, and in the process even got a small raise from the folks here as a good-will gesture of "we'd like you to stay here". It's fine for now, and I'll busy myself teaching and working on home improvement and raising two scary-smart kid-os.
For example, when Cookie went to the doctor last time, she informed the doctor that the thing in the back of her throat was "a uvula". :) I love that kid.
Posted by Tamara at 9:57 AM
Thursday, February 12, 2009
The other night after getting out of the tub, Cookie wrapped herself in a big white fluffy towel so that only the top of her head was poking out. She then began to ever so slowly peek her head out of the top of the towel and unwrap herself. She then announced loudly, "I'm coming out of my chrysalis!" My child, the lepidoperist.
Posted by Tamara at 10:30 AM
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
OK, now I'm frustrated and I have no one to really talk to about it. I can't really talk to my husband about it because if I really say what I think then I'm not being "supportive" and "loving". I hate that.
So, because I have this blog, I'm going to write what I feel because I can. If you know me IRL, please please don't take this the wrong way. This blog is my outlet. There's no need to call me and check up on me b/c I'm truly alright. I just need to vent, and I prefer to vent here because somehow it's where I truly feel understood. I don't have to censor myself, or act like a good person, or a good christian, or a good anything. I can just let it out, and in doing so, perhaps eventually let it go.
Hubby is still talking to the University in the South folks. I do not fully understand why. They haven't budged, and have yet to even send an offer in writing because they won't give hubby any of what he has asked for. I'm confused as to why he doesn't say some politically correct form of "kiss my ass" and walk away from it all. I don't know why he doesn't feel immensely insulted. I think he still wants to go there, and I don't know WHY he would want to work for people who think THAT offer is what he is worth. I've asked him, and his responses are brief, polite, and vague. I've tried asking clarifying questions, but the answers don't change. It's always some form of "I'm going to wait and see what they do next." Um, they're not going to f-in do jack! I asked him if this isn't a big red flag, and his response was "there are red flags everywhere you could go". Sure, but big huge crimson and grey ones that read "we think you should take a pay cut and drag your entire family here in a terrible economy for no good reason" ones??? Come on now.
I just want this all behind us. I'm ready to move on. He's talked to people, he's called, he's emailed, and nothing has budged. OK, one little sentence in which someone said "maybe they could go 2K more" making his pay cut $3K as opposed to $5K. Uh huh...yeah. Even little things, like a computer for home, were denied. Simple things we get here that we take for granted they've said no to. It just makes me so livid.
So now I've decided to stop talking with hubby about it altogether. That's what I have to do to stay sane. But then we go to church and loving well-meaning folks ask him (in front of me, of course), "Have you heard from Southern Univ. yet?" Greaaaat, I think. And all he says is "We're still in negotiations on the offer." Um, no, no you're not. Negotiations would be where THEY make another better offer - which they HAVE NOT DONE. I'm just f-in sick of it.
So, I did some retail therapy at Stein Mart and bought 4 very cute tops for a total of $53, so cheaper than a therapist. And I bought new lamps for the master bedroom, which is looking more and more cool every day. And we're going to hire the same guy to paint the last unfinished room in our house - hubby's office (which may eventually be a girl's bedroom when they need their own spaces). And then I baked brownie bites - and don't tell me they don't make you feel better, because darn it, they were awesome and I was in hog-heaven.
So, starting today, I am erasing the Tide from my vocabulary with hubby. No more questions - period. If he brings it up, I will listen. Period. I will not respond; I will not offer an opinion. I've given it, and I'm done. It's ultimately his choice, but I'm officially done. At least I have this blog - dunno where I'd be without my buddies!
Posted by Tamara at 10:53 AM
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Got the offer - they attempted the low-ball. I was LIVID and INSULTED. I don't know what Michael was. They actually offered 5K a year LESS than he makes HERE - WTF???!!! Then they had the cahones to say that he could make up that lost income by teaching in the summer. I am so tired of cussing, that I just don't have the energy to write about it. Their loss. I am glad we are happy here.
On a positive note - our master bedroom looks so...flippin'...goregous. Window treatments are next!!
Posted by Tamara at 11:27 AM
Friday, January 30, 2009
Well, I don't know how "public" my DH wants the news to be at this point, but what they hey...
University in the South emailed yesterday to let him know they would be making an official offer sometime next week.
The wheels of university bureaucracy often spin slowly, especially when there is possible promotion and tenure in question, or a significant amount of muhlah (compared to the minimum wage, of course).
No matter what happens, I'm proud of him.
Please pray that the decision is relatively easy for both of us.
I love a lot of things about Lexington, and about our life right here. But I also know that "to everything there is a season", and our season here may be coming to a close. Our work here may be done...or not.
We really need wisdom, and guidance, and peace in the weeks ahead. If an offer rolls in next week, we may very well know within a couple of weeks where we will all be living come this August (which is merely 6 shorts months from now).
Our master bedroom is being painted next week - which means it will either be in perfect shape to sell, or the perfect bedroom I've always wanted for myself.
I'm at peace with either staying or going. But between me and the blogosphere, if I were a gambling woman, I'd bet on red (meaning, we're going). And I've always been pretty good at Roulette...just not the Russian kind.
If you're into "signs", we had a monstrous ice storm here last week that wiped out the city for days, while in the other city, it was warm and sunny. I also look better in red than in blue. ;)
Oh, and if you are praying for specifics - tenure, promotion, an affordable house to buy, and a salary with a lot of 8s in it. I won't be more specific than that, but think/pray - 8. Remember, 8 is great.
To everyone reading - thank you. A sincere thank you for the prayers, and for caring about 'lil ol us. We are honored to be in your thoughts and prayers.
Posted by Tamara at 7:46 PM
Sunday, January 25, 2009
...you transfer your prescriptions all over town in order to get gift cards so you can buy milk and bread there.
So far, we have transferred from CVS to Rite Aid (3 $30 gifts cards for each of us for a total of $180 in gift cards), to Walgreens, and now to Kroger. I think the Kroger deal was the best so far -$20 gift card for each transferred Rx - up to 3 of them. That's grocery money right there.
Next month will be Target - they only offer a $10 gift card, but hey, $10 is $10.
And I have the coupons to transfer to K-Mart as well, but I still have to find out if ours has a pharmacy.
Anyone else done the prescription shuffle?
Posted by Tamara at 10:38 AM
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Hubby thinks all went well...$$ was talked about, and promotion, and the possibility of tenure - all things that certainly wouldn't be talked about were he not under serious consideration and had made a great impression over the 2-day interview-palooza.
My co-parent returns tomorrow afternoon, and his oldest child will be so glad to see him as she has really, really missed him.
In sad news, it looks like one of my classes for Spring didn't make, so that's less income. However, it very well may be God making more time for me to get the house together and to make preparations for a move. Who knows. I'm just trying to trust.
Any idea how sexy your husband becomes when he is successful and everyone knows it?? Dang. Just. Dang.
Posted by Tamara at 12:01 AM
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Well, hubby is safely at the interview destination - and I'm off to have my hair done while the kid-os are at daycare. It's been quite a while, and I'm trying out a new stylist (who is about $30 cheaper than my normal stylist, which should tell you how much I've been over-paying).
The kids were up when daddy left at 5:30 this morning, and I let them watch Dora until it was daylight and then I dressed them and took them to daycare. I did the WIC grocery store run bright and early which apparently is senior-citizen time at Kroger (who knew). I then took a hot shower (which I'd also not had in far too long) and watched a few insipid style makeover shows.
I'm now blogging, of course, and about to head out to get my new 'doo.
Hubby should be touring the city we call "The 'Loo" about now. Tonight is dinner with the retiring faculty member who could be called the Aretha Franklin of our field. I'm jealous. The first time I met her I felt faint - what a cool woman she is.
Later I'll get the kid-os and see what Cookie wants for dinner. She barely eats, so what she wants is usually what we have. Maybe tonight we will do girls' manicures. I wonder how Bit-Bit would like that??
Posted by Tamara at 2:33 PM
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Day after tomorrow, hubby leaves for his interview at Big Southern University (well, medium-sized really, considering its only 17K students). I don't know about an elephant as a mascot, and a chant referencing polluted water. That, and I graduated from Florida. Working there just seems, well, ...let's just hope they pay well. I CAN be bought.
We've looked at houses on-line in Small Southern City just east of Mississippi. I even found a cute one on a lake. Houses seem affordable. The only catch is a big one - we'd have to sell our house here, and there's no way we could carry two house payments. I also feel like we just got our house here looking the way I wanted it (most rooms re-painted, all new lighting, etc.).
I find the thought of moving downright invigorating. Most folks loathe the idea, but I think grad school and the academy made me more flexible in that area.
I'm not looking forward to being a single-mom for the 3 days Michael will be gone. I'm a wimp. I like our routine with the kids, and how much he does with them. I can't imagine how I'm going to get both of them to sleep. Usually he gets Bit-Bit to sleep and I lay down next to Cookie as she drifts off. It's a good balance.
Michael won't know for a while the outcome of his interview as the other candidate isn't coming in until the end of January. There is also another faculty line being filled in the same department, and those candidates are also interviewing this month. So, the faculty there won't likely make their decisions and have approval to extend the offers until the beginning of February. It will be a long, hard wait for me. I like to have answers YESTERDAY. I was not blessed with the gift of patience. Until then, we will focus on our teaching and the new semester and our family.
We've purchased new bedroom furniture for ourselves, and that will arrive this month. We're also getting our master bedroom painted (a very, very light aqua), and purchased new bedding. I've gone for the "spa" feel, so hopefully that will also motivate me to get the oldest child OUT of our SPA bed! It also won't hurt for showing the house to prospective buyers.
All that should keep us busy. I'm working on getting my vita updated so we can potentially try to land me some teaching in the department as well, should Michael get an offer that he can't pass up.
Rest assured, it would take a fabulous offer to get us to leave all we have here. We are pretty certain the offer would have to involve promotion to Associate Professor (which there is a good chance of), promise of tenure in a year (which there is a slight chance of), and a nice bump in salary (who the heck knows the chances of that one). It really needs to be a "dream offer".
So, what do we think we want at this moment? We want an offer that is all of the above. So, if you are the praying type, we'd love for you to pray with us this week and this month. If God wants us to roll with the tide, then pray we follow His will! If we are to stay, pray we know for sure we need to be here. We are grateful to be in this position, especially when so many others are suffering without jobs of any kind. We are excited that God might be telling us it is time to move on to the next great adventure! You know, I had no clue as to why I/we was/were supposed to move to Lexington, KY - but I have two beautiful reasons that are now crystal clear.
I'm so proud of Michael. And in my previous marriage I was never proud of my husband. What a difference it is to have someone to be proud of. Such a cool feeling.
His BIG interview day is Friday. Relaxed day Thurs. getting shown around and "wined and dined", BIG interview day and his research presentation on Friday, and he returns Sat. morning. So BIG prayers needed Friday!
Posted by Tamara at 11:23 PM
In the bathroom, water is warming up in the tub before she gets in...
C: "I don't like my vagina", she says, sitting on the rug and giving it a close inspection.
Me: "Oh, you have a very nice vagina. I like it. I have one too, and I like mine." (I attempt to be very vagina-positive, lest she grow up thinking its anything short of wonderful.)
C: "But I have a little bitty vagina. When I grow up I'm gonna have a GREAT BIG VAGINA." (shouted while throwing her arms up in the air)
Me: (trying not to pee myself) "Oh sweetie, how about a nice medium-sized vagina?"
Posted by Tamara at 11:54 AM
Friday, December 26, 2008
To everyone who prayed for me, and for my husband, and for my family - thanks just isn't enough. I am doing better. I am relieved that the semester is over, and am anxious for the chance to do a better job next semester with 4 classes on a MWF only schedule. This past semester tanked, and for someone who puts her heart and soul into her teaching, that was a big letdown.
Marriage is - interesting. Things are going well right now - but hopefully you'll pardon the skepticism. Anyone can make short-term changes.
The big news is that Michael will be interviewing at Big-Southern-University in a very southern state. Roll tide. We are both very excited to see if that is where God wants us to go next. If not, we are cool. It is nice to be OK with whatever happens. His interview is the 2nd week on January, and we should know within a few weeks after that if there is an offer to consider. That being said, we'll likely know by March if life is going to dramatically change, or if life will go on here in the Bluegrass.
Mia turned 3 last week. My baby is no longer a baby. She's tall and thin, and can carry on a conversation better than most adults I know. She is so intelligent that is scares us most days, and challenges us constantly.
Rebekah was baptized on the Sunday before Christmas, and my parents and brother and sister-in-law drove all the way from Florida for it all. She got to wear her sister's baptism gown, and was absolutely beautiful in it. She even waved at the audience from up on the stage. She is still quite small - just getting into size 18 mo. clothes at 17 months of age. She is still quiet, and not using words, but quietly babbling about all kinds of things. Even though we have not taught her baby sign language, she has picked up quite a bit of it from other kids in her room at daycare, so it's funny to see her do all the little signs for things even when she doesn't speak the word.
Here's a couple pics. I'll try to get better at posting. It seems that now many folks I know IRL and in my church know about my blog, so I imagine posts may be more tame. I wish I could post more anonymously and therefore more freely, but I'm more than a bit embarrassed to discover so many folks who read my blog. It's likely that this scared me away from posting for so long. I may start another blog where I write the more edgy/feminist/venty things. If so, I'll post here with a link for you to go to find out the address.
Thanks again for the support though this very tough time. I do now believe in post-adoption depression as a form of postpartum. I'm getting better. Here's the two main reasons why:
Posted by Tamara at 5:37 PM
Friday, October 24, 2008
I'm not sure what to even write, or how to begin a post. I can barely stop crying long enough to type. It's been a tough month for me, and in so many ways I just don't know why. I suppose it's best to start with what I do know.
First, I'm extremely depressed. I find it hard to get out of bed in the mornings, and when I do go to bed, I find it hard to sleep. I thought I had a form of post-adoption depression. But my kids don't make me sad - in fact, most all of the joy in my life comes from them. I've dealt with depression my entire adult life (and looking back, probably even earlier than that). I have a wonderful physician, and manage the depression with a low-risk medical regimen. I've learned that I can't medicate the tough times away, and I don't want to be so medicated that I feel numb (although that seems appealing at the moment).
I feel very, very lonely. Mainly I feel lonely in my marriage. It's not that I feel a need for friends, or someone to go out with (though it would probably be nice). I also don't feel like there's anyone on the face of the earth that I can truly talk to or who would really care, or who even wants to understand me.
I feel like I have no husband (that I've felt much longer than a month - really for most of the time I've been married, though there are times I just make the most of the situation. M's a great dad tot he girls. But to be frank, I've decided he's incapable of truly loving another human being. We will never have intimacy. Never. And I'm through trying. I'm just going to stick it out because I love my girls more than my own life and they deserve both parents. But I married someone who doesn't know what it means to love someone, or share a life with someone. It was a mistake. But I can't do anything about it now. We talked about separating, but when it came to figuring out custody issues, I couldn't get past what it would do to the girls. So I stopped working on leaving. Instead I'll just have what I did in my first marriage - a roommate.
I'm teaching 5 classes this semester - on part-time pay. So I make nothing and teach my ass off. And I'm not enjoying it as much as I thought I would. My students are slackers who have lied and pissed me off to my limit. I don't want to step foot in the classroom one more time this term. The last straw was a black student who went all the way to the top to complain about me teaching on "the n-word" in class and how unprofessional and offensive I was (despite the fact I teach a class in interpersonal communication, a section on language, and never even USE to flippin' word - yet a documentary I showed pushed him over the edge.). I've spent the last two weeks dealing with this guy and feeling like the biggest failure in the world (and wondering if every other black student I have is thinking the same thing, but too afraid to go to my supervisor). For those who know my story, claiming I'm a racist or trying to do anything BESIDES better the lives of my black students, colleagues, and friends - well, is quite a stretch. But it's been such a blow to my entire self-concept that I can barely think about teaching. My classroom has become my personal hell. I cry in the car on the way to campus, and I cry all the way home. I'm so tired of apologizing for being white. So tired of walking on eggshells around every black student because of my whiteness. Oh, and in the end the student got what he wanted - now he gets to finish the class as an independent study with my (very sympathetic) supervisor. Because he got offended, and he's black, so he gets catered to.
Man, I wish every time I've been offended in life I had just complained angrily enough. Just think of all the catering-to I'd have gotten.
But it's because I'm white. And I tried to teach about the history and transformation of the "n-word". And I don't have the social permission to do that. Not because of my education or experience, but because I'm WHITE. So I'm evil. Of course. Evil white bitch. That's me.
Got in a fight with my husband for caring too much that his family apparently has no desire to even meet his youngest daughter (they've never seen her - and have no plans to). I think it sucks. It hurts my feelings. But HE got mad at ME for feeling that way. Fabulous. And we yelled and fought about it. Because, of course, I dared talk about his family. Then it got turned around on me about my family and how horrible they are. He said he thinks my folks are just being nice to him because their worst fear is that I'll die before him and they'll never see their granddaughters again. He thinks they are just having a relationship with me now to get to the girls - that they really care nothing about me, or having a relationship with us. So I asked him how old his girls could be that it would bother him that his folks hadn't met them, or seen them - and he said it would never bother him.
Again, more sense of isolation. We are here - our families are elsewhere. And he wants no intimacy with them, or with mine. And even though my folks say they want a relationship and do everything they can to make that happen, my husband claims its all a lie to get to see the girls. Wonderful.
It's a miracle I even speak to my husband anymore. He obviously cares little about me on any substantive level. I don't think he wants to see me hit by a mac truck or anything, but as far as truly love me - no. Absolutely not. It's this truth that hurts the most.
Rebekah's baptism will be Dec. 21st and my folks and brother and SIL are all driving up here for it. Michael will be here, but I'd bet my life that he barely speaks to anyone and makes himself scarce. Good times. Everyone in his family is obviously "too busy" to come. The truth is it just isn't important to them. We've offered to buy bus tickets (they won't fly). We've offered to pay for everything, but our offers are always declined.
It's no wonder my husband can't have a relationship with me - he never learned how to have one. Didn't care to learn, I suppose. He's a very, very sad person to be around. Sometimes just seeing him makes me want to cry. He's just void of any emotion at all. There's been "sick" moments where I've wished he'd hit me or something - just so I'd know he at least felt something. Oh, and if you're about to suggest he seek help, he already apparently sees someone, but we don't talk about it (whenever I ask, I get punished, so I stopped asking, but insurance statements do come in the mail, so I guess he goes).
Don't want to go to church anymore either - showing up as a family feels like the biggest joke. Folks think we're happy - BWAHAHAHAHAA. Oh, yeah. Not so much. Sometimes I go and sit there and wonder if anyone else sitting there feels like a bigger fraud than me.
I'm gonna end this on a positive: the girls are happy and healthy. Our home is closed and we don't ever have to see a social worker again. Mia is fully potty-trained, and will be 3 right before Christmas. She's stayed dry in her little Halloween panties all night for a week now, so we're cautiously ending pull-ups and aware that accidents will happen (but that will just be the day we wash the sheets!). Rebekah is running around the house like mad these days, and her favorite activity is pulling all the recycling things out of the bin in the kitchen and carrying empty containers all over the house (especially milk jugs).
We finally hired someone to clean for us - and she comes every week for 3 hours. That I thank for saving the last shred of my sanity.
If you read all this, you are a saint. I would welcome your prayers, thoughts, and comments. I'm so imperfect. If this let anyone else know how screwed up someone else is, and that it's OK, then...welll...I'm glad to be in your company.
Posted by Tamara at 12:51 PM
Friday, October 3, 2008
At 3:15, we'll be a family of 4. Forever and ever and ever. Amen.
Posted by Tamara at 11:43 AM
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Our adoption worker came by this morning for our monthly visit, and we're all set. Even though we are short on our "continuing education" hours for our foster care license, it's all fine since we are closing our home anyway.
Our home is full. I had no idea that it was possible to love a child so much. I mean, I heard other people talk about their love for their children, and honestly it all sounded a bit sappy - a lot of hyperbole. But it really is beyond words, and I never knew I was capable of these kinds of depths of emotions. I really had no idea.
Bit-Bit went to the cardiologist and had her EKG checkup. The good news is that the flap/hole has not enlarged and there are no major problems. She'll go back for another checkup when she is 3, but beyond that it will just be in the back of our minds as she grows up, and maybe someday when she is about 7 or so, we'll have the flap surgically closed. But we feel relieved that she got a clean bill of health (from a pediatric cardiologist, no less).
Cookie is doing well - wearing "big girl" panties a lot these days, and even waking up at night to tell us she has to go potty. It's nice to only have 1 set of diapers to change. She's so intelligent it's tough to keep up with her. She is still all about snuggling, which we still love.
I wish more adoptions were this easy for folks, I really do.
Posted by Tamara at 8:46 AM
Thursday, September 18, 2008
October 3rd, 3:15 pm - Bit-Bit will have a new name and very, very happy parents (and sister, and Grammy and Gramdpy, and Aunts and Uncles...).
Posted by Tamara at 1:55 PM
Well, apparently emails are flowing asking all involved if Friday, Oct. rd works for the adoption hearing/finalization.
Praying it happens.
So ready to move forward.
Today I'm going to finish designing Bit-Bit's adoption announcements so they can be mailed out as soon as possible.
Posted by Tamara at 9:35 AM
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Posted by Tamara at 10:54 AM
Sunday, September 7, 2008
GAL came out on Sat., which means he files his paperwork and we wait for a court date. Our judge does them once a month, so the next date is October 3rd. If we don't get on the docket, we'll have to hope for November. We are so tired of all this. Really. Freakin'. Tired.
In more news, Cookie had to have an abscess removed from her posterior. ER, sedation, and recovery were our weekend. She is fine - just very sore and on massive antibiotics that we have to practically shove down her throat b/c juice and chocolate milk don't mask the taste enough and she's older and wiser. She WILL NOT take it on her own. And one is 4 times a day. This for 10 days may kill us.
No one in our house has gotten any rest to speak of.
Posted by Tamara at 11:58 PM
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Still no housecleaner. I need to look harder. House is filthy. Carpets are being cleaned on Monday, as well as sofa. That will feel like a start.
Not sleeping well - both kid-os very restless and waking up every hour it seems.
Teaching 5 classes already feels insane. But the insanity feels good. I feel like I'm truly contributing to the household again. Any work-outside-the-home moms identify with the need?
I have an actual OFFICE again here on campus - one I share with two other very nice part-time faculty members. Michael and our friend Mina helped me paint it. It looks wonderful and smells like fresh paint (which I kinda like).
Back on Weig*t Watc*ers again. Dang it. I apparently partied this summer something awful and gained a whole heck of lot back again. I'm still under where I was before, but was woefully unaware of just how out of hand my weight had gotten yet again. It feels like a big failure, but I am glad to be back on track. With 5 classes, I've not much time to eat, so I think I'll do pretty well this semester again. Summer darn near killed me with being home so much.
My goal - 25 pounds gone by the end of this semester (mid-December). That way, when Christmas comes, if I eat a goodie or two I won't bust out of my jeans.
Marriage - OK (I think). Sadly enough, there isn't much time to talk or even reflect and it seems that kids take some of the joy of your marriage away (even though they bring their own new joys to the table). I miss our time together and it seems we've lost the ability to have a decent conversation with each other. We try. It is just SO HARD.
No word from Bit-Bit's GAL yet. I'll call our adoption worker later this week if I still haven't heard anything from him.
Life as a whole is good, even though so much seems in great disarray at the moment.
I still wish my house was clean. I need a solid 3 days with no kids and nothing else to do in order to get it in the shape I'd like. Oh how I wish I had help. We may just have to hire a babysitter or cancel class one day so the kids can be at daycare and I can work on the house. I don't know how folks do it, I really don't.
But...life is good. It really is.
Posted by Tamara at 3:54 PM
Sunday, August 24, 2008
The last steps are ahead of us in Bit-Bit's adoption. The Petition for Adoption has been filed by our attorney, and we received a copy of that in the mail as well as the request to appoint a Guardian ad Litem. The note from our attorney said if we did not hear from him in two weeks, that we should call him (or our attorney so she can call him). The appointment document was dated August 20th, so I'll be waiting at least another week before I get antsy.
That does take out the possibility of a Sept. court date. Our judge only does adoptions on the first Friday of each month. So, we are still hoping for Oct. 2nd. However, it took 2 weeks from the filing of the Petition for Adoption for the courts to assign the GAL, so knowing that, it may be that we will have to wait for the November court date.
Officially, the GAL has 90 days from the time they meet with you and the child to file their report with the court. Cookie's GAL had it filed within the week. I have no idea who this GAL is, though I will ask our adoption worker next week when she comes for her monthly visit.
Have I said lately I am SICK OF SOCIAL WORKER VISITS??? I am. I'm tired of paperwork, answering hundreds of questions that are repetitious, poorly worded, and that address the most unimportant of issues for our children. I just want to be "normal" again.
When Bit-Bit's adoption is over, we are closing our home. I can keep track of our kids' birthmom's incarceration and parole hearings online. Perhaps in a couple of years, if we still are in KY and she makes parole, we'll get re-certified and get back in touch with the cabinet just in case. But then again, maybe we won't.
To be honest, I'm looking forward to opportunities to consider leaving Kentucky. I just want to look for other possibilities. Michael is applying for 3 positions in 3 other states this fall (so far). They are all in the formative state right now, but I look forward to the possibility of considering a move. Even if nothing pans out, it still keeps things interesting.
I'm officially tired of waiting for this second adoption to be over. This time it's kinda anti-climactic. We already know the drill, and she's already our daughter. Just ready to not be under a microscope anymore. You feel kinda squished.
Posted by Tamara at 6:20 PM
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Well, we're back from spending two entire weeks at my folks' house on the southeast FL coast.
We flew back on Monday right ahead of the brunt of the storms in West Palm. It was awful weather, but the flights weren't too bad.
It was lovely for the girls to be with Grammy and Grandpy. It was OK for us altogether, though it was stressful getting there and back (we flew - duh). US Airways can kiss my flabby white butt (delays, rude staff, and $2 for even a glass of water on the plane).
But I digress.
Bit-Bit turned 1, obviously. She's growing a little - finally, and walking and jabbering about all kinds of things that I have no clue about. She shakes her head "No" when you tell her something is a "no-no". And she generally gets whatever she wants (so far).
Cookie is having issues with saying "NO!", talking back, stomping around, and being disobedient and defiant in general. Don't get me wrong, she's a very sweet and loving little girl. She's just NORMAL, and downright smart. She already knows how to argue and negotiate a point, so it's a mental challenge as well as a physical one. She's 4 months away from turning 3, so I expected this - but it does NOT make it any easier.
Our next step will be to get Bit-Bit off the bottle, though it is still important for her growth and small stature to get as many nutrients into her as possible. In fact, Michael has her at the doctor's right now for her 1-yr. check-up (and shots - he's doing the "dirty work" as I'm fighting off a migraine this afternoon).
We had a meeting with our R&C social worker this morning, and although I like her, she's a bit high-strung (even for me - which is saying a lot). Hence, the headache.
Also, we haven't had a house-cleaner in over a month since we are terminating the woman who worked for us (cussing in front of the kids, talking about her sex life in vivid terms, and not cleaning worth a darn...). The place is not clean. Not filthy, but dirty enough to stress me out. Yet, here I sit blogging about it. Flippin' awesome, isn't it?
We are hiring a new person to clean for us, but now have to clean in order for HER to come in and clean. I think this will make sense to many of you.
The classes I'm teaching this Fall start Monday at the Community College, and a week from today at the University. I'm teaching 5 total - YIKES. Thank God it's all sections of the same class - Interpersonal Communication. I'm sadly behind in my preparation, and that is stressing me a bit as well. (These 2 weeks away practically KILL me, but my kids MUST have relationships with their grandparents - it really is that important.)
So, I feel that now that I had 2 weeks away, I now need 2 weeks to recover, and it simply isn't there. My first "back-to-school" meeting is Friday, and I'd rather poke myself in the eye with a sharp object. I also have a 3-hour "technology training" session I must attend, which to a blogger and former on-line teacher and electronic textbook author is like telling us we're going to learn how to type. Good Lord, help me not cuss.
Leaving on a happy note:
The girls went swimming in the pool most every day, got little tans, ran around naked...
We learned not to leave a naked 2 yr girl old alone with a bag of Cheetos ('nuf said)
We mail ordered caterpillars and watched them form chrysalises and then emerge into butterflies - we then released them into the backyard.
We watched videos, and ate at all my favorite restaurants while the kids were with the grandparents
We shopped at cool stores and I bought nice new teaching clothes
We ate real fresh seafood at real seafood restaurants
We took naps when we could
We watched a ton of Olympics on the 'rents big-screen TV
A good time was had by all! (And I will never again be able to eat Cheetos.)
Posted by Tamara at 3:33 PM
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Every little step she takes...
Yes, she's walking, and she's ONE. I can't believe how the time has flown by. Here's a glimpse at the party girl (and her dad).
In the background is baby Alexis, our friends' 2-month old who slept through the festivities.
Oh, and all the paperwork for adoption will be filed with the court on Monday. We'll meet with the Guardian Ad Litem in a couple weeks, and then we wait to be assigned our court date. We have an off-chance of getting the Sept. 5 slot, but most likely we'll be in court on the October 3rd slot (our judge only does adoptions on the first Friday of each month).
Happy Birthday Bit-Bit. (And sorry about the Beatles haircut mommy gave you - but I HAD to trim those bangs, and the rest just won't grow.) Mommy loves you THIIIIIIS much.
Posted by Tamara at 1:13 PM
I nearly got clawed to death trying to just hold them to get them into a crate. I also broke a lamp in the process. But they will get new homes soon. We are paying the adoption fee. I am not sad about the decision, and neither are the girls.
Posted by Tamara at 1:12 PM
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I have two cats. Neither of them so I consider to be a "good" cat. Neither one will sit in your lap, or let you hold them. And only one will let Cookie touch her. Both will swat at or nip at the girls if they touch them or touch them too long or in the "wrong way". So neither is a very good pet.
To top it off, our LitterMaid (electronic litter box) went kaput this week. While they cost close to $200, the motors burn out on them and they don't last longer than 2 years - tops. And you have to buy cartridges for them. So, we bought a new electronic litter box that uses dehydrating crystals. It's called "Scoop Free". Since bringing it home a week ago, the counter reads that the cats have only gone in 10 times. I have cleaned poop off the floor daily and recently discovered the pile of laundry that the cats had been peeing on. I trashed it rather than attempt to clean it. I am disgusted. I even tried putting their old type litter in it, but to no avail. Also, the Scoop Free uses $15 cartridges that you completely throw away and for a 2-cat household that will last you about 2 weeks. So, $30 a month in cartridges for a $2oo machine. Brilliant. But I refuse to scoop a litter box, and both cats are declawed and completely indoors.
While I like the cats, and care about them, I wouldn't say I "love" them. I've had cats I "loved". My Honey Cat that I got my first year away at college lived 14 years, and I agonized over putting her down when she had heart failure and fluid in her lungs.
I got Callie (current cat #1) when one of my two cats got out of the house and never was found. Honey Cat was lonely, so I went to the Humane Society and found Callie. She was a year old, and very skittish. She had been abused. She is now around 7 or 8 years old, and will not be held even for a milisecond. She's beautiful and soft and likes to be petted and will lay near you, but that's about it.
I got Macy Gray (current cat #2) when Honey Cat died - making her about 4 years old now. Callie mourned the loss of her companion cat and moped around "crying". We got Macy Gray at the Humane Society as well as a brand new kitten. She's also spayed and declawed. She never became a "lap cat", and in the two and a half years Cookie has been with us and the year Bit-Bit's been in the picture, she's NEVER allowed a child to touch her. So much for being a "family pet".
So, my two cats are pretty much house decoration. And now they have peed and pooped all over the upstairs hallway surrounding their litter box. I hate to just give up on them, but even if I could find just the right litter and box, they still aren't nice to the girls.
My kids are my priority. If Cookie wants a cat, I'll get her one that is HER cat - that allows her to hold and pet her and gives something back to the family as opposed to just shedding, peeing, and pooping.
On top of it all, my husband does not like cats. He's always humored me and my love of cats, though. He even was upset when Honey Cat had to be put to sleep. Coincidently, we both dislike dogs immensely. I grew up with neighbors who raised pit bull dogs for sport (aka a certain former Atlanta Falcon) and threw live small animals into the cages to watch them being torn to bits. Its no surprise I don't like dogs. I can pet a nice dog - even kinda like my brother's Beagle, but I would never willingly own a dog.
So, tonight I told Michael he could crate the cats and take them to the Humane Society and surrender them. I don't know what else to do. I feel like a horrid pet owner, but I've given them the best life I knew how to. And now they aren't good around my kids. I can't have a house of cat pee and poop around the kids, and they aren't anywhere near what I would consider a "pet". I don't know any other good option.
We are going on a 2-week vacation to FL soon, and would have left them here with a semi-sitter who would check in on them and play with them and feed them. But I can't leave them and have them peeing and pooping unattended for 2 weeks. I'm at a real loss. I feel awful about this.
I like the cats, but my gut tells me they've got to go.
What would you do?
Posted by Tamara at 9:54 PM
Thursday, July 17, 2008
...isn't so little anymore. Here's just a snapshot of her yesterday morning:
She's 36.5" tall, and weighs 32 pounds now - and is a little over 2 1/2 years old now. My Bit-Bit will turn 1 at the end of the month. What beautiful girls they are turning into. I am honored to have been chosen to be their mom.
Posted by Tamara at 8:46 AM
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Me: "Hey Cookie, how did you get to be so smart?"
Cookie: (without missing a beat and looking at me with that "duh mommy" look) "God!"
Her favorite shoes to wear are what she calls "Foot Lops" (flip-flops).
She has discovered how addicting Pop-Ice are.
She has her own patch of flowers she helped plant, and she loves watering them daily with her little pink watering can.
Her favorite activity is water color painting, and she must own about 30 different brushes in all shapes and sizes. When she paints, she carefully selects which one to use, but will eventually use each one. She is a very careful and studious (and serious) painter. It's cool to watch.
She recently turned an official 2 AND A HALF (she now loves to add the "and a half" part when you ask how old she is)
We are doing swimming lessons this summer, and Cookie loves it - except she fusses a lot if I make her go under the water. In fact, she detests it.
We are trying potty training again full-force. She is doing well as recently got rewarded with "good fairy panties" (toddler panties with Tinkerbell on them). She is in love with them. I hope it is enough motivation. She knows when she has to go - it's all about choice and convenience for her. In sum, she's too darn busy to bother to stop and use the potty.
She still sleeps in our bed.
She loves her little sister, and is very good to her. She plays so much better with her than we ever expected her to at this age. She can't stand to hear her sister crying, and prods us to go get her out of the crib if we aren't acting fast enough for her taste.
She is still a huge cuddle bug who can't get enough holding and cuddle time. I'm going to love it while she still wants it.
We are slowly easing away from the sippy cup. It's kinda of her last big vice. No paci for her - only sippy cups.
Poor kid - it must be hard being 2 and having big people control your every move and take away all the good stuff from you. :)
Posted by Tamara at 10:37 PM
Sunday, July 6, 2008
One of Cookie's favorite things these days are scissors. We've carefully taught her how to hold and use her child's "safety" scissors, and drilled her on the dangers of scissors and what we can and cannot do with scissors.
Yesterday, we allowed her to sit at the kitchen table and cut up paper while we supervised her. Apparently, I became too apathetic in my supervision, and in the 5.3 seconds that I did not have my eyes on her, she silently slipped into the livingroom and...
cut up several pieces of mail
cut the nipple off Bit-Bit's pacifier !!??!!
cut several pages in the textbook I teach out of, AND
cut a hole in the front of the dress she was wearing
All that and she did NOT get spanked. Frankly, we had to turn away for fear she would see us laughing. It was he-larious. Poor Bit-Bit. At least we have spare pacifiers.
She did get a FIRM talking to, and the scissors got taken away. But we had to wait until we could do it without cracking up.
Posted by Tamara at 9:25 PM
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Well, I've calmed down a bit. But was worth writing. I suppose I should clarify how I feel about my daughter's birth-mother. I don't use the term birth-mother a lot. I simply cannot. And it has even more to do with the abuse she inflicted on her birth children that I have never met (and likely may never meet). They are now 9 and 6. They were beaten, neglected, and sexually abused by she and her husband in addiction to being born cocaine-addicted. They were adopted a year before Cookie was born (adopted by the loving couple who were their foster parents - praise God!) I pray for them a lot. My daughters do not know about them, and we will not tell them until they are at the very least teenagers, or maybe adults. It will be hard for them to digest.
And what shall we tell them about their birth parents? For now, we tell them nothing. Cookie knows she is "adopted", though she knows little about what adoption means in terms of who gave birth to whom and that she didn't grow in my tummy. She knows she was brought to us by a social worker, that we went to court, and that she became a forever member of our family. The fact that another human body served as an incubator is of little relevance to us or to her and her well-being. Certainly once we begin talks about the birds and bees, we'll weave in that another woman carried her and gave birth to her.
But the rest of the story is hard to tell. I can't say "she loved you", or "she cared about you". I don't lie, and I won't lie. Lying would simply teach my children that it's OK in some instances. I believe that it is NEVER OK to lie. Period. The truth is she may never have had much of chance in life, on the streets and meeting up with a criminal and drug addict in his 30s when she was just 12. No education, biological family but no support system. I suppose I could say she is "sick or ill", but that doesn't begin to explain it. I could say she is a drug addict. That's true, and we will tell them that at a fairly young age. Drug talks are a must even with your biological kids with no risk factors.
But I won't walk around bashing her, either. That's the difference between my blog and, well...me. I can be tough, but I'm more likely to be a doormat. I can talk tough here, but in real life I save my rants for private time with good friends who "get" me. I don't rant in front of my kids - not even when they are home and in another room. I just don't do it.
We don't talk about their birth parents at all. They aren't in a lifebook. I don't have family pictures. I have a mug-shot of Cookie's alleged birth father (birth mom's husband who is incarcerated as well). Ah, nah, no mug shots in a lifebook. Unh-uh. No way. That picture is in her presentation summary and will remain under lock and key.
See, there's no sweet little birth family story here. No birth mom who simply messed around in high school and gave up her child for adoption. No bitter-sweet overseas adoption story of poverty-stricken or deceased birth parents and a rescued child. No open adoption bliss. In fact, our adoption is ultra-closed for our personal safety. We never even met their birth mom because the cabinet feared for our safety. This was a potentially dangerous situation. We were even told where not to take the baby when we shopped because that was the neighborhood where a relative lived.
I can't make it good. Their adoption albums don't have any "birth family" pages. There's nothing I can put there. I have names and history and information, and that we will share when and if they are ready to hear it and capable of processing it. We may even choose to do it with some assistance of professionals and extended family.
But I won't make it some horror story they have to shoulder, either. We tell them they are miracles. EVERY NIGHT when we pray, the FIRST thing we say is "Thank you Jesus for Cookie. We are SO glad you sent her to be our little girl. And thank you Jesus for Bit-Bit. We are so glad you sent her to be our little girl, and that you are allowing us to adopt her just like we adopted Cookie."
So, I might talk smack on my blog, but the talk at home and with the girls is always positive. The negative will always be there, so there's no need to emphasize it. They'll know we aren't their biological parents. Um, it's rather obvious. :)
I still haven't completely worked through my anger toward their birth parents. I'm not sure it will ever go away completely. I pray it becomes more of compassionate/sadness for them. But I can't forget what they did.
We're closing our home as foster parents. We're also strongly considering seeking to leave Kentucky. It's been OK, but God's been talking to us a lot lately, and showing me many signs that our time here may be ending before too awful long. I'd like to be within driving distance of family. But I do know that leaving Kentucky means that when our daughters birthmom gets out of jail in two years, and gets pregnant yet again (because she's only 25 now and that's her pattern), that that child will go to another family. Strangely, we're OK with that. We didn't adopt her first two kids, and we can't adopt every child she might have before she's done. Maybe there's another couple desperately praying for a child as we were 3 years ago. It would be fine (I think).
The term birth-parent becomes a little problematic when "parent" connotes a certain level of care. I actually find myself at a loss for an appropriate term for the woman who gave birth to my daughters.
If anyone out there has birth-parent story issues because of the horrific nature of the situation, I'd love to hear from you. I'd love to know how you told your children about them, and when you told them, and how you dealt with questions. We're trying to get it right. Unfortunately, we're probably going to screw up a whole bunch.
Posted by Tamara at 9:37 PM
Sunday, June 29, 2008
I got this from an anonymous commenter regarding the fact that I was upset about the SW giving Cookie and Bit's biomom pictures:
I'm going to be the wicked bitch here and ask what's the big deal with showing the bio-mom some pictures? Do you REALLY think (honestly now) that she's going to take those pictures and use them to track you down/hurt you from behind jail or once she gets out? Did you ever think that maybe seeing those pictures gave the mom some closure/peace of mind that the girls were well loved and being taken care of? Birthmoms (whether they choose to be them or not) sometimes can "close chapters" easier knowing that their children are safe and well loved/taken care of, then by them just disappearing off the face of the world and wondering every time a child that matches the age and description of the child they lost comes across the news as raped/murdered/abused... Cmon now. Get a grip and stop being such an ass. You have the children, she doesn't. I KNOW that showing her a few pictures isn't going to change that fact, and quite honestly, it sounds like you are just another power-tripping power hungry adoptive mom who is standing on the mountain stop screaming MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE. Get over it lady.
Allow me to clarify. Yes, I am standing on the mountaintop screaming MINE!! Their birthmother was a crack whore who damn near killed her unborn children, abused other children within an inch of their life and scarred them for life. Yes, now they are MINE. She will spend another two years behind bars. She should spend the rest of her life for what she did to FOUR HELPLESS CHILDREN.
As for the Social Worker, she did not have my PERMISSION to do what she did. Maybe I would have granted it, maybe not. My point was, she didn't ask, and it was not her place to do what she did. She hadn't "found peace or closure" with three prior involuntary terminations behind her, and despite her incarceration and cocaine problem, would not voluntarily terminate this time. Doesn't sound like someone in search of peace or closure to me. Doesn't sound like someone who cares about the well-being of ANY child.
Don't think you know my story very well, or that of my children.
And if you had any balls, you self-righteous prick, then show your name instead of hiding behind "anonymous".
Anyone care to comment in response? Bring it on!
Posted by Tamara at 6:41 PM
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Our presentation summary is now approved and ready for us to sign. Our adoption worker will come out next week so we can sign that and she can start to get our contracts together. Yippie!! Now I really need to get on the ball and call our attorney!
Posted by Tamara at 12:45 PM
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Our meeting with K, our adoption worker, went well as expected. It was lovely to see her again, and celebrate another adoption about to be completed. We learned that our presentation summary was completed and submitted for approval, so we are now just waiting for that to be finished by the powers that be at the Cabinet, and we will sign and be official pre-adoptive parents.
I'll be talking to our attorney sometime tomorrow (I teach my first day of summer class tomorrow, so I may be pushing it) or the next day. She will send her "fee letter" to our adoption worker, and she will also appoint our Guardian Ad Litem (who represents Bit-Bit in documentation and in court). We are hoping to get the same Guardian Ad Litem appointed that Cookie had - she is herself an adoptive mom, and she understands the need to write and submit her report quickly. For example, with Cookie's adoption, she wrote and submitted her report all within a week's time, and I think by law she could take 30 (or may be 90??) days. So, we are hoping for her again.
K. is hoping we will be able to finalize the adoption by October. That would be fabulous. Hey, if it happens by the end of 08 I'll be thrilled - who we kiddin' anyway??
Oh, and Bit-Bit's old social worker resigned.
And I want to share something else here - a wonderful man who was in our old Sunday School class works with the Cabinet, and were it not for us knowing him and his wife, and knowing the kind of honesty and trustworthiness he and his wife had, I wouldn't have had nearly the bravery I had to talk to supervisors about our issues. Because God put them in our lives about 3 years ago, we had people in our church family who fully understood our fostering to adopt process, and someone we could finally tell about our predicament. So, S. D. ... we are so blessed God put you in our lives. If we hadn't been able to talk to you both, I don't know if fear would have prevented us from being able to really tell what had happened. And now no other family has to be disrespected or have their privacy violated in the same way again. I'm so grateful.
I also forgot to add that old social worker gave pictures of Cookie to birthmom at court in April, even though the adoption was CLOSED and SEALED over a year ago. And, of course, that was done WITHOUT MY BLEEPIN' PERMISSION!! Ugh!! I would not have allowed that. She also gave her pictures of Bit-Bit and the girls together that I had given to her to "show the judge". I think she knew all along she was going to give them to biomom. Dang.
Well, all is well now that we are with K. and on our way to adoption-land again. I feel like everyone from here on out can be trusted, and that is a really comforting feeling.
Praise God for friends, for great adoption workers, for our girls, and for a FL summer vacation we just booked. Praise God for grandparents and potential date nights without having to shell out for a babysitter. :)
Posted by Tamara at 9:01 PM
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
On the 17th, we will be meeting with the adoption worker who will be conducting Bit-Bit's adoption. K. is the same worker who handled Cookie's adoption, too, so we are blessed to have her back again.
The news of getting an adoption worker is likely sudden here on the blog, and for good reason. We had problems with Bit-Bit's social worker. She engaged first in inconsiderate practices (not calling to tell us the results of the TPR hearing, etc.), then inappropriate practices (telling us the baby did not have to be present, but that she would "call it a home visit" anyway, showing up on the last day of the month at 6:00 for her home visit, cancellations galore, 5-minute home visits), the unethical/illegal (giving us a copy of another child's presentation summary, asking us to write up all the documentation and paperwork that it is HER job to write, no family team meetings held EVER, and not communicating anything with our other workers, and on her last home visit we were convinced she was drunk or on drugs). The giving out of confidential and sealed documents lead us to report her to the cabinet.
We were terrified to report this. All we wanted was our daughter, and we would put up with anything, and do whatever we were asked to get her forever and be done with all this. But when it came to unethical and illegal behaviors, that did it. We had no real choice.
I had a meeting with 2 big-time supervisors in private, and it was very professional. They apologized on behalf of the cabinet. They promised me that by the morning we would be assigned the adoption worker OF OUR CHOICE, and never ever have to see or speak to our old worker again. They were grateful and appreciative of my bravery, and both agreed to do everything they could to expedite our adoption from here on out.
That promise was fulfilled, and our adoption worker has already contacted us and scheduled her visit for the 17th, will have our things to sign, and perhaps even our presentation summary. She estimates we will be done in 4 months.
See, you are eventually rewarded when you do the right thing. It was still hard. But yet it was also very easy. The worker should be terminated for what she did. It was egregious, and when she did those things, she always said "I'm not supposed to do this, but...". Dang it, then DON'T. *sigh*
Well, Bit-Bit will soon officially be Rebekah Ileana Ourlastname. Funny, it has felt that way for at least 10 months already. From here on out, it will be smooth sailing. We have the best worker, the best judge, and the best kid-os. Have I mentioned lately how GOOD GOD IS? ALL THE TIME!
Posted by Tamara at 10:43 AM
Friday, June 6, 2008
So, yesterday afternoon, I managed to buy Bit-Bit 7 (yes, SEVEN) brand new bathing suits for 7 (yes, SEVEN) dollars. How did I pull that off? With a little help from my friendly neighborhood Dollar Tree! Yup, I had seen some folks selling these brand-new bathing suits on ebay and I googled the name brand. Well, I came across a mommy message board that was saying that Max Grey was the "brand" of swimsuits that Dollar Tree had gotten in.
I was pleasantly surprised to find they were really cute! They had sizes 6-12 mo, 12-18mo., and 18-24 mo. The 6-12 mo ended up being a little small for Bit-Bit as she is 10 months old now, but the 12-18 month ones were perfect - and so cute! She wore the first one last night.
They didn't have any larger sizes, but man...7 swimsuits for $7. Yeah, I'm thrilled.
Posted by Tamara at 10:03 AM
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
We're doing "Parent & Me" swim lessons this summer with the girls (all 4 2-week sessions if we can swing it). The only "problem" is that it's Monday THROUGH Friday (every week night) and that's a lot of bathing suits unless I do laundry each night. Cookie has 4 bathing suits, but Bit-Bit only has 2.
If anyone has size 12 month bathing suits for a girl you want to sell me, I have a paypal account!!
I'd also buy size 3T for the Cookie.
I'm not so cheap that I can't buy them new stuff (I do, really.) I just hate to buy so many new ones at full price that they'll only wear for 2 months.
Posted by Tamara at 3:45 PM
Thursday, May 22, 2008
THIS was how she emerged from the bedroom. Yes, that is a baton she is carrying. I call this The Empress' New Clothes. At least she chose my best basic black heels. We all know black goes with everything.
Posted by Tamara at 8:18 PM
Posted by Tamara at 9:06 AM
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
As a registered Independent, I did not get to take part in today's Primary in Kentucky. I felt a little screwed there. I register as an Independent as a way of demonstrating my support for an individual's right to CHOICE in all sorts of arenas. My husband, much to his own surprise, had registered Democrat as opposed to his usual Independent, so he got to cast a vote. I didn't ask who he voted for, but since I know who it was NOT for, I can only surmise it was a vote for Obama. It was no doubt a proud moment for him. It was a proud moment for me.
On a sad note, we were at the polls rather late, and of the over 600 registered voters in our tiny district of the city, only just over 100 had bothered to get their asses out to vote. Short of a flood after-work voters, that is a travesty. Perhaps they feel the KY Primary doesn't matter. Perhaps they are Republicans who feel the state and district elections aren't worth going to the polls for. Perhaps they are confused and don't even understand that there still IS a Republican Primary going on as well. Or perhaps they are content to keep Kentucky...well...KEN-TUCK-Y (said with Skoal between the cheek and gum).
A recent national poll revealed that 15% of voters still (ERRONEOUSLY) believe that Obama is Muslim. Half of those people probably live in Kentucky.
Even though I did not vote, I wanted to make my position clear here:
I am a proud white female supporter of Obama 08. I would have loved to have been a part of electing our first female president, but, unfortunately, I can't back this particular female candidate (for reasons I'm more than willing to talk about, but for brevity, will omit here). And I won't vote for anyone based on race OR ownership of a penis or vagina.
I filled out a "Change of Party Affiliation" card today at the polls. It was my little way of casting a vote without casting a vote.
Posted by Tamara at 4:15 PM
As of just before midnight last night,I'm 37. I'm also happier and healthier than I've been in years, I have two beautiful daughters, a sexy husband who loves me, a great house in the burbs, and a new car I love. I have friends who would be here in the blink of an eye if I needed them. Wow. Just wow.
Things I would like to accomplish before 38 rolls around:
Finalize our second (and final) adoption
Loose 50 more pounds (at least)
Finish home remodeling projects
Get even healthier physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
I'm really starting to believe it's true: "The best is yet to come."
Posted by Tamara at 7:45 AM
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Well, Cookie now weighs 31 pounds and is 36 inches tall, so she is graduating today to a BIG GIRL booster-style car seat. We bought a nice new one for each car since the high-back booster seats are pretty reasonable. But we are also doting parents, so she got one with a reading light in the headrest. I probably could have found one with an outlet for an iPod, and she would have loved that, but...no.
As for nasty jobs, well, the removal of old car seats, the washing of the pads underneath, and the cleaning of said cars if enough to cause me to run away from home. The under-seat pads are currently in the washing machine, and I'm shocked the washing machine just didn't die from disgust. OK, so I allow my kid to eat and drink in the car. But I eat and drink in my car, so I figure I can't give her a rule I can't live by as well. So her car seats get, um..."crusty" (to use Mia's favorite nasty descriptive term). Old french fries are "crusty", old bread is "crusty", nasty dirty clothes are "crusty". You get my point.
So today I am a cleaning woman. It is good that I have the first part of summer off from teaching. I fear it's not going to seem like I'm on vacation at all. With both of us working, so much gets neglected around here.
On a pleasant note, today is the last day the electrician will be here finishing up the home improvements that require his expertise. When finished we will have replaced: the front lights on the garage and outside the front door, ceiling lights in the entryway, girls' room, and office, chandelier in the kitchen, replaced drop-lights in the kitchen with recessed lighting, installed dimmer switches for the lighting in the kitchen, a new wall sconce light on the stairwell, a new light fixture in Michael's bathroom, replaced and installed new ultra-capacity and ultra-quiet bathroom exhaust fans in both upstairs bathrooms, installed a brand new over-the-range microwave, and replaced and installed a brand new ceiling fan in the livingroom.
Weekend after this, the painter will begin on that arm of our home improvement quest. My dad has already painted our master bathroom and half-bath downstairs as well as the girls' room, but our entire downstairs and Michael's bathroom will be the next to be painted. It will not be cheap. We are undoubtedly "stimulating the economy".
Our home is only 8 years old this year, but all of the interior paint used was flat and off-beigey- yellow which always looked dirty, was unwashable, and showed every kid-fingerprint (as well as adult fingerprint). All the lighting was el-cheap-o yellow fake-brassy crap that made the very cute house look rather cheap inside. It is really starting to look (and feel) amazing.
Well, I'm off to attend to nasty laundry. Hope your tasks today are more pleasant. :)
Posted by Tamara at 10:27 AM
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Your 2 yr old, in her nightly prayers, says:
"Thank you Jesus for horse racing."
At least it wasn't mint juleps.
Posted by Tamara at 6:40 AM
Friday, May 2, 2008
We went to pick up Bit-Bit from her room at daycare yesterday, and her teachers were just beaming as they called us over to see what Bit-Bit was doing. She was standing up and pushing a little walker toy across the floor. She was actually taking steps and figuring out how to put one foot in front of the other. What a way to celebrate having just turned 9 months old!
So you know I went out and bought my girl a Step Start Walk'N Ride at Target today and have already assembled it for when the girls arrive home with daddy today in a few minutes. I can't wait to give it to her!
Way to go, my little Bit-Bit!
Posted by Tamara at 5:04 PM
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Bit-Bit is now free for adoption. We are all relieved.
The egg donor came all the way from another city (thanks to the taxpayers of the state) for her defense-less case just so she could get a day trip. She was in handcuffs and shackles (we were told - we did not attend). She was denied parole, and must now spend a minimum of 48 more months behind bars before she even will be eligible for parole again (musta done something pretty bad in jail). This is good news - she isn't likely to have another child for about 3 years.
May will be spent with the permanency worker doing paperwork.
June's visit will be with permanency worker and the adoption worker.
July-whenever will be with just the adoption worker.
I was hoping to have the adoption wrapped up by the end of summer, but anyone else out there who's adopted from foster care knows how that story goes. It's anyone's guess. But I'm praying it before the end of '08.
Now starts the new sea of paperwork! Praise the Lord!
Posted by Tamara at 6:01 PM
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
And in case giving 2 final exams tomorrow and grading a monsoon of papers wasn't enough...
Bit-Bit's TPR hearing is tomorrow. I also expect SW will "drop by" for a few minutes at some point tomorrow (though we don't have an appointment scheduled for this month's home visit - the last day for which is, uh, tomorrow!)
All is expected to go quickly and without a hitch. And our judge is spectacular (same one who did Cookie's case and adoption, and who knows the whole story).
But prayers, good thoughts, and positive vibes are always appreciated.
I'll post as soon as I hear the good news!
Posted by Tamara at 8:28 PM
"No Mia. We don't stick our finger in Bit-Bit's booty."
"No, Mia. We don't pee in the tub...on our sister."
"If you take the time to spread your legs AND squat before you pee, you know you have to pee."
Man, the wisdom just keeps coming.
Posted by Tamara at 6:33 PM
Monday, April 28, 2008
Cookie wanted to read TO me (this is a relatively new thing with her and she is actually quite good, and the things she "fills in" the story with can be quite entertaining) last night.
She chose "Peter Rabbit".
And so she opened the book and began:
"Peter Rabbit mommy go to work. Teach students!"
"Mommy go work. STUDENTS!" (she is almost hollering now)
Every other page was "Peter Rabbit mommy go work - teach STEW-DENTS."
Can you tell I'm in the middle of giving final exams? Guess what we are stressed out about DOES rub off on the kid-os, no matter how much we think we wait until they are asleep.
Posted by Tamara at 3:25 PM
Friday, April 25, 2008
OK, now that school is ending, I'd like to make some handmade hairbows for the girls. I'm not "crafty", but I REALLY want to learn. Can anyone help me by referring me to webites or web-videos that are free that are good places to learn? I really would rather not buy books, as I want to spend my money on ribbons and supplies instead.
Here's some sites I found:
Can anyone help??
Posted by Tamara at 8:53 AM
Monday, April 21, 2008
It's been a while since I posted about my weight loss journey, and it's also been a while since I did anything much at all concerning my weight. Between parents in town, a kid with an ear infection, and some home remodeling, I've been out of the routine of going to meetings. However, I am pleased to announce that while being out for 3 weeks, I still managed to loose another 2 pounds.
So, my total weight loss is now 27.2 pounds.
I'm going to work very hard this week because I'd love to reach the 30 pound mark by the time finals are over. Still, I have lost over 10% of my body weight in one semester.
I have gone from a size 22W to a size 16W in bottoms and from a 3X to a 1X in tops.
I still have a lot of weight left to loose, but I'm not giving up.
Cookie has been saying new things to me lately - a couple of which make me smile:
"Mommy, you rock!"
"Mommy, you're pretty. You're a princess!"
And, of course, she now spontaneously tells me, "I love you, Mommy!" That is worth a whole heap of tantrums.
I am feeling prettier. The girls' swimming lessons this summer will be a lot less painful as I put on my bathing suit to get into the pool.
Posted by Tamara at 1:38 PM
Saturday, April 19, 2008
No more kiddos for us! And I still have my Clearplan Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor that costs about $189. I also have about 16 sealed test strips that expired last year (dunno if they would still work). I also found a brand new still-sealed box of test sticks that expired in 2006. Clearly, I was preoccupied with a new baby! The dumb sticks cost me about $45 a box. But the monitor worked well and did in fact show when I ovulated.
I still have the original box and instruction booklet too.
If you know anyone who wants one, I have reset (completely cleared) the memory on this, and it's just like new. I'm putting it on ebay and was hoping to get $60 for everything it when it's all said and done. I'll even include all the sticks even though they're expired. They could at least be used as "practice" sticks. I'll ship anywhere and have paypal. :)
Posted by Tamara at 1:30 PM
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I did most of my research through the IRS website, but for folks who don't want to spend weeks like I did, I found the following summary to be the most accurate and helpful:
It provides hyperlinks to the actual forms you'll need to fill out (or, as in our case, your tax preparer). I highly recommend using a tax professional when you go to use this credit.
I'll add more as I get a chance as I know others are very interested as they plan on adopting in the near future.
I just learned that you can use the tax credit even if you had expenses on an attempted by failed adoption, too. This is great news for many who run into nonrefundable deposits with agencies only to have birth mothers/parents change their minds.
For those of you who have not adopted, don't forget that you can claim a foster child who is in your care for at least 6 months out of that year. We claimed Cookie in the year before she was adopted and it gave us a nice tax break that year as well. We couldn't claim Bit-Bit because she was born on July 31st.
Hope this helps - anyone have other sites? As I find good ones, I'll create a side-bar with the links.
Posted by Tamara at 9:39 PM
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
For those of you who have received this credit, feel free to comment to add or correct. Here goes:
It is possible to make too much money to qualify for the credit. If your income is over 200K, you're pretty much out of luck.
The amount of the credit is $11,390 for 2007
For 2008, the amount will be $11,650
There are proposals on the table to end the credit as early as 2010 as it has no worked the way lawmakers intended. Only 17% of those who used the tax credit have adopted domestically and from foster care.
There are actually two tax issues here. The first covers adoption EXPENSES (and those expenses have to fit into an IRS-approved list). The second covers special needs adoptions even if you incurred no expenses. So, if you adopt from China, you get a tax credit of UP TO $11,390 of your out-of-pocket expenses for that adoption.
If you adopt from foster care, you get the tax credit of $11,390 and don't have to document any expenses as long as the adoption is "special needs" (which most all are). Just make sure your adoption paperwork specifies "special needs". If you get a post-adoption subsidy contract, you're in that category. And by all means, keep your paperwork. I think now that the IRS has cut us this ginormous of a check, someone is bound to check in on us. And next year, we will be doing the very same happy dance of rebate check heaven following Bit-Bit's adoption.
This is all based on your TAX LIABILITY for that year that you adopted or incurred expenses. So, if you did not have $11,390 worth of liability, you can get your credit in chunks for up to 5 years.
So, yes - to answer your question S. - that does indeed mean "big fat checks" for some (YAY) even far beyond the amount of $11,390 especially if those same people had a mortgage, daycare expenses, tithe 10%, have vehicle taxes they deduct, business expenses, and so on. It can really add up. So, some people do end up getting this all in one check.
A guy I worked with adopted from China 5 years ago and told me about the year they got a $13,000-plus refund check. I believed him, but hardly could wrap my brain around it. Now, he and his wife had about $20,000 in expenses for their daughter's adoption, so for him it was like putting money back. For those of us who adopt from foster care and basically have no expenses (we were reimbursed $1000 for legal expenses and found a good attorney who worked with the cabinet a lot and could do the adoption pretty close to the $1000 amount and billed the cabinet directly and we were billed for the remainder - a whopping $86) it's a great start to your kids college funds, or remodeling their bedrooms, or buying that family car you need for your now larger family, or even paying off debt you racked up buying baby gear.
I hope the government does not end this program. I know it did not encourage domestic adoptions the way it intended. But that doesn't mean we have to throw it out. We've known about the tax credit since a little before Cookie's adoption. Knowing about it made our decision to open our home again a little easier. Knowing about it made it a total no-brainer to adopt again. We feel like it's God's way of assuring us that as long as we are willing to lay it all down and follow His will for our lives, He will provide. I had to quit my job almost a year ago. Since then, we're OK. This will better allow me to keep teaching college part-time and see my girls every morning instead of leaving while they are still asleep. I actually get to eat Cheerios with Cookie every morning and watch the birds eating out of the bird feeder on the patio. There are no better conversations I have than with her about cereal and birds.
Two weeks to go until the judge declares Bit-Bit free for adoption!
Posted by Tamara at 10:05 PM
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Our tax return arrived in the mail yesterday. The powers- that- be decided the return was too large to be direct deposited and the letter we received from the powers-that-be stated they "had to do some additional calculations" (meaning we are likely going to be audited one day soon, but we are prepared for that). But, the reason for the large check was...
Our adoption in 2007. If it were a "regular" adoption,we would have been able to use the Adoption Tax Credit to cover some of our adoption expenses. But because we had no adoption expenses (adoption through foster care is free for the most part) - well, we did owe the lawyer a whopping $86 dollars when it was all said and done - we did not qualify.
Our adoption was from foster care and it was of a child born severely drug addicted.
Ours was by definition a "special needs adoption".
So we got the entire tax credit.
Added to our regular tithing, mortgage, daycare expenses, etc. - we had NO TAX LIABILITY for 2007.
So that is why we are doing a lot of work now on the house. All lighting fixtures are being replaced and the entire interior re-painted. No new carpeting for now - we have 2 little ones and are not crazy.
But hubby deposited big fat check yesterday and the amounts will go away quickly once some major bills are paid off. But it feels awesome to know that we will owe far less now that we did a month ago. And it feels great to know that Cookie and Bit-Bit are going to want for nothing. They have a beautiful new pale yellow and white bedroom thanks to their grandfather. They have a gazillion new clothes thanks to grandmothers and aunties. And they have subsidies which will allow us to do things like swim lessons all summer long instead of just one session.
Bit-Bit's adoption which will take place later in 2008 will be special needs as well. She has a heart defect which could be left alone (a good % of the population has this defect), but will have to be monitored. It is also a possibility it could enlarge and the gap widen, at which point she would have to have surgery. This would not happen though until about age 7 - so we have a lot of cardiology appointments between now and then just to make sure she's still fine. She too was drug exposed, but not born with drugs in her system since biomom was incarcerated.
We are blessed our kids are so healthy. Bit-Bit has a double ear infection, but we praise God that we get to "celebrate" minor health issues like that as opposed to others we could have been facing had the outcome been different for our kid-os.
Posted by Tamara at 9:20 AM