Friday, December 21, 2012

It's a BOY!!!!

It is official - our son is OUR son. 
No more legal red tape and we have full responsibility for this eleven year old 
bouncing baby boy!

Here he is with his teddy bear outside the courthouse minutes after finalization. The bailiff gave each of our children a great big fluffy teddy bear to celebrate the adoption.

Commemorative photo with the judge after she declared him ours.

We've come a long way from October 2011. Check out the adoption time line to the left of this post.

We've also come a long way from our first meeting with S, even his name was different then. 

First meeting June 4, 2012

Today in court we celebrated with his Guardian ad Litem, our family adoption specialist and of course the judge and the attorney. We certainly missed having our families there. It's like having a baby and no one is there to acknowledge it. I know they shared our joy of a new grandson, nephew, cousin and great grandson from a distance but their absence was definitely felt. 
It is times like these when we feel the distance the most. We had to remind ourselves that this distance - our move from New Brunswick, Canada to Florida - is how we came to find our son. 
So if we weren't here to begin with we wouldn't be missing them while adopting him. 
Clear as mud?

We had initially hoped to host a big "Adoption Finalization" celebration to commemorate S's place in our family and invite all of our Florida "family" and friends. However, given that it is 4 days before Christmas we realize everyone's schedules are already overcommitted and it wouldn't be very thoughtful of us to request that they join us for yet another outing. So we opted to celebrate quietly with our own little dinner at Stonewood. Yes I made everyone stay dressed up for dinner - S may be the only one of our children who truly enjoys dressing up. 

Sisters - gotta love 'em

His first meal as a McIntosh. Bacon cheeseburger and fries and way too much pop.

Checking out his new Bible. His adoption gift from us.

S gave each of his sisters a pretty monogrammed bangle along with handmade cards.

So the day is done and we arrive home to find our fence trimmed out in pretty balloons - I snapped this photo as he just stood there and stared at all the balloons. 
Thanks Debbie & Tiffani - we love you and your family.

From our family to yours, 
"We Wish you a Very Merry Christmas"

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Making a spectacle of ourselves

So the little guy got glasses. 

This happened about 3 weeks ago but I needed time to calm down before I took to the bloggisphere.
 Is that even a word? If so, did I spell it right? He required a current physical to be placed for adoption. So we went to see the pediatrican he had been seeing for the 18 months he was at his last foster home. Upon completing the general eye exam - reading a chart at a distance with one eye covered - the Dr and I both saw that an actual eye exam was necessary. I already had my suspicions and planned to take S to our eye Dr after finalization just for a once over to see if he needed glasses for reading.  Of course having this come to light prior to finalization we had to go to an eye Dr to get further evaluation of his eyes. 

The screening person at the eye Dr's office did her assessment prior to him being seen by the optomologist and she told us to pick out frames because he would definitely be needing glasses. His eyes were not good and he has an astigmatism. We looked at frames - being on Medicaid he had about ten pairs of glasses to choose from and Medicaid does not allow you to upgrade frames or lenses. So we picked out his frames. We then went in to see the optomologist. He was very kind, though extremely concerned about S's eyes - he could not believe that S had never worn glasses. He all but read me my rights regarding child neglect. So he should, I was the adult bringing this child in for a way past due evaluation. It was at this point that I was thankful for the darkness of eye exam offices. I explained I had only known S for four months and we came in as soon as we realized there was an issue with his vision. I had mommy guilt over not getting there sooner combined with extreme frustration of the years he spent "in the system" with no one checking his eyes despite his obvious difficulties in his school work. I sat there trying to console myself silently willing the tears in my eyes to dry before the lights came back on.

I then proceeded to think about all the boys and girls still in care without anyone taking them to check their eyes. Kids don't know there is something wrong with their eyes if they don't know any different. My heart breaks for the children in this system. It is a broken system. I know this term gets overused but it truly is broken. Children waiting to have child studies completed and presented to waiting families. There should be no waiting families and certainly no waiting children. So with this train of thought you can likely figure out - my eyes didn't dry very well.

I am thankful that our family has been able to adopt two children from the foster care system in two different countries. I just wish there were more waiting families and less waiting children. I wish every child could have proper medical coverage and a caring adult to make sure it gets used. Am I wrong to think ALL children need to have their eyes checked as they grow? Is it odd that our three girls regularly get eye exams? I'm glad I waited 3+ weeks to write this post because this is the cooled down version of all that I thought about the foster care system of over worked case workers, foster homes that aren't keeping up with medical needs, teachers who say a child does poorly in class but don't suggest eye exams, yadda yadda yadda.


Okay venting session over. S is adjusting to wearing his glasses. He has had his share of tears too. After his initial "It's like a whole new world" reaction to how clear everything looked - he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror. :-(  After Christmas we will be making a visit to our own optometrist for her to give him an exam on our coverage and get him a pair of sports glasses with polycarbonate lenses. He will have more choice of frames and hopefully a better fit will be more comfortable and make him happier with his glasses in 2013.


Friday, December 14, 2012


 Getting ready for Christmas...baking gingersnaps.

Getting his first ornament for the tree - a baseball to commemorate his first year playing baseball.

Time for hot cocoa, gingersnaps and tree trimming.

Birthdays, surprise showers, baseball.... good times.

Summer is over - September is here and it is K's birthday - dinner at Carrabba's - YUM!


Check out our boy getting home!

His first trophy - very proud of himself! His baseball season was an amazing first experience. He had awesome coaches and great team mates.


Happy Halloween outing - check out that pumpkin cannon in the background!

At Busch Gardens feeding the lorikeets.

A visit to the provincial capital city. Including a walk along The Green by the river and hanging out at the Lighthouse then dinner at Montana's.

A hike through the woods to Hays Falls on the Maliseet Trail.

 Collecting rocks and checking out little critters at Hopewell Rocks.

Playing games with cousins.

Fun times on the slip and slide at aunt Janice and Grammie Toshes house.

Our tired crew headed back to Florida.

 S with his bunny on the plane headed south.


First family vacation

And we're off! First trip to Canada for S. He is quick to remind us that this isn't his first time on an airplane as he was on a plane when he flew from Puerto Rico as an infant. Of course there is no recollection of that actual flight but it was offically his first time on a plane. So I guess this is his second time on a plane but the first flight he will remember. 

A delicious spread to welcome us at Grammie & Grampy's house. 

Meeting Nikki. 

Okay if he thinks this was a cold day he better prepare himself for the winter trip to Canada - the boy is going to freeze. One day a few weeks ago he asked me, "Mom, am I going to have to wear long pants every day at Christmas?" Uh, yes long pants every day. Puerto Rico and Florida have not prepared him for the weather he is about to encounter. 

GQ calling...

Quote of the day after four wheeling with Grammie, "You're not a man, or a woman, until you've gone four wheeling with Grammie." That smile says it all. 

At Sam's Place - notice the big kid in the background. All our children love this place!

Campfire and S'more time!