Thursday, August 25, 2011

instant panic

this all took place tuesday.  it was a pretty low key day.  the boys and i decided to stay home since the days prior i spent a lot of time visiting with my grandma at the hospital.  i got caught back up on laundry, started to prepare dinner for the evening, and did my usual clean sweeps through each room of the house.  the boys played with their action figures, we played in the basement, and watched a couple of goofy shows on television.  after the boys went down for their nap, i had a few people come over for hair cuts, and then the four of us sat down to eat dinner as a family.  after dinner hank was cleaning up the kitchen and i took a seat in front of the picture window in our living room.  we all find our selves spending more time in the living room these days, which i find nice because their is no tv to stare at and the boys and i have a good time just bird watching.  lately we seem to always have some type of bug crawling up the opposite side of the glass and the boys giggle because we can see the bug's belly.
i picked up the cordless phone and scrolled through the caller id.  i came across a name that seemed all to familiar.  instant hot flash set in as i yelled to hank in the other room.  "who's so and so" i asked even though i already knew the answer." i think it's  the parents as teachers lady" he replied. i jumped out of my chair ran to get my cell phone and scrolled through my list of contacts.  the phone numbers were a perfect match.  "i knew it" i said.  it was our attorney that represented us for seany's adoption.  the name that was listed on the caller id   was his partner's, that's why is was questionable.  i was instantly sick to my stomach.   hank tried to act calm, but i could see right through him.  what could he be calling the house for i wondered?  i ran to the answering machine only to find that it had been turned off  by one of the children.  of course, i was expecting the worse.  what if his birth mother is now trying to appeal.  what if the great great aunt, or anyone for this matter had filed some type of petition for who knows what.  in the blink of an eye i had returned to a very dark time in my life.  i was petrified and my legs felt heavy, almost as if i was sinking into the kitchen floor.  the tears began to fall.  "what are we going to do?".  ''what if blah blah blah".  i kept rambling on.  hank tried to keep reassuring me everything was fine.  he thought that maybe he was calling to talk to him about a quik trip donation for the adoption day that is held in november. "i doubt it"  i said, "why would he call the house for that"?  hank got out the lap top and began to search for the man's home phone number.  as his fingers franticly pecked at the key board sweet voices from the other room were talking back and forth about what they were going to be for halloween.  in between 2 brothers sat a crumpled up halloween catalog, and with every page that was turned a new choice and idea arose.  they had been looking at this catalog off and on for over a week, but this time was much different for me.  though the voices were precious, each and every word that leaked from their tiny mouths made my stomach churn.  i later found that daddy agreed.  these two are brothers and at this very moment my warped mind thought someone must be out to destroy such a thing.
hank found a matching name and address. " i guess you'll be knocking on someone's door this evening huh"?  two seconds later he found the phone number.  he called and the line was busy.  he tried again and bingo we got a hold of him.  "hi john this henry schwartz.  i'm so sorry to call you at home but see we are in a bit of a panic."
..........................for the first and only time in my life i am happy to admit that hank was absolutely right.  our attorney was calling about a donation for adoption day.  there was instant relief, however i could not stop crying.  only ten minutes had passed from the time i discovered the number and when  hank made the phone call.  i still couldn't get past the visions of  a ripped apart, incomplete family that would haunt me for a life time.
ironically just one day prior,randomly while standing in vito's door way i thought to my self  "i think i may be finally done worrying." i guess i was completely wrong. i hope one day to be cut from the strings that seem to always pull me back,  but then again i think twice.  those same strings keep me connected to the past of which   make me the person i am today.  life is good!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

this is a comment i submitted on the topic of adopting through foster care for parenting magazine

it all started just about four years ago. my husband and i had completed the nine weeks of training, countless pages of paperwork, background checks, fingerprints, and a completed home study which included a youthful picture of the two of us at the age of 25.
we started our journey with the intention of just fostering and accepted our first placement two months later. to keep this post from dragging on forever, i’ll just say this placement was as precious as a two year old can be, and his mother did everything she was asked of. his stay at our home lasted 14 months and then he returned home to
his mother. we formed a special bond with his mother and after 3 years he still comes over to visit. it was a win win for everyone involved,yet sadly at the same time not the norm for other children in foster care.
our next placement, was a drug addicted newborn straight from the hospital. his stay was short lived, since he ended up actually having a relative whom was a licensed provider. i was sad to see him go, however in his situation he was lucky to have a relative come forward in the beginning.
our third and FINAL placement joined our home on august 12 2007. he was a nine month old baby boy, taken away from birth mom due to dangerous and unhealthy living conditions. we thought this would be a short stay. you know like ” maybe they can just clean the house and make some repairs”. well to say the least we were so naive.
from day one his birth mother showed no attempt in completing any of the services that were ordered. visits were suppose to be weekly but only happened on an average of once per month. the longer a parent takes to complete services, the longer the whole process takes.
as the days pass our bonds with the child grew stronger and stronger. days turn in to weeks, weeks turn in to months and before we knew it a complete year had snuck by.
the judge okayed the termination of parental rights process to begin and by this time we the foster parents had formed a pretty good relationship with the birth mother and grandmother. we expressed our interest in adoption and several months later the birth mother
decided that she would consent and said she was all for us adopting her son. sounds to cut and dry,”to good to be true”, your exactly right. after the child being in our care for almost 17 months, i received a phone call that flipped my dream world upside down. out of no where a great great aunt had decided that she wanted to adopt him. this same individual admitted she was completely aware that he was in foster care, but she thought her niece had been doing what needed to be done for his return. this same individual had never entertained the idea of visiting her nephew while in foster care and more importantly failed to offer any assistance or support for the mother through the whole process. this same individual as far as i’m concerned was a complete stranger to this child. children’s division completed her home study and even allowed her weekly supervised visits, which were at best only tolerable for the child.
as time went on this case went onto an adoption staffing. hooray my husband and i were chosen as the preferred family for his adoption and we could now move forward and file a petition with the court. we were excited and thought their was finally a light at the end of our tunnel. just as we started to let our guards down a bit, we discovered the relative also had filed a petition for adoption. know instead of us going to court for a happy adoption day we were now faced with a trial. my husband and i both had to testify on the stand, and it was very lengthy and detailed. at the end the judge said she would rule within 2 weeks. the days passing were long and stressful.
by the grace of god we were chosen as the forever family. the judge had ruled in our favor and seeing the name change on the court papers, and that i was listed as his mother on his new birth certificate was amazing. finally we had a new beginning to the rest of our lives. almost 26 months had passed from the day he entered foster care to the day our adoption was completed. were most days emotionally miserable at that time yes, would i do it all over again? Absolutely

Monday, August 15, 2011

recap of last weeks activities

my babies are getting big, and this momma is anything but happy about it.  yes i like the fact that seany can almost completely dress himself in the morning with the exception of tying his shoes, and vito's vocabulary is to the sky which makes communication these days a breeze. i know stuff gets a bit easier as they get a little older, but for now i'm gonna enjoy every  teeny tiny moment of their innocence.

we pretended to bake delicious cupcakes and sing happy birthday time and time again. we also cooked many tasty meals using their new wooden kitchen set that i was delighted to get a great deal off craigslist.

with the weather finally braking, we took advantage and ventured to the zoo to meet up with friends.  the boys and i took a ride on the beautiful carousel.  poor vito is so scared of tigers his little eyes were nervously watching behind him the majority of the time, just in case one tried to sneak up on him.   and of course we took a gander through the bug house.  of all places and things to see at the zoo, the bug house is seany's top priority.

friday was a very special day for the whole family.  it was gotcha day.  every year on august 12 marks the day   that seany was brought to our home.  the boys and i started our day by  heading over to pick up our special friend kyluan and from there headed strait to the park.  kyluan mastered the monkey bars, and his smile of self pride was brighter than the sun shining in the sky.  the boys climbed and climbed, and rode down the slide over and over.


only because it was such a special day mommy dropped 12 bucks on 3 mixed up slurpees that were so sweet   and sour your eyes had no choice but to cross.  what made these slurpees so marvelous was that they were in wwe wrestling cups.  seany and vito chose rey mysterio, and kyluan's pick was randy orton.  these boys go bonkers over wrestling.

on saturday evening hank and i went out to dinner with my cousin jill and had an awesome time.  we ate at vito's restaurant and enjoyed quality adult conversation, which is a treat in its self these days.   all in all we had a  great weekend.

hmm, what to do next weekend???

Sunday, August 7, 2011

city museum

saturday started off well.  we hit the gym at 10 am, followed by lunch at goia's deli located on the hill.  it never fails on saturdays.  we always demand to go out for lunch immediately after leaving the gym.  hank and i always joke and say we're just putting the calories right back on, and then some more than likely but at least we don't feel as guilty about it.  we take our time driving back home, and put the boys down for a nap.  hank and i had been talking about each of us taking one of the kids and spending some alone time with them.  we don't do this very often, but when we do, its amazing how different they act with out each other.  i had decided i would hang out with seany and hank would hang out with vito.  after all the time pondering on what to do, all four of us decided to go to the city museum.  we had only been one other time which was last summer, and thought it would be a totally new experience for all of us since we didn't have to lug the stroller with us this time around.      

we had such a great time.  it's amazing how just the boys being a year older makes for a completely different trip.  we climbed through the caves and took some close ups of the water turtles.  vito rode on the tiger over and over again, while seany chose to ride the waves, and hitch a ride from a whale.  building extra tall towers with daddy is always fun, and don't forget about the tiny choo choo train rides.  we made a mess with clay in the art room, and acted silly in a pit of bouncy balls.  we had a blast.

the sun was setting and our bellies were rumbling.  seany was sad to leave but recovered quickly with the mention of white castles.

with full bellies we headed home to get ready for bed.  great times had by all some big, some small!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

morning at the library

our morning was to go as follows...
wake up, get dressed and ready to be out the door by 9:30, visit the library and attend story time, meet friends for pizza, and back home by 1pm to catch a nap.  well we were all out of bed by 7:30, i only had to tell seany once to put his clothes on, and vito didn't put up a fight when it came time to comb his hair. we were out the door on time and there was no arguing  about what we were listening to on the radio. so far so good!

we arrive at the library and the boys take turns sliding each book one by one through the return bin.  we catch the elevator up to the 3rd floor and spend the next 15mins doing our usual stuff.  seany heads straight to the superhero books and vito sneaks up on the big teddy bear.  poor teddy never stands a chance against vito.  we complete the same puzzles every week, and i graze through books looking for the ones with the brightest pictures and fair amount of text.
at 10 on the dot, we find a seat on the abc carpet and join the others for a welcoming song.  vito's butt usually never stays on the carpet to long and seany appears to be pondering new ways to have all eyes in our direction.   little does he know, we don't have to try at that one.  we sang songs, threw bean bags in the air, and listed to precious rhymes.
due to seany's lack of listening at the library, we were unable to eat pizza with our friends and decided to just go back home.  i threw together lunch, the kids played with blocks downstairs  in the play room, while i crafted with paper, and then time for nap.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

wait there's another...vito steven

my littelest cheese burger in paradise, you make mommy's world sooo nice.  vito was born on december 26, 2008.  he was 31/2 weeks early and has been mr independent, even way before the day he decided to make his debut.  due to lack of amniotic fluid vito and i became residents for 4 solid weeks at the hospital. i always felt so alone during those weeks, but now when i look back, my little guy was right there with me the whole time. the name vito comes from my side of the family.  it is my father's middle name and my great grandfathers first name.  steven is my father in laws middle name.  i had known for many years that if i had a son his name would be vito, and seriously can you think of any other name that better suites my bambino. absolutely not!

vito is like a firecracker that is always ready to explode.  i have never seen so much character crammed in one little body. i never get tired of his darling little voice, and i adore sticking my nose in his curly locks of hair.

   vito makes everyday exciting, and as fast as he can turn naughty he's even faster to make me giggle.  silly boy...mamma loves you!!!!

vito enjoys:

sniffing maple(his lovey little dog)
licking everything, yes everything
singing and dancing
bed time stories with mommy and seany
playing with playdough, yes he licks this too
anything his big brother likes


getting his hair washed
being patient
being told what to do


seany' poem

i started writing this poem for seany shortly after he came to live with us.  i continued on over the course of 26 long heart wrenching months.  it goes a little something like this:

it seems like just the other day
this precious little angel came my way

looking so scared and all alone
not a soul knowing you were actually home

we tried real hard and made you smile
and asked the lord please bless this child

growing and changing with every day
praying to god please let him stay

thanksgiving christmas easter and all
hoping and wishing you'll be here next fall

only wanting whats best for you
holding my breath for a dream come true

living in fear is never any fun
if i had to do it all over for you would be the one

always believing you were meant to be
now all we need is the judge to agree

JaSean Henry Schwartz is now your name 
loving you forever is the name of our game

the power of prayer is like no other
im honored each day to be your mother

Monday, August 1, 2011

first egg hatched...jasean henry

seany is my oldest son, whom i deeply adore. words alone can not describe my love for this child. yes its obvious he is adorable.  he's got the tiniest little curls that form on the top of his perfectly shaped head, and his eyes are as gorgeous and dark as the bottom of the deepest seas.  when he smiles i am blinded by his beautiful pearly white teeth and his laugh is contagious.  his little body never stops moving, and his brain is always ticking.  he is smart as a whip, and cares mostly about others feelings.  if he is aware that he hurt ones feeling, he will crumble.
yes its obvious we don't share the same blood that runs through our veins, but to us it doesn't matter.  i am his mommy and he is my son.    
seany has been my sweet baby since the tiny age of 9 months, and became a permanent member of the schwartz family on october1 2010. ya there is a lot more to that story, but that is not what is important. we are together, and this momma aint gonna let nobody shake our world.  i believe god had this all planned out and seany is right where he's supposed to be.

a few things sean enjoys:
little brother vito
super heroes and wrestling action figures
dipping all his food in sauce
snuggling on the couch with mommy and vito to read a bed time story
playing with his friends and cousins
swimming lessons
singing to the radio

tomatoes and onions

so in a nut shell, seany is a dream come true!!

chicken or the egg??? my rooster

my husband and i have been married over 6 years now, however have been stuck on each others hip for almost 11.  we went to high school together, and after 2 years of his persistence we finally were the real deal.  i cant imagine my life without hank.  who else would put up with my crap?  i believe we are a true match, only others could wish for a soulmate like mine.  we have been through lots together.  we have seen each other at our best, and have also been there to scrape each other off  of the floor.  hank and i share many of the same interests, and our number one priority in life is our children.  ooo our beautiful little children, how we adore our boys!