A Forever Family

Where to begin????

These past couple of days have been non stop. It's taking me time to get use to two kids. I'm sure its easier than getting use to two kids when one is a newborn. Regardless, I'm still worn out by the end of the night. My google reader is in the triple digits and I haven't been on Pinterest in four days....I told you it was bad! : )

First, I wanted to say Thank you so much for all the sweet words and encouragement. I've wanted to sit down and say thank you to each of you (that includes those of you on fb), but my life has been taken over by 1st grade homework and I'm giving all my attention right now to both girls. Also, when we first started this journey, I was a little worried about having to scramble to get stuff for any child that walked through our door, but Nicole repeatedly reassured me that it would all be taken care of whenever that time came. She was right and the outpouring of people calling to ask to help us out has been mind blowing. I cannot say thank you enough!!!!

So I guess I should give all the details and the exciting news.

For an official introduction, meet Destiny....

She's six.
In the 1st grade.
Loves the colors pink and purple, but not really blue.
She loves barbies, anything princess, art, Sparkles her unicorn, and her name on anything!
She is very smart.
She likes to read and rocks at addition & subtraction.
And she's an awesome big sister to her new little sister.

Yes, the exciting news is that we are going to be Destiny's forever home!!!!

Our caseworker came by last night to sign over temporary custody to us and to check on all of us with how things were going. After sitting down with David and I for a minute, Destiny took her back to show the caseworker her new room. While in there, they talked and the case worker informed her that she would not be going back to her old house and that we were going to be her forever Mommy and Daddy. We were honestly a little surprised because we only knew bits and pieces of her case and didn't know how well the chances were of her getting to stay for good. Since she was only with us for 24 hours before that, she only asked once how long she was going to stay with us. The only way I knew to answer her question at the time was that I would let her stay as long as I possibly could. She was initially a little sad about not going back to her old home, but she quickly got excited about all that comes with a new family.

She is really excited to be a big sister!!! I must say that two days into the job, she's doing awesome. I was honestly a little concerned over the weekend because she didn't seem to have anything to do with Olivia, but I assumed (and confirmed) its because she's never been around children that small. However, the moment we talked about being a big sister and her big sister duties, she hasn't left her side. To the point its almost too much, but I know that's completely normal for her age. Her Aunt Nic bought her the Big Sister shirt and she was ecstatic over it. She asked to put it on immediately and I've promised to wash it so she can wear it Saturday for Olivia's birthday party. Her and Olivia are also sharing a room and so far, so good. Olivia has actually started sleeping better since Destiny's been in there.

(I know this is an awful picture, but I was trying to sneak it without them noticing and its too sweet to not post)

A lot of people have asked about Olivia and I am being completely honest when I say she's doing wonderfully so far. She adores Destiny and of course wants to be right by her side constantly. Destiny is doing great so far with obliging her. Honestly, Olivia's behavior has improved greatly over the last few days. I know it might sound crazy to some, but I think she really was lonely without a sibling. She's even started playing by herself, which is something I thought she would NEVER do. Yes, she does have moments that she won't share. I'll be honest that right now, its kinda one of those things we buy one of something, we get the other one too. We know that's not behavior we want to keep promoting, but its hard to tell them both no since their lives are both changing so much. Her and I still have a good bit of one on one time during the day while Destiny is in school, but we're going to have to work on one on one time with her and David and vise versa with Destiny.

I know them fighting will come in time, but right now, its still new and exciting.

The only "problems" we are having with Destiny are that she does a few anxiety issues. In her situation, its normal and expected. We're her third home within four months. It's going to take a while for her to realize that she's not going anywhere. We're starting her in some therapy to work on those issues. It's not extremely bad when she's at home, but does seem to be a problem at school. I've already meet with her teacher and we're working on things. I'll be completely honest and say I didn't get a great first impression from her teacher. I realize that she has a class of 15 other kids, but I felt like saying "give her a little break!" The teacher is familiar with what's going on, so I felt like she was being a little hard on her. Some of the stuff she complained about (like how she got too many paper towels after washing her hands....seriously she said that was an issue) I felt like were a little dumb. Whatever she's doing that she shouldn't, all you have to say is Destiny and she immediately stops. After talking with her last foster mom and being with her for a few days now, I personally don't think its serious issues that cannot be worked out with a little help. From what I'm getting from the teacher, her anxiety has already seemed to improve since being in our home just a couple of days.

She's extremely smart and regardless of her anxiety issues in the classroom and missing over half of her kindergarten year, she's doing great academically. The teacher has no concerns over where she's heading academic wise.

Yes, we got permission from our caseworker to homeschool her as soon as we have the parental rights terminated. We're going to try to hang in there till Christmas break and may start after the new year. Due to her anxiety issues at school, it might actually benefit her greatly. It will help her a lot to know that we are always going to be with her. Our caseworker (whose not necessarily a homeschool supporter) actually suggested to go for it after hearing what the teacher said at the meeting. If it seems like things aren't getting better at school, we'll go ahead a pull her out as soon as we get the tpr.

Our caseworker is guaranteeing that parental rights will be terminated. There has not been one visitation and not one attempt since she's been in care. I'm not going to ever share too much on here of what happened in the past. We have shared with family and close friends her story. Last night as I laid in bed reading her entire case file, the only feelings I had were anger. My heart breaks for all she's been through, but I also realize that if she hadn't been through all that, she wouldn't now be here with us. Yes, we're being open about her being adopted. She jumped in the car today after school and said "guess what? I'm adopted just like.....!" I explained that yes, she was, but it won't be official till we go see the judge. She also got to meet and play with Josie & Gabe this afternoon and we talked about how they are adopted too!

Overall, things are going wonderfully. Almost too well. She's adjusting much better than anyone imagined. David and I aren't completely counting all our eggs before they hatch, and honestly, on guard waiting for that moment when the poop hits the fan. We know its coming. It has to happen for her to heal and move on. Until then, we're enjoying our two girls and that we're suddenly a family of four.

I must say, that for the first time in a long time, I finally feel like my world is complete.

Comments

The Popes said…
It's taking everything in me not to jump in my car and come squeeze her!

I love her SO stinking much already!

And PS, David smiling at her in that first picture is KILLING my tear ducts!

So proud of you...
Tristan said…
awww..oh happy tears!!!

i've been praying for her to adjust well!

how exciting..two girls :)

Welcome to the blog world miss destiny!!
so happy for you all.... congrats...
Jennifer said…
I'm so thrilled about Destiny finding her forever family with you. How wonderful! The little you shared with what she's been through, it warms my heart to know that the remainder of her childhood will be full of love and wonderful memories with awesome parents.
Punchkin Wear said…
I have been MIA from blogging for a month so I just saw all of your news!! Congrats!