Posted in Uncategorized

Vacay 2k17

Sorry for the long absence but I was *kind of* on vacation!

My brother got married! And, oh, it was a beautiful wedding! The week leading up to it was *rough* but isn’t that what happens when two families have to get to know each other?? (I hope so)

I say I was *kind of* on vacation because there wasn’t much relaxing done! I spent 1 (ONE) hour on the beach and our condo was right by it!!

We spent most of the week at my new sister-in-laws parent’s farm, getting it ready for the wedding! Although it wasn’t the most relaxing, I had a lot of fun getting to know her and her family and seeing her with my brother.

Is there any better feeling than knowing that your brother has found his perfect match? (I’m tearing up now just thinking about their wedding). They are just so perfect for each other. I’m really thankful to have her in our family.

We worked A LOT so I can’t really call it a vacation but it was fun nonetheless! I’m a crafty person and so is my sister-in-law so I enjoyed helping her make most of the things for her wedding!

The day of the wedding, I was a little bossy and ended up in charge of a lot of things!! Such as: decorating the tree they were getting married under & the cake! I ended up in charge of making sure the cake was safe and unboxing it!!! (I don’t know who thought putting me in charge was a good idea!!) But everything went smoothly and it was beautiful.

I was a bridesmaid, which was my first time! We took tons of pics, which I can’t wait to see! They each wrote their own vows and I cried. They were so so sweet! Then at the reception, my brother’s best man gave a toast that made me cry again!

While the wedding turned out beautiful, my poor sister-in-law was so stressed out leading up to it! I really tried to take on some of her stress, get stuff done, and make sure people stayed out of her hair!

I am so so thankful to have cool in-laws (I hear that some of them can be pretty nasty!) and am so glad she’s not like that!!

Even though her wedding was beautiful, the stress of the week made me thankful for my wedding. It was me, my future husband, the justice of the peace and a witness the courts gave us, it was perfect!!! If I had my wedding to do all over again, I’d do it the EXACT SAME WAY!

Big weddings are fun, although stressful, but I think they are for others, not me!

I always felt that there would never be anyone good enough for my brother. (Aren’t all big sisters that protective?) I’m so glad that A came along and proved me wrong! My brother is the HAPPIEST I’ve ever seen him! And I’m glad that they get to be happy together for the rest of their lives!

Now I have one more brother who gets to find his perfect match!

Now that I’m back, I’ll try to write a couple more posts!

xoxo

nikki

 

 

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Posted in Adoption

Not the Bad Guys

When you say “oh, we disrupted our adoption”, people of course automatically judge you. “You gave up on those kids.” “You should have held out.” “Don’t you know what those kids have gone through?” “How could you do that to them?” “Didn’t you know what you were getting yourself into?” “Parenting isn’t easy.” “Parenting biological children is just as difficult.” And so on and so on.

Call me the bad guy if it makes you feel better. We are 1000% positive that we did the right thing. It was a bad, negative situation for all involved. I could share our story over and over again but I’ve come to realize that unless you were living it with us, you’ll never 100% understand.

But, just because we disrupted DOES NOT MEAN that we don’t love those kids anymore. We do love them. We would love to know that they are okay. We would love to know what they are doing. We would have loved to keep in touch with them. See, here’s the thing that gets missed: THEY WERE HAPPY TO GO BACK TO THEIR HOME STATE. THEY WANTED TO GO BACK. You should have seen this kid do cartwheels when we told him.

But, alas, we are the bad guys. We are the ones who “gave up on them”. We are the ones who sent them back because “we couldn’t handle it” (not because it was WHAT THEY WANTED FOR CRYING OUT LOUD).

But, truly what makes me the most upset, or the reason why I’m writing this is because we sent an email to their caseworker just asking how they were doing and got NO response back. Why do they think we are the bad guys? Why will they not understand that this was what the kids wanted? Why are they so angry that they have to do their jobs?

If anything, they are the bad guys. They are robbing these kids of having any communication/relationship with us. We NEVER stopped loving them. It breaks my heart to think that these kids think we don’t want anything to do with them. Their caseworkers won’t let us have communication with them but yet I’m sure they are telling the kids that we didn’t want them and that we don’t want any communication with them. It hurts my heart and makes me angry. I want these kids to know that we gave them what they wanted, WE were the ones who listened to them when no one else would. WE LOVED THEM.  We want only good, wonderful things for them. I hate that their picture of us is tainted by caseworkers who won’t listen and only see the worst in people.

Why do caseworkers think we don’t deserve to, at least, know that these kids are doing alright? (Honestly, I don’t think they’re telling us because the kids are doing well and they refuse to admit that they were wrong.) We are NOT just a home, we are people with FEELINGS and we loved those kids. We lived with them for 3 months. We care about them. We just want to know how they are doing.

Am I angry-sounding? Because, honestly, I am really trying to let this anger go but it just makes me SO MAD when I think about the fact that they are telling the boys that we didn’t want them because IT’S NOT TRUE. We wanted them and we tried everything to make them happy here but they weren’t and I wasn’t going to be the one who kept them somewhere they were unhappy. I am not a caseworker. I actually listen to kids.

I don’t know how long it will take me to get past this anger at the caseworkers, system and adoption agencies. I don’t think about it a lot. I try to not let it affect my day. But I just don’t know how to let this anger go.

Any tips would be helpful.

xoxo

nikki

Posted in Adoption

Halloween 2017

I have never truly cared for Halloween. (And I own a party store, so I really shouldn’t be saying that!!).

But this year was different. It was the first BIG holiday since our adoption disruption. (It was the second holiday we would have spent together as a family, July 4th was the first). I remembered one kid’s LOVE for Spider-Man and how he would have loved to be Spider-Man for Halloween. I would have LOVED dressing him up. I would have loved to see his face as he went door to door. Then there’s the other one, who would have been complaining the whole night about dressing up, the cold, and how he didn’t want to be here.

For the first time EVER, I actually WANTED to hand out candy. Usually I let my husband do that part because I just don’t feel like going to the door over and over again. But not this year. This year, I just felt like handing out the candy. And there were some CUTE kiddos. I actually had a good time.

I think part of the reason I wanted to hand out the candy was so that I wouldn’t just sit on the couch and think about “what could have/should have been”. We own a party store so they really could have picked out any costume they wanted. I would have loved to flip through the catalog with him, picking out options. All I could do was hope that wherever they are, he was able to dress up as Spider-Man and go trick or treating.

All in all, it wasn’t an awful day. There was, of course, a little sadness and a small case of the “what could have been”. It was the first holiday that I thought (at the time) they would be here for. It was going to be our FIRST Halloween with kids. Luckily, it wasn’t as heart-breaking as I thought it might be. It was just like every other year.

At the end of the day, I’m just feeling really, really thankful that my family chose to not listen to me and they will all be out here to spend Christmas with us this year. (Right after the disruption, I had told them all they no longer needed to come out here for Christmas and they all ignored me, thankfully.)

xoxo

nikki

Posted in Adoption

Holding On

Going through an adoption disruption is like sailing the sea. You’re up, you’re down, sometimes you’re barely holding on. Your emotions are waves. You have good days, you have bad days. Sometimes you don’t know if you can hold on anymore. When that feeling hits you, there’s one person you need to lean on: God.

Maybe you’re not religious, you don’t go to church (I don’t), maybe you don’t even read the bible. It doesn’t matter to Him. He is always there, waiting for you to bring your troubles to Him.

Knowing God has a plan is one of the only things that has gotten me through this process. (The other is my amazing hubby). I have fallen to my knees A LOT. I know that one day all of this will be explained to me but right now I just have to TRUST & HAVE FAITH.

This adoption disruption was part of God’s plan. He has a bigger, better plan for the boys & for us. We weren’t meant to be a family. Yes, that hurts. Yes, I wish we could have been. The one thing I think people over look is that WE DID LOVE THOSE BOYS. But love does not make a family. We couldn’t love their bad behavior away. We couldn’t love their trauma & their loss away. It takes so much more than that. We tried our best and it wasn’t enough.

We are better for knowing the boys. They are better for knowing us. But God has a bigger plan for all of us. I believe it with all my heart.

If you’re going through the same thing, just know that God’s plan is bigger and better than you can ever dream. He is there, He will always be there. He never leaves us.

xoxo

nikki

Posted in Adoption

Don’t

The other day I saw a tweet from someone I follow (who is a foster care worker, & was on married at first sight) that said something about how she can’t believe that foster parents would just “return” children and they need to stick it out for the children. I immediately unfollowed her.  Could I have tweeted back at her? Sure. But what’s the point? People like that don’t understand.

Here’s the bottom line:

IF YOU HAVEN’T SPENT 2+ MONTHS WITH THE BOYS WE DID, THEN DON’T JUDGE/TALK TO ME ABOUT HOW DISRUPTING WAS WRONG.

I don’t post a lot on social media. That’s more because I just don’t feel like getting into it with a lot of people. But this space, this blog WILL ALWAYS be a safe place to talk about Adoption Disruption.

I know that I can’t change anyone’s mind. ESPECIALLY not caseworkers. They only see you as a home to place children. They do not care about you. (I was on the verge of checking into a mental hospital before the boys left, told my caseworker this and after the boys left she NEVER called to check on me. I could be in a hospital for all she knows.)

Everyone is entitled to their opinions. But don’t try to tell me my decision was wrong when you weren’t in my shoes. EVERY adoption is different. Just because you stuck it out through the running away, doesn’t mean I should have. I know my limitations. There was more than just the running away, so, so much more but that was one of the major things.

I remember when our caseworker told us “it will get better, it just might take years”. I was stunned. She expected me to live like this for YEARS? She expected us to be on a first name basis with the police. She expected us to “just deal with it”.

I realized that these boys had suffered loss & trauma. I know that they needed a lot more help than we could give them. We absolutely tried everything we could, everything we were told to do.

And here’s the kicker, while our caseworker was telling us to stick it out, our THERAPIST told us that the best thing we could do was disrupt. SHE told us it wasn’t working and we had tried everything we could. SHE spent more time with us & the boys than our caseworker had & she was telling us disrupting was OK!

So if you are thinking about disrupting, if that thought makes you happy, then do it. Life is short. And while the boys deserve happiness, my husband & I also deserve happiness. And none of us were happy together. We wanted to be. But we just weren’t.

Do not stay in a hard situation just because your caseworker is pressuring you. Do not let them guilt you. If you are not happy, then just know that those kids WILL BE happy somewhere else.

Adoption Disruption is OKAY. There’s a reason why they make you foster for 6 months before adopting, it’s so you can make sure these kids are a good fit. If they aren’t, THAT’S OKAY. Fostering is HARD. Not every kid/kids will be a fit for your family. You may even realize, like we did, that you are not made to parent someone else’s child. AND THAT IS OKAY.

Live your life and be happy. That’s all that matters.

xoxo

nikki

Posted in DIY

Kitchen Re-Do

How about a blog where I’m not just talking on and on and on?

When we moved into our house, the kitchen had WALLPAPER. Ugly, ugly wallpaper. Well for the first year, we just lived with it. Then one day, we decided to DO something about it! We rented a wallpaper steamer (i think it’s called something like that) from Home Depot & in two days I had removed all the wallpaper. Surprisingly, while I have little patience for mostly anything, I had a lot of patience for removing wallpaper.

No befores of the ugly wallpaper, just after pics:IMG_3519IMG_3517

Then came the hard decision, what color??? I love picking out colors, the hard part is narrowing it down to one. However, this color just seemed to jump out at me:

It’s a blue-gray, the pics don’t do it justice, but when do they ever? I can never seem to get the true color on camera.

IMG_3522IMG_3521

Then for my favorite part: DECOR! And yes, I made everything myself:

IMG_4210

Ingredients: Huge Letters from Hobby Lobby, Painters Tape, Your choice of PaintIMG_4217

Ingredients: Canvas from Hobby Lobby, Paint, Silhouette

I use my Silhouette to cut out the words in vinyl, then I modge podge them onto the canvas like a stencil and paint. IMG_4212

Ingredients: Canvas from Hobby Lobby, Paint, Silhouette

*Follow Steps from Above*IMG_4214

Ingredients: Canvas from Hobby Lobby, Paint, Silhouette

*Follow Steps from Above*IMG_4213

Ingredients: Canvas from Hobby Lobby, Paint, Silhouette

*Follow Steps from Above*

IMG_4215Yes, I realize some of the pictures are dark but I just suck with a camera, ok?!

I seriously LOVE my Silhouette. I could not do most of my projects without it.

Hope you enjoyed a blog with more pictures than words this time!

xoxo

nikki

Posted in Uncategorized

Comparing

I have a very bad habit of comparing my life to everyone’s around me. I’m the person who’s always sitting here going:

“They’re a better parent than I was”

“There business is more successful than mine”

“They exercise more than I do”

So all these people must be better than me.

I don’t know why I do it. I have a really, really great life. I really actually love my life. It’s hard, yes. But I love my husband. I love our dogs. I love my job. I love our house.

But I can’t stop. I don’t know how to stop. I want to stop. I hate this about myself. I hate that I compare myself so much. I hate that I put myself on such a low pedestal and people I barely know on such a high pedestal.

I want to be on the high pedestal. I want to believe in myself. All I feel like all the time is a failure. My adoption failed. My business is barely profitable. I don’t get up early in the morning and go exercise. I don’t eat healthy enough.

I’m sick of it. I’m sick of all of us doing it. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS. Especially when it’s just a snapshot of their life on social media. So I don’t get up early (like before 7am). So what I don’t exercise. So what I’m not a vegan. So what!

I work hard everyday at our business. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. It’s not going to make us millionaires tomorrow. It’s going to take a lot of time, a lot of word of mouth, a lot of work to make it successful. Sometimes I forget that. I want it to be successful NOW. And it’s not, so I feel like a failure. But instead of looking at how far I have to go, sometimes I need to look at how far we’ve come. Being profitable is the first BIG step to any business and we are almost there. I have learned a lot about business having one. I’ve had to jump into an area that I knew basically nothing about and teach myself everything. Mistakes have been made. That’s the past and there’s nothing I can do but learn from them.

Our adoption failed. So I must be a terrible parent. No. I’m just not the kind of parent who can parent somebody else’s child. The fact that this failed says nothing about my parenting skills. It just says that we were not meant to adopt. That makes me feel bad sometimes, too. Adoption was always something that I wanted to do. Give a child a loving home and all that. I have to accept that I was not meant to adopt. I wanted to and I tried it and it just wasn’t meant to be. I’m so glad and thankful that we got to have those boys in our lives for a couple months. I know that this decision was the best for all of us.

I don’t get up at the crack of dawn. I’ve never been a morning person. Getting me up before 8am is amazing. And I’ve been waking up around 7:30 lately. I feel like I need to get up earlier to get more done but I think I’m just one of those people who needs more sleep to function. That’s okay. I still get everything done that I need to get done. Plus I get the sleep that I need too!

I don’t exercise. I need to. I know I’ll feel better if I do. I have to chalk this one up to laziness, plain and simple. I don’t like to exercise (who does?). So I’ll work on this one.

I don’t eat healthy enough. Really? I totally do. I’m not a vegan or vegetarian by any means but I don’t eat a ton of fast food or even junk food. I snack on air popped popcorn, celery, almonds & raisins. I try to eat salad a couple times a week if not everyday. I don’t know why I tell myself I don’t eat healthy enough. I totally do.

Sometimes social media can really get us down. We see perfect snapshots of someone’s imperfect life and start comparing. Stop it. We all have perfect moments in our day but it doesn’t mean our life is anywhere near perfect.

My life is not perfect and I’m thankful for that. More than anything, I’m just grateful to have this beautiful life. I’m more than thankful that I didn’t take my own life when I thought about it and that I’m here today to enjoy my life.

xoxo

nikki