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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Her Story is Hard to Take

We got an update on our little girl- there was a more extensive interview with her birth relative conducted. It was hard to read. It was so informative and helpful in that it allows us to understand more about her.  She may not even have any concept of what a family is. The one person in her life that was (somewhat)stable has had to give her up. We were emailed several pictures. She looks worried and confused in some- meek and somewhat happy in others. There was also a form that included many questions about her current living situation, her personality, likes/dislikes and some development items. We have not received a formal medical evaluation since April/May- but we are happy with this big update :)We are worried for her, and for us - i have just revisited some adoption education modules. I am very much looking forward to the Empowered to Connect Conference next month- i have a distinct feeling we will need it. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Home-study In Hand and befuddled

Woohoo new, updated home study in hand. I am happy to be able to apply for our finger prints and get our dossier kick-started next week. Anyhow, I am not befuddled due to our home study. I have some big decisions to make about my graduate program and research. I need clarity about so much- grants, dissertation topics, research design. A large part of me has a desire to research medium of instruction and curriculum development by schools that are established by NGO's, specifically in Ethiopia. Sometimes i feel like that could be very doable, and then other times it seems colossal. So I need to make some inquiries and such about grants. I have this antsy feeling- that always comes with the start of a new semester (meaning my graduate school)- This year i have no excuses, I am taking off work to devote time to my graduate program and to the boys....so i have to firm this up soon. However I was so lucky to have an extended 4 hour coffee break with a great lady who helps to bring clarity and help me make sense of graduate school, and life in general- and that helped clear my head and also gave me some great starting points for research funding :)
We are hoping for some kind of update on K, which we havent received- and that also has me on edge as well. John and I are lucky to have a night out tonight- with very little planned :). The boys will be at the Taekwondo studio for Parents Night Out! woo hoo...i am hoping and praying they don't have to call me about Sam. He has been biting :( - mainly Gabe, when they are wrestling.....but still.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012

homestudy complete!

Yay- our home-study was completed, edited and approved yesterday. From here i will need to get it apostillized (spelling?) by the Secretary of our State and then we can apply for our fingerprinting appointment. We are working on our dossier now....its slowly coming together. We have the majority of the essential paperwork left from the first time. I am hoping we wont have to wait until the end of September for our fingerprinting appointment.

We have been busy this week with OT for Sam, tae kwon do for Gabe, going swimming and to Monkey Joes, trampoline jumping, plus our two foster dogs were adopted :). Sam was having major sleeping issues two weeks back, but we have now removed his afternoon nap, coupled with lots of big muscle movements/exercise for Sam. We are noticing more and more issues of SPD- he is seeking out big sensory seeking activities, constant bouncing, or twirling, flipping his head back and forth while looking at the lights, squeezing hands and legs (his own and our) super tight then letting go- repeating, he runs EVERYWHERE, endless chattering, hard wrestling with Gabe, biting while wrestling, jumping off furniture, constant playing with his hair or my hair. I fear some of these behaviors will really interfere with his schooling this fall....yikes.
This coming week i am hoping to schedule an evaluation at USC



Saturday, July 7, 2012

Home Study Draft, Odd crying during a job interview, and the South Beach Diet

So this week we got draft one of our new Home Study- I can start looking for grants :) I am excited because the little girl we are matched with has a $10,000 subsidy we qualify for (yes!) But our new agency is one of the more expensive it seems, when i compared a few- so we still have a good bit of fundraising/saving to do.
Because I felt the need to leave the school I was teaching at (my core teaching philosophy did not match their improvement plan, and thus many teachers have left) i am seeking employment specific towards helping at-risk youth. Well I completed a quite lengthy job application and work history with an organization that provides education to students who are hospitalized- in medical and psychiatric facilities. I was called and asked to do a phone interview, that was about an hour long. This interview took place yesterday- in which i ended up crying!? I am not an overly emotional person, I am sarcastic and quick-witted and form relationships based on humor and inside jokes. So when i was asked several questions about the highs and lows of my high school, college, grad school and then two teaching positions all went well...UNTIL i was asked about the high of my first year of teaching. Mind you, I took over when a teacher walked out of a 6th grade class and never came back....this was a rough group. I learned something in my Masters- to teach the roughest group like you assumed they were gifted/honors . So i did. I saw that our Magnet program at the school was doing a big project called Project Citizen in which students brainstorm an issue that is local and affects them and then devises a law or policy change that needs to take place, researches the issue, research the possible changes/remedies, completes a survey of local stake-holders, interviews or questions policy makers and then presents it before a mock city council/school district board meeting. This was a mjaor undertaking for a low-performing 6th grade Social Studies class that thought little of their academic intelligence and even less of me as a new teacher. But we did it...they chose an issue (bus stop safety, specifically dogs roaming, chasing kids at several bus stops and the school board not doing anything about it- they would tell the families to call animal control and animal control passed the buck BACK to the school board)- they surveyed other students who had issues at the bus stops, they questioned our transportation director, they put together a "what to do pamphlet" and ultimately made a great presentation to the judges (mock school board)
They won a big award for their presentation (3rd, but also "best researched")....i just remember when each group presented and realized that they were the only "dumb kids" doing this project they freaked and got really scared.....but they pulled through. It brought tears to my eyes just retelling this story and still does...they were a deflated group- and some still did not perform well in class but this one project showed them what they were capable of. I totally didn't realize i would loose it and break down crying...but my interviewer appreciated my emotion and even said that its often the emotional investment that keeps teachers in the classroom. I would have to agree....plus I got a 2nd interview !!! I really think this would be a great job- challenging, but working with the student population i am most interested in.
On to another fun topic around my house...weight loss. My husband and I have both lost about 8 pounds each with out trying, ...so i thought we (mainly ME) would ramp it up a bit and actually but some effort into this. We both want to loose about 15 pounds....i am partaking in the South Beach diet....i actually eat most things on the south beach diet plan, but then often over do it on cereals in the morning or pasta in the evenings....and it adds up. So i am going to try and stick with phase 1 for about a week, then level back out to phase two,....i don't exercise as much as i should, despite the gym membership....and free child care....so this week i will try and get to the gym at least three times....even if its to get on the stationary bike and take advantage of the free cable and child care!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fireworks and some truth about HIV

This story of a woman speaking of adoption is similar to one i had with a former colleague about Sam's health status.....i also have recently educated myself on how far HIV treatment, prevention and orphan care has come. I am impressed and thankful to find out that children with HIV who are in ARVs can manage the disease easier than type I Diabetes is managed. Therefore when John and i thought about adopting again, knowing we would choose a waiting child, who is older we told our new agency that HIV is something we could consider, among other special needs.
In other news of "the fourth"- tonight we are taking Sam to see his first fireworks....lets hope he doesnt freak out. The local neighbors have been launching a few that have kinda of peaked Sam's interest....and i showed him some online.