Year End Review (photo heavy)


Wow…it’s hard to believe I’m about to write this, but today is the last day of 2014.  What a year it has been.

January 2014
When FatherWinter and I started this journey on January 1, 2014, we were a family of three.  Today, on December 31, 2014, we’re a family of four trying to make it legal and permanent.

It’s been a year full of ups and downs for sure.  We started the year with such a low.  We’d received yet another call that a potential match had fallen through.  We were stressed and it was frustrating to say the least.

February 2014
Still, we were able to come together with grins and giggles for Valentine’s Day when this happened…. 

Superbug gets baptized!




The Visit

This morning, I woke up early not wanting a repeat of the past couple of days.  I made sure Honeybee had her morning bath and her breakfast, made sure she was her happy and vibrant self, and was tidying up a bit around the house when the doorbell rang.  My heart did a flutter, but I’d prayed about this; it was God’s doing now.

The guardian ad litem walked in and we exchanged pleasantries.  We went immediately to Honeybee where she was banging blocks together in the morning.  The GAL was a bit disappointed she wouldn’t see my son or husband, but I think I eased her mind when I gave her my phone.  She was able to see video of Honeybee playing with FatherWinter (dancing and singing—it’s so cute and I can’t wait to be able to share it with you all).  She saw photos of Honeybee and SuperBug’s daily ritual where she crawls over Superbug while he play screams as if she is the greatest villain, which in turn makes her scream as well.

We discussed the really great relationship that Superbug has with his birth father and the fact that we all get along and are very friendly with each other.  I understood the question to see the dynamics of how the family works.  She was very surprised to see that Superbug’s birth father had joined us for Christmas brunch and that we’d exchanged gifts with him.  I just told her the truth.  We do what’s best for superbug and we genuinely like each other.  Just because parents didn’t work out in a relationship doesn’t mean they can’t be cordial and supportive of their children.  Then I explained the adoption contact we have (after the GAL asked) with Honeybee’s birth mother. 

During the conversation, Honeybee (whom I was holding) decided she wanted a kiss and plopped one on me right there!  The GAL thought this was adorable and remarked that she certainly was connected and in love with us.  We then went to the baby’s room where I showed her crib and clothes.

Afterwards, the GAL left for her journey back to her office and I took Honeybee to daycare so I could return to work.  All in all, it was a very pleasant meeting and I hope that it means good things are in store for our Honeybee!

Writing again very soon
-WinterMommy


The Phone Call

I was running late to work this morning.  It’s been the story of my life for the week.  I can’t seem to make it pass the threshold of getting out of the house by 9. 

Photo credit: smartphones.wonderhowto.com
 Either I’m too tired to get up by 7 or something happens that requires me to redo a step that would allow me to be on time.  This morning, I left the house late again.  I’d managed to get Honeybee dressed, fed, locked into her carseat, and on the road.  I’d literally just dropped her off and was driving down the street when I noticed I’d missed a phone call from with an out of the area code.  I waited until I got into the office parking  lot, listened to the voicemail, and panicked a bit.  The call was from Honeybee’s ad litem.  I’ve only spoken to her once.  It was a three minute call prior to a court hearing to ask information about our Honeybee.  I answered her question and hadn’t heard from her again. I wasn’t surprised though.  The life of a Guardian Ad Litem is very, very busy and I know how difficult they have it with custody cases and the stresses of back and forth.

Today, she was calling to let me know she needed to meet with us before the end of the year, which is tomorrow.  Knowing the TPR case is rapidly approaching, I readily I accepted.  Now, I’m experiencing the familiar butterflies I felt prior to the first home visit from Honeybee’s social worker.

Will she like us?  Will she see that Honeybee is happy and healthy with us?  Will Honeybee feel like playing with her?

I’m still nervous.  I’m still a wreck.  But I have a feeling everything will work out as it is supposed to.  I’ll be sure to give an update tomorrow!  Just keep us in our prayers! 


-WinterMommy

Honeybee's First Christmas

Our Christmas tree by day...
The Christmas season is finally at an end in our household.  It was a wonderful holiday and we were very, very thankful that Honeybee was here to celebrate with us.  As is the tradition in our family, Christmas Eve was spent at my sister and brother-in-law's home (FatherWinter's sister).  We all gathered for a Christmas Eve dinner and to exchange gifts.  Because there are so many of us, the family has established some guidelines to help with the gift exchange.  We only give gifts to the children age 0-21.  Three people have your name, so you receive three gifts on Christmas Eve.  Honeybee received a closet caddy for all her accouterments (which was sorely needed), a Gloworm to keep her company as she sleeps, and a Learning Dog that identifies body parts and ABCs.  She LOVES this gift.  She has played with it over and over again.  What is so special about the gifts is they were from a first time giver.  Our nephew (FatherWinter's brother's son) aged out of gift receiving and gave for the first time.  All of his gifts were from the heart.  They were perfect.  He is in school right now, but is working a job and still finding time to do for others.  He will be a great man one day.  I look forward to seeing the contributions he brings to society.
A Christmas tree is beautiful in the evening...

After we left my in laws on Christmas Eve, we came home and SuperBug and Honeybee were tucked in for the night.  I gathered the wrapped gifts and deftly placed them under the tree.  Then, I retired with FatherWinter.  The next morning, we woke up and SuperBug began his household chores while I prepared Christmas brunch.  After brunch was prepared, SuperBug's birth father joined us and we ate, enjoyed each other's company, and then opened gifts as a family.

SuperBug has been hinting for quite some time that he would like an electric scooter. I mentioned it to my mother in passing and next thing I know I'm picking a package up at the local store.  Leave it to my mother to spoil her grandbabies :). SuperBug also loved his other gifts especially the Nerf foam shooters.  He, FatherWinter, and I all have one and have had great fun sneaking up on each other planning our attacks.

Our Honeybee enjoyed opening her gifts as well.  Her favorite part was tearing the wrapping paper.  As mentioned in one of our previous posts, Honeybee has minor developmental delays.  Nothing major, but enough that our pediatrician has recommended different activities we could engage in to help Honeybee to progress on her milestones.  With that in mind, we focused on toys that would help Honeybee with her fine and gross motor skills, hand eye coordination, and problem solving.  So far, so good as Honeybee has truly enjoyed stacking her new blocks and knocking over her train.

After Christmas gifts were opened and exchanged and wrapping papers cleaned up, we allowed SuperBug to play with his gifts while I began Christmas dinner and FatherWinter began assembling some of the gifts the family received.
Collard greens, macaroni and cheese, turkey, stuffing, baked beans, green beans, candied yams, cranberry sauce, all prepared in the kitchen.  While things were preparing, I came down and assisted FatherWinter with some of the more intricate pieces.  It wasn't too long before we got the scooter constructed and up and running for SuperBug.
FatherWinter assembling SuperBug's electric scooter
Later, after our guest had left for the day, we sat down with Superbug and discussed why we celebrate Christmas.  It is a discussion we have every year, but we let him tell us what it means.  We listen to his answers, correcting if needed, and enjoy discussing what he would tell someone who asks why our family celebrates Christmas.  Faith is truly important to our family and we don't take it lightly.  We look forward to being able to share the Christmas story with Honeybee and letting her explain to us why she celebrates Christmas when she gets older.  After spending some time together and enjoying the family moments, we all decided to catch up on our sleep for a while.  We realized we were all still pretty exhausted from the Christmas Eve celebrations.  We hadn't gotten home before midnight and I hadn't gotten in the bed before 1 and wasn't sleep until 1:30ish.  We were all up by 7, so a nap was certainly in order. After about a 90 minute siesta, everyone was up and ready to eat.  We had a wonderful meal, finished eating, and sat in front of the television to watch more Christmas movies.  It was the perfect way to end our day.

Our Christmas weekend was rounded out with the building of a new gaming area in the basement for the family, a visit from Nana Winter (who famously spoiled her grandbabies), and a birthday phone call to my honorary father.  NanaWinter came bearing gifts and bought new outfits and toys for her grands and sweet treats for FatherWinter and I.  Finally, today was the last Sunday of the year.  We went to church service where I sang this afternoon and enjoyed the fellowship of the family one more time.

As I sit here even now,up much later than I should be, I am extremely happy with Honeybee's first Christmas.  I took a ton of pictures.  I look forward to being able to construct a little photo book for her that she will get to look at as she gets older.  I have the same thing for Superbug.  My plan is to present the book and photos for each child on their 18th birthday or their wedding day.  I am looking forward to 2015 and a date that will allow us to move forward in Honeybee's adoption.

She had an amazing, amazing Christmas.  I am so very thankful that she got to celebrate it with us, her forever family.  I pray she gets to enjoy many, many, many more.

-WinterMommy

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.  Luke 2:10-14King James Version (KJV)