Monday, March 26, 2012


Well, the next phase of the Shan Clan journey begins officially on Thursday.  

The kids and I will pick up K3 (this is what I will call her here; sort of a private joke, and I want to protect her privacy anyway) around 9 Thursday morning, and she will spend the day with us.  We will plan to have a pretty "normal" day - maybe a playground, some playing at home, lunch, reading some books.  She will be picked up around 2:30 for her visit with her bdad, so it will be a relatively short day; I suppose that is best for the first day visit.

Then she will be with us both Saturday and Sunday (no overnight yet).  K2 and I have choir practice Saturday morning, and then we have church Sunday morning; so both days we won't be able to pick her up until about 12:45.  But, we will keep her until after supper; and on Sunday, she will come with us to family brunch and meet everyone.  

The following Tuesday and Thursday, she will come spend the day with us again; we will have a longer day on Tuesday, as I will be taking her back to her foster family around 6, on my way to Milwaukee for a hair appointment.  

The following weekend is Easter weekend, and we will pick her up Friday afternoon, and she will be with us until Sunday evening.  The week following will be spring break both for us and for her foster family, so we will not do any day visits that week.  The other foster family will get to spend some time with K3 before she leaves them, and the Shan Clan will take some time to regroup and do some fun stuff as a family before we grow again.  

Assuming all visits have gone well and K3 seems to be a good fit for our family, she will move in Saturday, April 14.

Three short weeks until our family is potentially one child more blessed!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Yes, I know, it has been ages.  It seems like just as soon as we clear one hurdle, there's another waiting for us!  

Ty got through his withdrawal really well.  We all survived the holidays, and then he got pneumonia.  He got through that, and we had BF (bio family) drama.  And now we're just getting over a round of family illness.  I guess we are a really close family - we share EVERYTHING!  :-)

But, everyone is doing great, overall.  Hunter is SOARING through 6th grade - subjects he was once behind in, he is now plowing ahead in.  My hope of him starting at grade level in 7th grade is beginning to dissipate.  Now I am beginning to hope he will start 7th grade a little ahead of his peers in some subjects, math in particular.  Yes, MATH - the subject he was the most behind in during 4th grade.  He is also doing really well with reading - the little 8 year old boy who hated to read when he came to us now cannot get enough of books!  It makes a Mama's heart so proud :-).  And his comprehension and oral fluency have improved greatly.  I just cannot express how proud I am of how far he has come.  He is not without his challenges - what almost-12-year-old is?? - but we continue to work on those and pray that God will help us guide his heart so that he continues to learn to make right decisions and grow in maturity and responsibility.

Kaleigh is also progressing very well academically.  She began learning to read in the fall, and her reading improves every day.  She sometimes just amazes me with the words she is able to sound out.  She really has gotten the hang of the sounding-out thing very quickly.  She, too, loves to read, both by herself and with others.  She and I always have at least one book that we read through together over a period of time.  Right now, we are reading through the Ramona series; we are nearly finished with Ramona the Brave.  She is also really into American Girl dolls right now, and a couple of weeks ago I pulled out the few books that I collected as a pre-teen; she latched onto those right away.  So now we are also reading Meet Addy.   I was concerned it would be a little too much for her, since it talks somewhat vividly about how slaves were treated; but she took it in really well, and I figured kids are exposed to so much fictional violence these days, that it won't hurt her to understand a little bit of our historical "violence."  And it's geared for 9 year olds, so it isn't TOO graphic.  Kaleigh is also working on writing - she actually has been working on this since preschool, but now that she is learning to read, she is recognizing the correlation to writing and spelling.  She loves to write notes to people, and sometimes I tell her the spelling as she is writing, but sometimes I tell her to sound it out.  It is fun to see what she comes up with, and I just love the way kids learn when they work things out for themselves.

Ty is growing, growing, growing.  He began teething a couple of weeks ago, and since a tooth has not popped through just yet, he is still cranky, cranky, cranky.  In between the cranky times, though, he is such a happy baby.  He is smiling and cooing and giggling all the time, and it is soooooo sweet.  The week before last he started rolling from back to front - I guess it won't be long now before he is on the move!  Yikes!!  

We got a call yesterday about a 3 year old little girl who is currently in foster care.  They are in the TPR (termination of parental rights) process with her right now, but her current foster family is unable to adopt her; so they are looking for a family who would be able to adopt her once TPR is complete.  After talking through it last night, Randy and I agreed that we would like to meet her and set up some pre-placement visits to see what she's like and how she might fit into our family.  We appreciate your thoughts and prayers as we begin to move through this process.  

Well, I have a baby who needs fed and a little girl who is turning into a giant raisin in the tub.  Time to run!  Hoping I'll be able to update more regularly now that we have settled into somewhat of a routine!