Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Reality...Do People That Adopt Have Super Powers?

How do you express some of the BIGGEST thanks of your life? Over the next few weeks I'll be sharing a few of the key things that helped us transition over this past year as we went from a family of four to a family of seven. You won't want to miss it.

People who adopt must have super powers, right? I was convinced that they must. I saw other families who had adopted and immediately concluded that they must have special capabilities that I didn't have. 

Perhaps they had a magical voice where they spoke and every child obeyed immediately or a force field that they put over their house that kept all fighting from happening and somehow they secretly knew the way to manage the chaos. 

Have you ever thought that?

Then I became an adoptive mom and found out first hand that I have no personal super powers.


All I had was that I knew that we were called to adopt...that deep desire, longing in your heart that you just can't shake. However, knowing HOW that was going to play out and work in our every day life...I had no clue!


Something happened though.

When our three oldest kids came to live with us our oldest son had a PCA (a personal care assistant.) Someone would come and assist with his care for a few hours a week...3 hours to be exact. Those 3 hours were like gold

A PCA is someone who comes into your home to help assist a child (or adult) with their daily needs. Health insurance companies are the ones that determine if a PCA is needed and also are the ones to pay for these services. A child can qualify for this extra help if they need special care or attention for various things that they might be facing. A small amount of hours are given for behavioral needs and additional hours are available for other physical, daily living needs. 

Our specific program was set up where we could pick and hire the PCA's working in our home. You can also go through companies where they will select and hire someone to come into your home. I personally really liked being able to pick our own PCA since they would be coming into our home and working so closely with our family.

Right away it became evident that our middle son would most likely qualify for 3 hours per week as well.

Two months into our transition he had an evaluation to see if he would qualify for PCA services. Shortly after his evaluation I received a letter stating that he qualified for 33 hours per week! I'm pretty sure that I cried for days when I found this out. That's up to THIRTY THREE hours of helping with one on one attention, care, routines, and activities for our son.

After two months with just me at home with three little ones (while Sam was at work and the big kids were at school) I had no clue, NO CLUE how we were going to make it work until the twins got to kindergarten (2.5 years away!)

Our youngest son was 1 and the twins were both 3. Everyone was in diapers, everyone knew how to cry, everyone wanted their needs met right that second, on top of the additional challenges. I was a mom with two hands having no idea how to do it all. Not to mention trying to convince the twins that they were now siblings and we all were part of one LOVING family.

And then with one letter, there was HOPE. 

Over the past year we have had six different PCAs working with our kids. I say our kids because these girls are also the ones that we go to when we need a babysitter or someone to stay at our house while we are out of town or taking time away to rest. For any situation where the girls are left with more than the child that they are PCAing for, we pay them for their time and they are off of the "PCA" clock. Either way having someone in your house helping with a child for over 30 hours a week is a joint venture and all of your kids are going to grow to love them.

These ladies are literally some of the sweetest, caring, most compassionate women that I know. 

They have seen what we all look like rolling out of bed in the morning, they have heard all of the kids screaming at once, they know first hand what our morning auction is like as well as meals in general. Not to mention that they see me in all of my glory...when I am impatient, frustrated, and completely overwhelmed. 

They know how crazy it can get and how wonderful it really is

A few of the girls are moving away and before they left we wanted them to know how special they have been to our family. We had a special get together earlier this month and had the girls over for a meal. One of our PCAs, Charissa is already living half way around the world so she couldn't be with us on this night (THANK YOU CHARISSA!)

Each of the girls received a bouquet of flowers with homemade cards from the kids. I just happened to have five vases from our adoption celebration. It seemed fitting to give each of them one of these vases. 

I tried to cook a special meal that the girls hadn't eaten before at our, mac & cheese, PB&J and quesadillas were off of the menu. :-)

We made some cupcakes for dessert.

All of the kids and the girls sat together in the dining room while Sam and I served them.

When the girls had first arrived we took this picture. I was taking it through tear filled eyes. It was the first time I had seen all of the girls with all of the kids all at once. These kids are so extremely LOVED!

I guess the answer to the question (Sarah, do you have super powers?) should actually be answered, yes. My super powers have names though and they are Charissa, Natalie, Elisabeth, Anastasia, Kasey & Mishawn.

God has heard every one of my prayers as we transitioned and figured things out along the way. These ladies were a HUGE answer to one of those prayers: Thank you!

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  1. Wow! What a blessing to have these girls in your life!! In just under three years we've gone from 0 kids to 4 (any day now our 4th will be born). We adopted the two oldest (ages 5 and 6 currently) and have an 18 month old. I wake up in the morning wondering if we 'll make it through the day. I swore I'd never yell or lose my cool.....and that is just not my reality. But I love my kids, we do the best we can and pray that it's enough. Our oldest steals and lies and seems to be in trouble most of the time, but on Easter I was blessed with a moment in church where I knew beyond a doubt that he's got a heart of gold and loves The Lord, so we must be doing something right.

    1. That is so AMAZING that you have been blessed with so many treasures in just three years! I can totally relate to what you said. Loving our kids and doing our best is so rewarding...even if it isn't perfect. I am so thankful for a new morning each day to wake up and figure out how to make "today" the best day that we can.


  2. Sarah, I've had SO MUCH FUN working with the kids!!! Your family has been such a blessing to me and I've grown a lot because of you all :) It really is wonderful. Funnily enough, when I get upset about something now, I ask myself, "Okay, is this a big deal or a little deal?" It really helps to get that perspective ;)

    1. You are a GEM Anastasia and that is a BIG deal! ;-)


  3. I think you are coming to my Moms group next week! I saw that you were an adoptive mom so I searched you out online. I NEED to pick your brain about PCA stuff as we are bringing a little girl with Down syndrome home soon to our family of 4So we will also have 5 kids, 3 through adoption. Age range 2-7 currently.

    1. Andie,

      You are right, I am coming next week. :-) I would love to talk to you about PCA stuff and am really looking forward to meeting you! Be sure to introduce yourself to me on Wednesday and also feel free to email me any time. :-)



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