Saturday, December 23, 2006


....time for spoiled children getting too much toy gear.

Seriously. I'm taking some of Betty's presents back. I probably would do the same for the Little Guy, but he's new. And he actually uses his presents.

Here's the thing with foster kids. It's probably not so different from bio kids, maybe just a little more pronounced. Anyway, here's what we're contending with: visit with aunt and uncle = presents. Visit with bio Dad = lots of guilt gifts, sponsored by the Salvation Army or Toys for Tots (giveaway label dots affixed to packages). Visit with bio Mom = didn't happen. May be more toys around the corner. We have gifts from my sisters, gifts from both sets of grandparents, etc. on the way. And then there are the things we've bought. Oh, and then there are the stack of books from Children & Youth's book fund. I thought we got one. Bonus! A whole Dr. Seuss collection now resides at our house. I'm tempted to just throw them on the bookcase, so it doesn't seem like we're overdoing the presents.

So the Little Guy is one thing. But Betty is quite another. She came home last night with a cute $30 necklace from her boyfriend. She was overwhelmed by his generosity. I asked her what she bought him. She said, "Nothing...yet." As if two days before Christmas she's suddenly going to get her act together and actually show her appreciation for those who love her. Later in the evening I asked what she bought my husband for Christmas. She had the same response and then tagged on, "But I made him a card." Woo hoo. Stop everything. I'm sure he'll be thrilled at the three minute investment you spent in making him such a special gift. You're not three, girlfriend. You're 15.

So I'm a little discouraged by the ungrateful nature of this child of ours. It's a good thing her birthday is around the corner. I'm going to take some of her "Christmas" presents and re-wrap them as birthday presents and call it a day. What have I got to lose? A disappointed girl because she didn't get everything she wanted for Christmas? Too bad for you!

Oh, and immediately after we started talking about what she bought her boyfriend, she asked if I could take her to the bank to cash her checks, which have been sitting on the living room table all week. Last weekend I told her if she got them together and put them on my desk chair, I'd take them to the bank and take care of them. They never made it there, and she wanted me to drop everything and take her at that moment. It didn't happen. This morning she asked if I would take her to the bank if she got ready by 11:30. I told her I would, if she had everything together and written out. It's 11:05 now. She's on the phone. The checks are sitting, untouched, on the living room table.

Speaking of the birthday...she was making a big deal of doing something special, since it's her 16th birthday. She said she wanted a pool party. So I made some calls, and figured out what that would entail. I told her we could throw her a party or get her gifts. She decided she'd have a party at home. I'm not sure if she thinks this would be much different than a pool party, but I didn't say anything. I told her if she gave me a list of no more than 10 kids she wanted to invite by the end of the weekend, we could consider a party here. But no list emerged. I am pretty sure she still thinks she's getting a party. But she's wrong. Again, too bad for her.

While I'm on a roll, Betty ran out of her acne medication this week. She left the bottle on the counter (I guess that's her way of telling me she needs a refill). However, there are no refills left on the bottle. So she asked when she's going to the doctor again. I told her I didn't know, and that she should look on her calendar (knowing full well she didn't put it on there). She dropped the subject. Later, while looking in her room for deposit slips (the reason she said she never moved forward on cashing the checks--though she never mentioned it to me this week), I found a new prescription for this medication. So I wrote her a little note telling her that the doctor had written a new prescription for this medication at her last visit (IN AUGUST) and if she got me that prescription, I would be happy to fill it for her. I did not tell her where it was. I'm tired of holding her hand.

We did get to pick up an application the other day. She wants to get a job, as she wants to get a car. And she can barely afford to keep minutes on her phone, let alone be ready to keep a gas tank full. Needless to say, this application is still not filled out.

Finally, this morning she asked if she could visit her Mother, because she had asked to see her before Christmas. I said, "It's a little late notice." Of course, Betty interprets this as a no, and goes from there. In my opinion, if it was really important to her, she'd fight a little harder.

I'm weary of parenting this teenager, and I'm quite worried about the girl's future. She doesn't have a lot of time to pull it together.

Pray. Hard.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


So, this may not seem like much, but it FEELS like a tremendous step in the right direction.

The Little Guy went to the bathroom BY HIMSELF today. In other words, he did not announce it. He did not ask (he usually doesn't, we usually have to tell him or he'll have an accident), and he did not seek out praise afterwards. It was just like he knew he was supposed to do it, so he did. What's more, he was in the middle of eating when he got up to do this. He was eating an orange (so it wasn't like a GREAT food item, but then again, food is food to this champ). And he just got up from the table, went and did his thing, and returned. Betty and I sat in the piano room, observing, and didn't say a thing. I figured if we rewarded him for it, he would continue to seek out praise EVERY time he does it, and I really want this to be an independent thing that he can do on his own. I just didn't think we were this close to it!

In other news, earlier this weekend, I mentioned to Betty that one of these days I'm going to have to videotape when we wake him up to go to the bathroom. She offered to do it that night, so we did. Well, little did he know, but he put on QUITE a performance. He's always more than a little groggy, and we kind of steer him in the right direction. But this time...he got out of bed, and no sooner took one step before he fell flat on his face. It was hard not to laugh. He didn't cry or anything, and didn't seem to wake up any further. He went in circles when he got to the end of the hallway. He pulled the zipper on his jammies down -- then right back up. Finally, we couldn't help it. He had us in stitches, and we just BURST out laughing. Family members can request a video. I'd be happy to burn a CD for you. Or if you have a fast Internet connection, I can email you the snippets. They're big files, but they're classic.

That's all for now. We have the next review tomorrow morning. We expect to have two more visits scheduled for this month with the family member who has expressed interest in his custody. But there are some new developments which MAY help our case, and work out best for all involved. I'll keep you posted -- even if it's not very often. There's just not always much to say and I'd rather not say something than continue to blab about nothing. Speaking of which, I'll end this here!

Monday, October 16, 2006


Wow! What a process this all is becoming.

Today was the first day of our developmental assessment with the psychiatrist. Both my husband and I had to do the written assessment, which was pretty thorough. Since we just got it in the mail today, I had to call him for his and do it over the phone. I had already completed mine, and was pleasantly surprised to find that we had VERY similar answers. So I take the LG in for his first part of this on Wednesday. Also, the doctor will be going into school to observe him. She may or may not come to the house to observe him here.

A couple interesting things have happened in this whole scenario. One is that when I was looking up the address of the office today, I ran across a Superior Court case that kind of is what I had been looking for before: a case in which the courts ruled IN FAVOR of the foster parents OVER a biological family member. What's more: the case has several similarities to ours (though it does have several differences) AND it just happened to be from OUR county. So...we may be able to use that in our case.

When I spoke with the caseworker this afternoon, she did ask if we still were considering being a long-term placement option for this little guy. I had expressed to her some of the frustrations that come about in our day to day life. Most of these stem from moments when I feel like he's going to leave us, and therefore I think they're a defense mechanism to protect myself against that loss. Oddly enough, my husband feels more frustrated when he thinks of taking care of the LG over the long term. However, when push comes to shove we both think we'd be fine with a decision to keep him here, should that be what the judge rules. Of course, we have our moments of thinking what it would be like with "typically developing" children. But then again, I've seen enough of them to know that they're not always a barrel of fun, either. At least with the LG, we have no real severe defiance or anything. He's eager to please and is a cutie. Mostly, it just gets annoying to hear him repeat the same phrases or thoughts over and over and over and ... well you get the idea.

Time will tell where this ends up. All I know is that I'm glad my husband is back in town. It's so much easier with him around to help out.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Well, the LG had his first visit with the potential kinship care provider, and I knew they were going to come back and say it went well. And it did. Pooey.

That's all I have to say about it right now. I'm hurt and I'm sad and I'm scared. I want to cry.

My husband and I have been thinking of different scenarios, should this guy leave. We'll hold off on making any decisions about OUR future until a decision about HIS future has been made.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Okay. So Children and Youth and the reunification folks met with the psych guy this week, and we're getting the ball rolling. We are going to have a developmental assessment to see the progress the LG (that's little guy) has made over the past six months. I guess they'll also be able to project how much more progress he can expect to make if he stays with us. That will be interesting to know, at any rate. I guess they'll meet with me first (Monday, Oct. 16). They'll liekly meet with LG after that at some point. I think it will be a series of appointments.

Visits will start with the familiy members. But I think they'll be limited. The caseworkers will also do some scenario role-playing with the family to see what they would do in certain situations with the LG that come up sometimes. Really, this part of the assessment will be determining the extent to which they can provide for his special needs.

Sometimes I think he's really not THAT "special needy". But on days like today, when I realize that YES, he is DEFINITELY more verbal in that he talks ALL the time BUT he really has a limited number of phrases that he repeats over and over and over and (well you get it) throughout the day. What are those phrases, you may wonder? Here are the biggies:

* You happy? I happy, too.
* You make dinner/cookies/cake/lunch?
* Eat lunch? Eat breakfast? Eat dinner? Eat snack? (Yes, usually in succession)
* Where's ______? (Any family member missing from the house at that particular moment)
* Go swimming/library/church/school/playground? (Again, usually in succession)
* It's dark/cold/warm/raining.
* It's getting dark.
* It's not dark/cold/warm/raining.
* See friends?

And it's then I realize that four and a half year old children are typically having MUCH MORE involved conversations with their caregivers. Sigh. I did consider (and I may still do this) keeping track of just how many times he says what during a 24 hour period. Doesn't THAT sound like a productive use of time? It may be good to know. Interesting for me, anyway.

There is good news, though. LG is making progress in learning his letters. He's almost halfway there on the capitals -- he got 11 today (a record!) And we're one week down on the three week countdown of medicating his re-circumsision (I REALLY wish they would have taken care of this particular issue the first time around; it's been one of the least fun experiences I've had parenting). And he put himself to sleep at naptime today without too much hassle. Yes, it was overall a good day. Just have to keep redefining that dratted ambiguous term!

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Well, peace has come over the past couple of weeks with what lies ahead. I have come to acknowledge that the law will likely favor placing the Little Guy with biological family, regardless of the situation. And I have also learned a bit about my role as mother. And I can honestly say that when all is said and done, I will be okay whether this Guy stays or goes. I am glad to have this transition time, and still think it will be awhile until an official decision is made. In the meantime, it's good to know that I can go either way.

Foster parenting has been such a blessing. I have the opportunity to mother many. I get to experience what it is like to raise all sorts of kids, and be a part of their stories. Sure, there are pitfalls, roller coaster dips and climbs. But in the long run, it's quite a ride.

I appreciate the time I have with the kids I have. I know that there will be some I can "keep" and some that are merely passing through. When it comes down to it, they're all on loan from a Father who prizes my worth as His child more than He does as a Mother. I need to remember that, as it is my most important identity!

Monday, September 18, 2006


Well, court went better than I could have anticipated last Friday. One parent (along with the corresponding lawyer) didn't show up. The other parent was late and THAT lawyer had sent another to represent, as he had just lost a murder case the day before.

We went in with a proactive approach. The caseworker presented the evidence of improvement since this placement began in April. Then she went on to say while she was concerned about the kinship placement, we were going to start evaluations and services as soon as possible. The judge, nor the lawyer, pressed for much further details.

I still think the kinship placement doesn't know what they're getting themselves into with this little guy. He's a handful, and then some. But...time will tell what happens. At least we've bought a little more time, which I think will be helpful.

We went to the "remedial" gymnastics class on Saturday morning, since we kind of got asked not to return to the regular class until we can be a part of the group. He really likes going. I think that my husband and I will alternate attending with him, as it's not the most fun I have ever had. We won't be able to go this weekend, since we have a foster parent training (if you're reading this and know us and would be interested in babysitting -- let me know; we're still stuck there).

Anyway, things are back to "normal" and we will continue to work with him on whatever we can in hopes that we will be able to impact his development as much as possible for the time we have him. So that's that!

Saturday, September 09, 2006


I got a call from the caseworker on Friday night. Our first hearing is next Friday (the 15th). And it looks like there is going to be trouble. A family member has indicated that they would like custody of the Little Guy. Now, sometimes this is a good thing. But I don't think it's the case in this situation.

So I will fight -- tooth and nail -- to have him stay here. Last night I was VERY upset about the whole thing. There's not much we can do. It's all up to the judge. We can present our side of the story, and show the successes he has made. We can show why living with this family member would not be in his best interest (they have another child there with significant needs, and have needs of their own). But inevitably, it all comes down to the judge's decision.

Today has been a little better. I am bracing for whatever might happen. I've been through this kind of thing before. It's the name of the game. But it's never fun. At this point, I'm not fighting for myself as much as I'm fighting for him. After all, if he leaves, life will return to a less chaotic state here. I will have more time with my husband and daughter. I can work more and go out with less planning. But that's not the option I'd prefer. I'd prefer to have my life the more chaotic and stressful with him in it, knowing that we are doing the most that can be done.

In the meantime, I am furious with a system that makes it possible for one little piece of DNA to mean more than effort. I am upset that these family members weren't interested five months ago, but now that it looks like the Little Guy may not come back, they're feeling a sense of "responsibility" to step up to the plate, even if it's not in his best interest.

Now, if I were this family member, I'd want to know that I had tried, too. I would feel guilty if I didn't. Similarly, if I don't fight this fight as hard as I can now, I will surely have regrets.

So this will be a busy week. Monday is the Little Guy's first day back at preschool. I also have his monthly review, which should be especially interesting this time around as we prepare for court. The person who is supposed to represent his best interests should be there. Funny, he's never met the Little Guy. How is he going to know what is in his best interests? Monday is also the first day of gymnastics AND Betty's first JV game for cheerleading. Tuesday I have two appointments and work. Wednesday is mild -- just a morning meeting and delivering the fundraiser hoagies. Thursday I start my Bible Study (Beth Moore -- yay!), Betty has another game, and I work. It's also the first night of Survivor. Yay again! Then we have court on Friday.

One foot in front of the other....

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Today I went to a foster parent training and it was an emotional day. I ran into some relatives of our little guy who have requested custody of him. That was a little awkward. I was able to find someone else to sit near, so that helped.

A couple minutes into the presentation, my first foster son's parents came in and sat DIRECTLY in front of me! The bottom fell out of my stomach. On the break, I cautiously approached them (we had met four years ago) and asked them if they received the birthday cards I sent each year, and if it was okay to send them. They said they did and that it was. In fact, they said that the picture I had sent last year was in his bedroom hanging on his wall. They also told me that he still fills up his quarter poster that we had bought him for his birthday and that he still asks once in awhile to watch the video we made him of the year he spent with us. They said he plays football, baseball, AND soccer. They said he is a perfectionist (though they noted that he is still sloppy). Unfortunately, he is still not adopted. Although he has lived with them for five years now, they have not yet had the parents' rights terminated. I guess one of the parents had written a letter giving up rights, but the agency had filed this paper away and it was only discovered a year and a half later when there was a new worker on the case. By that time, the parent had changed their mind and now says they want to do whatever they can to get him back. The nerve! Needless to say, I'm glad we've not had to go through that with him. He will be 14 in November, and will have more say in this type of thing. For now, they just have to wait and hope. Meanwhile, the family has been able to take in and adopt three more children. And he has had to see that happen, and not be able to experience it himself. I will celebrate with them when they get to officially accept him as a member of their family. At the end of the day, they asked if I had email and they took my email address to give him. They couldn't remember his by heart, but gave me theirs and said that I could feel free to email them at any time. I will definitely do that, but I won't pounce. We all need breathing room.

I did have a chance to talk to my ex-husband this afternoon and relay the updated information to him from today. I figured he would be interested since he was his foster parent for over a year, too. He just happened to be working outside this afternoon as I drove by his restaurant, so I stopped in and quickly gave him the update. He seemed to be greatful, which I was happy about. It helped me not feel foolish.

I'm not sure many people could possibly understand the full extent of validation this encounter made me feel. I am SO glad my first foster son ended up with this family. They are good people and I know they support him wholeheartedly.

Do you know a foster parent? ARE you a foster parent? I'd love to hear your story. Feel free to post a comment :)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


So, there is much to be learned when parenting a toddler. And I feel like I have been having a crash course lately. I'm learning that no one is a "perfect" parent and I'm trying to give myself a little grace, while pushing myself on to learning more as quickly as possible.

One thing I'm getting better at is setting boundaries. I'm finding that I do not particularly like my four-year old crawling on top of me at all hours of the day. And to make this a little less likely to happen, I've alotted myself time to be away. Sometimes this means getting him engaged in an activity (like playing with his train) and then locking myself in the office. I've also started to "encourage" him to play in his room.

For instance, he is playing with his blocks upstairs just now. Betty and I were making a cake, and he wouldn't stay out from underfoot. So I took him upstairs with his blocks, and asked him to play in his bedroom. I closed the other doors so he wouldn't get into trouble (they have the childproof locks on the knobs) and let him have at it. He let his disappointment be known, but has now calmed down. It would have gone smoother had he taken a nap this afternoon. But that's a story for another day.

We've been having some inconsistency with the therapists over the past several weeks due to the autism conference, one being on vacation, and one being involved in a camp. Hopefully things will normalize next week.

Speaking of next will be the first time I take a road trip with the kids without my husband. YIKES! It is just overnight. I'll then take the four year old with me to my parents' house the following Monday - Wednesday for a short visit. I don't anticipate any problems there.

I'm trying to maintain a fairly regular schedule of time outside (especially with bike riding), independent play, "work", outings (today it was just to the optometrist--the library parking lot was full), etc. I'm also trying to plan "stuff" with friends more to get out and about. No one needs to be stuck at home . I always feel better when I go out, but it's just a matter of getting there.

But, like I said. It's a process. And we've only just begun!

Friday, July 28, 2006

In the book Angel Behind the Rocking Chair, author Pam Vredevelt recalls a story taken from a story by Emiliy Perl Kingsley, related in an October 1992 "Dear Abby" column. She relates it to having a special needs child, rather than a "normal child". But I couldn't help but also think how strongly it relates to foster parenting (not to mention foster parenting the "special needs child").

She starts off by saying how planning for a family is like planning for a vacation. And when something happens that you don't expect (infertility, special needs child, etc), things go something like this:

" the wheels of the jumbo jet touch, down, you awaken from your slumber and hear a cheery flight attendant saying, 'Welcome to Holland.'"

"HOLLAND?!" you say. "What do you mean, Holland? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy.'

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine, and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there awhile and catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from italy, and they're all braggin about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say, 'Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned.'

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever go away, because the loss of taht dream is a very significant loss. But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the special, and very lovely things about Holland."

--YES! I can see the blessings that we have seen -- and continued to discover -- in our "Holland".

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


This morning, Betty had her custody hearing and she's now officially ours.

Over three years ago, Betty came to stay with me on respite over Easter. She went back and forth to different placements, but always landed with me (who later turned to "us" after I got married). So in October we took her and said we're going to keep her. And today it became official.

So we're planning a party to celebrate with family on Saturday. Eric and I are still trying to figure out what to get her for a gift. We thought about a bike (she could get this anytime, though) or "Dance Dance Revolution" (which she's wanted for awhile, but again....nothing particularly marking the occasion). It may end up being a trip. She can now go a lot more places without getting "permission" from the county. So we're looking into those options now.

As for the Little Guy, we are still progressing. The family member that had claimed interest has submitted their application and now the county is conducting their investigation. Hopefully, something will be found to keep them from moving him. But you never know. At this point, we can only take it a day at a time. But for today--we celebrate!

Monday, May 22, 2006


Last week, we had a number of meetings and evaluations and I was very pleased with the way that they turned out. Folks are noticing improvements, and it's good to get partial recognition for that (it's a team effort, I keep telling them). The little guy really seems to have the pee thing down pat, and after MUCH coersion, did a little number twoing last night. How frustrating potty training is. No one told me!

This is the last week of preschool. I'm hoping next week will be the start of really knocking the potty training thing out, since I'll know what happens in that neck of the woods ALL DAY LONG! He's able to stay dry for two hour (and more) stretches (except at night) and I think it might be time to try out some big boy pants when I know we'll be at a place that it's okay to wet his pants (like outside). Thanks to yard sale finds this weekend, we have a couple more to add to the pile so that laundry won't have to be done solely for him every day!

We're going camping this weekend, and that should be interesting. I'm not sure how he'll do, but I think it will be fun to find out. We'll see the in-laws and I think that will be nice. I think ;)

Bike riding isn't going so well. We're still not quite getting the whole pedaling thing. He can push a little bit, but then the pedals get stuck at that point where you actually need MOMENTUM. And that's something he doesn't give up easily. So...we continue on a little at a time. One day, he'll get it. At least he's pushing a little bit now. At first, he wouldn't even do that.

So that's the update. Have a good week!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Poop There It Is

After one week of successfully "making bubbles" (that is, going pee on the potty), I upped the ante tonight. The little guy hadn't pooped all day -- today or yesterday. And he was blowing gas ALL day long. So at 8 tonight, I knew we were drawing near. So I sat him on the potty and bribed him. His favorite thing to eat is Nemo Snacks. So I told him that he could have them if he pooped on the potty. I think he did it before I discovered it 40 minutes into the ordeal, but I didn't see it until then (it was hidden underneath some stray toilet paper). Anyway, long story short--our little guy is making great strides in the potty department. They told us, when he came a month ago, that potty training wouldn't happen until he could realize some of the other sensory things he is missing. But we're out to prove them wrong. In this case, that's a good thing :)

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Yep, that's me. I haven't written in here for over a week. Bad Mommy ;)

Today was our new guy's first visit with the bio Mom. It went as well as can be expected. Tomorrow we get to meet Dad. Yippee. I guess we're going to be alternating weeks, so he'll have one visit a week. I shutter to think about what will happen when the reunification caseworker gets into the picture. He already has two TSS's, one mobile therapist, one behavior specialist, one physical therapist, one speech therapist, and from what we can count -- three caseworkers. This is one expensive child!

Things are going well. He is making improvements here, from what we've been told. Of course, we have nothing to compare it to. But we'll take the compliments.

Next week the agency is checking out the potential kinship (i.e. family) placement. I'm crossing my fingers that there will be some red flag that comes up that indicates that he can't live there. But until then, we'll just have to bide our time. He'll be with us for at least a couple more weeks. If this family thing doesn't work out, then we'll be taking care of him for at least six months. I finally broke down and bought the wagon. That will help get us out and about, though I think tomorrow we'll be driving up to the toddler playground! That's one steep hill to get up with a kid in tow!

These are some of the better days of being a foster parent. Let's just hope there are plenty of them to keep me going. I will be heartbroken if he's got to go. But let's not think of that just now. We'll just be happy for the two weeks we've had so far and take it a day at a time. That's all a foster parent can do.

On a cute note, my husband stepped up to the plate and took care of tonight's duties. This gave me a chance to get some work done on the computer (I work from home, but haven't accomplished much the past couple weeks--can't imagine why). He took the little guy out to get our fishing licenses and then gave him a bath and put him to bed. He got to bed a little late and didn't get his teeth brushed or get a bedtime story, but there are worse things in life. My husband said he needed a checklist so he wouldn't forget (to his credit, he was the one that realized what he had missed--I didn't have to quiz him). I can certainly do a little checklist. In fact, we're getting the scheduling icons soon, I hear :) Fun!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

It's a Boy!

Well, the judge made the decision to place the little boy in protective services, so C came to our house on Thursday night. We were pleasantly surprised to see that he was much more verbal than we had anticipated. He has adjusted well. He started back to preschool yesterday, and his TSS will start coming again this afternoon.

I am thrilled to have a little boy in the house again. It looks like he might be staying for at least six months. I hope so! My husband has even taken to him. It's easy to do--he's extremely lovable and willing to give kisses and hugs. When he sees us after it's been awhile, he greets us with a big smile, a "Hello", etc.

Thanks be to God for His perfect plan and His perfect timing. We are looking forward to seeing how this little guy develops over the coming days!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

To Be Continued...

Well, we got the call today. And in a strange twist of fate, the hearing has been given a continuance, and will reconvene tomorrow afternoon. Truthfully, the timing would be better for us to add to our family tomorrow. That gives my husband and I the evening to spend some time together (something we didn't get to do last night). And that would also mean that I wouldn't need to be alone with a new kid until next week, given the fact that our daughter has off school on Friday and then we have the weekend.

My biggest concern at this point is the dog. She's not real great with strangers. I'm sure she'd come around to the kid, as she has in the past. She seems to have a higher tolerance for little people. But given that there will be support professionals in and out of the house on an almost daily basis, well, that could get tricky. But I'm sure with some training she'd get used to that, too. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep last night. I'm tempted to take a nap, but then again--the more tired I am tonight, the more chance I'll have of getting better sleep!

I'll give you the update tomorrow when I hear. Thanks for your thoughts, support, and especially your prayers :)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Keep on Keeping On....

So, after I had JUST called the school district back to call and tell them that I can substitute on a regular basis again (thinking we wouldn't get a call from Children & Youth anytime soon), I got a call from Children and Youth. As we all know by now, a call doesn't necessarily mean a kid. The hearing is tomorrow.

The child in question is a little boy -- age 4. He has some developmental delays, which frightens my husband almost to the point of saying "no". Quite frankly, it scares me, too. But I have worked with kids all across the spectrum, and I am not afraid of this particular diagnosis. My husband is worried that we won't be able to handle it. I tell him, if that's the case, that's what we say. Of course, he's not used to this. He likes to start things and see them through to completion. Failure is not an option. He says it's not fair to a kid to take them and then have to decide that they can't stay. I think it's not fair to not give the kid a chance in the first place--especially based on preconceived notions that may or may not be true.

So tomorrow morning I expect to get a call to tell us if our life is going to be turned upside-down. I feel relatively calm, though it's pervading my thoughts. In church, we've been talking about serving the people in the "margins". The people that go largely unnoticed. To touch the untouchables. I believe that this might just qualify as such a case. I know that we have a lot of skills that could benefit a child with this specific set of issues. But my husband has a case. No parent really ASKS to get a child with developmental delays or medical diagnoses, etc. But what a privilege to be able to CHOOSE these kids -- despite their imperfections.

My greatest hope is that we can ALL fall in love with this little guy and give him the consistency and structure that he needs. Fortunately, he has several support services already lined up. So that's a good thing.

I guess now all I need to do is get to bed and go to my meeting tomorrow with my cell phone fully charged. The hearing is midway through my meeting, and I've prepared all necessary parties of the possibility of my leaving to get a kid. YIKES! I'll keep you posted, as always.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Nope Again

Once again, the judge has decided not to place the children whose hearing was today. So no new children in our home tonight. But I guess that's okay. This one really didn't bother me as much, because I knew what to expect. After all, it's happened at least twice before for us with this judge. Fortunately, I have learned to ask who the judge will be in advance now. And then I know what to expect.

At this point, I do not anticipate any new children until at least July. And then I work Monday - Thursday, so the likelihood of them placing a child with us then is still slim. My summer school continues until the end of July, so likely it won't be until August that we'd get our soonest placement. Unless it was an abandoned baby. But ... I'm not holding my breath on that one.

Right now, we'll just continue on as a family of three (plus the dog) and work on making that bond as tight as possible. Next Thursday will be our six month anniversary, our official mark to "legal guardianship". I personally think it calls for a celebration--at least a cake. Maybe an ice cream cake. It's a big stepping stone, to be sure.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Advanced Notice

Friday, I got a call from the county notifying us of an upcomign hearing (Monday afternoon) that involves some children that may need to be placed. In the past, when this has happened before, the judge has always ruled to keep the child with his/her parents (at least, when it has happened to us). Before we were given one month notice, and then when the placement didn't happen, it was devastating. I do not anticipate a placement being made Monday, due to this and also due to the fact that funding for new placements has been frozen (until July?). But still, it was nice to be called. We were asked if we would be interested in a young boy. They actually ended up calling my husband (YAY!) because they couldn't get a hold of me. I was very happy about this, because LAST time they didn't get a hold of me, they did not call him and ended up placing the child with another famil. I cried and cried, because it was the oe time I did not have my cell phone on me. GRRRR!!

Anyway, when I called back to let the caseworkier know that we WOULD be interested in the boy, if they placed him, she said we couldn't have him unless we were also willing to take his slightly older, toddler sister. So I caleld my husband back and we agreed that we could do this (though we'd have to figure out the logistics on Monday). Fortunately for us, we have a busy weekend planned so it's not like I'm stting around thinking about this the entire time. Granted, it's in the back of my mind, but it's not all-consuming. And I've set up the pack and plan and we have the convertible crib up, so there wouldn't be much to do Monday (besides get a second car seat, perhaps). And if tey don't come, I can be relieved by the fact htat life would have been hectic with these two. If they DO come, it is likely veryshort term, so I don't think I'll mind having my life disrupted for a ltitle bit . Plus, it will keep me in the foster parenting game, which is a great place to be. It's been three months since we had our last little boy, so I've been very anxious to have another placement.

So it's likely to be a very long day tomorrow. But that's okay with me. My friend is going to cmoe over (she adopted four children) and talk to me about a prohranm that she's starting. And that will help keep me busy and occupuied until the afternoon call (they wil call either way). I will do my best to update this Monday night, to let you know the outcome :)

Friday, March 17, 2006

It's Almost Time... invest in one of these:

Our annual foster parent home re-evaluation is next week. This always sparks a lot of conversation between my husband and myself.

This year, we decided that it may just be time to move the office downstairs and convert that room into another bedroom. By only having the nursery available, we are limiting the kids we are able to take in. And we really think that elementary kids are a good fit for our family. And we also know that SOME day God will bless us with a younger kid. But as long as we have kids, there's no rush. I'm definitely interested in having a big family. So I guess this is a step in the right direction. I'm just glad my hubbie is starting to be on board with this now, as well.

Speaking of which, it's movie time. Gotta run :)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Stripped of Titles--But Not Hope

Well, our foster daughter has decided to stop calling us Mom and Dad. She said she thinks it hurts her mother's feelings. I have to admit, I don't particularly enjoy the part of foster parenting that requires you to give all you have -- and more, and get no credit. And I don't like that biological parents give nothing--or sometimes give really bad "stuff" and they get treated as royalty. Grr. Such is life.

No word on the potential adoption, so I've stopped even considering that. I think the lawyer's office has moved, as well. I did email them to ask one way or the other if they got our paperwork, but never heard back. Needless to say, we'll likely use a different lawyer when/if we ever get to the adoption process.

Now that our first family vacation is behind us (it went mostly well--we should have laid out our expectations better, but this is how we learn), I am thinking that there is nothing else in our way that keeps us from starting the foster parenting. But time ticks on. The only thing I can do is use this time to get myself in a better routine about keeping the house clean and working on projects around the house that WON'T get finished once a child gets here. First on that list is the baby quilt that will go in the nursery. Too bad I misplaced my thimble. I'm supposed to have the quilting done on it before my quilting friend comes back from her mission trip on Monday. I guess this will mean I need to run and get another thimble, and spend some serious time over the weekend quilting away! I will post a picture when it's all done. I don't think I've posted any pictures here, eh? I at least should post the picture of the nursery. Here you go:

Here's hoping we'll use this room some day. We also re-did our foster daughter's bedroom. It was "neutral" green with blue and yellow accents--moons and stars and stuff. I like it much more now:
Much better! We still have yet to get blinds for the windows, but we're sure that we'll keep this room red/orange even after she graduates. It's an upbeat/happy kind of room.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

CHANCE ENCOUNTER? at church I was talking to someone about the benefits of infertility (specifically, not having to worry about what kind of medicine you take "in case you might be pregnant"). And someone else overheard our conversation. K asked me if we were adopting, and I explained that we are foster parents, hoping to adopt at some point. He said that while he was at his lawyer's office yesterday, he saw a couple that was adopting. And he said, "maybe that wasn't a coincidence."

Well, what he meant was that this young couple was looking for someone to ADOPT their child. She is eight months pregnant. And K offered to drive them home, so he got to hear a little of their story. They seemed to be interested in the fact that he is a Christian, and told him that they are hoping for a somewhat open adoption and haven't yet chosen parents. Hmmmm.....

Anyway, K asked if we could give him some information to pass on to his lawyer. So my husband and I sat down and wrote up a quick sheet explaining our situation. And we threw in a picture of the three of us from Christmas. I know better than to get my hopes up. How many stories have you heard like this that haven't gone through or where the parents have decided at the last minute to keep their child? If it's meant to be, it will be. Otherwise, we'll just keep on forging along with foster care. But if it IS meant to be...then what a cool God story this would make! I'll keep you posted of whatever progress there is to report (of course!). One of these days, we'll get "our" kid--God knows what He's doing!

Sunday, February 12, 2006


B said she needed to make a call this morning to ask her Mom an important question. I didn't dig into this, but gave her the calling card # (she got calling cards for Christmas, but no PIN numbers to make them work).

So today after lunch, B asked us if she could talk to us about something. That was fine with us. She put her head on the table (so as to avoid eye contact) and said that she already checked it out with her Mom, and her Mom was not offended. She then asked that since she's our daughter, if she could call us Mom and Dad. I motioned to my husband that he should go first, because I think it's especially important for B to know that he accepts her. So, he said, "Sure". And I said that would be nice, and that I was glad that her Mom was willing to share her with us.

We should be meeting with the caseworker soon to discuss legal guardianship. I'm very much looking forward to taking that step with B. I definitely think we've had our questions answered, and have established ourselves as a real live family. More to come...

Monday, February 06, 2006


Well, we got a call from my OB-GYN this morning, and our prayers have been answered. I really wanted a definitive answer from God about what we should do as far as creating our family. Should we pursue infertility treatments? The answer has come back as a very clear "NO". The latest test reveals that we have no chance of getting pregnant. None. Zilch. Nada.

My reaction? Initially, no big deal. We've kind of thought that we might never have kids. I've already dealt with this in the past. But then when they "found" something wrong with me and thought they'd fixed it, I had that hope again. But now--we're back to square one, in a sense.

So, I'm mourning the loss of the fact that we may never have an infant. I'm mourning the loss of the fact that our children won't have our features. But I praise God that He has a perfect plan for our family, and has been preparing us for many years to be at this place. I praise God that HE is in control. I trust Him completely. It still hurts, don't get me wrong. It hurts really badly. But I know that God is FOR us. And I am humbled by the fact that He entrusts us with this important task of foster parenting. I look forward to welcoming more children into our home. Another blessing has been that Eric expressed that maybe he'll be more open to the foster kids now that he knows these are the only kids we'll have (I think before he saw them as "fillers" until we had our own). There is much to be thankful for.

Now, I just need to get through the next two months, when at least ten people I know are having babies. YIKES.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Well, we got called again for a three year old -- girl this time. But I was out at the store and at the YMCA, so I missed the call. This one hit harder. I just finished crying. It's been about 45 minutes. Talking to my friend and my mother helped. Not so much help from the husband. He can wait a long time before he'll miss out on having kids. I wish he was more supportive. I have been waiting for SIX LONG YEARS and this just seemed cruel.

Through this, though, I know that God intends to bring a boy into our lives and that this child was not meant for us. He definitely is reassuring us of His control over the situation. The placement coordinator said she placed five kids this week. FIVE! And why weren't we called? I guess none fit our criteria. Maybe it will continue to be a busy week. Rest assured, I won't be going out without my cell phone again until that call finally does come through.

To be continued....

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

In Between Again

So, the little guy left after being with us for ten days. I gave myself one day to be sad and cry a little bit. But it was just a couple days before Christmas, and much needed to be done, which I think made it a little easier.

I'm now back to the weird roller coaster of one day feeling really empty at the thought of not having a little guy around the house and the next day feeling like maybe it's not so bad to never have a kid again. I'm thinking that last part may just be a defense mechanism, but it sure helps in foster parenting sometimes!

We did get a call last Friday for a little boy, but I think it was just for respite. I was in the shower, and by the time I got out and called the agency back, he had been placed. I was a little sad. But my husband reminded me of how much we had to get accomplished over the weekend. And the more we get done on the house now the more time we'll have to just live life with our family in the future.

Our foster daughter turned fifteen last week. She's definitely over the honeymoon phase and is not feeling uncomfortable living here. She leaves her stuff here and there, which is driving my husband crazy. But we sat down and had our "three month review" family meeting last night and set up some guidelines for things like the bathroom, homework, and computer usage. Just now she's upset with me for not letting her go to the wrestling game at school tonight. She asked me last minute, when I went to pick her up for the basketball game she had been cheering for. That's never a good idea! Anyway, I rarely say no to her, so I think it's okay for her to hear it now and then. She cried all the way home and told me how bad her life is and how "freakin unfair" I was being. Oh well. She'll survive. Having a tough skin on matters like this also helps. I'm not one to change my mind once I've made a decision, and storming around doesn't help your case, dear. Dealing with disappointment is something we all have to do with, and I don't think it's going to kill her to have that lesson once in awhile. Don't get me wrong. I'm not heartless. I did feel bad. But I'm not going to let it ruin MY day!

Happy New Year to all. Til the next entry...