Sunday, January 31, 2010

School Schedule

Here is my school schedule for this semester. I have completed one week and have 13 weeks to go (not counting spring break). This semester is more macro-practice based than micropractice. I prefer micro. Basically the difference is that micropractice has more direct contact with clients and case management while macrobased is more policy making and how to make changes within organizations. I have a good start on the readings for the semester and just turned in my first paper. I am currently working on my second paper and will start a third one very soon. So here is a breakdown of my classes.

Generalist Practice II- 3 credits
Skills Lab- 1 credit
Field Experience (my favorite)- 4 credits
Ethics- 3 credits
Social Welfare Policy- 3 credits

I attend class 2 nights a week for 3 hours and 7 hours every other Saturday. I also complete an average of 16 hours of internship (field experience) each week. My current assignment at work will not allow me to do as much school work there as I did last semester so I will have to be very careful to make good use of time at home. With parenting and my boys still my number one priority of course. I really hope my boys are learning the value of education through watching my go to school. At least they know school is important to me.

Friday, January 29, 2010

It's Here!

Jacob has the top bunk and M has the bottom. Jacob wanted a pink bed but was willing to compromise for a pink comforter.

Daycare Drama

I have had a couple of bad experiences with the boys' daycare. I have stayed because the boys really like their friends and they have been doing well there. Last week we had another episode that made me less than happy.

Wednesday I received a phone call that Jacob was not feeling well and had a fever of 101.0. No problem. I had my dad go to the school and get Jacob. I got home about 3 hours later and took him to urgent care. His fever was already gone without any medications. The doctor immediately stated it was nothing more than an average cold, definitelly not the flu and no reason he should stay away from school or kids. Great. She gave me a note stating he was seen and cleared to return to school. It also stated that he did not have influenza.

I arrived at school yesterday morning and gave the note to the director. She stated that the note needed to have his diagnosis on it so that she could decide if he was too sick to return. I stated that a DOCTOR had cleared him and he was medically cleared to return to school. She stated she understood the doctor stated he could return but she was personally not allowing him to return.

I gave her a note yesterday afternoon stating I was pulling the boys from school. She has yet to ask me why or try to talk to me about it. We have been going there for almost two years and it appears that she really does not care. She also has been kicking out almost all of the foster children lately. She stated she does not treat foster families as regular families and will not give us a sibling discount. This was even after being told that her policy is discrimatory.

I have found another daycare with room that I am happy with. They are a little farther away from our house but they have a school district certified 4K program. They also have gotten good reviews from social workers and other parents I know.

There is still a small chance that we will stay where we are at. I am giving the director until after work on Tuesday to contact me and be willing to discuss my concerns. If she is willing to stop discriminating and change her policies so that she isn't demanding confidential medical information and willing to accept a doctor's note, I will let the kids stay.

I don't want to pull the kids from the daycare. It is making me very sad to have to do it. I also feel that I have to make a statement. I need to make sure that my kids' needs are being met, that they are not being discriminated against because we are a "foster" family and that they are receiving fair treatment. If the director is willing to assure me that my concerns will be addressed and at least compromise, we will stay. Otherwise, I will let my money talk and we will be changing daycares in a couple weeks.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Where's Jakey?

One of my favorite things about being Jacob and M's mom is watching them bond and become true brothers. They are proof that you don't have to look alike or even be born in the same country to be brothers and a true family.

A couple weeks ago I took Jacob and M to church. M had only gone up front for the children's sermon a couple times before and was still trying to figure out how it all works. I gave him 2 quarters and he promptly dropped one. We couldn't find it right away so I told him to just take the 1 quarter. H put his quarter in the basket and then sat down next to Jacob.

I couldn't really see him from where I was sitting and was enjoying the story when I heard M yelling, "Mom! Mom!" from the aisle. Mr. Doug showed him where I was and he walked over. He asked me for another "token" for the basket. I told him he wasn't getting anymore. He then crawled under all of the pews back to the front of the church. There were a number of quiet giggles from the people around me and I was trying hard not to laugh myself.

M walks into the middle of the group of kids (probably about 20 of them), looks around and begins yelling very loudly. "Jakey! Jakey! Where's my Jakey!?!" Jacob pulled him down and he sat quiet for the rest of the sermon. The adults in the church were doing there best not to laugh but I could hear the muffled giggles. Of course, I had my face in my hands and was doing my best not to laugh as well. At least everyone knows they love each other and are brothers. Not that anyone doubted it before this.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

It's Finally Here

I ordered Jacob's school pictures at the end of October and they finally came last week.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A New Bed!

I finally did it. After months of thinking about it and days of looking at bunk beds, I finally bought one for the boys. It was on sale for $100.95 off plus an extra 15% off of that. Unfortunatley, the beds are out of stock so we have to wait for another couple of weeks or so to get it. The boys and I are excited though.

Jacob and I had a talk about sleeping arrangements and we both agreed that he should be sleeping in his own bed. It has been 3 days and he has been great about it. I'm sticking to the rule on this one and he will be sleeping in his own bed from now on (I hope).

Pictures to come after the bed arrives.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Look Into 2010

Here are some things I am expecting and anticipating in 2010.

1) Finish 2 more semesters of grad school. Hopefully do as well as the first semester but at least pass the classes.

2) Finish my internship.
3) Find a job in child welfare?

4) Get my social work certification. I will be able to get it in May and it should help with the job search.

5) Complete another adoption home study. This one will be child specific. I am sure you can figure out which child. There is a chance that I will be able to start it at the end of January. Fingers and toes crossed and a lot of prayers.

6) Jacob will finish 3 year old preschool and start 4 year old preschool. He may actually start to read some easy books this year :)

7) Matt will start 3-year-old preschool! I can't believe I will have 2 preschoolers next fall.

8) No more diapers! M should be toilet trained this year and I won't have to buy diapers anymore. Or at least for a couple years :)

9) Camping! I really do miss camping. I was a little afraid to take the kids last summer but they are both ready this year.

10) Jacob will probably pass the final level of preschool swimming lessons. He is close now and will then repeat the final level until he is old enough to start youth lessons.

11) Culture camp? I am debating taking Jacob to his first Ethiopian culture camp. If I have a new job that doesn't require weekends this should be easier.

12) Watching Jacob and M continue to grow and build a strong brother relationship. Adoption is full of miracles but the actual court ceremony is just a detail. The true adoption begins in our hearts. One day in court just makes what our hearts and souls already know is the truth. I have 2 sons and whether or not we are able to legally be a family in 2010 or 2011 the truth is already here. You can see it in the way my boys love each other and the smiles on all of our faces as we enjoy each day together. Becoming a family is a process. One that we accomplished in 2009. Now to get through the court process and convince the social workers and judge that we are.

Looking At The Past Year

2009 has come to an end. The boys and I celebrated by attending a large family event downtown last night. The boys were able to ride a miniature train and play in some large bouncers. They also enjoyed the concerts and I just enjoyed spending some time with the kids. Believe it or not, I was able to spend 3 hours with a 2 year old and 4 year old with no tantrums or fights! Unfortunately all of the pictures include pictures of M and I can't post his for a few more months at least.

Here is a look at some of the more exciting accomplishments of 2009:

1) M completely transitioned into our home. He is now securely attached, feels secure and trusts that his needs will always be met. This is most evident by his willingness to throw food when he gets mad or share it with the dog. I must be one of only a few moms who have ever been excited because my son wanted to throw food at McDonald's.

2) Jacob learned to ride a "big bike" and received his first 2 wheeler (with training wheels).

3) I started graduate school and aced my first semester.

4) I began my internship and loved it.

5) We took a family vacation with two teenagers I mentor. We suprised my aunt in Colorado. She was expecting the boys and me but never got the message that the teenagers were coming. Oops! I guess I will make sure to call her myself next time and not depend on text messages to my cousin to pass the information along. It worked out well though and we all had fun.

6) We have a new "little sister" P. It has been great getting to know her.

7) I learned to make tres leches cake and jello poke cake. It may not seem like a big deal but I just don't do much baking.