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!  

Saturday, July 7, 2012

It's getting better...

So Bean actually SLEPT last night and has now been sleeping for almost 3 hours for his nap!  Hallelujah!  I had this moment when I thought "I wonder if he's used to sleeping with the t.v. on?"  Thank you Holy Spirit! I turned Disney Jr on and gave him his bottle of water (also used to sleeping with it...I'll do water!) and he was out in 5 min flat!  Being a foster parent in the initial few days of a placement is like being a do they like to go to sleep?  what do they like to eat?  what toys do they like to play with?  and so much more!  He's starting to get more comfortable and engage with the other kids :)

I love to see my kids process foster care through their eyes.  The first morning they met him they had a ton of questions and were like little missiles firing one after the other asking what they wanted to know.  "Where are his dad/mom?  Why can't he be with them?  Why is his sister in the hospital?  Why did you have to give him so many bathes?" and the list went on!  Andrew always jumps to "I hope we can adopt him!" Michael is stuck on our last placement Squirt.  LOL!  He's still asking where he is.  When I tell him (AGAIN) that he went to live with his Grandma he says "Uhhhh...that's not fair!  I wanna live with Grandma!!" He then gets this little pouty face.  If you know Michael then you can probably imagine his little pouty face and my intense urge not to laugh!  He totally thinks that Squirt went to live with OUR Grandma not making the distinction that there are MANY Grandmas here on earth (even though he met Squirt's Grandma)!

This morning I took all 4 boys (Baby is on a visit to aunt/uncle) to the pool.  My kids are very used to this and loved it of course.  I have a strong feeling that this was Bean's first time in a pool though and he absolutely loved it too!!!  He was sitting on the side of the pool and would "jump" off into my arms and want to zoom around in the water.  He practiced going up and down the stairs and even putting his face in the water!  This is the "fun" part of foster care!  We get to be the ones to introduce children to new opportunities and experiences that they probably wouldn't have in their previous environments.  We live in a state with LOTS to do!  We make sure to take lots of pictures to send along with them :)

That leads to me another email I got this morning.  Perhaps I was wrong...perhaps she IS getting the mental health help suggested to her for over 2 years...perhaps things are sinking in and I was wrong in my last post about Michael's mom.

Aww that's neat beach and chocolate cake yummy
I'm glad you guys are all having fun
I am happy that Michael has a better chance of doing a lot of things with you that I'm sure I wouldn't be able to makes me smile inside to know that he is with you rather then anybody else.I wish I could just hear his voice maybe when he is Luke five or so he would start to understand a little bit at a time of y he is there well I'm glad all is going well. How is school or daycare going could you have him send me a picture that he made or he could make one for me it would really mean a lot to me.OK talk you later love you Mikey always and your a awesome mom. Love anna

Very interesting that she complimented us again and realized that this is a better placement for him.  Oh and she simply signed her name this time...and no I of course did not say anything about that to her.  I will definitely be sending her some recent pictures and a picture from Michael :) (for the record I would do that anyway...she moved so I didn't have a current address).  Perhaps we can have a nice semi-open adoption :~)

Friday, July 6, 2012

A new placement

Yesterday placement called with a 1 yr old boy and a 4 mo old girl.  Ummm...nope sorry I can't do siblings. I literally only have one open car seat!  So...she asked if I could just take the boy for the night.  The girl was in the hospital (an issue from neglect).  Sure!  So we were graced with Bean last night.  I was up most of the night as he only wanted to be held and any time I remotely tried to lay him down he screamed!  LONG NIGHT.  I slept with him on the's been awhile since those days have occurred!

The CM came at 8:45 this morning to get him and I was believing they would find a permanent placement for him and his sister today.  There was some crazy going on's that I won't get into here, but let's just say it's SO NICE when you have another foster parent stick up for you, especially one you haven't even met!

Moving on....Bean is BACK here today because no placement was found.  The CM said that lots of families are on vacation right now and next week they should be able to find a family for him and his sister together.
So....I'm PRAYING for some sleep tonight!!!  Hopefully the more used to his surroundings he gets the better he'll sleep.

Bean is a cute 15 mo old boy...yep...we have another boy :)  I guess God just doesn't want me to have a girl! lol!

Still doesn't get it

I received an email from Mikey's bio-mom today.  Here is an excerpt....

i hope you all are doing well and with each day that passes mikey and you bond more and more as a family you guys are awsome godblesslo ve you mama annie

She still doesn't get it.  She's writing like he was just placed in our home a bit ago.  He's been here for over 2 1/2 years...we are the only family he knows!  Yep...I think we have the "bonded" thing down :)  She still has to refer to herself as "mama" as well.  I know it's just her and I don't let it bother me anymore.  I found it interesting that she now compliments us as well :)  Nothing seems to have changed for her situation yet :(  This will be an interesting relationship over the next many years.  At least she didn't ask for him to call her this time! :)

Monday, July 2, 2012


I never got around to posting this picture when Squirt was still here....aren't they cute?  This was the only time they really liked each other.  They would share each other's food and help themselves from each other's trays.  Baby is still calling him to breakfast, lunch, dinner and sometimes snack too :)  He'll really be confused when the next child comes!

Still waiting to see who our next sweetie will be :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012


So we dropped Squirt off on Friday morning and his Grandma was so appreciative of what we did for Squirt.  She couldn't believe that we had so many kids (lol!)  She said it was a pleasure to meet our family :)
I am really happy for Squirt.  He practically jumped from my arms to his brother's arms (Andrew's age).  I think he's gonna do just fine there while Mom works on what she needs to do.

Thursday night (before Squirt even left) we got a a call from placement asking us to take another one.  I literally couldn't because I don't have any seats left in my van (until Squirt left that is).  She talked about not wanting to burn foster parents out and I told her to maybe give us the weekend and then we'll jump back in.  I didn't think she'd note that, but it's been quiet all weekend!  I'm sure the phone will start ringing again tomorrow, but it's nice to have just the 6 of us this weekend :)

Andrew is the only one has said "I miss {Squirt}" He's doing ok.  It was "just" a 5 week placement.  I'm not so excited about the next one!  Wait.....I take that back...Baby has been going over to Squirt's highchair and calling him for dinner "NotNit!!!!  NotNit!!!!Ninna!!!"  They loved to eat together...and that was about it :)  If you can guess his name from that you get a gold star and special recognition on this blog! lol!

Baby's CM was sick this week so she asked if she could do her monthly visit on Saturday.  My hubby works on Sat. so I said yes.  She gave me minimal information.  She said that we will probably have to wait another 3 weeks or so to get a court date, and then she said it could happen as soon as the following week or who knows how long.  So.....Baby lingers in the system some more.  He's now 17 months and this case is just dragging :(

I also heard from the GAL who said they are continuing to push forward with the TPR for Dad.  Hmmm....I thought this was pretty much over, but maybe not??????  It's ALL UP TO THE JUDGE!  Meanwhile my emotions get to stay on the roller coaster for at least another 4+ weeks!!