Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I been thinking about my last post with me complaining that I am getting tired of volunteering for MELD. I have some reasons that I refuse to blog about here. Maybe, I will tackle that in my private blog.
I admit that I feel strained for time and that is part of my deal. It's an hour and half away from my night and with the drive it's close to being 2 and half hours away from my night. It takes me away from my family and we have to rearrange dinner. If Stephen is doing well and we think he can manage being up later, I bring him with me. I love that he gets exposure to volunteering and also the expose to little kids of a different race. The majority of what I see on Monday night has been black. As a white person and a white Mom, I want my kids not to think negative towards blacks or any other race. Today, we were at a park and we are the only while people. My son is playing on his own and then he starts to play with the kids pushing them on the tire swing. My son doesn't have the best social skills and this was huge.
I told him how I thought it was great that he started playing with the kids and he said that he got tired of watching them play and was just gonna play.

One of my biggest reasons for feeling burned out is that they can't keep volunteers and it's so hard keeping an eye on 6 to 7 children. About 4 to 5 depending on which child shows or doesn't show are still in diapers. About 2 or 3 still drink most of their meals from a bottle. There is always the one or two children who cry for Mommy. If I am lucky they won't cry for the hour and half. It also seems that at least one child comes in there sick.

The driver sticks around but he isn't really helping much. He will hold a baby if I hand him or her to him. Also, he will tell the older child to quit climbing on the house and he is there when I change the diapers of the children. It's kind of a rule of mine to always change each child's diaper during the hour and half.

I loved it when the girls from high school came to volunteer because they had to do it for a project. They were able to do puzzles, read books and pretend play with the older children and assist with some of the other children.

I think the fact that I am around children so much more than I used to has made it a little less fun. I was in a big need for a baby fix when I started about a year ago. I babysit for a church on Sunday's and my husband and I babysit for our grand daughter while her parents work. I know that kind of sound selfish to admit that I am getting my baby fixes and it's not such a strong desire for me anymore. I believe that all this is probably just bitching because I still believe in MELD and all the good that they are doing.

On a good note, next month they are hosting a dinner for volunteers. I went last year and enjoyed it but if I remember right we still had to babysit and didn't get to hear all the success stories.

Monday, March 28, 2011

MELD session 5

I started my fifth ten week session with MELD. After, an hour and half of seven children and five diaper changes and that includes explosive poop where I had to change the girls clothes and actually did find clothes in the diaper bag. Also, lots of crying and rough housing.

I am asking myself one thing? What the hell do I keep putting myself through this torture every week. I hear that they are having a hard time keeping volunteers and I feel bad because I am only there because I don't have the heart to quit. I guess that is because I believe in what they are doing and even with all the diapers and crying that I enjoy it. But I am tired.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Creatures of habit

My husband told me that when Alex is home for the weekend it kind of just bugs him and that's even if he is being well behaved. He was pretty good this past weekend and I am not as bugged as my husband but I agree it just kind of bugs me.

I think I have figured it out. We were watching a show on prison and solitary confinement and studies show that we are creatures of habit.

I admit that at first, I just thought about how my husband and I are creatures of habit but today, I got to thinking about how the kids are creatures of habit too.

So, maybe if we can remember that we are slightly annoyed because we are used to "our routine" that we can remember that the children are used to "their routine" at the other parents house. Maybe, it will make things a little easier to deal with.

One silly example, I am not sure if it 100% falls on topic but my oldest son left his shoes in the hallway. I have this same habit but I was slightly annoyed that he did. Mostly, though I thought boy he has huge feet and I pushed them so that no one would trip on them.

I never said anything to my husband but he brought the shoes up and told me that he was upset that Alex left his shoes there but when I do it he finds it cute.

I am glad that we watched that show and I am glad that my husband brought up his shoes. It reminds me that we are not all perfect, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and also just to try to let the small stuff slide. It makes me wonder could Alex pick up on the vibes that he drives us a little crazy. Honestly, it's not Alex that does it. Well, not all him. It's both of our creature children together that drives me up the wall. We are used to mostly just having Stephen home on his own and then they get together and fight with each other.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Do you ever watch Reba? I love to catch it when I am working and my client is willing to watch it. It is a little silly for an older lady.
You know how Brock just kind of comes and goes from Reba's house. (the old family home) And gets picked up but seems to be around his children more than the typical every other weekend thing. I believe he lives 4 houses away. You know how Reba would like to strangle Barbara Jean but doesn't and in some ways they even become friends while other times they pick on each other.

My ex husband is thinking about moving with a friend and her kid but wants to stay in the area because the friend doesn't want her kids to change school districts. I wish they would consider to come close and I even found a house that is 4 blocks away from me and I thought it would be great for my ex and my son. However, the friend, (who he isn't sleeping with) Not sure if I believe that one lol won't move plus it's not that big of a house.

Well, anyways, I thought I would bring it up to my ex husband about the house. I said, wouldn't it be great if Stephen or Alex could walk or bike to see the other parent. (meaning parent they don't live with) It could make seeing the children for an hour here or there so much easier. Also, the school that Alex most likely go to next year is in my area. I think the situation of Reba is the best of two worlds. Yea, they divorced but they have better access to the children.

My son isn't too far away. Maybe, twenty miles but at almost four a gallon picking him up to watch a movie or to chat over an ice cream cone just isn't affordable on any of a semi regular basis.

I think Stephen and my ex husband's relationship hurts the most. Stephen has told me that he has no reason to call his Dad but when I ask well why do you call me. He says, I love you. I said, well don't you love your Dad. He says, he don't cook! Honestly, I don't cook much either. My current husband does. Tonight, we went out to dinner and it wasn't planned but my ex was there with some friends and family and he doesn't even try to hug his Dad even though he hasn't seen him in a week.

All this is probably just a moot point because my ex said that he couldn't afford the rent on the house. I can see why because it's just his one income. I guess maybe my point is that even if having my ex husband close made it weird. (his words) I think the good stuff would really out weigh the weird stuff.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

One of my Dad's sister died a few days ago. Out of seven children, only three are still alive. He has lost two sisters and one brother within less than two years. This is pretty sad. I am not really close to the extended family but I do have many memories of times when my Dad's family was closer.

I can't help but feel sad because this is the same aunt that I have been bugging for two years to get pictures of my Grandma. I guess I never fully understood how sick she has been feeling. My little sister had talked about taking a trip to get them ourselves but now I would have to talk to a cousin that I haven't talk to since I was a teen.

On another note of what's been happening in my world is that I received a news letter from MELD and the featured Mom who got a job through MELDS work program in an insurance company is one of the Mom's who I babysit her son on Monday nights. I love hearing the stories but its cool when I read about the Mom's that I come in contact with.

Speaking of MELD though, I am on break and then I will be starting the 5TH ten week session. They don't even ask me if I will be back. They just assume that I will be back. Can I be honest? I am tired of it. I haven't had a steady person to be the other volunteer for two sessions. The driver sits in with the children and there is an average of 6 to 7 of them and he doesn't help unless he needs to. It was so much easier when I had the girls who had to volunteer for school. I feel like I want to quit but something within me won't let me do it. I have been the only consistent person that those children have been coming to see on Monday night. I can't let them down just because I am tired. I believe too much in MELD and want to continue to make a difference but I am tired. Oh well, I have to be part of the solution to young parents making it in this world. Who am I to complain about about a couple hours of my time per week.

Friday, March 18, 2011

3 charms hang in my car

Each charm as a picture of a cartoon like drawing of a child and a name. They have been hanging in whatever car I own for a few years now.
I picked up my Dad for coffee and he asked why the three charms? I said something to the matter that the 3rd one is Izzy's and he said who is Izzy? Is that the baby you watch? I said, no she is my daughter.
He said, oh yea, I keep forgetting about her. I only think of her as "the baby" I am really not mad or upset because he hasn't had the pleasure of seeing her or getting pictures of her. It's just weird that after I came out with the reunion stuff to him he still can't remember her name.
I guess that probably happens a lot in closed adoptions where the child is known as the baby especially in cases where the birthmother doesn't even know what the real baby's legal name is.
Someday, my Dad may get to meet Izzy but I am not really ready for that. I don't think Izzy is beating down my door wanting to meet her biological grandfather either.
Only time will tell what the future holds for all of us.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

11TH birthday

Today, was Stephen's 11TH birthday!!! Kids just grow up way too fast. We had a really nice day.

Before school, I made him his favorite breakfast.

Then, for lunch, my grand daughter and I came to his school with McDonald's and had a good time. He shared some of his fries after he kind of blurted out "are you jealous" to a classmate. I explained that it was mean to say that. However, on his own he started giving away some of his fries.

For dinner, we had one of his favorites too. Fried chicken with rice and we even had our veggies. Then, he got to open his gift. It was a movie how to train a dragon. He loves that movie. We had a cupcake and ice cream for desert.

Then, we looked at bikes and when this weekend we will put one on layaway. I am a geek. By the time mid may rolls around he will have a brand new big bike.

Next week, we are taking him out to a all you can eat buffet. He will be bringing one friend and his brother. He basically gets two days of celebration. We feel bad having a celebration without his brother and I really couldn't afford to do the dinner thing this week because I was sick.

This birthday celebration was even more special because I didn't have the money to do anything for his birthday and had already told him that his celebration besides the McDonalds would have to wait because I wouldn't have any money. Normally, all birthday celebrations are paid for by me because my husband is less into birthday celebrations that I am. So, it was awesome that in the end, he couldn't let Stephen go without celebrating his birthday.

This is the first birthday in a while that I didn't have to fake having a good time. I am thinking that it felt less forced because my son didn't really expect anything or than getting a treat from McDonald's.

One very nice part about Stephens birthday is that Izzy told him Happy birthday on Facebook. That is simple and not a big deal but to me I just love it. I have great hopes for the future of them becoming close.

I also love that Stephen sees his step sister almost five days a week and she accepts him as her little brother. It's just so amazing that a year ago or so ago, Stephen cried for a sister and now he has two of them. He also has a niece who is around quite a bit while her Mom and Dad work to bring home the bacon. It's so nice watching him be around a little girl. It's not the same as getting a little sister but she is the next best thing. She might be even better because she goes home to her Mommy and Daddy.

Monday, March 14, 2011

In the book about miscarriages, I made note of a few places where I could relate to the authors thoughts and thought I would share them with you.

The writers print is going to be in blue. and I will do mine in red.

On page 71 the writer is upset because she was expecting a baby the same time as her sister was but the sister didn't live very close. So, they get together for a holiday and seeing her sister's big belly makes her loss so much more real. Then, one of the friends of the Mom ask about her upcoming baby and this upsets her because she lost the baby and this makes it all more real.

She writes, Infertility is is personal that I can't stand people prying. On the other hand, I want them to give me support. I want them to know what is going on, but I don't want to the the one to tell them. But If I don't who will? Why am I the one suffering,yet responsible for taking charge? Why am I in desperate need of solace, yet suppose to tell everyone what to do? Why do I feel absolutely certain that I'm not getting the support I need, yet don't know specifically what I want or how to get it.

I can really relate to the hurt being so personal and not feeling like I can really tell someone how adoption really is. However, I want support. I want people to care that I suffered a huge loss. I want people to know that I am in contact with my daughter, but I don't always want to be the one to tell about it.
I can also really relate to being in desperate need for a change but why do I have to make the first move. A lot of my grief has come from not knowing about my daughter and people sweeping her under the rug. Why do I have to break the silence as if I did something wrong.
In counseling, we went over several times about not getting the support that I needed and yet not knowing what I needed or wanted and how to go about getting it. I can hear the author screaming I am hurting damn it. I am not suppose to make sense.

On page 110 there is parts of a diary they call journal of death. She says it's strange to be reading it when they are six weeks away from delivering a healthy baby.

Family and friends are near. I am amazed at how many have lost a child this way. They say, "it happens all the time" or "it wasn't meant to be" Still I want a reason. I want to know what I did wrong?

Grief consumes us. We hold one another, make love in our mutal pain, want to make another child.

I get the grief consuming them. The need to make another child being so strong. Maybe, that why I became a young Mom at 18 years of age. Maybe that's why I wasn't careful. I needed another child. Not that having another one replaces one lost to miscarriage or adoption.

This is from page 108 comments from well meaning people.

You will have another one, try again they say.But to me one child can't take the place of another child.

As a birthmom, I heard that quite a bit. You can have another one. Or the famous you should be happy for the one or two that you have. It's rude and it sounds like the person doesn't think that I should even have the one or two.

Page 175 the reader has one daughter and tries for 8 years to have another child. They finally come to terms after several miscarriages that they are only going to have one child and sees how her daughter is half grown and needs to change her focus on being the best mom to her and treasure the time they have left as she grows up.

After a loss, we are told to cherish what we have. The irony of my infertility is this: I cherish exactly what I lack. The more I treasure my daughter, the more acutely I feel the pain of not having more children. Joy and grief melt into one, consuming me. But now, I have a new way to comfort myself as I travel in my healing. I close my eyes, breathe deeply, and in darkness, I see a painfully small poignantly delicate, ever-growing piece of lace.

I have had many joyful occasions robbed by the grief of missing my daughter. It could be a music program at school or something as simple as watching a group of children play. So, I understand what she means by the joy and grief melting into one.

I want to close this with that I firmly believe that even after reading this that I don't understand miscarriages and the deep sadness of it from years down the road. I don't mean to say that as in telling anyone to get over it. But seeing that just maybe that miscarriages and adoption loss are so painful that there is no way anyone can ever get a really good grasp on what it must feel like. I think the best any one can do is acknowledge the pain and be a good friend. Don't pretend to get it if you haven't lived it.

Again, I am sorry for the lost babies and mommy's and daddies that miss them.

Miscarriages and infertilty

Like I said, I read the book about miscarriages because when given the chance I wanted to learn more about them because in some cases it's not that women are infertile it's just that they keep losing the babies.

I have been lucky. I have never experienced a miscarriage or have I have had a hard time becoming pregnant. Honestly, though, only one of my three pregnancies did I say let's have a baby. The other two before marriage was because I was careless. It was important for me to do it right just once. We made the choice to stop having children after my last child was born when I was 24 years of age. Who knows what would have happened if we chose to continue to have children. Maybe, I would have came to a point where pregnancy wasn't so easy to do. I don't mean to insult anyone. I am just stating my facts.

After, reading the book, I really want to express how deeply sorry that I am that any women and man would have to go through when an expected baby didn't make it to term. To be happy and excited and nervous about a new baby and perhaps the first child to going through the process of losing that life. I have only known of two people personally that have lost a pregnancy. One friend spoke of it on a few occasions and did go on to have another baby. The other situation is a little different than I mentioned but has yet to really bring it up to me. She has gone on to have a baby too. I want to honestly say that I have never really taken the time to learn about how heart breaking it would be to have a pregnancy end in miscarriage.

I also never really thought of the physical side of a miscarriage. I can see from reading that it can be very painful. The closest I can understand is that maybe possibility it's like cramping from labor but without the happiness of a live baby to hold. I can't imagine that it hurts so much as giving birth to a full term baby. Correct me if I am wrong.

I did get the impression that a lot of hospital staff seem to be kind of cold and just shrugs it off as it happens. I am sorry if anyone has ever experienced cold words from a doctor or a nurse because they feel like it's okay cause it just happens. It may just happen but it's really sad. I won't pretend to say that I get it all or that I know what it feels like because I just read a book about it. I haven't live it.
I have more to say about miscarriages but I wanted this post to be more about the lost babies than my other thoughts about the book.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

We did our first major home improvement project. I have been wanting new flooring in the living room for quite sometime now. We put it in ourselves but mostly my husband did it. My husband isn't very handy so this is major. We couldn't afford to pay someone to put it in and we got excited about the idea of saying that we did it.

This opens the door for so many more home improvement projects but shhhh don't tell my husband that just yet.

Stories of miscarriage and a strange dream

I came across a book for sale at the library called Our stories of miscarriage Healing with words. Edit by Rahcel Faldet and Karen Fitton. I seen it and I just had to get it but honestly I felt weird about it. So, my husband paid for it for me.

I am going to blog about the book but I think I need to process it all some more.

I had a strange dream. It seemed like counseling or something because I was being asked questions and having to really dig deep into my thoughts about me.

In this dream, it came to me that it's possible that I basically only have one friend that I can hang with and don't really seek friendship out of situations that life throws me in and where I could make more friends is because I don't want to get close. I don't want to let them know the person that I pretend to me. That would be the mother of two children and the one who never had a daughter. It's so much scarier to let people in and know the Mother that gave birth to three children yet only raised two. I think there is a lot of truth in this dream. I always feel like when I meet someone that it feels stupid to share my life story but then when I do get to know them better, I feel like I lied to them all along and I feel weird. So, it's better to not really seek anything more than casual conversations from most people that I come in contact with.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I never thought I would come to the day where I just don't have a lot to blog about when it comes to adoption. I have come a long way since I started blogging and formed relationships with other people that have been touched by adoption on one way or another.
I have made contact with my daughter and met her. She is beautiful. I have seen her three times and each time I am just amazed that she is mine but yet not mine. I don't have as much communication with her that I would like but I try to give her space.
I need to work on her scrapbook and finish it and give it to her, but something is holding me back. I haven't been feeling creative. Also, no words can describe some of the moments that I want to document for her in the book. Maybe, it's the finalization of completing the book or the letting go of the book that scares me the most. Maybe, I am afraid she won't treasure the book as much as I do.

I don't know why I felt the need to blog about all this but mostly I just don't have anything to say about adoption anymore. I think I have came as close as I can get to healing from adoption loss.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I am going to try to finish my response to the comment. Sorry, I am kind of long winded and could blog forever about my kids.

Again, this is hard because I have to admit my weakness and my failures and try to do a balance act of our family and also need to figure out a way to help me son be a responsible adult that can take care of himself and someone others would want to be around.

I been kind of mean lately to Alex. I have said things that are true but could be done better. I guess I am just so afraid for his future that I have lashed out at him about grades and maybe thought shame would work. I really don't think I am going to get him to do work by using shame.

I been feeling guilty because I am wondering if I am choosing a husband over my son. I say that because I am afraid that he would split us apart. If I wasn't worried about divorce and my husband then I wouldn't have that fear. However, I have a lot more to consider than just breaking my heart from losing my husband. Stephen would have to face a second divorce and deal with not living with his stepdad. Also, honestly, I couldn't provide the two parent household if my husband moved out. I would lose my home and be in the same situation as my ex husband.

Maybe, these are all excuses because I am tired. I don't know if we have what it takes to turn Alex around and take care of Stephen. I don't know if hell would break lose and run the risk of having to walk around on egg shells again. I used to be afraid to leave my husband and Alex home together. Alex doesn't respect my husband's authority over him and I am afraid of the outcome should something go crazy and I can't get home.

I do think one big issue with my son is that he hasn't been getting a lot of consequences for his actions or lack of actions. I really want to and need to try to make him go without for not doing what we ask.

One thing that my husband mentioned is that Alex may feel bad when he comes to our house and sees that we just recently each bought a car and that we put a new floor down in our house and he lives in a mobile home that often has issues that the landlord isn't taking care of a proper amount of time. I can see how we could discourage him but I don't know what to do about it. I guess we just have different levels of what we are willing to put up with. My current husband talks about how it takes two of us. There have been a few things that my husband could care less. One example was a leaky sink. He was okay with having a pan under there. I paid for it and arranged for it to be fixed. The biggest example is how we needed the new floor and he was okay with it as it was. He basically just agreed to use some of our tax refund to buy the flooring to shut me up. He did go as far as being willing to help install it to save money.

Also, I want to start making him cook with me on the nights that I cook. He really acts like he doesn't have a clue about cooking so that's one thing that I can hopefully teach him. Hopefully this will give him some skills but also give us time to do something together.

I think this ends my answering of the question if Alex can live with us again. I think the short answer right now is no. But I like to be willing to keep on open mind and make changes that could make him living with us more comfortable to all that is involved. I do have to end it with that some of it is always going to be about how the grass is greener on the other side. If both households could be ran similar it might get rid of the feeling that the grass is greener but this isn't a perfect world. If my ex husband and I got along well enough to influence each others and have the same life then we could be still married.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

more response to a comment

I wanted to finish blogging about the comment from last week regarding could my older son move back in with me. You can read the first part of my answer here. This response was started on March 1st.

I am not sure how to start this because it's not easy to do it. I admitting my weakness and honestly where I am failing because of divorce and also because I just don't know what to do. I have some ideas but not sure if anything can pull my son around.

I don't know if my marriage can handle the stress of a out of control teenager who is failing school and refused to even take out the trash. My ex husband said he refuses to do anything around his place too. Yet, he continues to play video games. However, he isn't going to be allowed to go to friends houses anymore. So, we will see about that. Edit.. update... That didn't last long. He went to a friends house on Friday night.

Right now, we already are dealing with one special needs child. A long time ago, I was told Stephen had autism but after he started talking at five no one believed that anymore. However, the reality is that I think my son has Aspergers and that is autism but a much higher functioning level. I have made some calls and I am becoming reconnected with the autism group that can offer some resources to help us along the way. I think one of the things that people don't get is that autism is such a wide spectrum disorder and each person can be very different.

Please don't take this the wrong way but my little son needs a lot of direction and assistance. It's just how he has always been and while he is making progress sometimes we get tired. It's so frustrating when everything is a challenge for him. I know some of the issues that we deal with our normal typical stuff but other things are not.

I know that I shouldn't compare the two children but they are all I know. Stephen sometimes bitches and complains about homework or things we ask him to do but mostly he just does what we ask of him or at least tries to do what we ask. Stephen does things and I think he understands that he gets paid for his effort even if it's not cash. We just started an allowance with him. It's working but everything he wants to buy is candy and we don't like that.

He fits into our family. He will do things with us that isn't playing video games or watching a movie. Yesterday, he spent a good six hours helping us lay a floor in the living room. He wants to please us. For Alex, that's too much work to be done and there are video games to be played. Stephen will gladly try to help cook a meal and Alex just wants to be served. If we ask him to do something as simple as turn over the chicken nuggets he looks at us and if he is dumb! We even questioned to ourselves... is he having a mental illness and no one has caught it?

Alex most refuses to do anything. He won't do homework. He won't do yard work. He won't shovel. If we pay him to do something it's a half ass job. If we ask him to take out the trash, he can't because he doesn't have his shoes on.

Last night, we fed Stephen corn dogs because it was way past his bedtime because we were busy with the floor. Then, I gave my husband a ten to get us a pizza. My husband said to Alex, Your Mom is buying, I am flying, and I want you to take out the trash. You might have to break the baseboards so you can shut it and we can eat. So, Alex sits here and when he hears my husband pulls up says oh crap I forgot. He takes one trash can out and threw the whole can away. (small bathroom kind) and then knocked over another can and made a mess. We didn't catch this until after we ate. Are we wrong for wanting him to do something? It's not so much as in he has to earn his dinner but three out of four of us have been working hard.. can you help us out type of deal. The truth be told.. I felt bad that we sent Stephen to bed with corn dogs and treated Alex to pizza. But it we were hungry and tired and we did what was easiest to us.

I hope I am making sense. I think I will end this for now and again come back because I don't have all my thoughts across yet.

But for the record, while my son misses the bus and what I really mean is that he skips school and thinks that I am stupid. He hasn't been in any kind of legal trouble.