Saturday, July 4, 2015

Day One

Day one started out with lots of fog.  Sarah and I discussed movies that this reminded us of.  Sarah couldn't remember the title but knew that everyone died.  Facebook friends came up with The Mist, I do believe that was it!

 
We tried to make frequent stops for Benjamin.  He isn't used to long car rides. He had lots of opportunities to run around.
 
 
 
We stopped for a picnic lunch and the kids complained about the cold.  Higher elevation and cloudy, rainy day made it nice a cool.
 
 
 
There was a nice path to go and see the New River Bridge.  It is the world's longest single-arch steel span bridge. This part of the country is beautiful. 
 








In West Virginia we stopped and took a history tour of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum.



Construction on this building began in 1858 and it was closed in 1994.  There is a lot of history there.  Construction stopped during the civil war because troops were housed on the grounds and they burned the building materials.  One of the first VA hospital was also housed here.

 
 
The building is the largest hand-cut stone masonry building in North America.  In the world, only the Kremlin is larger.

Irish masons placed faces on the exterior walls to ward off evil spirits.



 
 
I would recommend the history tour to anyone driving through the area.  They also have ghost tours.
 
 
Later we stopped and ate dinner, breakfast for some of the kids.  We spent the night in West Virginia. We found that Benjamin did well on the drive but didn't want to sleep in the hotel. His sleeping has long been an issue.  When he was a baby he didn't sleep well.  We had to hold him a lot.  Now the only place he likes to sleep is his crib.  I hope that by time we finish this trip he will learn to sleep in other places.
 
 

We also lost our Minion there.  I meant to take him off my van before we went into the hotel but forgot.  Someone took him and one of my flowers.  Sigh.......

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Field Trip

Today we did a little pampering before our trip. The girls and I went and got pedicures. This was actually my very first time getting one and it was way overdue.  They about had to sandblast my feet. I might just do it again.


Then I got the car cleaned.  I know, it is futile.  At least we start the trip with a clean car, it won't last long. It is a little after midnight here and I am not finished preparing.  It is amazing how much stuff you need for a baby and many others.  I feel as though we are moving out of state.

We put the minion on the car and will take off bright and early....maybe.  I wonder if my minion will make it far.  Folks are taking my flowers, I wouldn't be surprised if someone takes off with him.


I can't convince the kids that this is a vacation, they keep telling me that it is a field trip. Wish us luck on our field trip, I hope that we don't come home too early!

Adoption Paperwork and Travel

I am curious, to all my adoptive readers, do you travel with your child's adoption paperwork?

We are about to travel for 2 weeks and I pulled out all our adoption decrees to take with us.  I don't normally carry it around, typically it sits in our fire box for safe keeping.

This is our first vacation where I feel the need to bring it, perhaps because we are going to Canada. Perhaps because I recently heard of a story where an adoptive father was accused of not being his child's parent because the child was a different race.

So it got me to thinking, how many adoptive parents travel with their adoption paperwork?

Games


Games are such a hard thing in our house. We have kids who cheat at every opportunity.  It is so bad that some had been banned for a while because they would literally hurt their siblings to win.  It didn't matter what type of game or competition, it became a battle.  I thought that I had found a game that all could play in Perfection.  There is a timer and the rules are very simple.  I played as well and I was the reigning champion for a while.

Yesterday suddenly Anthony and Michelle were playing it so fast that I thought it was amazing. Then I sat down and watched them.  They laid out the pieces in the order in which they go into the game. Uh, I explained that it was cheating.  They claimed that it was their strategy. No, I claimed cheating. They were taking the challenge out of the game.  To me, that is taking the fun out of it.  To them it was all about the win, at any cost.

Anyone else struggle with kids who have to win and will cheat to do so?  Do you have any games that they are able to play?  Any strategies that work?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

She's Driving

A while back we told Kassi that once she got her driver's license we would get her a car. We hoped to motivate her to greater independence (and reliability to get to her job). She moved to a new apartment and lost a job because of transportation but still didn't get her license.  I started looking for a car anyways and found her something.


Ha, but she couldn't drive it.  I guess that finally gave her the motivation because she went out and got her license.  She also started a new job.


She is a little lead footed so watch out for that car if you are driving through South Carolina!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Names

For those who have adopted, have your kids changed their names?

All of our kids have, some very minor and some totally different.  All of them except for Larissa and hopefully Little Man had an input into their name.

Yoselin Karina became Joselin Karina

Lewis Carlos became Anthony Lewis, do not call him Tony because he won't answer.

Lewisa Carlosa became Larissa Ann (my middle name) Sometimes she is called Weesie, a name we called her from the beginning.

Cheyanne Faith became Michelle Alise (Michelle is Sarah's middle name)  I liked Faith but Michelle didn't want to keep it

April Sharon became Emma Rose (Rose is Tasha's middle name, and my grandmothers)

Kassi had two middle names, she removed one and put in Ann (sharing with Larissa and myself).

The name we have chosen for Little Man is Benjamin Ross.  Benjamin comes from my husbands family.

We put a lot of thought into new names. The kids also think about it for a long time. We offer suggestions and do veto some names.  Emma's name of choice would have been Bambi Sparkles. Michelle was talking the other day about how much she likes her new name and is glad she could change.

Some people have a problem with changing names, they feel that you are taking away a part of the child.  I don't feel that way. I think a little differently. Instead of looking back, I think that you are offering them a new beginning and an opportunity for a great future in their new family.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Don't Call me the Real Mom

The other day I had an adoptive parent reach out to me in pain.  Her daughter told her that she wanted to see her "real mom".  This hurt my friend.  She has had this child from birth and doesn't understand why her daughter calls her other mom the real mom.

What is a real mom?  To my adopted kids that is typically a term that they use for their biological mom.  I don't correct them, I allow that term.  It is synonymous to biomom, biological mom and such and so much easier for the kids to say and understand.  I understand what they are saying and am not hurt by that term. When others ask about my kids "real mom" I am also not offended.  I know what they mean.

The other day I received a text from Kassi.  In short she wrote, "Mom, my real mom hurt me again.  I don't know why I try".  I had been expecting this.  I worried from the moment that her "real mom" came back into town.  Not because her relationship with her real mom would take away from my relationship with her, but because I knew that her real mom would hurt her.  Her real mom has not been in her life in any real way for a long time.  Yet, she is her real mom.  Kassi wants for her to do what real moms do.  Unfortunately, her real mom can't do that. Kassi is an adult, it is her relationship and her choice on how she proceeds with it.  I wish that her real mom could be a mom, having more than one mom isn't a bad thing.  The more people you have who love and support you the better.

I do not claim the title of real mom, or adoptive mom, or any other type of mom with something before it.  I simply am mom, sometimes mama.  I only want to be mom.  The only time I put a title in front of it is when I put one of my kids names there.  I am Jason's mom, Tasha's mom, Joselin's mom, Sarah's mom, Kassi's mom, Anthony's mom, Michelle's mom, Larissa's mom, Emma's mom and in my heart Benjamin's mom.

Don't ever call me the real mom, I am mom and I don't need any real in front of it to know who I am to my children.