WELL... here's the thing... I have 5 kids now! We've had a 4th adoption. My daughter really wanted a sister. So, the final tally is 3 boys (11, 8, 4) and 2 girls (8, 9). The newest is the 9 year old and is non-verbal, autistic with fragile x. She is currently laughing and rubbing her hands through my beard as I type this! She came from a really
rough situation where she was neglected, abused and her bio parents are now serving life sentences for killing her brother. She had two failed adoptions before moving in with us last Easter. Our adoption became official at the end of November. She has been a blessing to our home. We're all full now though!
I am not surprised that you did this. You're a very admirable young couple. I was so proud when I learned that you had fostered three brothers to give them the most normal condition for siblings: being able to grow up together in the same family. Many couples, although endowed with enormous big hearts might turn away from such a gift. And I was so pleased when the third adoption
went through. It will be a long time before they can even comprehend what you have done. Your eldest son is nearing the age where it will become clear to him, though.
And this fifth child is so lucky that you have her.
You may have noticed that I have mentioned a movie entitled The Black Balloon
a few times. It has an autistic young man character who is based on the writer-director's brothers, both of whom are autistic.
I don't really figure you'd want to see it. After all, you and Mrs Hank know much more about autism by this point than most people will ever suspect. But in future years you might want to give it a look.
I recently checked a book out of the library because it is about foster families. Specifically, three bio siblings who didn't know about one another. But they meet, Grace, Maya and Joaquin. The girls have been adopted as infants. Joaquin, who is 17, has had 17 different foster families in his childhood life. Joaquin lives with an older couple who never could have children. He's been with them almost three years, and they have offered to adopt him if it's okay with him. He hesitates, of course. The bio sibs go in search of their bio Mom because Grace has had a child out of wedlock, and has given her up for adoption right out of the delivery room. Her understanding of their mother is vastly different from her bio sibs' take on the situation. The novel, Far from the Tree
by Robin Benway is a page-turner, and is guaranteed to jerk a few tears from your eyes. Both happy and sad ones. But it is a very well-told tale.
Hank wrote:Sorry to hear of your mother's dementia worsening. My grandfather went through that. It's tough. It was very hard for my kids to understand. Heck... it might have been harder for me to comprehend now that I think about it.
Thank you for the kind thoughts. In some ways dealing with it isn't as bad now as it seemed at first. Once I finally learned that she asks the same question ten times in an hour simply because she doesn't remember asking me before, I just answer it every time as if it's the first time she's asked. My nephew has a harder time of it, but even he has begun to understand her plight. She was his legal guardian alongside my father when the boy was a year old. So even though his father lived here at the time, his father actually had no parental say in his rearing beyond what my parents would allow.
My mom somewhat resents having had to give her expected empty nest years over to raising the two grandsons that my brother gave her. She always talked as if she were the only grandparent in that situation. I finally showed her an internet article that pointed out that according to US Census figures, 40% of children in the US are being raised by their grandparents. She was very far away from being the only one. But that doesn't say anything terrific about the parents who left it up to grandparents to raise the kids, I guess.
I've probably told you all this before.
I once swore something similar about the Inspired By... thread! Equally Ridiculous.
Who knows, maybe I'll start to post more. I was curious as to how you were doing, which is why I checked out this thread earlier today. I do need some down time after I put the kids to bed! I miss talking to people about movies.... I miss watching movies sometimes too! I still log my watches in the Trends feature here, but my numbers are down and loaded up with kids films! I've only logged 15 this year. But with that said, my wife and I have been carving out some date nights because we found a 19 year old crazy enough to watch our kids for 3 hours once a week! So, we've seen The Disaster Artist
, I, Tonya
, The Big Sick
and Black Panther
... that is a lot of movies in the theaters for me and it looks like it might continue throughout the year!
This is progress. Your crazy 19-year old babysitter is just what you need. And taking a little time to be just the two of you together is very important to the well-being of the five most important people in your lives, too.
Another thing I think I've written to you before is how many good films I discovered when my kids got to the age to watch them. These were family movies that I had felt I was too mature to see until that point. Nowadays, although my guys are 31 and 35 years old, and my youngest nephew is 24, I still watch those films if I think they might be interesting. Some of them stink, but there are a lot of good ones.
I remain in touch with my inner child. I discovered Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street
on Amazon Prime Video, and it's rife with nostalgia for me. It's the kind of stories that I liked when I was around 12 or 13 years old. And it just gives me an unexpected connection to the pre-teen within who has been covered up by decade upon decade of more mature experiences. In other words, this series allows me to tap into the same sense of wonder that I kept around all the time when I was a middle-schooler! How it does this I can't explain. It's more or less alone in that category. But the show-runners manage to reach me there with almost every episode. It's amazing. Without having gone through the showing-my-kids-movies-they-would-enjoy years, I probably would never have watched it.
It's good to talk to you again. You were still logged on when I began this reply, but you might be gone now.