Amanda went to Wal-Mart (Which I hate) with X to pick up a pack-n-play and some other things. So, I can think a bit.
While I can't really compare this to "traditional" parenting, but it has to be harder. We went from no kids at all to having an infant and an 8 year old in the house. While the infant is pretty easy to understand the needs of, the 8 year old is significantly more difficult. He has likes and dislikes, things that make him happy, things that scare him. It is very hard to find these things without just grilling him, which would not be cool. One just has to be observant and try to pick up on them. We are figuring it out, but slowly.
I took C down this morning and FINALLY enrolled him in school. What a mess that was. Even with the principal being Amanda's uncle, they fought us. They could not get past us not having a birth certificate. We told them time and again that his last school had copies of all that and they would gladly fax it to them if they would call and ask for it. They were still hung up on needing it before they could enroll him, and they couldn't request it until he was enrolled. It was a real chicken vs egg problem for the simpletons. Finally, we just laid down the law. We told them we were bringing him in today with all of the paperwork we had from the state telling us to enroll him, and let them figure out what to do about it, or call DHHR and tell them why they were refusing to enroll him. By golly, it worked. If it wasn't for the fact that we would have been causing family problems, I would have called the papers to see if they wanted to run a story about the schools refusing to enroll foster children. It seems like they think when children are removed from their homes they come with a folder labeled "Important Documents" so it's all nice and tidy. Seems that the goal of education has been lost in favor of red tape. I in no way wanted to break the rules, I just wanted to get him in there while we sorted the paperwork out. Maybe I will go ahead and send a letter to the editor to the local papers. It is certainly a problem that needs some attention.
In all my life, I can't really recall thinking "Where is that damn camera" as many times as I have this week. Last night, C and Amanda were decorating the tree (C and I put it up, they decorated) and I couldn't find the camera fast enough and I am not sure I would have been composed enough to use it anyhow. It was a pretty amazing thing to be a part of.
We are trying very hard to undo some of the damage that was done regarding Christmas. Apparently, he was told a while back that Santa was dead. I am not sure of the reasoning, but I can't come up with a reason that justifies it. We are making pretty good progress on that front. We have gotten him excited about Christmas. Still waiting to find out where they are going to spend Christmas itself. He wants to go to his grandfathers and we are working to make that happen as best we can. While we love these children, we can't deny them their birth family. It's important to him, so it is important to us. Hopefully, we will know something on that in the next day or so.
I had a talk with C last night when he went to bed. He was concerned about kids at school making fun of him or being mean to him because he is a "foster kid". I told him the best I could think of, which was that they only know what he chooses to tell them. If he wants to say we all just moved here as a family, we will roll with that and back him up. The school agreed to do the same. I know this has to be a terrible thing for such a young child to face, and I do admire his bravery. I like to think he draws some strength from knowing that he has a mountain of man for a father who is 100% on his side, come hell or high water. But, I really don't know if he does. Either way, I have to keep doing it and be there for him. He has had enough disappointment, I won't be part of him having any more.
Last night I took my entire family (Me, Manda, X, C, mom, dad, brother, brothers girlfriend) out to dinner with some of my Christmas bonus. A good time was had by all and poor C didn't know how to react to the waitress flirting with him.
I had a good opportunity to reflect on the last year yesterday. I had to do my anual review with my manager. I know I do a good job, but it reall hits home when you see it all spelled out. In reflecting, I am amazed how much has happend this year.
- New role at work
- Diagnosed infertile
- Promotion at work
- More new duties at work
- The entire home study process.
- Getting these 2 wonderful children that in no way deserve anything less than the best.
- Seeing my wife get her mom groove on so gracefully.