Monday, July 2, 2012

Prom 2012

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Rebecca began dating a junior in March. They talked about the prom, but decided to wait and go the next year. About 2 weeks before the prom, he decided he DID want to go, so we went on a very quick hunt to find a dress. We were very lucky to find one at the first place we visited. The best part, it had been marked down to $99. She asked her godsister, Margaret, to come down and do her makeup. Granna also came and joined in the fun. We went and had her hair done in a "waterfall" braid. She was beautiful. We met some of Andrew's friend at "The Red Door" for pictures. After pictures, they headed to California Dreaming for dinner and then the dance. After the dance, they went to Frankie's Fun Park for some supervised fun.

Adoption Day

The day we have been waiting for finally arrived.  After 2 years of riding the DSS roller coaster, we were able to adopt our three precious children.  Here's how the story began:

Ethan, the youngest, was in my classroom 2 years ago.  At the time, he and his two sisters, Mali and Kimmy, were in the local children's shelter.  I immediately fell in love with him and threw the football with him everyday on the playground.  A social worker called me at the beginning of March to see how he was doing academically.  I asked what their plan was and she said it had just changed to adoption.  I immediately said "My husband and I want them." She put me in contact with the licenseing  department and we got the ball rolling.  It took us until August to get through all of the red tape.  They were finally place with us on August 25th.  At that time, their plan was reunification with their father.

We loved having them as part of our family.  It just seemed right.  Rebecca was thrilled about having siblings.  Around January of 2011, the father completed his "plan" and the children began weekend visitations with him.  It was very difficult for all of us.  By the end of February, they returned to him permanently.  Saying goodbye was one of the most difficult things I've ever done in my life.  It really took it's toll on Rebecca.  We decided to relinquish our foster care license.

Fast forward to mid August.  I was in my classroom getting everything ready for the new school year and I received a phone call from the office secretary.  She said "You're not going to believe this, but he social worker is enrolling the children."  After I gained my composure, I went to the office and spoke with her.  She said they were back in care.  I told her we wanted them back and asked what we needed to do to get our license.  After a week, they were returned to our home.  The first day of school was different for me.  No offense to the parents of my students, but I was most excited about seeing my babies after 6 months.  Rebecca came with me and Eric joined us a few minutes later.  What a joy it was to see their beautiful faces once again.  They immediately asked if they could come back to our house.

At the time they returned, their paternal grandfather wanted custody.  He lives in Kansas.  After a few months, we received word that his house was not approved for him to have custody.  What a sigh of relief.  The father's rights were terminated in January.  The mother had not had a certain hearing at that time, so we had to wait for those hoops to be jumped through before they could be legally free.

We received a phone call during spring break from the adoption worker.  She shared that she had been in a meeting that morning and they were going to move very quickly to speed up the adoption of these three precious children.  The adoption department was trying to meet a quota by the end of their fiscal year-June 30th.  They needed our children to help meet that statistic.  We were happy to oblige.  You see, it doesn't normally work that fast.  After the children become legally free, it can take months for their case to be put on the docket for finalization.  This is one time that being a statistic played in our favor. The mother's rights were terminated May 7th and they became legally free on June 8th.  What a relief.

We are so fortunate to have such amazing family and friends.  They were there with us through the ups and downs of the adoption process.  We couldn't have done it without you.  So...without further is our expanded family:

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Monday, June 25, 2012

All Stars

Rebecca kept us busy in the winter months with her all star cheerleading. We had a great time traveling to Savannah and Myrtle Beach. The kids loved the indoor pool in Savannah and we were fortunate to have someone let us stay at their beach house for 4 days when we went to Myrtle Beach. We have amazing families and friends!! The Savannah trip was like a blast from the past for me. I was determined to find "the fountain". We finally found it after dark, so we didn't get out and go up to it. For some reason the kids didn't find it as interesting as me. : ) They did, however, enjoy River Street. Their favorite part...the candy shop. I have to say that I ate some of the best caramel corn I've every put in my mouth. Their pralines are to die for, too.

The cheerleaders making signs for their doors
 Riverstreet Yummies

From My LIttle Corner

Well...I have been asked by several to please update my blog. The problem I've had with that is the fact that we have 3 special members of our family that are not allowed to be on the internet until the adoption is final. We are 2 days away from that glorious day!! It's hard to blog about your family when half of it can't be in the pictures. But...I will try to give you a glimpse into our lives over the past six months. You can bet there will be a special post on Thursday about our forever family.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Project

Eric and I have a long standing joke about a New Year's project. Usually it is done on New Year's Eve. Not this year. We held out until New Year's Day.
I have become addicted to Pinterest. I think I follow it more than Facebook. I love getting new ideas for decorating, teaching, recipes, and crafts. I pin a project I wanted to do to help eliminate the clutter in our kitchen. Here is a picture of what I found on Pinterest:It comes from this blog:

Here is our version:

Eric getting it started:
The Final Product
I am so proud of it. I can't wait to put it to use when we go back to school.

Happy New Year

We spent a fun evening at home on New Year's Eve. Eric worked on the fire pit so we could roast marshmallows. The kids had a blast getting them toasty brown. Their favorite part was eating the s'mores. After that, we went out front and Rebecca took over as the firework queen. Our neighborhood is supposed to have an ordinance prohibiting fireworks in the sky. Being the rule followers that we are, all of ours were low on the ground. There were some neighbors around the corner that were shooting some major fireworks. The kids could have cared less about those. They were excited about their small ones. Just goes to show you-bigger isn't always better.

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Christmas 2012

This Christmas was a little different. With 4 children, it is very difficult to travel at Christmas. We decided we would go to Donna's on the Thursday before Christmas and come home on Christmas Eve. My mom and dad were going to come Christmas Eve day and my sister and family on Christmas day.

Unfortunately, my Brother in law, Anthony, was admitted to the hospital on the Monday before Christmas with gallbladder problems. He was in the hospital all week and had his gallbladder removed on Friday. Mom, dad and I met in Asheville on Friday to have our Christmas with the Griffins. The best present...Anthony was released on Saturday and the surgery went well.

Christmas with 4 children is wild. There were presents everywhere. Our floor was one big heap of wrapping paper by the time we finished opening gifts. Below is a slideshow of a few of the pictures. (We can't post pictures of the foster kids so these are very limited.)

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