Wednesday, September 12, 2012

AbsorbednArt has MOVED!

Please follow this link if you want to keep up with the Stacy's.  We are still renovating our home, but also wanted to make a more personal site about adoption and other happenings.

The Stacy Chronicles

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Most Aggravating Part

about this whole foster/adopt, going through the state, DHR stuff is this one question that keeps popping up:
Imagine that the child welfare worker is at your door with the child or children you are planning to foster/adopt.  Pleas describe the child or children, for example: physical appearance, family background, personality, and school ability.

I’ll leave you with that.  I could rant and rave all day about this, but I’d like to leave that to ya’ll.  What are your thoughts?

What's Going on This Week

Wow.  I started thinking this morning about what all I have need to do this week and seems like everyday is full.
  • Monday
    1. work 9-3
    2. get home at 4pm and work on paperwork for finally DHR class!  this includes our eco-map, a blueprint of our home for DHR's records (for fires, etc.), letters to parents and child (what do you say?), and all of our strenths and needs worksheets.
    3. class from 6-9pm, hopefully we can squeeze in some dinner before.
    4. get home at 10pm, do some laundry/dishes, go to bed.
  • Tuesday
    1. work 9-3
    2. get cleaned up, do some chores
    3. 6-7pm Practing Pure Religion with Youth Group (we visit the sick and shut-ins).
    4. 7pm-? dinner with some old/new friends who moved into town, we were in the youthgroup with the wife about 11 years ago.  great.  now i feel old.
  • Wednesday
    1. work 9-3
    2. try to run by Children's Consignment sale on way home to pick up crib, blankets, sippy cups, bottles, cloth diapers, maybe a carseat, etc.
      • I have been saving yardsale money (money i've made from past two yardsales) to buy baby stuff.  It started out paying for our infertility treatments/meds about 3 years ago.  I still have enough left for our foster/adopt kids, bec/ a lot of our treatments have been free.  (I'll do a post about that one day too)
    3. work on lesson for Wednesday night bible class (I teach the pre-school class).
    4. 7-8pm Wednesday night Bible Study
  • Thursday
    1. work 9-3
    2. get home at 4pm, pickup Jeff, turn around immediately to go back to Anniston
    3. 5:30-? CPR class (required by DHR)
    4. food?
  • Friday
    1. work 9-3
    2. swing by consignment sale for extra 25% off (maybe)
    3. possible maternity photoshoot
    4. rest?
  • Saturday
    1. 8:30am- 1pm Ladies Day at JCOC
    2. swing by consignment sale for 50% off (maybe)
    3. praying for free time to spend with the hubster
    4. 6-? dinner with friends at their house, BRING meat...their vegan. :)
  • Sunday
    1. worship the ALL MIGHTY CREATOR
    2. take a nap.
    3. pray for a good week, with some rest thrown in there!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Some Things You Might Not Know About Being a Foster/Adoptive Parent.



1.  You have to take a 10 week course, plus a CPR and Water Safety Class (if you have a pool).  Usually you meet for one night a week for 3 hours.

In these three hours you will learn all sorts of things.  At times you will want to quit, at times it’s really hard to hear what they have to say.  Sometimes you find out things about yourself you didn’t want to know.  Or maybe you needed to know, but it hurt to hear.  The situations are all real that they discuss with you.  You will feel sick to your stomach.  You get really tired, and hungry, and even bored at times.  Just remember: it’s all about the kids.  Stick in there.  If you need encouragement call a friend that has gone through the program.  Call me.  Oh and you and your husband BOTH have to attend.  It’s something your WHOLE family has to support and give 110% to.  You are allow to miss two total classes, but will have to make them up later.


2.You have to pass two homestudies.  We haven’t had ours yet, but hopefully will in a month or so.  We do have the sheet they go by during the homestudy.  So far…we are FAILING!  You have to buy a $50 fire extinguisher.  They will tell you which one, but it HAS to be 5 or more pounds.  We ordered one off Amazon, it said it was 7lbs, opened the box and it was only 4.  You can NOT ship fire extinguishers back!  Just go to Lowes.  Another thing that I find difficult about the homestudy is the fact that you have to lock everything up.  When I say everything, I mean EVERY-thing!  Anything that has a warning label on the bottle.  Items such as soap, shampoo, razors, deodorant, toothpaste, dish soap, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, cosmetics, finger nail polish, hair spray, makeup, cremes, lotions, etc. ect. ect.  No joke.    What a perfect time to go green.  I’m using up my harsh cleaners with chemicals and switching to: baking soda, vinegar, and homemade soaps, etc.  It has to be locked with a KEY!  We are lucky.  We have a linen closet in our bathroom.  We have old door knobs and skeleton key locks on all our doors, but the closets.  We bought something similar to the picture below, it also comes with knobs for both sides.  If you can come up with a NON-tacky idea, please share.

3. You need to make a list of items the children might need when they come into your home.  From everything I’ve heard they pretty much come with a garbage sack carrying their belongings.  Which could include a blanket, maybe some clothes, a toy, etc.  Usually they have on a diaper and maybe a shirt if your lucky.  There’s one other thing I should mention that they bring with them…lice, and bugs, and filth.  Not all of them.  I’m sure if you pick your baby up at the hospital the nurses will have him all cleaned up.  That would be the ideal situation.  Everyone wants a baby.  Right?  So, I’ve started compiling a list of things a toddler or baby might need when they get to our home (we are only fostering ages 3 and under, just in case we will get a chance to adopt).  <<Jeff and I feel we are not prepared to take on older children this time in our lives.  When a child gets past a certain age they are pretty set in their ways and these children have been through some horrendous stuff.  It will be easier to mold them and teach them if they are younger.  Not that we want to change them at all, but they can have serious issues from the neglect and abuse.  A younger child will usually adapt better.  Maybe when we raise a few kids and start to figure this parenting thing out we will open our homes to older kids.  If you have any more questions about this you can email me.  Ok, here is the list:

I know I’ve missed some things and would LOVE your input.  This is what I’ve got so far…

    • bottles, sippy cups
    • formula
    • jars of baby food (I plan on making my own, so we can have fresh fruit and veggies ready)
    • bibs
    • highchair, booster seats
    • car seat for 5lbs to 40lbs
    • pjs/play clothes for appropriate age range newborn-3T
    • lots of cloth diapers and covers
    • homemade wipes
    • blankets
    • toddler beds/cribs
    • make sure outlets are covered and cabinets locked
    • baby socks and shoes (harder to know what sizes)
    • RID for lice (you need the kit with the comb, and the spray for their stuff)
    • detergent for baby clothes
    • shampoo, soap
    • baby toothpaste and baby toothbrushes

4.  There are far more important things that you need to prepare.  Your mind, your attitude, your relationships, etc.  You need to know that when you foster it is only temporary.  These children have birth families.  Maybe they are going through hard times.  Maybe they really love their kids and want to get them back home (this is not always the case).  You have to go into it with your whole heart, but you still have to realize that more times than not, you will be giving these children back to their birth families!  This obviously will be the hardest part.  Does this mean you shouldn’t foster, because it will hurt?  Absolutely not.  Am I scared.  Absolutely.  Will I get attached?  I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t.  These babies might not have ever experienced love in their whole lives.  You have to show them unconditional love.  You have to give them everything you got.  They will know if you are holding back yourself from them.  Let them have your heart.  They will carry it with them for their entire life. 

Love unconditionally (affection without any limitations).  These are God’s children and they deserve it.

So please hang around while we go on this journey.  I hope one day there will be so many people opening up their homes to these orphans that we will have more homes than orphans!  If you are starting your foster or adoption journey, please stay strong.  The children need you and they are definitely worth the wait!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Just a Little Taste

Hi Blog-World!  Lately I've gotten a lot of complaints about my lack of posts.  I truly am sorry.  When I started blogging I was staying home working on the house and had more time to blog.  Since August of last year I started working full-time, to help afford all this "reno" work, and have neglected you all.  Most all of the work we have been doing around here has been necessary but not pretty, know what I mean?  Well, the latest BIG project was getting the attic insulated with blow-in insulation.  We went with the wool/fiberglass mix, (it's fluffy & pink) and we highly recommend it!  We found out that the recycled cardboard insulation (we originally planned to have blown in) soaks up moisture, thus gets moldy, thus needs to be replaced in 6 years!  Yikes!  So we switched and are so happy.  Hopefully this will never need to be replaced.  I can tell you that the house is SO much cooler since we did this.  I highly recommend everyone to check their attic and see if it is properly insulated.  I'm told it will save money on your electrical bill too, we haven't gotten one since we've insulated.  It would greatly be appreciated over here, since our utility bill has been $400 in the winter!
Okay, sorry to bore you with all that stuff.  See, I told you there has been nothing around here to blog about!  Well, I take that back, we are about to get personal!  As a lot of you know Jeff and I have been married for almost 8 years.  We have been actively TTC (trying to conceive) for 4 1/2 years.  Wow. Yeah, I know!  I cannot believe it's been that long, then again, I can.  So, for over half our marriage we have had this "stress" and when I say "stress" I don't even know where to start with how this affects your marriage, your self-esteem, your self-worth, your EVERYthing!  It hurts, it's so painful.  Unless you've gone through this or been close to someone who has, let me take that back, UNLESS YOU'VE GONE THROUGH THIS PERSONALLY,  you will never understand.  Don't try to!  We don't expect you to.  No, there's not some club of  angry, most likely to  never conceive, hate group out there.  It's just...when you want to start your family and be a mother, and you don't get a baby you start to see all your friends around you becoming mothers, and there is a little resentment.  It's mostly like: "I really hope you appreciate what you have" feelings going on.  I want nothing more than my friends to be happy and have large families, but please NEVER say to your friend TTC, "you don't understand, your not a mother", or stupid phrases like, " well Billy just has to look at me and I pop out another one"!  Honestly its best that you don't say anything at all if you can't think about your words before you let them out.  I REALLY wasn't expecting to vent like that.  Really, I'm sorry.  One more thing, it's no one's FAULT.  Please don't ask your friend who is TTC, well, what's wrong?  Is it YOU or HIM!  For real???  What are you possibly going to gain from this knowledge?  AND if I wanted you to know I'd offer that bit of information on my own, when I'm ready. Thank you.  What does it matter anyways?  We are a family, a team, we are in this together.  It is the fault of NO ONE.  There.  I'm done.  I promise.
I said all that to lead into what's going on now.  I'll admit I am selfish.  I want a biological baby, who doesn't? To be able to look at your little one and say she has your husband’s nose and your eyes.  To know you, your husband, and God created this being; and she is  perfect and a witness to the love you and your husband share.  I mean, who wouldn't want that?  After years of being selfish and having a BIG ole' pity party, and I do mean BIG. I got over myself.  I DON'T HAVE TO GIVE BIRTH TO BE A MOM!  Neither do you.  That's not all being a mother is about.  Since, probably about January of this year we turned our priorities toward adoption.  Wow, what a breath of fresh air!  It feels SO good.  We've been through a lot on this short journey already.  A lot of stress and frustration, even disappointment.  Anyone who goes through an adoption will tell you these things, BUT what do they always say?  It's ALWAYS worth it in the end.  I'm ready for the end already… where are you?  Oh did I mention the part about patience?  Whether you are TTC or trying to adopt, PATIENCE is key.  If you don't have it, you will learn quickly that you need it.  
*UPDATE* Jeff and I have one more DHR foster/adopt class!*  Yippee!  Now that doesn't mean we are done.  We still have a CPR class and 2 homestudies.  Things are moving along with the house and hopefully I will blog my way through the process.  If I get caught up with other “stuff”, I'll apologize now.  Our lives could be changing in a matter of months!  All prayers are appreciated!
We are working on doing a girls room and a boys room.  Right now the girls room is equipped with two toddler beds and the boys room has a full-size bed.  We are only fostering children 3 and under, so I'm thinking they will both girl/boy, girl/girl, be in the girl room.  Don't freak out it's not going to have pink walls!  We are trying to keep both the rooms pretty gender neutral.  It's not like we are getting a sonogram and 9 months to prepare, so we are doing the best we can.  I'm going to give you a little sneak peak of things I've been working on in each room.  First the girl room:

I cut up old vintage sheets and crocheted them with an extra large hook to make this shabby little rug for the "girl" room.
   Next you can kinda get a "feel" for the boy room by this little stool I re-did.
Boy room 013Boy room 016Boy room 012
I want the colors to be bright and modern (the opposite of the girl room, which will be shabby and retro).  Lots of navy and white with pops of really bright green.  I’m hoping to refinish an antique headboard with this same color green and make it really distressed.  What do you think?
Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Walls of Curtains

A year ago, this month we moved to our new home.  I can’t believe it’s already been a year.  We have done so much in the living room, but have yet to finish.  The ceiling has new sheetrock and a brocade texture.  We closed in the closet and opened it up into the master bedroom.  We’ve stained the wood floors, and painted the walls.  We hung my art, and installed surround sound.  We still have to put in a light fixture and a ceiling fan, replace the front door, buy a leather sectional, and buy a rug.  Our latest project included installing a track system and hanging the curtains. 
Our living room is extra long, because what used to be a screened in front porch was closed in and made into a small sunroom attached to our living room.  You really can’t tell it was an add on, it just looks like part of the living room.  Well, it is pretty much two walls of windows, and my favorite little spot in the house.  I plan on turning it into a his/hers area.  Jeff already has claimed part of the space with his drums and guitar set up, but on the right side, I’m making a reading nook.  I’m in love with a chaise from Ikea, that I plan to put over there on top of my shag rug.  Then I’ll add a few floor pillows, a side table, and a lamp.
Here is Jeff reading the directions on how to put together the track system from Ikea.
curtains 001
My friend and I made the curtains.  I used three different types of fabric and made panels by cutting them all the same size and using a serger on the edges.
Here is how it turned out:
curtains 003
This is during the day with the light coming in.
curtains 005curtains 017
I love how the fabric lightly graces across the floor.
curtains 020
Notice the surround?
Here’s some details of the top:
curtains 018
Both of these fabrics are from Hancock's, on sale.
curtains 019
The sheer fabric was on clearance at Wal-Mart for $1 a yard.
I love it!  Now we can watch movies during the day with no glare on the t.v.
Even though the track system took a while to put up, we both felt it was well designed and very sturdy.