I can’t match

I am so incredibly bad at matching clothes. I can do denim, black, or khaki pants/shorts with anything, but throw in red or green or pink and I’m lost. And I have a lot of kids to match clothes for. Sometimes I feel sorry for them because I am very sure I have sent every one of them to school in clothes that absolutely don’t match.

Crossing Things Off the List

I have a mental list that I probably should actually write down of things I still need to do before adoption day (15 days!).

I’ve started having people guess their names on Facebook. Monday I had people guess E’s name and will move on to M’s tomorrow. That’s turning out to be fun with some serious guesses and some outlandish ones.

I ordered the adoption day cake yesterday from Nothing Bundt Cakes. It’ll be an 8″ gluten free cake decorated for Jamie’s birthday with five It’s a Boy flags and one It’s a Girl flag. Jamie doesn’t know about the birthday part of the cake (or the t-shirt I got from someone on Etsy that is the perfect for someone adopting six kids on his birthday.

I finally got brave and have gotten started on our adoption day t-shirts. We all put our handprints (footprints for the twins) on our shirts (Cameron dropped by this morning to do his) and those will get turned into ducks probably later today. Now I need to figure out how to use the Scan N Cut my mom won at a quilt show years ago so I can finish the shirts.

We still need dress clothes that fit (for some) for their blessings (which will probably happen the Sunday after adoption) and to wear after we’re sealed (which will probably happen in December), to pick out what we’re all going to wear for our family photos (being taken the Saturday before adoption), and to finished the adoption t-shirts, and to decide when we’re going to pick up the kids from preschool, the elementary school, and the middle school (Fritz can just walk downstairs and miss a little bit of a class or two) on adoption day. Oh, and finalize our celebration plans that may include renting a movie theater just for our family and/or Disney on Ice. I’m sure I’m forgetting something here (hence why I really need to write everything down).

It’s really almost here!

Medicaid and WIC

All foster kids automatically get Medicaid and WIC. Special needs adoptions continue to receive Medicaid and so can also continue with WIC.

Last week I filled out the paperwork for the kids’ adoptive Medicaid. We had four choices for medical and two for dental. I tried to go on-line to make my choices, but that didn’t work for either of the two I tried, one because it attached him to other family members and wanted me to change their Medicaid along with his and the other because he was “too young” to do it online. So I gave up and mailed the forms in.

WIC has been quite a pain with mistakes they’ve made that have required extra trips to the office and how slow they are when we are there. It’s paid for more than half of the twins’ formula, though, so that has been good. The benefit for older kids isn’t a whole lot and I’m not sure how long the hassle will be worth it.

Dealing with these programs makes me realize just how not user friendly they are. Just how much they don’t truly serve the people they are meant to serve simply by how difficult they make it. It’s no wonder some people quit using the programs or give up while still trying to sign up.

Why Public School?

Since these kids are adoptive placements, we could legally homeschool them without CPS permission. But we are not going to homeschool them. I don’t know if we will ever homeschool them. We might, we might not. It’ll just depend on how things go.

Why?

Three main reasons, really.

1.) There is a reason the children ended up in foster care. CPS doesn’t pull kids from healthy, functional homes. There is a reason their birth mother relinquished her rights and their birth father had his terminated. These reasons can lead to problems down the road that we can only sort of anticipate (sort of because we know possibilities, but don’t know for these specific kids). Some of those potential problems could cause difficulties in learning.

And so it’s a really good thing to have a professional who knows what normal looks like at any given age to be in regular contact with them. That way we can know they are progressing normally and, if not, early intervention can happen before it becomes too much of an obstacle to overcome.

2.) These kids are super close in age and really need breaks from each other. They are very attached to each other and extremely bonded, but like all siblings, sometimes they just need their own space, time, and friends. And with such close ages, that kind of goes double.

3.) Quite honestly, with so many so young, I need a break, too. My older two bios were 1 1/2 years apart and my younger two were 2 years apart. It’s a lot more intense with one after another one year apart and then twins. Homeschooling six elementary schoolers would be insane.

I don’t love public school. There are a lot of things I hate about it including the sheer amount of time (7+ hours each day) kids spend there. But there are definite benefits like it’s free (I’ve still got to buy school supplies and clothes whether they are home or not) and there are a lot of extra curricular activities they can choose from. So, because it really is best for The Six, at least for now, we will embrace the positive and enjoy public school for as long as they attend, whether that is 4 years or 14.

Fostering is a Roller Coaster

The babies are still with us. The plan was for them to start having overnights with their mom within a month or so of when they were placed with us. The plan was for them to be reunited with their mom by Christmas. That obviously didn’t happen.

Because that’s how foster care is.

Now they are with us at least a few more weeks. Until court. We’ve been asked to attend court. Words like termination and adoption are being thrown around. We honestly don’t know where this is going to go.

Because that’s how foster care is.

The plan today is for two of the babies’ siblings to join us in our home this week. For us to take the oldest two kids on weekends to give their grandmother a break sometimes. But the plan can change any time.

Because that’s how foster care is.

Over the last few weeks we have gone from not intending to adopt to being willing to adopt six small children to keep the siblings from being split up. We’ve rejoiced when their mom has had successes and our hearts have broken when things haven’t gone quite so well.

Because that’s how foster care is.

We’re still hoping the babies’ mom pulls this out and gets her kids back. I strongly believe that, if possible, reunification should be the goal. I also know that’s not always possible. I guess we’ll see in a few weeks where this goes.

Because this has been a serious roller coaster.

Because that’s how foster care is.

And the diaper winner is…

Mama Bear from Amazon!

We have tried so many different diapers over the last few months. With twin babies, they both have different issues with diapers so finding the right one for them both has been quite the experience.

The worst diaper? Luvs. They stink, they leak, and they left Baby B with a mega rash and Baby A with a mild one. No good. They claim to last up to 12 hours. In reality they last maybe two pees. And neither baby only pees twice in 12 hours. Luvs are the only diaper we didn’t even finish the pack.

Pampers are okay. They smell weird and the tabs rip off way too easily. They don’t leak which is a huge plus, but they kind of keep the babies’ bottoms too dry. The liner in the diaper sticks to them because it’s so dry. But the worst thing about them is the SAP in them is always stuck to their bottoms at every single change. I don’t like that at all.

Wal-Mart brand (Parent’s Choice) are about equal to Pampers. They fill up really fast so while they are cheap, we need to change the babies much more often making them not so cheap. What makes them a little better than Pampers is the fact they don’t leave SAP beads all over the babies’ bottoms.

Second place goes to Kirkland’s (Costco) and Huggies (because they are essentially the same diaper). They fit the babies well and don’t leak. Well, they don’t leak pee. They don’t have a weird smell and the tabs are very secure. They get second place because Baby B blows out of them (up the back) constantly. He blows out of most diapers, but Kirkland’s and Huggies seem to be the worst offenders for him. Not sure why. (We used Huggies with Adrian, though he was a bit older than the babies are now, and they worked fantastically… plus they looked like little jeans so I couldn’t resist.)

So why are Mama Bear Gentle Touch diapers from Amazon the best of all the diapers we tried? No leaks, no blowouts, no SAP beads all over their bottoms, no weird smell, and they hold lots of pee. The Mama Bear diapers are a little longer than the Kirkland’s/Huggies and the elastic gathering at the back is much tighter. That combination keep the poop inside the diaper. The leg gussets are also bigger and so contain messes that way, too. They don’t leave any marks on the babies chubby waists or legs like some of the other diaper brands do. Just an all around excellent diaper for these two babies.

Oh, and our favorite wipes, after trying four or five brands is definitely Up and Up (Target) for sensitive skin. They have just the right amount of wetness to get the baby clean easily, they are a good size, and they don’t smell bad. They are our favorite by far.

The best calling in the church

It seems that every calling I have is, to me, the best. Right now I am a Sunday School teacher. I team teach with my mom so that makes it extra fun. I love our class members (we have two Sunday School classes in our ward and people are free to go to whichever they want). I love how the lessons go including when they go in a way I didn’t expected they would. Come, Follow Me is the most fabulous program ever. I just really love being a Sunday School teacher.

How do you not get attached?

1

A few weeks ago a friend asked me how can we not get attached to the foster babies since we have to give them back. I understand why she would ask. It seems crazy to love a child you will only have for a little while. But it’s pretty much the point of foster care.

2

We are very attached to these two little guys. They are adorable and sweet and pretty much perfect. We love them very much. We also know without a doubt that they belong with their mother. She loves them, too. She’s working hard to get them back. That’s not an easy thing to do.

3

We went into this fostering thing knowing we will get our hearts broken every time our foster kids leave us. Knowing that these kids are only staying for now. Knowing that it would be the hardest and best thing we ever did, loving these children.

4

So how do we not get attached? We are attached. We are attached to these two babies and we’ll be attached to our future placements, too. Foster kids need foster parents willing to open their hearts completely to them. In a few weeks these guys should be going home. We’ll miss them. We’ll grieve the loss of having them with us every day and watching them grow. But we all will be better for the time we got to spend with them and the attachment we’ve had to them.

5