Thursday, December 31, 2009

He's back :)

He got back about an hour and half after he left and I was able to breathe again :) Apparently he did well and so far since he has been back he has been doing well, so that is all good news. I am very interested to see what tonight's sleeping will be like! Praying that we have a good night as well :)

I had offered to have the birthparents call me from the CM cell phone if they had any questions about his development/behaviors, but they never called. I found it odd, because she has asked his CM several times to have my phone number. I told her that I was not willing to give that out (I have no idea who these people are!) but that I would speak to them on the CM's cell during the visit. CM said the only things that they wanted to know were my race and what I used on his hair because it smelled good. Ummmmmm.....ok! I guess it's just me, but if I hadn't seen my son for a month I would be asking a heck of a lot more questions!

There was a court date yesterday and apparently some "stuff" wasn't taken care of, so I have no idea where we are going from here! Apparently we also are going to have a new CM already (just got this one last week!) but the current CM only knows her first name and can't get in contact with her. I am a pretty organized, "know what you're doing/have a plan" kind of person and this is really a growing experience for me!! God must want me to learn more patience, because He certainly has put me in a situation to learn :)!

Birthparent visit

Little Man is off to his first birthparent visit this morning. I have such mixed feelings about this! I know that the goal of foster care is reunification with his birth family and I PRAY that they really are going to work their case plan and be reunited, but at the same time it's been a month since he has seen her (and "acting daddy"). I wish I could be a fly on the wall right now. I am wreck right now waiting to hear how it all went!

I knew the call was coming this morning...I could sense it. The whole morning was "off" and Little Man screamed for 45 minutes (in my arms!) and never took a nap. The morning nap is usually his smoothest. His case manager called soon after he stopped and they are meeting right now.

I didn't realize how much just a visit with them was going to affect me. It's even affecting Mr. A's behavior. It's a very hard thing for a child to grasp :( It's part of the process, but that doesn't make it any easier. I can't imagine the basket case I'll be if/when he goes back to his parents permanently! It's amazing the bond that God can create in such a short amount of time :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Added Bonus!

When we were taking our foster care classes we learned that licensed foster parents get a discount every month on a membership to the YMCA. Now that we have our official license we called and checked it out! We get a discount of 80%!!!!!!!! It will only be about $16 a month for our whole family!! I can't wait to get all the kids in the heated pool :) Mr. M and I are excited to get in shape again, although Little Man has jump started that...I'm down 5 pounds already from all the bouncing and being so busy I'm forgetting to eat-LOL! Ready to be active again!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry CHRISTmas!!!!

Merry CHRISTmas everyone!! I pray that you are celebrating the birth of our Savior with your family and friends!! Today is a wonderful day as we watch the kids listen as the story of Jesus's birth is told, and then tear open their gifts! We do 3 gifts each to show the significance of the wise men's gifts :-)

It was bittersweet watching Little Man open (ok...he had a little help from some loving foster brothers!) his presents. As I watched the joy on his face when he saw his new light up crawling ball, my heart felt sad that his birthmother/father weren't there to enjoy those moments. His FIRST Christmas! My heart also broke to know that they could have celebrated with him but aren't. I'm not here to judge..that's God's job alone and they will need to show account to him for their actions, but the situation is just so sad.

However, we are SO BLESSED that we got share those moments with him and that we get to have him in our lives for however long God decides! :)

Be Blessed Friends!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's Gonna Be Worth It!


Ahhh...this is a whole new experience..ok well not totally new, but definitely with a twist! I know plenty about attachment and ways to help encourage it from our other adoptions, but with Mr. A he was only 4 days old and although he grieved some, we were really all he knew outside of the womb. With Mr. I coming home at 1 year old it was much more challenging, but in Korea he had a healthy attachment with his foster family which made it much easier for us to form a strong attachment.

With Little Man things are different! He is 6 months old, has experienced things he never should have had to and did not experience a healthy attachment. I believe he had an attachment to his parents (at least Mom), but not what is healthy/typical. The first several weeks were ok and I realized he was experiencing some grieving, but nothing like we have been seeing recently! Whew! This kid has a scream to pierce the soul! Mostly it shows up only at naptimes or bedtime. He wakes often (to make sure we are still there) and before he goes to sleep he will scream, arch, rage for 10-15 and then suddenly relax and go to sleep. I'll be honest..this is NOT easy, but as I posted on facebook this morning, 'God is not concerned with our comfort; He's concerned with our character.'

I have some amazing friends who have given us great suggestions to help Little Man (and us!) and we would love if you would join us in praying for his attachment to us to develop and that he develops trust in us as well. Thank you!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Case Manager!

We have one! It is nice to have a contact person now and while we really didn't gain any more info about what is going on we did learn of court dates and the case plan meeting, so that is good to know that things are moving along. His parents don't currently have visitation, so they will miss sweet baby's first Christmas :( This breaks my heart! We are blessed though that we are the ones who get to share this momentous occasion with him :)!

Friday, December 18, 2009

6 months old!!!

I am so bummed that I can't really share his picture here because he is so stinkin' cute, but little man is 6 months old today! In the 18 days he has been here he has learned to roll more efficiently (gotten his arms out from under him), sit independently, begin to hold his bottle, begin to self-feed and more :) He is such a little blessing to all of us and feel special to get to be a part of this sweet baby's life!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Whenever I go out with the three kids I get quite the stares, looks, and sometimes comments. I have one bi-racial child (White/Asian), one Korean, and another bi-racial (white/black). You can see the wheels in their heads turning and sometimes I wonder what on earth they are thinking (their ages are 5yrs, 3yrs, 5mos). Of course there are times when there is no question what they are thinking when they make an insensitive or rude comment, but I have tried really hard to think of these people as uneducated and not just ignorant. I can think of many topics/situations where if I were to try to comment I too would sound dumb, however if I was given more info on the topic I would be able to speak more appropriately about it.

I have come to think of my life as an opportunity to educate those who have no clue about adoption, foster care, trans-racial families, etc. God has given us a special purpose to care for these children, and I believe that along with that goes the responsibility to share how positive these things are and how their lives can be touched by them too! In addition to that, because I have taken the time to educate them on proper language, appropriate questions, etc, the next time they meet an adoptive/foster family, they won't make that same mistake, and through a chain reaction, change can be made :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

On the mend

THANK GOD Little Man is on the mend!!! Last night was rough, but the two nights before that we each got consecutive hours of sleep! He is sounding so much better and we are praying that this was an isolated incident and not something that happens every time he gets sick or that it is asthma. Time will tell us the answer to that. He still has a horrible cough, but at least it is a congested cough and not a "I can't breathe" cough. We took the kids to the park yesterday and he simply LOVED the sand on his feet. It was so cute to hear him giggle (after so much crying lately) as he dug his feet into the sensory problems there! :-)

We haven't heard anything else about his case and we *should* be assigned a case worker this week (I would think) so that things can move forward. He has been here for a few days shy of 2 weeks, but we all love him so much already! Mr. A and Little Man already have a special little bond and if I say Mr. A's name he starts looking around. The same goes for if he hears his voice but can't see him. Today Mr. A said "I just love my whole family...including "M"! " I love to see how my kids have wrapped their hearts around this little guy and have shown him sibling love. I hate to think what their reactions will be when (if) we have to say goodbye to him at some point. This is where we put all that faith in trust in God to help us handle that!!!

Overall, Little Man is doing great! He is trying some news foods, actively working at getting around and blessing our lives :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Our Little Man adventures....

Last week Little Man started with a cough/cold. I wasn't too concerned, until I started to hear wheezing in the middle of night a few nights ago. He made it through the day on Wednesday, but by Wed night I knew he had to be seen. So, off to the ER we went where they immediately treated him with the nebulizer. We stayed for awhile, and they gave him another treatment and some steroids. He was doing better but we needed to follow up with the pediatrician the next morning. He had a rough night that night. Yesterday morning at the ped. he got 2 more treatments and we were told to continue with the meds and come back in the morning. Today he sounded better, but still is retracting and wheezing a bit. She said if he continues like this he should be able to handle it, but if he gets any worse he will need to be hospitalized :(
PRAYING that doesn't happen! We will be back in her office Monday morning for Isaac (re-check) and for little man to be checked on. At this rate I'll owe people "I owe you's" for Christmas-LOL!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

More details...

Last night we had Little Man's first CPI visit. Basically she just came over to take his picture and ask if we had any questions. She wasn't able to tell us the whole story of what happened, but she did give us some more details about the situation and how he came into care happened. It totally breaks my heart! I can't share details here for confidentiality reasons, but please be praying for these children...not just Little Man, but ALL children in foster care! Based on what we were told, it looks like Little Man will be here for quite awhile.

Last night was a tough one! He wouldn't sleep unless I was standing up and holding him on my chest! Seriously, I got about 3 hours of sleep. I just keep thinking of things from his perspective and that definitely helps me to remain more patient and calm amidst the screaming-LOL! My husband said "That's a sight I'll never forget. You walking back and forth giving such love to someone else's child trying to calm him down." Awww :) I have toothpicks holding my eyes open today, but the baby is happy and the other kids are having a much better day today as well, so Praise God for it all!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Well two nights ago was grieving and last night although better was still a challenge because he was up not being able to breathe. Poor thing how has a chest cold and his little cough is just pitiful :( Despite being sick, his attitude has been pretty good today. He is getting really good at rolling and he is already trying to get his knees up to do the army crawl! Yikes...we could be in trouble. He is definitely starting to teeth and there is drool galore! His poor chin has a terrible rash from all the wetness. We are trying to keep it dry and put Vit. E on it to heal the skin and it seems to be improving. Please all you established mommies if you have any other suggestions please pass them along :)

Our sleepywear carrier arrived the other day and we are totally in LOVE!! It took me a few times to get it right and tight enough, but once he is in there he is quiet in seconds and usually asleep in minutes! He giggles each time he sees me putting it on :)!!

I tell ya...the absolute hardest thing about foster care is going to be having to return them back to their parents. We as foster parents must love them with all our hearts and not hold back any love because of our fear of loss. These kids deserve no less than all that we have. Should Sweet Baby return to his birthmom, then God must have a plan in it all and we just have to obey and trust that He has a greater plan. Man will we grieve, but Sweet Baby is worth every tear! Many have asked us how long he will be here, and the answer we give is that we have NO idea! Although it is considered an abandonment case, there is birthmother contact, so I'm not really sure how this will proceed. We will just take it a day at a time and enjoy our time with Little M :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Totally exhausted!

Two nights ago and then yesterday it became glaringly obvious that sweet baby has a major gas/digestion issue and was in a lot of pain and just plain unhappy :( A friend suggested I try soy formula and see if that works. I went out yesterday and got a can and couldn't believe the difference!! He is so much happier and although he still needs to burp several times a feeding, he doesn't scream in agony anymore :)!!! BUT...last night I think he really started to grieve his loss :( Actually it's a good thing (rather than not dealing with it), but he would not let us set him down at all. Usually he falls asleep in my arms, and then I lay him down with no issue. We tried several times to no avail...he started screaming the minute we laid him down. So...I slept with him in my arms most of the night (note: HE slept...hence my title!) and I am praying that tonight he is able to sleep in his crib again. If I get a chance I will try to post something about little ones and grieving later. I have gotten comments in the past (in regards to my other children) from people who do not believe that babies experience stress or grieve...that's simply not true! He is very aware that things are not "right" and he just has to express that differently. Ok..sweet baby is crying I go!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Still looking good!

Things with Little M are still going well! He went down at 7:30 last night :) He woke up at 11:30 b/c of gas, and then 4:30 again because he soaked through his diaper, his gums were bothering him (the joys of teething!) and a bottle. He went back to sleep after that and slept until 8:00! I can do this schedule!!! It is horribly embarrassing, but my arms are killing me! This chunky monkey weighs in at 18lbs and my weakling arms aren't used to carrying an 18 lb weight around all day-LOL! The carrier will certainly help with that :) I think he may be starting with a bit of a cold, so I need to check into his Medicaid status today just in case he needs to be seen. I have a few other calls to make today and then our FDS will be over this afternoon to meet Little M :) It's definitely an adjustment having a baby in the house again (pre-thinking everything!) but it really has been a joy! Mr. A and Mr. I (yes! He's coming around) are loving on sweet Little M and giving him kisses galore! Mr. I was even kissing him this morning while he fed him his bottle :) There's something so cute about a 5yo saying in a high pitch voice "who's my cute baby?" over and over that just tickles me-LOL!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

So Blessed!

Many of you have probably noticed my wishlist of sorts in the right hand column. Well....I have been wanting a Moby carrier ever since I heard of them, BUT today I got a comment (see below) from a woman who sells the sleepy wrap ( The only difference is the material they are made of. She chose to bless us with a free one!!!! God is so good and using Little M to touch the hearts of many already :) I encourage you to check our her website and look into getting one for your little ones!! Thanks again Ashley!!

First morning together...

Well Little M is a GREAT sleeper!!! He went to sleep at 8:30 last night and slept until 7:30 this morning without waking up at all!!!! :) He got up and Mr. I helped me feed him a bottle :) Mr. A is totally in love with Little M!! He was sad when he went down for a nap. He played with him all morning. At about 9:30 Little M went down for a nap and slept for another hour. CPI just picked him up about 1/2 hour ago for his medical check-up. I would not be surprised if he was 20 lbs! I need to start working out just to carry him around-LOL!

The details of why he came to us are pure heartbreaking, but we feel so blessed that God choose us to take care of this little one. He is just so sweet and is a blessing to our family!

We took a break from homeschooling this morning to get adjusted and get a feel for Little M.'s routine and what our new "normal" will look like :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

He's here!

We got a call this evening that a little 5 mo old baby boy was abandoned and needed a home! We of course said yes! He is here :) He arrived sleeping and Mr. A and Mr. I were disappointed. He woke up about 1/2 hour later screaming his little lungs out! LOL! He is a heavy little guy and doesn't look like he's missed many feedings at all. He LOVES the Christmas tree and the looking at the lights got him to stop crying and I even got some smiles and laughs :) He is simply sweet! He had a bottle about 8:30 and fell asleep after some bouncing in my arms in about 5 min. Not bad! Poor thing has had a very long and hard day...praying we all get some sleep tonight! My other two are both not feeling well so I joked with Mr. M that God was preparing me this week for a baby! :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Still waiting...

We are still waiting for our first official call!!! Everytime the phone rings I think "this is it!" and then....nope :( I'm sure it will happen soon!

Monday, November 23, 2009


We are finally able to get back to life and the original plan :) We should be back on "the list" today and maybe we'll get a call soon! Actually we already had one, but we said "no." I had literally stepped in the house from my trip to Iowa and 2 minutes later we got a call for a 2 week old baby boy! I wanted so bad to say "YES!" but like I said I just got home and we were having my parents come in the next day for 5 days. So...we start fresh today and see what happens!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

On hold before we even get started

We got some sad news last night that my Grandmother is very near to death and I will need to be traveling very soon out of state. That means that it would of course not be a good idea to accept a placement knowing that. So...unfortunately we are on hold with placement until we know more and I get back from being out of town. God knew all of this was going to happen and so we just go along with His plan!

Divine opportunity

Once a week I volunteer at a pregnancy center and every night is something different! Last night I had a divine appt with a young woman. There was some conflict with her at the beginning (some people like to take advantage) but as things settled in she totally became broken for her sister and her newborn nephew. That very morning he had been taken from her by DCF from the hospital. Her hearing is this morning and she totally believed that she was getting her baby back this am. The baby was born with drugs in his system and she has a previous DCF case with her 5 yo son. I was able to use some of the knowledge that I gained about the system and explained the process to her a bit. Please be in prayer for "Kelly." She is the mother and needs protection from herself at this point...her sister is very concerned about post-partum depression and what she might do to herself :(

Monday, November 9, 2009

We did it!!!

We could get a call to accept a child anytime now :) I can't wait to post that we have our first little one!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

1st Time!!!!

I got the following email from our FDS today...

Sooo you guys had NO kickbacks! This is a first for me. Your packet is being reviewed by DCF now. HKI gave us tons of kudos on the assessment and your completion of the paperwork. Congrats and get ready because you guys will be licensed soon enough!

It will be soon!!! :-) How exciting!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

How you can help #2

Tape a waiting child’s picture to your refrigerator and pray for the child every time you walk by ... Visit ,, or for pictures of waiting kids.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

National Adoption Month!!!

It's National Adoption Month!! In our country there are approx. 500,000 in foster care and 143 million orphans around the world. There are many ways to help....stay tuned for more ideas!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I talked to our FDS and things are moving quickly! She said that our paperwork went to the county yesterday and they have a week turn-around. After that it is off to DCF and I believe they have 30 days! We're looking at December to be licensed! Yay!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Celebrating tonight :)

Tonight we decided that we are celebrating our accomplishment!! We are taking the kids to see "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" and then out to a Thai restaurant! Mr. M never eats Thai food, but has conceded because it is a special occasion! :) It's Little I's first movie, so this will be very interesting! I'm not sure he's going to make it through the whole thing, but maybe if we keep pushing popcorn at him he'll be quiet-LOL!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Done!! (again! lol!)

As of last night we are officially done with MAPP 10 and our paperwork can be finalized at our agency :) They said that our paperwork should be going to the county agency by next week (with a quick turn-around) and then off to DCF! They technically have 30 days to complete the paperwork!. So...the rough estimate is around 60 days until we are licensed!!! :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Health inspection update! turned out after several phone calls between several people that we did not need a separate fire inspection (the inspector said I requested it! Yeah right!) Anyway, the health inspection was no big deal and I hope we get that guy every year! It literally was like 7 minutes!! No violations! So...our FDS just needs to finish the homestudy and we are DONE with everything :) WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Inspection Day!

Today we have both our health inspection and fire inspection! Thank God that they are close together on the same day...I hate cleaning! There is definitely a nervousness in the unknown of what to expect. I'm sure next time it won't be so nerve wracking! I'll update later on how they went :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Training nine is OVER and we are DONE!!!!!!!!! It was so encouraging that after nine weeks of SO much that there were so many people left in our class. Of course plenty dropped out as well, but they said that it was very unusual for this many people to be left. Great news for the children of our county :) Just still waiting for the health inspection and then just wait to hear that we are officially licensed! The journey is about to begin!!!! :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Training eight

ALMOST DONE!!!! I'm not sure what it was, but last night was the longest training ever! I know I wasn't the only one...the women's bathroom at the break was all abuzz about how terribly dry this class was :( Tonight's topic was about helping the children transition out of foster care and how that loss could affect them. The material was good actually, it was the presentation that lacked affect :( Both Mr. M and I have considered how hard it is going to be for them to leave us, but it was interesting to see the perspective of the child in that situation whether it is going back to birthfamily or a new adoptive home. We discussed what our responsibilities as foster parents are in each of these situations.

We got home about 9:30, and after a snack (A. requested peas! LOL! what 5yo asks for a bowls of peas??? LOL!) so once again the boys didn't get to bed until about 9:45 :( I. was up at about 7:00 and A. is still sleeping as I type! Yay! I'm expecting another long day of tired kids, but the light is in view!!! Next week is our last class at the YMCA and then the following week we have class at our individual agencies and then we are DONE!!! I spoke to our FDS yesterday and we are done with our responsibilities for paperwork and we just need a few small things like buying a fire extinguisher and getting our health inspection! When this process is done we need to have some sort of celebration!!!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Training Seven!

Whew...we only have 3 left!!!! We are defininitely moving toward the finish line :) The boys were staying here with a babysitter so they could still get to bed on time, but she got a job (Praise God!) so she can't watch them anymore, and unfortunately we don't have any family here, so that means they are coming with us till the end! The meetings are at the YMCA so they go in the play area and have a blast. The only downfall is that the meetings last until 9:00pm and then by the time we get home, pj's, teeth brushed, etc it's almost 9:45. A. always needs some time to unwind, so it was probably 10:15 before he went to sleep! Today should be fun!

Tonight's training was about keeping birthfamily connections and how that take shape. Besides the kids leaving our home after being with us for awhile, I think working with the birthfamilies has the potential to be the second difficulty. I think that for some families it will be rewarding to help them get their kids back but for those where I know that the child has been abused, etc it's going to be difficult to want to encourage those connections. Something I need to be in prayer about for sure!!

The trainers also passed around someone's lifebook (a family no one knows). They encourage us to create lifebooks (doesn't have to be fancy) for each child that come through our home. A lifebook chronicles a child's life before finding their forever family. I have created lifebooks for each our children and although our foster children's won't be as pretty or detailed, it will be a piece of them that they will need/want to know when they get older. I highly recommend the book "Before you were mine" by Susan TeBos and Carissa Woodwyk. The lifebook they passed around was basically some pictures in a book (more of a photo album) but I hope that I will be able to add narration about them and as much detail as possible to fill in any holes for them, especially since we will have the little ones and they won't be able to remember us or that time of their life.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More deals!

Yesterday a woman emailed me and said that if I want to come and peruse through her bin of baby clothes I could fill a grocery bag for $3! Ummm..Yeah! So I went over and then she started asking me what else we needed (she knew we were preparing for foster care). I only had $15 cash, but in addition to the clothes I got an infant car seat! She has several other items like a bouncer, swing, and more all for $15-25 a piece! I have to go back later with more cash :-)

On another note....we have all our paperwork in except for 2 babysitter forms (I'll have those in hand on Sat.) and one of our neighbor references. We don't really know these people, so we feel a bit awkward going over and bugging them again. It's so funny how God eases our minds....after dinner tonight there is a knock on the door and there was our neighbor needing a jump for his truck :) No problem! Mr. M was able to introduce himself and the neighbor said they were sending in the form this week. Praise God! I don't have to wonder anymore, and they got their vehicle working :)! Love it! The list in my side bar is slowly going down!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cool deal!

I have been searching on craigslist for a good deal on a crib for weeks now. I finally found someone that had just moved to this area (into an apt) and needed to get rid of her crib and threw in a boppy pillow too! :) We sold a loveseat that we had for $50 and that's exactly what we paid for the crib/mattress and boppy!! :) It turns out that they too had moved from Michigan due to her husband's job. They also have (we had) a house in MI that hasn't sold and they are currently renting it out. It was so clear that she was from up it! The kids didn't want to leave because they had so much fun playing with their 3 year old and his toys! :) we only need a small dresser for the little one's clothes and the room is set!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Great deals!

Our Once Upon a Child here had a huge clearance sale yesterday on all their clothes and I was able to get lots of little girls clothes for a total of $5.50!!! Woo Hoo!!! I also was able to get a baby bath tub for $8.50! I also have a connection with a woman who I am going to try to meet up with later today to get a great deal on a crib/mattress that converts to a toddler bed as well :) We of course are still praying for any donations and/or provisions for the rest of the things needed. Last week I learned about the Moby carrier (see link in side bar) and I definitely want one of these! The woman I spoke with said they are particularly great for newborns that have been born addicted to drugs because of the intense closeness it encourages. I am now off to my second of three trainings for "behavioral analysis!" It has been a great class and I have learned so much already :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What's been going on...

Last Saturday was the first of my "extra" classes called "Behavior Analyst" training. It was actually very beneficial and it the skills that it teaches are things that I am able to use for both my kids now as well as any foster children in our home. Obviously with foster care you can't use any type of punishment and the things that people use are limited, so they of course try to help us by replaceing those negative things with positive things that really work. :) We have been using it for several days now and it's awesome to hear my kids not only listening and being more positive, but also for them to be treating each other better! The other day we were walking to the pool and we were just about to cross the street and A. grabbed I's hand and said "hold my hand buddy. I don't want you to get hurt!" When they finished crossing the street I. looked at A. and said "Thank you A. for holding my hand!" cute!

Monday was our second of three homestudy visits. We really love our FDS and you can tell that she is there for us and really cares! It's always hard to bear your soul and be open and honest about every single major (and minor) event in your life, but when you know that the other person isn't just doing a job, but rather really cares it makes it a bit easier :) We are ALMOST done with our paperwork and I can't believe we are almost to the waiting game part. The person (yes only one man) that approves the files for our county is about 2 months behind plus we are at the state of MI's mercy because we need clearance from them as well. a few weeks time it will just be a wait and see when God places our first child :-)

We **think** we may have a possible crib, so now we can have the room totally done :) The next several months will be looking for deals for all those baby goodies! I've already started to pick up deals/clearance as I see them :) Exciting!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Training Number Five!

WE ARE 1/2 WAY DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Last night we had to go an hour early for the pool safety class because we have a pool near our home. I can't say that I learned anything new, but one more thing to check off the list. Once again we were blessed last night with the replacement trainer :) I learn so much better from him. Last night started the 2 week discussion on behavior. Last night's topic was mostly about coercives and how we get children (or adults!) to do what we want them to do. This is something that is used in "reactive parenting." The goal of course is to be a pro-active parent and stop problems before they start. More on that next week :) It is always good to get new ideas on how to parent our kids better...not only foster kids, but of course all of that was good for our kids too :) So much of what we do as parents (even coercives) come from what our parents taught us (inadvertently of course!)

I just had the realization that tomorrow starts the 3 week Saturday course that I have to attend on "behavior analyst" training. Ohh.....I am tired-LOL! 4 hours on a Saturday! I really hope this is some good information! We still have some paperwork to complete, but that pile is slowly going away-YAY!!! We have our second homestudy visit on Monday as well! Somewhere in there I need to figure out when to get groceries, go to Sam's Club, clean my house, etc! "It's gonna be worth it" is my motto lately!!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Training Number Four...

Moving right along! We are almost 1/2 way done with training!!! Last night we were excited to see a subsitute trainer!! I guess we just learned better from him and he was very engaging :) We did a guided imagery activity last night and put ourselves in a place that would be similar to the children that would be coming into our home. Of course nothing could truly emulate that experience (unless you were a foster child yourself)but it did help us to understand some of the situations they will be going through and what happens to them. Last night's topic was primarily about attachment and building those trust bonds.

Our FDS was there last night as well with yep...more paperwork! I think my eyeballs are going to pop out! We apparently need 2 neighbor references. Well...we have lived here about 6 months and other than "hello" we don't really know any of our neighbors :( However, that doesn't seem to matter! We need to now walk up to these people we don't know and ask them to a reference for us! I'm making Matt do that! LOL! They aren't really warm and inviting people, so that should be interesting!

All of this paperwork, preparation, and training had me thinking again about our adoptions. I was thinking that perhaps if some of these requirements were in place for adoption (i.e. mandatory attendance at training where they discuss loss, attachment, bahviors and how to deal with them)maybe there wouldn't be so many disruptions. People have definitely dropped out of our class (although not too many!) because they just aren't ready/prepared to handle it. That's okay! If adoption agencies really did a good job of letting prospective adoptive parents know what they are getting into, maybe they would realize that it isn't for them. That could save a child that extra loss in their life of being rejected and moved again! I think that this should also be region specific and include what to expect from that region, what complications are typical and most of all to connect you with other successful families that have completed adoptions from that country/region. Wishful thinking??

I don't feel that we were adequately prepared for our adoptions and if it weren't for my sister and the host of other wonderful adoptive/Christian families to support us, this road would have been MUCH more difficult! So...although all of this paperwork, etc is a huge pain, it will ALL BE WORTH IT when we see firsthand that we have shown the love of God to a child in need.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Kingdom sized goal!!!

You can check out these links for more information on this amazing goal ... and here for more information :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Training three...

Moving right along....tonight was interesting because we talked a lot about loss and grieving and what that looks like in our own lives, and then how that manifests in children. Our trainer was talking about how with each horrible experience that happens to a child (while still with their birthfamily) a hole is created and they come to you with "holes" that need to filled up. We try as foster parents to close up or fill up those holes with love, comfort, affection, etc and just when they begin to trust you, someone(could be a family member or friend) knocks them off that ladder that they just started to climb. Every situation is different and every child will have different needs and those needs will have to be responded to in different ways.

For the next week we need to get things notarized, complete our radon test, and get fingerprinted, oh... and more homework..gotta love it right? Man...I thought adoption had a lot of steps and "stuff" to complete, but that is a piece of cake compared to all this stuff!! LOL!!!

Needing to prepare!

So as part of last night's "talk" we were told that we need to set up a room for the baby (or toddler) that will be staying with us. This will require some room switching, and we need to get a crib and dresser for the child. We are keeping it to any child 2 or younger because of the ages of our own children. If you have either of these items or anything baby that you are interested in getting rid of, please contact me! :) We sold/gave away all of our baby stuff over the past several moves! :(

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Tonight we had our first homestudy visit! We really like our FDS :) Tonight was mostly paperwork and we walked around the house looking for potential things the health inspector might note. The only thing that we have to work on is that all chemicals and medicines need to be under lock and key. We will probably have to switch the boys bedroom to the office area because there is no window and "they" may have a problem with that. Other than those things, we are on track :) We received more paperwork tonight and were notified of a new 3 week training course on Sat. with no childcare. She's going to see what she can do for us, because Mr M. can't take another 3 Saturdays off (he's in charge)!! Anyway, it was so cute because at the end we were setting up our next visit and our FDS asked "what time is good for you?" A. chimed in and said "Ummm...9:30" LOL!! Too cute :) The boys did GREAT!!! Thank you Lord!!! They both charmed her socks off!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Training number two!

So this past week's training was a bit more interesting but definitely more draining! It is really interesting to see the the variety of people in the training and how we all react differently to the situations/content presented. For those of us with kids it is totally different than for those without kids. It is even more so for us since our children are adopted. A video was shown that was mostly text but with the sweetest child's voice saying things that broke my heart. She spoke of going to visit her birthmother and upon returning to her foster family she wet the bed for days from her anxiety about that...pulling her hair out...not knowing who she would go with when (FDS, care manager, foster mom, birth mom, who?) There are a couple of us in there with small children and we were all teary when the video was over. It is so difficult to ever imagine that our children would be taken from us and that is what they would go through. Who wants to think of their child being alone, scared, and hopeless? At the same time, it is important that we "feel" so that we understand what the birthparents are going through. We also went through an exercise that made it very real to all of us that particular stressors in our lives could land us in that position. Not every situation is full of abuse or neglect. Sometimes people lose their job, can't pay the bills or put food on the table and "accidently" take that anger out on whoever is closest..a child? :(

This MAPP training is definitely eye-opening and yet very difficult! I am so grateful that our county requires this 30+ process to prepare us for foster parenting. Many counties across the country require no such training and the foster parents are "thrown in" with very little preparation as to how to deal with such issues. It's hard but WORTH IT! Seeing that video really made it real and makes me want to provide a safe, loving and protective environment for children even more!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What is TRUTH?

This past Sunday our pastor talked about how what we pour into our lives and what we are surrounded by dictate our reality and what becomes "truth" to us. Of course if we surround ourselves with worldly things and "buy into" what the media tells us about ourselves, that will become our truth. We need to chose to surround ourselves with Godly men/women, seek their counsel, and above all us pour into ourselves the Word of God for what TRUTH really is. It made me reflect on the children that are in foster care and what they have heard all their lives, and what they believe is "truth" based on what they have been told. "You're such a bad kid, you're no good, you're not worth it!" Of course those are mild in comparison to many of the stories I have already heard. It breaks my heart, but at the same time I am honored that God has chosen our family to pour into these children HIS truth and how valuable they are to Him (and us!)!!! God is showing us some pretty amazing stuff already and we just started!! :)


We have officially been assigned our FDS or Family Development Specialist! She called today to introduce herself and set up our first homestudy visit. I thought it was going to start later down the road in training, but nope! We have our first appt. a week from bedtime no less!!! I hope the kids can hold it together!! We have our mound of paperwork almost complete! I hope to turn it in tomorrow, but that may not happen. I have to make copies of everything "just in case." We are well on our way :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Training Number one!

Last night was our first night of training. I think it is going to be a very interesting class not only because of the content, but also because of our trainer! LOL! She's do I say it?...energtic but abrasive and Mr. M called her bossy-LOL! The first night was pretty much getting to know everyone. We had to play a game where everyone got a card with a situation on it and you were either the foster parent looking for a particular child, or visa versa. We had to walk around the room and try to find our best possible match. I unfortunately got the card that said "I am a 15 year old girl who is looking for an adoptive family who doesn't mind that I am sexually active." Yeah..that was fun walking up to strangers and saying that-LOL!!!

We have homework every as well and we got a HUGE stack of paperwork to fill out...well Iwill be filling most of it out, except for the papers marked specifically for Mr. M :)! So...that is what will be occupying most of my time for the next two weeks. The kids have to draw pictures including a foster child in the family. The boys have already done this and I dictated what each of them wants to teach the baby :) A. wants to teach the baby to crawl, how to play video games, and how to walk on it's feet. I. wants to teach the baby the monster dance and he wants to rock the baby and change it's diaper :)

One down 9 to go! :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

New Blog!

Many of you switching over here are already familiar with our family, but I wanted this journey to be a public blog so I could connect with others and together we can walk thorough this journey of foster care! I was going to switch over and make this our family blog and just not use names, but I got a little spooked when I heard about a picture from a family blog being copied and the child being listed for adoption! I just want to protect all involved, so for that reason this will be a blog of more information and not many pictures and certainly no full names to protect our children as well as the foster children that will grace our home :)

For the rest of you who are not familiar with our family I will do a small sort of introduction....

Mr. M is my awesome husband of 8 years. Together we have adopted our two sons, A. who is 5 (adopted domestically) and I. age 3 (adopted from Korea). We live in FL and I will begin homeschooling A. in just a few weeks! We serve the Lord with passion and want to glorify Him with and through our lives!

We are on the very beginning of this journey! We start the MAPP training classes on Thursday so I will be sure to post about that whole process as well the homestudy and beyond! Please leave a comment and let me know who you are and what brought you here. :)