Friday, May 28, 2010

Random Musings

Since I wandered off plan yesterday, I decided to keep on going. That's when all of the best things happen anyway, don't you think? I mean...the kids and I have the best times, the most fun when we just get in the car and drive. You never quite know where we're going to end up. We've been to really cool places we didn't know were even there because we picked a direction and used the GPS to find cool things along the way. A few weeks ago we found the greatest children's museum, we've been to county fairs, general stores and flea markets. (Buddy was very upset not to find fleas shopping there) We've been to the Pickle Festival, the Marshmallow Valley Fest and Turtle Days. The world is full of wonder and there's always a cool place to stop for ice cream on the way home.

But that's kind of like life isn't it? When I was a little girl, I'm pretty sure I never curled up under my covers at night and dreamed of being a sleep deprived single mom. I'm sure I never fathomed I'd cross several continents and theBut that's the path I followed and I wouldn't change it. Even for a double scoop of mint chocolate chip. I've found some pretty wonderful things along the way, too.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy Family Day!

Something seems to have gone wonky with blogger (operator error?) and the post I’d planned seems to have gone MIA.

So instead of continuing our regular programming…I’ll just say today is my son’s family day.

Some people call it "Gothcha Day" or "Adoption Day", but each year, like other families, we celebrate the day my kids entered our family. Generally it’s pretty low key. We go out to eat at their choice of restaurant and the kids receive a small treat like flowers or balloons.

I try to make it not be another “birthday” with a party and presents, but a deeper, closer family time. Their birthdays, while a celebration for them, are bittersweet for me. Because it is on that day I know their birthmothers are thinking about them and wondering where they are and what they’re doing. It is a reminder for me that this life I love is built on someone else’s sacrifice. Someone else’s tears.

But for me, their family days are pure joy. It was the day my dreams came true.

I love to hear about other families traditions. How do you/will you celebrate?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Decisions vs. Motivations

I was thinking about how different people's decisions to adopt are and I realized something I don't think about much and that's the motivation behind adoption.

Looking back, there were different motivations for different adoptions. And even more, there was more than one motivation for each adoption.

First and foremost, my motivation to adopt centered around wanting to be a mother--wanting to parent. I wanted that more than anything and looking back, it's what got me through the process. Is that need to parent, that literal ache in your arms for wanting to hold you child. Is that biological? Are we hardwired to feel it? Is it to insure the propigation of the species? Or is it more spiritual. Does the desire to mother (or father) a child come from God?

However, wanting to be a mother, while a good motivation, couldn't have been my only one, could it? If I wanted to be a mom I could have (maybe) had a birth child, married a man with children, become a foster parent, or big sister. I chose adoption, moveover, international adoption, as my method to form my family...and there were a couple of reasons.

I'm going to talk about then rest of them this week.

Adoption Story with a Twist

Today's story is from a dear friend of mine. She accompanied me on my adoption trip to pick of Fifi. Thank God she did. I was completely inexperienced and had no idea how to take care of an infant! I'll owe her forever. There's no one I'd rather have spent this most precious of times with than my oldest and dearest. Here's her story.

Julie is a friend of mine and has been for 27 years. I think what she is doing with this adoption blog is great and I am very proud of her. I am proud of her for taking her life in her own hands and not waiting for that prince to come to start her own family. When she first told me that she was thinking about adopting, I thought it was great, but then I wondered if she had thought this through. This isn't like going out and buying a new sweater, this is a decision that affects the rest of your life! She was going to be responsible for another human being, she was single and she wanted it! I was there with Julie as she went through the process to get Fifi.

I couldn't believe all the hoops they made Julie go through just to get a kid, when there are thousands of them out there. Julie went through every hoop they threw at her, and it seemed like it took forever! Finally she was on her way to Russia to meet her daughter. I could hardly believe she was going to Russia! It is so far away from where she grew up in NW Indiana. Who from our area went to Russia, let alone to adopt as a single parent. WOW! Julie came back with stories of what she saw, pictures and video of HER daughter.

The hard part, we found out later, was yet to come. THE WAIT! Julie was going nuts waiting to go back to get Fifi. She was visiting me one day when she said that I should go back with her to get Fifi. Yeah right! Me, a SAHM with two little ones of my own, leaving my midwest little town to go to Russia, that would never happen. Well, my husband thought it would be an experience of a lifetime and felt I should go. Next thing you know, I am getting a passport (something I thought I would never have), making arrangements to have my kids taken care of while I was gone, leaving lists for the hubby and packing. This helped give Julie something else to focus on during the wait, getting me ready to go with her. We finally got word, and we were on our way.

Going to Russia was amazing! I could tell stories of the wonderful tour that Julie and I took of Moscow, how I cried when I entered Red Square, of our scary plane ride to the town where we got Fifi, of the orphange, the list goes on an on. But the most amazing thing of all was when Julie and I were waiting in a room and the nurses were asking lots of questions about Julie and me and I showed them pictures of my kids, saying that Fifi would have two new friends waiting at home.

Then in walked a nurse with this little baby girl all bundled up in many layers of clothes and handed her to Julie and I cried. My friend got her baby, her little girl, the one she waited so long for and jumped through so many hoops for. She had her family, there in her arms, and I was there to witness it. It was a truly amazing moment.

Oh, I could go on about our trip and to this day I still do. I think I have a right though, Fifi is my Goddaughter and I love her dearly. Julie and I live about 2 hours away from one another, and we talk, email and visit as much as we can. I am blessed to be a part of Fifi's story and her life. I feel there are reasons they make adoption so hard. It shows how dedicated you are to being a parent. Lots of people can get pregnant and have a baby, but it takes a lot more to be a parent. I feel the adoption process makes you that better parent.

Lots of love to Julie, Fifi and Buddy!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Still More Ideas...


Part of my job in Human Resources was to negotiate the health benefits for my small company. We were self insured for a portion of our claims before the insurance company would take over paying. In my tiny company of only 100 people, that number was $30,000.
What that equates to is my company had a $30,000 deductible when it came to my healthcare. I also know most babies, born with no complications cost the company between $16-20,000. When I adopted, my children cost the company, $0.
At the time, I felt that really wasn’t fair at all, and if you press them, it would be difficult for senior management to deny that’s equitable treatment.
One mom was successful on changing her company’s policy on adoption leave. She suggested the idea via her company’s electronic suggestion box.

Become a one income household

Many two parent families decide it is best for their family if one parent stays home to care for their new child, at least for a while.
The average adoption takes a year or longer. If you start banking the second salary, you’ll have the money you need to adopt in no time and be used to the new budget when your little one arrives.

Turn your hobby into cash

Can you knit? Do you like to scrapbook? Enjoy gardening? Print a few business cards or make signs for community bulletin boards and you’re in business. Get the courage to share why you are soliciting jobs and you might be surprised at the cash flow this can generate.


Babysitting is not only for teens. As a parent of two, I would be delighted to find responsible grown ups to leave my kids for an afternoon or evening. In most areas of the country the pay for sitters is upwards of $10 an hour and in some areas it’s $20.
Consider hosting a parent’s night out one night a week and charge a flat fee per child for an evening of fun.