Friday, December 21, 2012

Jason Castro-Only A Mountain Lyrics

I really like this song! As I drove to drop Choo Choo off it came on the radio and I just basked in God's wonderful presence as I listened.

As for the drop off it was totally gut-wrenching.  He knows why we go to "that" place and started screaming.  His uncle was 15 min. late.  During that time he proceeded to scream and I watched as 2 cars 2 spaces down from me completed a drug deal. LOVELY!  I have sent an email to EVERYONE stating I request a change in meeting places.  What if they had guns and something didn't happen right?  I'm not putting my babies or myself in that kind of danger.  NUTS!

Choo Choo screamed as hard as he could as I took him out of his seat.  His uncle is so non-compassionate and tried taking him from my arms.  I told him to give Choo Choo some time and get his puppy and he would calm down.  Uncle got puppy and Choo Choo calmed a bit and then I handed him over.  I literally felt like my stomach was being shaken and I felt like I was going to bless the BK parking lot with my breakfast!

Praying for peace for Choo Choo and myself today.  This is so hard :(

Thursday, December 20, 2012


12 hours before Uncle hoped to have a visit the case manager calls me to tell me about the amendment to visitation (thank God the GAL called me).  I brought up the fact about going in front of the judge and apparently since the frequency wasn't changing (only the duration) that it did not need to be brought in front of the judge.

Let me tell you that I voiced my opinion...I am not afraid to stand up for my Choo Choo.  She knows I am not pleased but she made it very clear that she thinks it's best for him to be with his "family."  I explained about stress/trauma and how he acts (she's heard this before) and how he screams "NNNNOOOOO!" when I say he is going to see them, but to no avail.  Her thoughts were  "well we need to give this a try."

Her suggestion to me was that I keep notes of how he reacts after the extended visits and we can bring that before the judge in January (when we will have a status conference because she forgot to do her job).  SIGH!

In another text I got from our GAL she asked if I would be willing to take the stand and testify as to his behaviors.  Do I want to....NO!  Will I?  YES!  Yeah...I'm not sure if we will get a court date before then or if it will just be taken care of on that day.  This all seems so stupid when there are bigger issues to deal TPR for the non-existent father!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Changing my mindset

Ok...Uncle wants to hate me...the enemy wants to get me down and depressed....WELL I AM SAYING NO!  As soon as I prayed that the depressing spirit be gone in Jesus Name I felt this enormous lifting.  I changed my attitude and became a much more pleasant person to be around :)

I tend to have toys stashed throughout the year so guess what?  I have extras!  Guess who they are going to?  Yep...Chance's siblings.  My flesh says that is the last thing I want to do, but I know that I have to move and breathe in LOVE even if I don't feel like it!  So this weekend I will give them gifts knowing I did something nice for little ones who never asked to be raised by these parents and certainly never asked to get involved in this mess of a case either.

What a change when we take those thoughts captive unto Christ!

The Staffing

Thank you Lord that I was not able to attend today :)  I know I was waffling back and forth but in my mind I knew I had to go. hubby got sick on Sunday...I mean laid out in bed, fever, chills, cough, really sick.  I was thinking he'd be better by today, but he is still half-comatose in bed! person to watch the kids was taken away so I couldn't go. SO THANKFUL!

The GAL called me right afterward and Uncle showed up!  He was ticked off and ready to blow.  I guess he piped up about taking off work to come and nothing getting accomplished.  Yeah work nights and get off at 7...who are you kidding?  Anyway, apparently the uncle, CM, and the CM supervisor attacked the GAL and she refused to play their games.  The supervisor was contradicting COURT DOCUMENTATION and when confronted she backed down.  I guess it was ugly and at the end Uncle demanded visitation every weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Uuuummmm....NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!  Thank God that was nixed but the supervisor said "well how about we make it every other weekend but extend them?"  He was pacified with that so they are trying to get the visits changed to be from Fri morn until Sun night.  Little do they know (actually if they read the court documents they'd know exactly but no one bothers to do that) that we are trying to reduce visitation.  Sooooooooooo...the judge will be presented with both sides and I guess we'll see where her thoughts lie.

Uncle has a visit this weekend.  I KNOW he will try to get the Fri-Sun but it needs to amended in court first.  I am ready...I know he will say that I wasn't at the staffing and blah blah blah.....NOT having it!  Oh and he said some stuff about my family and I and how not-committed to Choo Choo  because we will not do PG.  He threw around some "this hurts me in my spirit" stuff and a whole bunch other nonsense to make himself look spiritual all the while not showing fruit of a true Christ follower.....ever.

This has been a hard morning....I am so fed up with this dude, this case, the incompetent workers, etc.  While venting to my social worker about it all I told her not to be surprised if we do not continue fostering after this case is done.  Sadly she was not surprised by my words at all and said "I don't know how you do it!"  She validated my feelings about all the nonsense and how it's only hurting Choo Choo.

Just. So. Tired of it all today :(  Our next real court hearing isn't until APRIL. :(

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Wish

So Choo Choo did indeed have a visit with his Aunt/Uncle this past weekend.  Poor thing hadn't seen them in a month so at hand off he was clinging and screaming again.  Don't people understand consistency for a child is of UTMOST importance???  Ugh!

Yesterday I picked him up. When they arrived 15 min PAST the time THEY requested I got out of my car and went over to theirs.  Uncle was undoing the REGULAR seat belt from Choo Choo.  He was sitting in his car seat without the harness fastened.....just a plain ole seat belt over him.  HE IS NOT EVEN TWO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then he hands him to me and tells me that next time they will be getting his haircut.  I informed him that we need permission from bio-Dad prior to cutting his hair and that we just asked and he said no.  His response was "well S said we could do it anytime"  Nice...I confirmed with the CM and she said that when S said we couldn't he also commented that uncle could cut it anytime.  Yeah.....that makes things pretty clear doesn't it?!  I really wish I knew what lies aunt/uncle were telling him about me.  Prior to these visits starting bio-dad and I were on really good footing.  He respected me for taking care of Choo Choo, texted, called, etc.  Now after having contact with the aunt/uncle...NOTHING and to top it off, dirty looks at court and things like this.

Don't get me wrong.....every little thing, every visit, every dirty look, every snide comment, every time I am sitting in my car waiting forever for them to get there IS WORTH IT....why?  Because of Choo Choo!!!!  He is my boy and I love him more than words can say and as another foster momma puts it..."I will live this crappy life for him!"  I will fight for him and what is best for him no matter what....hate me?  I don't care! :) Christmas wish is a TPR trial (either the real thing or at least a date!)  The 30 days were up on Friday so I am trying to find out if it was filed appropriately or not.  If not, we have court in Jan to see why not.  I am just hoping things are all taken care and we can move forward.  I know it's not all said and done and he could still be adopted by aunt/uncle but whatever it is I just want permanency for my baby....of course I PRAY that it is HERE with us!!!

The GAL contacted the CM and she said that she hadn't filed anything because she thought the court told the GAL's office to do it.  WHAT??????????????  she even said to me at our last homevisit that the courts wanted "their office" to file the petition.   LIVID!!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


There is not much going on here in relation to foster care land!  I guess I'm really ok with that!  Another aunt/uncle visit is scheduled for this weekend so I guess we will see if last time was fluke, or the beginning of an end!

So....since I don't have any real news I'll tell you about my cute boy!  He is super into EVERYTHING!  He is really getting into that 2 yr old attitude and can be totally sweet and cuddly one minute and downright defiant the next!

He love to do laundry and I guess since he has done it with me so much he can tell me whose clothes are whose...right down to the undies!  lol!

He goes "#2" in his diaper and promptly brings me the wipes and a clean diaper and says "I p*ooped.  Change me peeeze!"  LOL!  I'm hoping he'll be an early potty trainer :)

No paci at naptime has gone very well.  He still wakes up screaming like he's being tortured rather than sucking a paci and going back to sleep, but that will stop eventually...I hope!  We plan to stop the night time paci use soon.

He is using primarily 2-3 word phrases but often will go 4-5 words.  He has a great vocabulary and is very verbal....sometimes too much!  He really likes the song "5 little monkeys swinging in a tree" and will sing almost all the words with me :)

His bio-dad is still angry with us so he won't let us get our nappy-headed boy a haircut!  The family pics we got taken turned out good, but we had to try to cover his head with a hat-lol!

There is a staffing on the 18th...hopefully I will hear on that day if the TPR petition has been filed like it's supposed to.  2 more days and the 30 days are up!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Operation Eliminate Paci

So I am finally going to bite the bullet and really start to eliminate the pacifier!  The kid is almost 2 for cryin' out loud!  A long time ago we dropped it to just sleeping times but now it is time to get rid of it altogether!

Day One:  We are starting with getting rid of it at naptime.  He cried and screamed "I want paci!" for about 5 minutes and then stopped, laid down and talked himself to sleep :)  He slept for about 1 1/2 hours.

Day Two (today):  He went down with no crying.  He talked for quite a while and I finally went in and in my firm mama voice told him to go to sleep.  He did!  He slept for about 1 hour only :(   He of course woke up looking for the paci and had he had it he would have gone back to sleep, but he has to get used to not sleeping with it.  He was SO ready for bed tonight!

I don't expect this to be easy....I think it's going to take awhile for him to learn to sleep without it.  I foresee many long nights ahead as we start to eliminate it at night too. must be done and better now than later.

I WILL NOT make the mistake of getting a child "hooked" on a paci again.  He is the first of my 4 boys who took one (past 3-4 mos) and I don't like the getting rid of it part!  lol!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

It happened!!!!!!!!

This is the first weekend that Uncle did NOT confirm for a visit.  All day yesterday I was wondering.  Nope nothing!  Then this morning I was 1/2 expecting a last minute text saying he will be taking Choo Choo this weekend, but NOTHING.  My baby is staying here this weekend :)

I am wondering if they were confused about the holiday (though no one said anything about it).  I texted them a "Happy Thanksgiving" picture and small note to them on Thanksgiving with no response.  Is this the beginning of the end???????  

I texted the GAL and we are just waiting to hear that the TPR petition has been filed (they have until 12-8) and then we wait for a trial date.  Deep sigh of relief today :)

In other news...... I looked up Michael's birthmom on FB.  Her page is closed but I wanted to see if I could see a picture of  the baby.  He is her cover photo!  He's a cutie but super hairy!!!  Michael is the same way!!  Why do they make such hairy babies? LOL!!  Still praying for Baby W and what his future may be!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


The GAL had the terminology mistaken and it confused me...the CM came today and we talked about what happened at court.  The court did not order a TPR consult, they ordered a TPR petition.  For those of you who do not understand the difference, most easily put, a consult is when they ask the lawyer about terminating rights and see if it is on the radar or possible.  A petition means that we are filing motion to TPR and we are going to trial!!!!!!!!!  Definitely!!!!!!!

I believe the motion WILL be filed in the 30 days ordered which is awesome (so by 12-8-2012), and then after that we will be headed to trial. She said I will be subpoenaed and have to give testimony.   I asked her when she thought this would happen and she said she didn't think it would be this year, but probably early next year (2013)!  I was expecting it to take much longer than that so I am doing somersaults over here!!!!

She then said that after the rights were terminated (everyone thinks this will be a non-issue) we will be transferred to an adoption case worker and she/her supervisor/whoever will make the determination of who they think Choo Choo should be placed with.  Then another gut-wrenching court hearing!

I am praying that this process goes smoothly and at least we are on the right track.  I am very cognizant that Choo Choo could still leave, but either way we will be able to move on with our lives and heal from this horrible loss or be jubilant and enjoy the continued gift of him in our home :)

**Funny enough it just so happened to be this exact time of year that a huge shift in Michael's case took place.  Hmmmmm.... :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Who supports you?

There is a foster parent training class going on right now and 3 different people in the class had asked to interview me as part of their training.  Of course I was happy to oblige and help more people on the road to foster parenting.  There were a variety of questions...what made you want to be a foster parent? what are your feelings/thoughts about keeping in contact with the biological family?, what were your expectations of foster parenting? etc.

The one that had me thinking the most is "who supports you?"  It was easy for me to quickly say that my family and some really good foster friends are my best supports going through this journey, but then I thought about what does real support look like?  For me, the following are how I generally have felt supported along this journey of foster care, and perhaps there are some ideas for you to help support someone else.

  • A note/email/text/phone call  letting me know you have been praying
  • An encouraging word/Bible passage to help with endurance in these seemingly endless cases!
  • the mail :)
  • Meeting for coffee to vent and "be raw" about how we are feeling
  • A phone call asking how court has gone 
  • When a new placement came a gift for him :)
  • Babysitting for all the kiddos so I can be active in court and staffings
  • People willing to have background checks done just so they can babysit for us
  • Most of all, loving on my kids....whether they are here to stay forever or just a season :)
Part of the journey for me has been to let go of expectations of what support should look like. What I thought it would look like in the beginning is not how I view it now.  By far, having people take time out of their day to tell me that they are praying for us or ask how court went, etc goes a lot farther than a meal with a new placement or chocolate.  Now don't get me wrong...I LOVE those too, but as a foster parent I think one of my greatest needs is to know that I have LOTS of people praying for my little ones and their futures. I may not feel supported by particular people, but I have to let go of that and focus my time and attention on those who need husband, kids, other foster children, and others in my day-to-day life.  

I am interested to hear how you feel supported as a foster parent!  

Don't worry about the future

As I contemplate the future of this case and the potential that it would not go in our favor because our biology is not the same I read this FB status this morning.  Beautiful reminder this am  :)

Sit quietly with Me, letting all your fears and worries bubble up to the surface of your consciousness. There, in the Light of My Presence, the bubbles pop and disappear. However, some fears surface over and over again, especially fear of the future. You tend to project yourself mentally into the next day, week, month, year, decade; and you visualize yourself coping badly in those times. What you are seeing is a false image, because it doesn't include Me. Those gloomy times that you imagine will not come to pass, since My Presence will be with you at all times.

When a future-oriented worry assails you, capture it and disarm it by suffusing the Light of My Presence into that mental image. Say to yourself, “Jesus will be with me then and there. With His help, I can cope!” Then, come home to the present moment, where you can enjoy Peace in My Presence.

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
—Luke 12:22–26

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Court results!

I just have to say that our GAL is THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!  She called me the second they got out of court to tell me the good it is in bullet points:

  • A TPR consult must be started within 30 days.
  • A status conference has been set for Jan 22nd to make sure this happened.  Don't worry it absolutely WILL!!!
  • Overnight visits have to continue until the Judge on the (we were in front of the magistrate) case says anything different
  • The GAL lawyer will personally be calling he judge to get this taken care of :)
  • The GAL's supervisor will be doing an unannounced visit this weekend with aunt/uncle to personally observe Choo Choo in that in environment.
  • Just for the record I am totally in favor of continuing bio-family visits, just not overnight.  It's causing him too much stress/trauma.
So....our GAL was the only one on the case that was actually there.  Bio-Dad didn't show, the Aunt/Uncle didn't show (I didn't expect them to), and even the CM didn't show.  There was a poor "stand in" who knew NOTHING!  The magistrate was baffled as to why this case has been extended this long and wants things to move forward NOW!!!!!!  I am so happy that things went well today and that we are on the course to get this case finished with Choo Choo's BEST INTEREST IN MIND....not just to simply close the case.  

Of course once termination is obtained we have to be viewed against the aunt/uncle as to where Choo Choo should live permanently, but God has brought us this far and we will simply continue to depend on Him for what is in Choo Choo's best interest (and our family's) long term.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Another Brother

Baby Wayne was born Nov. 2nd weighing in at 10lbs 9oz!!!!!!!!!!!!  Wowzers!!!  This is Michael's biological brother.  She didn't send me a picture yet, but I am eager to see one.  He's gotta look just like Mikey when he was born.  Wondering about and praying for this little one's future!!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Orphan Sunday

Today is Orphan Sunday!!!  For the first time in our church's history we had a table that promoted the cause of the fatherless both here (foster care/adoption) and around the world.  Next week we are having an information meeting for those interested in jumping into all God has planned for them in helping the orphan (adoption/foster care/orphan care).  We are blessed to be led by a pair of people in this ministry who are so passionate for children both here and around the world!  Check out their blog at  How we met is truly a God-story and I am so excited for the birth of this new ministry within our church.  One of our Pastor's and his wife have stepped up and are currently taking foster care training!!  They have to interview current foster parents as part of their training so we are going to be meeting later this week :)  I am also meeting with another family in training so they can pick my brain.  Praying I say all the right things while giving them a realistic idea of what to expect :)

I have decided (mostly because of my control-ish nature) to go to court this Thur and Dawn (see above link) has graciously said "yes" to watching my 4 munchkins again :)  I am praying that *something* happens.  I have a card and some pictures to give birth-dad so at least that will get accomplished.  He has been nothing but rude the past few hearings, so maybe this will soften his mood???

We had our first repeat respite placement this past Fri/Sat.  We call him MJ :)  He is a 6 month old little boy who is as happy as a clam and sleeps sooooo well!  So....when his fm as if I could watch him from Thur-Sat night of this weekend I said yes :)  Hubby said we need a break after this one.  Hahaha....We've been doing plenty of respite lately tho, so I agreed :)  Baby (ok...he's not a baby anymore, so I will be calling him Choo Choo from now on here.  It was a name that Michael gave him a long time ago when he couldn't say his real name, and it stuck!) is so protective of him and even pushed the bigger kid's hands away from him and yelled "no baby!"   Maybe we are ready for that girl God?????? :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

To court or not to court?

There is a JR (see side bar) hearing next week for Baby's case and I cannot decide if I am going to go through all the effort to go or not.  It's in front of the magistrate, not the Judge over this case and frankly not a lot usually gets accomplished at these hearings (as far as changes to the case).  Court is set for 1:35, but we usually wait anywhere from 30min-2 hours to be heard depending on when everyone gets there.

The reason I am waffling is because I am a bit of a control freak-lol!  I want to know EVERYTHING that I possibly can about this case.  The case worker's one objective is to close this case.  She doesn't return any communication and will leave out things that I think are important.  The Aunt/Uncle have no real reason to attend, so I don't think they will be there.  I am so curious to see if Dad is attempting anything last minute! I go through the hassle of finding a babysitter, losing an entire afternoon waiting, listening to the same details of the this 21 month case with maybe some minor changes since 2 weeks ago???? Hmmmmmmm......

Monday, October 29, 2012

Question for YOU!

The past two times Baby has come back from his weekend visits with aunt/uncle he is very aggressive!  He screams the entire way home and then continues to scream off and on until bedtime.  He throws toys, hits (with toys and his hands), as well as biting and when he doesn't get his way he bangs his head on the floor!  He's been seeing these people since March.  Previously he would just be extra clingy upon his return, but recently it's been escalating.

My question is for those of you have had a foster child for a long time....have you seen that as your child gets older and realizes the situation for what is it, that his/her behavior upon return got worse over time? Even if he was familiar with the people?  I think that he's able to realize his emotions more now and those infamous "big feelings" are rearing their ugly heads and this is the result.  I have everything documented with our social worker and the GAL and I guess we just try to help him the best we can putting words to those big feelings.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Loaded weekend!

Ok, so I posted yesterday about the Joyce Meyer conference, but that is not all.....

This morning in church we had a guest speaker named Reggie Dabbs.  If you have not heard of him you should read his book or try to hear him speak :)  He is a motivational speaker in many local area schools and he tours the country.  One amazing testimony from his talk (I'll try to remember to post the link when it's up on the website) was that he grew up in the foster care system for most of his childhood.  He was sold for $20 for food.  This is reality people! :(  A few weeks ago he was speaking to a middle school and one eighth grader went home and told his grandma about Reggie.  GET was his birth mother!!!!!!!!! WOW!! So he connected with his birth mother at the age of 49 (I think that's how old he said he was).  He discovered that he had an older brother who is in prison and a younger sibling that was a long-time alcoholic and near death.  I loved his attitude...the King is in inside of him and he has such an attitude of grace.  He was so thankful that the hard times of his youth produced in him a fire that has led to many being saved!!!!  What if his mother had never sold him...where would he be today?  God is good ALL the time!!!

I sat with his some friends at church today (since my crew all stay home sick with Daddy) and on the other side was the director of our local pregnancy center.  I ministered to many women when I was a pregnancy counselor there and have kept in contact with her.  She is an amazing woman of God!  After the service she asked if for National Adoption Month would I be willing to come and speak to the adoption support group.  This is a group of birth mothers who chose adoption for their babies that meets weekly at the center.  If you know me IRL you know that I am not a very outgoing person.  I do not like public speaking of any kind...even a small group...where all the attention is focused on me.  BUT GOD...with Him ALL things are possible...even getting in front of people to speak :)  I better really start praying about what He wants me to say and the Holy Spirit better grab my tongue when I am there and get me out of the way!! :)

I KNOW God has some amazing and powerful things coming up, especially next month!  Nov. 4th is Orphan Sunday and our church will be recognizing it officially for the first time!!  We will have a table set up and get to hand out information for a class being held at our church for those interested in information about adoption/foster care the following week.  I'll be speaking there too and people can ask questions from a foster momma in the trenches!  Blown away by how God is working in our city!!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012


(photo courtesy 4KidsTampa)
Today I attended a free Joyce Meyer conference and was beyond excited to hear her mini-message was about adoption / foster care!  She was encouraging people to consider them and even asked people to raise their hands if that is something they have been considering.  Lots of people actually raised their hands!  Now...pray for those hands that went up to TAKE ACTION!

I have more about her full message and how I plan to apply it to foster care, but that needs to get processed and unpacked in my mind before I can share it :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Fatherless

Check out the above link on information on our "fatherless generation." It is amazing to think how much our society and America could change if more and more children had father's present!  From promiscuous activity, to drug use, to s*exual abuse, to violent behavior and more!  How could we change America if we all stopped being so selfish and started to serve others?  Helping that single mom struggling to provide for her kids, stopping human traffiking, becoming a mentor to a child who need a positive role model, or stepping up as a foster/adoptive parent.  Rather than buying that new and fancy cell phone, ipad, unnecessary car or whatever....maybe spend that money to help a homeless person, get involved with a teen program to get them in heading in the right direction, or ???? .  The possibilities seem endless if only we would stop being "Sunday Christians" and RISE UP to BE THE CHURCH!!!!

The link below is in regards to foster youth and many of the outcomes once they have "graduated" the system.  We need to be the HOPE for these children....they don't have too many choices once they leave and homelessness, prison, drugs, traffiking, etc are where they are going.  We need to support these programs and DO SOMETHING! This is a local (FL)  opportunity to get involved!  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Running through my head

Questions started running through my head today....can the aunt/uncle/placing agency appeal the decision from yesterday?  What about when we get to the MBI (Manifest best Interest) following TPR of bio-dad??

Thankfully we have an awesome social worker who is so patient with me and all my crazy questions!  She said it is unlikely that anyone would appeal the decision yesterday so that is good!

As for the MBI...the aunt/uncle will be considered along with us.  They ARE biological family, but we have more of a long standing bond with Baby of course!  It has been recommended to us that we get a bonding assessment between us and Baby vs. Aunt/Uncle.  She said that it looks good though in regards to what the decision was yesterday....that it could go in our favor.

This ride is NOT OVER!  I am thankful that Baby gets to stay here through it all though!! :)

It's been six months

Every morning for the past six months I have woken up and prayed about Baby's case.  I have shed so many tears over having him leave and grieving for him and my other kids what they were not yet aware of.  I have several bins packed and we even had a goodbye party for him!

PINCH ME!  I still cannot believe this is real!  I can UNPACK the bins and unpack that baggage in my mind.  I fully expect a "last ditch" effort by Bio-Dad to get his life in order because the Aunt/Uncle have pinned him against me and in the last 6 months he has not called/texted me at all (before that he did several times a week)  He has such disdain for the people that have cared and loved for his son when all he cared about was himself.

I imagined last night if things had gone differently.  If they had been walking out of the court room with the verdict they wanted.  How would I have behaved?  I totally believe that I would have walked out with my head hung low but still praising God that His plan was completed.  I would not "hate" the aunt/uncle/bio-dad.  I would not give them dirty looks.  I'm not being prideful here, but rather realizing that God is in control ALWAYS!!!!!  It would not be their "fault" that Baby was leaving.  It's just God's plan for Baby.  These people are some of the MANY people in America who claim to be Christians yet their lives do not reflect that walk!  All 3 of them will constantly remain in my prayers.  I  believe that their motives will truly show over the next several months as this case continues.  God will show if their hearts were pure in wanting Baby.  It's not up to me and frankly I hope they do continue with visits and that their efforts were genuine....that Baby knows he has his forever family (hopefully us!!!) and his biological family....extra LOVE :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Knock me over with a feather!!!!!!

So court today was NOT AT ALL what I expected!!!!!!!!!!  There was more testimony from the GAL supervisor that was with the case until May 2011 and also the GAL that Uncle spoke so candidly to.  Birth-dad didn't have much to say except that he wanted Baby to live with Aunt/Uncle and his biological siblings.

During closing arguments the DA summed things up pretty nicely and made the aunt/uncle look really good.  The GAL did likewise for keeping him here in his current placement.  After all was said and done the judge made her ruling.  She praised the Aunt/Uncle for not taking another child when they couldn't handle it.  She praised me/us for keeping up with all the visits and facilitating all of that.  She said that there is NO REASON to move this child.  MOTION DENIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SO......Baby is not going anywhere!!!!!  Bio-dad still wants a chance to get Baby back. LOL!  Ummm...the judge chastised him and quoted the law books and said this need to be done soon so he better get his "stuff" together YESTERDAY!!!!!!  So now the GAL is planning on filing for termination of parental rights for bio-dad (mom will be so easy to get).  His time clock is ticking fast!!

If looks could kill I'd be dead 3X's over!!!  Aunt/Uncle and Bio-Dad walked out of the court room and kept looking back me.  They were giving me death-looks before court even started!  Bio-dad and Uncle went out in the hallway to talk so I wouldn't hear.

I hate how I am being seen as the enemy when hubby and I were the only ones who stepped up when Baby needed someone!!!!  Why are we all the sudden the enemy???  Because we want to keep him in a stable placement?

From here.....the TPR motion will be filed, I'm sure we'll go to trial.  Since we have had Baby so long we will be first in line to adopt (I am pretty sure about this one).  I think other than visits continuing as normal with Aunt/Uncle/bio-Dad that's it.  If Baby is going to leave it's going to be because Bio-dad got his stuff together and is getting Baby back.  Frankly, he's had 21 months to get a job and place to live and stay clean.  Nope...nope....and nope.....Now it's just a waiting game :)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Not a lot going on....

I just realized it's been nearly 2 weeks since I last posted!  Foster care land has just been at a stand-still waiting for court to happen.  This Wed, hopefully the stand-still will end and we will have an answer.

Uncle and I decided that we would meet to drop off Baby on Friday rather than Sat. this week.  I got a text early that he was having car trouble and could I just drive Baby to their house rather than our meeting spot.  Part of me was not happy about having to drive the extra way, but the other part won out because I wanted to see where Baby would be living.  It appeared to be a decent apartment complex.  Unfortunately, Uncle was waiting for me in the parking lot, so I didn't get to see the inside of their apt.  Baby was totally confused as to why *I* was at their place, but he said "bye mom," gave me a kiss and went to his uncle.

The countdown is on....I just want to know!!!

Saturday, September 29, 2012


I planned to drop Baby off for his weekend visit with his aunt/uncle this morning and surprisingly the Aunt was actually there.  We chit-chatted for a moment and then Uncle opened a can of worms for the Aunt and off she went!  She vented for 20 min. about every thing on this case from the course it has taken, to the CM, to the GAL she hates and how she feels like their family is on trial.

She broke down and cried at one point saying that she thought that the case was not going in their favor and Baby would have a "family" and 25  more members across the city that he would never know about.  WHAT???  I told her that what her husband said goes for us as well.  IF we were to get to adopt Baby (which I don't think will happen) he will still know who they are and have connections with them.  I told her that either way he will always have two families...she didn't like that I called us his family.  I could see it in her eyes.  Her rant (which included throwing her husband under the bus in front of him..several times) included "her version" of events of the past (almost) 2 years.  I did a lot of listening and very little talking.  I'm not judging them, but at the same time I am not feeling sorry for them either.  We all make our own choices.  

I don't know how this case will end....I really don't!  I think Baby's going to live there.  She thinks Baby is going to live here.  Court has been rescheduled AGAIN for Oct 17th.  Aunt said today "I just want this to be over with!"  OH MY....she has no idea....I've been "doing" this case for 20 months....I'M READY!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ready to scream!

I got an email (on an already tough morning) that our court date for Baby of Oct 1st is getting rescheduled!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Can you hear me screaming in frustration??????????  The first hearing was supposed to be in Aug.  We are now probably looking at the end of Oct (no official date given to me yet).  At this rate the kid's gonna be 10 before he has permanency!  Sheesh!!!!!!!!!  Seriously baby is almost 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I just want this over with....I know I have to  look for what God could be doing in these delays, but it's hard....oh so hard!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I'm different

We are quickly approaching 3 years as foster parents!  Gosh it seems like so much longer than that-lol!  I have been thinking back to the person I was 3 years ago and have realized just how different I was....

3 years ago I had rose-colored glasses on to the harsh reality of those living very near to me.  Drugs, prostitution, physical abuse, domestic violence....I'd been shielded and separated from those things. I've learned people do desperate things in desperate times.  People have good intentions but life circumstances and in some cases selfish desires become more important than their children.

I'm different.

3 years ago it was my hubby and 2 sons.  We drove a regular size car and lived a quiet life.  We now have 4 children (completed another adoption), a minivan (and considering something larger), caseworkers and GAL's calling/visiting, court, staffings and family visitations.

I'm different.

3 years ago I truly thought that we would have MANY placements in a short amount of time.  We've had a total of 4 placements.  One was Michael at over 2 yrs, Baby 19 months (and counting), Squirt for 5 weeks, and Bean for 2 weeks.

I'm different.

3 years ago I thought most of our (many) cases would end in reunification.  Fact is that so far NONE of them have ended that way.  :(

I'm different.

3 years ago I loved the Lord, had committed my life to Him and was living for Him.  Now I have learned a WHOLE NEW dependence on Him DAILY!  I have learned what it means to be at peace even though it means I may be hurt.  I have learned what it truly means to sacrifice for another human being.  I have gone deeper in prayer for those in our foster care system and those who are working on behalf of all the innocent children caught up in their parent's mess.  I have increased my faith in Him and that He is who He says He is and I am who He says I am in Him!

I'm different.  Some good, some not so good, some darn right HARD, but God has stretched me, changed me, and loved me in a way where I could never go back to what I was.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Staffing summary

Uncle and I arrived at the same time today to the staffing.  Uncle had kept Baby through today and we had planned on just meeting at the staffing and I would take Baby from there.  Baby saw me drive in and noticed my car right away.  He got all excited and pointed for me.  :)

The staffing was a waste of time!  The CM and GAL were not there, so it was just the permanency specialist, the CM's supervisor, Uncle, Baby and myself.  Of course everyone there was for Baby going to the Uncle's and this was all a formality because the CM got called out in court on it.

Uncle did stop to say that he was very appreciative of all the my husband and I have done and recognized Matt and I as Baby's parents and the people who had such an influence in his life.  He went on to say that he wants us to remain a part of Baby's life after he leaves (if).  He said that he wants us to be Baby's Godparents, have weekend visits (like they do now), and be there for special things in his life (his example was Kindergarten graduation).

Yesterday I was missing my baby so I texted Uncle to tell Baby that I missed him and to give him kisses from me.  He then texted me 4 different pictures of what Baby was doing right then :)  I pray that he means the words he has said and that we do get to remain a part of his life.  That would make this infinitely easier knowing that we do have to say goodbye that it wouldn't be forever!  I think that will help our kids as well :)

I don't understand it all...why we've had to go through what we have with this case, why they didn't take him earlier, why so many delays, and the list goes on!  BUT GOD....He has a plan for Baby and his future and whether we are his legal parents or "just" the people who raised him for the first 1 1/2 yrs of his life  we will get to see "our" baby grow up and hopefully have a strong influence in bringing him to the Lord...the most important part!!! :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Do any of you ever dream about what you would name your foster child should you get to adopt them???  I have had a name for Baby stuck in my head since he was very small.  His current name (both first and middle) are names that do not reflect what we think about Baby at all.  Ok...his middle name is so off the wall and it means "a slender man."  Personally we believe that name meanings are very significant!  With Baby's stature this could be very true of him, who cares...we can see the physical with our eyes, I want something more significant!

Like I said, I have had a first name in my head for well over a year a now.  Hubby agrees and I may have slipped it to a couple of friends recently, but the middle name is still to be determined SHOULD WE GET TO ADOPT BABY!!!  Let me tell you...those words give me chills.  Up until yesterday I thought our opportunity to permanently add him to our family was gone.  I had come to terms with that....BUT GOD seems to possibly have other plans for our Baby!

 Don't worry, I'm not a delusional woman!  I know full well that the judge could totally still decide that Baby be placed with his aunt/uncle, but there is HOPE and with hope comes my dreams of one day calling my Baby by the name that we believe is more fitting of our sweet boy! to dream of a middle name for our little champ! :)

A bit more...

  If you remember, back in June it was mandated by the judge that should Dad miss or have any more (+/abnormal) drug screens that he have a substance abuse evaluation.  Well, he has.  The CM told him about the need for an evaluation but didn't give him an official referral form.  He told her that he would not be doing the evaluation because he felt like he didn't need to.  This all makes the possibility of a TPR a bit more possible should the judge choose to not change his placement.  If she decides to go ahead and change the placement anyway, the plan is PG, but they are also open to adoption, so I am not sure what would happen at that point.

Continued prayers for a miracle appreciated....I know they're working already!!!!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Court results

Well, I guess it was a positive that our case was actually HEARD today :)  It became very clear after the CM testified that this was not going to be quick and easy.  The GAL's lawyer was there today and made the CM account for lots of things that were not completed and made it clear that the CM didn't really know her stuff.

The judge (who is very pro-family) commented that this child has been with us for a year and half and NOW the aunt/uncle are interested????  I was very happy to hear that.  Uncle tried to chime in and was shut down very quickly. never showed up.

Next Uncle was called to the stand.  That was surprise!  The GAL's lawyer interrogated him and he was lost on dates and had no clue!  He backpedaled about lies he has told and said that the person (who was not there) was lying.  The GAL immediately asked for a continuance rebuttal against what the uncle just said.  SIGH!  She continued to ask questions.

Then I was called to the stand!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I was not told this would happen and certainly did not expect it.  I was the only person to know all the details(thank you Holy Spirit!!)...when the original visits were, when they made contact with the CM again, when the visits started again, and when overnights started.  I know the judge took note of that :)

SOOOOOOOOOOO......................we wait another 22 days till Oct 1st when the hearing will be continued.  The aunt/uncle walked out FURIOUS that the judge wouldn't even listen to any of their banter and saying "if we are such bad parents then why do we have the other two?"  I walked out FRUSTRATED and THRILLED all at once!  I want a decision to made NOW but I will soak up any additional days with my Baby...that's for sure!!!!


It's today...take two!  Please be in prayer....9am :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

As the day draws closer...

  • every hug seems sweeter
  • every word he speaks seems more adorable
  • every time I put him to bed I hold on a little longer
  • every dinner time when the floor is trashed makes me think how I will miss his messes
  • every time he does a silly dance I try to burn it in my memory
  • every time he whimpers in the night I secretly hope he'll need some extra cuddles
  • every time he giggles and plays with his brothers I think how much they will miss each other
  • every time I brush his teeth I wonder how many more teeth I will get to see pop through
  • every picture I take I treasure more and more and wonder if I will get pictures of him in the future
  • every 1 yr old tantrum bothers me less
  • every cuddle he gives me I try to breathe him in as much as humanly possible not wanting to let go
  • every smile melts my heart
Oh there is so much more....if you have ever had to say goodbye to a child whether a long-term foster child or perhaps your child was called Home, then you know what I mean.  It's like living every day like it's your last....I guess we should live like that always huh?! :)


It's a BOY!!!!!!!!!!!  Nope..not us :)  I got an email from Michael's birth mom yesterday saying hello and asking what was going on around here.  I wrote her back very casually.  She responded with chit chat, then threw in a sentence something like this {yup I'm gonna have a baby in November it's a boy} and went on with more chit chat.  Whoa whoa whoa!!!! What?

Sigh...her and birth dad are " in love and we will be together forever and ever!"  It makes me sad how she thinks that this toxic violent relationship with a drug using dude is worth staying for :(  This will be their 3rd child together.  So far the other 2 are not with them.  I am wondering how long this one will be with them??? I have contacted Michael's old GAL and she is talking to her supervisor to see if there is anything that needs to be done with this information (I think this is the reason "A" hasn't told me she is pregnant sooner).  There is not an open CPS case so I am sure that they will be able to keep the baby, but I definitely think that with both their histories and involvement with CPS that they should be followed.  They got pregnant soon before the finalization of Michael's adoption.....not by accident I am sure.

God has allowed this to happen for His purpose!  I have to keep telling myself this!!!  I am praying SO HARD for this little one because I have read the files, I know what has gone on in this family and it breaks my heart that another child would have to endure that kind of life.  All the boys (she's had was a miscarriage) have "M" names.  Wonder what this one will be???  Michael's bio-sister looks *exactly* like him so I am curious to see the baby.  I bet it will give me a really good idea of what Michael looked like as a small infant :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Acorn anyone?

We were happily driving Isaac to speech today...all 4 kiddos in tow.  We were 1/2 way there when I hear from the backseat "there's an acorn in my nose and I can't get it out!"  Me:"WHAT???????"  I tried everything I could think of to get that darn thing out!!  Pepper, pushing from the top, clogging the other nostril and having him blow...nada!  I ended up having to take Michael to the ER today where they were able to blow it out his nose with a lovely "pop" sound!  He told the nurse to go ahead and give it back to the squirrel.  Umm yeah...I don't think that squirrel wants a snot covered slimy acorn back! LOL!

This was his story.....
"Squirrels! TWO squirrels put da acorn in my nose Mom! They had a taste then put it in there to save it!" 

So his story is that 2 rogue squirrels hitched a ride to speech class with us today. 1/2 way there these 2 squirrels tasted the acorn and decided to stick it up his nose to save it for later. Oye! We were in and out of the ER in 1 literally took 1 second for the darn thing to pop out! I'm chuckling about it now, but I have a STRONG feeling that I will frequent the ER with this child more than any other! So far he's winning with 3 trips.  Baby has 2, Isaac has 2, and Andrew has 0! :)  

Sunday, September 2, 2012

God appointment

Yesterday was Isaac's first tumbling class!  He is not our most graceful child and we are hoping that working on balance and some more physical activity will be good for him!  I was sitting there with Andrew and Michael (Baby is on a weekend visit) and there was a woman sitting next to me.  He daughter was in the class as well.

Over the course of the class she began asking me questions...lots of questions!  She originally started with talking about her desire to have another biological child.  Over the course of the conversation she kept remarking how well-behaved my children were (thank you Jesus!) and how beautiful they are etc.  By the end of our time together she had a WHOLE NEW view of foster care/adoption, what it means/looks like to be a foster/adoptive parent and a desire to talk to her husband about this possibility in the future for their family!!! :-)

This has happened many times in our 3 years as foster parents and I love how God uses our regular family, doing regular things, to do mighty things for His Kingdom :)  Praying for her, her husband's heart and *hopefully* the children that will enter their home in the future!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Looking outside watching Mikey (3) and Baby play together on the slide, laughing and giggling away made me smile, but it also made me sad :(  Both of their little lives are about to change so much.  I hate that these feelings keep getting dragged on and on.

I signed a few of the boys up for a tumbling class today and I saw that there was one for babies 15 months-3 years.  I immediately thought that I would sign Baby up and then...reality...he may not be here for the course of the class.

Baby had his 18 month well-care visit today.  He's doing great but she wants him to see a pediatric dentist to file down his tooth (that got chipped.....remember?) and check out the nerve.  Every time he falls that sharp tooth cuts his lip.  It went all the way through his lip last night :(  She asked if I wanted to make his next appt and again...reality...I told her I'll call later based on the results of court.

Torture.....taking 4 kids to the Dr. and having to wait in the waiting room and then in the patient room.  They are such good boys, but SO ACTIVE and Michael is just the LOUDEST child EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I need to record my voice saying "Quiet voice!!"  Two Dr. appts 2 days in a row is enough for me :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Accomplishments of the day

  • Quiet time to start my day!
  • Completed all documents for our re-licensing home study!!!!!!!!!!  Thank you Jesus that's done for another year :)
  • Homeschooled 3 children (all the while the 1 yr old was demanding attention!)
  • Arranged ANOTHER case worker visit because this dual case management stuff is not working out!  The new CM was here last Monday as a surprise visit with our FDS who was doing our re-licensing visit.  Well for some reason she put her visit in the system as a home study (which for her it wasn't).  They couldn't change it now so the old CM is coming out...why???  I don't know why the new one who is supposed to do the field work isn't coming back....OYE!!!
  • Cookie made :) Healthy ones!
  • Worked out (before eating yummy cookies)
  • Grocery list made and ready for tomorrow's shopping
  • Home made refried beans and refried black beans made
  • Found out that giving the kids ice cubes and a rubber mallet outside  is a great way to stabilize moods and get aggression out!  I plan to make one of those big blocks and hide toys in it.  They loved this activity!
  • Prepped for next week's history lessons
  • Now I am making dinner (chicken with sauteed onions and baked sweet potatoes :)  Our small group leaders are out of town for a few weeks so we are crashing our old life group tonight!  The kids are excited to see their friends and "Mr. Mr. Wong" as Isaac used to call them :)  
There has to more that I accomplished today...oh well, that's gonna have to do :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Too funny!

I still get telemarketer calls every once in awhile and sometime back I had the brilliant idea of putting my children on the phone to "entertain" me :)  They chat the person's ear off about whatever is on their mind and end it with a lovely "God loves you!"  Today all the big kiddos were upstairs and couldn't come to the phone, so I decided to give Baby his first crack at it!  Here's how it went...

T:  Hello, may I speak to Mrs. D?
B:  He-whoa! (hello)
T: Yes, may I speak with Mrs. D please?
B: Ha!  Gaga!!! (what he calls my husband)
T: {long pause} Ok...well thank you and have a nice day!
B: Bye bye!

So stinkin' funny!  Us SAHM's get amusement from the craziest things-lol!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


So after all that emotional build up, preparing to say goodbye, having a party, etc.....we waited 2 hours and then walked into the courtroom where the judge said that the Guardian's lawyer was on vacation and wanted to continue to hearing so that she could be present!  AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!  While I appreciate the fact that she really want to be there for this hearing, couldn't this have been brought to everyone's attention before people took off of work, paid babysitters, adjusted schedules, and waited a ridiculous amount of time?????  Grrrrrrrr...............The judge then said that next week is trials all week, then our city is being closed down for a big convention, then the week after that they are playing catch up from having 2 weeks off, so as it sits we have a new hearing set for SEPT 10th!!!!!!!!

I am choosing to see the positive side though....that is 25 more days that I *know* Baby will be in our home.  25 more days to love on him and enjoy his presence here in our home.  God doesn't make mistakes...this is all part of His plan.  We may never know (this side of heaven) why this has been drug out for months, but I can rest in knowing that God already knows Baby's future and this delay was not a surprise to Him.  It is done already now we just have to wait to find out what that looks like.

Baby's 3 yr old brother's ( the one who was adopted by his foster parents) adoptive mom and I have been communicating more lately.  Last week we went out and had fun at a local Aquarium.  She is a  strong woman of God and I love how she just constantly is putting perspective where it belongs.  I asked her if "B" (her son) ever sees aunt/uncle and the other siblings. She said that they have been seeing each other every couple of weeks socially to get the kids together.  She told me that although God has already made his decision BUT it is her earthly desire to see Baby stay with us.  She has seen first hand how Baby's siblings are treated very differently (the GAL has also mentioned this) from Aunt's children from other relationships.  This breaks my heart!!!!!  It's not that they are not clean/fed/needs met, because those things are taken care of.  Rather it's the expensive toys/video game systems, school bio child attends, etc.  The other kids are clearly separated and set apart (not in a good way) from the bio child and that simply is not fair to them!!!!!

Please keep our kiddos (especially A) in your prayers.  All this emotional up and down 'not knowing what is going to happen' is starting to affect his behavior.   He is not a crying kid at all and lately he has been having melt downs and just been so emotional.  This is the child that does not do well with change, so all this just has him all turned around.  Please pray that God gives hubby and I wisdom on how to help him through this. The other kid's reactions were "oh, he's staying for another month? Ok!" and they ran off to play :)

Monday, August 13, 2012


Our re-licensure visit went pretty well.  I vented, I cried, we laughed and ultimately the kiddos lightened everything up :)  Our wonderful social worker asked the CM what we could expect on Wednesday as far as a transition and she said that they would be asking the judge for a transition plan based on how Baby is doing.  She said we'd go at his pace.  To make a long story short, I don't think that my perspective of how he is transitioning vs. aunt/uncles will match.  The CM said that of course she has to follow whatever the judge orders, so if she orders Baby be moved that day, then we have to comply.

Interestingly enough...aunt/uncle's home study expired at the beginning of June.  Guess where the CM was heading??? do the home study!  I acted shocked and in disbelief and she acted as though it were no problem.  She'd get it done today, take 1 day for her supervisor to look at it (assuring me it would be approved) and be ready for court.  I *don't think* that the judge will order Baby directly to them because their backgrounds are not back yet, but then again...shoot!  Who knows?  Rules seem to be made to be broken in the system, so.....

The part that broke my heart was when Michael came over to Baby and I and said "{Baby} is my brother!" Awwwww.....yes, sweetheart he is!  Andrew, despite our efforts to keep things in the "maybe he's leaving" light came out and said "{Baby} is leaving our house."  There is no gray area for's all black or white.

I've said it before and I'll say it again....I am so glad that we had a positive foster care experience (Michael's adoption) before crashing into this wall!  Whew....

Goodbye party

Today several friends stopped over to wish Baby well and say good bye not knowing when the actual goodbye will be.  We are truly grateful for each and every one of you!  Thank you for your prayers, your time, and the gifts for Baby!  What got me choked up the most is the sweet notes that everyone wrote to him.  This boy will know that he was loved here :)

Some good friends from church have two very sweet daughters (12 yo twins) that have become very attached to Baby.  They serve as student helpers in Baby's church class and when they learned that he would be leaving one literally got choked up and started crying saying "I don't want him to go!"  Her time spent at the party was sitting right next to him feeding him continuous quiche and commenting on how cute he is :)

Between that and my really good foster mommy friend K. trying not to cry as she said her goodbyes it was all I could do to keep it to together.  Last night after everyone was asleep and I laid down for the night IT.HIT.ME.  The tears just started rolling thinking of all that is/could happen this week. IT'S. REAL!

Today we have our social worker visit and I suspect our "unannounced" visit from the new case manager.  My mind is totally taken over by the upcoming events and getting re-licensed to go through this torture again really isn't what I want to do today :(  Sigh...deep breathes!  Keep praying friends!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Getting ready

As Wednesday approaches we have no idea how long the judge will let us transition Baby and how long he will remain in our home after the verdict of changing placements takes place.  So....we decided to hurry up and have a Goodbye Party for him this weekend just in case the judge orders it immediately or next weekend (which is totally possible).  The party is going to be tomorrow and we are choosing to make it a celebration of his time spent here with us :)

My wonderful mother has sent my kiddos 2 different recordable books where she reads them stories.  Baby loves to listen to them and he says "Maw maw!" then he shuts the book, puts his hands in the air and asks "go?" He then repeats this over and over.  It's so cute.  As he was doing this today I had the bright idea....DUH!  Do that for Baby!  He will be able to listen to my voice as I read him a story even though I won't physically be there with him once he's gone.  I like this idea a lot.  Time to hit Hallmark! :)

We had to tell the kids about the possibility of him leaving a bit sooner than we wanted because of our desire to have a party for him, but they seem to doing well so far.  Of course I put it all on the judge and said it was up to her.  Andrew (8) said "No it's not Mom!  It's up to God!  He's more powerful than that judge"  Oh yes sweet boy you are right!  We then had a discussion about God's will and how even though we think something should happen one way God's ideas might not be the same.  A question pops up here and there, but so far so good.  I guess we'll see how things go after Wednesday.  I am so thankful we have an early morning hearing!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Court Date!

Wow...I cannot believe it!  3 months later we have a court date!  Next week Wed (the 15th) at 9am our lives will probably be given a verdict that will change us forever!  Baby's placement change hearing will happen that day and I just have this feeling that since it's his aunt/uncle's weekend next weekend that the judge will say to change his placement then.

Reality stinks, but God gradually has been giving me a peace that defies understanding.  Baby is in His hands and He will never let Baby go!

Now to prepare the other kiddos......

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Do you know who you are?

So many of the debates and issues surrounding parenting simply have no merit to us foster parents.  We simply must obey the rules or there will be consequences.  Some examples...

Breastfeeding or rather using "donated" breast milk. (formula only)
Using natural remedies that mainstream may not accept
Immunizations (have to)
School (must go)
Co-sleeping (we are allowed to have a child 12 months or younger in our room, but NOT in our bed)
Leashes for kids
(NOTE:  I am not interested in discussing any of these matters in a debate form :) )

In the end do any of these things really matter?  When we stand before our Lord on judgement day will these be the things that matter?  NO!  God has been speaking to me a lot lately about WHOSE I am and that I really need to recognize this.  I shouldn't care what others think of me or say about me (or our parenting choices, etc) value does not come from them.  Am I pleasing my Heavenly Father?  Am I doing what He told me to do? THAT is what matters.

We MUST teach our children that they are a son or daughter of the Most High God!!  Our children MUST know and realize their value in Christ whether they are here for a few days, weeks, months, years, or forever!  What a great and awesome responsibility we have as parents and foster parents to put what really matters into the hearts of our children!!  It's not about things that we have, the latest and greatest gadget, the kinds of clothes we wear or what that other person called you etc.  I love to read THIS story to my kids.  It's called "You are Special" by Max Lucado and reinforces that only their Maker is the one they need to please.  He loves them and cares for them just the way they are and His is the Voice they need to listen to :)

Love on, cuddle and snuggle those little ones (or not so little ones) He has entrusted to you today and pour out how much God loves them into their little hearts :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Michael is learning!

I have been trying to start doing a theme with Michael each week and we focus on reading a lot of books, a shape, a letter, and color too.  He recently turned 3 and is ready for a bit of structure, although we tend to just fit it into our day for now until I start school with the big kiddos.

This week has been the theme COWS.  This morning I asked him to tell me everything he has learned about cows and this was his response...

"I learn about cows, gutters (udders!), bulls, calves, butter, beef, they go to a farm, skin (cowhide), they eat grass!"

Overall he retained quite a bit throughout the week :-)

Next week the theme is Jungle!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

What Baby has been up to....18 months

So since there is no news in his case I guess I'll update you all on what my sweetie has been up! He turned 18 months a few days ago.

  1. He is cutting EIGHT teeth all at once. can imagine how fun it has been!  Poor things gums are SO swollen.  
  2. He is chatting up a storm!  We walked into Target today and he said "Ga get!" name is Melissa and I'm a Target-a-holic!
  3. He is getting so tall!
  4. He eats like a horse...often eating more than I do!
  5. His chipped tooth has not seemed to bother him.  He looks silly but what are you gonna do?!
  6. He says lots of animal sounds, everyone in our family's name (along with some others) and lots and lots of words!!
  7. He is into pointing out body parts...he can do head, ears, eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, belly, butt-butt, legs, feet, and arms.
  8. For some reason every mosquito and ant seem to like his sweet legs.  Poor guy!
  9. He melts pretty much anyone he meets with that smile!  He made lots of new friends at the VBS program last night by smiling and clapping when everyone else clapped.  Of course he is one super loud baby so all the other "cheering" (ya during prayer!) made us watch from the foyer!
  10. He is a cuddly, loving, sweet little boy who loves to give kisses and we like to call him "gentle giant" because although  he's pretty tall for his age he has one of the most sensitive spirits about him.  
  11. He LOVES to be outside and will find every person's shoes from the rack and bring them to the right person when it's time to go.  He says "shoes shoes!  Go go go!" and will run to the door and wait for everyone to come :)
  12. He says "Hi" to anyone and everyone, including the people in the cars next to us who couldn't possibly hear his sweet voice.  
  13. He has the longest eye lashes that curl and when he bats those eyes it's so hard to say no!
So that's just a tad about what's going on with our sweetie :)

In other news.....I am not quite sure I will survive the age of 3!  For some reason 3 has been the toughest age for me thus far (yes I know the teenage/hormone years are coming!) It was the same for Andrew and Isaac as well.  The only difference with Michael is that he seems to have double to triple the lung capacity and can carry on a screaming fit for infinitely longer than the other two.  Wheew....the house is always stocked with aspirin!  

The big boys are getting gearing up to start home school again very soon!  I am trying to get all things organized and into place.  

Hubby and I are celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary next Friday and he's taking me on a night cruise around the Bay for dinner and dancing!!!!  We have more than earned a night away together to celebrate :)  

Friday, July 27, 2012

Change is good!

I was supposed to have a CM monthly visit this morning at 9.  A different CM called and said she was going to do the visit but she had a flat tire so she came this afternoon instead.  I casually asked why the other CM was not here and she said that they now are going to do "dual case management."  So our regular CM will be doing all the paperwork/office stuff (Lord help us!!!!) and she would be doing the field stuff.  

I could not be more excited to get fresh blood into this case!!  She has been with this agency for 10 years (in various forms) but after an accident and needing to take a year off of work case management was all that was available.  Lucky her!  I am so excited to get someone who RESPONDS to communication (she loves email--yes Lord!) and is ON TIME :)  If you know me you know how happy this makes me!  I'm kind of an "on-time" snob.  An aside:  The other day at the allergist my 8 yo was told to be on time for his allergy testing.  He responded "we are a very punctual family...well, except my Dad.  He makes us late!"  LOL!!!!!!!!  He's not lying....I digress!

SO...the waiting continues, but this is a change of events I did not expect.  Hoping there are more *good* changes to come!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Can you hear my shrills???

This morning I took the kiddos to the local Aquarium to have some fun :)  While there I got a text from Baby's CM saying that legal had a problem with the paperwork so "we" are going to file the motion (to get Baby moved) AGAIN and wait for a court date.  AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  That means that the last 2+ months of waiting for NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I'm not sure if it was her error, but if I had to  put money on it I would guess yes because she's having problems with 2 of her other cases needing court dates as well.

I still wonder about aunt/uncle's commitment.  This should be their weekend for a visit but "next weekend works better for us."  So now they are choosing when it's convenient.  I am PRAYING that God is using this time to get some things settled in their minds.  Really...are you ready for another full-time child?

In other news....Bean's new foster mom dropped by to pick up clothes for his Baby sister and I was able to see her and Bean :)  They are both doing SO WELL and I am excited that they are in a placement where they are thriving.  We are actually going to meet tomorrow at the local Y  for some water park fun!  This is the first respite/short term child that we've seen after they left!  The kids were like "what?!  we get to see him again?"  He lives so close!

So....more waiting!  Unfortunately we are getting really used to it :(  Poor Baby is the one who will suffer the most.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


As we continue to wait for THE court date I can't help but think that maybe God is using this time for another purpose.  Things keep going through my brain like "what if Uncle/Aunt change their mind?  What if something happens in their lives and they aren't able to take Baby?  What if the judge sees through to the heart of the matter...that WE are his family...not blood, but family!"  I have one foot in reality....I've already packed a lot of his clothes, have his life book made, gathered lots of his toys, wrote out his current schedule,etc.  The other foot is thinking about all the "what if's" mentioned above.

A month or so ago when I thought that he was going for sure (soon!), him leaving was the only thing I thought about.  I don't know why there is this huge delay in getting a court date (2+ months??!!) but I can only pray that God is using this for Baby's way or another.  Most days we just move through like life is normal...then a social worker calls or someone needs to visit and the reality of him leaving is back in the front of my mind.

I don't want my baby to leave, but I loathe this limbo that we've been in for 2+ months!  Just tell me what's gonna happen!  I was told to expect a court date (for this coming up week) last week.  Friday I texted the CM and she said that since it had been so long if legal had not contacted her by COB on Friday her supervisor would get involved...why it's taken so long I have no idea!  So...maybe this week we will hear????

Next week (the 31st) my Baby will be 18 months old.  18 months.  Having him from 3 days old with a non-offending father and family in the area....never did I think that we would have him 18  months later....still not knowing exactly what will happen.  Baby will most likely be leaving, but we serve a "suddenly" God and ANYTHING is possible with HIM!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Back to 6!

This afternoon we dropped Bean off at his new foster home!  We were excited to hear that he would only be about 10 min. from us.  I asked if we could drop him off so maybe that would ease the transition a bit...of course the CM didn't mind not driving 45 min to our house!

Bean went right to his new FM and she gave him some cheese and he was set!  He was off and running and checking everything out, including the dogs...whew!  I spent 1 min in the house dropping the stuff off and my breathing was messed up.  That's some strong dog dander!  Thankfully we hung out outside for a few minutes :)  He will eat up being the only one there for awhile.

His new foster parents were blown away by the amount of clothes/diapers/wipes/etc that I brought with him!  3 of my friends graciously donated things to supplement what I was planning on sending and Bean is set for quite awhile!  Baby sister will be joining him on Monday and they have very little for her, so they were so excited to hear that one of those same friends has baby girl clothes for them as well! :)  It's so fun blessing others. It makes me think of this verse...

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.
Proverbs 3:27

The CM on the case (whom I LOVE) called this morning to THANK ME for all that we have done for Bean and dealing with his skin condition and keeping him until a placement could be found.  It was so refreshing!  Last week I emailed her supervisor to tell him just how wonderful she is.  You all know how much I think Baby's CM has messed things up for his case, so when I have a great case worker I will be sure to let him/her know and their supervisor!

So we officially are not accepting any new placements for now.  I think breaks are SO important for foster parents/families.  When we jump from case to case to case it's so easy to get caught up in foster care land!  Especially after some of the circumstances with this last placement...we're ready :)  Our lives revolve around when the CM needs to visit, when the GAL needs to visit, when the child visits his/her parents and/or family members, paperwork, etc.  It's so easy to put our forever children and marriage on the back burner.  So..if you are a foster family who doesn't take breaks...I believe you should!  Even if it's only a week b/w placements.

SO....we are looking forward to some footloose and fancy free fun!  Of course we still have Baby so foster care is still "here" for now (if we ever get a court date!)  but it's easier for me to do things with the bigger kids with only one baby vs. two.  We'll get refreshed and renewed mentally and physically and when hubby and I feel mutually "ready" we'll dive back in!  The kids are excited to not have to share quite so much of Mommy and be able to go more places (easily!)  Of course the oldest two are most excited that there is once again room in the far back seat! lol!  I think taking breaks like this will also help to protect our kids from resenting foster care (and the kids that come into our home) because they won't feel like their needs have not been met and that life revolves it.  Of course we will continue foster care b/c it's what God has called us to do and I believe we are teaching our children a very important lesson as we serve God in this way! :)

How about ya'll?  Do you take breaks?  Do you ever think about how your children perceive foster care? Has your marriage changed since starting foster care?  (Just for the record hubby and I are doing well, but we want to keep it that way :) )

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Bean will be leaving us on Friday!  I am so excited for him :)  He will get to be reunited with his baby sister and be in a "permanent" foster home while they try to find family that can keep them indefinitely.  It is looking like an out of state placement so he will need somewhere to be in the meantime.

I spoke with and met (this afternoon) his new foster mommy!  She asked all sorts of questions and we are trying to make this the most seamless transition for him that is possible.  We are moving him on Friday, but not one seems to know how that is going to happen!

I am going to miss this case worker :(  I even emailed her supervisor today to let him know how awesome she is.  Baby and Michael's (his first one) workers have given me a tainted POV and so I am so glad to have one sooo good at communication and organization...too bad she's not on our permanent case!  It's hard to let go of the ones who truly care about the kids in care!!!

So that's the skinny...soon we will be back to 4 kiddos 1 set of case workers (for however long Baby is still with us).  We are working on our re-licensing packet and looking forward to some time as a "core" family before we jump back in with both feet!

A Party!

I talked to Baby's case manager last week and once again she did not have a court date :(  She is expecting one this week and she said hopefully we will get on the docket next week sometime.  Good and bad....I don't want to keep dragging this out, but at the same time I don't want my baby to go!

Anyway....I have secretively (so my kids don't know) been packing up toys that are his, the clothes that belong to him, and other things that will need to go with my sweet pumpkin.  To be totally honest part of me struggles with giving everything to aunt/uncle, but then the other part of me quickly overtakes and it's not about them, it's about providing for Baby!

We are thinking about throwing a "say goodbye to Baby" party (if there is enough transition time) before he goes. We will invite all our friends and family and they can all have a chance to say goodbye to Baby before he goes.  He has impacted a lot of people!  People could bring something for him (if they want) to send on to his new home (diapers/wipes/clothes/etc) to bless his aunt/uncle because they do not have a lot of money (yes, I realize this is in direct opposition to the feeling above! lol! but love always wins!!!)  Of course they don't have to bring something to say goodbye.  The most important thing I want to send with him is again, LOVE.   I want people to hand-write a short message to Baby about how he changed their lives...something he did that they will always remember about him, or something physical like his smile/laugh (oh my gosh he's got a great one!!!)  I'll compile them into a book to send with him.  You out of town people start working on that! :) )

What about all of you???  Have any of you done this??  He's been here for so long and imagining him not in our lives is difficult, but I think sending him off in a positive way will help us all! :-)

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Oh Hallelujah!  Bean slept ALL night in the pack-n-play!  He woke a few times, but with a quiet "shhhh" and lots of "oh please God let him go back to sleep!" he would go back to sleep :)  That means that I got sleep in MY BED for the first time in over a week!  I feel like a new woman :) LOL!

In the past week Bean has already made some good changes.....

1) He CLEAN :)
2) He's smiling SO much more
3) He is starting to fight with Baby...a sign he's feeling comfortable
4) He is using the bottle a LOT less and a sippy cup a lot more!
5) He knows what a spoon is and that it goes in his mouth.  The whole putting food on it thing is still a mystery.
6) He cries so much less
7) He is starting to talk to us (they said he says mama and dada) We have heard "more" and "done" as well

Baby has to go on an extra visit today (booooooooooo) but that means with 4 kids (only 1 baby) I can take the rest of them to the pool.  We haven't been going out much at all this past week, so the kiddos are ready to have some fun in the sun!  Me too!!

Thanks for the prayers....God hears each one and I get to see the results!  Thanks friends!!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

He's staying

So I guess Bean is staying for ?????  I didn't get a call from placement today saying "do we need to pick him up or can you keep him longer?"  I didn't get a call from the case manager.

I did however get a call from the foster mom of his baby sister.  She said "you do know he can go to daycare right?  I can watch him on Saturday for you.  Is there anything I can do for you?  Placement said that he is leaving you today!"  So....placement was aware of our Friday "limit" but of course couldn't find anyone.  

The other foster mom is calling everyone she can (we both want to see the siblings together) as am I, but no one is available :(  Everyone seems worried about I'm totally stressed out and overwhelmed and going to disrupt this placement.  I'm not...I'm just tired!  I can handle 5 kids...we're doing life just fine, I just want to sleep in my bed.  I want him to go longer than 2 hours without crying in the night and wanting a bottle.  The days are just fine.  Of course we are busy..I have 5 BOYS 8 and under... but it's been fine.  

I would hate to see Bean moved to a new placement now.  He has a super hard time adjusting and it would break my heart to hear that he's getting bounced around from placement to placement.  So...whether I have to sleep on the couch for the next ??? weeks or he (please God!) learns to sleep in a bed then that's what will happen :)  

This is not the way we had planned this. Baby will probably have a court hearing in the next 2 weeks and I have no idea how quickly this judge will say he has to move.  I guess we just kinda have to let go of the days that we had planned.  We thought he'd be our one and only foster for several weeks and then take some time to grieve before jumping back in.  Seems as though God had other plans.  Bean is here in our home for a specific, God given reason and so we move forward and wait to see what other things God has planned!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


So we continue to get emails from Michael's mom and it sounds like she is doing better :)  She is so excited to get a picture that he drew and in her last email she asked for one for birthdad too.  She told me about extra siblings that I didn't even know he had-oh boy!  She swore up and down that she didn't have any contact with bio-dad.  I knew better!  It's all under the bridge now and doesn't matter anyway.

So Michael set out to make 2 pictures today.  I hadn't gotten out a picture of "A" in awhile.  I think it was more for my sanity.  He knows her name and that she's his birthmom, but hadn't seen her in awhile.  This is him talking to her picture and showing her the picture that he drew of her.  I found a few other pictures that he wanted to walk around with today as well.  She's not a small woman and at one point he looked at me and said "Mom, A is big!"  and proceeded to draw a very large circle for his picture of her.  Oh the bluntness of kids.  He then went on to talk about how she can come to our house for dinner.  Ummm...I don't think she'll ever be back in this state, but ya never know!

Of course this spurred Isaac to make a picture for his birth dad.  His situation is SO different and being an international adoption we have so little information...just a last name right now.  This is so hard for him because he is Mr. Sensitive and very emotional and everyone else having a name/face/pictures of their birthparents is very difficult for him.  So we draw them pictures and tuck them away.  Maybe I should send them to the agency "just in case."  We try instead to focus on his foster family that had him from birth-age 1.  We have pictures of them and his foster brother/sister that adored him.  We choose to focus on all the positives and "knowns" vs. what is still a mystery.  He's even made a short video for them thanking them for taking care of him.  He "gets it" because of what we are doing now  :)  I see our "goodbye" to his foster mom that day in such a different way now as the day of our goodbye looms ahead.

And then there is Andrew....he would rather not talk about any of it.  He doesn't want to draw pictures, he doesn't want to talk to them, he doesn't want to deal with this yet.  BUT....there are times when a snippet of "something" comes out and I pounce to take advantage of that situation whether it's simply talking about how they are alike (animal lovers ALL THE WAY!) or where they live, etc.  I will talk for however long that door stays open...usually a matter of minutes. He does however make lots of comments about "this is the way we do it China" (he's 1/2 Chinese) or "that's a common dish we make in China."  No, he's never been there, but that's how he processes it and his identity.

3 different kids all in different stages of dealing with their adoptions and all in different ways.  There is no right or wrong way, it's all about them, what they need at that moment and how they want to process it...we're here to facilitate and help them along the way :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Oh thank you Jesus!

So Bean went back to the Dr. again for his medical condition and the other "secondary" thing I mentioned yesterday.  My mind has been put totally to ease and feel things are looking up!  He's on 2 meds and things should be cleared up soon :)

Today has been so much more pleasant with him...he is playing more and crying less (thank you for the prayers!!!)  We had originally told placement we'd keep him until Friday but as his case manager was leaving she said something like "see you next week!"  Hmmmmm.........  I'm hoping that they can find a sibling placement this week :)

Hubby and I were blessed with a date night last night, so that helped calm me down, but I'm still ready for 4 kids, but I will of course be here for Bean if needed.  :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Week ahead....

This could be a long week...I am praying that Bean starts to cry less and be happy more.  He is our first placement where he is not easily distracted and he cries A LOT unless he is being fed/has a bottle in his hands, or is being held.  Boy is chunky! My back is hurtin'!  I simply can't hold him all the time with 4 other kids either.  I have been told that they are working on a placement still so he can be with his sister.  It's sad to see this sweet little boy so sad and it's clear that he has never received the kind of interaction that he should have been given.  He's delayed in several skills and just seems so young still (though his size tells you otherwise).  He and Squirt are just weeks apart but Squirt was on target and doing well (product of a very involved and loving family despite Mom's poor choice).  Bean, sadly does not have that loving family to support him along the way.  :(

My suspicions are that.....

  • He followed no kind of a schedule (even REMOTELY!)
  • He fell asleep with a bottle that continued to be refilled until he fell asleep (yeah...that's not happening here)  He is learning that there is a 1 bottle of water limit here.  He doesn't much like it.  I don't like changing a soaked through little guy and doing more laundry.  Am I mean?!
  • I think he had a bottle of milk in his hand constantly (he is chubby but doesn't eat much!  The milk gave him lots of calories.  He and Squirt are the total opposite...he was super tiny but could eat like a horse!)  
  • Like I said above...I don't think he was held much or treated affectionately. 
  •  Based on ages his bio-mom got pregnant with his little sis when Bean was only 2 months old. Didn't leave much time for him to be the youngest when you are only 11 months and a new sibling is born.  
There will be no visit for Bean this week because his parents need to appear before the judge before visitation will be granted.  If you saw the post that I deleted yesterday then you know why I am relieved.  I needed to vent but that had some "medical information" that perhaps shouldn't be "out there."  It is now gone :)  For those of you who read it...he's being re-evaluated tomorrow for perhaps a secondary "other" infection.  Thanks to blog reader Rachael for your email...I feel better about it and am moving on and waiting :)

Yeah...I think we are getting to that "break point."  It will just be the 6 of us for awhile (5 if/when Baby is moved).  I know I said that before, but having to deal with this medical issue has pretty much solidified that I am ready, hubby is definitely ready and we just need some family time, marriage time and time to get renewed before we jump back in.  We are by no means done, but we need some refreshment.  :)  

As always....prayers appreciated!