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......