Fresh Air

I don’t know if it is all the actual fresh air we got yesterday riding bikes outside our house, or the fact that I let Carrot skip her homework yesterday, or the deep talks we have been having, or the extra movie and snuggle time last night, but man, when your six year old finally wakes up in a good mood, it is like a breath of fresh air.

Happy Saturday!

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Never worry about the first night

Lesson learned:

Don’t worry if new kid falls asleep on the couch way too late watching TV, and never actually makes it to his bed. It’s not worth disturbing the toddler for a boy who may only be here less than 24 hours later.

Although I am skeptical that the safety plan put in place will be effective, I am happy Flash (named for his speed & love of superheroes, but he was here and gone in a flash) was reunited with his family.

Oh, and I guess I better stage a picture the *first* night because it might be the only night! No mementos of Flash’s sweet smile.

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Placement Office, I am on to you

You know we are NOT on the list for respite, right?

But, you call us for TWO boys that we don’t have the physical space for. We feel bad.

The next day, you call us for “just” one five year old boy, for probably a week. Maybe more.

Of course we say yes to that smiley boy.  Flash arrived in the evening, running around like a superhero.

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Later That Day

I wasn’t sure what Carrot’s mood would be like as I picked her up from school the day I told her we were adopting her.  Conveniently, she had a therapy session scheduled that day, and, we have many of our best conversations in the car.

She told me she told her friends about the adoption and they were so excited for her.

And, because she is my daughter, an anxious planner, she started asking questions about what we would do that day, and wanting a minute by minute plan.

She asked me, “Are we going to have an adoption party? Could I invite two friends from school?  Can I wear a fancy dress?”  Oh, child, you could ask me anything you wanted right now, and I would say yes.

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Adoption is Born from Tragedy

At 8:15 this morning, our social worker called me from the District Attorney’s office to say no appeal had been filed–we are good to go on our adoption date!

March 27th, we are adopting our kids!!!

I asked three ways, “how sure are you?” “positive.” “What could make this NOT happen?” “Nothing.”

We weren’t going to tell Carrot for a few weeks (to make sure there were no hiccups, and because six weeks is too long for a six year old to dwell on it), but I was crying on the phone and she knew something was up. I hung up the phone, sat on the kitchen floor in front of her and Pumpkin, and said, “On March 27th, in about six weeks, we are going to adopt you!”

The next two minutes were everything I hoped they would be.  Carrot gasped, took it in, gave me the longest hug, and said, “Pumpkin, too?”  And did the “adoption dance, adoption dance” in the kitchen with her brother.

She asked, “I wonder if we are going to adopt the Boxer, too?”  “I don’t know honey. We aren’t going to know that for a long time. But, we are adopting you and Pumpkin.”

Then she asked, “Who else knows? Does Mommy (Croi) know?” I told her Croi didn’t know–because I just found out, and asked if she wanted to call Mommy herself.

“Does Mom F (biomom) know?”  “Yes, I think she does.”  She got said, and asked if we could see Mom F again, maybe at Christmastime (“in the morning, like this year”)  Sure, honey.

She called Croi, which was adorable.

During breakfast she said, “I don’t want to talk to you.”

I told her I was sad for Mom F, too.  And asked if I could sit with her and be sad. So, we ate breakfast in silence. I thought about the saying, “all adoption is born from tragedy,” and hoping the six weeks gives her enough time to be (mostly) just happy by adoption day. I was so proud of her for realizing her mixed emotions and telling me about them right away.

Someday, I hope she just gets to have simple emotions instead of such mixed messy ones.


make this place your home

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This is Progress

Received word today that a “no merit” finding was finally issued in our case. Biomom has 30 days to appeal this to the state supreme court. If February 8th comes, and no appeal, we can actually set an adoption date. 

Some girls doodle in their notebooks hypothetical married names, I admit to doodling my kids new names. 

I imagine a lot of things about our adoption day, but what I imagine most is telling Carrot we actually have a date set. I can’t wait to see her face light up. 

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The Boxer with Boxes

It’s no surprise that the boxer celebrated Christmas with us. What started as an emergency placement, quickly turned to a regular placement. And he is such an easy baby, that’s fine by us!  He slept until 8am yesterday! (I whisper to him that he is gonna be my favorite 😉

What was beautiful was how seamlessly he fit into our extended family’s Christmas celebration. 

Now, only in the Hora house are there “presentizers”–tiny presents to open before the presents. 

And only in the Hora house would we tear up at them.  My parents got us an ornament with the Boxer’s name, and the tag said, “to remember.” 

My mom made sure to say that the ornament was for us to keep, not send to his biological family when he returns home. He is our first “long term placement that will be reunified” and it touched me that our families understand that although we chose this, it will be difficult. 



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What A Year

Inspired by a question from a friend, (Thanks, E!) I thought I would try to step back into blogging with a list of my top ten moments from 2013.

1. The decision to have Zucchini leave our house. It was painful, I wanted to be sure.

I have no regrets. I know we weren’t the right house for her, and we couldn’t keep her and Carrot and Pumpkin safe. I don’t regret for a second the time she was here. It was a crazy, intense, expensive year, and Zucchini isn’t ready to talk to us yet. But, I hope we laid good foundations for a future relationship.

2. The day, months after Zucchini had moved out, that Carrot tried to cover for Zucchini–telling me she did something that only Zucchini could have done.

Any lingering doubt I had that maybe we made the wrong decision vanished. I knew if Zucchini stayed, we would have messed Carrot up so much.

She told me later, she was “the only one who was brave when Z was here.”

3. TPR. The end of one chapter.

How I hoped to write adoption in the year 2013, but that remains in limbo.

4. Our family trip to Madeline Island. This summer was a time of healing and regrouping for our family, and the trip was classic childhood for our little family of four.

5. Carrot’s kindergarten graduation.

6. The birth of my nephew. I think it brought our whole family closer together.

7. Croi’s new job. I am so thankful for her more flexible hours and reduced stress. We are better as a family when she is here and we have more time to focus on this growing time in our lives right now.

8. Our visit with the kid’s biomom after Christmas. Peaceful, calm, and gave me so much insight.

9. Meeting the Boxer’s biomom.  I sent Croi a text right away, “She is nice.” I like her. We started fostering to build our family (that’s code for adopt), and meeting her made me think maybe we have it in us to do long-term fostering.

10. The million and one snuggles between Carrot and Pumpkin. The adoring way he looks at his big sister. Warms my heart every time.


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The Boxer Arrived

I have six more posts in my draft folder that I may or may not ever get to publish. You’ll forgive me if I don’t. You’ll understand when I am posting about Carrot’s August birthday in January, right?

But, I must tell you we are snuggling a new squishy baby at our house!

We are calling him, “The Boxer” for the way he punches at his bottle as we are feeding him, and I figure he is going to need to be tough.

Six weeks old, still squishy, and already been through so much. Big brown eyes we love staring into and chubby yummy cheeks.

boxing gloves red

Technically, he is here “on respite” from another provider who there were some safety concerns about, but I won’t be surprised if he is here longer.

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Loves me more

Carrot and I were talking about her birthmom, and things she remembers from her house.

And, she told me her biomom loves her more than I do.

“Oh, what makes you say that?”

“She knew me first. So she loves me more.”

You can read all the adoption books you want. Somehow you think it won’t happen to you, or it wont’ hurt when your kid says it.


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