Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How do you know you're done??

A big question for families in general weather families formed through birth or through adoption.  Everyone seems to want to know the answer once you pass a few kids.  Even more so if you get into bigger numbers of children.  And gee, if you're in the teens with the number of kids you have then they say will you ever stop?  So, are we done yet?  I have asked myself this many, many times before.  And, each time I say without a doubt, we are done.  I realize now, I was not done.  Clearly.  After Max and Irina came home, I practically had a nervous breakdown screaming at another mother telling her she was crazy for telling me I'd come back and do this all over again.  That was one for the books I tell you.  After Yana and Alex came home, I knew for a fact we weren't done as I was already in process for Bojan.  After Bojan though, still had a feeling maybe just one more.  Though, Warren was less than enthusiastic about that one.  LOL.  Then, we brought home Alyona and Nik.  With their high level of needs and multiple unknowns with them and a house clearly not able to hold more(yet), we gave it a rest for a few years.  In August of 2009, we were told of a situation of a baby being born with special needs.  A baby!  But, despite writing a dear birth mother letter and such, it was not meant to be.  Yet, that quick letter I wrote in a day made it clear to us that yes, we were both still open to another child.  And, if one more, why not three more.  We decided on Bulgaria and it was Summer, Reni and Logan that were to come home.

At that point, we were at ten kids.  We were done.  No desire to look on any sites or advocate for situations or anything.  I was done.  Busy with the children I had.  I was still helping other families out once home though. And then that is where Sofie's situation came about.  Doing respite to see if she may be a good fit for our family.  It was a new experience for us.  But boy, the moment she got out of the car, I just knew.  Now today, that little girl will be 5yo soon and is so full of spunk, joy and more sassiness than I care to admit right now.  Truly, she fits with this crazy bunch.  In more ways than one.  At the same time Sofie was here, another little girl was placed with our family who we tried to adopt.  Won't go into detail as it was beyond a heartbreaking time for us.  Still is.  Kids still bring up her name often and miss her.  She was with them on and off for about eleven months.  Her and Sofie were like twins and separating them was gut wrenching.  I will never forget Sofie collapsing to the ground.  I will never forget having three other adults here to deal with grieving children.  I will never forget the overwhelming grief that continue for what seemed like forever.  It still hits.  I miss her.  We all do.  The old pictures of just pure joy on her face is how we remember our short time with her.  It is a risk you take if you step into a respite/ adoption situation.  Hence, not sure if we'd EVER do that again.  Not sure our hearts could take such immense pain again.

This year.  Phew.  Never saw it coming.  Not one single bit.  Again, we were approached with a respite situation for a 13yo.  And due to her age, I will not share her story.  For it is hers to tell.  All that needs to be known is she has fit in here as well and will soon be our daughter forever.  Her, Alyona and Reni are always together.  And very shortly after she arrived, as in about a few days after, we became aware of Little Guy and his desperate need for a family.  How could we not?! 

So, that brings us to now.  And I have said this before but as I get older and have seven teens in this household now, I can safely say, we are complete as a family even if just a baker's dozen.  It is fine with us. It is not the number that matters.  It is how we mesh together as a family unit and how we function.  Quantity doesn't matter to us.  It is making sure we can love all the kids and have time for all.  And I am aware many say you can't possibly love them all.  Not true.  Love tends to be multiplied, not divided.  Would we ever be open to another child if a situation came along?  I can not say we wouldn't be open but can say it is HIGHLY unlikely.  We feel complete.  We have our baby boy now.  And though Sofie flat out refuses to let me call her baby, (she says "I not a bobby NO MORE mom!), she is my baby girl. 

So, now that complete, what then?  Well, for one, sell the house.  Those who are unaware, there is also another reason we want to sell.  We are very much considered getting certified as respite care providers.  Seeing if maybe we can help other families out.  A switching gears type of plan if you will.  We've always adopted.  Even when NOT expecting too!  Over the years though, we have met many, many, many families in crisis.  Many simply need a little break.  Even if just for the weekend.  If we had the right set up, we could provide that.  Right now, our house is not conducive to that idea.  We need a different set up to make it work.  So, that will be our focus.  Well, that and getting all our kids to reach their fullest potential possible. 

That is a little of what we are thinking.  For now, we are done forming our family.  We have been given many, many precious gifts.  The feeling this time is different.  I just think you know when you are finished completing your family.  Can't say for sure as I've said this multiple times before as you know.  I was adament.  However, when a child needs you, you have the ability to parent, how can you say no?  This though is our finished family.  We are forever family like it or not.  LOL.  Those of you starting out adopting, never say never.  Never say you could never do it.  Not true.  This never ever crossed our minds when we got married.  But here we are.  Ready to face the world as a completed family.  Try new adventures.  Experience ups and downs together. 

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