Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's a bit too nice out to be that crabby

I was having a very crabby day. I was pitying myself this afternoon and tired of getting manipulated and taken advantage of.

BUT, I stayed calm, and carried on, following my advice from this morning. And things started to improve.

First, Salinda and Gabby came home and Salinda passed her driver's test. That takes us to four licensed drivers in the house, which will help with transportation issues. Of course, there are still only two vehicles....

I then took Salinda out to get her haircut and she left the baby with John and his girlfriend. While we were gone we had a good talk and she even said the words, "I was going to tell you that if you need help around the house you can ask and you don't even have to pay me." That's so nice to hear.

When we came home we found these two napping together. Pretty great photo opportunity and a very cute picture.

Gotta have a few good moments like these....

It's All in My Head, Even if It Isn't in Theirs

Like the Adoption Counselor blogged this morning, I continue to be amazed by FASD and how it affects our children. I am especially frustrated by the accusations my kids who have FASD make and the things they say about us as parents. We have one adult son in particular who is convinced that he got the short end of the deal from us and that, though he is way beyond 18, we owe him so much because of what he feels we didn't give him during his childhood. I have to literally bite my tongue.

Why? Because I have ALL of the information about the last 7-8 years all neatly organized, in chronological order, with the facts straight, in my brain. I know how many times we were falsely accused, manipulated, stolen from, lied to, loaned money that was never paid back, and just generally were mistreated. It's all in my head.

But when he comes up with some one liner accusation about how we owe him something that he deserves to have, I have to force myself not to respond. I spent 15 minutes this morning forcing myself to shut up after one of those zingers flew through the air of the van.

Why didn't I challenge it and try to make him understand? Because it wouldn't. have. mattered. He wouldn't have understood at all what I was trying to say.

So I just let it sit there. That horribly wrong, unjust accusation, and attempted to consider the source -- a mind that doesn't incorporate, translate, and synthesize data in an organized fashion.

But oh how I wanted to say something.....

Feeling Strange

Bart recently purchased a replica of the poster above, in picture form, and it is now hung in our room. It's story, copied from Wickipedia, is as follows:
The poster was initially produced by the Ministry of Information in 1939 during the beginning of World War II, and was intended as a "last case scenario" to be used only should the Nazissucceed in invading Britain via Operation Sealion, in order to stiffen resolve.
When Kari and I discussed the closing down of her blog last night, I hung up feeling very weird. Lots of questions as to whether or not I should do the same.... should I have used real names for my kids? If and when is it going to come back and bite me?

Maybe I should have done it differently, but the history here is so significant that I can't erase it all. And going back and changing the names on 5000 posts isn't something I want to spend my time on. So I'm just going to have to do what I do have to do ... keep calm, and carry on.

I am feeling after last night that we are just destined to get screwed over by our kids. For the fourth time (3 in the last few months) one of our children has managed to financially manipulate several hundred dollars a piece from us which may never be returned. All of this is hurtful, frustrating, and makes me very saddened by their lack of regard for me but my only choice is to ... keep calm, and carry on.

Busy day ahead, orthodontist, dentist, conferences, trip to court house, doctor's appointment but in the midst of all the mayhem.... keep calm, and carry on.

And so I leave you with those words today....

keep calm...

and carry on.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Yo Quiero Taco Bell

It may not be Taco John's but our John is going to sell their tacos. YES. He FINALLY has a job. They called at 10 this morning. We couldn't reach him (at girlfriend's moms) until 1, and he has orientation at 3.

Wow. It's been a long hard dry spell, but now 4 of my 5 adult sons have some type of employment (well at least by June 7 they all will). Now it's time to work on the next two that would like to work.........

I'm feeling more grateful than ever.

NACAC Conference in August in Hartford, CT

Bart, Kari, and I will all be speaking at this conference. If you are an adoptive parent and have not been to this conference, you really should go. We've been to several and they are amazing....


You know, I do a lot of whining sometimes. My life has it's frustrations and sometimes the chaos is overwelming. I don't like to get cussed out or threatened, I don't appreciate the constant obsessing and screaming and resistance, I don't like feeling resentful and manipulated and used.

But, I do have quite a few things to be grateful for. We only have one kid left who rages and they are usually only a few times a week, loud but not horribly destructive, and I'm not afraid someone is going to get hurt. We don't have anyone in jail at the moment. All of our kids but two who should be in school are. None of our kids give us grief about going to church. Two of our adult children now have full time jobs (Kyle and Mike) and by June 7 Rand will as well. We are all healthy. The county is not involved in our lives at the moment. We have no open cases or investigations in that realm. Nobody is in serious trouble at school.

Sometimes it's a matter of perspective. Reading other's blogs always reminds me that all of us have our good days and our bad days.

I'm thankful today that at this moment things are at that part of the ride where it's calm and you can enjoy the view.




Monday, March 29, 2010

A mumbo jumbo of things...

I like having a plan. I like making it, executing it, and evaluating it. I have a plan for everything.

At night before I go to bed, I plan the following day. In the morning I wake up and I replan the day while I'm in the shower. I can tell you what I hope to be doing with most of my day -- and seldom does it change because I want it to.

But our kids certainly do not do a good job of this. They never know what they are doing next. This is Mike. At 6:06 he texts that he is taking his gf out to dinner. At 6:10 he says never mind, I'm coming home. At 6:17 he walks in the door with his girlfriend. I ask him, "Is ____ eating with us" and he says yes. At 6:22 we call them to dinner and he looks at me like I"m nuts. "____ already ate!" he exclaims. I invite her to sit with us anyway.

It's like that. A lot. And Mike isn't the only one. Salinda has changed teh time she is coming home a few times already. John called at 4 not knowing for sure if he would be home for supper.

I just don't know how they can live like that. I have to have a plan. And I have a need to stick to it. It's going to be a long long 8 years until Wilson graduates.


Training Opportunities in Minnesota

Click here for a list of upcoming trainings.

Adoption Tax Credit Update

Straight from NACAC:

Public Law 111-148, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, was signed into law on March 23, 2010. Section 10909 of the Act extended the adoption tax credit for one more year (to December 31, 2011) and expanded the program in two ways:
  • For tax year 2010, the amount of the credit was increased from $12,170 to $13,170.
  • The credit was made refundable for all types of adoption for tax years 2010 and 2011.
Because the adoption tax credit will be refundable, families who have smaller tax liability will now be able to benefit from the credit for adoptions finalized in 2010 and 2011.
The IRS has not yet released any guidance on the change. NACAC will update its tax credit fact sheet later this spring.

If you would like to take a free online course one is available here.

Which is Stranger: My Dreams and my Reality?

I had a very involved dream last night that I was still in high school and Mike was going back to school as well, plus he had a friend over who was about 13. The two of them needed to go to school and Mike told me he had arranged transportation for everyone. This big bus pulled up full of kids, and all of my kids and I got on the bus. As we pulled away, I realized that we were going to 5 different schools in 3 different towns (this is not true in my "real life" by the way) and I was getting dropped off first. This would leave Mike to give instructions to the driver as to where everyone needed to be. I'm pretty sure that in real life he could not tell you his siblings schools and grades right now, so the idea of all that in the dream was fairly horrifying.

So when I got to my high school, I had to call Bart to warn him that Mike or the bus driver might be calling him. I could not get through. Try explaining to your high school teacher how you have 10 kids on a bus and you need to let your husband know they might not make it to school. Awkward. ;-)

So on to my reality. I heard from the basement dwellers that there was a body on one of the beds downstairs but they didn't know if it was Mike or John. I knew John was spending the night at his girlfriend's mom's, so concluded it was Mike. Bart and I decided by 7:15 that I should at least be courteous enough to wake him up and ask if he needed a ride.

Here is how the conversation went:

Me: Mike, do you work today?

Mike: (increduously): YES!

Me: And we were supposed to know that?

Mike: yes

Me: And we are responsible to wake you up?

Mike: yes

Me: And we are supposed to know that you are here?

Mike: yes

Me: And do you need a ride?

Mike: Yes

Me: Well, we're leaving in 15 minutes.

We rearranged our mornings to provide him a ride and as Bart is ready to walk out of the door he says:

Time to go.

Mike: I don't need a ride. My girlfriend is picking me up.

Bart: But ten minutes ago Mom told me you did.

Mike: Yeah, she just called.

So we un-rearranged our morning.

Sometimes it's a little hard to keep up with FASD. We were supposed to know he was home, know that he worked, know that he wanted us to wake him up, AND know that he needed a ride. I guess he has a LOT of confidence in us.

So, which is stranger? Dreams are reality. They are strangely similar, I'd say.

Unasked and Unanswered Questions

When John came home from jail I was bound and determined that he not go back. I KNEW he could do what he needed to do and avoid a conviction, the possibility of registering as an offender, and more jail time. He just needed a little help from me. Well, at least it was my theory.

And so when he would go out and spend the night with friends I would ask him where he was, what he was doing, when he was going to be back. If he was making less than wise choices, while I did not forbid him to go (he is/was 19), I pointed out that he'd be safer staying home and that he was taking a big risk by hanging out with them. If he chose to skip his assigned group counseling session, I indicated that he was violating his probation. When he refused to go to school, I again suggested that his choice was unwise if he wanted to remain "on the outside." I warned, reminded, and even sometimes borderline nagged. I often said, "Well, at least I'm not the one who will end up back in jail. I'm doing all I can."

And you know what? Every single one of those words was wasted. He's going to have a hearing because he did violate his probation and most likely will be convicted and spend time in jail. I completely wasted my time, energy, words, vocal cords, mental energy, etc.

And now Mike is out of jail and spent the weekend who knows where. He didn't sleep here. He popped in and out to use the shower and get stuff, sometimes with a friend, sometimes greeting us, sometimes not. But this time, I didn't ask. Sure I had questions, but I didn't bother. Yes, if he violates his probation, he will go back to jail, but me telling him that 1,204,236 times won't make a difference.

So I'm trying to keep my mouth shut and let him live. He is 21. He has a full time job. If all he wants from a family is a spot to put his stuff, a shower and a washer and dryer, and an occasional meal, that's not tough to provide. As long as he is leaving our stuff alone and not causing a problem, I'm going to let it go. But it's not going to be easy for me. I have a big mouth. I have a need to nag. It's my nature.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Is Your WHY Bigger than your BUT?

This morning I was overhearing the "Hour of Power" and some guy I've never heard of was preaching but he made a really good point. He said that until your motivation is greater than your excuses nothing happens.

I think that is the beginning of every great thing that happens, including the beginning of the thought for a family to adopt a waiting child. They have motivation, but their excuses are stronger. The "Buts" outweight the "Why".

I think I'm going to use that next time I recruit... and I'm not going to belabor it any more here. But apply it to your life.

Is there a situation in your life where your Y needs to be bigger than your But?

If You Are Picturing The Scene

When you read our blogs (mine and Kari's) after we've spent the evening together you might have a very different picture than what is reality. For example, Kari wrote about our delightful karaoke experience and if I were picturing it I might be tempted to see four adults sitting in a clean living room while the children played quietly in another room.

But it was WILD. Machine guns (nerf), several kids surrounding us, one being restrained, some trying to stand in front of the TV, teenagers continually mocking and making fun of our voices (Tony, ever so gently suggesting that my singing "Sucked" for example), everyone making fun of the music, adult children coming and going, people interrupting us with a multitude of questions and statements, and the decibels in the house rising to near record levels. That is a better picture of our evening

But it is still very fun to be with our friends. It's a stress reliever. And the fact that they can have a good time while all this is going on.... now that's priceless.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

And then there were 10....

I think we had 16 of us here for lunch if you count Gabby.... but four left and we're down to ten. Salinda went to spend a few days with boyfriend's family as he has extended family in town and she wants to be here with us for Easter. She says she'll be back tomorrow or maybe Tuesday. Hopefully without me having to go get her.

I think that my bottom emotion in all of this adult kid stuff is that I don't like feeling like I'm being manipulated or taken advantage of. Sometimes they don't even speak to me as they walk in and out, grabbing the food I'm paying for or hoping in the shower to use up water they aren't paying for. I know it's petty and annoying listening to me, but you should hear what is going on in my head all day long.

It would be a bit different if they remembered they had parents as they planned things that required our help.

Oh well. Mike and Kari are coming for dinner and Bart is making this recipe I found for him which as enough cream and cheese in it that it has to be amazing. The karaoke selections tonight from the 70s are going to be great as well. Lots of good food and our best friends. Can't really ask for more than that to lighten my mood.

That, and the pictures above and the child they represent. Even though I don't get to see her until Tuesday. Can you tell she and I were having quite the conversation?

The first day with 11 kids here, no wait, 10, no 9, no 10....., no 11...

you think I'm exagerrating? Well here is how it went.

First all 11 were going to be here. Then John was spending the night somehwere else. Then Mike was. Then Sadie was having a friend over. Then Salinda was having a friend over. Then apparently John ended up coming home in the night, and MIke early this morning, and then even Salinda's boyfriend arrived before I was out of the shower and suddenly I think were 14 kids here, plus the baby, until Wilson left to help the cub scouts collect food and Mike went to work and....

Just keeping track of who is here, not to mention shower schedules, etc. is going to be wild. And there certainly won't be enough hot water to go around.

Thanks to a few of you who have sent some ideas about rules, I came up with a list for each. Even though Salinda is only 17, I'm going to allow her to have the option of being on the "adult" side since she is already a parent.

I'm making it clear that I cannot control people ... especially adults... and how their willingness to comply with the rules isn't going to get them kicked out -- but will certainly change my feelings towards them.

Managing my own stress is going to just be about all I can handle it seems. At least for today.

Friday, March 26, 2010

So Glad You're Here to Listen to me Whine

The bed looked very comfortable. It was. Until I slept on it a while and my back got so stiff. So I woke up at 4:20 and tried to make myself go back to sleep for an hour, but to no avail. I forgot to pack dress shoes but didn't discover it until it was way to late to do anything about it so now I have to find a creative way to convince our beloved leader not to fire me (she's quite picky). I think I have a good idea about an illustration for one of our modules that would require me not to wear shoes all day. ;-) It's stressing me out a bit though.

This training is very intense -- requires quite a lot of mental energy from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. When I arrive home I will be living in a household of 14. Wow.

Thanks for being there to listen! NOw I have to get myself out the door.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

If you were me

And you had this picture emailed to you...

even if you were alone in a hotel room...

wouldn't you kinda wish you were home?

A Full Day

I was horribly crabby this morning. Trying to sort out how to deal with all the issues of having kids and adults all living together. And I had a work project that was giving me fits.

But after a nice lunch with my husband my attitude changed and I came up to the Cities to spend the night in preparation for a training tomorrow that starts very early. I stopped a couple places trying to find some good deals on clothes for Rand as he needs all kinds of stuff for his summer job. He needs a 5XLT and today I discovered that there is no such thing as cheap clothing. Even with clearance a t-shirt was at least $15.00. I'm going to look online I guess.

Then came to the hotel, messed with the crazy work project some more and then took Kyle and Christy to dinner. I updated them on the family and they told me about work and wedding plans. I stole the picture off of her facebook page. She uploaded their engagement pictures and I liked this one in particular.

Apparently Salinda's bf and his mom are visiting the baby at my house tonight. I haven't heard how that is going. As I mentioned, I'm a bit hesitant to blog about any details, though Salinda did report to me that she has been happy since she moved home.

Tomorrow I"m up at 5:45 and heading out for training by 6:15 or so. Won't be home until after 8 tomorrow night. I"ll be exhausted.

I' thinking about going to bed at NOW but it's only 8:00. I will at last wait until Bart comes online and say goodnight...

Only a few more minutes before it all begins...

Well, it sort of all begin already, but most of the kids are still asleep for a few more..

I was wondering if I could get some feedback about a question I've been struggling with over the last week. For those of you who parent "adult" children and minor children at the same time, how do you keep the minor children "in line" without over-parenting the adult children?

We have a lot of guidelines for kids in the house, but we have loosened up on some of them for the adult kids. Obviously they still have to help out, they still have to be kind and not verbally abusive, there are no drugs or alcohol allowed here, they are supposed to let us know when they are coming and going and if others are with them...but a lot of smaller issues like what time they go to bed I figure is up to them.

I'm finding the "it's not fair" attitude on the side of the youngers (who of course, aren't that young any more) and yet I hate to go to a very restrictive environment for the "adults" even though I know that they are choosing to live here simply because I think it would be personally exhausting. Though not saying much is personally exhausting as well.

I know some of you are in the same situation. Do all rules apply to all of your kids at home whether they are adults or not? I'd love to hear how other people do it.

(And for those of you who are sitting back dreaming that when YOUR kids all get to be 18 they will make a nice transition into a college dorm, you may want to take off those rose colored glasses and read about your future. Right here and right now. This is the ONE thing that has totally blown me away ... I seriously believed that we would gradually have the children move out as they became adults and that they would build lives for themselves. Tomorrow, 11 of the 12, four of them 18 and over, will be living here. With us. In this house. Plus the grandbaby. So it really isn't working out the way I anticipated.)

p.s. I'm not as crabby as I sound. And I am for the most part enjoying having my adult kids and their friends, and their girlfriends, around. I just am not sure what's the best approach to take so that the younger kids are not affected.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Literally one hour at a time

I am finding myself having to manage my stress literally one hour at a time. Being a control freak, it is hard for me to have so many people and situations that I can't control.

If I made a list of things that my "children" were doing that I did not approve of it would be endless. Anywhere from sagging their pants and their choice of clothing to how they maneuver their relationships and the decisions that they make about almost everything. I have to bite my tongue about 150 times a day.

The result of me biting my tongue is peace, attachment, tranquility ... not better or worse behavior than when I commented on everything ... but my tongue is much sorer. And I have to manage my stress quite well.

I am getting a break though -- leaving for a training tomorrow and coming back Friday night. Having a few hours away from the mayhem might be cleansing.

And FYI -- we made it through all of the various details of my day including 2 extra trips to the school that I forgot to mention.....

But these kids are going to have to plan better if Bart is going to get them everywhere with one vehicle during the 28 hours when I'm gone with the other one!


Not Good News but Not Bad News... Wait News

Well, Salinda passed all but one thing on the driver's test so she has one more week to wait. John had his second interview and still doesn't know if he was hired.

But I got some Gabby time and it was great. Can't think of anything I'd rather do that sit and look down at this face. Do you blame me?

When your brain is healthy things just go better

It occurred to me when I finished with Leon and Ricardo's dentist appointments that healthy brains really do affect everything. I took Dominyk to the same dentist yesterday and he has two cavities. We just can't seem to get him to brush. Everything is a battle and he just doesn't get it.

Ricardo and Leon have no cavities. They understand that they need to brush and do it without being reminded. Now they don't need to worry about cavities and neither do we. If you're brain functions correctly it's just easier.

My brain functioned correctly in helping me remember some important papers I thought I had misplaced and that has made my day much nicer.

And we seem to be clicking through our day, getting people where they need to be and even getting some work done.

So for now, all is good.

If you were a fly on the wall at our house this week...

You would have heard these two conversations that are alluding to FASD:

Wilson to Mom: You know, some of the kids around here just don't think right (referring to his siblings). Do you think someone dropped them on their heads when they were babies?

Mom: No, but their birthmoms may drank when they were pregnant.

Wilson: And mine DIDN'T?

Mom: Not that we know of..... but if she had maybe you'd think like some of your brothers....


Bart to Mike: When you move home I think you'll find that Mom and I parent a bit differently that we used to. We don't use as many consequences any more.

Mike (from jail): So how are they going to learn their lessons?

Bart (wryly): "We've learned it doen't matter too much what we do. Everyone choose how they are going to act. Consequences don't mean a whole lot sometimes.

Mike (still from jail): Oh yeah, huh.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Plans, Changes in Plans, and More Plans

Updates : John got called back for a second interview from Taco Bell today which is great news. Thirty people were interviewed for 4 positions and he got a call back. That's good.

Salinda is talking about signing up to get her GED completed. Not our first choice for her obviously, but better than not finishing at all. She also has set things up to take her driver's test. She'll have a license but lately we just don't have vehicle time trying to get everyone everywhere they need to be. And we tried to figure out how to get a 3rd vehicle, but we are just too broke after my hospital bills and my lost income from that month to even think about it.

Life is getting nuttier and requiring a lot of effort on my part to keep up with everything. When Mike gets here Friday it will add to the ride responsibilities.

Bart's sister and her husband stopped by to spend the night in their new camper in our driveway. We stayed up quite late for us... visiting and I am tired this morning.

At 7:15 the plan for the day was this: Bart had a 7:45 appt. and I was to take everyone to school at 7:30 (except Ricardo who had a 9:10 dentist appt). I would then come home, take Ricardo, Bart would take WIlson to ortho at 10, and then I would drop off Ricardo, pick up Leon and take him to a 10:40 dentist appointment which Bart would pick him up from because I had a lunch meeting. I would be home by noon to babysit Gabby so Salinda could practice driving before her 3:00 driver's test which Bart would take her to. The vehicle would be here so that Rand could take John to his 2:30 interview, drop him off, pick up Wilson from school, go pick John up and give them a ride home. By then it would be almost time for Sadie to go to work at 4:45 and Bart to give Mike a ride from work back to jail before the rest of us to leave for Wednesday night supper at church (and if Salinda and the baby come that might require an extra trip). Sadie will need to be picked up from work at 6:45 and brought to the church.

So far Bart's meeting has been cancelled, they moved Leon's dentist appointment up to coincide with Ricardo's and my lunch meeting was cancelled. The rest of the day, as of now, seems to be heading as planned. Just when I figure out what is happening it all changes.

I held Gabby for a while last night. She is so active and squirmy that it is hard to get a good picture of her. She is constantly moving until she wears herself out and then falls asleep. Maybe today I"ll get to take better ones than these.

Upcoming Event

I did this on my facebook and it was really fun....

so I thought I'd do it here. Right now I have about 500 blog readers. I'm wondering how many of them have purchased and read the book we wrote.

Can you comment if you have please?

A Rare Treat

Now that I have an office that is actually an office and I can go there 4 of five days a week, I usually spend the other day at my home office and I never get to go to Dunn Brother's anymore. But today I needed to schedule a meeting and Tuesday is my day without an office so I'm off to Dunn Brothers.

I got to hold Gabby last night for a bit. Wow does she have a lot of energy. She is very wiggly and has some attitude. She wants to be held a certain way and will let you know if you aren't doing exactly as she says.

Turned out that John's interview wasn't quite as he had hoped. Turns out they interviewed 30 people for 4 positions. Of course, Bart told me this as John never did.

Need to make lists of things I want the "adults" here to do while I'm gone or nothing will happen....

We're off and running!

Monday, March 22, 2010

More Updates

Mid-afternoon Salinda asked me to come get her. There is always so much drama involved in that situation that I'm getting nervous about blogging it. But I went to get her and she and Gabby are now here. She has been home 30 minutes and her friend and friend's baby are here visiting.

Mike is wanting me to order things on e-bay for him so he can make money tattooing this weekend. It told him I'd rather see the money upfront before ordering it. but he needs the stuff and he gets paid Friday.

John called me telling me he really needed to talk to me, until I got home and now he doesn't. Ooooookay.

I got home to find the house nearly empty and I'm not sure where everyone is. I'm going to assume they are all somewhere they are supposed to be and enjoy the break.

In the midst of the surprise trip to get Salinda I forgot to order Dominyk's ADHD meds so either he is going to have quite a day at school tomorrow OR I'm going to have to keep him home. I think I'll just do an experiment to see how he does without it for research purposes and send him to school. He has a dentist appointment at 2, so it won't be a full day. ANd he will probably be fine.

Things change around here often, so I'll be sure and keep you all posted.

A Few More Pictures and a Medical Update

A couple more of Gabby from Thursday night... and two more from Leon's birthday.

On Friday I had my levels checked and my blood still isn't thin enough. They still don't know where the clots started. I'm going to go back on Thursday and my medication has been increased. I also have a full physical (with female tests included, lucky me.... a friend once told me that the new procedure feels like they let a piranha loose in there) scheduled as of today to make sure there are no tumors anywhere.


It's Not My Fault it's HERS

I have asked my children before, "When I start talking to you about something that you haven't done that you were supposed to do and haven't done, why is the first name out of your mouth another sibling?" They are always eager to remind me of who hasn't done what they are supposed to do.

Well, I didn't go to the Y this morning. But really, it's Kari's fault. I mean really. I'm used to going with her now and so going alone, like I used to all the time -- just cant' do it. Smile.

At least I'm an adult and realize that I could have gone alone. But it sure is fun to blame someone else.

Another five minutes and it will be time to wake up the kids. For some reason I was sleeping quite soundly when my alarm went off, having a complex dream that I can no longer remember, and I'm feeling quite out of it. Hopefully I"ll have time to blog more later.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Latest

Runner (Tony) is now home. He went to the Y and then walked to church for youth group and came home with the others.

Salinda isn't home yet. Apparently she lost her voice, Gabby is sick again, and she can't get anyone to bring her home tonight. She said she still might get a ride tonight, but we haven't heard anything so I'm assuming she won't be here.

Dominyk is obsessing about a charger for an old camera. And is refusing to shower until I find it, which I can't. That's more than I wanted to be dealing with when I'm tired.

Need sleep before dealing with more stuff.

Run Away

Right now we have a child who has "run away." It used to be that we would get very alarmed by this, but this particular child will most likely be back by nightfall.

It's funny how perspectives change over time. Things that used to alarm us don't much any more.

We had a great time eating out today for Leon's birthday. Well, some of us did.

Here's some shots. I was using the wrong lense -- and i'm disappointed because Leon and his girlfriend are so cute!

And this probably won't be that unique either

I usually attempt to blog on Sunday mornings but typically there is not time to get into much detail other than that I'm about to wake everyone up.

Yesterday turned into a very emotionally exhausting day as I was blindsided by two conversations that were very emotionally laden. Being told by a child who I thought was very bonded to me that they wished I would just leave forever a month after thinking I might die was difficult to hear. The other conversation, with a high school boy, was heavy with emotion, nearly a half hour of sobbing. This is the second time in the last two weeks that I have had a sobbing teenage boy in my office -- and I don't mean tantrums either (cuz I get that every day). Apparently being a teenage boy isn't all that much different than being a teenage girl -- it's just that we haven't had any so far that were able to articulate their pain in healthy ways. Sitting and sobbing sure beats trashing the house and threatening to kill people.

Today Leon turns 15, giving us 3 15 year olds in our house. We will celebrate with his girlfriend and the family over lunch time.

Mike is getting out of jail Friday, apparently, and will be moving home. He has held a job now for two weeks on work release and seems more together than he has in a long time.

John announced to us last night that he and his pregnant girlfriend are going to be taking their relationship slowly. We couldn't help but point out that it was a little late for that.

Salinda and Gabby are supposed to return sometime today -- I'll not be surprised if I'm called and told to come get them.

Hey -- that's kinda newsy for a Sunday morning. I gotta go wake everyone up who can't wake themselves up. Which is an odd mixture of ages, believe me. We're leaving in 30 minutes...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Needing a Fight for some Reason

Well for some reason Sadie was bound and determined to have a massive fight.... and of course, I took the bait and we had one. But I ended up with her phone....

What I don't understand is why she keeps coming back for more. I think it's over and then she's back in here asking for another round.

I think sometimes kids just need to blow up at their parents. It would just be nice for me if I could schedule it into my day and know when it was going to happen. Would make it easier to deal with if I could plan it.

The interesting thing is that when I tell her that I'm not going to say anything else and she can say as much as she wishes, she stops talking.

The House is Quiet

Last night was very mellow around here. Bart was commenting on how boring it was that all of us where quiet and in bed by 10:15 on a Friday night and that most of our kids were home. I actually think that it's nice that they like being here and are fairly mellow. Wilson was on a cubscout outing, John with his girlfriend, and Sadie at a friends, but the other six were here and pretty calm all evening.

This morning nobody is up yet -- Bart had to leave for an all day meeting at 7, and I stayed in bed a while and now will face some more work on taxes until the kids get up and we start the cleaning routine I've started for Saturday morning.

I have had lunch with two friends in the last couple days and called my mom and when I explain our lives it's kind of long and tiresome in a way. It's routine for me, our lives, and I've gotten used to it... but even my mom gets surprised sometimes at how quickly things can change if she doesn't talk to me every day or two.

So I'm settling into my drama I guess and just taking things one day at a time.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Good While It Lasted

As I was finishing up my meeting tonight, I got a text from Salinda telling me that she was shopping here in our town with her boyfriend's mom and that she would be going home with her afterwards because bfs mom's mother was in town or something. So I got to spend 45 minutes with Gabby last night and that was it. I had to leave before they were up this morning and didn't get home until they had already left.

But apparently she told Bart they'd be home on Sunday, though. so that's good. I'm just trying to take the whole thing one day at a time.

I'm tired tonight though and had much different plans for my evening that included baby holding. :-(

A Day Away from the Computer AND the baby

This is going to be a different day. No school for grades K-8 and Dominyk for the first time in his life (he's almost 14) had a friend spend the night. The friend is a lot like him, and they have done well. I will take him home, head to the doctor to have the thickness of my blood checked, and then move up toward the metro area to meet a friend for lunch that I have known since 7th grade. yippee!

After that I have a three hour meeting and will drive back home.

No time for working at the computer AND no time to hold that baby. I tell you what, she is so cute right now. Making all kinds of eye contact and noises, I could just sit and talk to her for hours. I promise that tonight I'll take pictures.

Salinda so far is being very mature in her response to this move. She had two friends over last night who both have babies under 6 months old and it was fun to see them all interacting. We're just going to have to take one step at a time. She is such a good mom. That baby is getting so much nurture and is so securely attached and Salinda did not have a drop of alcohol during her pregnancy. Knowing about FASD and growing up with some of her brothers really sent that message home. I've had a long talk with John's girlfriend about the same thing.

I'm off..... if something unbearably exciting happens, I can always blog from my phone.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


It doesn't seem that long ago since we posted an ultrasound picture of Gabby at about 10 weeks after conception. Now she's about 10 weeks old and as you can see quite cute. I will be taking many many pictures i'm sure over the next few days, but tonight I have to charge my phone battery and appear as a guest speaker (guest "typer"?) at an online foster parent chat from 7-9 tonight.

And now we are introducing John and his girlfriend's baby. She had her first unltrasound today and is a bit over 8 weeks along. The due date is October 21. Somehow it's a little less mind- boggling the second time around and I do think it is a bit different if it's a daughter who is having the baby as opposed to a son. But still.... life is a gift. We have learned that lesson. Babies can be perfect even if situations aren't.

I'm having a hard time not wanting to just hold Gabby all the time and I"m sure I'll feel the same way about this baby when s/he comes.

Salinda and Gabby are home

After weeks, nearly months of discussing it, I picked up Salinda and Gabby today and brought them home. Gabby has grown so much. I can't believe I missed 6 weeks of her life. RIght now Bart is feeding Gabby as I type right across from me. He's so gentle and nurturing. It's fun to watch him.

It felt sort of like I was kidnapping them. Salinda was so settled there and it makes me angry that the county stepped in to question our decision. I just held her and fed her and she is so much bigger and has so much more attitude now than she did six weeks ago. She can hold up her head and definitely expresses herself more.

I am really happy to have Salinda home. She has grown up a lot since October. But it is clear she doesn't want to be here. And that is hard for me. And I'm going to have to really be careful not to step in and try to parent her much when she hasn't been parented and is a parent herself. She will just be one more adult child who is living here. Hopefully she will choose to be helpful and cooperative or at least not disruptive until she can make a good decision about what she wants to do.

So we begin this journey -- not sure how long it will last or how it will go, but we will take it one day at a time. It is going to require a lot more patience than I've ever had -- not to live with her and Gabby, but to keep my mouth shut when my opinion is not requested.

And for me that's pretty hard.


I'm in a coffee shop while Dominyk and Tony are in therapy. I have given our therapist the run down and and came over and just heard a conversation that I couldn't help overhear of a mom confronting her ex-husband or partner about a list of things he wasn't doing correctly in parenting their son when the son was having visits with him. He listened to the whole thing (at least a 15 minute barrage while I was sitting here and they had been here a while) and when he began to talk in what appeared to be a reasonable manner in response, she got angry and told him that she couldn't talk about it anymore for now and walked out.

I have no idea who is right or wrong in the situation but the whole thing made me think of several things.

1) I'm grateful for a marriage with communication skills that, while not perfect, are passable. I'm grateful for a husband who listens to me as we work through very difficult challenges and who is still here after nearly 14 long years of uphill climbs and impossible situations.

2) Having a child changes everything for a couple -- whether they are married or not. John had told us that he couldn't see himself finding a woman who he could actually want to marry, but that he could have a kid with a girl. We tried to explain to him that having a kid with someone means you are tied to them forever, whether you like them or not. And until the kid is 18 you are financially responsible -- even if you don't feel morally or emotionally responsible -- and because of this you have to talk to that woman for all those years, especially if you want to see your child. Children who are born to very young couples who don't stay together have quite a journey and in my world my grandchildren are looking at this.

3) Sometimes I need to be a better listener. But I've already blogged about that this week.

4) I'm grateful that my kids are being raised by two parents who love each other, live together, and sleep (emphasis on the word sleep) together. They don't have to worry about whose house they will sleep at tonight or if mom and dad are going to have a fight when they are dropped off. Or, even in the best situations, they don't have to explain to their friends that mom lives one place or dad lives another. I am not condemning anyone in this situation or passing judgment because I know it is a difficult road. I'm just feeling grateful for my marriage.

5) The woman was trying to explain to her ex the special needs of her son and how they were exhibiting themselves at school and at home and how he was contributing to the issues. This made me very grateful that I am not attempting to live at home alone without Bart in parenting my kids who have mental health issues. It would be unbelievably hard and that makes me think about others who were parenting kids like ours who have lost a spouse to death recently. I said a prayer for the remaining spouse. And it made me think of single parents and I am in awe of your tenacity and strength.

Sometimes unintentional eavesdropping can leave me entertained or informed, but today it just made me very sad about lots of things. Sad, but grateful. And that's a strange mix of feelings.

Random Thoughts

Salinda called last night and is ready to come home. She got back from Texas safely on Tuesday and would like me to get her today. Well, at least last night she said that. Who knows if she will still feel that way in a few hours when it's time for me to leave.


I have been enjoying spending time with the women in my son's lives. I genuinely like Kyle, Mike, John and Leon's girlfriends. I don't get to see Kyle's fiance very often, but the last couple weeks I've been able to spend time with the other three. I enjoy the role -- not a lot of pressure -- and while it makes John, Kyle, and Mike a little nervous, Mike and John are glad I know them. Leon's got no issues at all with me spending time with his girlfriend -- I'm even her confirmation mentor.


Today was the fourth day I was at the Y with Kari, a great way to start the day. Can't say that I'm having great workouts, but getting up early and getting going is a good way to face things.


I'm taking Dominyk and Tony to therapy today and I need to schedule a complete psych eval for both of them. Their behaviors seem to be worse than ever. Dominyk's rages are increasing in their intensity and Tony is beyond oppositional. Both boys probably need residential treatment, but with the economy the way it is, there is no way they would get the spots that are reserved for the much more mentally ill. At least they aren't a serious threat to themselves or others, though their behaviors really are annoying and disruptive to the family. In reading Cindy's blog, if she can't get a couple of her kids into a residential setting or institution, there is no way I'll be able to get these boys in. And so we endure.

OH MY GOSH! I can't believe what just happened. Bart forgot that Tony and Dominyk had therapy and I was sitting in here basking in the joy of a morning without their shenanigans (I was going to let them sleep another hour) and he WOKE THEM UP. He said he was trying to be nice and forgot. I suppose I should believe him. Sigh.


Yesterday something happened to me that never has before in all of my 46 years. Bart and I were out with Mike's girlfriend's parents (even though they aren't supposed to be boyfriend and girlfriend but that's another story) and I went to the bathroom. I passed a woman who was standing at the sink on my way into the stall and sat down to do my business. She left the bathroom and flipped off the light and suddenly I was plunged into complete darkness. Had I not had my Iphone i'm not sure I could have gotten out safely -- I literally could not see my hand in front of my face.....

Wilson tells me that I am warmer than Bart because I'm fatter. He pointed out that this is a compliment.


My computer sounds like a jet taking off. I should get it fixed. But I can't go without my computer long enough.


I'm going to stop before I get boring.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Would it be so bad?

In the movie Blindside the story is told of Michael Oher. His story includes an investigation. According to Wikepedia,
The National Collegiate Athletic Association suspected that the Tuohys had taken Oher in and added him to their will in order to secure his services as a player for their favorite college.
Now let me ask you a question. Would that be so bad? What if some fairly wealthy families rescued inner city kids, especially those in foster care, free for adoption, and adopted them just so they could play football for their favorite school? Would the world be a worse place if a few less kids were living in foster care or the projects and in affluent homes getting tutored and playing sports?I think the NCAA should encourage it. Would it be so bad?

Battling Resentment

I work hard. Bart works hard. We work hard. Long hours, crazy schedules, and always attempting to spend enough time with the kids. And we pay the bills. And we watch people who don't do anything.

Being the recipient of the consequences of others actions, working while they waste hours, listening to them bemoan their predicament.... not being resentful is difficult.

But I've found that looking at the big picture helps me. Looking towards the future with hope -- that this is a stage they are going through, that it will pass some day -- that is what gets me through.

Well, at least most of the time.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Just Because You're Smart Doesn't Mean You Can Do Everything

So I'm totally screwed because I'm smart and thus I always think I don't have to hire ANYTHING out or pay ANYONE to do ANYTHING because well, I should just be able to do it because well... have I mentioned I'm smart?

So our Third Degree Parenting company has bookkeeping issues that any bookkeeper or accountant could handle in their rippin sleep. But do I pay our accountant (who I dearly love) to handle it in her sleep? NO, I convince myself I can handle it.

And I've been working on it since noon and I"m more confused than when I started.

Grant it, you shouldn't really wait until March of 2010 to organize all of your finances for 2009, but hey, I figured it would all just fall together. But we have things we have reimbursed ourselves for, things we haven't, other expenses that we need to figure out, and well, just a lot of things to organize, and I'm lost.

Because I hate details. I hate numbers. And I hate math. And those of you who are sitting there thinking that you don't know why I should be having such a hard time are the ones who like details, numbers and math.

But I'll figure it out. Remember, I'm smart. Just not smart enough (or rich enough) to hire someone.

(This post was intended to be somewhat funny. In case you couldn't hear my tone.)

A Rotten LIstener

Yesterday I was told more than once by more than one person that I'm a rotten listener. And I don't disagree. For me when something is very obvious to me I need to hurry up and say it and people talk slow. Seriously. People take a long time to explain themselves and if I already know what they are going to say, having to listen to them take forever to tell me what I know they are going to say anyway gets annoying. But I can imagine that this doesn't make me the best listener.

I also have a tendency to get frustrated with my children when they want to cry, whine and complain about the situations that they have gotten themselves into, especially if I have spent a long time trying to keep them from getting into those very situations. But I thought about an analogy last night that might help me with this.

John was talking to me about how he just wanted to start over and to have a new start. He has said this many times in his life -- when he is at the end of his rope and receiving the consequences he has earned. I explained to him that there was no choice but for him to pay the consequences and take one day at a time. I told him that I was really angry with myself for gaining 53 pounds after I had lost 43. I told him I wanted a do-over, a fresh start where those 43 pounds were gone like they were 18 months ago. But I told him that there was nothing that I could do except for lose it again. And I had no one to blame but myself.

Now my 53 pounds aren't as life-altering as a return to jail or having a pregnant girlfriend, but I do understand to a minor extent how he feels. But I also got to thinking about how it would feel if every time I mentioned working out or my weight -- or every time I picked up a bag of chips -- someone felt the need to remind me that my fat was my own fault. I probably wouldn't respond so well even though they were telling me the truth.

And so maybe, in the midst of trying to be a better listener, I should talk less too. Maybe if I say things once it's enough -- or more than enough. Maybe I could figure out a way to be more supportive even if people do deserve what they get.

I thought about those things on the exercise bike this morning, tired from not sleeping much again, and realized that yes, we all have natural consequences and maybe my kids do realize things are their own fault, even if they pretend like they don't. I am sure that I won't be able to change over night. I'm perfunctory. I tell the truth. The filter from my brain to my mouth isn't always engaged and sometimes it doesn't work well. But little by little maybe I can become a better listener, day by day, as I attempt to lose this weight AGAIN, pound by pound.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Zero Kids Waiting

The Minnesota Adoption Resource Network has a newsletter that you can view here that has many resources.

Starting the Day Right

Whenever I start my day at the YMCA with Kari the day seems to go better. However, the first day we go back I always sleep horribly the night before. I toss and turn wondering if I am going to miss the alarm, and last night was no exception. I will have a long exhausting day, but tonight I"ll sleep like a rock and be back into the pattern again. When it is nice out I can make myself get up and go and I'm always glad I did.

Today is an office day so I'll be heading there after I drop the kids off at school. Hopefully later today I'll have something more intelligent to blog though I don't feel all that bad about being a pathetic blogger. Surfing blogs the other day I found a blog that only had two entries, three months apart, that simply said "test." So I guess I'm a little bit better blogger than that.

Though this entry wouldn't attest to that. ;-)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Moments of Pride

We had the wrestling banquet for the High School tonight and it was awesome. For one thing, Ricardo, as a 9th grader, received tons of awards: All Conference team, all City team, most pins for the varsity team, most take downs on the varsity team, best record on the varsity team, and selected by his teammates as the teams' Most Valuable Player.

And, icing on the cake was what happened next. Leon has lived in Ricky's shadow all year and yet been positive and contributory the whole way through. So there were four awards given by the team. MVP, Best New Player, Most Improved, and then the Coaches Award. The first three the team members vote on. The last one, only the coaches vote. They explained that they voted for a person who just kept working hard, had a great attitude, and kept smiling no matter what. I assumed the award would go to a Junior or Senior. But no, you guessed it, my 9th grade Leon got that award.

These boys deserved this. They worked hard all season long. And it's fun as a parent to watch a child get award after award. Seeing their pride and sense of accomplishment -- nothing better.

A great night.

Teenage Angst and Why it Isn't OK to Say No

Teenage angst. Jealousy between siblings. Fault finding. Emotions. All of the things that get wrapped into the teenage experience. And somehow, at the root of every single issue is their mother and how horrible she is. It gets tiring to say the least.

I also have a couple of children who can't be told no. If I try to do so -- about anything at all -- it then begins a seemingly endless argument.

Last night I got some long wordy text from a child in my own house about our relationship and how bad I am, but my phone was off. So this child, who was in my home at the time, texted a sibling and my husband to ask them if I received the text. I suppose walking up the stairs and asking me would have been way too much work.

Fortunately I have been parenting at least one teenager for 10 years and so I'm getting used to being the one to blame for it all. And I have 9 more years to go before everyone will be over 19. I guess I didn't think that through huh -- 19 years of parenting teens.

But the one thing I do know is that within days or hours there will be a fresh new mood to deal with....

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Our New Saturday Tradition

Starting last week we began a new tradition of having each child spend an hour helping clean after they clean their own room. Since Mike's girlfriend was coming for lunch, I wanted it to be done by 12:30. So we got busy and got things done. However, some of the kids are much harder to keep going than the others and they took way more of my emotional energy, but when it was all said and done everyone (except John who is at a friends)-- including Tony and Dominyk -- had clean rooms and helped for their hour.

Heard from Salinda -- she is having a great time -- which means her medication must be working and that she is having fun. She deserves it. I'm not sure she's had what she calls a great time in months, so it's nice she seems happier. I'm not worried about her having trouble down there, but of course, who knows...

Last night Leon and Tony had a concert. It was really nice to see them both doing something they enjoy. Here's a few pictures....

Friday, March 12, 2010

Surrounded by Teenagers

and I'm alone. Funny how that works, huh?

This time I'm not talking about my own. I'm talking about kids that need homes. It's the time of the month where I post children to email lists that are waiting to be adopted. You've heard me blog about it before.

And this month, in particular, there are a whole bunch of teenage boys. Lots of them. Fifteen, sixteen seventeen year olds who have had long hard lives in the system. Some have been in foster care most of their lives.... since they were in preschool. And the chances of them being adopted are so few. Each time I find one family who will take a teenager I am thrilled. But this month I have 33 teenagers to recruit for. One family is a needle in a haystack. 33 Families. Impossible.

But for me a kid like this is nearly irresistible. Look at him!

Very discouraging to think of where they all will be in 1-5 years from now.

Living Life with Eyes Wide Open

Cindy mentioned in one paragraph of this morning's post that Facebook had brought up regrets. I can so relate to that feeling. Facebook allows us to watch the lives of other people -- people we once knew -- and she how they appear to be turning out. As I look at their lives from the outside, I can't help but wonder what life would have been like if Bart and I had pursued a typical path.

What if we had gotten married and had 2 or three kids by birth? What would they be like? I do know this. They would have been attached. I don't know if they would have been mentally ill, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have been all that cute (smile), and I would guess they would be incredibly intelligent and off-the-charts stubborn. The oldest would be about the age of our youngest, and well.... life would be a lot different.

So while I am tempted to be jealous of those whose have only kids who are secure, attached, mentally healthy, intelligent and on the right track, I know that people all have their own challenges. Facebook pages seldom show the struggles. And I do know the person I have become because of my children.

My children have allowed me to see the bigger picture. I have become more compassionate, more understanding, wiser, more in tune to the world around me, more engaged with reality maybe....

That's not to say, of course, that my Facebook friends aren't any of these things -- it's just that I know that it is my children who have brought me where I am.

When I train pre-adoptive parents, I tell them to consider the part of society that most of us in Middle Class spend our lives trying to avoid. Those who are involved in drugs or alcohol, domestic violence, mental illness, poverty, and crime. I then tell them that becoming a foster parent or adopting out of foster care is inviting "those people" into our lives -- because "those people" live in the minds and hearts of our children. Our children are "those people."

And so as time goes by, embracing those who are different and whose lives are glaringly imperfect, changes us. It becomes more difficult for us to tolerate injustice, racism, or intolerance. "Those people" become "our people" and we are forever changed.

I am sure that many of my Facebook friends who have not adopted have been brought along this journey in other ways, but for me it was the only way to get me to live my life with eyes wide open. I couldn't flip the channel when something disturbing came across my screen, because what was disturbing to me became part of who I am.

It would have been fun to have been able to live two lives. I wish I could know what might have been had I made other choices. But I'm confident that this was how I was supposed to learn and grow.

Thank you Kyle, Mike, Rand, John, Jimmy, Salinda, Ricardo, Mercedes, Tony, Leon, Dominyk and Wilson for teaching me how to live with my eyes wide open.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

For Adolescent Boys in MN

Another MN opportunity

March Newsletter from MOFAS

The Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol has a newsletter that you can view here.

It's the Inconsistencies

I realized today that that is what drives me crazy. I know that teenagers fluctuate from being very mature to being quite immature, but add special needs and mental illness and organic brain damage due to prenatal exposure to alcohol and wow. You really never know what you're going to get.

Yesterday morning at our house was like a dream. Everything went perfectly. Dominyk acted like he was a fairly normal 13 year old, got ready without argument in 15 minutes, and nobody else had any issues either. There was no yelling, no cursing, no crying. It was as though I lived in a house full of "normal" teenagers.

This morning. Wow. Polar opposite. Dominyk cried, screamed and cussed for a full 35 minutes, making us all late getting out the door. He could do nothing by himself and was functioning like a two year old.

I have countless other examples of this being true. One day a kid acts like an adult and the next day like a preschooler. My mind keeps spinning.

One of the other challenges is that I am probably the most consistent person anyone will ever meet. I change very little. And so for me to be surrounded by people who are so inconsistent -- it's a challenge.

I know many of you have this issue with your kids/teens..... how do you keep sane?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cultural Camps

If you click on the link you can see the Adoptive Families list of Cultural Camps across the country.

Scholarships for Youth Formerly in Foster Care

Casey Family Scholars Program will be accepting applications through the Orphan Foundation of America (OFA) until March 31, 2010 for support to college students who were in foster care. Funding is anticipated for about 75 new undergraduate awards & up to ten graduate school awards for the 2010-2011 academic year. Students of color are especially urged to apply. Applicants must have been in foster care for one consecutive year at the time of their 18th birthday OR have been adopted or taken into legal guardianship after their 16th birthday. Learn more and apply online:

The Fostering A Future Scholarship, sponsored by Children's Action Network and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, is a national scholarship program designed to provide youth who were adopted from foster care with financial assistance in pursuing a college, vocational, or technical education. The deadline for submitting this application is April 20, 2010. Learn more and access the application:

Upcoming Online Training

Online Training

Friday, March 26
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

"Great Ideas for Increasing Biculturalism
in Transracial Families"

Robert O'Connor, MSW

MN ADOPT is pleased to announce our March webinar, "Greats Ideas for Increasing Biculturalismin Transracial Families" part of the Transracial Adoption Series by Robert O'Connor, MSW.

"Culture is not what you do, it's how you live."

Join us for this one-hour presentation as Robert O'Connor shares practical ideas on how to live a more diverse and bicultural life with your children, both in the home and in the community. You will be amazed by the added value living a multicultural life can have for you and your family.

Adoptive parents and professionals are welcome to attend. All you need is a computer with internet access, a telephone and a pioneer spirit. Payments are processed at and registration is through our webinar partner, ReadyTalk. To register, click here.

$20.00 webinar training only
$15.00 per CD (audio & visual presentation) includes tax & shipping

For more instructions on how you can own a CD of our webinar presentation(s), click here or view details below.

For more information, visit