Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Just what have I been doing all this time I haven't been blogging?!

Well, glad you asked! I have been living the life of a Large Family Mom.

Monday - Track and Baseball. Ben's team won tonight - this was supposed to be the last game but now we're into another week of play-offs...sigh...

Tuesday - Rugby (that's our easy night - our neighbor is coaching and can take the kids along if need be - yay Mark!)

Wednesday - Tball (they're 5 folks - do they *really* need to play until the end of June?!), Track, Baseball and now Rehearsals in another state for the musical next month in which 4 of the kids are singing

Thursday - Rugby, Track (which is currently getting nixed in exchange for rugby) and 2 different scout troops - Ben and his buddy Dan go straight from rugby to scouts in one direction while Tad takes Philip to Special Scouts in another direction while Adora covers home base

Friday is our night off but we've been hosting play practice for the play Ben wrote as a school project - he's currently directing it as a final project

Saturday - tball games, rugby games, track meets (which involves one of us spending the entire day track-side which whichever little one we think can handle the heat and the boredom) and whatever misc events happen in the evening. This Saturday we add a trip to a volunteer day at a therapeutic center we want to eventually look at for Philip and Miriam and a homeschool promotion ceremony in the evening which I think Ben is going to miss due to a birthday party to which he's been invited

Sunday - Church and musical practice

That's just the evenings - the days have been spent trying to finish up our schoolwork which is usually finished by the end of April but seems to be dragging along this year forever. We're also still slogging through the seasonal clothing exchange, the usual array of doctor appointments (1 or 2 per week is the minimum around here) and....Homestudy...

Yes, we are adopting again. This isn't news to many of you but I haven't blogged much about it since it has been a sensitive situation. Andrea is turning 12 soon according to her birth certificate issued in her native India but she is obviously a bit older than this - more like 14 or so I would say. She has a moderate level of mental retardation and is deaf in one ear for which she wears an augmentive device called a Baha. Although Andrea is from India, this will proceed as a private, independent domestic adoption. Andrea was originally adopted from India and her adoptive family has come to the painful decision that they cannot meet her needs so they have decided to disrupt the adoption and find Andrea her final forever family - which is where we come in. Andrea has spent time with us (can you spot her?) on two separate occasions and we found her to be a perfect fit with our family. We are fortunate to have a lot of services and resources in place for Philip and Miriam into which we found Andrea fit perfectly and Tad and I have been able to bond with her. The whole process has been complicated, of course, by our pregnancy but we are pros at that too - I counted it up and of the 7 adoption processes we've been through (2 of which were disrupted mid-stream by the birth families) I've been pregnant at some point for 5 of them. So... a lot of our time has been spent meeting the homestudy requirements. It's actually been so long since we've completed a homestudy that we needed to start all over again.

So what does a homestudy entail for a household of 14 people? Here you go:

  • Driving records from the MVA for 3 adults in the household
  • CPR certification for Tad and Mairs
  • FBI background check for Adora and CPS clearance for all 3 adults in the house
  • Up-to-date physicals and medical forms for all 14 people which involved 5 different doctors, urine drug screen, HIV and TB tests (*this* was a tedious process - praise God for a pediatrician who was willing to schedule appts during her lunch hour every week for a month!)
  • Copies of birth certificates for all 14 members of the household (3 of which we didn't have and had to chase down in two different counties)
  • 3 personal references and a pastoral reference who all had to be tracked down and for whom we had to answer the hard questions - like why are we adopting again with so much on our plate? - They all seemed satisfied with our answers and are now behind us full force
  • Copies of rabies certificate and dog license (both of which were lost and then found in the process - we were sort of hoping the 98 year old lady would pass on before it became too much of a problem...)
  • Home inspections by the fire marshall and health dept - both of these were done for our last disrupted homestudy process and both inspectors were willing to waive the need to re-do them and actually called our agency and went to bat for us - Praise God!
  • Guardianship paper certifying that our children have a legal guardian appointed in the case of something traumatic happening to Tad or Mairs. This might be a simple matter for those with smaller families and our will was penned when JT and Ben were the only kids in the queu. This also became a bit of a...uh...sticking point to discuss and get my sister and her dear husband to recommit to guardianship for now *twelve* children (you know, the sister who had her three children as young as possible so she and her husband could enjoy their latter years in peace...yeah, that sister...) In the end they were happy to do it while inwardly praying that their services will never be required in this matter.
  • Endless forms stating all sorts of information about our children and our family
I'm sure there's more to it than this but this much gives you a pretty good picture of what I've been up to as my blog posting has become scant over the past months...And, of course, pregnancy being what it is I am just a bit more tired, a lot slower and not so quick with the brain cells whilst trying to accomplish all this and still deal with the day to day dynamics of a large family with lots of special needs thrown in....

ah...I'll have to stop this post now - I'm tiring *myself* out just thinking about it!


elizabeth said...

That is a lot of activity. Wow. My best with all of it. I always enjoy your posts!

Sheila said...


So many wonderful things happening at your house!

Do you know yet if that lucky new baby is going to be dressed in pink or blue?

So happy for your family. Tell your son his movie was VERY impressive!

LucisMomma said...

Andrea looks truly lovely! So glad she finally found YOU all. I'm so sorry for the disruptions she's had growing up.

:P on the extra homestudy.

and please tell JM that I appreciate his prayers for John's travels overseas. That JM is one terrific boy!