Thursday, January 14, 2010

Homestudies past...

I promised earlier that I'd write about some things of our homestudies past.  Okay, first homestudy is no big deal as we were literally terrified of what to expect and had the house immaculate.  I mean really, do we need to be able to eat off the floor?  Is that even normal?  Next homestudy was for Yana and Alex and it was okay as well.   Bojan's was tricky in that we couldn't use our regular homestudy agency.  They wouldn't let us.  See, we had just gotten back from Russia in May of 2004 and in August were already looking to do a homestudy again.  I know, that was a little quick.  But, all worked out so we must have known what we were doing--LOL.  We located another agency that was willing to work with us and we were with them for awhile. 

Shortly after that, we had to do post placement reports for Russia.  PPR's.  We had a lady come visit us that

1) either worked for OSHA or

2) came off a very bad case. 

Either way, it was NOT going well for us.  She was on a safety mission for sure.  Keep in mind, we were in the midst of a massive construction remodel and had just adopted our 5th child at the time.  The back dining hall was taped off w/ plastic.  The entire upstairs floor was being added on.  Mess is an understatement.  So, we had the two girls living in the front bedroom and the 3 boys crammed into the other bedroom downstairs.  Okay, social worker comes in and I swear the eyes must have popped out of her sockets.  Yes, they were big staring at the mess.  So, we chat a bit and then says she must walk around.  I knew in the back of my mind where this was headed.  She walks in the dining room.  There is lumber everywhere.  Expensive molding for the upstairs and chair rail.  She said "what if the kids fall?"  I said they better not!  They'll break that lumber.  I was not kidding either.  I knew the kids if they were to fall would have been messing around.  Trust me, I know my kids.  Balance beams is what they'd do with that stuff.  They were not going to fall and if they did, really, they weren't going to get hurt any more than falling out of the trees they climb.  BTW, they never did trip on that lumber.

Anyhow, next room is the boys' room.  She said "Don't you think it's dangerous to have bunkbeds in this room?"  I said it is temporary until the upstairs is finished.  She said "but they could get hurt on the ceiling fan."  Irina goes "no you can't, it's plastic!"  Then she goes: "see!?"  IRina then proceeded to show the social worker the cut she had on her forward from said ceiling fan.  Remember, Irina can't feel pain so does some not so smart things.  Social worker at this point wasn't happy.  Oh, it gets better.  Irina (12yo at the time) then goes to cook Ramen Noodles on the stove.  Social worker was totally spastic that it was unsafe that I was letting my 12yo cook her own noodles.  URGHH.  Okay, onto the outside of the home.  "You don't have a fence around your pool!"  Me to social worker:  "It's an aboveground pool and does NOT require a fence by law.  Keep in mind, our home is surrounded by woods, not people and houses.  We fold up the ladder and then lock it w/ a bike lock.  Key is kept out of reach inside the pantry.  What if the neighborhood kids get to it"  Umm, at this point, I thought of letting her have it and being sarcastic but I bit my tongue.  I felt like saying "then their parents should be watching them better."  But I did not say that to her.  Thought it though.  Max decided to show the social worker his hacksaw that he uses after I specifically said to him before she came to leave ALL tools in the garage.  URGHH.  I forget what else what happened that visit but she said she'd have to have the director from the agency come out and take a look.  Fine.  He came out, stayed for about 30 seconds and left.  He knew us, knew this was a temporary thing due to the construction and knew the other stuff she mentioned was petty.  So, we survived that one. 

Onto another incident.  Another PPR.  This one was for Alyona and Nik.  Max greets our social worker by telling her what is wrong with her car.  Lovely.  We talk, we love her to death b/c she "gets us" and just is plain nice. We go to walk her out.  Now, first you must know what I do before the social workers come over.  You can call it prepping the kids, whatever.  But with FASers and RADishes being so unpredictable, you have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  I told Max leave all tools in the garage and please whatever you boys do, do NOT go down the hill in my garden cart again.  It's like an accident waiting to happen every time they get into it.  Anyhow, we go to walk the social worker out the door and what do I see before I can even stop it or spit any words out of my mouth?!  You guessed it. That stupid metal garden cart loaded with boys barreling down the hill straight toward the social worker's car.  Thankfully, they did not hit it.  And even more thankful that she said it looked like fun.  Phew.  Trust me, as they were coming down I was thinking of all kinds of things I wanted to happen to those boys for complete defiance.  No, I did nothing.  Not even grounded.  Okay, so did take the garden cart away for awhile.  My boys do some dumb things and one day I'll post a list.  Seriously, I kept a list. 

Those are some of the things that stick out to me.  I know there is more.  Has to be with this unpredictable bunch.  Can they behave for this new social worker?  Oh please.  At this point, bribery may be an option.  I'm just kidding folks.  Don't go crazy.  All I can say is when the social worker is here, my kids hold nothing back. They'll ask anything.  And I mean anything.  I'm nervous the whole time they are here and huge sigh of relief when they leave.  I think my kids are normal.  AT least to us they are.  It's the only normal we know.  We like it a lot.  We love the state of "normal" we have here.  It's not called Chaos Manor for nothing. 

I've filled some more forms out.  Do you know they want references of friends AND relatives?!  Plenty of friends and neighbors to speak on our behalf.  Now, relatives??  You've seen one of my posts on unsupportive family, right?  I do have cousins that would stick up for us but my immediate family & Warren's are against adoption even for child # 1 and child #2.  Not kidding.  Sad, but true.  We've thought of cutting communication but as long as they don't say anything negative to the kids, we keep it open.  Hoping one day for a change of heart that will probably never come.   And that is okay.  We've accepted that fact.  How on earth though do you explain that to an agency that your own family doesn't care?  We've done this 7 times,(well, 4 actually..2 at once 3X) and love our children.  Can't imagine life without them or the chaos that happens here.  Today, Bojan's teacher calls me with more good news, Alyona figured out how to tie something, Nik is spelling his siblings' names, etc.  Some good things happened today.  And, some frustrating things as well too.  That's normal.  So, I ponder tonight who's name we will put down.  Not the friend's part, but the relative.   I wanted so badly to share my homestudy news with my relative today on the phone.  I knew they wouldn't understand as they've stated clearly they will not discuss the adoption whatsoever. Fine, but really wanted to just share the good news.  Something so simple.  I pray that one day a change of heart will come to these relatives.  I really do.  My kids are great.  Okay, so I do tell you some of the not so great things they do, but still, we think they've come an extremely long way.   Love sharing what they can do and what they've accomplished.  My kids long to tell some of their relatives about the adoption but we've asked them not to yet.  Now, told them they can tell their teachers and sure enough, they have indeed!  Too funny.  Alyona has talked all about her sisters that are coming to many people.  I know our family and know we are ready for this.  We wouldn't be doing it if we weren't.  We've thought about adoption again for years now but just was not good timing.  Now, everyone is healthy, everyone is doing great in school (okay, so Alex is still being a bit lazy), and basically, they are thriving!  It's the right time to complete our family.  It really is.  Despite what relatives think.  Sorry for the ramblings.  Searching for some long lost relatives tonight--LOL. 

Anyone have any interesting homestudy stories??  Need to go finish up some stuff.  Irina has 2 weeks off from high school due to exams.  So, we did errands today just her and I.  Warren & I actually took her out to eat on Tuesday to Applebee's.  We had a freebie coupon so didn't cost us hardly anything.  Plus, it is a rarity we go out to eat & wanted her to have that special one on one time w/ us.  As teens, it goes by too fast.  So, when you have the opportunity to do something like this, you take it for sure.  She was SO happy we took her out.  It was really worth it.  And she was great about not telling the other kids.  We do this whenever we take one out.  Makes them feel even more special.  Got to get some work done.  We get up early to get fingerprinted!!!  Now, who in the world would be happy about that?  Me.  That's who. 

Good night. 

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