Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dang It

The reason that we haven't had a visit from Honey Bun's social worker is...(dum dah dah dum)

She's leaving and taking a new job. (insert sarcastic gasp and look of shock here)

Seasoned foster parents know this routine far too well. You wait and wait to find out what's going on in your child's case only to find out that nothing is going on and nothing will be going on for a while.

We learned of this from our R&C worker last night who did her quarterly home visit with us and went over our yearly renewal. She was the one to tell us - not the worker herself (whom we have never seen or heard from). The worker had apparently promised our R&C worker that she would come last night as well. She never showed. That's when our worker let us know her guess as to why.

I asked if we will get a visit this month. Her answer : "Well, since Friday is the last day of the month, then it's not likely."

I asked if we will get a new worker and a visit in October. Her answer: "I wouldn't count on it."

Dang it. (hence the title)

I asked her about the named biodad. If he doesn't take the DNA test to prove he is the father, it will default to J's husband (a husband is always the assumed legal father until proven otherwise) who is in jail for another 7 years, and voluntarily terminated his rights to Cookie when it came down to the wire. No one knows if HE knows his wife had another child with another man. Oh the drama.

So it looks like the best case scenario would be if he never shows face again. Then at the next court date, they will ask to deny services, then they will ask for another court date to change the goal to adoption, then another court date for TPR. It would still be a long process, but it could go about as fast as Cookie's case did (a total of 15 months to her adoption day).

I'm praying her never takes the DNA test. If he tests out as the father, it opens up a whole different time line of offering services and a case plan for him, offering visits, opening up his extended family as potential takers of Honey Bun. Awful stuff we don't want to think about.

So, let's pray he disappears. Our worker is under the impression he is back in jail, or still in jail. Who really knows.

But Honey Bun is doing great - and smiling. And Cookie is learning new words every day. Her cool words at dinner last night: salad, seeds (sunflower for her salad), olives, and hummus (yes, I eat hummus and Cookie loves it too on toasted pita bread). She must have said each of those words 20 times, she was so impressed with herself. Hummus!

Please pray for us to get a new worker for Honey Bun quickly. I think I'll wait a week or so, and then call the supervisor and ask her directly. Until then, prayers for a good worker!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

No News Must Be Good, Right?

Honey Bun will be 8 weeks old on Tuesday. We have a name and number for her social worker, but to date have gotten no phone call or email, and certainly no home visit. I called once several weeks ago, and talked to the supervisor, who asked if everything was OK and assured me that there was no news to report.

Anyone know how long birth dad will have to get his DNA testing done after being court ordered to do so? When we had the team meeting on August 14th, the court order had already been set? What would happen to him if he just didn't do it?

These are questions I'd like answered. We're happy being a family, but some days it's hard to ignore the truth of her status: "return to parent". The legal system will take a very long time.

Still, now Michael and I are taking bets on how long it takes to get even a call from Honey Bun's social worker. The over-under is November 1st. Anyone want to place a bet?

See, everyone in our cabinet office knows us, and knows we are a good family who recently adopted. And now we have Honey Bun. And all is well. With case loads of kids and families in crisis, we inevitably often fall to the bottom of the pile. And that usually doesn't bother me. Most days I appreciate knowing we are a "taken for granted" family just waiting for the justice system wheels to turn their slow turns.

We will see our R&C worker this Wed. for our quarterly home visit, and will ask her about it. Until then, I'll be taking your bets. So, what say you - before or after November 1st?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Cardiologist Says...

nothing to worry about!
Honey Bun had an EKG and an Echocardiogram (complete with ultrasound jelly all over her tiny chest)
Tests detected a small (2mm) opening that is normal for about 25% of the population (if it is what they think it is)
She will be listened to again at age 1 and have another ultrasound at about age 3
If there is any problem, it can be corrected without major surgery

And, cardiomyopathy
Without knowing BM's family history, doctor said he would attribute it to cocaine use (70% of users have an enlarged heart)


No need to check out Cookie until she is about 3 or 4 either, and even then it would just be a precaution since she shows no signs of trouble.

Praise God!

Thursday, September 13, 2007


appointment is Fri morning for Honey Bun
please pray that her birth mom's drug use caused her own cardiomyopathy, and not genetics
please pray Honey Bun has a healthy heart
if it turns out to be genetic and Honey Bun is affected, my Cookie will have to be tested too
this is the scariest doctor's appointment I will have had to go to yet
and yet i know most of you have endured far worse

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Cookie Story

Last night when I came home from teaching, Cookie was VERY happy to see me and ran and gave me a huge hug

I sat on the floor with her and she began tugging on the sleeve of my blouse...hard

then she went over to my other side and began tugging at the other sleeve...hard

then she came in front of me and tried to unbutton my blouse..all this very deliberately and quietly

I then asked her "Cookie, what are you doing??"

She looked me in the eye and firmly replied, "WOOBIE!"

"Oh, I'm wearing the silky shirt you like. It's one of your woobies. You want me to take it off and give it to you?"

rapid head nods from the Cookie

I (of course) take it off and give it to her so now I am sitting in my dress pants and bra in the livingroom floor, and Michael is very amused

Cookie takes the shirt with much gusto, and holds it up to her face

She then comes over back in front of me and stick one of her chubby hands in EACH of my bra cups so that each of her hands is tucked in a boob-pocket

She then sits in front of me with her "woobie" draped over her with her hands in my bra

And life was good

She grinned and grinned and said "Boobie!"

And to think there was once a time when I worried that I would not be able to fully bond with an adopted child.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Day Care, Naming, and Other Random Thoughts

Today was the first day of daycare for my baby girl, and it was certainly easier on me than Cookie's first day was. There were no tears, and only a small amount of nervous energy. I called my husband who happened to be writing from home this afternoon, and declared my envy over the fact that he got to enjoy the first moments of a child-free work zone BEFORE I did.

(I've mostly recovered from my recent I-hate-him slump.)

Cookie's doing great, and running faster and getting into more mischief than I can count (or wish to contemplate). Honey Bun is closer to having a real-life name chosen by us, as we've narrowed down our list of names to a mere 4 choices: Rebekah, Ileana, Abigail, and Deborah. Her middle name is likely to be Grace. I feel excited that we've at least gotten this far, and we've agreed on most every step. But Honey Bun deserves a nice name, and deserves to be called that last name as early as possible. The folks at daycare even want to put her "new" name on her things and her crib, even though her legal name will be what it is for quite some time to come. I mean, legally she's still classified as "return to parent" as the goal. But we have faith. We have to. There is no other option.

Honey Bun is 6 weeks old today, and getting meatier and prettier each day. She focuses more on things around her, and on our faces. She drinks much more formula, and belches like a grown man. She even sleeps pretty well. She's a definite snuggle-bug, and we're grateful for that.

Still no word from her permanent social worker. We have our quarterly meeting with our R&C worker tomorrow evening, but that is just to make sure we're still sane and appropriate, and relatively tidy (LOL). I've called the cabinet office, and there's been no development in Honey Bun's case, giving everyone the feeling that no biological family member (including the named bio-dad) is very interested. So, we're proceeding as if she is our daughter too. Again, it's all we can do. We're sold out. I don't even want to speculate as to what would happen if she were to leave. I just can't fathom it. It's Cookie's sister. Even she's attached. I picked up Cookie from daycare the other day, and unlike every other day, I didn't have the baby with me (she was at school with Michael), and Cookie was WORRIED. All the way home in the backseat she kept pointing to the empty carseat base next to her and babbling about "baby bye bye" and "bakldb ajdbad BABY!!" (whatever that means). Clearly, she was NOT HAPPY about the absence of the baby. Every night she has to have her time to hold and pet the baby (either on the sofa, or on the bed, or sitting on the floor), and sometimes she asks me to pick up the baby and hold her up to her so she can give her a full-body hug (which is awkward and VERY cute).

I'm pleased to report Cookie is now sleeping in HER OWN BED - woo hooo!! Cosleeping was awesome, but it was time. We got her a toddler bed with Elmo bedding and that was that. Suddenly she had the better of the options for sleep. No fighting. It's nice not to be kicked in the back anymore.

Words my Cookie says on a regular basis that I find amusing enough to share:

"Mess!" (while admiring her work)
"Oh no Macy!" (while reprimanding cat)
"Whatz she doin'?" (while chasing one of the cats)
"Where did it go?" (playing hide and seek with toys)
"MINE! and NO!" (the only two words to "This Little Light of Mine" that she sings...the No! comes in response to the Hide it under a bushel? line)
"Baby night night" (when she sees the baby sleeping)
"Baby bath" (when she sees baby's in-sink bathtub)
"Pee pee" or "Poopie" (telling me which one is in her diaper that needs changing)
"Pizza pie!" (Michael taught her that one - and she gets very excited whenever we have pizza now)
"Marsh" (after reading a kids magazine about birds that live in the marsh, she found the word to be fabulous, and repeated the word for days on end - for no apparent reason)
"Boobie" (she loves putting her hand down my shirt and rubbing them - for comfort - and who knows, maybe good luck)
"Woobie" (for her woobies - blankets, lovies, and my soft pjs that she drags all over the house and into bed with her
"Meat" (her word for steak, or any hunk of protein)

Her favorite game is hiding behind the clothes in the closet and loudly asking in a sing-song voice "Where did she go?" and giggling (hoping I'll attempt to "try" to find her by asking "Where's Cookie? Where did she go?). There is much giggling and the game can go on WAY longer than I have stamina for it.

It's almost 1 am. I should go to bed and enjoy two sleeping girls. :)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

There Are Times...

when I truly believe - in the moment- that I hate my husband.
I just had to get that out there.
Too often, I write from the perspective that everything is perfect.
It's OK, but it's far from perfect.
He's a wonderful father to the kids, but as for being a partner...well, he says he's trying.
I was married once before...for 9 years. I often think my expectations are way too high. I expect my partner to do more, and most of the time the things I expect are just impossible for him to do.

It's been a rough week for me.

I was getting my hair cut on Friday, and the woman who cut my hair is a former student and friend. She's been married now for 2 years, and I asked her how she's enjoying it. She said, "You know, marriage is funny. Some days I just have to laugh, because if I didn't I'd cry." I think that about sums it up right there.

My husband has a lot of old friends from college days. All but ONE are female. Most are single. He maintains email, phone, and text message relationships with these "friends". From my perspective, there is a lot of flirting on their part. I don't really know how he responds. But I have to get this out. I saw a text message one girl sent to him. I didn't even know she existed. My husband had never even mentioned her name before. The message said she heard a song on the radio and thought of him, and it ended with "Love Ya". Now, I think this is highly inappropriate to send to a married man. Granted, she lives in FL and we are in KY, but give me a break. I feel disrespected. He has time to carry on like this and no time to give me any affection. Come on now. I'm not stupid.

I asked him about it. He didn't think there was anything wrong with the message she sent. He then said he would cut off the friendship and correspondence. He just doesn't get it, does he?