Two More Days…

Until he is OFFICIALLY OURS! Who hoo, I can hardly stand it…and at the same time it feels a little uneventful as he has FELT like ours since the day they laid him in our arms when he was two days old. He has never felt like he was not ours. At the very same time, I feel like I can finally breathe a GIANT sigh of relief knowing that he cannot be taken from us, that a magical distant (you wouldn't believe what CSSW constitutes as a family member) relative cannot appear from nowhere and snatch him from us…ahhh, and I can then officially post his unbelievably adorable mug all over my blog and Facebook…I already have his announcing photo picked out…

Tonight we sign paperwork and write out our two adoption checks, one for $10 (filing fee) and one for $43 (for two copies of the new Birth Certificate)…thats all it really costs for a domestic adoption in Wisconsin…granted you aren't two lesbians who want to change the way the adoptions are done and BOTH want to be the parents, then it will possibly cost you $5780 plus your $3300 estate planning fees…BUT the best money I ever spent.

And So It Shall Be…

The Honorable Judge smiled down on us today and did something that has NEVER been done in our county before…she agreed to grant two, single women the right to adopt the same child. The laws were finally read and interpreted the way they should be and next week wednesday we will, after 20 months of waiting, finally be able to adopt the boy who has always been our son…officially. He has been OUR son since he was placed with us at two days old. But to finally be able to breathe a sigh of relief knowing that he will forever be ours is a relief like no other. He has been TPR'd almost a year (July 25th will be a year), in the courts eyes an orphan. But never has he been without parents, at least not in our eyes and hearts. 

This is HUGE and will hopefully help other gay couples adopt in our area. All parties involved were going on and on about how HUGE this was today…and how the agency will likely re-evaluate how it handles adoption with gays. Likely, meaning they will be able to recruit more gays to foster/adopt.

After next week I will be even more relieved. One small step today! One giant leap! I just got word via Facebook that our sons adopted older sister (one year older than him) and her new family, whom we have developed a relationship with, will come to the adoption next week! How cool is that!?

Tomorrow Is A Big Day…

Tomorrow we have two court dates back to back. One is for our 9 month old daughter, it is a permanency hearing. A check in type of thing where everyone on the case says where they think the case should be going…it will most likely be that her perm plan is adoption, as it has been since the first day and should still be since bio mom and dad have done nothing to change…the second is right after that in another courtroom with another judge…it is for our 20 month son who is and has been TPR'd since last July…it is a status hearing…where some mighty big wigs are all coming together to help the judge decide if she will do something that has never been done before in our county…to decide if she will grant a dual adoption…I have to admit, I am a bit nervous, even if we do have a plan B…it won't be an adoption day, but rather a day where we will get a sneak peak at what the judge will do, if she will grant two petitions if we file two…or if she would do one. It is amazing the legal hoops we have had to jump through, how messed up the system is…how far we still have to go not just because of the foster system but because of how messed up, how unequal life still is for us as Lesbians…

Motherhood has changed me in so many ways…for instance, I don't care how you feel about Michael Jackson, when his daughter Paris spoke at his memorial you had to weep for her, for her loss…she loved her father and by all accounts, he was a good father. This is a little girl who lost her dad…Loss is something you have to deal with in adoption/foster care…your gain came by someone else's loss. The other thing that has changed within me is that my eyes have been opened to african american children…not just to children but to the culture but more so to the children…it's odd but I SEE african american children before I see any other child…I am drawn to them, I think they are cuter…in a way I want them all…I live in an area that is right on the cusp of the inner city…literally a park divides my world from a very different world. And I want to help all the children, I want to feed them and clothe them and bathe them and most importantly love them. My children have a story, like many who are from the foster system…they were lucky enough to not ever have to live in the household they were conceived in…I wonder about the things they heard while in the womb…the poor nourishment they were given…but they have siblings who were not so lucky, yet without what they went through my children may never have been taken from the home…so many double edged swords. I think a lot A LOT about my children's stories…and how many other children have a similar if not worse story and it hurts. I have a lot of time to figure out the best way to tell my children their stories when they are old enough to ask for and handle it…but I cannot help but wonder how you do such a thing…

I digress…I am just caught up in a thought bubble today…of how much we have endured and gone through for these two deserving children in the short amount of time we have had them…and how little their birthparents have done…back to the double edged sword…I am thankful they have not, as I have been blessed with these wonderful children. In all of my dreams I never EVER imagined how much I would LOVE these children…how little it matters, NO how it matters NOT AT ALL,that they did not come from me…but rather, they came to me…I would do anything for them…

But right now, I am just asking to adopt them…plain and simple…I want to be legally responsible for them for the rest of their lives…please make it so…

Maybe, Almost Official?

Well, let's try this again…last month we were set to have a "status hearing" with all the mucky mucks at Childrens Court and with the Dept of Child Welfare, our lawyers, the GAL, etc…and it got cancelled…we have been fostering C for 20 months…he has been TPR'd for a year this month..still not adopted. Now, I got word today that we have a new date, July 8th…and that if the stars are aligned maybe the Judge will even do an adoption on that date…maybe…so now our adoption worker is scrambling, and she's new to the case and the bureau for all I know…and isn't sure what all needs to be done but knows it needs to be done fast…ugh! Since we are lesbians our case is doubly fun…as we are trying to do something that has not been done before in our city…I can't even talk about what it is…but it is HUGE…and sadly…it shouldn't even be HUGE…but it is…and we have lawyers, and blah de blah blah…our cheap State adoption (they say to adopt in the foster system it's only like $43 to cover all the paperwork fees at adoption time) has become a long, expensive process…but I do not care as long as that boy is OURS…no her's, not mine…OURS…TWO MOMMIES! Legally and on paper…he's only ever had two mommies, it's all he knows…and he is entitled to it! Keep your fingers crossed…keep them crossed that we keep our date in court and that it is all speedy and in our favor and done with soon…

I want to have a party already! I want a sigh of relief that he is going nowhere…a sigh at least for a minute as his sisters crap is just starting….

Evil Eye…

This weekend was Pridefest weekend. Busy and fun. Friday we got a sitter, only the second time we got a sitter who was not an immediate family member or friend in almost two years. We met some friends out at Pridefest and had a blast. Saturday it was sort of rainy so we ditched the plan to go to Pridefest with the kids and hung around the house until we went to a friends BBQ. Our friends are all licensed to be foster to adopt parents and are eagerly awaiting a placement. It is absolutely amazing how stressful it is to leave the protective bubble of your own home and spend time at someone elses house with your children. Our friends house is a death trap in our eyes or at the very least a toddler nightmare. They have depression ware everywhere, large cacti indoors and out, multi levels, a giant screen door (which provided hours of finger pinching fun!), a fire pit, a hot grill, a cooler filled with glass bottles, and 2 dogs who are not friendly to children. Sitting and eating a meal or talking with your friends at this type of function is impossible with kids. It is exhausting…

Sunday we woke up, had breakfast and packed up the kids for Pridefest. This was Z's first year and C's second…while C was old enough to really dig it…Z had trouble with all the loud music (she has sensory issues we are working on with an OT). They have a kids area with playground equipment, a train and a bounce house. C was in the bounce house, was all excited (since he LOVES to jump) but then the kiddie train came by…he evacuated out of that bounce house like it was on fire screaming "choo choo" he rode it three times by the end of the day. The real fun came when we took him to the splash pad. He was hesitant at first but once I took his hand and went with him he had a blast. It's amazing how much water a diaper can hold…I am surprised he could walk with all the weight from that wet diaper. Z hated it…so when we went home I filled up the kiddie pool for her instead…I put some hot water from the kitchen sink in it and then filled it up with the hose until it was a good temp for her. She is so funny, she splashed like crazy but stuck her tongue out the whole time. Got some great pics from the weekend, over 300!

Many people complimented us on our children, and I love taking them to things like this because everyone seemed so generally happy for us. Now that I am a mother everything touches me differently. The volunteers from PFLAG in front with signs saying "I celebrate diversity" made me well up. To see older people take their weekend to make a statement for us…I said thank you. One woman who looked a lot like comedian Margaret Cho said how beautiful they are and then said "May I touch them?" I and then as I was saying "yes" she quickly explained that in her culture they touch the children to take away the "evil eye" as to not give them too much energy. And she appeared to touch each of their foreheads and chins. Of course I googled it when I got home…I have been touched by her act of kindness toward my children all day…a perfect stranger looking out for my children, warding off the "evil eye" and misfortune. Such a weekend, full of a feeling of belonging.

Peace to you and yours!

Psychic readings…

so about two years ago Staci and I went to an "alternative Tupperware party". I thought there would actually be Tupperware there and I got my wish list all together. I knew there would be a psychic there but waited and waited for the Tupperware…alas, there was none. But what there WAS is a burping psychic one who told Staci and I on separate readings that we were going to have children and these children we were going to have were going to be "special". She quickly explained herself by saying special in a "not of this world" special. I am pretty certain she was right.

I know everyone thinks their kids are the greatest and I am exception to this rule but no matter where we go people stop and want to talk to our kids. Not only do they want to talk to our kids, but they want tot touch them, take photos of them. How weird is that? random strangers want to take their pictures. My mother says when she shows pictures of them to her co-workers they instantly smile. 

Case in point, today we left the house for an early morning stroll around our neighborhood to participate in the neighborhood rummage sale. People were in love with our kids. I continually heard people tell us that we were "blessed". Now, there are times when I see a cute kids and acknowledge so but to go further and gush about how "blessed" they are? 

On another note we did alright rummaging today. We had a strict mission of looking for Thomas the Tank Engine trains. Instead we spent about $40 total and got: 
$1 sit and spin
$12 little tykes climber with slide
$2 electronic keyboard
.50 Thomas the train lunchbox
$5 vintage Matchbox garage (the same exact one my brother and I had when we were little in the 70's!) Very cool to see my son play with the same toy over 20 years later.
$5.00 a huge plastic organizer filled with hotwheels cars (over 40 of them)
$10 little tykes purple and white toybox

So the kids scored and our yard looks even more kid like with a climber in it now. 

Nothing says “Happy Mothers Day” like…

a box of 3M Masks…


I suppose I should explain because it is funny and sort of sweet. I am known for my over preparedness. I am what my partner calls a "lifeboater". I cannot leave the house without many things "just in case". For example, this is what you would find in my diaper bag on a given day.

Diaper Bag Contents on your average day:
3 diapers each size (total 6 diapers)
Some type of butt ointment
2 Bibs (one each size)
Children's Tylenol
Baby food & Rice cereal
Toddler snacks (raisins, crackers, peaches, granola, etc.)
Gluten free snacks (for Z, crackers, rice snacks)
Keys, rattles, teethers, etc. (toys for Z)
Hotwheels, rubber snakes, beaded necklace, train (toys for C)
Shelf stable box of milk
Bottle prefilled with water 
Container of formula
Toddler & infant spoons/forks
Changing pad
Clorox wipes (have you seen some of the places you are expected to change your child, discusting…namely airplanes, and gas stations are the worst)
Mommy things (snacks, immodium, chap stick, tampons, antacid, aveda blue oil…)
Children's nail clipper
Cars bandaids
Sippy cup
Leashes for cups
Burp rag
Wipe off books and crayons
and I am sure I am leaving things out that I also add in there…
So as you can see, quite a bit of stuff…however, everyone I know gives me crap about how much I lug around…but everytime we go out people need something, ask me for it and I have it. SO there!
So, in addition to being a lifeboater, I am an emergency preparedness freak. We live in tornado country so I make sure we have an emergency backpack to take to the basement "just in case". So Staci getting me a giant pack of 3M face masks "just in case" I am near H1N1 people makes perfect, loving sense. Really it does. And she assures me they are "top of the line" masks.