Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ethiopian Celebration!

Jacob and I had a great time at the Ethiopian Kids Celebration picnic last weekend. It was so wonderful to see all of the children thriving and having a great time. The highlight was definitelly seeing some of the people from our travel group. I was so happy to see all of the children well adjusted and growing fast. I am already looking forward to next year's picnic.
Jacob is no longer a baby. It is hard to admit but definitelly true. He made the big jump to a "big boy bed" today. He loves it. He has his own toddler sized pillow, blankets and soon sheets. As soon as the crib side came down and the bed transformed before his very eyes, he giggled and jumped onto the bed. It is so nice to know he can now go to bed when he wants and get up when he wants (hopefully not 3 AM). My baby is now an independant, talkative (1-2 word sentences), playful little boy. Gone are many of the baby things I loved. I am so proud of him.
I am still deciding how to come about child #2. The decision would be so easy if I had about 10-15 thousand dollars. I would immediately begin the process to adopt #2 from Ethiopia. I just do not know if I will be able to find the money. My only hope is that I am able to save the money over the next couple of years. I never thought I would find the money for adoption #1 so I just need to keep faith that this adoption will work out as well. Even if it takes a couple years, I know the money will come eventually.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Jacob went on his first camping trip! He had a great time and learned a new phrase. He now loves to tell people to "get down." Of course, he learned this after I told him about 100 times to get down off the table. He also learned it is a lot of fun to have someone throw him in the water while wearing his life jacket. He loves suddenly popping back up to the top of the water.
Sleeping is not something that was done enough. Jacob found it very difficult to go to sleep while the campfire was still going. He just did not want the fun to end. He slept well after he finally fell asleep and realized that he was not missing any fun. He even slept through the raccoons. A raccoon figured out how to open a cooler we had left out. It fought with any other raccoon that came near it. I am assuming it had a very sick stomach the next day. It ate 5 chocolate bars, an entire bag of marshmallows, grapes and cheese before we realized it was eating out of the cooler. We also believe that it washed it's face and hands in the cooler. I found chocolate wrappers in the next campsite over the next morning. Naughty raccoon!
An update on my interview. The position was given to someone else. Not a big deal. I am a little disappointed but did not really believe I would get the job. I am still fourth in line for a dayshift position. That will work out better for my family. I won't be working second shift when Jacob starts preschool and I will have more options for daycare. It also allows me to consider adopting older children since I will be able to send them to school while I work. I know there are reasons for everything and I just need to have faith. If I had gotten the position previously, I would not have adopted Jacob. He is the best thing that has happened to me. I am sure that there are reasons why I did not get it this time either. I will probably apply again next time.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Finally Here!

Our new au pair, Veronica, arrived last night. She seems very nice. She arrived late last night and we haven't had much time to talk yet. I plan to go over all of the details for her stay here today. I really have a good feeling that this match will work out better than the last one. Trudie is still here and is helping to make Veronica feel comfortable.

I have an interview for a new assignment at work today. It is a job that I have wanted since I was in the police academy. There are 12 of us applying and only 2 positions. I know the odds are against me and that I most likely won't get the job. I can't help but to be anxious and hope for the best though. It is a job that I would keep for years to come. I even considered changing departments a couple of years ago in hopes of getting a community policing assignment. I will do my best at the interview today and try not to get upset if I am not chosen. All I can do is keep applying.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Anxiously Waiting!

Jacob and I have been assigned a new au pair. Her name is Veronica and she is coming from Ecuador. There is a chance she will arrive this weekend. That doesn't leave me much time to prepare! We are excited to invite a new friend into our home and hope that things work out well. I think she will be a good match for our family. I am just waiting to hear when she will arrive for sure.

Trudie is still living here. I am not sure how long she will be with us. The agency is actively seeking a new family for her. I am praying that she finds a home she will like soon. In the meantime, I have told the agency she is welcome to stay here. She will be moving into Jacob's bedroom and sleeping on an air mattress. Jacob's room is small and there is not a lot of room but it should work for a short period of time.

I have decided to leave Jacob in half-day daycare for the next two weeks. He really likes it there and I want to give the daycare a two week notice. I want to be able to take Jacob there again in the future if I decide not to have an au pair. It all depends on when and how many additional children I have.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Oops! No new au pair yet!

I just spoke to my program manager at the au pair agency. Apparently Maryette is not willing to work for me if I can't give her a personal TV and computer. I will keep working for the right au pair. I refuse to accept that all au pairs are that in to material possessions. I have a family TV and computer that she can use as much as she wants. She just won't have the privacy of having one in her own room. I am a little frustrated.

I really hope they can find one for me soon. I do not ask a lot of the au pair. Just that she is willing to pick up Jacob's toys, vacuum and cook dinner for him when she is working. I have spoken to other au pair families who state they ask a lot more of their au pairs. I really hope I can find the right one for my family soon.

A New Au Pair!

We finally have a new au pair selected. She is 19 years old and from Brazil. She left her last match for minor reasons and ones that should not affect her placement here. She stated that she was upset she did not have a TV or computer. I told her that she wouldn't have her own here either. She does have full access to the family computer and TV but I would not be buying one just for her. I do not think she was very happy with the news but it is something I am not going to negotiate with.

I do not know when the new au pair will be arriving. It should be soon. I am excited but also nervous. I am hoping that everything will work out well and we will get along. I am not home a lot and tend to want to spend my free time alone with Jacob. I do not mind having the au pair accompany us occasionally but I definitelly a lot of time alone with my son. I miss him so much while I am at work that I cannot stand being away from him when I am not working. The first few weeks before she makes new friends will probably be the most difficult. I will teach her how to take the bus as soon as possible so that she has transportation. After that, I just need to let her find her own way. I also cannot let myself feel guilty if she is home alone while Jacob and I are spending quality time together.

I went to the special needs adoption seminar yesterday. I still do not know what to do. I am trying to get information on regular foster care adoption from the county. I still do not know when a decision will be made. It is so difficult knowing that the adoption may fall through and the child returned to her birth family. Especially in cases of abuse. I do not know how I would handle returning the child. I may give it a chance though. I will just try to keep myself from becoming too attached while still giving the child the love and attention that she deserves. I do not really want to make a decision before next fall. Jacob needs to be home a little longer and I want to be eligible for family leave. I also want to wait to see what happens with my job and what the doctors say about having a child by birth.

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Need For Support

I am so grateful for all of the support Jacob and I have received over the past few days. I don't know what we would have done without the caring support of our family and friends.

Jacob has been adjusting well to our crazy childcare the past few days. He happily goes to daycare and plays with his friends. He doesn't cry when I leave him with yet another babysitter but smiles and sticks by me when I am home. This has been the first real crisis we have had since Jacob came home. Luckily, we have been able to adjust and come up with some creative solutions. I am also blessed that Jacob is secure enough to be flexible. He believes me when I say I tell him I will be back later. He prefers to be with me but he is happy playing with his friends until I return.

Jacob and I received more support than just those people able to help out with childcare. We received many offers from people willing to help out and take a few shifts for us. I also received many phone calls and emails from people offering their support and concern for us. I appreciate all of it. It is good to know that we have family and friends we can count on to help us when times get tough.

I am still waiting to receive information about who our next au pair will be. I am expecting to hear from the agency today. Despite the problems we have had with our current au pair, I would recommend the program to other families. The agency has been working hard to find us a new au pair and to resolve the difficulties we have been having. Our local coordinator made it a priority to attend mediation two weeks ago when the problems first began. She gave up her lunch hour to complete the exit interview so that the match could officially end.

There are many benefits to having an au pair. Jacob is able to stay home and keep his normal rountine even while I work. He goes to bed in his own bed and I don't have to wake him up to take him home. He also has consistent childcare with the same care giver every day. I also like the freedom to choose which activities he participates in and have the au pair take him. Since I do not have a car for the au pair to drive, I am limited to activities near our home but there are still many options. This will be even more important as Jacob grows older and is able to participate in more activities. I do not want my job to keep him from playing sports, taking art classes or any other activities that his friends are doing.


Friday, July 6, 2007

Waiting for a new au pair

Jacob and I are anxiously waiting to be assigned a new au pair. I had to end our match with the previous one early. I hated doing it but I was left with no choice. She gave Jacob great care but there were some other issues that prevented me from continuing to have her care for him. I am hoping we will have a new one soon.

I have spent the last two days trying to arrange childcare for Jacob. I received several promising offers from an ad on Craig's List. I decided not to hire someone for just three or four weeks. Jacob will be attending daycare instead. I could not find a second shift daycare so I had to get creative. He will be attending daycare from 2PM until 6 PM. My parents or a friend will be watching him after daycare until I get home from work. It is not my favorite option but will work for a few weeks.

Jacob begins daycare this afternoon. I think he will really enjoy it. We toured the classroom yesterday and he really liked all of the bikes and toys. He should have fun and make some new friends.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Happy July!

Happy July! I love this time of year! I went to Summerfest last night. It is a musical festival in Milwaukee and always a lot of fun. It was also the first time I have gone out with a friend since April. I enjoyed the music but missed being away from Jacob. I caught myself watching some of the older children and looking forward to when Jacob is old enough to join me. It won't be long as he is growing up very quickly.
Jacob has been having a great time at out play groups and at the park. He now goes down all of the slides although he needs a few seconds at the top of the bigger ones. He seems to really enjoy going down on his stomach. The swings are a close second to the slides. It is amazing to watch how quickly his gross motor skills have developed.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Adoption On Hold

I have decided to hold off on plans for a second adoption. I want one or two more children very badly. I just cannot quite decide for sure how I want to have those children. I am still seriously considering foster care adoption but am not sure now is the right time. I have also considered having a child by birth. I would love to experience pregnancy. If I adopt through foster care, I will probably not be able to have a child by birth.

I am not sure what I will do. There are no guarantees I will be able to have a baby. If I can't, I have plenty of time to adopt later. Unfortuantely, there will always be children in need of a loving home. So for now, I am going to consider my options for awhile. I will speak to some doctors and find out the details on my options. I will also attend the orientation session for foster care and then make an informed decision. I may make the decision in the next month or it may take many months. Either way, I need to make sure I do what is right for my family. I will let everyone know when I make a decision and know something for sure.