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That's Why I...


biggentleben
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So, this is something I think may be a needed thread over the next few years.

 

The premise is that you lead off something fun, awesome, touching, whatever it may be in your life with a premise of, "that's why I..."

 

For instance, this won't be my first one, but in my email yesterday, I got notification from Amazon that I had received a $50 gift card from the site that I write for as a reward for being one of their contributors of the year. I did not realize anything of monetary value came with the award, as the increased exposure (the award went out on the website and I got something like 50 new Twitter followers just from that award, which has also driven more traffic to every story I post, in turn bringing in more cash to me). That's why I stay with my current site rather than jumping to other similar sites that would pay in basically the same way but might have a better base readership.

 

The one I will use...

 

My wife and I became certified as foster parents last year. Due to a number of other reasons, this is how we intend to have our family, through fostering-to-adoption. We were certified in June, and we were placed with a 4-month old little boy at the end of July. He will be leaving our home in February, which will be tough, but we have known from the get-go that he was a foster-only case.

 

However, we did get a group of three siblings placed with us, ranging in age from 2 to 5. These three will have the option of adoption after the legal process takes its route. They moved in at the beginning of the month, and there have been plenty of rough patches along the way, especially for me, as they have had no solid male role model before, so listening to me has been an adjustment.

 

Last night, the youngest of that trio hopped up in my lap and called me daddy. When corrected by a sibling, she turned quickly and snapped back, "Ben is MY daddy!!" Needless to say, I walked to the kitchen soon thereafter and had to wipe away a bit of dust in the eye. That's why I do foster care...

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Working with at risk children is extremely rewarding. (And challenging!) Kudos to you Ben.

 

Thanks, but more than anything, for me, when I told someone my "that's why I..." this morning in church, I realized that this was a perfect anti-negativity type of thread to have somewhere like here to keep our sanity for sure in the next few months, and possibly in the next few years, just to remind one another that there are good things going on in the world!

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  • 4 weeks later...

A candidate I am working with did great on his interviews and got a $20k raise today from my client! While on the phone sharing the good news he was speechless, and I thought I lost him. He couldn't have been more appreciative and called it life changing... That's why I love what I do.

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  • 1 year later...

Since I posted this, we still have the three siblings, but we also have two more that came to us "ready to adopt". After time with them in the house, reviewing their files, and all the background stuff to go through, on Monday, my wife and I officially became parents for the first time. The three siblings will be adopted most likely around the first of the year, and then one more to go. We'll go from 0 children (officially) on December 1st to 5 by April 1st. Oh, and it was this little beauty's 5th birthday on her adoption day as well!

 

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Since I posted this, we still have the three siblings, but we also have two more that came to us "ready to adopt". After time with them in the house, reviewing their files, and all the background stuff to go through, on Monday, my wife and I officially became parents for the first time. The three siblings will be adopted most likely around the first of the year, and then one more to go. We'll go from 0 children (officially) on December 1st to 5 by April 1st. Oh, and it was this little beauty's 5th birthday on her adoption day as well!

 

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Thank you for taking such a burden and a joy into your lives.  Having worked for the juvenile courts, I know these are special moments for the judges.  Congratulations!

 

(And so cool it was her birthday; she'll remember this forever.)

Edited by PseudoSABR
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Thank you for taking such a burden and a joy into your lives.  Having worked for the juvenile courts, I know these are special moments for the judges.  Congratulations!

 

(And so cool it was her birthday; she'll remember this forever.)

 

We actually traveled to another county to allow the judge who began her case when she was less than a year old to finish the case. He hugged my wife and I and spoke to our teen daughter-to-be for a while as well, which was very cool for him as well. His voice broke as he brought her up to bang the gavel and finalize the adoption. Definitely glad we chose to make that trip.

 

She turned 5, got a new last name, and her present from us was to get her ears pierced (something she's been requesting for some time). She also got to see her former foster family, where she spent over a year of her life as well, so it was a good day for her all around.

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That's amazing, Ben. We're getting really close to adoption ourselves (it appears mom is throwing one final Hail Mary to get her kids back but the outcome is likely to fall in our favor) but after this, we're out of the game. Foster to adopt is waaaaayyyy too stressful. You spend literal YEARS on pins and needles as the courts slowly navigate the process and can yank the kids away at any moment.

 

We'd both like one more kid. May do it naturally or private adoption, not sure yet... but neither one of us can handle the foster process again. I try to explain to people how stressful it is but I don't know if you really can explain it unless you've done it yourself.

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That's amazing, Ben. We're getting really close to adoption ourselves (it appears mom is throwing one final Hail Mary to get her kids back but the outcome is likely to fall in our favor) but after this, we're out of the game. Foster to adopt is waaaaayyyy too stressful. You spend literal YEARS on pins and needles as the courts slowly navigate the process and can yank the kids away at any moment.

 

We'd both like one more kid. May do it naturally or private adoption, not sure yet... but neither one of us can handle the foster process again. I try to explain to people how stressful it is but I don't know if you really can explain it unless you've done it yourself.

 

I'm glad we had both sibling groups at the same time. We'll end up done after we get both of them done (and with 5 kids, that's plenty!), but if we had to start from the beginning with each once the other was done, it'd be nuts. We're just short of 2 years with the one sibling group, and they came to us essentially "adoption ready", just needing TPR to be finalized, but then all kinds of things happened with judges, dad coming back into the picture, mom's legal issues, and all sorts of things, and here we are nearly 2 years later, finally knocking on the door to finalize that group (and there will be another picture when that happens.

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So, to continue the thought of the original post on this thread, that same little angel pulled another one today...

 

We're at a swim meet without enough seating today, and the two girls that we have swimming are coming up soon, so the family was leaning against a wall. The youngest (now 4) is sitting on the floor and observing the world.

 

As I'm attempting to ensure the other kiddos don't end up in the line of traffic, I feel a pull on my pant leg. I look down, and she's looking up with a huge smile, and as soon as she has my eye, she hollers out, "I love you, daddy!" She ensured she could be heard above the crowd. She waited for me to return with an "I love you, too!", and she then returned to people watching.

 

That's why I've gone through the two-year struggle, fight, whatever you want to call it, so that beautiful little girl can soon be my youngest.

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So, to continue the thought of the original post on this thread, that same little angel pulled another one today...

 

We're at a swim meet without enough seating today, and the two girls that we have swimming are coming up soon, so the family was leaning against a wall. The youngest (now 4) is sitting on the floor and observing the world.

 

As I'm attempting to ensure the other kiddos don't end up in the line of traffic, I feel a pull on my pant leg. I look down, and she's looking up with a huge smile, and as soon as she has my eye, she hollers out, "I love you, daddy!" She ensured she could be heard above the crowd. She waited for me to return with an "I love you, too!", and she then returned to people watching.

 

That's why I've gone through the two-year struggle, fight, whatever you want to call it, so that beautiful little girl can soon be my youngest.

Yep. It’s incredibly rewarding... but still, the stress is taking years off my life. I can’t count how many nights I’ve had trouble sleeping over the past year and a half but the number is well into the triple digits.

 

If I could change the past, I wouldn’t do anything differently but the process has definitely changed what I will do in the future.

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  • 3 months later...

The finalization day for the three siblings is finally here! Originally scheduled for Wednesday, Mother Nature tried to delay, but could only hold off two days on this plan. The kiddos had their birth mother OD roughly a month ago, which was a final rough thing to go through before they became officially ours, but it also allowed for a bit of closure in preparation for this big day. We spent the day bowling and then swimming!

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

BTW, Ben, check out the film Instant Family if you want some laughs at the expense of the foster system and its worst moments. A bit sappy overall but you can tell immediately it was written by someone who actually went through the process. My wife and I spoke over half the movie almost word-for-word at some point in the past couple of years.

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