Thursday, January 20, 2011

Isn't my mom cute?:-)

Just had to point out that the picture I used for my header is a picture of my mom when she was a little girl. So cute! She baked lots of birthday cakes when I was a child, in many ways my passion for motherhood and adoption started with with my mom, Shery. She is an inspirational woman who mothered 10 children.

When things don't go my way....

I am not going to lie...I am not a patient person by nature. When I found out in November that we had to wait until the end of January to get started on our adoption process I threw a little fit (this my husband will attest to!). I wanted to get the ball rolling {NOW}. I think that most of us are that way by nature. We figure out what we want and it's like a fly to a light we are so focused on the goal ahead of us that we lose sight of the important things along the way (like remembering to not drive our spouse crazy).

Well, today is the day we are scheduled for our orientation meeting and as you can tell by yesterdays post I was really excited and looking forward to getting to that step in our journey.

And then, my beautiful and lovely daughter got sick with the flu....and gave that flu to me!

I am not feeling well and generally worn out because I've been up the last two nights nursing her back to health with medicine, fluids and snuggling. On top of that I am stressed out because I have assignments due and seriously lack the energy or time to do them. I also am supposed to start interning on Tuesday in a third grade class and will not be able to do so if I am still contagious!

So, I started to feel real sorry for myself this morning. I was bummed out and just pouty (this my husband will attest to as well). Then I got to thinking about the other times in my life that I have been at this point of looking into adoption. Let me tell you about those times...

When I was a girl I knew I wanted to be a mom. I played with dolls, adored babies and knew that I'd be a mom one day. When I got married I couldn't wait to have a baby. I was so anxious for it that I had a really hard time waiting until my husband was ready. When we started trying I did not get pregnant. After a year I did not get pregnant. We tried IVF and I failed to give birth.

Then, we decided to adopt. We made some calls, did some research and found a wonderful agency in our town. We signed up and then we waited (not long though). It was about 4 months when we got the call that we were chosen. About 5 months later we were parents to our son "Mighty" who is our pride and joy. We didn't plan on things happening that way...didn't frankly want things to go that way at first. But I wouldn't change it for the world and the heavens today because I have my dear son. He was God's plan for us.

Then, we started to think about a second child about the time that M turned 14 months old. We thought that because adoptions generally take longer for a second child that we would need to plan for at-least a year of waiting for a child. We knew we wanted a girl. We did some looking around, spoke with some agencies and even met with a couple of them. Then, we got a call one day from an angel (named Kelli), she connected us with an adoption attorney (named Lee, another angel) who was looking for a home for a baby girl that was due in 8 weeks time. Wow, just....wow. We didn't plan on things going the way they did. We were a mess in those weeks leading up to Princess's birth but...wow...God does some seriously amazing things for His children. 6 short weeks later we met our daughter. She was every single thing we had hoped for and prayed for in a little girl. She is perfect for us.

 I was upset about today at first and then I realized that if things always went the way we wanted and intended them to go that our beautiful children would never have become ours. I am excited to get this ball rolling, but I am ok that it isn't today.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Looking into Foster Adoption

Motherhood Blessing

I have been so excited this week. I'm excited because tomorrow night we are going to an orientation meeting with our local Foster Adoption agency called Camelot.

This meeting will be the beginning of our journey towards our next child. I don't have a lot of information yet but I do know that we are hoping to adopt a boy, up to 2 years old and that it may take a really long time for him to come into our lives.

The way Foster Adoption works is when a parent's rights are terminated the child may become eligible for adoption through the state. Parental rights are rarely terminated until a year of "trying" to get their life in order to get their child back. Because of that, many times kids do not become available for adoption until they are older, usually 4 to 5 and older. We are holding out hope that God knows the perfect child for us and that things will go according to His plan.

We do have our eyes and ears open to other possibilities as well but we are hopeful that we will find our son through this process. It takes 10 weeks to go through the training program, then the home-study update, then just waiting. Please pray for us. While excitement and anticipation are the emotions I am feeling now, I know that those emotions can be turned into frustration and impatience. Fortunately we know that God has been knitting our family together like an intricate web from the very beginning and we have faith and hope in His design for our children's lives.

Are you considering Foster Adoption? Have you Foster Adopted? I would love to hear about your thoughts and experiences.


I found this blog with some wonderful resources and information on Adoption and Foster Adoption: Another Small Adventure

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Messes Become Lessons






Is there a moment in each day when you take time to consider how lovely and beautiful your kids are? I don't do this enough but lately I have been thinking so much about appreciating the good in my children, even when they are doing "bad things" or being messy. Part of the reason I've been thinking about this is that as part of my class assignments I have been considering my own childhood and the things about my childhood that shaped who I am today. There are qualities of mine that made for a challenging child but I wouldn't be me if I didn't sneak into my mom's cabinets for lipstick and nail polish or make a mess in the kitchen because I wanted to "make" something.

My desire for my children is that they learn to love the unique parts of themselves so that they can flourish into the beautiful people that God created them to be. Sometimes that means taking a deep breath and realizing that, while it may be messy, annoying, frustrating, down right bang your head aggravating, kids are kids. They do things to explore and discover who they are and what they are good at. Life is just one big lesson and what good would those lessons be if we never made a mess or missed the mark. Sometimes the best parts of life are the unexpected discoveries.

Next time you are getting ready to lose your temper or face a challenge with your kids ask yourself, is he just being a kid or is he being rebellious. I bet most of the time the answer will the the former. If it is just childish behavior use it as a lesson and not a punishment. Grace and understanding goes a long way to build trust and respect in a parent/child or even student/teacher relationship.

And for a fun "messy" project to do with your kids check out Darling Clementine's Messy Outdoor Art

Friday, January 7, 2011

Going Back To School

Cute Back to School Graphic with Crayons
Cute Back to School Graphic with Crayons - Images - Pictures

Well, it's that time of the year again, back to school. Usually for an almost 30 something mother of two that means kids are going back to school. Well, for my family that means that my kids and I are all going back to school. You see, I never finished college. I started college when I was just graduated from High School. I was not even 18. I did one full time semester and then I moved to Florida. I figured I'd work (to pay the bills) and then I'd get myself married and have babies. I didn't imagine that I would need a college degree nor did I particularly want one. I had dreams of becoming a famous chef or even a lawyer. I just didn't do anything about those dreams thinking they were silly little ideas in my head. 


Now I will be 30 in a few months. I've been married for 10 years. Almost 6 years ago I became a mom. Through the last 12 years I have been in school at least part time on and off trying to finish my degree. Its a shame really, I didn't know the value of College. I wasn't pushed or encouraged to go by my parents. My Grandfather tried to talk some sense into me but I just knew I was going to be a housewife and I wouldn't need a degree. Boy was I young and filled with dreams of a reality that rarely exists for ANYONE. The truth is, even if I didn't want to be in the work force, college would have been very beneficial to me. Schooling is about so much more than academics. It's about community and learning about the differences in people. It's about expanding your mind and challenging yourself to become a better person.


I know that college isn't for everyone. There are a special few that get by in life just great without it. For me, it's what I was meant to do. I've known for many years now that I wanted to be a teacher. I want to make a difference in the world. I know that as a teacher I can help children and encourage them to reach their potential. I am excited to be at a point in my education that I will be working hands on with kids and I can see the finish line! 5 semesters of full-time work. It will be extreme. It will be hard. It will challenge me. But when it's done, I'll have achieved something I am incredibly proud of. I will be able to get a job doing what I was meant to do. I'll have a "career"! I'm super excited to be in the final phase of this chapter of my life. I sincerely look forward to the day that I switch from the role of student to the role of teacher.


In the mean time, I will probably write a bit about the experience. More for me than any reader that might happen along to my blog. This isn't about adoption, but it's my life and I am sure that there will be memories and tips that I have along the way that will be worth writing about. Part of the whole experience is sharing how I do it with two small kids and a husband who also needs my attention. I will be posting about recipes and meal plans to simplify my life over at my other blog: www.potsnplans.blogspot.com
-Sarah

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Gluten Free Banana Bread

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Pecan-Banana Bread
Adapted from Blackbird Bakery Gluten Free by http://www.iwanttobakeyouabirthdaycake.blogspot.com/





This bread is amazing! So sweet and moist. You would never guess that it is made without gluten and dairy. The roasted ripe banana’s make this bread super sweet and very special. If you love Banana Bread, you will adore this recipe.

Ingredients:
4 very ripe bananas
1 ½ cup Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ cup Earth Balance vegan buttery spread
2 large eggs
⅔ cup almond milk “buttermilk” (fill ⅔ cup measure almost to the top and pour in about 1-2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar to make a mock buttermilk)
2 tsp. vanilla
⅔ cup chopped pecans

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Arrange the  unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet and pierce them 6 times each. Roast the bananas for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Squeeze out the fruit from the skins into a bowl and mash with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon until there are no large clumps.

In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt and mix on low to blend. Add the Earth Balance and continue to mix on low. Add the eggs and mix on medium speed until smooth. Reduce the speed to low and add the buttermilk, and gradually bring the mixer up to high speed until the batter is light and fluffy, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the banana pulp, vanilla and the pecans and stir to blend.

Grease a loaf pan by rubbing it with canola oil or Earth Balance (give it a good coating of grease to prevent the loaf from sticking). Poor the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for an hour and fifteen minutes. Cool for 10-15 minutes and then run a knife along the sides of the pan and un-mold the loaf onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

To freeze, simply cover in aluminum foil and then place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to one month.

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