Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ice, Snow and Flu

Today is definitelly not one of our better days. Jacob began coming down with the flu yesterday and it hit full force today. I took him to the doctor and got him started on meds. Hopefully, he will be feeling better very soon. It is a little disappointing since he received the two recommended flu shots and still got sick. Hopefully, he will recover faster since he had the vaccine.

As bad as being sick is, today could be worse. I was nervous about calling in sick for foster care training. I already had the day off to attend class. An ice and snow storm hit making the roads slick. Many activities were cancelled including the foster care class. It was actually a good day to stay indoors. I took Jacob over to my parents house while I ran around filling his prescription and getting some other needed flu supplies. When I tried to pick him up, he refused to leave. Grandma and Grandpa didn't mind having him there so we watched TV with them. I hope their flu shots work and they don't get sick (me too).

Hopefully, Jacob will feel better tomorrow and we can get back to normal again.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Little Disappointing

I just received word that all communications with Ethiopian birth families are being stopped. Apparently, this is an order from the US government in Ethiopia. I heard it is affecting all international adoptions and not just from Ethiopia.

This new rule is sad for all people involved in the adoption. I saw the relief on my son's Ethiopian mother's face after we met and she was able to see her son would be cared for and loved. I promised to keep her updated on Jacob and was really hoping to have an ongoing relationship with her. I still plan to bring Jacob back to Ethiopia when he gets older but we may not be able to see his birth mother now. This also is sad for all involved. His Ethiopian family will not be able to watch him grow through letters and pictures. I won't be able to ask them questions that I have or Jacob has about his family's past. Jacob will not be able to meet the person who gave him life and who continues to love him today.

I hope that this rule changes as time goes on. It is a huge loss to everyone and goes against the current beliefs in what is best for the adopted child. Time will tell. Jacob and I will still return to Ethiopia when he is older (assuming it is safe to visit there). We will continue to talk about his Ethiopian family, pray for them and look at their picture.

I continue to believe in ethical adoptions of any child who needs a family. I believe that all children who need a family should be adoptable as long as the adoption follows ethics and international law. If this rule helps to prevent unethical practices, then it may be a good law. It is still sad for those people affected but some bad practices by a very few people are even sadder. I continue to work towards a second adoption and will continue to advocate for all children. That includes children in the USA and children in other countries. For tonight, I will mourn a relationship that will not be allowed to continue.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

An Interesting Week

I try to post updates twice a week but sometimes it doesn't happen. This week was one of those weeks. I began taking classes to become licensed as a foster parent. That means beginning another time of transition. The biggest difference between transitioning for this child and transitioning for Jacob is Jacob. I need to try to make the transition as easy as possible for him.

A new child come becoming anytime after I receive a foster care license. That should happen in about sixty days. In the meantime, I need to make some changes in our daily routines. The first major change is trying to convince Jacob to switch bedrooms. He likes his room but it is considerably smaller than the other spare room in the house. Someday, he will want the larger room. I also have the option of having him share a room with a foster brother (assuming it is safe) if they are in the larger room. I have begun to remove the wallpaper border in the other room and hope to have it repainted in the next couple of weeks. Jacob has chosen Thomas the train as his decorations of choice. I plan to do half the room in trains and the other half blank waiting for the new child. If the new child is a girl, Jacob can choose more trains or a different design for those walls. If the foster child is a boy, he will choose the decorations for that half of the room. That way, each child will have some part of the room that shows his interest. Now, I just need to convince Jacob that he wants to sleep in the "new room."

The other major change is in daycare. Jacob and I love his current sitter. The problem is that she is not licensed and the foster child will need licensed care. I am still waiting to hear if I will be moving to dayshift soon. I do not expect to move before April which means a different sitter for a couple of months at least. Since I don't want to be scrambling when the new child arrives, I have begun looking now. I don't plan to change until February and I receive my license. I can then try to decide if I want to move Jacob or just the new child.

I began foster care classes last week and have three classes to go. I left the first class very optimistic and excited about caring for a child (short term or long term). I began working on the above changes but got sick on Thursday. There is still a lot of time left but I will be busy. Major life changes are never easy but hopefully this one will be worth the effort and excitement.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Celebrating Christmas With Our Ethiopian Friends

Jacob and I attended the Christmas party for the Ethiopian community in our home town today. It was a great time. We enjoyed seeing some friends we hadn't seen in awhile as well as meeting some new ones. Along with all of the wonderful people, was wonderful Ethiopian food. I was beginning to miss it. We haven't been to the local Ethiopian resteraunt in quite awhile so we were missing it.

It was fun to see how well all of the children were doing. It was also nice to take another day off work and just spend time enjoying my son. He has really grown up in the past few months and I am constantly amazed by how quickly he is changing. I can see it everytime we see friends we haven't seen in awhile. He does better keeping up with the older children and can do more of the things the older kids do.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Good and Bad on Race in America

I thought this would be a wonderful month as I think about how far America has come in treating everyone equally. Yes, I know that racism is still alive today but I keep hoping it is getting better. The current presidential elections are a great example of how far we have come. The majority of Americans are looking at issues and not gender or race. Yea! No matter who is elected just that fact that race, gender and even to a certain extent religion, are not the big factors they once were. For that, I am happy and excited.

At the same time I also want to scream. Maybe after I get over the headache. I have spent two days at work listening to a co-worker talk about my son as if he was property. He referred to adoption as "leasing" children and that he isn't really a part of my family. Yes. I told him to stop and corrected him but it didn't do any good. He just voiced his opinion to another person who chose to ignore him.

As if that weren't bad enough, I have seen and heard racism like I have never heard it before after an African-American man was promoted. Yes. I told people to stop but once again no one listened. I finally was able to find a place to hide for awhile but not after the migraine was full-blown. I really don't know what to do. My supervisor has made it very clear (by threatening to discipline me) not to say anything and just live with it. I do know that I need the job for at least awhile and that quitting is not an option now. It may be in the future and I am certainly looking.

Until then, I'll take the advice of a co-worker who found me hiding. I will come home and hug my son every night. I will thank God that we have a more diverse group of people to choose from for president. I will be grateful that the greater American society is more advanced and less bigoted than a small number of people I am forced to work with today. And, I will continue to tell those few co-workers to stop with the hateful and disrespectful comments.

For the rest of my co-workers and society. Let me say this. If you don't speak out against racism and are willing to sit quietly and listen to some spew hateful comments, you are a part of the problem. You may not be racist yourself but just sitting by and accepting it is saying that you are accepting of the person's views. Please. Don't tolerate it. It is too important for all of our children regardless of race, religion, gender or political views.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year (A Little Late)

2007 was a year of changes. I lost my grandparents in January and knew things could only get better. It did but not without a few more losses. My cousin's step-son died in a car crash, a co-worker died from cancer and another aquaintance (from a different PD department) lost his son in Afghanistan. Despite all of those changes, many good things also happened.

I don't think I could ever consider 2007 a bad year. Ethiopia declared Jacob my son and I became a mother. My greatest dream came true. I have adjusted to being a mom and Jacob has adjusted to being my son. We are both doing great and very greatful for all of the wonderful blessings we have.

I hope that 2008 comes with many blessings and fewer losses. I have begun looking for a new job but haven't decided if I will accept it or not. It will depend on if I find something in the social work area in a place that is affordable and also within 2-3 hours of my parents' home. They are such an important part of my support network that I don't want to lose them.

There will be many changes in 2008. I am beginning the licensure process for foster care and will most likely accept a foster child this year (I hope). The only thing that could change that is if I get a job that requires us to move. I would then put foster care off until we are settled into our new community and job.

I hope everyone out there has a wonderful 2008 with all of your dreams coming true!