Birthday Season

In three weeks we will enter what shall forever be known as Birthday Season. Over the course of 44 days, we will celebrate SEVEN birthdays!

Adrian is first. He’ll turn 12. Then 9 days later the twins will turn 1. Eight days after that N will turn 2. Five days later, the closest spacing, Fritz will turn 14. One week after that A will turn 3. And, finally, 15 days, the longest spacing, later, M will turn 4.

This means I will have three one-year-olds for 8 days. And then I’ll have two two-year-olds for 12 days. And then two three-year-olds for 15 days.

As an added bonus, two weeks before the start of Birthday Season, Jamie and I will celebrate our anniversary and the end of Birthday Season, M’s birthday, also happens to be Jamie’s mum’s birthday.

My wallet is already cringing at the thought of buying all the birthday presents every Birthday Season.

Why Public School?

Since these kids are adoptive placements, we could legally homeschool them without CPS permission. But we are not going to homeschool them. I don’t know if we will ever homeschool them. We might, we might not. It’ll just depend on how things go.


Three main reasons, really.

1.) There is a reason the children ended up in foster care. CPS doesn’t pull kids from healthy, functional homes. There is a reason their birth mother relinquished her rights and their birth father had his terminated. These reasons can lead to problems down the road that we can only sort of anticipate (sort of because we know possibilities, but don’t know for these specific kids). Some of those potential problems could cause difficulties in learning.

And so it’s a really good thing to have a professional who knows what normal looks like at any given age to be in regular contact with them. That way we can know they are progressing normally and, if not, early intervention can happen before it becomes too much of an obstacle to overcome.

2.) These kids are super close in age and really need breaks from each other. They are very attached to each other and extremely bonded, but like all siblings, sometimes they just need their own space, time, and friends. And with such close ages, that kind of goes double.

3.) Quite honestly, with so many so young, I need a break, too. My older two bios were 1 1/2 years apart and my younger two were 2 years apart. It’s a lot more intense with one after another one year apart and then twins. Homeschooling six elementary schoolers would be insane.

I don’t love public school. There are a lot of things I hate about it including the sheer amount of time (7+ hours each day) kids spend there. But there are definite benefits like it’s free (I’ve still got to buy school supplies and clothes whether they are home or not) and there are a lot of extra curricular activities they can choose from. So, because it really is best for The Six, at least for now, we will embrace the positive and enjoy public school for as long as they attend, whether that is 4 years or 14.

I find myself enrolling kids in school once again…

Once again I find myself enrolling kids in school. E will be in kindergarten in the fall and M will be in pre-k (all foster kids get to go to public pre-k for free, as do all kids adopted from foster care).

Pre-k is done in clusters and there is not one at the elementary school we are zoned for so M will go to a school a couple miles away. E will be at the same elementary school the boys went to for half a year. Adrian’s kindergarten teacher has since retired, but Fritz’s second grade teacher is still there.

I will have all six at the elementary school at the same time for two years since E will be in 4th grade when Babies A and B are in kindergarten.

Adrian is learning!

For all the reasons we have found for not continuing with Power Homeschool, retention of what has been taught is not it. At least for Adrian. He learns very well from listening (if he is interested in the topic at least). He keeps telling us what he has been learning, particularly in ancient civilizations. It’s really sticking.

The other day he was telling us some stuff he had learned over the previous few days. I had overheard some of it so I know he was very accurate in telling us about it. He was explaining about the religion in China and Jamie said, “Shinto, right?” and Adrian immediately said, “No, that’s in Japan.” So I’d say that’s a huge win for Power Homeschool.

Lesson Planning

I’ve been working on Fritz’s lesson plans for ninth(!) grade next year. I’m making him a worktext basically. He said he learns best from reading so there’ll be a lot of reading in there for him to do. I realized it’s going to be very, very long when the first four weeks took 88 pages. I’m rather proud of how it’s turning out honestly. I think it’ll work very, very for him.


The Six’s hair comes in a range of textures, but N’s is the most “typically” black and so takes the most care. His hair is thick and curly and so beautiful. His hair is the most fun to do because even at one-year-old he’s incredibly patient and usually sits still for as long as I need to take.

After a night’s sleep, N’s hair is pretty wild. The first thing I do is spray it with water with a little jojoba oil mixed in.

We use Bella Curls Coconut Whipped Creme Leave-in Conditioner. We chose it simply because the kids’ grandmother uses it and recommended it. It works great leaving their hair super soft and their curls just perfect.

We use a detangling brush specifically made for thick curly hair. Between the brush, the water, and the conditioner, it’s easy to get the tangles out and give definition to their curls.

Some days I get creative with N’s hair. It’s definitely in need of a trim at this point, but that’ll have to wait a couple months. I love putting his hair up in a toddler bun. It’s just so adorable.

It’s been a crash course in caring for hair I am definitely not used to since we got the toddlers and the babies’ hair has gotten longer. I think I’m getting the hang of it.

Because my kids are awesome…

They gave my some awesome Mother’s Day presents yesterday.

This week was Adrian’s turn to give the talk/lesson/spiritual thought during our home Sacrament Meeting. He wrote his talk himself and it was all about how important I am and how much I do. He did a great job and will always get to be one of the few kids who gave their very first Sacrament Meeting talk at home.


(In our home church, dress clothes are required for 10 and up, but shoes are optional.)

Ani, Fritz, and Adrian got together and ordered a personalized message for me from Corbin Bernsen. He played Henry Spencer on Psych. I LOVE Psych. It ended up being really long and was totally awesome. Like the awesomest thing ever, really.


And Cameron, my wonderful second born Cameron, gave me this most fabulous mug and filled it with Milk Way bars (my current favorite candy bar). I got a big laugh out of what the mug says.


Adoption Subsidy

I’ve had a lot of people ask how in the world we can afford to adopt six kids. Kids are expensive. That is true. And, so, in order to help get typically less adoptable kids adopted and out of foster care, the state does help a little bit to offset those costs through the adoption subsidy.

The adoption subsidy applies to what they call special needs adoptions. The Six qualify as special needs because they are a sibling group. Since they are minorities, being adopted individually four of them would qualify because they will be over the age of two at adoption (white children have to be six or older).

In Texas, for a kid who was basic level of care while in DFPS conservatorship (as The Six are), you get the following:
-$400 a month until the child turns 18
-Medicaid until the child turns 18*
-Tuition and fee waiver at any public college or university in the state**
-One time $1200 payment per kid paid to the adoption attorney
-Qualify for entire federal adoption tax credit***
-Post-adoption services until the child turns 18****

*They will also be on our regular insurance. Medicaid will be secondary, but that means unless we take them to an out of network doctor, we won’t have to pay co-pays or deductibles.
**They have to take at least one class by 25, but then they can take as many classes as they want for as long as they want. Theoretically they could become a doctor or lawyer by going only to Texas universities.
***The adoption credit is a non-refundable credit that reduces the taxes you owe. Basically, we won’t pay federal income tax for the next few years because of that tax credit because if the adoption was a special needs adoption – meaning the child qualified for the state subsidy – you get the entire credit regardless of how much you actually paid to adopt the kids.
****Post-adopt includes things like training, support groups, counseling, residential placement services, therapeutic camps, and other such things we might need as the children get older.

Obviously the adoption subsidy doesn’t cover all – or even a large part – of the costs associated with raising a child. But it does make it so people who might not otherwise be able to adopt can and those kids get forever families.