Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Got a few questions going so thought I'd start answering them. Also,do the best I can to answer them. Okay, I started to answer from beginning but the first few questions are lengthy. So, going in reverse order. These are questions 11 to 20. First few deal a lot w/ mental/ behavioral issues & do take more time to answer. Those will be the next post. BTW, received FBI clearances via FEDEX today! One step closer to my kids. For now, something to tide us over. Questions on things around here.
11. Are your kids ever jealous when you add new children? Yes and no. I say that b/c sometimes they are and sometimes they aren't. We could not have done this a few years ago as Nik was not ready to let go of mom. Now, he is just fine. He is thrilled to be a big brother. He keeps calling Summer(4yo) the baby. LOL. She is far from a baby but will be the baby of the family & spoiled rotten I'm sure. To take some of the jealousy away, we turn the adoption process more on them. How they will help out. How they will teach their new sibs English. How they will help them learn new things. We make it exciting for them. Share all the pictures & have them pick out pictures to print out and put around the house. Most my kids have been through this process before so they really are at the no care point. They just want them home. Alyona really wants her new sisters. Frankly, I think she'd sell her teen sisters if given the opportunity. LOL. this go around, I really don't think there will be too much jealousy. If it occurs, I truly think it will be Nik. Might be surprised though. Last time, all the kids did great w/ the addition of Nik & Alyona. Only time will tell.
12. Do you have anyone to help you out with the kids? This is an easy one. No. We have no one. There are no aides, no family to help, no funds provided to hire someone, no respite. Do I wish we had this? Occasionally, YES! But, we've learned to live without it and can handle it. We also know very well when one of us needs a break from the kids. Some times Warren will come home and I'll simply say I need to swim some laps. I go out in the pool, alone, and swim 50 laps. Helps immensely. Come back in refreshed. Sometimes Warren will go to the store. Kids begging to go with him. Not this time, I'm going by myself. See, most the time Warren will pick one kid to go w/ him. One on one time. But, if he needs a break, it's just him. Now, our friend Mary has offered to take all the kids one weekend to the farm. We may take her up on it. They love it there. You find breaks here and there.
13. How often do you shop for fresh/fruits & veggies? In pics, I always see fruits & veggies around. We do have plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. We pick up our order once a week from a local farmer. We get a discount b/c we are indeed buying in bulk and it's pretty much a standing order. It's a win-win for us and the farmer. They are wonderful and have such awesome produce!
14. Where do you buy fresh foods? See answer above.
15. Where do you shop for groceries? Fresh produce all comes from a local farmer. Majority of our other items comes from Sam's club and Lowes Foods.
16. How many kids do you take w/ you? If we go at night, Warren and I will take no one with us to Lowes Foods. We shop at Sam's once a month and usually have a couple kids with us. Varies each time.
17. Approximately, how much do you spend each time? Since we started the fresh fruit from the farmer, we spend between $75 and $100 a week. It really depends upon our order. Right now it is always $100 b/c I'm actually buying more and freezing the fresh produce such as corn on the cob & blueberries, to use during fall and winter. Also, mashing up many bananas and freezing that as well. Stocking up a bit for upcoming months. Once the big summer season is over, I know our bill will go down for produce as a lot will be out of season. For Sam's, we spend roughly around $600 a month. Roughly. But, we do feed not only the 9 of us but also the kids I watch during the day. Around $800 to $1000 a month(during summer, definitely $1000) is spent solely on food. Sometimes we luck out at Lowes w/ sales and coupons. We were buying discounted fruit there but the deal w/ the farmer (25% off) is better and fresher. With the grocery bill, that includes all household items as well. Key is if something is on dramatic discount, you stock up. When I can get turkeys for .38 or .69 a lb., we stock up. Whole hams for $6 or $7, we stock up. Stuff like that.
18. Ever thought about contacting one of those home makeover shows? this is too funny as they were contacted. My husband's work wrote a very nice piece about us but we never sent in a video. Years ago friends of ours made a video & sent it in. We had 4 kids back then I think. No, 5. Don't remember. Our social worker even asked me as well as Extreme Home Makeover had contacted various agencies in the area asking if they knew of anyone. Would be a dream but there are many more families more deserving. Some times though I do dream about it. Think how many more kids could be helped. We could set up our dream grant fund for families. Our house would be able to help out some of our kids more and put us at ease w/ an all house monitoring system. (FAS kids need literally 24/7 supervision). It would be a relief. Huge relief. Like I said, it's a dream, not reality. I just thought it was humbling to have someone think that our family was so deserving of what I consider to be a wonderful gift.
19. How about ShowHope for a grant for the adoption? Currently looking into various grants and this is one we're looking into. Hard as there are only but so many grants available of course. But, it never hurts to try as you'll never know until you try.
20. How about a love offering from a church? Would be awesome but I could never ask. I feel that is something others would have to feel led to do. I could never ask as our church does so much for so many. They do a lot of good in the community and I feel that is just as vital as helping orphans. Plus, for now, I feel there are much greater needs in our church that need to be addressed so I could never ask that.
I do hope that answered some questions. Phew! Takes a lot to answer questions. Now I know why I didn't do this session earlier. Today is hopefully a little quiet. Irina and Yana went w/ a friend and her mom. Shopping. Checking out a new store and they'll let me know how it is. Other kids are downstairs w/a friend playing life but NOT doing well together. Game may have to end early. It's just so dog gone hot to be outside. We were all out yesterday picking up sticks & pulling weeds. But, it was much cooler and overcast. Today, near 100 again. And tomorrow. Friday, 104. That is NOT heat indexes but real temps. Bought the kids those velvet type posters to color so they're having fun with that. And lots of bead making. Friday we need to do some shopping. Other than that, we've been just trying to get the house ready to sell. Not an easy task. We want to take the kids to the beach but really 100 degree weather last weekend and this weekend is just not cutting it. So, we'll wait a little longer. We are going to have an FAS Support group pool party here next weekend, August 6th. Hoping it will be the first weekend that it is NOT 100 out. Hoping. Got to go. Much more to do. Placed some calls on getting Irina adult services since she is now 18. It is going to take awhile I feel. This is half of the questions. Rest of the questions are more involved answers and will be answered in the next day or so. More of those are RAD/ FAS questions and older kid adoption questions. Be ready. Tomorrow I will contact the high school for meetings regarding Max and Yana. Both cases not resolved. We are not sure which program we want Yana in...academic track or OCS(occupational course of study). Then Max and the failing Math. URGHH!!! He has a severe learning disability in math but school can't seem to work with that. I'm beyond frustrated and unless you have the money to hire an advocate or lawyer, it just doesn't go far in this county. It's the truth. Ask any special needs parent in this county. Crazy. So, school is having to become a priority and getting Irina settled w/ vocational rehabilitation services. Waiting for them to call me. Sent in the forms. I'll do a status check soon. We're still fighting insurance on Nik's speech therapy. If he can't get it, though he desperately needs it, I'll work with him on my own. May pay for one last session and have her teach me what ever he'll need the next few months till I can start over with him again. More to come on all the school stuff for sure.