Throwback Thursday

This is a throwback to when we were foster parents. Exactly four years ago, we were asked by our foster care coordinator if we could take a newborn baby home from the hospital. Of course we said yes! We can still remember walking into the hospital unit and explaining why we were there. We had to talk to a social worker. We had to wait a few minutes while they made sure all the paperwork was sorted out. We had to wait some more. We sat in an empty hospital room, just waiting. Our other experiences being placed with foster kids were different because someone always brought them to our house. Now we were just waiting and wondering.

Waiting in the hospital room
Waiting in the hospital room

Then we saw him. The sweetest, tiniest little man.

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He stole our hearts the minute we met him. We were his parents for the first two months of his life.

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After those first two months, he went to live with his grandparents who adopted him, and we know that’s how it was supposed to work out. Even though we weren’t meant to be his forever family, I know we were supposed to be in each other’s lives. Lucky for us his parents have made it very easy and fun to stay in touch.

This is the first time we saw Chance after he went to live with his parents.
This is the first time we saw Chance after he went to live with his parents.
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In the courthouse with Chance’s parents the day his adoption was finalized.

Happy Birthday to our sweet little Chance!

Summer Fun

Last week my mom watched Dimitri and his cousins Parker, Lawson and Cade were there as well (my sister Ginger’s boys). Every day since Dimitri saw them, he has asked multiple times for “Pahka Lawson.” If I say it’s time to go, he asks if we’re going to their house. If I ask him if he wants to go outside and play, he asks if Pahka Lawson are coming too. It’s pretty cute. On Friday we wanted to go swimming so we decided to see if Parker and Lawson could come with us.

We went to a park that has these fun little streams for kids to play in. The kids had a lot of fun. Of course, you also have to get ice cream on such a hot day.

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Hooray for summer, cousins, water, and ice cream! I hope you were able to do something fun this week too!

Throwback Thursday

That time we had the most amazing ice cream. In this picture, we are at Edaleen Dairy. It’s a famous dairy in Washington, near the city where Adam grew up. It’s right by the border of Canada, and it’s so popular that people cross the border just to get milk and ice cream from this place.  The first time Adam took me to his home town, he said we had to visit the dairy so I could taste the best ice cream ever. I thought he might have been exaggerating. but he wasn’t! Yum! We are planning to go visit Adam’s parents sometime soon, so it will be fun for Dimitri to have his first taste of Edaleen Dairy ice cream.

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Riding the Train

Dimitri is really into trains lately. We live fairly close to a Trax station, and whenever we drive by it,  he gets excited wondering if he’ll see a train. He calls all trains “Salty,” which is the name of one of Thomas’ train friends on the cartoon Thomas and Friends. It’s so cute to hear him ask, “Is Salty coming?” as we drive by the Trax station.

On Saturday we decided to take Dimitri for a ride on “Salty” and he was so excited! We took the Trax downtown and ate at one of our favorite restaurants.

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Waiting for the train
Waiting for the train

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Feeling pretty cool on the train
Feeling pretty cool on the train

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Walking around downtown. You'd think this kid was too big to be carried like this.
Walking around downtown. You’d think this kid was too big to be carried like this.

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We had a great time spending the afternoon together and Dimitri is so excited that he finally got to ride the train! Did you do anything fun this weekend?

Throwback Thursday

That time my sister Vannessa and I did a triathlon!  It was just a sprint triathlon, so we swam 600 meters, biked 12 miles, and then ran a 5k. Not as hard as a full triathlon, but it was still a lot of work. Considering I barely know how to swim, it was quite an accomplishment. I have always liked to run, and since I met Adam have enjoyed biking every now and then. But I have never been a swimmer and had definitely never gone swimming on a regular basis until I started training for this. But I actually really enjoyed it! Unfortunately, it was an all-women event, so we couldn’t actually do the triathlon together. But as you can see I had my sister there with me so that made it fun.

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I haven’t done much swimming since this, but right now I am training for a half marathon. Maybe in the future, I’ll do another triathlon.

Family Reunion

This past weekend we were able to go to Kasi’s family reunion. We have done this every year since Kasi was pregnant with Dimitri and plan to keep doing it for years to come. It’s fun to be able to spend time with Kasi and her family and it’s especially fun now that Dimitri is starting to realize who Kasi is and what an important person she is in his life. It was really fun seeing them interact.

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Kasi’s family always camps near a lake. Dimitri is really learning to like the water and it was fun to see him and Kasi play together.

Kasi and her fiance Lane splashing with Dimitri
Kasi and her fiance Lane splashing with Dimitri

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Tired out after so much playing
Tired out after so much playing

 

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Dimitri thought this little plastic deer was fun to ride. He called it Bullseye, after the horse on Toy Story
Dimitri thought this little plastic deer was fun to ride. He called it Bullseye, after the horse on Toy Story

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Goodbye Kisses
Goodbye Kisses

We sure love open adoption and chance Dimitri has to know his wonderful birth mother.

Throwback Thursday

This is the first time we took Dimitri to Kasi’s family reunion. We’ve gone each year since Kasi was pregnant with Dimitri and it’s something we always look forward to. It is such a blessing for Dimitri to know not only his birth mom but all of her family as well.

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That was Dimitri’s first time getting in a lake and he loved it. Kasi and her family camp near a lake most summers.

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Taking a little snooze in the tent
Taking a little snooze in the tent

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We are so grateful to Kasi and her family for welcoming us into their family and letting Dimitri be a part of their lives. Open adoption is such a beautiful thing that we are so blessed to be a part of.

Family Fun

Last weekend my sister Vannessa was here from Florida so we spent a lot of time with family. Dimitri had a lot of fun with his cousins and we even were able to sneak in a girl’s night out that doubled as a baby shower for my sister who is expecting a baby girl in August.

Dimitri with his counsins Cade and Anniston
Dimitri with his cousins Cade and Anniston

 

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As you can see, we had a lot of fun in the water. I love that Dimitri likes water and isn’t afraid of it. When I was young, I was pretty scared of the water and didn’t learn to swim till I was older. It makes me happy that Dimitri is a little more adventurous than I was. In fact, my parents rented a dunk tank and most of the younger kids were nervous to get dunked, but Dimitri just climbed right up the ladder and wanted to take his turn. Uncle Joe was there to help him, so he wasn’t scared at all.

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Dimitri and Aunt Vannessa
Dimitri and Aunt Vannessa

 

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Girl’s night out with all my sisters (and my mom- she’s taking the picture). Ginger, in the middle, is expecting her first girl after having three boys so we had a little baby shower for her.
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Cousin goodbyes. Anniston and Tatum are the cousins Dimitri sees the least because they live in Florida.

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We had so much fun with the family while Vannessa was in town! We hope everyone else is having a great summer too!

How to Raise an Adult

As I mentioned a while back, I’m reading books again! It is so much fun; I forgot how much I enjoy reading. Here’s my first book review. I just finished To Kill a Mockingbird and am in the middle of another fun book, so more reviews to come!

I was introduced to the book How to Raise an Adult when an article on Facebook caught my eye. The article talked a lot about “helicopter parenting,” and how parents are so anxious for their kids to succeed that they help them do things that the child could reasonably do for themselves.  The article went on to mention that a former dean of Stanford, who had seen first hand the effects of over-parenting when she saw that freshman coming to their first year at Stanford were less and less able to do basic things for themselves, wrote this book. I decided to read it, and I am glad I did.

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It was eye-opening to think about what messages we are sending to our kids when we do things for them. When a parent takes over a science project for their third-grader, the parent may be thinking something like, “I am being a good parent by helping my child get a good grade. I am involved in my child’s education and this shows them how much I love them.” The child, however, might understand something more along the lines of, “My mom doesn’t think I am smart enough to do this on my own. Mom doesn’t trust me to do a good job.” The more we do things for our kids that they should be able to do for themselves, the more we are denying them a chance to grow and gain confidence in their own abilities. The book has a lot of good advice on how to find a good balance between helping too much and not helping at all.

I was really shocked at some of the examples the author gave of things that kids and young adults couldn’t do for themselves when they got to college because it had been done for them their whole lives. She told of 19- or 20-year olds who couldn’t do basic things like ask for directions or register for a class. She even told a story of a young man whose mom mailed him a few packages. The packages got delivered to the main entrance of the dorm room, and they were too heavy for him to carry up to his room by himself. They stayed there for a few days, until his mom called the dorm advisor and asked him to go help her son carry the boxes to his room. She explained that her son had called to tell her that the packages were too heavy for him to carry on his own, but that he didn’t know how to ask anyone for help.

Because the author of this book was a dean at Stanford, there was quite a bit of talk about the pressures of getting your child into a “good” college.   I can’t say that much of that applied to me, because, even though I hope Dimitri wants to go to college one day, I can’t say that I have ever once thought that he needs to get into Yale, Harvard, or Stanford or all will be lost. Apparently, there are some parents who think that way and put a lot of pressure on their kids even at a very young age. It was interesting to read that some parents justify doing basic things for their kids so that their child has more time to focus on homework and extra-curricular activities and has a better chance of getting into a good college. As a result, these kids have amazing grades, good SAT scores, and lots of talents and hobbies, but can’t make their own bed or make themselves a sandwich. I guess those chapters are geared more towards parents who have specific expectations for their child’s college education, but the rest of the book, in my opinion, is applicable to any parent.

Overall, this book was really interesting and I learned a few things about what I can do to help Dimitri learn and think for himself, and hopefully, one day turn into a confident, capable adult.