Have a Merry Christmas
Happy Holidays
And a Happy New Year

I will be updating my “about” page soon (NO, I am not engaged or even dating so just calm down). This past fall has simply been full of new experiences, beginning with my first semester at college. The courses in child development and special education were my favorites, since the subjects are relevant to my life. My younger siblings were wonderful in providing examples of children’s’ typical development at various ages!

In between college assignments, I began working at a local library. Tracking down books, interacting with a variety of people, and coming across titles to add to my own “Want to Read” list are a couple reasons that I am loving my new job.

My family also had a new experience when we were named the Foster Family of the Year by our district’s Social Services Association. I honestly had not known that the district picked a foster family of the year. However, to be appreciated by social workers and other professionals in social services as a valuable foster family is an honor.

The greatest honor we received this fall was being able to officially adopt the little girl we have been fostering. She is so precious, and we are thrilled that she is a permanent member of our family! I have enjoyed spending time with my newest little sister, and have been pleased, though a little frazzled, with all of the experiences the past few months have brought.

And now is the time to start making plans for the New Year. I love making goals and dreaming. Unfortunately, I do not always make a plan of action in order to accomplish my goals. Sometimes I just dream.

But whatever. New experiences seem to find me anyway. 🙂

‘Closure’ Documentary Review

Ever wondered what it is like for an adoptee to search for and meet her birth parents?

‘Closure’ Trailer

This is usually a private, very personal journey, but Angela and Byran Tucker invite people in to this sacred passage in their documentary Closure. It centers around Angela, a trans-racial adoptee, and her search to find her birth mother, birth father, and eventually her entire biological family. Well, not entire family- but I won’t give too much away.

The relationship between a child who is adopted and their biological family is always a unique, personal story. Closure allows viewers to get a glimpse of what it is like for an adoptee to process their own story and identity. Angela and her family- adopted and biological- have invited the viewers into their lives, openly sharing their fears, hopes, and hurts. I cannot emphasize enough how transparent Angela and her family are on this sacred ground, in their hopes to educate and encourage others.

Closure is currently on Netflix and can also be found on Amazon Video. The website is http://closuredocumentary.com

Brothers and Sisters: BFFs?

“Brothers and sisters are among the most important people in life, yet often they are also the most trouble.”
Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends

Do you know what the first sibling interaction ever recorded was? Cain murdering his brother Abel. Great start to the whole sibling thing, right?

I love my siblings. We want to be friends. We have each others backs. We know each other better than anyone else (yet we still surprise each other). There may not be such a thing as a perfect relationship, but I would say we come fairly close.

It is not because we never get on each others’ nerves (we do). Not because we always get along (we do not). Not because our personalities work well together either (because some of us are friends in spite of our differences ).

The biggest reason is because we have realized how valuable our relationships are. We made the choice to be friends. We mess up but we never let our mistakes be the last word. (Familiar? I must sound like a broken record. Do not worry; this series is almost done.)

One tool that helped us is a book called Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends. A family of two sisters and a brother wrote the book together. Out of their own experiences becoming best friends, they give practical ways for other siblings to improve their relationships. They put into words the vision of siblings being the strongest allies we could ever have.

This book helped my siblings and I realize that we were on the same team. My family read it together when we kids were in elementary and middle school. That seems to be a good age for this book. Older kids and adults will appreciate “Stephen’s Definitions” and the comics. I would encourage your family to read it together.

The book gave us the vision that we could be allies towards a bigger goal. Part of that goal is welcoming foster children into our home. We permanent siblings are strong enough to build each other up with some love left over. Because we have each other, we do not look to foster kiddos to fill our needs (or as competition). Foster kids get a taste of what a family should be; a sort of trial membership. They get all the benefits for as long as they live with us, at no cost to them.

This did not happen overnight. Our sibling relationship is something we have to fight for. It is work. It is so worth it though. My siblings are my treasures.

Now I have younger adopted siblings. Oh man, I love those kiddos. My little siblings are another big reason I am glad I can live at home. Since there is such an age difference between us, we may not have as many years to deeply bond like we would if we were closer in age. Each day I do have with them now is an extra blessing. I want us to develop as deep a bond as we can while we still live together. When the time comes and I do move away, hopefully our relationship will be established enough to withstand any distance. Seriously, though I do not want to move away too soon or too far- I would miss them too much.

It is scary to think of my brothers getting ready to move out on their own. They are men and can handle it- but I am not sure if I can. As far back as I can remember in my life, they have been there with me. It will be weird one day when they are not.

I am not worried about my soon-to-graduate sister. She cannot leave- I will not let her. She is my partner in crime forever. We often joke about the White Christmas song “Sisters” where they sing “Lord help the mister who comes between me and my sister…”. Everyday we confirm how we each keep half of the other’s brain. We have to stay together to have maximum brain power.

My other sister and I have plans too. We would move to New York, of course. Together we would get a little apartment while she becomes a prima ballerina and an innovative fashion designer. I do not want her to leave me, but she is growing up by the hour. Each day she is a bit more of a young lady; beautiful, clever, poised, ambitious, and confident (even if she does not see how much she really is). I love her.

Siblings. You share the same parents; house; childhood. They are the closest humans to you; yet totally different. Thing is, you can spend your life fighting against these people or you can become greatest allies and friends, withstanding anything life throws at you.

Foster Grandmas

I have three grandmas. One is my mom’s mother, one is my father’s mother, and one is my “adopted” granny. Not to confuse you; it is not a legal adoption. It is our sweet way of saying how much we love each other and what type of role we play in each other’s lives. Fitting for my family, right? Since my family takes in foster children, these women get to be “foster grandmas”. It is a role they all embrace and fulfill in their own way.

Read On >

Life. Observed.

Life: humans, their stories, histories, ordinary-beautiful-everyday occurrences.

Observed: seen, recorded, recognized, honored.

“Life” is a broad topic, so let me narrow it down. My life is entwined in the workings of foster care. I am a biological child of a foster and adoptive family. The people I see- foster children, biological parents, social workers, guardian ad litems, etc, and the processes of the system- emergency placements, reunification, adoption, visits, court hearings, etc, are everyday things for me. It is a life different from others (each of our lives are) but one I hope to share with you here, at Life. Observed.