Posted in adoption, Children, family, foster parent life, life

Reflecting on 2016 : What A Year it Was

The new year is right around the corner.  And as many do,I have started wondering what 2017 has in store for our beautiful chaos.  In thinking about the new year I find myself looking back at 2016.  All the ups and downs, the laughter and the tears, the joyful new beginnings and the sad goodbyes.  Lets look back…

At the beginning of 2016 I found myself living in WV surround by my little loves and their older brother. We are trying our best to keep things normal while my husband is gone. My oldest daughter is in Cuba taking in the sites while earning her science credit.  My husband was almost 300 miles away for work trying to decide is the job transfer would work for our family. Our wild man was in preschool, diva was in kindergarten and Big Al and Elmo were in daycare two days a week just to socialize with other kids and so I could run errands and clean house.  Baby girl was just a few months old and we were still getting use to being a family of 9.

February  brought us one of the worst winters we had ever seen.  Over 28 inches of snow blocked our driveway and closed the schools. My husband was still working out of state and by this time we had bought our new house.  We slowly started moving things that were not used daily to the new place so that he would have some dishes and furniture to use.  We made a family decision that I would stay in WV until the school year was over that way our oldest son could graduate with his friends and our wild man and diva could finish out the year with their friends.  Paying for two homes was not fun or easy but we made the most of it and saw each other every four to six weeks when he could come in for the weekend.

March started off our birthday season.  My husband came in to see us and his parents for his 40th birthday.  We had a small family birthday at his mom’s house so we all could be him.  March also brought colds and stomach bugs that seemed to stay around for weeks.  We also got word that baby girl would become part of our forever family, we just had to get through a few more court hearings.  Our oldest daughter came home for spring break and for that one week I had all my children under one roof.

April was a busy month. We celebrated our oldest daughters 21st birthday, wild mans 5th birthday and I turned the big 4 0.  Sis was wrapping up her junior year at college while bub (our oldest son) was trying finish out his senior year of high school.  Wild man was doing well at OT and Speech therapy and was loving music therapy.  Our pediatrician had recommended us taking diva to see a therapist to try and figure out why she was acting out and behaving badly.  Everyone had their own opinions on what they thought her issues were.  I tried blocking all the negative comments out and focused on her needs.  I am after all her mother and know when something is not right.  By the end of the month I believe I had eaten my weight in birthday cake.  Time to start up that diet again.

May brought sadness to our family as my dads only sister passed away and also great joy as our oldest son graduated high school ( barely but he pulled it off) We celebrated my moms birthday and had a small graduation party for bub.  We started making summer plans and moving even more of our things to our soon to be new house. Our daughter finished up classes and came home for the summer.  Life was about to get crazy.  Moving date was a month away.

June the month we had been waiting for.  Diva, wild man, Big Al and Elmo all finished up with their school or their preschools and we were officially on summer break. Elmo had surgery for his sinuses. We got it approved to take baby girl on vacation with us.  Our destination our new house.  We spent two full weeks all together in the new house with my husband.  I hated to go back but we had to we had an adoption that needed to take place.  On June 28 baby girl became forever ours and we were officially allowed to leave the state of WV and move to our new home.  We celebrated her adoption, divas birthday and bubs birthday will a cookout in our new home.  Talk about one hectic weekend.cropped-cropped-13516236_1357282730953828_8989822266973074852_n.jpg

July we were getting settled into our new home and learning our way around our new city. Big Al and Elmo both turned 3 and of course we celebrated with cake and a water balloon fight.  It was nice having my parents and nephew down to help us celebrate. I also start a new journey.  I started this blog in July.  I wanted a way to keep everyone back home up to date on things going on here. Also I had several people tell me that I “needed” to blog about our adventures in foster care.  So I broke down and started one.  It may never be a huge success but I enjoy it.

August was busy with getting diva and wild man enrolled in school and trying to get Big Al and Elmo enrolled in preschool ( we are still working on that ugh)   We end up making the decision to place diva in one school and sending wild man to a different school. This way the both get the best possible education to fit their needs. My husband and I spend our wedding anniversary at the race track watching the jet blowers dry the track…..can you say true romance lol.  We also watch our oldest daughter drive away to start her senior year at college and our oldest son decides to go to college back in WV and moves in with my parents.  Part of my heart breaks because they are not here with me but I understand its part of life and I need to let them find their own way.  They know they have their bedrooms here if they would ever need them.   By the end of the month its just my husband, me and our five little loves.  New house new life new journey.wp-1480043831445.jpg

September our baby girl turns one.  How in the world is that even possible??  Hubby received a job promotion and started training to become a salesman instead of a driver.  He works a lot of overtime trying to fill both spots.  (side note they are still looking for a driver to take over his old position s he is still gone all the time)  The kids and I are getting into a good routine with school and we now have diva in dance and have found her a wonderful therapist that is helping us diagnose her problems.  Wild man is doing amazing in his kindergarten class.  He has his own aid that goes with him to both the regular classroom and in his autism classroom.  He is growing leaps and bounds down here in his education.  If our move was for nothing more than to give him a fighting chance in school I’m ok with it.  He would have never received this type of education back there, they were just not equipped to handle his uniqueness.wp-1473340381449.jpg

October was here before we knew it and we had our own justice league for Halloween. Although we did not go door to door trick or treating ( still figuring out who I trust around our kids down here we did have a Halloween party here at the house and the kids still got more candy than the needed.  November we had Thanksgiving dinner a week early so that sis and her boyfriend could come and celebrate with us. Then on Thanksgiving day we watched the Macys day parade and saw the Pride of WV lead the parade off.  WAY TO GO WVU MARCHING BAND.   Let me hear it ” Lets Goooooooo Mountaineers ”  I slowly realize our holiday traditions will not be the same.  Time to make some new ones.

And that brings us to December.  We decorated the house with Christmas lights and a brand new tree.  The presents were brought and our families came down.  We took the kids to see the lights and life is finally starting to feel normal again.  Different but normal.  Our oldest kids are actually on their way here now, our son for a few days (he has to get back to work) and our daughter for a few weeks (she’s on winter break from classes)  It will be nice to have everyone together again.

I am not sure what 2017 holds for us.  2016 was full of changes.  I am not sure if we will continue foster care down here or not. Only time will tell.  I miss my family and my foster parent support group, and my friends but I am adjusting to our new life. Wild man is now reading sight words and is starting to write his name.  Diva is doing great on her new medication and the outburst are growing fewer and fewer.  Baby girl is eating table food for the most part and Big Al and Elmo well they are three so their all over the place lol.  We have settled into a good routine here and we have found a church that works with us.  They don’t judge us for having so many little ones. In fact there are a few other families that have adopted through foster care, so they get it.  The kids teaches are wonderful and so patient.  We could not have asked for a better church. Only God knows why He placed us here, and I guess in time He will reveal to us that reason.  Until then we will take this journey one step at a time.  We will laugh, we may cry, we will get frustrated, we will question why, but through it all we will have faith that God will see us through.  Maybe we sell our WV home in 2017, maybe we take a trip or welcome a new member to our family who knows what will happen. All I know is that whatever God places in front of us we will get through it together.  He will not lead us to something if He does not plan on getting us through it.  Thank you all who have taking the time to read these post.  Thank you for making our beautiful chaos part of your family.

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JR getting his praise on

From our beautiful chaos to yours, may you reflect on the blessings your received in 2016 no matter how big or small.  May you find something that makes you smile and be thankful for.  May 2017 bring you peace and joy and blessings throughout the whole year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author:

I am a stay at home mom to 7 wonderfully crazy children. I have two biological children and my husband and I have adopted five little ones through foster care. Our children are 22, 19, 7, 6, 4, 4 and 1. Life is always interesting but I would not change a thing.

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