Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Well...Its Happening.

Some of you may be wondering why blogging didn't happen yesterday. Still more of you may be aware that we have been considering bringing our 8 month old neice into our home on a foster basis while her mother goes through a drug treatment program. What you may not know is that she also has two boys ages 2 and 4 that have been in a group home the last few days while all of us "grown ups" figure out how we can best provide for them. Well...all three kids are coming to us, beginning with the boys tommorow. To hear the details, read on...only the names have been ommited, to protect the privacy of the kids.


This has meant a hail storm of preparation not only to our home...but also of paperwork, as we rush to fill out forms and attain certifications that you would normally have completed before child placement is even an option. As it is, I am freaking out. Not because of all three kids coming to live with us for a while, that is challenging but I will have Jay home for  awhile to help with that,...its getting everything done for the powers that be and the social workers that are now going to be a very frequent part of our daily routine. Medicines and cleaners out of ground level cabinets and preferably locked up, baby proofing, setting up furniture, providing proof that our animals are rabies free, cpr classes, physicals for Jay and myself, floorplan drawings...the list goes on.

"Why the hell are you doing this?", you may ask...

Well, Jay and I have been discussing the possibility of bringing a third child into our life but had put it off because we were unsure what effect it would have on Daniel and Selena...they did come together as a pair after all. However when Jay's niece came to us to ask for help with either the 8 month old baby or the boys we decided we would do what we can. But that was how we were considering it, either the boys or the baby, not all at once. Howver it developed differently and the alternative is that they go to strangers in a foster home.

The kids have no clue why all this is happening to them and I can see after meeting them that its having a profound effect on them....they are scared crazy and angry because they don't know why all this is happening to them. "Why can't mom just come get them?" is their thought. Having them with family would at least help keep them connected to faces they know and not make them feel as if they have totally lost everything they loved....and that loved them. After much discussion between Jay and myself a feeling began to emerge. I started to feel like I was on the last lifeboat of the Titanic trying to decide who got on and who didn't. It was awfull. We talked long and hard about it and about the fact that our ability to care for Daniel and Selena had to come first...we agreed to be their parents not our nieces and nephews.

Not that this decision isn't without its pitfalls. Thinking long term and worst-case scenario, What happens if their mom fails the program and these kids go up for adoption? Would it even be wise for us to consider adopting any configuration of these kids knowing that their mom would still be a part of their lives by vitue of being family? How much resentment and hatred would she carry for us if that occured? So much that it couldn't be  contained on this page I imagine. As it is, there is tension in our relationship with her. When Jays niece was young, she was having the exact same life she is giving her children now. At that time, Jay and I had already been talking about raising kids so we approached his sister about the possibility of adopting some our nieces and nephews.....big mistake. She accused us of trying to take her kids away from her and it was a big family drama. The fact that she could not provide her 5 kids did not figure into the equation at all. We just wanted to give them a chance at a better future.

Fast forward years ahead and one of those same nieces that we would have taken into our home is living just as her mother did...and found herself pregnant. At the time she was homeless and rooming at her boyfriends parents house. Again we offered to adopt her baby to give them both a chance at life.  We wanted to give her the chance to be a young girl a while longer and to be able to get her feet underneath her so she could care for a baby...and we wanted to be dads, I will own that. But... no....big drama...same accusations and here we are now, two more babies later and its either we take the kids in...or the state does.

Their mom and dad have checked into their separate programs and their is a possibility that mom will be able to take two kids with her into her program...that would help alot if that happens. However, we have to brace for the fact that it may not. We have to do the best we can to help these kids understand whats happening and to keep their spirits alive until they can be reunited with their parents.

A positive side benifit is that, if all goes well, then we will have already have jumped through all the hoops it takes to recertify for fost/adopt. If we truly want to bring a third child into our family we will be all systems go.

The short term reality is that Jay and I are stressed. We are both doing the best we can and know we will get through it...one day...one legal hoop...one reunification visit at a time.

We visited the boys yesterday in their group home to get a feel for how they are holding up. It went well considering the circumstances. The older of the two boys is the little parent for the younger one and the younger boy attaches to an individuall and goes through emotional trauma if they leave the room. Can you blame them? We visited again today to play and to be a consistent face in their routine and it went better. Selena was a champ both times really did well at breaking the ice and becomeing their instant buddy. The only scary part is they have been allowed to play rough...with toys and people...thats not gonna fly at our house.

We spent the rest of that first visit day filling out paperwork as well as shopping for beds and items needed for tommorows big day...aye carumba. So thats why there was no blog yesterday...and I was all set to talk about the 11th hour challenge to gay marriage in Washington D.C. Thank goodness that challenge failed and those marriage are going forward today. Congrats D.C.!

Our lives are crazy right now but we will find our feet. Regular blogging will continue though with perhaps a few more gray hairs....so don't touch that dail!

26 comments:

  1. Will be thinking and praying for you guys. It's a huge decision but I know you and jay will be very careful to both love and care for these children and not forget Daniel and Selena. Good luck!

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  2. Bry I already said that you should take the time you need, I´m pretty sure all of us will be right here.
    But i also understand that you need to keep a sense of nromality in your life.

    You both are the strongest persons I know, come on you guys are my very own Supermen. You will hit this off the park.
    The kids will love you, and daniel will be the big brother he can and he is.
    Selena will be the light in the roomn that always shines.
    You will be the rock that keeps everything in place.
    And Jay will be the hero we know he is.
    I´m not scared that someone will feel "unloved" Have you seen you?
    God, you are the person with most love in the world. I´m pretty sure.

    And if doesn´t work I´m sure we can get Angelina Jolie to take on of the kids.

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  3. The child parent thing can be hard I think.

    Jake's family always fostered all the way through his childhood and up until recently. His mum always says that the very hard children were those that had needed to look after siblings.

    They took a while to realise that they weren't in charge of everyone and to just enjoy being a child.

    Jake's brother just used to let them push him around but Jake used to argue with them and cause even worse temper tantrums hehe.

    I am certain you will cope though. Plus hopefully the US government gives money to help with the costs.

    Four children all under 5! Good luck!

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  4. God is building a family - sometimes we don't know WHO will be a part of this wonderful blessing, but I have faith IN you and Jay, AND IN GOD, that he will work things out! Sometimes we go on faith - and believe it or not - THAT is enough.
    I am the youngest of son of a family with nine siblings (I guess I am the ONE in TEN that ya read about! lol) and I remember asking my dear mom WHY did you have so many kids? I remember how hard both she and my dad worked - along with all my older brothers and sisters - just to see that we had food on the table. Her answer, WHICH one SHOULD I NOT have had? Simple! I am now approaching my 50th birthday - I lost both my parents a little over 5 years ago, but I have ALWAYS known ONE THING - I WAS LOVED! There is NO question here - and you know what? THAT is all I needed! Bless your family, no matter the size!

    BTW - I served as a Foster Dad myself - (teacher here - and this was a former student that NEEDED a home.) While he was not with me for a REALLY long time, he did visit me this past summer. I asked about his sisters, his mother.. and THEN about his Father. His reply - Yes, HE was my FATHER - but YOU will ALWAYS be my DAD! Wow, a true blessing from GOD.

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  5. Kenny in San AntonioMarch 3, 2010 at 5:27 PM

    You guys are living saints in my eyes. Your ability to love and care is limitless

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  6. Jay, Brian ... that the force be with you! =)

    Guys, I think, as my husband and me, you prefer the roller coaster instead of the carousel, right? and it is wonderful! I congratulate you on the adventure and so much love you put into this action. Already I've said it before, but again I must say it: is an honor to meet such good people like you.
    Besos from Buenos Aires!
    AnCris

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  7. Bryan:
    I knew you and Jay would come to this decision.
    Biggest hearts of anyone I know. Daniel will be a wonderful, loving "big brother" and Selena will "mother" to all. Please take care of yourselves, sounds as if Jay will be taking some time at home and the two of you will be working together to make this work.

    I know all your You Tube friends are thinking of you, praying for you and wishing all the family the very best. Wish we could do more for you.

    GOD Bless!
    Love and prayers,
    Mare

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  8. Oh Lord, the stress you guys are going through. I sincerely hope that the state is helping you out with some of the costs. Take a deep breath, talk it out between yourself and with family/friends. My best wishes to Daddy Jay, Daddy Brian, Daniel and Selena. You have an unbelievable amount of love to take on this challenge.

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  9. Boy oh boy, are you two gonna have your hands full. However, I think what you're doing is best for those kids.

    I suppose you two probably get this every day, but you, Jay and Brian, are great parents. You're better that most parents I know.

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  10. Joining the chorus of prayers and encouragement for all your family, Bryan. You and Jay have been in my thoughts and prayers after I read the issues surrounding the placement of the little children.

    You'll do fine through it all. I'm sure it'll be noisy and frustrating and beautiful and funny and good -- right now it's like all those dots making up the comics. With time and perspective you and they will see all that love take shape and be filled with meaning.

    God bless your family.

    Bill

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  11. You and Jay are the face of goodness in this country.

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  12. the leffews never fail to inspire...

    go go jay and bryan!

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  13. Jay's niece SHOULD be happy that her children are being placed with family instead of strangers?? I hope she gets her act together..but realistically it is doubtful. My partner Dave is a psychologist that actually specializes in drug and alcohol addiction. He says that a very small percentage of people actually remain sober..especially if they are ordered to by the courts. Perhaps her desire to have her children back may help...WHAT A MESS!!!
    I think Selena and Daniel will be GREAT in teaching the kids what is acceptable and what is not in your house. They both are like little adults.
    Good luck guys!
    Holy cow!! Where in the house will you put them??? I hope you don't have to give up your "Star Wars" sanctuary!
    Jim

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  14. OMG! If I had read this post like 2hrs I had said something in my mail!!

    You guys just ROCK! I can't believe you are taking this new adventure, tho it seam kind of scary... you guys are going to be fine! I think those kids(and their parents) are lucky to have you guys as part of their family.

    Now I am going to pray even more for your family cause is so COOL! hehehe

    I hope everything works for the better.

    Arcadio

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  15. You guys are such an amazing inspiration. As soon as I saw the shoe full of kids on my blogger dashboard, I knew that you had probably decided to take all three of them in. As someone who as been on the receiving end of this kind of charity more than once, thank you for being amazing, generous people. I can't be eloquent enough to say how much this touches me, just knowing that there are people out there willing to do this for children in need, like your niece and nephews find themselves. I know they're family, but still.

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  16. Good luck with everything coming your way. As someone's whose extended family has gone through the same drama, those kids are lucky to have you and Jay. Even if it's only for a few months, the stability and structure of your family will be a positive for those boys.

    Take care..

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  17. Hi Jay and Bryan,
    I wish you all the best and the strength you need in the next time.
    Again we see what people do to protect children. To give them a better live. : )
    Thanks
    Take care
    Siri

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  18. omg that last entry scares me and makes me tense up in nervousness just hearing all that. You guys are so brave and loving. I'm so far removed from the world of adult responsibility currently I can't even imagine raising 1 child let alone 2 and then taking on several more PLUS managing the inevitable drama and the preparation for everything. Good luck with everything!

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  19. Best of luck with it all guys. Jay's neice is lucky to have you guys in her life. I hope it all works out well for all of you, but the kids especially.

    Maurice
    Cork, Ireland

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  20. I am so proud of you guys. I know it's going to be stressful and tiring especially with Bryan considering going back to work possibly, but you guys once again are nothing short of amazing. I know everything will work out for you guys, and I hope those 3 kids realize how lucky they are to have you guys and your family there for them. You guys are nothing short of inspiring. Now go be the best "Uncle-Daddy" Jay and Bryan possible :-D. Take care and be safe.
    -Jason UCD

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  21. Wow! You two have a huge heart, it is wonderful that you open your heart and house for those children! I think it is in the best interest of the children, but you have a lot of courage to actually take them in. I whish you, Jay, Selena and Daniel all the luck of the world. I am sure you will do a great job. Christa

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  22. Thank you for the positive messages everyone. Jay and I are veritable fountains of worry today. Its worse to wait than to actually have the kids here...at least then we would know more and be doing something about it.

    We go pick the kids up to bring them here in a few short minutes!

    Bryan

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  23. Ah...but what I forgot to say was "thank you". All your positive comments give us courage and help us to think that maybe we arent as insane as we feel right now.

    Bryan

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  24. You guys are so amazing. I can't believe the sacrifices you make for others. I feel glad to know people like you. Adopt me next!

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  25. I wish you the best of luck Jay and Bryan, I know you'll get through this! What you are doing for these kids is amazing...you are so generous.

    --Matias

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  26. Wow guys. This is what the world needs to see and hear. They think we cant raise kids as two men...but we can. We are just as capable. I want a family of my own some day with my partner. Its a long way coming in Kentucky but I hope and pray that someday in the future it will happen. I will be praying for you guys. I have to say kudos and you are wonderful loving people for doing what you are doing!

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