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!!!