Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Family...

It's that time of the year again... and everyone in the Knopf household can not wait! We leave on Saturday for a week at the beach! On Monday, Ben's birthfamily will join us at the beach house for our 6th annual Family Vacation! I know that they are as excited as we are about it!




We will spend long lazy days at the beach building sand castles & playing in the water, we will cook out in the evenings, go for long walks on the board walk, play board games, and of course charades... which has become a must every vacation... the girls get such a kick out of finding the girliest topics to get Big Dave to act out! We will make smores, & stay up too late catching up on life since last summers visit. We will laugh until our sides hurt and savor every second we all have together. The week will end all too soon with tearful goodbyes until next summer... another vacation, another beach... another time. We will pass that time with e-mails, pictures, and phone calls to stay in touch.




This is all normal to us... They are part of our family...we are part of theirs... our lives forever entangled through the miracle of Ben's adoption.


So I thought I would take a second to answer some of the many questions I am often asked about our choice to have a completely open adoption.


1. Was the adoption always open? Our adoption wasn't always "open" in the beginning we were as afraid of them as they were of us... we were afraid they would want him back, and they were afraid we wouldn't want him.



2.How did get in contact with eachother? Over 3 years time I wrote and sent pictures through our agency to pass to them. Through a very complicated series of events Renee and I were led to eachother by another birthmorther who also had a child with PWS who placed the baby for adoption... small, small world is all I can say.



3.How did you proceed after that initial contact? We started to e-mail eachother and a year later they flew east to meet us and see Ben for the first time in 3 years. I think we were all cautious that first year... not knowing if this was a good thing or if it would be a disaster. Obviously, it was a good thing and we had a great time getting to know them that first visit.



4. Isn't is weird or uncomfortable for all of you? It has never been weird or uncomfortable. We are most definitely Ben's Parents, Ben knows that and has never questioned it. For the first time a few months ago, he questioned whose tummy he grew in... see this post for the storyhttp://theknopfcrew.blogspot.com/2008/01/early-morning-conversations-with-ben.html I answered him honestly and it made perfect sense to him. We have always been honest with him and all the kids in regard to adoption. Honesty is the best policy.




5. How do you make it work? I think that to have a completely open relationship, all parties have to be honest and mature about the situation, we have had many heart to heart conversations about our feelings, hopes and fears for the future. We are honest and open in all aspects. No hidden agendas, no secrets.

it's the only way that this kind of a relationship is possible.
6. What about the other kids? Our oldest son Ryan has traveled west and spent a weekend with Renee and Mike at their house to just visit and to snowboard! The other kids all love them as well. The best way I can explain it is that its kind or like an Aunt, Uncle and Cousins situation the way everyone gets along and the way we all pitch in while we are vacationing to do the cooking, cleaning, watching the kids etc.



That's about all I can think of for now... if you have any questions for us, please feel free to ask... until then... we will be at the beach!

Monday, June 23, 2008

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?????

Here are a few shots from our annual Maroon and White spring football game and picnic at the High School last week... as always, it was a balst and so great to see the guys out on the field again!! Enjoy!

The team getting ready

Alex #79 White

Aric #91 White

Aric #91

Coach T giving the post game talk.. notice Ben in the Mix!Picnic after the game... David in line for some good food!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

10 Things I LOVE about Summer Vacation!

SUMMER IS SOOOO CLOSE!!!
and I am so ready for it! Alex and Aric finish exams and have their last day on Friday, everyone else finishes next Monday! What does that mean to me??

1. Not having to get up at "0'dark thirty" every morning to make 8 lunches

2. Not having to drag tired kids who are much like their mom and are NOT Happy Morning People out of their beds every morning.

3. Not having to listen to the morning fights by said Not Happy Morning People about the constant Hot Water and dry towel shortage that plagues us daily!!

4. Not having to chase them out the door as the bus is sitting at the end of the driveway... or better yet having to chase the bus down so as not to have to drive to East Lyme at 6:30 to get a grumpy teenager to his first class on time.

5. No more homework, research papers, projects, book reports etc...

6. No more worrying about bedtimes!

7. BEACH TIME and LOTS of IT!!

8. Sleeping late... understand anything past 6:30, I consider LATE!

9. Hanging by the pool with the kids and their friends.

10. My house being busy with activity all day long... I love having the kids and their friends here!

I could go on all day, but can you tell I am so ready???

Today, we have our Annual Maroon and White Football Game at the High School. It marks the end of Spring Football... we are celebrating with a big cook out for the team and their parents after the game! Stay tuned for pictures tomorrow... it is always a great time! The game is kind of a teaser for what is to come... football season is right around the corner and anyone who knows us, knows how BIG that is in our house! The Youth program starts August 1st and the High school towards the end of August, but right now we are planning away for the season.

We also leave for the beach for a weeks vacation in a week and a half! I absolutely can't wait! A whole week with the beach right out our front door! We have a house rented and Ben's birthfamily will be joining us for our annual summer get away. This will be the 6th year that we have doen vacation together and it is something that we look forward to all year long!

So.. BRING ON THE HEAT!!! IT'S SUMMERTIME!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

My 2 Favorite Pictures from last weekend...

David with his soccer coach...




Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Special Olympics Summer Games 2008

I hope you all enjoy the photo's from our weekend! David and Ben competed on the soccer team, and Jake participated as a unified player ( for those who don't know, a unified player is a player who does not have special needs that plays on the team or competes side by side with an athelete as a support person)

Aric ran as a unified partner on the track team, running the 4x100 relay and throwing shot put.

The soccer team came home with a 1st place Gold Metal in the 5-aside unified soccer team, Arics team came in second for shot put and 5th in the 4x100 relay.

Anyhow... turn up the sound and enjoy the show!!!

~Vicki




Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Mental Health Day!!!

Sorry I have not had time to write in lately... this time of the year is just crazy. We have been busy with Lacrosse, Spring Football ( YIPPEEE it's Starting!!!), Special Olympics, and several big around the house projects. I feel like I have been going a million miles an hour lately.

That being said... yesterday we decided to take a "mental health day". I kept David, Jake, Ben and Caroline out of school and we went with friends to 6 Flags for the day. We bought season passes this year, so it made for a fun and inexpensive day. The weather was great and the kids had a blast! We were there at 10am when the park opened and stayed until 6pm when they closed! The kids rode almost every ride in the park.. including Caroline who has become quite a daredevil!! She loves the roller coasters. Some of the high speed ones she isn't tall enough for (which is fine by me!!) but she loves the wooden ones and wants to ride again and again.


Ben is a little more cautious, but got into it after awhile and tried some new rides.


David though.... That kid... there isn't a ride fast enough, upside down enough, shake your guts out enough... for him... the faster, the scarier... the better for him!

Yesterday he and 2 friends rode on what is called a Skycoaster... It's basically a 180' free fall bungee jump... he LOVED it and went not once... but TWICE!! It just about made my heart stop to even watch it!! Check out the video I found of a similar ride to get the idea of what I am talking about...







video





We had a great time yesterday!

In other news, Today is Ryan's 19th Birthday... sigh... my baby is 19??? How the heck did that happen?






June 4, 1989

June 2008

Where has the time gone?? Happy Birthday Ryan!

We are gearing up for Special Olympics State Games this weekend, so stay tuned for some great pictures next week. We leave on Friday night and will be staying on campus at SCSU.. the kids are so excited to be staying in the dorms... It should be a fun weekend!

Have a great rest of the week!

Vicki