Friday, January 17, 2014


When Choo Choo was about 4-5 months old his CM at the time was trying to actively get bio-dad to sign surrenders and tpr on mom would be easy because she abandoned him and was no where to be found.  Back then Choo Choo was pretty high maintenance and we spent many nights laying awake on the couch and cuddling.  As I would pray over him I continually heard the name "Samuel."  I used to whisper to him "are you my little Samuel?" thinking that one day God would grant him to us officially and we would rename him Samuel.

As time went by and things got more complicated that experience/name kind of went out of my mind and I didn't think much about it anymore. 

Late last year as we prepared for the court hearing that we truly believed would move toward making him our official son we needed to think of a name for him.  His current name was not a long term option.  Hubby and I don't really have difficulty with boy names.  We usually have no trouble agreeing, but for him we couldn't.  Samuel doesn't fit my boy.  His name wasn't to be Samuel.  As I prayed I had a strong feeling his name was to be "Malachi." Hubby did not like that name.  I dropped the talk of baby names and decided to wait for a decision from the judge before we had any more discussion.

Of course we all know the outcome of court and choosing a new name for him was not necessary.  And then....

I am on a 21 day fast right now and have been spending a lot of extra time connecting with God and praying and seeking wisdom.  Today he led me to I Samuel 1.  I am very familiar with this story but love it.  Then I got to verse  24 After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull,[a] an ephah[b] of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh.  I stopped in my reading, frozen as He made it all rhema (click) for me! 

Samuel was most likely weaned (or most baby boys were) at about age 3!!  Choo Choo is three!  Choo Choo is MY Samuel!!!!!!!!  No, I am not his biological or even adoptive mother, but God granted me this child until weaning age (3).  If you are not familiar with the story of Samuel I encourage you to check out the whole thing! :)

Then I recalled the name  "Malachi."  It means "Messenger of God!"  I believe that he had to truly be in our home and get his start here so he can go out and be that Messenger of God.  I believe strongly in naming our children purposefully and declaring what we hope for them to be.  I am so grateful to be the honorary momma to this amazing little boy, even if only for 3 years!!!

Today when Choo Choo was speaking to my sister on the phone he said "My mom is not my mom."  It's so hard to not take statements like that personally (he's said that one other time).  I want to get angry at aunt/uncle for telling him things like that.  I want to angry at the judge for making the decision she did.  BUT GOD...gently reminds me that Choo Choo is HIS.  Choo Choo will fulfill the name He has given him, no matter what environment he is in.  I will always be that sweet boy's mommy in my heart, and deep down in his, no matter what lies the enemy may whisper. 

I love the end of I Samuel 8.  Verse 17 says "But he always went back to Ramah. where his home was, and there he judged Israel.  And he built an altar there to the Lord."  (emphasis mine)  I don't think this story is over.  There is more to how Choo Choo will continue to impact our family and play his role within :)

Friday, January 10, 2014

How are the boys?

Several people have asked me how the other three kids are doing.  So far, they are doing alright.  Nothing has changed yet, so they aren't really feeling the difference too much yet.  However, Choo Choo went on his regular weekend visit today and last night that sparked something in our most sensitive one.

I was sitting at the computer typing and I could see him out of the corner of my eye pacing back and forth.  I stopped and asked if everything was alright.  I could tell he was fighting back tears.  I asked "what's wrong buddy?" and the floodgates opened.  Poor boy!  He was just crying and saying how much he's going to miss to Choo Choo.  He then started asking lots of questions....

  • Does his uncle have our phone number? Can he call us?
  • Can we send him birthday presents?
  • Will I ever see him again?
  • How will I be able to remember him?
  • Will he remember me?
  • Can I send him pictures?
  • Can I write him letters?
I gave him all the answers he was looking for and then told him some of the things that I want to do so we have remembrances of him.  I then asked if he had any ideas.  His idea was to get lots of copies of Choo Choo's picture and tape them all over the house and on the inside windows of our car so wherever we went Choo Choo would be with us and he could talk to him.  :)  Since that conversation he has been taking pictures of Choo Choo with his tablet and giving him lots of hugs and kisses.  We cried a few more tears together and Choo Choo joined us.  "Why you sad Mommy?" Ahhh.....he knew why and before I could answer he said "Don't worry Momma!  I go Uncle B's but then you come and get me Sunday.  I come home and be with you.  I be right back Momma!"  This is so hard for him to understand. 

I emailed with the CM the other day and my FDS is trying to set up a therapy appointment for him here with our kids and then also at his uncles and the new daycare.  This therapist will need to approve the transition plan the CM is drawing up.  I told her that 4 months (what the judge suggested) is too long.  I think 6-8 weeks max is more along the lines of appropriate.  He is very familiar with them and drawing this whole thing out for 4 months is going to be pure torture on everyone.  He is already starting to act out and having more and more tantrums that are not his typical tantrums.  He is having trouble sleeping as well. 

As Choo Choo is gone for longer periods of time I know more will come out and it will probably be behavior-wise.  When Choo Choo returns from these long visits it will also be difficult.  I am hoping the therapist is helpful in ways to help all my children work through this transition.


Thursday, January 9, 2014


 22 I will give him the key to the house of David—the highest position in the royal court. When he opens doors, no one will be able to close them; when he closes doors, no one will be able to open them. 23 He will bring honor to his family name, for I will drive him firmly in place like a nail in the wall."

My sister posted this passage on my FB wall a day or so before court happened.  The day before she posted, Choo Choo saw a key in a windowsill.  A key that has pretty much been there since the day we moved in (extra copy) 2 years ago.  He never noticed it or asked for it until that day.  He carried it around and NO ONE could even touch HIS key.  I was praying it was significant to the results of court.  As we all know, it wasn't that day.  My father's name is also David :) 

He loves this key and walks around with it in his pocket most days.  I plan to get a special key chain for it and send it with him on his final day.  Aunt/Uncle will just think it's a toy key, but we will know better.  It will represent that he is a member of this family (members of families have keys) and our door will always be able to be opened by him!  Papers will say he belongs to another family and so does blood, but in all our hearts he belongs to this house. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Nothing Is Wasted

"In sorrow we have tasted, but joy will replace it."

Church today was beautiful and difficult all at the same time.  This being our last weekend with Choo Choo made this his last Sunday with the people who have helped to lead him toward God and sweet little friends.  I took a few pictures and many, many friends gave me hugs, "I love you's" and sweet words of encouragement.  Thank you church family!  I cried more than I expected to but that's ok...God caught each one and those are just more seeds to eventually bloom :)

I have already gotten the inevitable question of "will you continue to foster?"  YES!  The hurt is REAL, but I tell you with great certainty that this heartbreak has spurred both hubby and myself into wanting to help another child.  "Are you nuts? You want to go through this again?"  Awhile ago we both said "we need a LONG break after this case has ended (one way or another)."  We were obedient to God's call to foster and just because His plans didn't line up with ours, that shouldn't make us any less obedient.  We will take a short break and heal a bit and then we definitely will jump back into the crazy land of foster care because the need in our county is so great. If we say that we don't want to get hurt again, are we fulfilling God's mandate?  No, we are just being selfish.  These children did not ASK to be in foster care and they need a loving and caring home to go to.  When it is in our ability to provide for another child....what excuse possibly could be good enough to not help them???  God's grace will always be sufficient!

Ya know what I want to see???  I want to have a case where we as foster parents get to come along side birthparents who realize they made a mistake and do EVERYTHING possible to get their child back.  I want to see a court system who doesn't fail a child.  I want to help birthparents and honor them. (AWESOME message on this at church this morning by John the book!) 

I don't know what God's plans are for Choo Choo, but I know they are GOOD!  As we were eating lunch today I just looked into my sweet boy's face and said "do you know how much you are loved?"  His response was priceless...."God loves me!!!"  Oh sweet are not making this goodbye process any easier by being the sweetest thing on earth!

Friday, January 3, 2014

A bit more....

Our atty asked me in questioning about the whole Permanent Guardianship thing.  I told her that when asked we were not open to it (after speaking to others and a lawyer) because we wanted to give him the same status as all of our other children.  We want him to share the same last name as all of our other children.  We want a sense of normalcy for him.  PG would make him different from our other kids.  He deserves ADOPTION!

In the judges closing remarks she said that in all her years on the bench she's never heard a foster parent say gracious of us.  UGH!  That makes me angry and I'm wondering how every other foster parent has answered!  EVERY child deserves PERMANENCY!!!!!!!!!  This system is so broken and misguided! 

I'm not going to go off on any rants right now because the emotions are still too raw, but.....things must change!

Several sweet family members/friends have posted on their FB pages about us and we appreciate all the calls/texts and messages!  It breaks my heart though to hear that our story is discouraging other people from pursuing foster care.  Is there sadness today? YES!  Is there sheer heartbreak? YES!!! 

Was it worth it?? YYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We have NO regrets about welcoming in, loving and caring for our son.  Yes, to us he will ALWAYS be our son!  God call us to a life of obedience NOT ease and comfort.  If you are comfortable in life then you probably are not being open and obedient to Him.  Choo Choo is my offering back to God.  We sacrificed so much over the past three years, but it wasn't for Choo Choo....we sacrificed for God.  Choo Choo is HIS.  As much as we love him, God loves him more and His ways are not our ways. 

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not get "turned off" to foster care because you might have to sacrifice and hurt.  Do it for God and nothing will return void. 

Court...the 2nd day

We were the first case to be called as promised yesterday.  After we were all sworn in our lawyer said that the GAL would be first to testify, then hubby and finally me.  Ahhh...I was all prepared to go first.  Oh well.  The GAL and hubby testified for only about 5 minutes and then I was called in.

The testimony part actually went really well.  I answered all the questions from the heart and the atty seemed very positive that things would go well.  On cross examination the first question the state asked me was "When {Choo Choo} arrived at your home you understood the role of a foster parent and that the main goal is reunification?"  Whew....I almost went off on her.  DUH...of course we understood that....but that was THREE years and lots of drama ago!!!  After that we were all brought back in to hear the closing arguments.  The State's case rested in them being biological family.  Our lawyer made some incredible points and I really thought we had this clinched!

The judge then said that this is the hardest kind of case to rule on.  There are 4 people here who love one child very much and she was going to hurt someone very badly.  She said these kinds of cases will "stick with her" for many years to come.  She then went into the details and it pretty much hinged on the expert testimony that was given yesterday by the psychologist.  Her statement was that 3 things are pertinent here...1) attachment (the MOST important) 2) kinship and 3) permanency.
It was almost like a point system here ...home vs. the away team!  The Dr. stated that permanency could go either way...point for each of us.  Kinship goes to the aunt/uncle obviously...point them.  It came down to attachment.  I was thinking the whole time that we have this because it's the most important!!  The judge then quoted a statement from the Dr.'s report that said that he definitely was more attached to us but due to the bond that is already established with aunt/uncle that a healthy attachment could be formed.

After that she dropped the ball....Choo Choo is going to live with aunt/uncle.
 She then went on to say that she wants this to be a slow transition.  This poor child will start by seeing them every weekend for a month.  The judge said the following is her recommendation but she wants the state to confer with a therapist to determine what will actually happen. Then for the 2nd month he has to go there every weekend and attend daycare 1/2 day every day.  This child has never spent one day in daycare.  Yep...that must be better! Excuse the's alive and well today!  Then the third month is visit every weekend and go to daycare all day 5 days a week.  And then finally a full transition.  I'm not sure who they think will be driving him to daycare everyday, because it's not going to be me! 

While we are grateful it will be gradual for him this is going to be torture for my family and especially my kids.  The judge "suggested" the aunt/uncle that they remain in contact with us for Choo Choo's sake, but I have a feeling that simply won't be happening.

I managed to keep it together while in the courtroom, but zipped out quickly and headed for the bathroom.  I locked myself in a stall and began to bawl.  The lawyer chased me down and as I came out I saw she was bawling herself.  She has been fighting for my little boy for 3 years too.  Her tears were real and so genuine that I was touched.  She said that she knows I am a woman of faith and she is too and that she had spent a lot of time in prayer with Jesus over this case.  We cried, we hugged and finally got ourselves together enough to exit the bathroom.

I was in total shock....I couldn't find words.  It was a quiet ride home.  I'm going to Costco later to buy the super huge thing of tissues.  This is gonna be a long 3-4 months.  My poor hubby is so sweet....he's going to have a wet shoulder a lot! My tears are not of tears are of pure and genuine sadness.  God has a plan for Choo Choo's life and apparently we are only a small picture in that plan, but I rest in knowing that we have given him a good and firm foundation on which to build.  The Lord gave me Job 1:21 about 1.5 months back but I just didn't want to accept it.  My heart hoped He meant something else.  He didn't.....

Please read this link now....

Thursday, January 2, 2014


was continued!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Can you even believe it??????????? 

We got there at 9 followed shortly by everyone else.  We waited and waited.  9:45 rolls around and the lawyer says that the judge isn't even there.  There was one case to be called ahead of us and that got called around 10:15. 

We were next.  We all made our appearances and found out that the judge was at an emergency dentist appointment due to a cracked molar and that is why she was late.  The proceedings started with the state invoking the "rule of sequestry" (sp?) which basically means that no one can listen to anyone else's testimony and once you have testified you cannot talk about it to anyone. 

Aunt was called first and was in the room for about 1/2 hr.  Then there was a long break where no one was called and I think that is when the CM was testifying.  Then Dr. B the psychologist was called in and she wasn't in there as long.  When she came out she said I was next.  Deep breathes.....

5 minutes later all the players came out of the courtroom and said we are continuing till tomorrow morning at 9am.  WHAT???????  The judge had a full docket this afternoon and couldn't continue.  She has 13 cases to hear tomorrow so she will be motivated to move us quickly.  We were told when we got there today not to expect a decision for 2-3 weeks.  BUT...because God is merciful the judge said that she would give her decision tomorrow. WHEW!!!!!!!!

During our nearly 3 hour wait we had nice conversations with aunt/uncle.  As hubby and I walked back to the car all in shock that we have to do this all over tomorrow, we commented that even if he does leave at least he's not being given to people who are going to jeopardize his healthy or safety.  They do really love him.  My oh my has God done a work our my hearts over the past 3 yrs! 

So...another sleepless night and I am scrambling to find a sitter and hubby has to get off work again!