Sunday, October 14, 2012

Monday Vent - Families & Money

Last April, my mother and her husband asked me if I would be interested in buying their mini-van that they were planning to sell.  I immediately said "yes'.  Even though I have never wanted a mini-van, it has low mileage, all the bells and whistles, has been treated very well, and they said they would sell it to me for the trade-in value.  This is a great deal, and my husband and I agreed.  My mother said that I could pay her what I got for my car, and that she would extend me a 0% loan for the rest, with the agreement that I would pay it off as quickly as possible.  This sounded great and I told her how much I appreciated her generosity.  Our niece said that she would like to buy my current car from us.  This all seemed to be working out well.  That was six months ago.  I have periodically asked if they had found the new car they wanted to buy, but their lives have been rather busy, and they just haven't gotten around to it.  That's fine.  I don't owe anything on my current car and it's nice not having car payments.  My niece has also been asking when we might be selling, but has been patient also.  Now, my mother has told me that they are actually going to be selling both of their cars and that she will need six-thousand dollars from me to put the first payment on her new car, which she will then pay off within a couple months.  Oh, and she wants this within the next 2-3 weeks.  I don't know about any of you, but, we are only selling our car for $3500 and I don't have an extra $2500 laying around to pay out in a few weeks.  When I told her that I don't have that kind of money, she was unhappy and said that she didn't know what we should do because she thought I would get more for my car.  Of course, I had told her six months ago how much my car was worth,  Now, 6 months later, and five-thousand more miles on it, it's worth even less.  I'm just completely irritated!  I know that she has more than enough money to buy herself, her husband, and heck, everyone in the family a new car with cash along with a few houses thrown in for fun.  (She has shared her financial information with me because I will be the executor of her will if anything should happen to her).  But now, she wants to put pressure on me to take money out of my savings, of which I don't have very much, because she doesn't want to cash something else in.  If I had known six months ago, I would have made arrangements to set something aside.  I knew it sounded too good to be true.  I have never wanted to take money from her, not that she has offered.  She knows that we are responsible with money and that we have worked hard for everything that we have and have not received any financial help or handouts. I guess we will just have to continue on not getting any breaks, especially from family.  I know...I sound bitter.  I am glad that she is healthy and has no financial concerns.  I'm thankful that she is with us and spends time with us.  She's just quirky about money, which is probably one of the reasons she has so much.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Weird Word Wednesday: Jackanapes


Today's weird word is jackanapes. I wish I could say that I knew this word and use it all of the time. Truth is, my computer screen saver throws up random words and their definition, and I happened to be paying attention when this one popped up. 

I am drawn to this word, because it is weird, of course, but also because of it's sound. You could totally call someone this and it would sound like the insult it is intended to be! Short of jack-a** but they would still get the idea!

Love it. Got a list of people to start yelling this to. Enjoy!




noun \ˈja-kə-ˌnāps\

Definition of JACKANAPES

1: monkey, ape
2a : an impudent or conceited fellow
b : a saucy or mischievous child 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

When the Table is Turned - Adoption Style

Back when my husband and I were starting our family, he told me that he thought we should adopt. I was taken by  surprise by such a lovely thought coming from my new husband. It wasn't because I didn't think he was capable of it, it was just that it had never come up before. In all of our pre-wedding and post-wedding conversations of our future, adoption had never been mentioned. The conversation of children came up as well as how many we would like came up (3 btw was the number we both liked), but HOW those children would enter our lives never came up. I assumed I would get pregnant and deliver them. He wanted to give a parent-less child a chance.
We were married a whole 2 weeks when my husband asked "So when are we going to start having kids?". I was shocked by his enthusiasm to "get cookin' " and probably reacted like a child hating ogre. "What do you mean?" I blurted out. "We've only been married 2 weeks!" The look on his face was shock. I immediate felt bad, calmed myself and then explained my reaction. "I wanted to be married for a while, just the two of us. Once we start having kids, it will never be just the two of us. Besides, I want to finish getting my black belt (in karate). I know that will never happen once I have kids." Surprisingly, that last "selfish" comment was the one that seemed to sway him. He agreed, waited patiently for several months, and drove with me to Ohio for my black belt test.

In my mind, I knew that once I got that black belt, I needed to keep my end of the deal. I was also now ready to start our family. I watched the calendar for prime ovulation windows and told my husband "Well, if you want to start having kids, today would be a good day to start trying." I imagined I would be swept off of my feet, but instead my husband said "I think we should adopt." What? Did I just hear correctly? "Really?" I asked. He explained how he felt and I was completely on board with adoption. However, I also felt the desire to try and have at least one biological child too. We agreed that baby #1 would be biological and then we would re-visit the conversation for babies #2 and #3. 

When it was time for baby #2, I had already been researching adoption. I had looked into the process, the length of time it could take, and the costs involved in the process of adoption. I shared all of the information with my husband and we agreed that baby #2 would be biological. We wanted a second child sooner rather than later to grow up with baby #1 (they are only 19 months apart). We knew that adoption can take several years and a lot of money, that we just didn't have.

Baby #2 arrived and I continued to look into adoption. I also looked into becoming Foster Parents. I contacted someone at Catholic Charities and started the process. I met with the representative, filled out forms, got reference letters and signed us up for a required orientation class. Two days before the class, my husband told me that he couldn't go because he had to help his dad move. I was disappointed to say the least. This was the first point where he would have to be involved, and he didn't seem to be on board. 

I asked if he thought we should have a biological baby #3. He was completely against it saying "Pregnancy is just too hard on you." It was a sweet comment. He was right. I didn't think he had noticed those last two 9 month spans. He seemed done and content with the two beautiful babies we already had.

Enter mommy guilt. Of course I was happy with the two beautiful babies we already had. But in the back of my mind, we were always going to have 3 children. I thought that perhaps the miscarriage I had prior to baby #1 was the 3rd child that I was feeling was missing. How could I want another child when I was so fortunate to have two healthy, beautiful and good boys already? As my boys grew, I grew to love having two. One at each hand, one on each knee, one on either side of me as bookends on the couch. Yes, two was the perfect number for us, for our family. Our family was complete.  I was sure of it.

Fast forward ten years to last weekend. My husband and I were sitting by the fire pit in our back yard. We were talking about nothing in particular when suddenly he says to me "What do you think about adopting a little girl? I mean, not a baby, like maybe 6 years old or so. I was upstairs and I saw that spare bedroom just sitting there, doing nothing. I know we don't really have any money, but maybe we can give a kid a chance." What? Did I just hear correctly? (Again) I looked at him for a second to make sure he wasn't kidding then I said "I started the process a long time ago. I filled out paperwork. I got reference letters. And you shut me down." He nodded and said "I know. And well, I'm not going to change. I'm still going to go out on my motorcycle and you're still going to be doing everything." I smiled and said "I know." Then we looked back at the fire pit and that was the end of the conversation.

I couldn't stop thinking about it the next day. Since then I've had dreams that I was pregnant, and then wasn't. I had a dream that I had an extra child that wasn't a boy. And, as I told my friend "You don't tell someone who loves puppies, that they can get another puppy." 

For now we are taking it slow. As my husband pointed out, we are barely supporting our family now, so due to financial reasons we can't move forward. However, I am hopeful that our financial situation will improve and one day you will be reading my blogs about the adoption process!


Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew By Eldridge, Sherrie (Google Affiliate Ad) 

Adopting in America By Hicks, Randall (Google Affiliate Ad) 

You Can Adopt By Caughman, Susan/ Motley, Isolde (Google Affiliate Ad)

Happy Adoption Day! By McCutcheon, John/ Paschkis, Julie (ILT) (Google Affiliate Ad) 

Adoption Is for Always By Girard, Linda Walvoord/ Friedman, Judith (ILT) (Google Affiliate Ad)

The Adopted Room By Michaelis, Antonia (Google Affiliate Ad)

Adoption Healing By Soll, Joseph M./ Buterbaugh, Karen Wilson 
(Google Affiliate Ad)

Being Adopted By Brodzinsky, David M./ Schechter, Marshall D./ Henig, Robin Marantz (Google Affiliate Ad)

Real Parents, Real Children ; Parenting the Adopted Child By Van Gulden, Holly (Google Affiliate Ad)

Adoption Nation By Pertman, Adam (Google Affiliate Ad)