Tag Archives: counseling

Happy National Adoption Day!

Well it has been a while since I have updated this blog–AGAIN–but lots has happened! My friend asked me the other day to add another post so this one’s for you, girl! 🙂

Last time I wrote we were going to move. Well we didn’t. The foreclosure we put a contract on took too long to get the title cleared so we were able to withdraw from the contract and get most of our earnest money back. We did not want to be in a situation where title clouds could come up later and we would have to spend money on legal fees to get rid of them. Want to know how I know this? Because of this experience and the fact that all the kids were going to be in school, I decided to do real estate! I studied all summer and passes my exam at the end of August. I love it and the schedule has been great!

So we decided to remodel our house instead and transfer the kids to a new school district. We put the girls upstairs together in the big room and made the smaller room their playroom. Then we made my middle daughter’s old room into a guest room and put a double bed in my son’s room so when both grandmas come, we can put my son on a pullout twin bed in the study, which is now his playroom. Separate playrooms has made a HUGE difference in arguing and fighting! We remodeled our kitchen cabinets and our stairway and added a pool, hot tub and deck to our backyard. Whooo hooo! 🙂

The kids are learning soooo much in the new school and I am very pleased with their progress. We had to get my oldest a tutor to help her catch up since she did not learn what she was supposed to in K at the old school. So frustrating for her and us but it has gotten a lot better. The tutor is a lady from our choir who is a retired school teacher and offered to help us for free. God bless her and people like her!

My middle child is doing amazingly well in K, which I knew she would. She did not want to go, though, so two weeks before school started she decided to start wetting the bed every night and has not stopped.

She thinks this will change the fact she has to go to school but it has not. It is her control thing. The only thing she can control is where she goes to the bathroom so she holds it in when she is supposed to go before bed and then wets the bed. I knew it was on purpose because for the six months before that her bed was dry. Just to make sure I had the doc check at her yearly check-up but he concurred that my hypothesis was correct–on purpose!

So in order to make sure she was the only one to suffer from this attempt to manipulate us, I told her she could wet the bed as much as she wanted but it was her responsibility to clean it up and once I wash the sheets, she has to put them back on. All her. She is an EXPERT in making beds should anyone want to hire her out! 🙂 She quits for a couple nights when she wants something (Halloween candy; special dessert, etc.) but then starts up again. Whatever. Eventually she will get tired of it and quit. For Thanksgiving we are taking a sleeping bag for her and will put a trash bag under it just in case.

My youngest is doing really well in school and at home. He is often the only one to get special rewards each day and week because he follows the rules and doesn’t lie–unlike his sisters! An amazing turn around from his control efforts when he first came to live with us, praise the Lord!

The kids still get to Skype with their foster grandparents but we have discovered it’s best for the kids not to see them in person right now. It makes them regress like crazy for weeks after which is no fun for anyone. I think they realize now that when they made the decision to give them up it meant they were giving them up. Hard to realize, but they have asked to Skype with them less and less and the kids don’t seem to care if they talk with them anymore. They will when they call, but the conversations are shallow and very brief.

So, on this National Adoption Day, I wrote to give you hope. Eventually, you do become a real family and everyone settles down and settles in. Hang in there and if you feel called to foster or adopt–what are you waiting for? Get after it! That kid or those kids are waiting for you!

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Free My Kids! Part 3

When last I blogged about our adoption process, I said we were waiting on the adoption worker to let us know when the paperwork would be ready for us to review for full disclosure. Well, it was not ready on Monday, June 20, 2011 as we asked for and were told by the foster care supervisor it could be. What a surprise!

I got an e-mail from the adoption worker that morning saying that she was sorry, but she did not have the paperwork ready and it had to be approved by her supervisor  in the state capitol before we could review it. Needless to say, that step in the process had not been discussed with us the previous week when I talked with her many times. We had stayed in town after our vacation in order to review the paperwork, and she knew this. I was very frustrated at this point, so I e-mailed her back and asked if there were any other steps in the process she had neglected to tell us about that we needed to know. She never answered.

So, after a phone call with our friend in the state capitol who gave us her supervisor’s contact info and offered to call (we said we would do it, but thanked them for offering) we called  and spoke with her supervisor’s assistant (the supervisor was in meetings and her assistant pulled her out to get an answer on how to help us after we told her our story). That supervisor, through her assistant, told us that the only person we could trust is this adoption worker. That the foster care department and the adoption department in the city where our kids are have issues with one another (no kidding!) and that now our adoption worker was having to clean up their mess. She said there was no deadline for the worker to get the packets completed for us to review, so we would have to wait and then she would review once the worker completed them. Until then, we could not do anything else. She also said she could not guarantee us the worker would keep us up-to-date on the process. Nice. She did apologize for our frustration and how we had been treated up to this point. That was appreciated.

Well, this was obviously not what we wanted to hear, but there was nothing else we could do, so we drove back home to wait. I sent an e-mail to the adoption worker that night, after calling the kids and letting them know we were coming to get them, just not that day, and apologized if I had been abrupt with her and told her the things the foster care worker had told me about her that made it hard for me to trust her. I thanked her for all her hard work and said I looked forward to a more open and productive relationship with her in the future. I wanted to call her and tell her all this, but their phone system does not allow any calls after 4:30 pm, which is when we had heard the final word from the supervisor.

So, the next day when we got home, I called her that afternoon and told her verbally what I had said in the e-mail. She thanked me for saying what I said and apologized for not letting me know sooner when the paperwork would be ready. She said her supervisor had just changed to the lady in the state capitol. Her previous supervisor had been in another town only an hour away and so he could have reviewed the packets and given final approval so we could have gotten the kids this week. However, once she remembered her new supervisor was in the state capitol, she knew she was to meet with her the following Monday, and that could be the only time for her to review the packets. I accepted her apology and asked about the next steps in the process.

She said the packets were done and once her supervisor reviewed and approved on Monday, she would mail them to us. She said we get to keep them and they are so thick, it will take a couple days for us to review them. Then we sign and mail back a form saying we reviewed them. Once that is done, the final visitation, which has to be three days and nights in the kids’ state, could be scheduled at our convenience. At the end of the visitation, she said we would be able to take the kids home. Well this conversation was definitely an answer to prayer and made us feel a lot better.

So, we are praying the paperwork is approved on Monday by the supervisor and that she also approves us doing the visitation three consecutive days, rather than having us do three separate visits. Then we are praying the paperwork is mailed next week and we can schedule the visitation. Thank you for all your prayers and please keep it up! 🙂

 

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The Storms of Life

Today was a day filled with storms, and not just the kind with thunder and lightning.

My husband and I took a couple days to get away at a cabin in OK after Easter. We decided to go to lunch in town because it was raining and there was nothing to do at the cabin.

After lunch a tornado warning was issued while we were driving. We stopped at the nearest building, which happened to be a Subway restaurant. The employees were the only ones there and they were visibly shaken up by the tornado sirens going off and the weather warnings on the radio station playing in the restaurant.

One was worried about her kids who were in a storm shelter with one of her family members and she kept wanting to leave to drive to them–weather be danged.

The other was earnestly trying to get her to stay because it was not safe to drive. Their manager called and said everyone in the restaurant should get in the hallway behind the freezer because there was a frame around that wall. So, when the power went off and the drive thru window started blowing open, we went behind the freezer! It was cramped, but okay. My husband and I got to encourage the employees and help them calm down, having been through many tornados between the two of us!

What was interesting is we are also going through an emotional tornado, and it picked up speed before we took cover from the physical one.

We received a message from the state our kids are in that they will not contract with a private agency, and therefore we would have to start the adoption approval process all over again with our state agency.

When this emotional storm hit us we could have freaked out and wanted to run away from the situation, but we didn’t. I picked up the phone, called the lady in our state, and started the process anew. I had to yell to answer her questions over the tornado sirens, but I will do whatever it takes to get my kids and that was what it took.

Someone asked me the other day how I am holding together and so calm through all this. I have my moments, but the calmness comes from our relationship with God. These are the kids He has made for us to raise, and He has been in control of this process from the beginning–and He still is! God never promises we won’t have storms, but He does promise to be our anchor and shelter through the storms of life. I know that if this is happening, it is happening for a reason and to ensure we get these kids at the time He has appointed for His glory. We just have to be faithful and hunker down behind the freezer until the storm blows through!

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Will Trump Run?

The question a lot of people have been asking lately is the title of this blog, “Will Trump Run?” I am going to give you my answer based on my psychological opinion.

I believe Donald Trump is definitely going to run for president and I feel this way for a couple reasons.

First of all, Donald Trump’s personality is such that he likes to have things to brag about–and those things all have his name attached. Trump Tower, Trump Golf, even Trump Water. He likes his name to be synonymous with “the best,” and what is “the best” job in the world? President of the United States. He has conquered everything he has set out to do in the business world and now I believe he is bored and is looking for the next challenge. What could be better than running for President?

The next reason I believe Trump is running for president is he is courting the Republican base–the new one, not the old-schoolers. He spoke at a Tea Party rally this past weekend in Florida. He is also aiming his message at evangelicals with his interview with CBN where he said he is a Christian, believes in God, attends church, is against abortion and gay marriage, etc.

A final reason I believe Trump is running for president is too many people say he won’t. Me thinks they protesteth too much. I think the people who have said he won’t run are “old-school” Republican establishment folks who are just as out-of-touch with the electorate and what they want as the Democratic “elite” they loathe.

The “folks” I read and talk to seem to want the opposite of what these so-called “experts” have experience in–politicians and politics. Psychologically, the people seem to be done with politics as it has been known and want something unconventional. There are no “experts” on unconventional, and that is why I think they are going to be proven wrong. Trump, if nothing else, is definitely unconventional.

So, for these reasons alone, I think the psychology points to a presidential run for Mr. Trump. Either way, we will soon have the answer from Trump himself.

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What is Psychology in Real Life?

Welcome to the first post of my new blog, “Psychology in Real Life.” I have wanted to have a WordPress blog for a while, but just haven’t gotten around to it until now. I believe that psychology is the best education a person can get because it helps you see what is really going on in the world, no matter where you are or what you’re doing (work, school, parenting, etc.). It has certainly helped me greatly!

In this blog, I will use my psychology education to explain how I see the real world–specifically my real world. That world right now revolves around adoption.

My husband and I are in the process of adopting a sibling group of three kids ages 3, 4 and 5 and it has been a long process to this point. We started out getting approved to adopt from our state, but the kids we found are in another state. We are almost done with the process, and of course, something else has come up.

As a psychologist, I have worked with many children in the foster care system, as well as many parents in that system and the system itself. From the counseling side, working within the system is extremely frustrating. CPS doesn’t do what you think they need to do to protect kids and families when you want them to, and when you don’t want them to do anything, they go ahead and do it.

Now I am experiencing that inefficiency from the other side–as someone trying to adopt some of those kids out of the system–and it is equally as inefficient and frustrating as it was as a counselor. We have had so many road blocks and silly actions we have to take simply because the system is flawed. For instance, we have been waiting on our home study to be sent back to the state we are adopting the kids from, even though that state has had it since October of last year. When I asked why this was necessary, the answer is, “that’s just what the government says we have to do.”

Now our state has sent a request to the state the kids are in to ask their permission to allow them to use our home study since it is done by a private agency in our state that has a contract with the state. They told me they had to send the request because the kids’ state may not work with private agencies, and if they don’t we will have to start the approval process all over again since that state retained jurisdiction of the process. Ugh!

We are still waiting on the answer because the way these people communicate is through an antiquated e-mail system that sends the communications through the state capitals before it reaches the actual people they are making the request of. Again, ugh!

So in this real life experience, I am using my psychology education to know when to push the people I am working with, and when not to. I also use it to help me calm down and hold my tongue in frustrating times where everything in me wants to scream and yell and explain to them the error of their ways. 🙂

It is not easy, but it helps. Even before I use my psychological education, though, I always consult with my Heavenly Father and he lets me know which psychology techniques to use and gives me His peace that passes all understanding. After all, He is the Counselor of all counselors!

I will keep you posted on this and other events in my “real life.”

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