Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sick...sick...and more sick :(

Not too much happening here lately except that every one is SICK :( My husband is the only one who has not been affected by any of it...amazing!!! I had the flu for 2 days which has now been passed onto Mr. A and everyone else (including A and I) now have this wretched cold that is making it impossible to breathe and baby has been up for 3 nights so far with no clear end in sight. It's ok because I can't breathe either so therefore I can't sleep :(

I was planning on starting homeschooling with the boys tomorrow...guess that will have to wait! First day of school is a sick day! lol! Oh well...that's the beauty of homeschooling. We are starting several weeks before the school district and the flexibility is beautiful thing :)

I can't believe it is going to be August tomorrow! This month holds several Dr. appts and court for both boys!!!

I am BLESSED to say that in 10 days Mr. Wonderful and I will have been married for 10 years!!!!!!!!!!! That simply seems impossible, but at the same time just like yesterday :) We have wonderful friends who are our kids' stand-in grandparents (all our family lives out of state) that have agreed to watch the boys (all 4!) for an overnight visit so hubby and I can spend some time to ourselves!! Dinner on the beach, hotel, sleeping in....ahhhhh....the countdown has begun!!!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


We had a staffing for Little Grape today. I guess overall it went really well. It looks like when we go to court in 2 weeks that they will be requesting that Dad start to work up to overnight visits IF he can pass a homestudy. Last week he moved into a two-bedroom apt with his adult daughter and her two children (ages 3, 1). There are issues with the daughter *potentially* being a problem which could stop overnight visits from happening there though, so we will need to wait on getting the backgrounds back on her.

There was a "stand-in" GAL supervisor who certainly did not make any friends in the room today! Including me!! When it came to issues of what medications Baby is on and what's been happening with his medical needs I gave a brief synopsis of what has been happening. All of the sudden this woman pipes up and says "what's his diagnosis?" I told her that he was diagnosed with acid reflux and she replied with "well no ma'am that's a symptom. What's his diagnosis?" She then went into a spiel about other medical issues that could be causing the acid reflux...blah...blah...blah... I guess she's never heard of GERD huh? Then she moved onto him sticking his tongue out a lot. Yes, he does this I told her, but it's not a concern at this time. She then goes into a second monolouge about how it could be one of a number chromosomal disorders that could cause mental impairment and developmental delays...yadda, yadda, yadda!! I was SO ANNOYED with this lady and her presumtious attitude. I told her in a firm way that he sees his pediatrician and specialists regularly and no one has concerns for him and he is developing on target. The GAL knew I was getting ticked so she quickly had us move on. the end this woman brings up these issues again! I signed my paper with out making any eye contact with her. I wanted to SCREAM at this woman that I know what pyloric stenosis is and NO he doesn't have it......I have a Master's Degree in education and lots of experience with infants and toddlers...not only my own, but also from when I was a birth-3 early on educator. But no....I recalled a verse I read in my devotions this morning "A fool gives full vent to anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control." Proverbs 29:11

Don't get me wrong....I don't think I know everything! However, I think if anyone had any concerns they would have already been taken care (and have!!) She made me feel as though I was being neglectful and attacked! Oh well....I think I still have to see her at court but after that I shouldn't have to spend any more time in a small room with that woman! lol!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Potty Learning

I recently heard this term rather than "potty training" and I think I like it better :) They have a lot to learn about this whole potty thing including self help skills like pulling clothes up and down, using words to express that need, etc :)

It is going VERY well! He is 100% when naked on the bottom (we have him wear a long shirt for modesty) :) We have started putting him in underwear today and so far we are on pair 3! Mostly it's because he just doesn't realize it quick enough. I just had to take a break from writing for a minute because he had this "look" on his face and said "potty?" I rushed him to the potty and success! Of course at sleeping times we still have him wear a diaper "just in case!"

I am not one who believes in pull-ups at all. I think they are glorified (expensive!) diapers that really are no better than a diaper. By using real underwear he gets those sensations and actually feels wet and uncomfortable (and therefore doesn't want it to happen again). I may have a load or two of extra laundry, but I'll still save a lot of money by not buying diapers or pull-ups all the time anymore!

I simply can't stand how cute his tooshie is in little underwear!!!! :) LOL!!

Monday, July 18, 2011


Court has been cancelled and rescheduled for a month from now :( After yesterday's post I guess God has more work to do??!! :-) I am so frustrated though that they continue to accomodate his bio-mom when there is vveeeerrrrryyyyy little chance that she would ever show up. Deep breaths....God is in control :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Worshippers First

" After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying 'Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.' "
2 Chronicles 20:21

As Tuesday (hopefully our TPR date!!) approaches I am getting excited!! Where there may be fear for some I have refused to allow the enemy any territory here!! This verse was preached today and I love how the worshippers went AHEAD of the army! Can you imagine that happening in these times???? We are in a battle for our sweet Little Man but 2 Chronicles 20:15 says

"...Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's."

So God has the battle part taken care of so I am going to take the worshipper's stance! We have decided that we will prepare by praising God...telling of his faithfulness and goodness to us! We will rejoice!!! We are working from God's already completed victory for our Little Man :)

It has been a very lllllooooonnnnngggg (almost) 20 months of dealing with this situation and many times I have begged God to let this be OVER already!!! Another versed talked about today was 2 Corinthians 3:18 which says....

"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the spirit."

The pastor helped me to realize that although I just want this to be over with and move on with life, God is taking us through the fire of this situation to make us look more like Him and experience His ever-increasing glory!!! We are being transformed more and more into His likeness!! If we had not experienced many of the things that we have had to go through we would not be the people we are today.

So we praise God for not leaving us the way we were, but growing us through this time. And, if for some reason God feels like this process is not over and TPR does not happen on Tuesday, then we will continue to follow and trust in Him and his good, pleasing, and perfect will for our lives. (Of course our prayer is still FREEDOM for our Little Man on 7/19!!!)

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

So we ask you all to join in worshipping God and praying ahead of the battle on Tuesday!!! :-)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Potty training!!

He is getting it!!! He is one super stubborn little guy but I think we really turned a corner this morning :) I started a few days ago and kept pumping him with liquids that I knew he couldn't juice, milk, etc. I knew he had to go SO BAD! He started to cry because he had to go and he chose to sit on the potty, but wouldn't "let go!" FINALLY he started to cry a different cry and I knew he had gone :) This was about 2 days ago. Last night he finally went for the first time on his own and didn't cry!

Today has been SUPER successful :) NO accidents and he is willingly going on the potty. I have been keeping the potty in the room we are in, but this afternoon I forgot it in the hall (while we were playing in his room). He wandered away (I figured to go bother his brothers!) and a minute later came running in his room and yelled "Potty!!!!" I checked and he had gone!! WOO HOO!!!

I am ready for the end of toddler diapers!!! Of course this is just the beginning and I know we have more to tackle, but this is pretty big success for day 4 of potty training :) He desperately wants Lightening McQueen underwear!! I think we have a shopping trip ahead of us this weekend :)

Not too shabby for just turning two sweetie pie!!! Oh I wish I could share the cutest picture with you!! He had a little naked bootie with his tool belt on!! So funny :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Yesterday Baby's case manager came over for her usual visit. I expected to hear her say the same things like Dad is still waiting on housing, blah blah blah! The CM and FRS have (from the beginning) always said that they think Dad will be able to do and he'll be fine, etc. Yesterday came a huge surprise!

I asked about housing as I usually do and she said that she doesn't believe that dad will get Section 8. What? Why? Criminal history? Nope...he has no real proof of income. He works 12 hour days, every day, as a car detailer, but it's not by the hour. He gets paid under the table for each job done. So...he had no real income verification...only a letter written on a piece of paper by his boss. He makes $500/mo! Ok..even if he did have housing and electric paid for, $500 a month is NOT enough for his food, clothes, phone, baby's food/formula, clothes, toys, diapers/wipes, baby gear, etc!!

The CM and FRS are going to start to have "those" conversations about their thoughts on not being able to do this by himself. He has no support system and how is he going to do daycare/transportation/Dr's appts, etc when he has to be at work 12 hours a day for $500 a mo??? He's burning bridges quickly with the aunt/uncle and he would desperately need them if he ever did get baby.

I of course piped up and said that we would adopt him!!! The CM and FRS had already talked together about that possibility :) They know how attached we are! The aunt/uncle haven't passed an adoption study yet (think they are working on #2 or #3) for Baby's sister who has been with them for 3 years so neither of them think that Baby would go there.

I have had it in my head ever since the beginning that there is NO WAY that Baby could become ours and I have kept that at the forefront...not anymore!! :) If this case does go to TPR and adoption that would make a total of 2 foster placements and 2 adoptions! NOT AT ALL WHAT WE EXPECTED!!!!! Of course nothing is done yet and no decisions have been made and we know from LM's situation how long this all drags out, but now that part of my heart is thinking "is he my forever son???"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I am so frustrated with these "sibling visits!" They were suppossed to be set up for every Tuesday with his aunt and the two oldest siblings as well as his 2 yo brother and his adoptive mom. So far (in probably 6 weeks) one visit has happened! It got cancelled again today. Why would you fight so hard to have something get to happen only to continually cancel!? I guess that's another frustating thing about foster care. Little Man's mom and dad fought so hard to get paternity and visitation happen for him only to get them both and then drop off the face of the earth! The aunt fought in court the last time to get sibling visits with Baby and then one visit (and one overnight).

I am going to stop clearing my Tuesday's for this so called visit. If it does actually happen then I guess I will adjust my plans that day, but this twice a week business I am over! (the other day are his mom/dad visits).

What don't they tell you in foster care training??? That you will constantly be changing your schedule on the whim of whoever!!! :-) Ahhh....just something I need to continue to work on accepting! LOL!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Yum Yum!!

Baby has now seriously started eating!!! We tried rice for the past 2 weeks and he was less than thrilled with it. He spit most of it out and ended up wearing most of it! I thought in the beginning it was just because of learning how to use a spoon/tongue thrust, etc., but nope! As soon as I started giving him oatmeal he was all about it! Today we tried our first veggie...carrots! The first bite was hilarious "what the heck are you putting in my mouth???" look, but after that he gobbled it up!!!

I was telling his FRS about him eating yesterday and she said to the baby "Too bad she has to follow all the rules! In my house you'd be eating mashed potatoes/gravy and all that yummy stuff!" Remember that situation from the WIC office I wrote about when the mom was talking about feeding her 3 mo old corn bread?? I'm thinking now maybe it's cultural :-) This kid has enough trouble with gas/constipation...I can't imagine feeding him "real" food!!! He has to be creeping up on 18lbs by now! Both my husband and I are READY for the baby car seat to be done with! He is SO heavy!

As for Little Man we have commenced to potty training!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The sweet thing is so excited to get a chocolate chip when he goes! He has two approaches to this potty thing. (1) He walks around with his little booty cheeks/thighs clenched together (2) He sits on his potty and plays for an extended amount of time because he doesn't want to pee on the floor. I appreciate that :) He just grabs some toys, sits down and says "I stay on my potty." The funny thing is that when he actually does do something in the potty he cries! I think it still scares him! I'm ready to only have one in full-time diapers for sure!!!!!!! Not sure how long this is going to take. With my other kids it took a week and they were ready....LM is a smart cookie, but also tremendously stubborn, so there is no telling :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A bit more...

There is also a huge spiritual aspect that is included in adoption. There is the breaking of soul ties, breaking of generational curses, and of course instilling in them the TRUTH about who they are and Who they belong to! It's not just a one time prayer either because once you think something is dealt with, God reveals a new layer. Praise Him that it doesn't happen all at once-LOL!!

I forgot to mention yesterday that in my "talk" with Andrew we prayed together as well. He always seems a bit more calm after we pray and I can see a noticable difference in his behavior. Behavior is the *key* way that I know that something is bothering my sweet boy. That irrational, mean, hurtful behavior clearly means there is something underlying. Lots of time this will surface around court hearings (for the little guys) or parent visits. Although they have nothing to do with A. his spirit makes that connection.

This adoption stuff is quite the journey and I think that it is going to be different for each one of our kids. I. is very transparent with his feelings but we have no connection with his birthparents so there is more wondering. LM. this point he seems to be very much like A. in personality and while we know some details about his story we will have to balance what we decide to share with him and when. No matter the child or his matter what the beginning of their lives started out like...Jesus knows and He loves them even more than we ever possibly could!! He makes beauty from the ashes and each one has been REDEEMED! PRAISE GOD!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Adoption through the years

So many people have a preconceived notion that if you adopt a child as an infant and you are the only parents the child has ever really known that they will not have identity issues or questions about their birthfamily. Things could not be more wrong! It doesn't matter when a child has been adopted or how long they have been with you....they still have those questions that most adoptees do.

Mr. A is now 7 years old. We have an open adoption with his birthparents (still together) and will call/email to keep in contact. They live very far away, so we do not do visits at this point. Anyway, we have never kept the fact that Andrew is adopted from him. He has always known about B. and L. and we are very open with him about this.

The other day we were on a mini-vacation and the kids were all playing in the hotel's pool. A. was having a super fabulous time going down the water slide over and over and over! I don't even remember the initial thing I called him over for, but when he got to the bottom of the slide and surfaced I called his name to come over to me for just a second. What came out of his mouth next were the words I knew would be coming one day, but I froze as he yelled "You're not my mom!!!!" Something kicked in and told me to stay calm! Expecting those words one day was one thing, but then to actually hear them come out of his mouth was something totally different. He came over to me and I simply said "Yes, A. I am your mom and you need to obey me or sit out of the pool." He did what I asked and went on his merry way.

Later, I brought the subject up and basically just told him that it's ok if he has questions regarding his adoption or adoption in general and we will listen to any feelings he is having and talk about them together. Well, that's not really A. He is not one to show emotions...period. It all stays inside UNTIL that one gentle moment when he feels like talking. I know in those moments I better clear my schedule and make time for him NOW! I'm waiting for that moment to come up in regards to this situation.

This foster care world seems to keep some of those feelings pretty close to the surface for both of our boys. Mr. I will often bring up his foster mom/birthmom in conversation even though we know very little about them and have no contact. It has created questions (mostly from I. who wears his feelings on his sleeve!) like "Why didn't my foster mommy want to keep me?" Pretty deep question for a 5 yr old, but at the same time he is able to see why she wasn't able to parent him when I explain about our sweet baby and how God has designed someone else to be his forever family, but he just needs someone to love him until they can be together forever :)

Today I took him to see Kung Fu Panda II. Ahhhh....if you haven't seen's all about the Panda Po who is adopted and the movie is spent searching for his birthparents. In the last scene of the movie Po returns to his adoptive father ( a duck :) ) and his father asked him what happened. He said that he learned that he (the duck) was his Dad and they hugged. I started to cry-LOL!! Everyone probably thought I was the crazy lady in the theater, but oh well!! After the last few days of this being on my mind it was just the thing to trigger a few tears :) A. didn't really say much about the movie, but much like his emotions, comments about the movie will come down the road....sometimes it can be months.

Wikipedia says the following...(bolding mine)
Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting for another and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities from the original parent or parents. Unlike guardianship or other systems designed for the care of the young, adoption is intended to effect a permanent change in status and as such requires societal recognition, either through legal or religious sanction.

Adoption is a permanent's a one time act, BUT it is something that an adoptee deals with for much of his or her life. As our children grow up they will reach new levels of understanding and acceptance about their adoptions. It is our job as their parents to make sure they feel secure in who they are and give them what they need when they need it. Easier said than done, but with God's grace we can do it!! :-)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Change of plans???

This morning Baby was supposed to have a visit with both his parents (separately). problem. I get a call saying the transporter is having car trouble but she will call back with the plan. She calls back to say that someone else she works with will transport Baby to the visit. Ok..great. 1/2 hour later she calls back again to say that this is crazy and the visit is cancelled! So glad that I kept the baby up 1 1/2 hours past naptime for absolutely NOTHING!

Baby is also supposed to go for a visit to his aunt/uncle's over the holiday (per the FRS). The CM has to set these things up though, so I emailed her 3 days ago. Nothing. When I talked to the FRS today she said she hadn't heard anything. So I called the CM and her message says she is out of the office until next Tuesday. So...I guess nothing is going to happen??? We were planning on going out of town over the holiday and were going to go baby-free (which is much easier at a themepark!) but it looks like those plans have changed as well! We'll see if the aunt/uncle call and what they do about it!

FLEXIBILITY is the major word to know if you are, or are planning to be, a foster parent!!!