Friday, February 25, 2011

Snow at sea level!!

It's not sticking but it is falling! Temps are dropping by the minute! Kind of fun!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Noah and more shoes!

I couldn't resist new sneaks at Nike!
Noah loves them too!
He got a soccer ball and shoes at the same time...
now each time he puts the shoes on he kicks with every other step.
Its hilariously cute!

I'm sure this is way to many pics of his shoes
but his chubby legs and puffy feet are just so darn irresistible
Not to mention the shoes are way cool!



Urban Hike

Rested after the parade - ready for a journey
A little goofiness first!
the sunny view
The base of our urban hike to Coit Tower

The cute boys!
Nearly there
The view...
and more...
Noah's first trip to SF ended with a bang!
a beautiful bang!
Sweet boy
Tuckered after the hike...
had to take a shot of the snot stream

Parade Day

After the miserably wet and cold day we ventured out in the dark of night for the Chinese New Year Parade. We had walked through Chinatown on the way to DH's test site but it was raining so hard we didn't enjoy any of...it was pretty crowded too - we wanted to enjoy at least some of the celebration.

Ready to go!
Lots of dragons
I just like this sign
And the windows of sewing machines

Noah took a face plant earlier in the day
this picture shows his FAT lip
The SF Giants World Series trophy
Just a float
More of the boys...just to cute not to share
The family shot - my nostrils!
More floats

The boys again!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

SF or bust!

We're in S.F. so dh can take his MT law test. We had plans of beautiful weather, shopping and a lot of Noah firsts. Instead we have cold wet weather and a lot of trying to stay dry. At least we have a good view from our room.
Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

Monday, February 14, 2011

Updates

House pictures finally!!

Remember her prior glory here:
Her current glory!
I love our little side porch!
House project #1 - Complete!
(pre-completion pictures on the above link)

Now the Noah updates!
Noah's working on tooth 16
Noah can now reach door handles and can even open some doors
Noah on his tippy toes can reach items off just about any table surface

Noah is all over the place
Noah has no fear and actually moves towards loud noises

Noah is very indepentant
Noah doesn't seem to need help from anyone

Okay, so he needs a little help from Dad - a.k.a motor

Noah likes to help around the house and yard

When he's done he's gone!

Here we go again...

DH and I said we would "start" process #2 at the beginning of 2011. Well, that we did. By start I mean research, read, call/talk, learn, etc.

I was getting frustrated because I wasn't finding the answer I wanted, I was finding the answers I was looking for I just thought they would be different. There are some areas in the great state of California that offer amazing resources such as we had with CSSM. Unfortunately our rural area is not one of those areas, one of those areas is not even close enough to service this area. Private adoption, that's what they call the process we went through for Noah although that's not what we ever referred to it as, is possible in our area but it's far from the process we know.


If we were to do "private adoption" in our area it would consist of working with an attorney and advertising ourselves as prospective adoptive parents. We would have to go through the same steps, home study, medical, criminal check etc. but we would be working with several organizations to get all our ducks in a row. Services of support are not provided/available to the birth families, children or adoptive parents. The wait could be months, years, who really knows. The process is not facilitated by an agency or organization. The process seem informal and risky. We will call this option 1.


Option #2 being fost-adopt. This process consists of becoming foster parents in the traditional or most widely know sense. We would become licensed in CA through an organization, there are a few in the area. When CPS (Child Protective Service) determines birth parents aren't fit to parent, the children are removed from the home, the foster organization is contacted and they determine placement. In most situations reunification is the primary goal of the foster care system. Birth parents have to work with the courts and caseworkers to prove they are suitable parents and earn the right to be parents. In some cases children are removed at birth and parental rights are terminated immediately. Again, service and support and not offered (from what we can tell) to the birth families. This process could be immediate to months or years.


Since our only experience is what we had with Noah we thought (prior to January 2011), we would start the process, take half a year to do the paperwork, spend another 6 months or so waiting, a few months of being matched and then baby. In our minds Noah would be 2+


It seems the process could potentially be quicker than we had anticipated. We are proceeding cautiously with option #2. We are working with RCS (Redwood Children's Services).


The day after our application (more of an informational questionnaire) was received we were invited to an orientation/workshop which was held this past Saturday. We went. It was one of those formality things that must be done to move on in the process, it was informal and quick. While at this meeting we learned RCS has recently had to turn down placements in our area because they do not have families for the children which completely breaks our hearts. We were asked if we could have all our paperwork competed and returned within 2 weeks so we could go before the screening committee to quickly determine if we would be allowed to proceed.


We will get our paperwork done but will still be proceeding with caution. Should we be allowed to proceed we will only do so as we feel ready and comfortable with/for Noah. If you are like me, your only FC experience may be that of what you've seen on TV or heard about - a troubled youth in "the system", often scary stuff. That's not what we're going for and that's not always the case. We can and will state we only want placement of an infant that will be in our home forever. A positive affect on Noah is the only option.


I've spoken with several organization and was surprised to find out how many parents lose their rights to be parents right out of the delivery room. DH and I are troubled by this process, we find it difficult to be comfortable with someone else losing their right without a choice. We also understand there are many parents out there that shouldn't be parents or even have the right to be. My understanding from those that I spoke with, many of the infants that are born whose birth parents lose rights at birth are parents that lost parental rights of prior children. Basically they're not given another chance.


We are struggling with the idea too that LO (little one) #2 and us may not have a relationship with their birth family. I don't know about them, but we feel we have a great relationship with Noah's BF and are so thankful that they will be part of Noah's life. Our new journey very well could turn out idyllic, it is just so different than our one and only experience - if this was our first with nothing to compare to we might be thinking its perfect. Going through this process will open us up/get our duck in a row for "private adoption" - you just never know when someone may know someone who's looking for adoptive parents.


I'm realizing the more I write the more down I'm sounding and the more negative the process is sounding. I don't want to come across that way, that's not at all how it is or how we feel. This is what I've learned in the research part of the process. We are just so surprised how different it is and are a little saddened that there aren't more resources like CSSM. We are thrilled...we're talking about how we're going to arrange the house and names and what I get to buy new :)! Yahoo!


OMG! That was a long post. Sorry. Questions? I'm sure we'll be learning more as we proceed and this information may change.

Monday, February 7, 2011

An all-over-the-place post

With lots of pictures!

Perhaps we got a little ahead of ourselves when placing such big boy responsibility in the hands of such a little fella.
Testing the limits...
but doing it so cutely! Mason after ranching all day, not sure what's on the face...
No matter the events of the day
we will always gather for Papa's Birthday!
(that's a rhyme and I didn't even try)

Noah enjoying Papa's birthday dinner.

Tia (Papa's Chihuahua) camps out under Noah's seat,
Can you see why?
Cousin Walker picked the post dinner style.
Happy Birthday Papa (81 w/the spirit of an 18 year old)

Making a wish - Noah helping out.
I just LOVE this picture!

Noah chowing on bday cake.
Daddy stealing a few sweet moments.
Me a little lighter on top - still getting used to it.
Playtime before bedtime.
Very focused.
Packing up and move'n the farm.
Discovering how fun Daddy's shoes can be!
Yippee!

The best for last!
video