So what exactly is going on in our home and hearts right now?
As our kids would say, “A little bit of this, and a little bit of that.”
Big brother has been practicing spelling his first and last name for a full year now. Although, if asked, he knows his first name and sometimes thinks his middle name is his last name. After the goodbye visit and later this summer we plan to switch this up. While driving home from school on Friday little sister recounted her day and shared that in preparation for pre-k she is practicing writing her name. With a smile on my face, I made a mental note. You see, for the past year we – my husband and I – have made it a point to focus on first names only. This has worked in most scenarios minus the airport security check point and with the nurse practioner that filled in for their primary doc. In fact, most recently little sister thought her last name was the first name on her current birth certificate… we call her a shorter version of that name and plan to make that name her legal name. After talking with a running partner this weekend, I am going to talk to little sister’s classroom teacher about having little sister practice her first name only for now. No need to breed confusion when her adoptive last name is only a few weeks away. As an aside, our kids do get a kick out of knowing that their dad is called “Mr. Bursac” by his students. On more than one occasion they have practiced – without any prompting – saying their first name and our last name. My heart smiles during those moments.
My husband and I met with the play therapist on Saturday. (In case you’re wondering, this session was kid-free and is totally paid for by the state. Thank you everyone for putting your tax dollars to good use.) Previously, I was under the impression that either the play therapist or I would be relaying the news about the goodbye visit to our children prior to the visit because the social worker lives too far away and isn’t the one to share these kinds of messages with the kids (i.e. bio mom is back in jail, etc.). Long story short, neither of us will be telling the kiddos. The therapist – who I admire, adore, and trust – says it would breed too much confusion ahead of time and that we would be asked a lot of questions by our kids that we wouldn’t have answers to. Instead? She says we should do the trip as normal… build and promote a “carrot”, take the kiddos to the social worker’s office, and debrief with them in the car. Given the timing, we are going to move the goodbye visit to a few hours earlier in the day (yes, that means we will be hitting the road at the bright-eyed hour of 5AM) so we can do the 2-hour goodbye (up to 1 hour with bio dad, then 1 hour with bio mom/gma/great gma) and get home around 6PM to have the play therapist over for a counseling session in our home. I now feel much more prepared for the upcoming milestone that is filled with mixed emotions by all involved.
So for the next 5 weeks the only task we have to check off is getting the kiddos to the dentist (again) because by the time the adoption hearing is projected to occur (August or possibly September) their dental visit from February will be over 6 months old. Again, another time we are more than happy to pay out of pocket to keep things moving along.
Things I’m looking forward to
With only a few months between today and legalizing our love for the children, I am very excited about some new freedoms:
Post Goodbye Visit (June 27)
- Being able to share with big brother and little sister that we are their forever parents
- Big brother and little sister using Bursac as their last name.
- Putting signs on their bedroom doors with their adoptive full names (we are changing their middle and last names… so excited! And we are allowing the kiddos to pick if they want to go by their first name or middle name… big brother has a very common first name and this annoys him… I’m excited to give him another choice… says the mom who really appreciates unique names).
Post Adoption Hearing (estimated Aug. 21 or Sept. 18)
- Being able to cuddle with my children in their beds and them in ours. As a licensed foster home, this is one of the hardest things to explain to your children that you can’t cuddle with them to help them fall asleep because it’s “against the rules”.
- Being able to publicly post a family photo.
- Being able to speak out more about my frustration with the foster care system. I’m looking forward to advocating for systemic changes.