adoption, family life

Becoming Mine {foster adoption}


Excerpt of a typical day in my house:

The four- and five-year-old have begun to pester me about the next meal. It’s been roughly a half-hour since breakfast. I venture into the kitchen to make a cup of tea (a frequent occurrence in this house) but since I’m in the kitchen, they think there is a slight possibility I might be getting ready to feed them again. They hover at the door of the kitchen, staring. I tell them to please STOP STARING at me because it makes me feel like an animal at the zoo. I then demonstrate the staring rather theatrically and they think I’m hilarious.

“You’re a silly Mama!”

While relieved I haven’t come across as mean, I wonder if they got my point.
Probably not.

Jem has just told me for the 867th time today,

I love you, mom. I love you a lot more.

More than what? I have no idea.

After the 868th “I love you,” I tell him he needs to come up with something else to say. That I love you’s are nice, but there are all sorts of other things he could say during the day. He tells me,

“We don’t know how to talk a lot all the time like you always do.”

Lindsey, on the couch nearby, nearly falls on the floor laughing. When I tell Ken this story later, he laughs so hard he can’t catch his breath. {Apparently I talk a lot.}

After lunch, Jem is hovering near my desk, staring. Again. I urge him to find something to do. He says he doesn’t know what to do. I threaten to put him in time out if he can’t find something to play with. He disappears and I soon hear dirt bike vrooming noises that indicate he has indeed found something to do.

All day long there is so. much. noise. I’m unable to think with all that noise; every train of thought de-rails before it gets far. So I’ve instituted afternoon room time where the kids play by themselves in their rooms. They still manage to make noise, but less than when they are together. Usually they’re happy to have room time, but when they balk I remind them that Mama needs room time in order to be a nice Mama. They agree and into their rooms they go.

After room time, Jem announces [again!] how many meals are still left in the day. All day long he states the obvious. “LacyDog is wagging her tail!” “My dirt bike makes noise!” “There is a bird outside!” “You are making a shake!” “Lindsey is on the couch.” “Kathryn is reading a book!”

Ken and I believe he may have a career in sports announcing.

I can’t read more than a sentence of anything unless I hide away in my room, but I decide to venture out to the living room — which has turned into more play-room than living room. My Little Ponies and plastic dinosaurs and dirt bikes and stuffed animals and stickers and Hot Wheels litter the room and I remember why I don’t try to hang out in here much anymore.


A “good-enough” mom.

These kids drive me batty every day, but I am seeing progress in them. Perhaps even more crucial to my mental well-being, I see progress in myself. The fog of overwhelm is beginning to lift. Right now, I’m a good-enough mom: I give hugs and make meals and answer 300 questions a day and trim toenails and wash peed-in pants and make more meals and tuck them in and say bedtime prayers with them. And I do it all again the next day.

One day soon, I believe I’ll have the soundness of mind to do more. Take them to the playground and do messy art projects and let them help bake cookies and be a Fun Mama. For now, it’s okay that I’m a good-enough mom. I’m giving myself much-needed grace. It’s been a hard year.

They’re becoming mine.

Legally, we’re one step closer to making these children ours; last week we signed “intent to adopt” papers. All we wait on now is the required time period to pass before we may finalize their adoption, which should happen by October.

The kids are becoming mine in a more important way, too: in my head and my heart. Four months into this adventure, I finally no longer feel like this is one never-ending babysitting job. As crazy as these kids make me feel some days, they are my crazy-making children.

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Traci Best

YES. Exactly how I felt seven years ago when we first got placement of our three who were then 5, 5 and 4. I am attempting to prepare myself for the noise onslaught to come again if we get placement of this new sibling group. (2, 2, 3, 13 and 16) Thank you for sharing your post. It helps so much to know I have other Mom’s out there who have and continue to go through the same things I am! 😀


I love how you are making a home for these two little ones. They are so blessed to have you. Great idea for room time. Another good one is sit/book time where each one has a book or two or three and they learn to occupy themselves for a period of time in a chair.

Have fun!


Oh, how I can relate! The millions of questions, the stating of the obvious, the staring and the mob scene in the kitchen.!! It does get easier as everyone becomes more comfortable in their new rolls and feels more secure – at least a little bit!! 🙂 Hang in there and keep up the good work!

Zephyr Hill

Your sense of humor is such a blessing! I love that you can share what could just be plain infuriating and turn it into “crazy-making.” Just for the record, although I’m glad you’re giving yourself grace, I think you’re way beyond “good enough” in the mom rankingsi WAY beyond!


Jami, you’re doing what a lot of people COULD never and WOULD never do. For that, you are already way more than a “good-enough” mom! Just remember, Philippians 4:13– it’s through HIS strength that you can do all things. 🙂

For the record, also, I think it’s adorable that Jem says “I love you, mama” that much every day, as old as I’m sure it gets. 🙂

Faith G.

This post was amazing! Our first placement was Sept. 2011 and we are due in court in Oct to find out if we are able to sign those same intent to adopt papers! Being our first placement, we were originally supposed to have him for only 3 weeks. Now, almost two years later, he is one of us, except legally…. I have yet to decorate his room or buy anything that will be long term for him because there is always that fear. I had the same fear 4 years ago when we adopted our daughter from Korea. I know… Read more »

Again, I <3 you for being real. And, you? Talk a lot? Surely not. 😉

Kris @ Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. {evil grin}


While mine aren’t adopted, I can certainly relate to the NOISE. God bless those little loudmouths. I’m so glad you’ve all been blessed with each other.

Chandra Regan

Way to go, you talkative Mama!


hi ladies, I’m also new to homeschooling my son. Check out my blog to exchange ideas 🙂

Lady ID

Sounds exhausting but wonderful

Jin Ai@Mama, Hear Me Roar

Oh your heart is so big, and so full! Your kids are so blessed to have you, every single one of them.

My batty mind can relate to the so.much.noise! Room time is a great idea.


I’m getting the feeling that a sense of humor helps get you through times like this! Thanks for keeping it real, Jamie:) We are waiting for our sibling group right now…I can only imagine how their arrival will change our daily routine and noise level;)