Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Two down eight to go!

We had our second MAPP class last night.  This class followed how children initially come into foster care and how reunification with the birth family is the goal whenever possible.  These classes are full of heavy information that I can't imagine hearing without our background in foster parenting.  We haven't heard much yet that has shocked us, saddened us yes, but unfortunately we've seen/heard it before. With each example provided Michael and I have given each other knowing looks thinking of one particular child or another we have had in our care.  The stories range from the sad to the unimaginable.  Our group discussion time really lets us hear how others in the class react to hearing these things for the first time. We have the advantage of our experience to know how these hurting children can blossom over time when they are provided basic care in a stable loving home.

This week's homework looks pretty straightforward, which is good because we only have one week this time to complete it. We are looking forward to next week and being one week closer to being matched with our son.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Celebrate small feats along the way

Today we installed a smoke detector in the den.  Yup we did! Please hold your applause.  There are a few minor modifications we will need to make to pass the home safety inspection portion of the home study.  Every bedroom needs working smoke detectors, which we have.  Except for the fact that the room currently known as the den will become a 5th bedroom in the (hopefully) near future.  BTW K calls dibs on the slightly larger den and is very willing to let her current bedroom go to her little brother. So we have working smoke detectors in each bedroom/future bedroom now.  We have a few more modifications to make on the den to make it a little more "bedroomy." The current French doors lack a certain level of privacy so we need to purchase some curtains to work as privacy screens inside the doors.  Unfortunately the beautiful roman style curtains we had on our French doors at our last house don't fit these smaller French doors. :-( Grampy T, we will have curtains in place before you come to visit in March.  Ideally there will also be some room darkening shades on the exterior windows as well or we might be looking at some very early risers.

So now we just need a new carbon monoxide detector - go figure, ours just expired.  Upgrading our fire extinguisher is likely a requirement as well because we'd be lucky to put out a campfire with the wee little one we currently have in the kitchen.  :-) Then we have to see if we need to lock up all "hazardous materials" I'm hopeful that with the age range we are looking at we won't have to be quite so strict with the baby covers on outlets and the safety fence around the pool and so forth.  At least I'm hoping that is the case, but if they tell us we need to lock everything up - consider it done.  Our son is worth it and it gives us something worthwhile to do while waiting.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

What you do while waiting

So I've tried researching how long this adoption process will take.  No one wants to provide a timeline. I'm okay with rough estimates and no one really wants to say that either.  Online research has likely been best and what I've found says best 'guess-timate' to be 9-12 months after you've made first contact (for us October 2011) you could expect an adoptive placement.  For us that would mean the possibility of a placement no earlier than July 2012 and hopefully no later then October 2012. However either of those dates is likely a best case scenario.  There are many variables along the way that we just don't have a lot of control over.  We will complete our MAPP (Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting) classes on March 26, 2012.  Sometime during MAPP training our home study will be started and we will do our best to complete our forms and do all that is required of us in a very timely fashion.  However, a great deal of home study and approval depends on how quickly other people do things on our behalf, fingerprinting appointments and results, how overworked our adoption worker is and what time he/she will have to spend reviewing our home study and so forth. Oh and this is just placement, finalization where we have officially adopted our son and he is legally our responsibility will take an additional 6 - 12 months following placement.  Then we'll have a big party - so says the daddy in this family.  :-)

All that said this is very reminiscent of being pregnant - the instinct to nest is strong and while at least we pretty strongly know we are "having" a boy he will not be a baby - no sense stocking up on diapers and onesies.  But what size will he be? He won't be mailable like an infant where we can put up pictures of baseballs and paint his room blue and assume he'll like it just like his dad.  We need to be open to his interests and find out what his favorite things are.  In the meantime I've taken to trying to be content in my favorite world of make believe where I live in a beautiful home surrounded by wonderful crafty things I've made, delicious foods and the lists go on.  Where is this magical place you ask? Why it's the wonderful world of Pinterest.  Currently my most active board is It's (going to be) a boy! I'm having fun pinning cute outfits, design ideas for his room, toy storage solutions and all kinds of cool boy stuff. I have included a link to my Pinterest board at the top of this blog feel free to check it out.  Until we meet our son and start to learn about his favorite things I will continue to spend time there daily.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Your support means so much

Can I just say that we are quite overwhelmed with the outreach of love and support we have been receiving from family and friends?  Emails, phone calls, posts and messages on facebook.  I won't call any of you out directly but I do want you to know your kindness is greatly appreciated.
We are very excited to be on this journey to adopt once again.  This time around it will be very different - a boy - an older boy - not a sweet little baby girl whom we had fallen in love with over the 17 months she was our foster daughter.  This will be a series of relatively short "Hi - nice to meet you" visits then - "Here you go he's moving in!" We pray for our son daily - many times daily.  We pray that God is preparing his heart to be open to us as we ask for our hearts to be prepared to welcome him.  Each nudge of encouragement we receive from friends and family reaffirms for us that we are headed in the right direction.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It worked!!!!

Who knew it could be this easy? As I mentioned yesterday I was going to "try" posting a link to Michael's talk at church. I did. It worked. Ha ha! How cool is that? How smart do I look? Okay for any of you who do this you know it's not that big a deal but for those of you who don't, I'm hoping you are highly impressed with my mad blogging skillz!  
No big news for today. It is exam week for two of the girls. K is exempted from exams - YAHOO - find those glorious wins wherever you can when your child is in ESE classes.
I'm hoping to finish my MAPP class homework today.  I actually enjoy homework when I know exactly what I'm working towards - a son.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Once upon a time....

Approximately a decade ago I sat in front of my computer for hours, a couple of minutes, so excited to come up with a very crafty little handle that would become my hotmail for life.  The best I could come up with was "themama23."  If there was one thing I knew, I was 'the mama to three' wonderful little girls.  If there was a second thing I knew, I was done having children. There would be no more little McIntoshes in the world compliments of me and the hubs.
Now I find myself in a predicament... we are adopting again.  Seems God knew better than me, funny how that sometimes, always happens.  Hopefully 2012 will be the year Michael and I will become parents again and our girls will have a little brother. I decided to start this blog to keep family and friends up to date on how the process works here in FL and where we are in the process. If you can hang on while I figure out blogging I'll try to add links to a few adoption related sites.  I don't promise daily updates because unfortunately the road to adoption is a lot of waiting with not much happening.
By the way 11 year old R was the first to point out the error in my email name... she's going to be such a blessing as a teenager. :-)

For now I have tried to attach a link to Michael speaking at church which gives a very quick overview of how we came to the decision to adopt again.

November was national adoption awareness month. Michael spoke briefly at church about our adoption experience and how we came to decide to adopt again at this time.