Thursday, December 30, 2010


when we met with abuelo and step-abuela they wanted to commit to how often we would meet. paul and i weren't ready to commit to that and told them we'd like to keep it flexible. after our breakfast i got an email a couple days later thanking me for meeting. i wrote back. then i sent a photo album. then i sent a video of the kids opening the christmas presents they had sent. i have not heard back to any of the following 3 times i contacted them. i'm not sure what to make of it. but i'm disappointed. for some reason i thought we'd strike up this loving relationship. sort of meet the fockers meets guess who's coming to dinner. and now i feel like i went out for coffee with someone who was proposing and now i can't get them to meet me for a sandwich.
and then i wonder if it has bigger consequences. like they know something i don't know that i should know. or something.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

karma baby.

tonight we went to kohl's to exchange some shirts i got paul for christmas. for some reason medium looked HUGE so i got him all smalls. every single shirt small. well, he tried them on today and whoa. he's not a small. we made our exchanges and checked out, and paid the difference put coats on the kids and headed out. as soon as i got karyssa in the car i said "you've got my wallet?" paul looked at me nuts and said "no!" that's when i realized something in the last 2 minutes had gone awry. i went through my kohl's bag. i checked in my seat. i checked all over around the car. i walked back into the store...correction...ran back into the store. i went up to the guy that checked us out and he said "no, if i'd seen it i would have told you." it seemed odd. i went back out to paul we searched the cart again. we searched under the car. we searched all the seats. paul went back in. again the guy wasn't incredibly helpful and we both began to suspect he knew exactly where my wallet was. he came back out and as we pulled away i looked at our spot one more time. no wallet. i said "did they take your number so they can at least call us?" and he realized no one had done that. he went back into the store and i could see from the car things were escalating. something wasn't right. i parked the car and hauled both kids back in side. at this point asher is screaming hungry. (he's not eaten well for days because he's getting teeth.) and by now i'm SURE our cashier knows full well what's going on. i said i'm about ready to call the police. i am getting more pissed by the second at this point. the manager (who was all of 19) watched the video and said he could see me pay and put the card back in my wallet then the wallet back in my left pocket. where i now have an empty cheerios container. why i put it in the only full pocket i have is beyond me. but lets get back to how it's all the cashier's fault. then he checks the video of the parking lot and paul watched it with him. all the way down the sidewalk i go with the wallet in my pocket. no one around me for steps. but then there's this blank spot over by the far doors that's not on the video. we searched and searched and searched. the bushes. the parking lot. the car. the kohl's bag. the shopping cart. the parking spot. everywhere. we finally had to come home and eat dinner. we called all the credit cards and bank cards and cancelled everything. then it dawned on me-at this point we know full well it is not the cashier's fault and we did not apologize. we walked in, he did his job, we shat upon his night and left. um. that's not good. so i pulled out the receipt and called the store to leave a message like a chicken. they gave me right to the cashier. ugh. now i've got to apologize "face to face". i told him in the tizzy of leaving we hadn't apologized and i was so sorry and he interrupted and said "ya and your whole family was watching me!" (we had bumped into some friends while leaving the store so they stood with us in a mob ready to bust some knee caps until we saw the video.) i said "i know! i realize-and they knew too that it was on the video. i apologize. i am so sorry! it was not your fault at all and i felt awful!" with that he chippered up. he was seriously still pissed at us - and, i must say, rightfully so. a few minutes later tatum started barking like a banshee. i took her outside to pee and a cop pulled up. um. this is not normal. i took tatum back inside and the cop said "are you sheri?" (i did not correct him-my name is pronounced cherie). "yes......did you find my wallet!!!!" a customer at kohl's had found it. "WHY DIDN'T SHE JUST GIVE IT TO KOHL'S!!??!!" "she didn't speak english...she took it home to her husband that did speak english and he called the police." she didn't know what to do! she found my wallet, complete with the $6 cash in it, didn't know it was safe to give it to kohl's, finished her shopping, went home and called the police.
and this is where i believe in karma. i was so glad i had already called the cashier BEFORE my wallet was found so i could clear my conscience. and then my wallet came back to me. THANK GOODNESS. now i just have to wait for all my new credit cards to come in. oh jeez.

Friday, December 24, 2010

a date with daddy

karyssa LOVES to have dates with paul. this morning he took her out for hot chocolate and a park date. she gets all dressed and i did her hair. she was so excited she was standing by the door jumping up and down. i LOVE to see her so excited and love to know it's because she gets to spend alone time with her daddy.
asher and i are staying home to clean and cook. he is wearing his dinosaur pajamas and they are so cute i might just keep him in them all day long.
can these babies GET any cuter? no. i think not. they are pretty darn impossibly cute.

Friday, December 17, 2010

i need to put on my big girl pants

sometimes it still hits me. infertility. passing on my genes. having kids that "look" like me. knowing where they come from in the gene pool. and it makes me feel sorry for myself all over again. and then it makes me mad that i feel sorry for myself all over again. i used to be a part of this infertility support group on line. it was a huge help for me in getting over and past my miscarriage and through the struggle of getting pregnant. and then one day i was just over it. i was doing acupuncture. i was on my sugar diet. i was tracking my cycles. we were already fostering karyssa. so i just stopped checking in. but some of my infertility friends spilled over into my facebook friends. i'm so happy for the ones that i still keep in touch with. it's nice to see where their lives go. what kids enter their world and how, whether it's through ivf, iui, natural pregnancy, and even foster-adoption.
but for some reason when they are pregnant, again, i i a quitter for not continuing to try? should i have continued to stab in the dark? would i feel any more sense of hope? or would i just feel continual failure and frustration month after month of not being pregnant? i'm so happy with my life right now. i have my girl. i have my boy. i can't imagine life with out them or them with anyone else. i know i'm the best mom in the world for my kids. but it still stings to see a pregnancy announcement, or a sonogram picture. i guess if i had a clear diagnosis that i have ____________ and that's why i'm not getting pregnant it would help. but my eggs are so good i could be an egg donor if i were 2 years younger. and no one, not the doctors, not my acupuncturist, not my fertility friends, not books, can tell me what it is that i have that prevents me from carrying on this simple task. it's just a weird feeling that for whatever reason i can NOT create life. this simple task. the only reason we were really put on earth. and i can't do it. what's wrong with me? why can't i do that? and when will this feeling stop biting me when i'm least prepared for it?

Friday, December 10, 2010


tonight we went to the festival of lights here in town. afterwards it was time for me to take paul back to his car and karyssa started repeating from the backseat "me! me! me!" which, in karyssa-eese means "i want to go with you." so she got to go to the store for milk AND got to ride the horse afterwards. i love that baby girl more every day!!!!


today karyssa brought me the newspaper bag with her socks in it declaring its contents. i said "very good! what else can you put in the bag?" and she said "poop!"
yes...that is what we use for tatum poop bags but we typically don't put her socks in there with poop.

Monday, December 6, 2010

resident cheerleader

i never noticed how much of a cheerleader i was until i had a parrot in the house. now every time anything exciting or not-exciting happens we hear a "WOO!" come from below. i love when she does it in the car because i see her tiny little fists go up from her carseat.
the other day we pulled into our complex to hear "home! woo!" and at thanksgiving when it was time to open presents "woo!" and when we're getting in the car "park! woo!" or "church! woo!" i love that she loves church that much. i hope she's not disappointed when she grows up to find out that we don't have a huge play structure in the sermon.
ok-gotta run and clean the house. woo!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

this is my life. ? ! * )

i'm not sure how to punctuate that statement. today we had breakfast with our birth mom's dad and stepmom. i have no idea how she feels about it because she doesn't write back to my letters and she skipped out of every meeting social services set up for us to ever meet. this is very hard. it's hard to predict how someone you've never met might feel when the only thing you know about them is the back of their head in court.
needless to say, all day long i've been mulling our meeting over time and time again in my head. sometimes i think: this is my life. other times i think: this is my life? and then again: this is my life! or: this is my life* literally any of those endings will do with how my feelings are today.
karyssa couldn't come because until today we didn't know exactly how much contact they had with her. we found out today-it's not much. which is sad, but on the other hand that clears the whole how-will-she-react-to-seeing-them-again fears. she's going to think we're eating breakfast with another mentor couple probably.
it was tough. it was amazing. it was eye opening. it was affirming. it made me question all kinds of things i hadn't questioned before. it was a blessing. it made my heart ache. it warmed my heart. it made me feel confident. it shook my confidence. it was all kinds of things. but mostly it was 2 hours giving to a man something that no one else on the planet could give him. the gift of meeting his first and only grandson. we didn't have to do it. we could have left it at pictures and emails. we could have told them too little too late. but we didn't.
we met them for breakfast and got there first. i sat asher, intentionally, between me and an empty seat at the table. after a few loooong minutes of waiting with my teeth clenched and my heart getting heavier with every passing minute thinking "are they really not going to show up for a meeting they requested with their grandson!?" they came. smiling, late and lost. they came. abuelo (his new bloggie name) laid eyes on asher and i picked him up out of his highchair and handed him over. abuelo's hands were clammy. he was so excited. and so nervous because they were late. later step-abuela admitted that they had gotten into it because he was trusting that she knew where she was going. he held on to asher until the food came. he ate quickly, the whole time playing with asher, then he picked him back up from the highchair. i am not sure he took his eyes off of him the whole time. if it's possible for a man to have a pregnancy glow, abuelo did. we finished breakfast after an hour and a half but it wasn't for 41 more minutes before he was ready to hand asher back over to part ways. at one point i asked him "so, what do you think?" and through tears in his eyes and his wife translating he said "this makes me so happy to get to meet him. you have made me very happy and i really appreciate you doing this." *ugh* rock in my heart! and i realize this isn't about me and how i feel. it's about the kids and their connection to where they come from. this man is where they come from. don't get me wrong-they are still MY babies (paul would say OUR babies) but regardless of how much they are mine, they come from his blood. asher does this thing where he does the left handed smack, as we call it. on everything. the tub, the table, the floor, his exersaucer. all the time the left handed smack. what was the first thing abuelo did when he put asher down to eat? he reached over and smacked the table. not AFTER asher did it-BEFORE asher did it. asher smiled real big as if to say "finally! someone who speaks my language!" and smacked back. in all the months he's done the smack not once did i think to smack back. not once! what is wrong with me? when we met for our ice breaker he couldn't keep his hands off of that little wirey toy with the beads? you know-they're in every waiting room that anticipates children. it's got all these wires that go in every direction and it's got beads on each wire....couldn't stop touching it. guess who else can NOT leave those things alone? karyssa! i told him today that i had noticed that. although i'm not sure it was translated exactly. i think it was translated as "karyssa likes those wire and bead toys." i don't think it was explained to him that i had noticed how much he was like karyssa. which leads me to my next epiphany. *sigh* i need to learn conversational spanish. shameful that it has taken me this long to come to this conclusion but i realize as long as i don't abuelo will always be an outsider for our meetings. and for the sake of our kids and his relationship to them, i don't want that. not sure how i'm going to hurdle that desire but i'm putting it out there in the cosmos as a hold-me-to-this kind of thing.
anyway. today was a big exhausting day. all in all i feel like paul and i have gotten thrown into an arranged marriage where we got to meet and fall in love with the groom and THEN met all of his family.
i'm not sure why god gave this life to me...but this is my life!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

on with life and such.

yesterday asher climbed the stairs. he got half way up. up on the landing before i realized life was WAY too quiet. i had put karyssa in a time out and when i called her to tell her she was done she came up to me smirking. hmm. i thought. that's an odd post-time-out look. that's when i looked around the corner just in time. tonight i let him climb up to show daddy how he could do it. he's starting to understand commands. i said "asher, come climb the stairs and show daddy how you do it." and sure enough he crawled over to the stairs and climbed on up. sweet little bug.

karyssa has started dressing herself. on tuesday she was sick with a fever so i was just going to let her stay in her jammies all day. around 10:00 she went upstairs and came back down wearing a shirt (backwards) and then i went in there and helped her pick out pants. the last couple days she's dressed herself again. each day with her shirt backwards. the first day i left it, the second day i fixed it for her, and today i showed her wear the tag is so she can do it herself. tonight after dinner (spaghetti night always requires stripping down to diapers) she redressed herself with the tag in the back but inside out. one step at a time. she'll get it.

while i was making dinner she came up to me with a kleenex and blowing her nose. THANK GOD! i was beginning to think we'd never get past the picking the nose phase. so i gave her a smartie and told her how proud i was that she used a tissue instead of picking it. then she wanted another candy. i told her "no more candy until after dinner. remember why you got the other piece of candy? because you blew your nose instead of picking it." she turned around and toddled off to the bathroom and came back with a fresh kleenex blowing her nose again. d'oh! smart little thing.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


yesterday i had a conversation with someone from the county. she's not a case worker but she's in the mix.
i'm so discouraged.

SO discouraged.

they've all been spouting to me the past few months that "studies have shown that children do better with birth family." i do not agree. plain and simple. do. not. agree!!! there are exceptions to this. i have seen it and it can be successful to have birth family in the mix but it is not an across-the-board-blanket-statement kind of thing. selected members of selected family MIGHT be appropriate but i do not believe that ALL children do better with ALL birth families.

i ask my cousins and adopted family questions all the time about how they would feel if ________. they all disagree with the "studies have shown..." comment. i told my case worker "i know 'studies' show that...but no one in my real life shows that." and her response was "well my question would be how open was their adopted family to contact?" to which i stood up, scratched her eyeballs out and kicked her out of my house. i didn't do that last part. i bit my tongue and counted the minutes until she left.

so what was so upsetting yesterday? i have been put on probation for the mentoring. supposedly she just wants to meet with all of the mentor families...but she wanted to talk to me about a certain instance where karyssa hit one of our mentor moms and got a time out. i explained that karyssa is a child that if she gets to do something once she'll expect to do it everytime. for instance, if i let her touch the christmas tree, that will be something she expects to do every time. i have to be very consistent with her. i can't give her a time out once for hitting and not give her a time out the next time. to which she responded "is your tree tied down?" i said "what do you mean?" and she told me that she had a hook in her wall and every year she tied the tree to her wall. i'm imagining the kids climbing the tree while it flops from one side to the other. why would you not just tell your kid to leave the tree alone? my 9 month old already knows the rules about the tree. give me a friggin' break. (ok-friggin is NOT the word that comes to mind there but i'm trying to keep in PG.) so i asked if they have plenty of foster families right now? and she said "well, we're using family." meaning birth family. meaning they don't need us sub-par foster families because birth family is so great.

so i realized 1-i don't want anyone else from the county in here watching me raise my kids anymore than i have to. 2-a LOT of kids are going to go back to birth family and have no chance at a stress-free life. i know-it's happened for years, decades, like this that kids live in sucky environments...but if there's some way we could prevent that, wouldn't we want to? and 3-taking in more babies might be even more NOT on option that i already suspected.

this is not going to be a long term option. it's been said to me before, and the ghetto proves it time and time again: dysfunction runs in the family. if you grow up seeing dysfunction you don't have any other views of how things could/should go. most of your friends from the ghetto live in homes just like yours where violence is the first resort. i can promise you that kids who spend the first year in trauma filled homes spend YEARS getting over it. so it breaks my heart to think that there are babies out there (and by babies-i mean anyone under 18 years old) living in homes where they see no chance of hope, no semblance of normalcy, no way to get out and no way to stop the cycle and it breaks my heart for these babies. there is nothing i can do because my genes are not tied to theirs. and it makes me wonder why there are any foster parents left if we'll never be anything more than "foster".