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Tag Archives: Adopting a Teenager

An Update to Kiddo’s Room

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Since we decided to Home School via Connections Academy I felt it was important to have a designated spot for school time and would have all of her supplies at the ready, so L modified my huge wood desk to fit in her room and I just had to share how awesome it turned out (yes, I need to re-stain it, but cosmetics can wait until the big stuff is done *laugh*).

 

Kiddos Desk

 

The cloth boxes filled with things are actually specific curriculum subject supplies, so those will actually go up on a shelf once that is built.  Right now I have the binders and extras all stacked underneath the desk, awaiting the shelf, too.  She can lay in bed and watch TV, there will be a frame with four family pictures (three of us all individually and then placement or adoption day in the last window) that will go with the “family” sign, and the desk doesn’t interfere with her window while giving a lot of work room.  And it is SOLID.  *laugh* We got a great deal on it when I started my first business and since it’s such a high quality piece we just had to modify it to work for her room.  (And yes, I’m about 1/3 of the way done Christmas shopping.  *grin* I’m that annoying friend who doesn’t understand wading through the crowds on Christmas Eve.  *laugh*  Plus, I have some that have to be shipped out of state, so I start working on them early, too.)

 

I know it’s super nerdy, but organizing the subject supplies and books together today made it all feel so real and happy to me.  Whichever is Kiddo will have to do art as part of their coping techniques, but it can be such a fun outlet that I couldn’t resist putting together a variety of mediums beyond what the school sends. 

 

Although my dad is now out of the picture I even got to put his graphing and blueprint drawing tools in her math box.  I like that I can add a few things of his for her that bring back good memories for me.  For her science box (which I had to stick a few pieces of other things into since I wanted to keep the center of the desk clean until the shelving is built) I even have a DNA testing kit to learn about her long ago heritage, how blood types work, and even a lesson on haplogroups.  Genealogy is something that she can share with Grandma, since I’m only interested in the science and the heritage, instead of the ancestry. 

 

It’s really kind of awesome that I’m able to supplement the core classes she will take and have them connect to her new family, as well.  There’s a little concern about the DNA test, but since I’m the one handling all of it, I will keep the more current information put away for her to have when she’s older, if she wants genetic information about her closer biological ancestry.  We definitely don’t want to add to her trauma, but with so much loss of identity I think knowing if she has Irish, Russian, German, or whatever roots might give her a little something to help her not feel so set apart from the general population.  Adoption and foster guru Sherrie Eldridge recently blogged about how left out this group of children are, especially when it’s that first day of school and they go through the trauma of a new place with new people all over again.  It left me thinking about what would her first day story be that she would give others, if she starts standard school the next year?  I’m hoping that I can give her something to relate to, like which heritage she has, so she isn’t just “the Cornelisons’ adopted kid” or leaving her to make up a life she thinks other kids will think is cool.  Even if she hasn’t attached to us by then, at least she will have something real to identify herself with and keep her system story private if she wants to, without making up a whole story that will inevitably go wrong at some point. 

 

Anyway, I beam every time I look at her desk and especially her bins.  The anatomy book L picked up at a garage sale in the middle of the dead zone of our process; the calculator that I used for working at home and then starting my own business is now hers, and even brand new pencils instead of the old household ones.  She may never realize it, but there’s meaning and memories behind almost every item, and I just can’t wait to take her shopping to see how she accessorizes and makes all of this hers.  I can clearly picture the tween we’re waiting on the BIS for sitting in that chair doing homework.  The other two not so easily, but it makes me catch my breath sometimes.  I imagine this must be what it’s like when a mother sees the crib all finished and ready for the first time.  Schooling is where we will start our deepest bonding instead and I’m actually okay with that now.  I’m not sure what tomorrow brings, but this past week just standing in her doorway and looking at everything is my happy moment every single time.  🙂

GoFundMe

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Well, I made the incredibly difficult step of starting a GoFundMe campaign to help on our adoption journey. The legal costs are minimal, but due to our matches being national, we will have to do some unexpected traveling.  We all ready spent a lot on all of the renovations we did last year, getting her room ready so she can move right in and then change it to her heart’s content later, and starting to gather school supplies.  Since we always figured it would be a local adoption, we didn’t expect to have travel expenses.  We will also have additional school supplies and may have to buy a wardrobe for Kiddo, since we have no idea if the foster family/facility will be able to send much along with her.  So, we set aside our pride and started the campaign, since providing for and bringing home Kiddo are the most important things to us.

 

We created three puzzles that have inspiring adoption phrases for Kiddo and any donations will be written on the back of the puzzle pieces.  Later on we will get double sided frames, so she can see not only the phrases, but how many people worked to bring her to her forever home and show her how much she matters.  She will not be “one of the forgotten”. 

 

First Puzzle Lid:

puzzle 1

 

 

Second Puzzle Lid:puzzle 2

 

Third Puzzle Lid:

puzzle 3

 

 

We’re fundraising locally for $10 USD per puzzle piece, but we appreciate any donation and any forwarding of our campaign information.  I’m notoriously bad about not being on Facebook, so if you are willing to share the information with your contacts, that would also mean the world to us. 

 

We have a match as far away as Georgia (thoroughly ironic, right?!), so we truly don’t know what to expect.  According to our new Social Worker, it sounds like we might be at the next step with one young lady that is thankfully closer, so please cross your fingers or say a prayer for us.  It would be amazing to spend the summer getting to know our daughter.  I created a static site page for the campaign and will put the updates on the campaign on there, so you won’t hear much about the fundraising again, unless you look at that page.  This blog wasn’t made with this in mind, and wasn’t even in the realm of my thoughts for a blog post actually, so I want to keep the blog my version of normal.  *laugh*  I’ll still post adoption updates themselves, because even if it falls apart and shatters me, I’m going to go all Mama Bear and yell from the hills if we get far enough to meet one of the girls soon!  

 

So, for the fun facts…Our GoFundMe campaign is www.gofundme.com/adopting-future-cornelison.  My site page for additional details and updates is www.georgiaspampering.com/fundraising-for-future-cornelison.  Again, we are so thankful for your time reading this, any sharing of this to your social media or people or churches you know, or any donations.  The support and encouragement has been such a help all ready, when we hit forks in the road, and lost our hope.  We have the most incredible support system and we appreciate each of you.

Without You

I found this pose on SL a few days back and couldn’t resist, since I’ll be able to use it for a lot of other purposes and change things up with different windlights. For now, though, during this season of life, it tells two parts to the same story, for me.

Luke is leaning against the door and represents the adoption process in general. The ones that walk away or don’t match, the ones who get chosen by their foster parents upon the declaration of interest; all those hard moments adoptive families face. While I’m touching the door, trying to keep some connection without fully losing this big piece of life. Until we get to the good part, now that we’re past that cheerful, exciting beginning stage, there’s time I just collapse, wrap an arm around myself to try to keep control, and feel like my future is right outside that door, but still lost to me right now. Not much different from a breakup, which is probably why this pose touched me so deeply.

Secondly, people don’t usually think about the toll it takes on a couple while walking through this journey. All too often we’re on different sides of the door. I can’t vouch for his feelings, but sometimes I feel so alone when that door is closed. He is more reserved and not as involved in the process. I can’t stop myself from loving some of these young ladies, their stories, at least a bit, and it’s devastating when it doesn’t work out. When we forget to work as hard on us as on everything else going on, we’re left on different sides of the door with very different feelings. We want to understand each other, but sometimes it just isn’t possible and so we just continue down the path, recommitting whenever we can. It’s so frighteningly easy to be holding the door or be the one walking away. Even a united front can end up on different sides sometimes, with different emotions and traumas caused by this whirlwind.

I thought the loss, the grief, and longing in the pose was the perfect representation right now. The middle of a beautiful story isn’t always pretty. But it’s still our story and we’re still reaching out, so that’s all that matters in the end.

Loving Adoption

 

Although it is such a hard process, and trauma is wrapped up in every edge, it’s absolutely beautiful. The dreams, the hopes, the ability to love another person so completely, and a new season to life.

The adoption process creates a unique bond for the prospective (and hopefully eventual) parents, and we can sometimes see that another is on this journey too. We’re part of a community that we never really expected.

In light of the intriguing traits and behaviors we can see, and totally understand, I wanted to share an incredible post by Kathy Lynn Harris,Dear Moms of Adopted Children“.

Expanding Our Options

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Well, we lost another potential child.  It’s now a joke that if we actually pursue further processing with a child, they will be adopted by someone else in the meantime.  Most of the time the foster parents or someone from their past steps up when the case worker notifies them of an interested family.  4.  It’s awesome that the four young ladies have found forever homes and families, just makes it hard to keep hope alive.

 

Since there are no others in Kansas at this time that sound like a good fit, and we don’t want to just sit and keep refreshing the site every day to see when a new girl gets added (which isn’t all that often really), I did some research (imagine that lol).  I am in the middle now of working on our national profile and once AdoptUS sends it and our KS Social Worker verifies the accuracy of the form part (not the narrative), we can then request profiles for girls in other states.  There are actually several in neighboring states that seem somewhat promising so far, but who knows when the verification will be done and who will be available at that point.  At least we’re not just twiddling our thumbs and waiting for a miracle, though, and it helps me feel like I’m actually still working toward our dream.

 

The other states require that out-of-state adopters have a completed homestudy all ready, which we did back in September and are just waiting for the last corrections to be finished, so that we get the official version of our homestudy profile.  They also require completion of their own forms, not that different from the tons of pages I did for Kansas, but they also require a narrative to be written.  This allows the caseworkers to actually get a brief “getting to know you” view of us, instead of just stats.  There are sections for general description of where we live, community activities, what type of child we are looking for, our joint interests (I couldn’t resist doing some of our separate interests too, since we each have a lot of hobbies and interests that aren’t shared by the other), any activities that interfere with routine (such as his scout meetings or work events), and what experience we have with children.  If it was free form it’d be easier for me, I think, since where we live and the community feel like the section our interests and hobbies should be with, instead of elsewhere.  And it is incredibly hard for me to “sell” our qualities to such a wide audience.  I can rock a resume and have actually done that for some extra money in the past, but talking about personal stuff instead of business, and within their guidelines, is so hard for me.  Talking with a friend helped me think of writing a resume-type narrative that I could then copy and paste into this narrative, in the appropriate areas.  

 

We also have to do a lot of what would we be able to handle or prefer for tons of conditions I know nothing about.  I realized that our homestudy worker had talked about the issues, and got a feel for what we can do, but didn’t name all of the things she was actually asking about.  I never even realized that, even with turning in hundreds of corrections.  *laugh* And for me to not know medical conditions is so irritating to me, since I like to think I’ve educated myself really well in that area.  The thirty five shortcuts to descriptions tells me otherwise.  *grin* 

 

I really hope that I’m making the right move in doing this.  I feel so helpless and useless right now; four is enough to really knock the wind out of the sales.  I have an incredible support system that is helping me keep working, even when I don’t feel overly hopeful, and have all given pep talks to keep me motivated to not give up.  It doesn’t make sense, but I feel kind of like I’ve failed, and I’m not used to doing that, and I definitely don’t handle it well.  I am so very thankful to have incredible people in my life to help me learn how to handle this. 

 

So I am down to two sections left of the narrative and then back to finishing the “what can we handle” sections, especially now that I know what the definitions are.  *grin*  I’ve had a hard time deciding what to call Kiddo in the narrative, since I’m not really sure what the case workers would prefer, so it’s varied from “our daughter”, “the child”, “the young lady”, and Kiddo.  I have all of the preferences covered, I suppose.  *laugh*  I get to next complete the section about her Godparents and even write about how we hope to travel out of state for Kiddo to meet her other set of Godparents, as soon as Kiddo is settled and able to handle it (and we can budget it). Leah has been such an incredible part of our support system that I can’t wait for Kiddo to get to meet her, along with her husband and children.  Extra bonus is I get to meet my honorary nieces in person, too!  So although having another “paperwork pregnancy” kind of bites, there are some great reminders of the dreams and goals we have for parenting and bonding.  I don’t know how many times we can travel to meet any of the potential kids out-of-state, so I’m going to set up a family Skype account just in case most of our contact is via that or group texting.  Prepare to hear about all of the differences between attempting to adopt locally vs out-of-state.  We’re starting a whole different path and learning as we go.  If you are so inclined, a little prayer for this would mean so very much to me.  And thank you for bumping along this wild ride with me.  We were hesitant about talking about the adoption at all, but writing about the journey has been very therapeutic and empowering, so thank you for taking the time to read and for all of the well wishes you’ve sent.

 

By the way, I actually got some new business items to get the inspiration percolating again, so look for an actual business post soon.  I know that some subscribed for the business aspect, so I hope you’ve stayed along until I could get back to it!  Happy pampering!  

The “Get to Know Me” Tag

Thank you so much to Julie Beeks of Coffee, Crime, and a Whole Latte More for nominating me to do this! I’m excited to share a little about myself with my followers and think the original writers did so well, that I’m not changing the design. 🙂

Below are questions & answers for all of the nominees  

  • What are my strengths?
    • I am very loyal and love wholeheartedly if you become part of my “family”. 
    • I try to have a good impact on someone, in some way, each day.  
    • I can laugh at the strange and stupid things that my illness causes, even when my illness makes life incredibly difficult or I’m scared of being judged as being “less than”.
    • I absolutely love to learn new things.  Too bad they’ve never been really practical things, like how to change a tire or something.  🙂  I can give you a list of natural uses and benefits for honey or vinegar, though.
  • What are my short term goals?
    • To continue to blog regularly.  I need to keep pushing to share about the things that matter to me.
    • To find and meet Kiddo, even when the path is hard.
    • Get back to making product and utilizing that creative outlet.
  • What are my long term goals?
    • To adopt and advocate for adoption.
    • To go on adventures with L and Kiddo.
    • To learn to accept progression of my illness with grace instead of anger.  I need to finish grieving the abilities and life I had before my relapse, and focus on accepting my new self without fear of judgement.  
  • Who matters the most to me?
    • God
    • My husband
    • My “family”, the biological and the emotionally connected
    • My fur babies
    • The shadow of a future daughter.  Once I finally get a chance to love the real her, this will be a harder question of ranking.
  • What am I ashamed of?
    • That I forgot to focus on my character instead of my looks.  I allowed the weight gain from my illness to mean more to me than being a good person.
    • That I get lost in my emotions and have trouble handling them sometimes.
  • What do I like to do for fun?
    • I love hanging out with my family, in person or online, whether we are watching television, playing games, finding adventures across the grid online, or sitting in camp chairs late into the summer night while remembering the “crazy old days” of our youth.
    • I am a massive nerd, so I love researching, reading, using gadgets, and exploring the wide variety available on streaming media (movies, clips, podcasts; you name it).  It’s most fun when I can bring L over to the nerd side.  The days he joined the Eureka™ fandom and became a partial Mythical Beast both made me so happy.
    • Being creative – writing, creating bath products, painting, or even decorating my fairy garden.
  • What new activities am I willing to try?
    • Parenting.  
    • Zip lining
    • Riding in a Zorb™
  • What am I worried about?
    • My illness progressing aggressively before we are able to be parents.
  • What are my values?
    • I’m a hodgepodge of faith, The Golden Rule, empathy, and trying to help anyone or anything that is in need when I am able to.
  • If I had one wish, it would be…?
    • to have a home filled with biological and chosen children.
  • Where do I feel the safest?
    • with L and/or my mom
    • in our little town.  After growing up in the Bay Area it’s amazing to be able to sit on the back deck at night, just watching the sky and thinking, without worrying about my safety.
  • What or who gives me comfort?
    • I am a practical person, so I have to admit that it depends on the situation.  L, my mom, my SL family, my therapist…they all do, but in different situations.
    • Being informed and in control, even when it’s out of my hands.
  • If I was afraid, I would…?
    • Go to L
    • If he’s unavailable, I’d grab the closest weapon and protect my family.  I’d give my life to prevent them from ever being victimized.
  • What is my proudest accomplishment?
    • My Presidential Literary Excellence Award.
    • Surviving attempted murder and learning how to stop being a victim.
    • My Victim’s Advocacy Certification.
    • Being able to use my careers or knowledge to help others.  I was able to help some amazing patients as a Medical Billing Clerk and as a Spoonie I was able to help a few people.
  • Am I a night owl or early bird?
    • A night owl all the way.  I may have a few one-sided feuds with groups that wake me while I’m trying to sleep vampire hours. *grin*
  • What does my inner critic tell me?
    • That I am a failure.  I lost a lot of my physical abilities, my career, and some of my identity due to becoming disabled.  I don’t make nearly as much money as I used to, so I feel like a financial drain for L.  When you vow in sickness and in health, you don’t think you’ll have to hold them to the sickness part until you’re in the later seasons of life, so I feel like it was unfair, when I’m being most critical.  *Please note that this is also part of my current topic of therapy.  I’m learning to let go of and grieve my former life, so it’s not as bad as it sounds.  I’ve always been my harshest critic, but I’m learning how to cut myself some slack.  🙂
  • What do I do to show myself self-care?
    • A bath with a good book or Pinterest™, with floating candles and anti inflammatory bath salts.
    • I love losing myself in a book or SL.
  • Am I an introvert or extrovert?
    • I am a massive introvert, but if you hurt my family, I’ll step outside of my comfort zone and you’ll see the dark side of a Virgo.  😉
  • What am I passionate about?
    • helping and raising awareness for Spoonies, our adoption journey, and advocating for adoption.
  • What do my dreams tell me?
    • That I could make a lot of money if I could make them into a Eureka-type show.  They’re weird enough to fill that niche very well.  
  • What is my favorite non-fiction book?
    • Rhett and Link’s Book of Mythicality
  • What is my favorite fiction book?
    • It depends on the genre.  lol I will re-read Kristen Painter’s Miss Frost Solves a Cold Case: A Nocturne Falls Mystery© and Julie Garwood’s The Secret© and Ransom©.  Pies and Prejudice© by Ellery Adams will always have a special place in my heart, because I got to actually chat with her after reading that.
  • What is my favorite movie?
    • Sleeping Beauty© for Disney®, Robin Hood: Men in Tights© for comedy, and Phantom of the Opera© for romantic.
  • What is my favorite band?
    • Celtic Thunder™, Elvis™, or Rhett & Link’s Song Biscuits©, depending on the mood
  • What is my favorite food?
    • Most anything chocolate or sweet, although fried shredded beef tacos and Mei Fun are pretty high up there, too.
  • What is my favorite color?
    • Glittery Hot Pink
  • What am I grateful for?
    • That L loved me enough to get a ring tattoo.  My disability after coming into the marriage relatively healthy wasn’t a deal breaker for him and he decided to show me for the rest of his life that he’s committed to loving me.
    • That I was helped to escape, so I could then survive and have an incredible “family” across the nation. 
    • My Faith
    • The support during our adoption journey and the opportunity to take this journey.
  • When I am feeling down, I like to?
    • Listen to Damian McGinty or Celtic Thunder™
    • Boxing
    • Organize something.  It’s oddly therapeutic for me to sort and label things.  *laugh*
  • I know I am stressed when?
    • My shoulder trigger points tighten into hard knots
    • I suddenly start to cry while watching a sappy commercial or video

 

 

Thanks for nominating me Julie Beeks of Coffee, Crime, and a Whole Latte More!

I nominate:

Andrea from Cooking with a Wallflower

Harsh Reality

Cooking Adventures

Sauce Box

An Update on Our Adoption

 

I wasn’t sure if I’d feel up to writing an update right now.  My emotions are all over the board at this stage and there are so many others who are in control of our journey right now.  It’s hard for me to not retreat into my sarcastic version of myself when I feel this vulnerable and incredibly hard to admit it to others.  As a survivor of abuse I absolutely hate being vulnerable except to those I have come to trust.  I’ve never been able to shed that protective layer.  It’s not easy to let go of a few of those learned behaviors, no matter how much work I’ve done.  It makes sense that the story of our adoption journey is knocking at that protective behavior, but I want to be strong and share our journey in case someone stumbles across my posts someday when they need proof that some hard parts of the process are normal.

 

To that person: you are doing all that you can, so stop feeling like you need to do something every minute or else you’re a failure who doesn’t deserve to get their child.  Having strangers dive deep into your life story and pick through some parts that might be a bit painful is not a fun process and it’s normal to feel vulnerable.  The waiting makes you feel alone and like you’re going insane, but I want you to know that you’re not. I can promise that you’re not going crazy and most everyone in your place feels lost.  And for you, and even our future daughter, I will try to share our story.

 

We just submitted the corrections to our second profile and the third profile is in the works.  We got an extended narrative about the young lady we feel we would be best able to help and with a better understanding of her needs we decided to continue with her.  Now we wait for her case worker to read the new version of our profile and see if that case worker believes we could be a good fit for this young lady.  From what I understand, if she feels there’s a chance, then she may request more information about you/your family.  So we are waiting to see if we qualify enough to get to the next step of having a conference call with our social worker and her case worker.

 

IF we get the conference call and all goes well, then we move on to the BIS, where even more people weigh in on the huge decision of which applicants will best suit the needs and wants of the child.  It took us seven months to get to submitting our inquiry, so right now it feels like it’ll be the day just before forever when we will know if we have a shot with this young lady whose profile kept pulling at our hearts.  We know that we need to consider at least a couple others and submit inquiries, because it is so risky to put all of our eggs in one basket.  We had an intense talk about our abilities and what needs we can meet that are outside of our original parameters, so we requested three more profiles.  One of them really appeals to us, although she’s several years younger than we had originally planned for.  So, while we wait to learn about our main focus, at least we have a few more that we will hopefully get to read the extended profiles for this week.  It’s hard to balance the knowledge that we need to consider others against those little vignettes that inadvertently pop into the mind with Kiddo 1’s face.

I want to crawl into my shell until we get through things.  I feel foolish sharing my hope and joy over the concept of motherhood and actually getting Kiddo.  I feel incredibly foolish to have shared my hopes so early on without realizing that this road isn’t a one year run.  We’re in a marathon with an unknown end date, with a desperate need to not feel like we’re putting our lives out there for these others to judge, all the way down to judging if we could be good parents, and the fear is nearly suffocating.

 

Three young ladies we had hoped to inquire about have all ready been pulled from the listing while we worked through that first part.  It’s down-in-your-heart scary to share the online profile of the one we are hoping we get approved for.  There are these moments of hope that you cling to that just have to be shared sometimes, though, and it’s gut wrenching when you’re reminded that it’s a long process and you learn that child is destined for another path.  In my most honest moments I know that one of my deepest, uncontrollable fears is that we are wrong at knowing who “our” Kiddo is.  There have all ready several faces starring in our dreams.  This isn’t dropping a quarter into a slot machine and seeing what comes out.  This is our life and helping our daughter have the best life possible.  I know that it’s insane to hold myself responsible for not being accurate about who our Kiddo will be, especially when it is all in the hands of those in the process.  It’s an upside down world, some days.  That’s why I want the shirt that says “Insane?  I prefer the term mentally hilarious.”.  In the meantime I’ll keep doodling out ideas for the tattoo I’ll get when we formally adopt her.  She’s worth becoming a permanent reminder upon my skin, just like her dad is, even though I’m not sure which face will go with the memorable moment.  Fibro be damned.  She’s even worth going a bit bonkers for.  I just hope Kiddo agrees with Lewis Carroll.

 

Have I Gone Mad Quote Have I Gone Mad Quote Alice In Wonderland Quotes Mad Hatter Have I

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