Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The close of 2013

So we've come to the close of yet another year.  For some reason they seem to keep going faster and faster!  It seems like yesterday my oldest was just born!  Uuummm..yeah that was close to TEN years ago! lol!

This year has brought a lot of "troubles" and circumstances that were very difficult for our family. Along with all the drama that foster care has brought our family, my sister was diagnosed with cancer and not given much hope of living.  We had difficult things with our children too.  BUT GOD....gave us His grace and mercy in each and every situation we faced.  We have been given peace in all things...not like the world perceives peace, but how HE describes peace.  My sister was deemed NED (No Evidence of Disease) on October 4th (Praise God!), Choo Choo's case is coming to a close (in TWO DAYS!!) and God has brought the right people into our lives to walk through all  of it! :)

The other night when I picked up Choo Choo from his visit it was his Aunt who dropped him off.  This is a rare occurrence. I knew she wanted to talk as it was the last visit before court.  I prepared myself as much as I could while we exchanged pleasantries about his visit.  Then it came "So...D-Day is almost here!"  I cringed a bit wondering where she was going to go with that statement.  I am so thankful to say that she and I are on the same page.  I talked about how God has used the insane length of this case to bring me to a place of peace.  All my (human/fleshy) feelings of distaste towards them is gone.  Will we ever be best friends?  Nope...but we don't have to be.  I would miss my boy like CrAzY (!!!) but I know he would be in a place of people who love him and care about him, and will keep him safe. 

She went on and was very complimentary to hubby and I.  She said that of course they want him, but if they couldn't have him that they were glad he was with us.  He is safe, well taken care and taught well.  She said that no matter where they go everyone comments on how smart he is and she gave a lot of that credit to me staying home with him.  I was very surprised and blessed :) 

Court has yo-yo'ed from 9am to 1:30pm and now back to 9am!  I am thankful that it's early so I don't have to be a anxious pacing mama all morning!  As we close 2013 I look forward to all that 2014 has in store for our family!!!  Of course we are praying that it includes the adoption of our 4th son!!! :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Trauma and how it shows up here

Yesterday we "celebrated" the event surrounding this picture.  Here you see 5 month old Michael and his new foster brothers.  Of course this was 4 years ago and this picture almost seems impossible!  Never did we imagine that 2 years later he would officially be ours :) 
While we celebrate this day he joined our family, this day is also very traumatic.  Many people think that children (especially young infants) do not experience trauma in the same way that older children do.  Perhaps in part this is true, but infants can and DO experience trauma and it can effect them greatly!  This was the day he was taken away from everyone he ever knew.  He was taken from familiar smells and places and put somewhere totally new with other little people running around.  Can you imagine what these little ones going through foster care go through?  Stop and take a minute to truly visualize what happens to them. 
Young children who experience trauma are at particular risk because their rapidly developing brains are very vulnerable. Early childhood trauma has been associated with reduced size of the brain cortex which is responsible for many complex functions including memory, attention, perceptual awareness, thinking, language, and consciousness. These changes may affect IQ and the ability to regulate emotions.
When something scary happens, the brain makes sure you do not forget it. Traumatic events are remembered in a special way. They are often experienced as a pattern of sensations with sounds, smells, and feelings mixed together. Any one of these things can make a child feel like the whole event is happening again. These things or sensations are called “triggers.” Triggers can be smells or sounds. They can be places, postures, or tones of voice. Even emotions can be a trigger.
Parenting After Trauma: Understanding Your Child's Needs - A Guide for Foster and Adoptive Parents
So for Michael yesterday, there were things happening within him that he had no idea were going on.  He couldn't control his behavior at all yesterday.  He has this laugh...it's not his sweet normal Mikey laugh.  I hate hearing *that* laugh because it means he is dysregulated.  He can't control himself.  Last night proved to be almost as bad as the day.  All night long he cried off and on.  At one point (I'll go into more detail in a minute) both he and Choo Choo were screaming at the top of their lungs and just couldn't calm themselves or let themselves be calmed. 
Remembering a traumatic event can cause some of the original “fight, flight, or freeze” reaction to return. This might look like a “tantrum.” It might also look like the child is overreacting. Sometimes anxiety can cause a child to “freeze.” This may look like defiance. A child who sees the world as a place full of danger may do this. Many children who have been abused or neglected go through life always ready to flee or to fight
Parenting After Trauma: Understanding Your Child's Needs - A Guide for Foster and Adoptive Parents
Yesterday evening Choo Choo also returned from his weekend visit.  We've had him since 3 days old, but trauma is very present in his life too.  The things that happened in utero are enough to scare any foster parent away!  He has been bounced with visits between bio mom, bio dad (were never allowed to visit together), bio aunt/uncle, us, and other bio-family.  We had a family member stay with us once and her comment was something to the effect of "does all that screaming come from what has been happening to him?"  Ummm...pretty much!  Both he and Michael have very difficult times controlling and processing emotions. 
So back to last night...Choo Choo woke up crying (typical for a post-visit night) and then Michael woke up screaming.  For about 30-45 minutes at one point, both were screaming in unison.  Choo Choo was speaking nonsense about ants being on his pillow and Michael just couldn't verbalize anything!  Thank God hubby was there to help.  We'd go back and forth trying to comfort them and settle them down.  Finally, Michael calmed down and slept the rest of the night, but it was an all-night event for Choo Choo :( The whole time I just kept binding the spirits of fear, abandonment, and anger within them.  I called on Jesus and just laid my hands on them and prayed!
Learning your child's triggers is key.  I know that Gotcha Days, birthdays, Adoption Days, Mother's/Father's Day and some holidays are going to give us "ramped up" behavior and some of the things that we thought were "taken care of" or healed within them rear their ugly heads once again.  It's important to be prepared (mentally/spiritually/emotionally) to help  your child(ren) deal with these feelings.  Of course this isn't just with our foster kiddos.  Adoption can be just as traumatic and my older boys have lots of the same triggers as well.
http://www.ifapa.org/resources/trauma-informed-care.asp  This site (although geared for IA foster parents) has a lot of good links at the bottom that explain trauma and how to help your child. 
So as we move toward Christmas and all that is coming up in the next couple of months, say a prayer for our kiddos and us too as we swim though these sometimes muddy waters helping our children heal.  :)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Holidays and birthparents

It's pretty much clockwork...something about the holidays just screams "FAMILY" and that includes biological parents and the children who have been placed for adoption.  In the past 2 days I have heard from 2 of the 4 bio-parents.  The other 2 are well...1 is unknown (international adoption) and the other no longer have our contact info by their choice.

Our first son's bio-parents are very loving toward our family and commend and thank us pretty much in every email for the past 9+ yrs that we are amazing parents and we are giving our children (especially their bio-child) a wonderful life.  I of course updated them and sent a slew of pictures :)  They are special because they love ALL our kids...not just Andrew! 

Michael's birth mom (if you have followed this blog for that long) has had a rollercoaster ride of a life.  We do not have the same relationship with her as we do with Andrew's bio-parents.  We limit contact with her to email/snail mail.   She recently finally stopped signing her emails "Mommy loves you!"  Michael was adopted close to 3 years ago.  In her eyes of course she will always be his mommy.  In her most recent email she asked me if we still show him the pictures she sends and if he remembers her. 

Here is where it got a bit slippery for me...."A" has some mental health issues and when she is on her meds things are great and she is able to think straight.  When she is not....well....let's just say she can be really mean.  So....to answer her questions I told her of course I still show him pictures from time to time.  She recently sent pics of Michael's full bio-brother and  Michael's comment was "look it's me when I was a baby!"  Yes, they look VERY much alike.  Their bio-sister (in between them) looks like a female Michael too!!  I told her that we call her his "tummy mommy" and he knows her name.  I then said that he was very young when she left and I don't think he has any real memories of her, but I added "maybe as he gets older some memories will surface." 

I awaited the response....I would be able to tell if she was on her meds or not by her response.  I was pleasantly surprised when I read that she was so excited that we shared the pictures and to tell him that his "tummy mommy" loves him and misses him.  She thanked me for the pictures I sent as well and said she hopes that one day he will remember his blood family.  WHEW!  Meds to the rescue!  She also mentioned that she frequently reads the Bible that we sent her last Christmas :)  That part warmed my heart! 

Being an adoptive parent isn't always easy.  We have to do things as parents that most don't even dream about having to tackle.  Just to sit down and think about bio-siblings (I *think* that altogether there are at least 13 that I know about in 2 countries and 5 states) can be overwhelming!  Communicating with bio-families can be tricky and also a huge blessing!  It's just a different road :)  I am blessed beyond measure to be an adoptive and foster parent.  It's not always easy, but it's SO worth it!!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tired of waiting so....

It's funny how several things now  in this foster care journey with Choo Choo over the past year have been "oh I'll wait until we have a decision."  First, I wanted to wait on the paci.  I thought it was a comfort item for him and good to have with all the back and forth.  Finally he bit a hole in the last one and that was it!  Okay..no more waiting.  Time to get rid of paci!  He's done fine without it and the transition was easier than I expected.

Next came potty training.  This was one area that I didn't want to put a lot of hard work into and then have him regress with  "the" possible decision and again with all the back and forth and inconsistency with aunt/uncle I wasn't going to push it till we knew for sure where he would be living.  Well, smack my forehead...he trained himself several months back and other than an accident to clean up now and again he's doing great!  He even stays dry at naps/nighttime :)

Last week we approached our latest crossroad.  The crib!  He has been fully able to climb out of his crib for a long time, but never did unless I told him to get up (like in the morning).  It was working well for me, except that he is getting so tall and really is outgrowing it.  He likes to turn side-ways in it so he was super cramped and I was getting sick of waking up at 2am to him wailing because his leg was caught.  Yesterday I decided that it was time to put the mattress on the floor and start the transition to a big boy bed! 

I was very nervous as I laid him down to bed last night because he and Michael can be very troublesome together.  They love to stay up and talk to each other so I naturally thought that Choo Choo would get up and play with Michael.  I WAS WRONG!  :)  I happily say those words!  I think it was too dark and he was afraid to get out  of the bed so within minutes he was fast asleep!!  I am not sure this will continue once he gets comfortable, but I am sure praying it does!

At naptime today he didn't want to sleep in the pack-n-play for nap (they must be split up in daylight!)...he wanted his bed!  He laid down more peacefully than he has in a long time and went right to sleep.  THANK YOU JESUS!

Each step I was 'afraid' or had reservations, but with each step it was done with total ease :)  If/When he becomes our son I sure hope this trend continues!!! 

35 days till court.....not like I'm counting or anything!!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

One step forward...another step back

So.....I FINALLY got a court date about 1 1/2 weeks ago!  It was all set for December 10th.  The GAL sent me the email and I was waiting to see how long it would take for the CM to tell me.  On Monday, over  a week later I decided to text her.  She said that although we had a hearing set for Dec. 10th, the judge and state met and the judge decided to postpone it until Jan. 2nd!!!!!!!!!!!!

We have been waiting for a court date for almost 3 months.  Now, by the time it happens it will be over 4 months.  NOTHING has changed in this case since September (when the bonding assessment was completed) and I have NO idea why the judge wants to postpone this AGAIN.

I posted this info on FB yesterday and I got lots of comments like "well at least you have him for Christmas."  Now, I LOVE everyone who commented, but I have to admit that I did not accept some comments in the manner in which I am sure they were intended.  After getting the news of yet another delay I was in pure flesh mode!  I was angry for my boy who doesn't deserve to be a foster child not one second longer when there have been 2 possible adoptive placements for TWO YEARS!!  I was angry that my family has to continue with the "what if" game.  I was even angry for the aunt/uncle whom this is not fair to either. I wanted someone to get angry with me!  (ok...a few of did with me. Thx! :) ).  It's just so clear that permanency isn't the goal (and the child the priority) or this would have been settled a LONG time ago!!  Unless you have personally endured the ups and downs of foster care I don't think one can truly understand.  We have raised this child for (almost) 3 years, seen so many firsts, stayed up nights, kissed every boo-boo, endured anger/rages because of emotional insecurity after visits, laughed as he entertained us with his antics, and the list goes on. Each and every day, week, month and year that passes is so hard on him, us, and our entire family....not knowing.   So yesterday's delay was just one.more.thing

After having an absolutely rotten day yesterday because of children who are sick/just plain grumpy, this news and few other things going on, I just wanted to sulk.  THANK GOD for friends, family, and other encouragers sent to me yesterday to get me out of my funk.  Today I awoke with His mercies ever new and I am grateful that I serve a God who still loves me even though I still have my adult-sized temper tantrums here and there. 

SO...January 2nd will make exactly THIRTY-FIVE MONTHS in foster care.  NO child deserves to be the system this long.  Think about that....where were you in your life 35 months ago.  How much has changed?  A LOT has changed for us! I know God's timing is best, but sometimes it's just so hard to accept.  I am praising God that He loves Choo Choo even more than we do, He placed him in a safe family that loves him through the good, bad, and downright ugly, as well as extended family who love him too.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34 

I have to admit that this Christmas season already seems "tainted."  That I won't be "full-on" in Christmas cheer knowing that this court date is on the other side, but am really going to try to be positive and not let what "could be" crowd out "what is." 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


I was brushing my teeth today and Choo Choo walks in and starts rummaging through my makeup drawer.  He picked up a eyeliner pencil and said "Mom, will you color my eyeballs?!!"  LOL! 

I got a text early this morning and only two people text me that early...my mother and the case manager!  I got a hopeful feeling that this was *it* but was sadly disappointed when it read "we are still awaiting a court date.  When can I come see {Choo Choo}?"  :(

My sister has been sending me pictures and brief updates of the weeks of "stuff" I've been missing on Facebook.  At the rate this case is going I think I will have to spend a week just catching up on all my favorite people's pages!  Being a SAHM, sometimes FB is that way of staying sane on crazy days and connected to other adults.  I will admit I fully miss that part, but a piece of me is actually quite content not hopping on "just to see what everyone is up to."  It has been a couple of weeks now and it's somewhat freeing as well :)  So...if you have sent me a message, posted on my wall, or expected a comment from me, I will try to get back with you whenever I get back on....OR....feel free to email me and I'll get back with you much sooner! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

STILL nothing :(

So I decided 2 weeks ago that I would fast (from FB) and pray (MORE) for a court date for Choo Choo.  This is NUTS!  We are going on week 3....the ONLY thing that has happened is that a week ago Friday (Oct 26th) the bonding assessment was FILED (yes 2 months after being completed) to the court.  I was fully expecting a court date last week.  It MUST happen this week right??????

Choo Choo went on a visit to aunt/uncle this past weekend.  Each time it is getting harder and harder.  He's getting older and understands more.  I am seeing the anger come through more and when I drop him off he's not crying, but he keeps asking "you gonna come get me right Momma?"  Ahhhh......

God's timing....God's will.....God's way......that's my mantra!  In the meantime we will continue to love on this boy :)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Court today

I was the first one there and as I sat down I saw our CM's supervisor walk in.  She deliberatly avoided eye contact with me and went to the other side of the room.  I'm so tired of games.  So....light in the darkness....I yelled across the room in my cheeriest voice "Good morning L-!"  She ignored me, so I did it again.  She finally looked at me and said "oh, hi" and looked back down at her purse. 

A bit later the atty for the state came out and asked the CM supervisor if she was the only one here on the case.  She said "Yes" and walked in the court room.  WHAT????!!!!  I ran in after her and the GAL followed me.  The GAL said "good thing you were here or I would have missed the whole thing!" lol!

It was all the same stuff...nothing too special.  The magistrate rolled her eyes as the state answered their questions.  When the bonding assessment was brought up it was discovered it hadn't been filed yet.  Grrr....no wonder we don't have a court date!!!  They then talked about the possible adoptive placements and said our last name.  The judge said "who is that?" I raised my hand and said that we were the foster parents and hoping to adopt.  She said "oh I am so sorry to talk about you as if you aren't here!  Is there anything you need for the child?  Do you have any questions for me?"  She can be really sweet :) 

So, we left...we wait...thanking God we were first, it was quick and there were no surprises. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

CM visit

Today was the monthly CM visit.  I haven't seen her since the bonding assessment report came back.  She said that the report was very favorable toward us and basically said he should stay with us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I was told that the judge requested to see this report directly and prior to having the necessary hearing. 

Rewind about 12 months....we had that modicafication of placement hearing where we thought FOR SURE that he would be leaving us.  Well, as you all know he didn't :)  What needs to happen from here is that it basically happens again.  We have the same  "modification of placement" hearing before the same judge and she determines where Choo Choo will live forever!!!

What are we waiting for????

THE JUDGE!!!  I thought that the OAG would be scheduling the hearing, but since the report went directly to the judge we wait for her to schedule the hearing!!  I am praying this happens before the given estimation of November!

The CM stated that since she thinks the judge will not change Choo Choo's placement (did she really just say that????!!!!) that we will be getting sent to ADOPTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We have a standard JR hearing on Oct 1st and she thinks that I'll probably get to meet our new worker that day!!!!! 

OH HAPPY DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Of course I have a foot in reality that the judge could still rule in the aunt/uncle's favor, but it is looking REALLY good that we will have a 4th FOREVER SON!!!!!

Could the end REALLY be in sight?????

Happy tears!!!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Bonding assessment

It's been awhile since I've posted here.....FB makes things so convenient!

Where we are at in the process

Both bonding assessments have been completed and I finally got the results the other day.  It said pretty much what I expected.  Choo Choo is comfortable in both environments and would do fine in either placement but that he is more bonded to us.  Choo Choo has been visiting with his aunt/uncle for over a year and a half.  I would expect him to be comfortable. 

Now, we wait for THE court date!  At this court hearing (placement hearing) it will be decided.  The psychologist will testify as to what she saw and her personal opinion (which was not stated in the report).  At this point I would say we and aunt/uncle are on even footing.  We have length of time/bonding and they have blood and comfortability.  The final decision will be up to the judge that day.  I have been told that I may need to get on the stand and testify.  I am not looking forward to that part, but I will do whatever it takes.  A friend on FB said that he may be fine in either placement, but there is ONE where he will thrive :) 

In the next several days 2 friends will be saying goodbye to their long-term placements.  They are both believers and have placed these children in His very capable hands, but those mama hearts will be hurting.  I don't want to be in their places, but hubby and I are preparing our hearts and believing for a miracle but trusting in God's will at the very same time...whether it hurts or not.

Several friends have been posting this song and it so fits a foster momma's feelings :) 

Sunday, July 21, 2013


With all of our children we have changed their names.  Little Michael was the only one whose name first name we kept the same.  We like biblical and meaningful names for our little ones and thankfully that fit the bill with both :) 

Choo Choo is another story.  His first and middle names are not anything that we would have chosen.  Loooonnngggg ago we had decided on yet another boy name and perhaps we would have named him that if we adopted him way back then, but that name just doesn't fit him now.  As a matter of fact for the past year we have thought about not changing his name at all.  It is what he knows and I guess it's sorta grown on us.

Until the past couple weeks that is.  God has been nudging me to think of a new name for Choo Choo.  I think in my mind I have been preparing myself for him to go while in my heart remaining ever hopeful.  A self preservation thing if you will.  It's a real possibility and I have to prepare myself (and the rest of the family) for that.  But God...

Today in church the pastor spoke about Jacob and how he wrestled with God and at the end of that struggle God changed his name.  It was a new beginning.  God did this many times in the Bible.  We are really starting to think about a new name for Choo Choo now.  A fresh beginning signifying his new life in a forever family with Christ as the head!  Do we know for sure that he will be staying? No.  However, if the judge says yes to us and adoption we will be ready and know that we are naming our son what God has willed :) 

Oh and in case you are wondering....we have a few ideas but are still praying and waiting to hear from God on what that final verdict will be. :)  I have a strong feeling of which one it will be. I can't wait till the day we can share it out loud....actually SCREAM it!!!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


2 years 5 months and 14 days in our care, but termination of parental rights has FINALLY been achieved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Thank you Jesus!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Before court the GAL atty came over and told me that bio-dad did not respond to the publication so he will be defaulted today (let me know if you want an explanation on what that means).  Unfortunately the GAL couldn't be there today so she will come to court next Tuesday for her testimony for the MBI.  I will not need to be there for that one, so that means that the next time I walk into court it will be hear where my baby will be living forever!

Today the GAL atty also filed a motion to use their bonding assessment person and the state finally acquiesced.  They have "fit in" there that if they do not agree with the results that  a secondary one can be done.  Sure!  I think any bonding assessment will tell you that he's pretty darn bonded to the people who have been raising him since birth :)  I was told that the Dr. should be able to complete the assessment within the next couple of weeks!!!!!!!  Once we have a report from him then we will be able to schedule the hearing to determine the permanent placement.

Uncle/Aunt were  not at court today and didn't confirm (and therefore missed) their visit last week.  Ok by me :)

The atty said to me that this case is the albatross around her neck...it's never ending.  Ha!  How do you think we feel????? lol! 


Saturday, June 1, 2013

And the fun continues!

I hope that most of you are also following me on FB because I have been very absent here lately.  Sorry!  Sometimes it's just quicker to post a quick update, but I will try to write here more often as well :)

What's been going on...not a whole lot.  We had another Saturday CM visit.  I really wish that she could get these things scheduled for during the week and not wait till the last minute, but at least she is quick!  Apparently there is no word from Dad.  We had court on May 28th and publication began.  Hopefully in 7 weeks with our next court hearing we will be complete with TPR!!!

The drama continues with the bonding assessment :(  The GAL program didn't want the agency's assessor and the agency didnt' want the GAL's assessor, so the agency said "How about we use the GAL assessor from another county?"  Apparently this was denied by the GAL's office (even though it looked like it would be a good solution...GAL and neutral) but they didn't like that as well.  We are leaving for vacation in 2 weeks and the CM wanted the bonding assessment done before we leave so it could be ready for court on 7/16.  Doesn't look like that is going to happen.  Sigh....praying this is going to be for Choo Choo's benefit!

I had a horrible dream the other night where we were all sitting in the court room and it was ordered he go to live with Aunt/Uncle.  The minute the judge said that, aunt jumped up and shouted "we won!"  In the dream I respectfully asked the judge to speak and I asked if she heard what the aunt said.  She said "no."  I repeated what aunt said and then said "this has always been about a competition for them, not the child. I hope you made the right decision." and then I left the room.  I'm so much more outspoken in my dreams!  In reality if that happens I'll probably run crying from the court room-lol!

So....this is where we are.  Not much moving for the next 7 weeks, but after that I have a feeling things will move pretty quickly.  I just want permanecy for my baby.  He deserves it!  It's been wwaaaayyyy past long enough and ALL of us need to know what God's final plan for forever is :) 

As I watch my crazy boys out playing in the pouring rain, running around like crazy people yelling "Ahhhhh Buffalo!"  I can't even imagine not having Choo Choo be part of this crazy for forever!!!  I will enjoy each day...even through the tantrums and naughty talk he learns at aunt/uncles...and this vacation will definitely be a memorable one :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

One down one to go!

Court today was short and sweet!  I was told before we even went in that Bio-Mom had once again gone MIA and wasn't expected.  The GAL supervisor had never seen her before so she asked me if I saw her and I told her no. :)

Technically she isn't officially TPR'd....she's 'defaulted."  Basically she didn't show so they terminated, but it can't be filed until Dad is TPR'd as well.  They must be filed together.  The diligent search for Dad has not been completed so the next court hearing is May  29th to see the status of that.  If that is done then they can file publication.  So....we are looking at a minimum of 10...yes TEN weeks before we will be able to TPR Dad.  That takes us well into JULY!!!!  OYE!  After that of course we move on to WHERE Choo Choo will live permanently.

The good news of all of this is of course 1) Mom is DONE!  2) Choo Choo gets to come on our family vacation and my sister will finally get to meet him (my mom and other sister met him when they came here).

Besides all this my family could really use your prayers.  My Dad is having major back surgery tomorrow and will be out of commission for awhile.  There is also another "unspoken" request that needs MUCH prayer :)  I am the only one who lives out of state, so this is really tough for me being far away.  I hope to make a visit in the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Here we go...

Tomorrow is Pre-trial/Bio-Dad's advisory.  Pre-trial isn't much of anything to speak of and I highly doubt that dad will show for his advisory.  I think I need a flow chart for this, but I think I'll just do bullets :)

IF Dad shows....

  1. They will serve him to appear in court next week for trial
  2. Trial will continue as planned for both parents next Thur.
IF Dad doesn't show....
  1. Not much of anything will be accomplished tomorrow
  2. They will do publication for the next 6 WEEKS to see if Dad responds to an ad in the paper (ha!). 
  3. Trial will continue as scheduled next week for bio-MOM ONLY.  Trial for Dad will happen after the 6 week waiting period is up.  
So....as it sits (and how I believe it will go down) we will have trial for Mom's TPR next week, wait 6 weeks, get trial for Dad scheduled, have trial, then MBI and the ugliness that will happen to determine where Choo Choo will be forever.  

I asked uncle today at drop off if he knew where bio-dad was or if he had heard from him and he said "no."  I don't know if that's true or not, but .....It is my prayer (and we covet all your prayers as well!!!!!!!!!) that bio-dad shows up tomorrow and we can get this show on the road!!!!!!!!!!   

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Court results

Today was the JR for Choo Choo.  I was not expecting much and hubby often wonders why I go, but today it ended up being worth it :)

They of course reviewed the case...what Mom is not doing...what Dad is not doing and their histories in this case.

Then the GAL atty wanted to know about bio-Dad's visits.  The CM was not in court, but her supervisor was there.  She was not aware of the visits with bio-dad (or lack of) and I am glad that I attended and had the opportunity to speak.  It was nice for the judge during her ruling to look at me and personally ask me if I have everything I need for the child :)  Yes ma'am!

There was a brief mention of the bonding assessment and how a motion will be filed in regards to it.  WHAT????  I asked the GAL later and apparently it's a whole new mess :(  Since the GAL office funded the bonding assessment they had their person set up.  Well...the agency being the agency they are, did not want someone they were familiar with doing it.  So.....the agency decided to set up their own person who the supervisor formally used in another county.  Hhhhmmmm.....so...the way it's being seen is that both parties will have their assessments done by "their" person and then we will battle it out in court.  NICE!!!!!!!!!!  Can we get any more stinkin' absurd in this case????????  Maybe I shouldn't say that huh?!

THEN.....I heard that this will be coming to a close LATER rather than sooner :(  The GAL atty (she is so awesome!!) is only available for like 3 court dates in May and then the judge will be taking personal time off and a "stand in" judge will be taking her place, so the preference will be to WAIT because we do not want a judge who has no clue what's going on in this case making the final ruling!!!!

Trial is still in two weeks and everyone will be there for that ....it's after that where it will be uncertain.  We are all relatively confident in getting TPR, but after that the GAL was told to "prepare your foster mother" (by the atty) because these things OFTEN go in the favor of siblings.  I'm aware of reality....I know that bonding doesn't always win....BUT I KNOW that I serve an AWESOME GOD and what HE wants goes...no matter what.  Of course that could still be that he goes to his aunt/uncle's but then I will rest in knowing that it's God's will.  Easy? NOPE!  Will all the Glory go to God either way? YES!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Yesterday we had the blessing of going to Legoland with all the kids!  We got the tickets for free, so that made it even better.  It was a challenge coming off of a visit weekend, but we survived with only a few minor meltdowns and one major one-lol!
Lego technic was the "big boys" favorite ride!

Pretending they were on the ride...it sometimes stinks to be so little.
 I was getting pelted with balls just to get a few cute pictures :)
 Mom!  Take my picture!
 Mighty Max!
Make your craziest face! Choo Choo is just looking at them like "what in the world are you doing?"  :)

 Next up will be Universal Studios!  I think we will leave Choo Choo (maybe Michael too) with a sitter for that one!  Not as much for him to do at that one and he really needs a nap...he refuses to sleep in the stroller!  9 hours is a long time for a little man!  He crashed in the car after he stopped hitting me in the head with his new lego sword-lol!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Blog Hop

There are SO MANY wonderful blogs out there to bless you with information and understanding.  Check some of them out and go hopping!


Monday, March 18, 2013

More delays?

Bio-Dad was supposed to have a visit this weekend where the GAL was going to serve him to appear in court.  Grrrr...of course this visit didn't happen.  So now what?  I asked the Guardian and her response was that the CM said he was going to appear in court on the 26th and he will be served then.  

Ok....and he has said he'd be at court all along and hasn't been to the last 3 or 4 hearings. 

 So then what?

Then they have to reschedule the advisory for 6 weeks out and do the publication.

WHAT?  ANOTHER stinkin' delay when SOMEONE has to know where this dude is!  I am sure the uncle or at least bio-mom COULD tell but won't.  

I will be so annoyed if bio-Dad does not show to court.  That would mean everything gets pushed back and that would put us well into June and probably July for a trial date.  

What I keep thinking about is "why does this surprise me?" LOL!!!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Staffing

From what my FDS said, it was rather uneventful!  It made me feel ok that I wasn't there.  Apparently Uncle didn't show either.  I figured out that this week is Spring Break and he probably couldn't get a sitter either.  

It was explained to me that the feeling of the staffing was "cold" and that is pretty much how it typically goes. The supervisor draws/doodles on her folder (of insignificance) and the CM is asked questions for which she has no answer (status quo once again).  

The things that did actually happen.....

Dad will hopefully get "served" this weekend at his visit with Uncle/Aunt.  If he doesn't show to court after being served we can officially take him off the board.  As for Mom...she has decided to do her task and that will take a MINIMUM of six months.  This is where I am praying (and asking you to as well) for WISDOM for the judge.  This mom has been MIA for nearly 2 years and NOW she decides to get help.  Uuuummmm....I am praying the judge sees through this and decides that Mom can get the help she needs but Choo Choo does not have a shot at living with her and termination continues.  Apparently Mom and Dad (up until recently) were living together in a hotel.  I do not believe their story of how they got "reacquainted."  

So......that's pretty much it.  We have known all along that this agency wants Choo Choo to be with his bio-relatives and have made that very clear, but it wasn't until today that I saw it in writing.  I don't see how they can totally dismiss his complete attachment to us.  Oh and on that note...the bonding assessment has been approved so hopefully that happens soon and we "prove" that Choo Choo is more attached to us than to his aunt/uncle.  

I just have to say how much I adore our FDS and how much she goes to bat for us and is REAL with us :-)  This has not been an easy road with this case...AT ALL...but with our FDS and our GAL God has blessed us with it has been do-able!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A recent comment

Recently someone said to me "foster care is taking over you life!"  While this person did not mean to be rude or imply I was doing something to let it take over my life, it was a bit convicting.

 I think that being a foster parent you kind of sign up for this life.  When you get licensed you are **to a certain extent** saying that you will allow your life to planned around foster care.  It's just the reality of it.  Courts, staffings, case worker visits, GAL visits, parent visitations, sibling visitations, and the list goes on!

While all of the above is true, I think that there are things that I do as a foster parent that perhaps could make it too much of a focus of my life, or things perhaps I spend too much time on....for me, it's constantly mulling over in mind the numerous ways this case could go.  What would I do? How would I react? What would I say?  Or sometimes I talk about it too much when really God is saying "ok enough...move on!  You've told enough people!"  I like to think I am a smart girl, so maybe there is something else rolling around in my brain besides foster care :)

What ways do you feel you "obsess" about foster care?  No boundaries...saying yes to everything? Stalking bio-family facebook pages? ??????

I think it's soooo important that I keep my eyes focused UP instead of on my circumstances and all of the what if's and what could be's of this insane case!  So thank you to the person who said that to me and I am going to really try to keep my mind focused on things other than foster care...ya know like those 4 precious hurricanes gifts I have running around :)

Monday, March 4, 2013


Last year I wrote the following article about nutrition and fostering for our agency's quarterly newsletter.  I had a little flashback of it yesterday and decided to share it here.

On Saturday I took the older 3 kids to a local festival (or "vegetable" if you talk to Michael).  I let them indulge in a corn dog and we shared a strawberry shortcake.  That was it.  The rest of the day we ate snacks I packed or a home-cooked meal.

FF to Sunday....our boys were OUT OF CONTROL CRAZY!!!!  Oh my gosh!  Anyone who says that nutrition does  not affect a child's behavior needed to come to my home yesterday and see first hand.

We also see this with Choo Choo when he returns.  His aunt/uncle do not eat well at all (very obese) and hit the drive thru more in a weekend than we do in a year.  I'm not judging...they do what they do and we do what we do, BUT when it comes to Choo Choo it makes it very hard.  He eats anything he wants, walks around with it, and also whenever he wants.  Like I mentioned yesterday he ate TWO lunches with them.  WHAT?  So when he returns and I serve normal portions (especially for a 2 yr old) of healthy food he THROWS A FIT!  Breakfast was tough this morning, but he finally realized that was all  he was going to get...we don't serve cereal or processed foods for breakfast.  Again, no judgement if that is what you do...it's just not what we choose to serve.

There are so many angles, challenges, and situations that we as foster parents encounter....this is just another one.  Below is the article I wrote last year....

Nutrition and fostering

My husband Matt and I are the proud adoptive parents to 3 wonderful and energetic boys!  One adopted domestically at birth, one adopted from S. Korea when he was 1 yr old and one adopted this past March after arriving as our first foster placement at 5 months old.  Additionally we have another foster child whom we have had since 3 days old, currently 15 months.  When Matt and I first got married 10+ years ago we were not pictures of health.  We ate out a lot, ate a lot of processed foods and pop! 
When we first became parents in 2004 things didn’t change much, in fact it wasn’t until we started to see troubling behaviors around the age of 3 that we started to make changes.  They were small at first.  We tried to not eat out as much and Matt and I cut back on pop.  However, our boys continued to grow and we continued to see more behaviors…impulsiveness, wildness, physically aggressive, etc. 
In 2008 I decided that more was needed!  We decided to cut out as many processed foods as possible, we eat out only once a month or so, I try to make as many things at home out of natural ingredients.  We try to use either gluten free or 100% whole wheat in baking, etc.   One of the most significant changes came when we cut out food dyes, artificial colors and preservatives!  Do you know what many of these things are made from?  Petroleum!   Yep…the same thing that runs our cars is in our food; some of it is even marketed as healthy!  The changes were remarkable!  The children were able to focus and attend (we homeschool) to school work and things were just more calm.  Well...they are still boys, so there is still a noise/activity factor, but we could really tell the difference J 
So what does this have to do with fostering??  It has a couple of things.  First, our foster children come to us with a lot of “baggage” and any kind of trauma that they have experience takes hold in their brains.  Good nutrition (We use supplements as well such as multivitamins, fish oil, vit. D etc and I highly recommend them!) gives the brain the nutrients and fatty acids that it needs to function optimally.  It also affects energy, mood, motivation, memory, stress, and concentration. 
Secondly, nutrition is difficult when fostering because the biological families (and some workers) that we have had contact with do not share anywhere near what we believe to be good nutrition.  It’s difficult for me to see my foster baby come back from a visit with bright green juice or pop in his cup (he’s 15 mos old).  Guess who gets to deal with the hyped up baby loaded with sugar!?  A 12 oz can of Coke has 10 tsp of sugar!!!  Don’t get me wrong, we do have alternatives to sugar and allow our children non-nutritious things occasionally, but we do see a dramatic difference in their behavior when we do so. 
I believe that clean eating is the start to healing and with foster children it’s all about healing!  

Friday, March 1, 2013


Ok...I just went for it :)



Hmmm...I know several of my online foster momma friends have FB pages for the daily stuff that maybe isn't a whole blog post.  I'm considering it but just wondering if there is any interest?????  Would you read it (like it?) or is the blog here enough? :)  What's your 2 cents? :)


It's been over a year now that our lives have been changed with the introduction of aunt/uncle.  Have you ever wondered WHY someone was brought into your life?  Why God has let someone remain in your life?  I am trying to go back to "Embrace the Journey" and thinking about WHAT God could be trying to teach me through this?    Obviously I must need some serious lesson in something!  Patience with others?  Staying "shiny" for Him through a difficult situation?  Loving the "difficult" people in this world?  Praying for those against us?  Probably all of those are valid answers!

Both my husband and the CM asked me yesterday about how I felt about visits with them SHOULD we get to adopt Choo Choo.   I said that I totally agree with keeping in touch with his bio-family, but it isn't going to look like it looks right now.  I would definitely stop overnight visits and while I'd be happy to get together with them  (I use that word happy loosely) at a park or kid-friendly place I don't feel like leaving my child with them unsupervised would be a good idea at this point....especially with his bio-parents being so unstable (and hating my guts).  Of course they (bio mom/dad) could join our big gathering.

After a second text he finally messaged that he'll meet this afternoon at 1:45.  Ok :-)  I am fine with that.  I like what someone said in the comments about being a doormat.  I've been way too accommodating and he's running all over me.  Boundaries have been set and I intend to hold fast to them.  I will be flexible when given PLENTY of notice ;)  I'm interested to see if he still wants me to bring Choo Choo to the party next week.  He ended his last text with the same phrase "Living Life with a 2nd Chance" (title of the party) I guess this is his new catch phrase.  Hmmmm......

And so it continues...

Here we go....Uncle/Aunt are supposed to have a visit this weekend so I went ahead and made plans for the other boys and I to do activities that are just easier done without a 2 yr old.  The older boys are really excited.

I didn't hear from Uncle all day yesterday to confirm, so I texted him at 7pm.  I didn't get a response until after 10pm asking me to change his visit from this weekend to next weekend so he can be there for some "2nd chance at life" party" they are having for his sister.  I am assuming it's her adoption day party or something similar because she's never had any other issues.  I digress....

At first I was thinking how I now have to disappoint my boys and reschedule everything.  I literally lost sleep over this garbage!  I am tired of jumping when he says jump though, so I texted him back this morning and simply said that this is very last minute and unfortunately I can't change the visit because I already have plans.  I also mentioned that I would be willing to bring Choo Choo to the party next weekend if they would like that.  Compromise?

No response as of yet...I probably won't hear anything for awhile.  What would you have done?  I am so tired of my life being ruled by foster care.  Yes, we are foster parents and we have a "job" to do, but when we schedule everything (court, staffings, visits, etc) around it already I feel like I have to say STOP at some point.  As a side note....after the CM's visit yesterday between March 13 and May 6th we have FIVE court hearings and a staffing!!!!!!!  All those babysitters, disrupted schedules, etc!  Yep....however this goes at the end of it we see a NICE LONG BREAK from foster care.  We need to remember what (sort of) normal looks like :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

You can't write this stuff people!

I walked into court 5 min before it was supposed to start (haha...like I mentioned yesterday about the wait). I sat down in a row of 3 chairs with one chair between another woman and myself.  I saw my friend Melissa  who was there for her own case and she came over and we chatted about both our cases for awhile.  In walks Uncle and we said hello as he passed me.  He sat down right next to the other woman and it hit my like a 2X4 in the forehead....It was bio-mom!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was so shocked I almost fell over.  She has not appeared in court in literally 2 years and has not seen her son since he was 3 months old!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I figured she got served her papers, but when I spoke to the case worker she said that she had not yet been served.  Bio-dad and her are back together apparently and he told her when the hearing was.  She was given referrals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yes...what a great idea!  Let's abandon your child for 2 years then when they threaten to take your rights away...that's when you give a care!

I literally have felt sick all morning.  At the hearing she was officially advised, but Dad was not there because he had to work (gag!) so his TPR advisory will be in a month.  Then we have pre-trial the end of April and the official trial date will be May 2nd.  My brain is having a hard time processing this garbage.  It's just so clear WHO the courts serve.  Seriously?  If this were about Choo Choo this could have been done a long time ago.

So....this weekend is Choo Choo's weekend visit with aunt/uncle.  It will also be a "family" visit with bio-mom and bio-dad (who hasn't seen him since last Oct).  Sigh....I just keep saying that I can't believe this.  The GAL atty was even like "this throws a wrench into things."  The bio-family and aunt/uncle will be working together like never before to keep Choo Choo in "their" family.  LOTS OF PRAYERS NEEDED AND APPRECIATED OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Ready for another court day

We have court again tomorrow.  I can't say that I am super excited to be going.  It's pretty much going to be like it was last time....wait for hours only to have a 1 minute hearing.  It's the TPR advisory which basically just tells the parents (who I am pretty sure won't show) that TPR is being pursued.  Hopefully they both have been served though and appear.  I am praying that tomorrow brings a trial date and we can get this show on the road!  The MBI (Manifest Best Interest) should be done soon after TPR.  We are also praying that we get assigned to adoptions tomorrow as well which would mean that the adoption worker can start the paperwork/visits between aunt/uncle and us and start making her determinations as to where Choo Choo should live....permanently!  I'll update tomorrow....

Now for a cute thing....
Choo Choo and I went to Costco today and on the way out they always check the cart and put a smiley face on the back.  The sweet older gentleman said "happy, happy faces!"  It made me think of Phil from Duck Dynasty if you have ever watched that stupid (but funny) show...so I taught Choo Choo to say "happy,  happy, happy!"  LOL!  So this evening he was walking around and asking "where my happy, happy, happy?"

This kid talks SO MUCH for a just two year old.  Sometimes it is sooooo cute and other times I think "oh my gosh...my 2 yr old should NOT be saying that!"  He has picked up some of the negative words that my older kids say as well as some lovely phrases from his aunt/uncle's house.  I was cracking up the other day when he was being so loud and obnoxious and I would only whisper to him.  He kept saying "what?!  what?!  What you say?  Talk!  I talkin' you Momma!  Talk!!!!!!!"

In other news....Michael is challenging us daily as parents.  We have gone through this with all of our boys.  The two's have nothin' on the 3's!  He is smart, charming and funny, but oh....the crying, tantrums, drama, expressions, defiance, etc.  We are closer to 4 than 3 now, so hopefully "magically" on his 4th b-day he will be our sweet, happy little boy again who says "yes, mama" and likes to cuddle and obey :)  A girl can dream right?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Special Ladies

Yesterday I had the honor of going to lunch and a speaking engagement with these wonderful foster mommas!  The woman on the far left is Ashley Rhodes-Courter.  She is a New York Times best selling author of "Three Little Words."   It is her memoir of her time spent in the foster care system....TEN YEARS of being in the foster care system.

My dear sweet friend Amanda (second from the right) bought each of us a copy of her book and so far I am about 5 chapters in and hooked.  It is a sad story of her life in foster care and the unspeakable things that happened to her and her brother.  It breaks my heart to read it, yet it gives such an insight into how a foster child thinks/feels and experiences that you want to keep reading!

Ashley spoke of her wonderful Guardian ad Litem that was the only constant for her during her time in foster care.  Of all the workers, judges, lawyers, etc, Mary Miller was the ONE who stuck with her, mentored her, and encouraged her to rise above what he had been through.  She cared!  It made me tear up because in each of our two foster cases it has been our Guardians who were the only people stay on the entire length of the case (minus us of course) and without them we wouldn't be where we are.

All 4 of us what to be Guardians when we "grow up."  We all realize that the fostering "gig" won't last forever (we just don't have the space!) but we all still want to have an active role in helping children in the foster care system.  Ashley was a Guardian (practicing what she preaches) for a couple of years before getting married and becoming a foster parent herself.  She called us "the new faces of foster moms!" :)

We all enjoyed ourselves so much (kid-free momma time) that we are already planning another outing.  It's good for the soul to take some time away and get refreshed :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Home Visit

Apparently our case managers now have to see children every 25 days rather than 30, so I got a text at 8am yesterday morning telling me that she needed to see Choo Choo by 6pm.  Yesterday was my husband's b-day and we had plans for most of the day so I gave her a two hour window from 2-4 because we had a sitter coming at 5:00.  She showed up at 4:55!  Thank God she was quick!

She didn't say too much in our 5 min (literally!) visit but she did mention that the bio-dad still has not contacted her (no surprise) and that the adoption case plan has been submitted to the OAG with an expiration date of April 1st.  Could that really be?  Could my baby's "fate" be decided (or at least made know to us...we know it's already decided) by April 1st??  Of course the goal is to have TPR before that!

As hubby and I were out on our date last night we discussed this a bit and it was a hard realization that Choo Choo MAY not be there for our family vacation to MI in June.  This MAY all be decided by then.  Don't get us wrong...we haven't given up and we aren't claiming any of that, but we have to keep being realistic in these things.  Foster care has you living with one foot in what you want to happen and the other foot in the reality of the exact opposite.

Discussion of what the future may look like also happened...... :-)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

I can't say I'm surprised

I got a text last night from Uncle asking that if they moved the birthday party to Sunday from 2-5 would we be able to come?  I answered him back that we already have a different birthday party to go to at that exact same time about 45 minutes from them.  We left it that he would let me know for sure what they decided when they actually decided.

FF to this morning around 11am.  I texted to see what was up and at this writing (2:30) I still haven't gotten a  response.  I'm sure it will be tomorrow when we are not able to come.  It is what it is....

This whole thing has me thinking though about how we can bring them into our lives more as well???  Would they come to our area of town?  Oh this is taking me out of my comfort zone.  I'll have to talk to hubby more about this.  :)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Happy 2nd B-day!

Yesterday we celebrated Choo Choo's 2nd birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It just doesn't seem possible that he could be two already.  Where did my baby go????  He enjoyed yummy homemade donuts, cupcakes, presents and his choice of the t.v. yesterday :)  Mittey Mouf (Mickey Mouse) all the wasy baby!!!  Here he is holding his beloved soccer ball!!  If anyone got close to him he'd say "back away my soccer ball!"  Tomorrow makes 2 years that he has been in our home.  Wow...that's all I can say! :)  He blesses this family and enriches us!  It so hard to think of the possibility of him not living here forever.  Whatever happens there, we are thankful for each holiday and birthday that we get to spend with him soaking it all up :)

Are the tides changing???

I thought it would be a typical drop off this morning but when they pulled up and Aunt was there I got a bit nervous.  She even got out of the car and walked over to me.  When she said "Good Morning M-" I felt a little better (she totally ignored me the last time).  Choo Choo did his usual crying and clinging and she was shocked and said that Uncle was telling her was doing this but that she thought he was exaggerating.  Nope....real tears and all.

After a bit Uncle took him from me and got him settled in his car seat while Aunt started to chat with me.  She said that Choo Choo's oldest brother's b-day is today (7) and Choo Choo's was yesterday so they are having a family party tomorrow and want us and the kids to come!  What???  She went on to say that no matter how this case goes she needs to put it aside and Choo Choo needs to know that we are working together and it's not "our house" " their house."  I totally agree with her on this. It's only taken a year to get to this point-lol!  He needs to see us together and hopefully that means that whoever gets to adopt him will keep the other one in his life.  I firmly believe in keeping bio-family connections.  Of course I continue to pray that we get to adopt him and we have get togethers, etc, but I have to be realistic that it may go the other way.  What a blessing it would be to still get to see Choo Choo and be a part of his life if he goes to live with them forever!

We ended our time with a hug...a mom to mom hug.  I was shocked.  She said there is no animosity toward me or the workers anymore and we all have to move on together.  I pray that this is true.  I am not going to sit here and lie and say I want these people to be my best friends, but I do think that a positive relationship moving forward is what is best for Choo Choo.  Choo Choo's other brother (the one adopted out) is going to be there tomorrow too so that will be good as I have been meaning to get together with her again as well!

By the time they were ready to leave I kissed him and she referred to me as his mom (shocked!!!!) and he was done crying and on their way.  I am VERY curious though to see his reaction when we are all together tomorrow at the b-day party!  I think he will cling hard to me...and then the goodbye.  Talk about confusing! Whew......

Saturday, January 26, 2013


A little comedic relief....

The other day Choo Choo was sitting on my lap on the couch and my hubby was sitting next to us.  Choo Choo tooted and he immediately said "Dad...dat you?!"  The rest went like this....

Dad: No...that was you Choo Choo!
C: Dad...dat you?!  You fart?
D: You're blaming that on me?!  That was YOU!
C: You tink (stink..as he waved his hand back and forth to clear the smell) LOL!

Hubby said that now he can't blame his stinky farts on the baby anymore-lol!  He'll tell on him. :)  Right now as I type he saying it to his puppy. "Puppy dat you?!"  He loves to blame any of his naughty toddler stuff on poor puppy too.  Last week puppy took food from the counter without asking, turned on the blender (thank God the lid was on!), broke Michael's block tower, and apparently even went outside without help!  lol!  This kid is a character!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Court results

When I walked into the court waiting area I immediately saw a friend of mine that just got licensed last week and had her one week old first placement with her!!  It was definitely a God appt. and I was so glad that I could alleviate some of her court fears and she had someone to vent to a bit about a case manager that's difficult to understand-lol!  I also saw Michael's old GAL and we chatted for a bit too :)

Then case by case was called and I waited and I waited.  Court was set for 9:00am.  It was the the CM and I.  No uncle...no bio Dad.  I found out at about 10:45 this is why were were waiting.  They were doing all the private atty's first and then us.  Nice.

We finally got called at about 11:40 and were in there for all of about 5 minutes!  The TPR motion has been officially filed!!!!  Of course it was by the Guardian's office and not the state as it should have been, but whatever...it's done! Now the rest of the fun begins in trying to find and serve the bio-parents.  A TPR Advisory has been set for Feb 26th and an adoption case plan is to be filed by Friday.  Yes...it has taken 2 years, but this sweet boy is finally on his way to permanency.

I really like this judge and I love how she called Choo Choo by his first name several times today.  It wasn't Baby H***** or "the child" or any other non-specific name.  He is a child and he has a name and as she stated "this child needs permanency!"

Sadly the visit reduction was not brought up but of the judge's limited time I'd rather have the TPR dealt with!  So....the waiting game continues, and I'm sure this will go to trial and I know the adoption stuff is gonna get dicey, but at least we are moving in the right direction!  Thank you for your prayers!!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Court tomorrow

Court is tomorrow morning at 9:00am.  I LOVE when they don't make me agonize all day waiting :)  I got a text earlier from Choo Choo's GAL that the atty working on the case (as of last Friday) was working on the TPR paperwork and I am praying HARD that something is accomplished in court tomorrow!!!

Last week was a week of torture on many different levels.  I KNEW that something was going on because the spiritual attack arrows were a flyin!  Everything from our mortgage company paying THREE different insurance policies (2 without our approval!) to the kid's upstairs bathtub leaking and ruining the ceiling in our dining room, to pink eye (in me), to a near car accident where I was cursed out beyond belief and it wasn't even my fault!  The list goes on but I'll spare you :)

All that said, I would take weeks like that over again if it means that Choo Choo will FOREVER BE OURS!!!  Of course once TPR happens that's when the real "fight" begins between Aunt/Uncle and us as to whom his forever family will be, but at least it will be able to start!

Prayers appreciated!!!  The visitation reduction will also be discussed.  I will be put on the stand and have to tell them that yes he was displaying behaviors upon his return, but lately he has been returning normal.  I don't know what was happening for those 2 months when he was horrible coming back, but ????  Anyway, I will tell the truth and whatever the judge decides for visits will be. This battle is the Lords! :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Total Embarrassment!

A little back story before I begin my embarrassing story...hubby recently let the older kids watch "Diary of Wimpy Kid"  There is a particular line that they thought was funny and were expressly told that it will NOT come out of their mouths or there would be a consequence.  Onward with the story....

Choo Choo's case manager came over for her monthly visit today and I sent my older boys upstairs to play. Everything was fine and after awhile I hear Andrew sending Isaac out of their room.  I don't see him but all I hear is "Hey T...cute butt!!!"  My face went TOTALLY RED!  I don't think that she knew what he said so I told him that inappropriate and to return to his room.  The end? No!

A bit later the two of them came out and both said it again!!!!!!!  She was so "into" what she was typing I am praying she didn't hear.  She didn't act like she heard what they were saying and usually if she doesn't understand she'll ask what they said.

Whether she understood or not they chose to disobey...more than once....yeah they aren't happy with their consequence.  BOYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On another note I asked if anything had been done about the petition yet and she said that she didn't think so.  She called once but the atty was on vacation and she hasn't called again. WHAT??????????  Wow....she is gonna get RIPPED in court again for not doing her job AGAIN!  It was even expressly told to her in the staffing nearly a month ago that it had to be done THAT DAY!  I can't say that I am surprised :(

She said she also has not heard from bio-Dad.  He's been off in another part of the state since October and told her he'd be back after the first of the year.  I doubt he'll be in court on the 22nd.  It makes the case for TPR better though.....

Monday, January 7, 2013

Second verse same as the first

I've been away for a bit but that's only because I seriously have virtually nothing to share in our foster care world!  Things have been moving soooooooooooo slow still.  Court will be later this month, but it's just a quick status hearing so I fear not much will be accomplished (before the magistrate).

Choo Choo's crazy erratic behaviors after weekend visits have stopped.  The past 2 times he has returned things have been normal.  Just a super happy boy eager to be back home!  I told the GAL this and that the hearing to request visits be reduced will probably result in nothing.  I thought she'd have it cancelled, but it looks like we are moving forward.  I told her that I can't lie in court and will report only what I experience.  She of course expected nothing less, but I think this is all just going to be a big waste of my time (and theirs too).  We were supposed to have a court date for that (in front of the judge...not magistrate) sometime this month, but the GAL said today their lawyer is on vacation right now.  Sheesh!  This lady just went on vacation not too long ago...I want her schedule :)

Choo Choo was super sick with a nasty cold and ear infection this past weekend so I cancelled the visit with aunt/uncle.  The kid deserves to be comfortable and in his own home when healing.  He only wanted ME to hold him for nearly 3 days straight.  I couldn't make him go when he wasn't feeling good.  I have a strong feeling I will get a text this Friday for a "make up" visit and then have to send him again next weekend as well.  It stinks, but at least I got to cuddle my boy and help him feel better.

He is growing sooooooo fast!  I simply can't believe he is going to be 2 in a few weeks! Tonight my hubby put on Mickey Mouse and ohhh...Choo Choo is at THAT age when Mickey is THE best thing and he kept saying "Mittey Mouf, Mittey Mouf, Mittey Mouf!  Tank you Daddy! Tank you Daddy!" and then blowing hubby kisses of thanks.  He loves to yell "OOOO Toodles!!!!!!!"  We love our sweet boy and are praying for some BIG things in 2013!!!!!!!!!!