Friday, September 24, 2010

Chugging Along

Things with Little Man's case continue to move....slowly. From what I understand, with the given DNA results, the CM is going to try to get referrals for the bio-dad to start on "tasks" until he can be assigned an official case plan in court (end of Oct). At least this way he will already have a month under his belt...well...that's if the CM's office approves the referrals! Praying they do!

Little Man's visits are remaining the same. They are still waiting on answers to when she can do her theraputic visits. After that (as long as there are no recommendations) she will start with unsupervised visits. From what the CM tells me, Mom definitely needs some coaching in how to appropriately discipline. Little Man is a mover, shaker, climber and screamer! LOL! She is going to have her hands full!

He has started saying "Elmo, blue, Amen (consistently), and God" this week :) It's so cute! He officially learned how to open the baby gate....ggggrrrrr!!! It is now only a derrant!

Yesterday our FDS came over to finish up the final paperwork for our re-licensure. Yay!!!! She is new so hopefully things are all complete and we don't get any kick-backs! Things are all pretty much remaining the same so it's pretty standard. Things are going well :)

Monday, September 20, 2010


Well, they said the results were going to take 6 weeks, but voila! they only took just under 2 weeks!! We have answers now and the bio-dad/legal dad issue can be worked out now too!!! This means so much for Little Man's case and only helps the timeline for his reunification. Bio-dad can officially start working a case plan and hopefully permanency can come for him sooner rather than later!! :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Signs and Words!

Little Man is now up to 29 words and 12 signs!! He seems to come up with more and more words every day! The only problem with this is that his wonderful older brothers think it is hilarious to teach him particular words. This afternoon he was walking around the house slapping his backside and saying "butt...butt" and then cracking up. The two older ones were peeking from the other room cracking up! He is starting to actually use these signs and words to get what he wants which I really love! He has this incredible scream that pretty much deafens you when he doesn't get his way or when he is reeeeeaaaallllyyy tired! Our friends heard it a couple weeks ago and his CM heard it for the first time yesterday. Oh was she surprised! That's what happens when baby goes for a visit at naptime! LOL! So...the words are welcomed relief!

He loves to dance these days! Anytime any kind of music comes on he starts swaying side to side and most times will lift his hands and say "Dod" for God :) We play worship music constantly here, so I guess he's caught on! He also has started to pray on his own. It's adorable! He holds his forearms and says a whole bunch of jibberish and then usually signs "all-done." Tonight at dinner though he said "Amen" clear as a bell :)

He is growing like a weed and it is so fun to let him run around outside and watch him explore his surroundings. He loves the grass and giggles uncontrollably when he falls down and it touches his skin. I cannot wait for winter to get here and we can be outside a lot more :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Some of you may know from my other blog, but my 7 week old niece passed away a few days ago. She was born a very special little girl with significant special needs, but that didn't matter. She affected so many lives of people around her and many she never even met (me included). The boys and I have been talking about heaven where little Selah now lives and how we may be sad on earth, but in heaven Selah is healed and whole and she gets to be with Jesus! (Oh and out of the blue they are excited to get there and talk to David from the Bible to hear first-hand more about the battle with Goliath! lol!)

I think this has brought babies back to the forefront of A's mind (it's been awhile since our last respite) and he was asking "Mom, when are we going to have another baby?" I told him that was up to God and He would choose. I didn't know. Then he said "I want 2 3 babies!" That's when I said he'd have to help Mommy feed the babies and change their diapers! Mr. I chimed in to be silly and said he wanted 19 babies to live here! Oh my! I can't even imagine-LOL! I am so blessed to have children with open and willing hearts. Children that want to take care of and LOVE others!

Several people have asked me why my sister and her husband would choose a special needs child *knowing* her time on earth would be very short. There are many reasons, but mostly every child deserves to know love and a have a family and although they knew her days were numbered, so are ours! We simply don't have the luxury of knowing the *when.* Our last day on earth could be today. Have you savored every moment with your loved ones? Have you lived life to the fullest? Have you LOVED? How would you feel if you found out you were going to die in 4 weeks and everyone around you said "oh well...they are going to die. I'm not going to invest anymore time, love or energy into them." OUCH! That unfortuantely is how many of the doctors/nurses in the hospital viewed my niece :( Every life has value no matter the length of time!!!

PLEASE take the time to pray and consider adopting a child (here or around the world), consider becoming a foster parent, sponser a child through an adoption agency, financially support someone you know who is adopting, be there to give the tangibles as well (a meal, clean house, yard work, etc), PRAY for the families who have said YES to a child, and more!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Today Little Man was swabbed for his DNA testing!!!!! I can't even believe that it happened. We have been saying it needs to be done for 7 months (or more!) so I am so glad that it has been completed!! The stinky part is that it takes 6 weeks to get the results :( That's six more weeks where not much can be done on the daddy situation and the things that need to be dealt with there. So...we wait some more!

Little Man (if you know him in real life) does NOT like to sit or be quiet. When we walked into a room full of people sitting so incredibly quietly I thought to myself "oh great...mine's gonna be the one wakin' this place up!" After a small snack I let him get down and wow did he warm that place up! :) A whole bunch of grumpy people melted when he walked up to them and gave them a high five :)! Everyone was laughing at what he was doing and smiles were all around!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dropping Numbers!

New data: Many fewer US kids in foster care

By DAVID CRARY (AP) – 3 days ago

NEW YORK — The number of U.S. children in foster care has dropped 8 percent in just one year, and more than 20 percent in the past decade, according to new federal figures underscoring the impact of widespread reforms.
The drop, hailed by child-welfare advocates, is due largely to a shift in the policies and practices of state and county child welfare agencies. Many have been shortening stays in foster care, speeding up adoptions and expanding preventive support for troubled families so more children avoid being removed from their homes in the first place.
The new figures, released Tuesday by the Department of Health and Human Services, show there were 423,773 children in foster care as of Sept. 30. That's down from 460,416 a year earlier and from more than 540,000 a decade ago.
California had the biggest one-year drop — from 67,703 to 60,198. Just eight years ago, the state had more than 90,000 children in foster care.
Florida, Illinois, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania are among other major states that have lowered their numbers sharply over the decade.
"It's extraordinary," said Terri Braxton, a vice president of the Child Welfare League of America. "There's been a major focus on foster-care awareness, on new legislative policies, and it's heartening to see that these efforts are finally paying off."
Though many of the initiatives are at the state level, Braxton said the trend had been aided by a federal law, the 2008 Fostering Connections Act. It allows use of federal funds to assist children who leave foster care to live with relatives other than their parents — an arrangement which in the past was generally not eligible for federal aid.
Braxton said many challenges remain, including dealing with the increasing number of foster youths aging out of the system without a permanent family. The number of such youths rose from 19,000 in 1999 to a record high of nearly 30,000 in 2008.
Kathi Crowe, executive director of the National Foster Care Coalition, said a key factor behind the lower foster care numbers was the greater emphasis on preventive services, so fewer children needed to be removed from their homes.
"And in cases where they are removed, there's now a real priority to provide the kids with permanent homes so they don't languish in the system any longer than they need to," she said. "All those things combined — it's all good news for kids."
Richard Wexler of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, which seeks to reduce the number of children unnecessarily placed in foster care, said he was encouraged by the lower number of children taken from their parents in the first place.
Overall, entries into the system were down 6.5 percent for one year, and down 17 percent since they peaked in 2005, he said.
"This is one more indication that, at long last, the politics of child welfare is catching up with reality," Wexler said in an e-mail. "The proportion of children deemed 'substantiated' victims of child abuse in this country peaked in 1993 — it's never been as high since. Yet for more than a decade afterward, states kept taking away more and more children."
"Now, finally, it's sinking in that most cases labeled 'neglect' — the single largest category of maltreatment — are really poverty, and it makes more sense to try to deal with the poverty than destroy the family," Wexler wrote.
Wexler also said that several heartland states — including Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa and the Dakotas — were continuing to take children into foster care at relatively high rates.
"The gap between these states and best practice has grown," he said.
The new data was contained in the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System report released annually by HHS's Administration for Children and Families.
The average length of stay in foster care has been reduced by more than 10 percent since 2002, according to the report — the mean stay is now 26.7 months.
Of the 423,773 kids in foster care on Sept. 30, 53 percent were boys. Twenty percent were Hispanic, 30 percent black and 40 percent white; 114,556 of them were available for adoption.
Administration for Children and Families:

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Today's meeting

The staffing for Little Man went well today. The Mom has been doing most all of what she needs to do. The unsupervised visits are not going to start until one more thing is completed. They want her to complete theraputic supervised visitation with a psychologist (2-3), and as long as those go well she will have earned her unsupervised visits! There has also been some movement with the legal dad/bio-dad situation so that is awesome as well.

Prayer List...
That both Little Man's Mom and Dad find jobs
That they are able to find low cost options for Dad to start working on a case plan
Finalization with the legal Dad situation
Little Man's emotions/spirit as he adjusts to the upcoming changes of more time with his Mom

It looks as though Little Man will eventually be reunified with his parents however it still will be awhile. He has officially been here for 9 months now! I have been hearing of lots of other people's case lately that have been 2 and 3 years long...I guess 9 months is nothin'! LOL!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy

Check out this link to watch this wonderful adoption story :)

So happy for baby girl!

Little Man's mom wrote today that she had the baby (perfect size :) ) and that she was healthy. Mom got to spend some time with her in the hospital and had many pictures to show the CM today at the visit. She started to tear up (totally understandable!) but said that she has peace with her decision. I am so happy for this sweet baby girl that she has a family that wants her so badly! They are having an open adoption so that is even better! I cherish that we have an open adoption with A's birthparents!! What an amazing gift! The adoptive family did make one "promise" to Little Man's Mom that concerns me (in the following through of it), but hopefully they follow through and she doesn't have to be disappointed. Little Man saw the pictures too :)

Love this song!

What an amazing song! The boys will certainly be getting this Veggie Tales DVD for Christmas!!!


Tomorrow is the staffing for Little Man to begin having unsupervised visits with his mother. Although I have very mixed feelings about this I feel the Lord telling me to start preparing him for his return home. This breaks my heart, but I also know that God brought him to us for a specific time and season and we have done/are doing what God asked us to do. I am in the process of making a book for him (will definitely need to get that laminated!!) about his mom/dad so we can talk about them and prepare him for these visits/reunification.

This also has sparked an open discussion with A and I about Little Man leaving for longer periods of time and eventually return home. My older guy is very "tough" and rarely cries/gets emotional, but as we gently talked about it I could see his eyes tearing up a bit. He said "Mom, I'm a little bit happy and a little bit sad." When I asked him to go on he explained how much he loves Little Man, but he won't miss his crying in the middle of the night-LOL!

This probably won't take place for several more months...maybe more depending...but I think it is going to be important for us to continue to bring the topic up every so often so the boys don't "forget" that Little Man probably won't stay here forever and that there will be another baby who needs us to take care of him/her and love them just as much! :-) maybe it's a good reminder for this Momma too!!