Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall Fun

Fall is a fun time for us it is one of our families favorite times of year. The festivities have kept us busy. We put up some decorations around the house, have been B00-ed a few times, and have our costumes ready for Monday. Can't wait for that!! Ohio has beautiful falls, great weather most of the time and lots of neat colors. We went to the pumpkin patch farm a couple weeks ago. It is a really good one. It is called Pigeon Roost Farm. They have slides, animals, pumpkins, corn mazes, hay rides a neat place and fun for all.
They are growing up! I don't have little babies anymore each year they look so much more grown up next to this sign. They need to stop growing now that the boys are in school it is going even faster (wipe tear)

Can you find Jaden, Drew and Lauren?

No stopping them now!!

I love all these odd color pumpkins.

Love this! Why is so hard to get them all to smile? Jaden looks constipated other then that I love it (:

See the horns, she can be quite devilish at times.

And angelic too, she looks sweet here. This was Lauren's day for her preschool to go to a different pumpkin patch. This day was rainy unfortunately but all the kids still had fun.

How cute, they took the kids on a little ride.

I made the kids a little surprise one day when they came home from school. I bought these skeletons at the dollar store and the kids have had a lot of fun playing with them. Happy Fall!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Myths about domestic adoption

With so many ideas, opinions and false information out there I thought I would write a post about domestic adoption. We get lots of questions about adoption most people are very interested and open to the idea but I have found I have had to do a lot of educating. Not that I like to go around like a know it all but this is a topic I am passionate about and there is so much incorrect information I feel it is best to share the correct information. So here are some of the most asked question that I have gotten through the years that I wanted to share.
1. Isn't Adoption really expensive? Yes and no is usually what I say. It depends on lots of things really. If your adopting a newborn from a private agency then yes it can but there is also foster to adopt that is free. You also have to remember that the expense is for your home study, lawyer fees, birth mom expenses, social worker fees. Babies don't cost money you have to pay fees for all of the above if your going through a agency. You have to also remember that the government gives you a tax rebate basically. You will not be taxed for a couple years which helps the fees involved. It is a lot of money but think about when you buy a car. People have money for cars and don't think twice about spending money on them but seem scared by the costs of adoption. If you feel God is leading you to this then don't be scared off by this. There are grants, fundraisers and ways to save. Just making a strict budget will get you there that is how we paid for ours. Simple driving paid for cars, not going on vacation for one year and eating out only once in a while paid for our expenses.
2. Won't the birth mom come try and take the baby back? This is a classic for sure. To many Lifetime movies. When you adopt depending on the state you live there is a certain amount of time that the birth mom has to change her mind. Once that is over then you have legal documents that can not be broken. You go to court to make it all legal so the chance of something happening is very rare.
3. Does the birth mom get to visit all the time? This is something I went into worried about as well. God really changed my heart totally on this. After reading so much information about having a open/semi- open adoption it is best for all parties involved. There is a lot of evidence that knowing where you come from is good psychologically for the child. Birth moms have feelings too and adoption is never easy. You have to remember she gave you her child I think she deserves some say here. I honor Lauren's birth mom and we hope to meet her one day. The openness can vary case by case but typically it ranges from pictures only to some visits.
4. Aren't black babies placed for adoption drug babies? Oh my goodness, this question bothers me probably more then all the others. This is a big myth!! Although there are some unknowns and yes sadly I am sure some babies are but most birth moms care greatly about their children. They go into this putting their child's interest over there own starting with the choice of life for the baby. For them to choose adoption they thought about this and wanted more then they could provide for various reasons. They are very unselfish and fought very hard to give this baby a chance.
5. There are no babies in the U.S that is why we are adopting internationally. This one is really sad!! This is so far from the truth. I am pro adoption all over the globe but please let God lead you on your decision. Do not try to find a baby that fits your family. Adoption is about trying to find children homes not about finding a child that fits your mold. I understand trans racial adoption is not for everyone and yes I had reserves at first and was scared about the unknowns and if I could handle everything involved. God totally changed my heart on this!! The answer to this question is there are plenty of children here! White children are apparently the cream of the crop and some agencies go so far to charge costs to reflect this which is disgusting!! There are beautiful healthy African American babies here. So many that in fact the U.S is one of the top exporters of AA children to other countries!! I could not believe this until I researched this. Apparently Americans have no problem adopting any other children but black. I have no words to say but complete sadness about this situation and churches need to know about this. Some of these kids also go to foster care which is a whole other story. People sometimes think they are being more of a humanitarian adopting from foreign countries when in fact kids are orphans here in the United States. If they are not adopted they will live a life of going from home to home and feel rejected. Really pray about why you are adopting and the reasons why you will only accept certain children but not others. Check your heart!!
6. Aren't foreign born children more healthy and isn't it easier not dealing with birth parents? This is so far from the truth. The U.S has the best health care around from early on. In general 80% of foreign adoptees have some sort of delay or birth defect. You will have some medical history when adopting from the U.S. It might not be extensive but you will have some ideas. I am not saying do not adopt from other countries just be aware that the idea sounds glamorous but many are not healthy and have more issues then stated. Also up until recently before investigations took place oversees some children were not orphaned but were placed for adoption without the parents consent, or stolen. Just because a child is poor does not mean the parents don't want them or they can not be happy. There has been some scary stuff taking place in other countries that is not right.
7. Did you love her the same as your own children? The answer is yes absolutely but it is different at first. It takes time to adjust too all the emotions involved but yes my love is exactly the same. You do have to bond and that took me a few months. I have been pregnant with the boys so I can honestly say it is different at first but that it does not take long. When your pregnant you bond that way and you prepare. When you adopt you have no idea on the timing or course of events. Once that calms down it feels no different. Especially the newborn tiredness fog that all felt the same, I felt like I gave birth with all the emotions just not the physical pain. I also had two small children at the time, it is a blur now (:Sometimes now I even forget she is chocolate brown I don't see her color anymore. That sounds weird in a way but she is so much mine.

Saying all of this I hope you understand that I am pro adoption worldwide. Sometimes domestic adoption is not talked about as much so I wanted to share. It seems that many people think Lauren is from Haiti or some other country and maybe she has some other nationality but people are shocked when they find out we adopted her from the U.S. From start to finish it took only 9 months. Saying all of this I am not tooting my own horn we are not perfect angelic people just people that acted on a need and felt the call of God on our lives to love one of His. Most people adopt because they can't have children but there is a small percentage of people taking this a step further and I consider it a honor. Is there unknowns absolutely but there is when you have biological children as well. No child is perfect and they all have issues in one way or another so you should not let that stop you. People also ask about the whole race issue and how it effects our kids etc.. I will write another post on this but at this point It will only help our other kids. I am not a dreamer I know we will have challenges and we have already but I am so thankful for the gift we have been given. Thank you for supporting my family on this blog and for all the beautiful comments though the years it means the world to me.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dream House

I save all these neat pictures of houses and other decor on my computer. I found these a while back and wanted to share these awesome houses. This is one of my favorite styles of houses. I believe these houses were from the Hampton's. A perfect combination of craftsman, beach and classic. I have no idea if that is correct but it seems to go.

This is great!

Lovely!! Okay I am sure this is a million plus house but a girl can dream right.

I think this was from a different house but this is eye candy to every mom!!

Love this floor

That is the dream door. Look at all the molding and neat closet!!

What a neat feature

I Loved these pictures. I see so many people on blogs that do molding in there homes and it looks easy but I am not sure if it as easy as it looks. Wondering if any of you blogger's have done any of this sort of molding in your homes? The wheels are spinning on buying a house that needs a major update or even building a classic home and adding molding little by little to create something similar. If you have custom built I would be interested in hearing your experience. I like the idea of remodeling a house but I am a bit nervous about knocking down walls and redoing a huge area. I figure if we can find a house that is newer on a wooded lot that would be ideal but also thinking about buying a home in a established neighborhood and re-doing it. Not sure If I can handle the clutter of it though. Please share your thoughts and ideas before I get myself into a disaster.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Life with kids

I finally downloaded some pictures from my phone. What a great invention, I don't think I could live without my phone these days. This picture was from this summer and is so cute I think. I spend a lot of time with my dear friend Jackie. We have lots of fun sharing our motherhood journey together. Her kids are adorable and similar ages of mine. We talk about everything and we laugh a lot.
My blog is for my kids to read someday and I hope they enjoy all the stories and adventures we did. This picture is a really funny memory. Jackie and I with our kids were all going to the park upon entering we saw this little guy. As we got closer my city kids not by choice and myself saw this white squirrel.. I mostly was the excited one I have never seen one like this. I say "Look a White squirrel!" and Lauren runs a head and spots a gray one and says "Look a Chocolate one" It was really cute and we laughed and laughed. The stuff kids say takes me to the floor laughing at times. It can be embarrassing at times too. I have been teaching Lauren about healthy choices and how we need to eat fruit and vegetable's and how ice cream is good but not all the time. I could not think of a way to explain it but then though of the analogy that you will be unhealthy and get big like Ursula (Little Mermaid) if you eat all junk. Now she goes around saying that if you eat to much junk food you will get Ursula booty. Please God don't let this come back to haunt me.
Lauren thinks she is so funny and she is. She loves mannequins.

My favorite Store Pottery Barn, do you see Drew? Him and Jaden always stand in store fronts and pretend they are mannequin's. People always laugh and think they are cute. I suppose that is a good quality.

Where is Jaden?

See what I mean!

They are so fun. Do you ever hear your kids repeating the same stuff you say to people? When they say they are always listening they are.

This week has been crazy already. We are thinking about putting our house up for sale now till Christmas and seeing what happens. Then if it sells we may just rent till we know where we want to live in the Pittsburgh area. The market is still bad here so it is a sad reality of loosing every penny you put down on your house, yuck. It is minor setback but it will all workout. So let the fun begin this may be stressful so I am going to sit back and laugh a lot!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Love this

I really love this!
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