Monday, December 8, 2008

Why Do They Call it Urgent Care?

Two things about my last post:

Drake and Josh are definitely funnier when it is not a holiday. Brooke and I have started to watch the movie and I fell asleep. :-) Well, I can't blame it all on Drake and Josh; I have only had about 8 hours of sleep the last few days - combined!

Baby J got even sicker. Saturday I could not keep his fever down so the rest of the family went to celebrate my father-in-law's 85th birthday, and Baby J and I stayed home. (shucks . . .)

I had plans. While Baby J slept I was going to clean. He didn't sleep, nor did I clean. After a 103.8 reading 2 hours after Tylenol, I decided to hit the Urgent Care. By the time they saw Baby J his fever was 105! Then the nurses could understand why he was screaming so obnoxiously in the waiting room for the past hour! I wanted to go let the other people know why he was being so loud and annoying, but I really didn't care what they thought at this point.

So, they gave him a big dose of Tylenol and made us go wait another half hour in the waiting room. Then they call your name, but alas, it is a trick! They call just to put you in a room to wait again.

So, after all was said and done, Baby J's fever dropped to an acceptable 101.9 and he was diagnosed with a double ear infection. I have always been a little suspect that some doctors find an ear infection for a child who seems really sick, but just has a cold. But I saw the ears - they weren't pretty. Not sure what they should look like in there, but what I saw wasn't it.

Baby J is still really sick, and I need to hit the hay. He should be waking up very soon. :-)

~Susan, who will sleep next year.

A morning without coffee is like sleep.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Merry Christmas, Drake and Josh!

According to Hollywood, a foster home is a horrible place, where you will likely be abused by your horrible foster parents. The teen always is running away from an abusive foster home, the girl is being abused by the foster family's teenage son, and the rest of the children are found starving in the foster family's hall closet. . .

How refreshing it is to see a show portray a foster family in a positive light! Now I realize you may not normally watch "Drake and Josh," the hit Nickelodeon show. You actually should sometime; it's quite funny.

Well, I admit I haven't watched the whole movie yet - I have been trying to get things done while baby J is sleeping for a bit. (he is really sick and I don't expect him to stay asleep for long) I did wander by the tv a few times though and caught the fact that this holiday movie has a foster family and a little girl in foster care as a main part of the story.

My daughter taped it so I will watch it soon. I am sure you will be able to catch the rerun on Nick and if you don't get cable, get a friend to tape if for you. It is called, Merry Christmas Drake and Josh. A sweet, silly family movie that has a positive foster family portrayal is something to be happy about.

~Susan, dropping by after a terribly long blogging dry spell.

A society grows great when old men plant trees
whose shade they know they will never sit in.
Greek Proverb

Friday, October 10, 2008

Little French Baby

In case you were wondering what is up with LFB, I thought I would give you a quick update.

First of all, she is still here. I think I mentioned she was going to an Aunt and Uncle. We were patiently waiting for them to get their house to pass inspection - all there background checks had come through already.

We all love LFB and she is clearly very attached to us also. But we are trying to keep it in our minds this whole time that she is going to family, blah, blah, blah, and be happy for her.

Fast forward two months, and the Aunt and Uncle have given up their quest. They never seemed super committed to her, but they said they were going to take her and adopt if the mom's rights are terminated - to keep LFB in the family.

I know I really can't divulge personal info on them, but they refused to do something and that is making them seem like they are hiding something. They actually are refusing on principle they say - in other words, pride. Whatever their reason, we are shocked! How could they give up? We love LFB and would love to keep her, but to think they could have here and will not is just hard to comprehend.

So now we wait. Normally, LFB would just stay here. But, bio mom was moved to rehab 90 minutes away. This is not her first rodeo. Normally the court would move LFB closer. Her social worker wants to keep her here since she is already attached to us. What a thought: Let's do what is best for the child. Then there are the visits the mom will get.

Can we drive to Long Beach every week? More than once? Can I keep it a secret from my husband?

to be continued. . .


If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it,
change the way you think about it.
~Mary Engelbreit

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Best Panda Ever!

Today (actually two weeks ago when I first saved this) the girls and I went to Panda Express to pick up a quick dinner. Neil and Brandon went to meet my mother-in-law and boyfriend Frank for Dinner. We didn't go for three reasons:

  1. The restaurant is not really baby friendly (not many are :-) and it sounded like a nightmare to take two of them.
  2. Brooke is severely lactose intolerant and after looking up the ingredients and menu on the web, it would have hard to find something to eat. Their BBQ sauce had milk in it!
  3. And lastly, we didn't want to
So we are driving to Panda and the girls are hoping Jenny will be there. She is a bio mom of a previous foster baby and she has been promising to show us pictures of her daughter who we haven't seen in over a year.

It was better than pictures. We got to see the baby!!! Mom's boyfriend came in with her. I saw them sitting at a table and knew it was her. She was so cute and happy and sweet and smart!

I have to say that it is hard to admit it, but the mom and baby girl S are doing well. They really love each other. Baby S was as excited to see her mommy as my kids ever were to see me. It was really a hard case to feel good about reunification. Mom had lost four other kids for unmentionable reasons. The children's father is still in prison. There were also drugs involved.

I didn't want baby S to go back to her. But since I am not in charge, she did and they are doing well. Mom is working two jobs. Maybe her extreme loss has caused extreme changes in her.

This is a case where I would have never trusted this woman to change, but she did, so I am happy. I will smile when I see her and mean it. In this dark and dismal foster care system it is nice to see a positive result for a change, from what was probably a judge's mistake.

Oh, I won't expect it too often, but it sure is nice when they surprise you.


Most people struggle with life balance simply because they haven't paid the price
to decide what is really important to them.

Stephen Covey

Monday, September 22, 2008

Another post. . .

My title is what it is for my few readers. This is just another post for me to do while I contemplate whether or not I should continue blogging. I really think I should spend the time writing letters to friends that I have been neglecting, but this is easier. ;-)

But for now, here's what's going on:

Little French Baby was going, but now is staying a bit more. There was a unforeseeable problem with the Aunt and Uncle. They will probably get it cleared up in 6 weeks or so, but for now little Frenchy will stay. We are happy, but I did want her to get going if she's going. Why spend any more time attaching to us. I'm already attached, thank you very much.

Laughing baby boy J is still here and we are praying it is forever. Frenchy has a responsible family member to take her. Baby J does not. He needs us - and we need him. The county worker will probably try reunification, since we are told that is always the goal. It is funny that the goal is never to do what is best for the child. Why is that?

My college boy Brandon - It is going well for him, and brings back memories. . . It is 11:30 pm and he is studying for his test tomorrow. Time management is on the agenda for next week. We didn't have time to work on time management this week.

All three kids are going to be leaders in AWANAS at our church. The girls have before, but this will be Brandon's first time working in AWANAS. He went in saying he would only be a helper, and came out a leader. It was scary. I don't think he knew what hit him.

We have an extra dog while Neil's mom travels with her boyfriend. I feel a little silly calling a 75 year man a "boyfriend," but it would disappointing to the kids if I didn't. Hey, we calls it as we sees it.

Our little D is coming over in two days and the excitement builds. If she only knew how much we loved her she might use it against us. Shh.

Better run. Yes, it is almost 12:00 am and I am no where near ready to call it a night. So what's new?


It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants.
The question is: what are we busy about?
Henry David Thoreau

Friday, September 5, 2008

"I got you back"

The title of this post comes from one of my favorite movies, Anne of Green Gables. (in the Continuing Story)

Anne is holding up a little baby boy that she had loved and cared for and he then was somewhere else for a while in the hands of another. Anne then is able to find him again and she is able to keep him and raise him as her own.

This movie immediately came to my mind last week when little baby J was returned to me. I won't go into too many gory details, but we have always missed him and it was hard knowing he was in foster care, but not in our home. Well, on Tuesday I had little Frenchie at a doctor visit (sorry I haven't posted on her - an adorable tiny French baby that will be going to live with her aunt as soon as her home is approved. We are happy she can be with family and will miss her. The baby is cute and she knows it. Nuff said)

So, we're at the doctors and I am called and asked if I can take baby J again. I was overjoyed. I never would have said no for his sake either, since I hate to hear of kids moving to new homes. It can really cause severe attachment problems for their whole life.

He is the sweetest baby ever, so affectionate and cuddly, and quite the opposite of adorable French baby! We are happy he's back and he is happy to be here. We haven't heard much on his case, other than his mom isn't doing great, but she is still making visits. J has a vision problem and is still being evaluated to see how serious it is.

I'll try to update again, but I was waiting for someone to finish something and the kids always say I should post again, so here it is.

I don't know how long baby J will be here, but I will always smile and think. . ."I got you back"


"A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller,
home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for"


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Recertification Blues

Last year I so lucked out. The normal inspector just quit after taking a vacation and then a medical leave, which was followed by a personal problems leave, which segued into blank stares and vague excuses why she was no longer with our agency.

The office manager, newly promoted after everyone moved up the ladder rung left by the first director did our inspection. She sat at my kitchen table for much of it asking me where things were and how things are done. And apologizing for being disorganized. I assured her it was okay. I told nothing but the truth, but I didn't invite her to check things I thought she may have missed; that was her job and she was definitely stressed out and did not need more to do.

This year will be tough. I can feel it. Plus, we haven't had kids for a while so we are soft - as I sit looking at the Advil bottle and other meds on the counter, the wire and computer stuff sitting on the unused high chair tray, and the piles of "stuff" everywhere that will have to find its home before a week from Wednesday. Neil also has three mixers in the driveway and a work bench piled high with dangerous chemicals that toddlers like to drink for snacks.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the brick pile and posts that sit on the side of the driveway. The side that Neil backed his truck into last month. (so glad that wasn't me! I'm am so sure there wouldn't have been as much laughter. :-)

So you get the picture. Things are bad here and we needed a reason to clean up. So basically recertification is a blessing in disguise?


Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Psalms 2:12

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Book Review: Swings Hanging From Every Tree

Swings Hanging From Every Tree - Daily Inspirations For Foster & Adoptive Parents

This is really a great book for those who have been there. The stories are touching, sad, funny, and everything in between. These are their stories, but they are ours also.

If you have done foster care you will read stories that you could have written yourself and recognize your former children among these pages.

This book is set up as daily devotions for foster & adoptive parents so they are a quick read. Read it daily, or read them when you can, but do read the stories. They will touch you and inspire you to keep going when the going gets tough.

I also really enjoyed many, but not all, of the quotes throughout the book. If you have read my blog before, you know I'm a sucker for a good quote. ;-)

Warning: You may even cry while reading the book, but it will be a good cry.


P.S. If you know a foster mom who needs a little something to remind her how important she is, this book would make a wonderful gift.

"Sit loosely in the saddle of life."
Robert Louis Stevenson
from the book :-)

Monday, August 11, 2008

What ever happened to N?

Loss is a sad part of life in the foster care system.
  • children lose their families
  • parents lose their children
  • and foster families lose multiple children they have come to love
So, what about N? We truthfully never expected her to be a "loss" for us. We didn't want to take her in the first place, weren't supposed to have her more than a few days, and she ended up staying for over two months. We all fell in love, but were prepared for her going. It was a good thing; an aunt in TN was adopting her and we were all thrilled.

We met the aunt, talked with her several times, had her over at our house when she came to go to court, and we really advocated on her behalf so she could adopt. We also helped her to build a relationship with N for those two months. The plan was to stay in touch. N was really attached to us and it seemed like a positive thing for all.

N left in early June. And called us almost daily for weeks. Really. I also talked to her Aunt on a few occasions and we seemed to be friends. We have a big box for N that we stuffed with a few things she left and many more things we wanted to give her: some books and movies she loved, and a new t-shirt we bought for her. We called for the address and they have never called us again. N would not stop wanting to talk to us overnight. She was calling us all the time with her aunt's permission.

What happened? Did N have problems attaching and the Aunt thought it best to cut all previous ties? Why not tell me? I don't think we will ever know. We want to send her the box and I could call her adoption worker and drop it off to her, but part of me thinks it may be best to just forget it. The whole situation is weird. I know N had lied in therapy previously and caused huge problems for a previous family. Did she say something about us because she was mad at us? I hate to not follow up to protect myself, but self preservation is a natural reaction in the system.

Goodbye N.

Fare thee well! and if for ever,
Still for ever, fare thee well.
~Lord Byron

Friday, August 8, 2008

D Update

Staying in D's life has been such a blessing - so far - because most bio mom's do not want the foster mom around after they get their children back. I understand why they feel that way. Who wants a constant reminder of when you were thought to be an unfit parent? And I wouldn't want the woman around who had raised my children. Especially if the child stilled called the other woman mommy.

Thankfully D's mom does not feel the same way. She has let our family have D about every other weekend for the past few months since the kids were returned home. She says she has hurt D enough and doesn't want to cause her more pain by cutting off her relationship with us. (although, the mom still professes innocence. . .) I know the mom enjoys the free babysitting, but I truthfully don't care why she let's us see D; just that she does. D thinks we are her family and we really are. Blood does not make a family.

The mom looks like a hooker all of the sudden. She had on tons of makeup last time we say her. I mean a crazy amount, and all glossy and thick. She is on the hunt again.

Since leaving, D's hair has been chopped almost to the scalp by a crazy uncle who I don't trust. But DCFS seems to be fine with him so who am I to judge??

Now the mom said we could have D on Thursday and on the way there she called me and said she was on the freeway on the way to Los angeles, and that she had just been picked up. Then acted surprised that we were on our way to get D. Why the call? I'm not sure.

I am a bit worried. And no, I don't think this mother is going to just surrender her child to me out of the goodness of her heart. I am not naive. Still, I will stay involved and watch out for D and all her siblings. And if the mom ever drops the ball we will be there to pick it up. In the mean time, we are blessed to have our D fixes when we can get them. When foster kids leave they do take a piece of you with them forever, but D owns all our hearts.


While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about.
~Angela Schwindt

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I'm Expecting. . .

the phone to ring very soon. Call me crazy, but I called to put my name on "the list" again.

I found out the intake worker for our agency has left, so now we have to break in another one. That is okay. The last one tried to make everyone think that you were her favorite family, so she was basically always lying or manipulating you.

Lying and manipulation in the foster care system? I know - a shocker.

Really, she is sick. She would call you with a baby or child and act like she had done you a favor and given you something that many would kill for, but out of her love for you and only you, she has bypassed the other deserving souls on "the list" to give you this new prized possession.

When I called today and spoke to Miss A who is filling in until someone is hired, it was quite refreshing. She sounded genuinely happy to speak to me, but did not make fake professions of love. It was nice for a change.

She did say that "the board" was not filled, meaning there are not many homes available to take children now, so it shouldn't be long before we are called. I'll keep you posted.

Tomorrow Neil and I are going in for some training, but the yearly requirements really are a post in themselves so I will leave that for another day.


I waited patiently for the Lord
He inclined to me and heard my cry.
Psalm 40:1

Monday, August 4, 2008

#1 Worst Thing About Being a Foster Care Parent

How do I choose? There are so many horrible things about being a foster parent. . .

If I could choose from a list of bad things about being a foster parent - the list would be long - this is my choice:

You will fall in love with the children.

So, you may ask what is the #1 Best thing about being a foster parent??

You will fall in love with the children.

Whether they leave in a month or a year, it will be one of the most painful things you ever go through. But, like childbirth, we keep doing it over and over again.

Why? It is simple; the good outweighs the bad.


Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
Psalm 127: 3-5

Friday, August 1, 2008

We Miss Babies

My girls have convinced me it is time to open our home for foster children again. Time to open our hearts to a child who will need love more than a place to sleep, food to eat, and clean clothes to wear.

Brianna and Brooke talk about it all the time.

We were in a store the other day and looking at some item, and I claimed we didn't have anyone in our house that needed it. Brianna says we need to call up and get us a baby. I said okay.

Then I laughed to myself. What a funny conversation if someone were to overhear us.

Here is a funny story from a foster mom talking about her young daughter:

". . .I asked the typical 'do you know where babies come from' question. Without hesitation she replied, 'Of course I do Mom. You just call the case worker!"

For many families, she is exactly right.


Families with babies and families without babies are sorry for each other.
~Ed Howe

Catching Up. . .

We have had much going on here: Many things and people to pray for and thank God for. I realize that I post on really personal stuff about babies who come and go, but not my family. So for a change, here is what is up with us:

  • Job didn't work out in Vegas, but Neil did get a better job here at home the day he returned. Thanking God He had plans we were unaware of.
  • While in Vegas we were able to see Grandpa, maybe for the last time. He isn't "our grandpa" although it feels like he is. In his 90s and dying, Grandpa still made you feel loved and special when you visit him. We will miss him and are praying for his family.
  • A good friend's dad died this last week. He was young and it was somewhat unexpected. Although I didn't know him, I love my friend who lost her daddy so I still cried.
  • My mom had a hip replacement while we were in Vegas. She looked great two days after surgery and I am praying she will get some quality of life back. We saw my dad and that is always fun. We get our sick warped humor from him. :-)
  • We are trying to save our house since it looks like we are staying. Praying our loan company may renegotiate with us. It is a long shot, but worth the try. Moving would not be fun. Have you seen our house?
  • Brandon got his driver's license last week! You can't keep them babies forever. Now to find him a car that is cheap, reliable, gets good gas mileage, and fits a 6'5" baby boy.
So, that is what is up with us. Oh, I'm sure there is a bit more, but Ill save it for another day. . .


Give thanks to the Lord for He is good;
His love endures forever.
Psalm 107:1

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Three Babies

Three babies at once are not in my future. I am fine with it. Shocking, I know. I guess when you know it isn't even something that you feel the Lord would encourage you to do at this point in your life, it is okay to say no.

Firstly, it probably never would have happened anyway, which certainly makes it easier. I spoke to the social worker involved, and though he was excited to have us as a "contingency plan," it didn't sound like it was more than a 50/50 chance. There is a grandma who wants them and I think if she is capable of taking care of them and wants them she should have them. She may or may not get them, but I certainly am not going to get in the way.

It is funny because she is definitely not the blood grandma of one of the boys - mother is white, and her son is white, baby boy is half black - she is claiming him and pretends not to notice.

I like that.

The county worker would have moved the boys and new baby due soon to my house, the contingency placement (in other words - back up plan in case their plan falls through). Most likely a heartache. I talked to Neil about it, and for various good reasons, he said no.

I am glad he did.

It is weird how sometimes you think you want something, and then when you don't get it you realize that was the blessing.


"When we lose one blessing,
another one is often most unexpectedly given in its place."

C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Cleanliness is next to . . . Foster Care?

We have fallen into a pattern at my house. Things get a little out of hand, and then the social worker comes for her visit and inspection and we clean like crazy, put things away, and transform the whole house in the two hours before she arrives.

So when we have no foster children you can imagine we let things go a bit. I am not talking disgusting or anything, but well lived in chaos is not an understatement.

Truthfully, I like it better when we are forced to make an impression. A clean and orderly house is nice if you can get it. :-)

Today I conquered the garage. Brianna helped a bit, but then moved inside where it was safer. I only had one almost catastrophe. Since Neil doesn't read my blog I can tell you. He brings in this little wood thingy and mentions that it goes to his Chinese Junk ship that his grandma gave him when he was a little boy. He wanted to know if I knew where it was. After 45 years he had a hankering to put it together. (I guess there is hope for the new drapery rod in our bedroom?)

Guess what? I had seen it. I thought to myself, "this looks like junk," not knowing that it was actually called a "Chinese Junk" and I threw it in the black garbage bag when Neil wasn't looking. I retrieved it promptly. Don't tell on me.

I really don't think the garage toxins being locked up will make me a better foster parent or my house any safer, but it is a little easier to get around in the garage. If you need an excuse to clean up your garage after 20 years, and be a blessing to a child in need at the same time, become a foster parent!


Create in me a clean heart, O God;
and renew a right spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Absense Makes the Heart Grow Fonder. . .

At least in the case of the baby boys it does. We only had them for 3 days, and they have been gone over one week. Still, we miss them, and knowing the possibility of their return - has made us miss them more.

It is because now we have thought of what "could be" and we have pictured them in our lives, and seen them in our house. So each passing day is a little sad.

An answer is all I want now. I don't want to see them in my life if it isn't going to happen. Foster Care Adoption is different for most people than going out and searching for a child to adopt. It is different than looking for a child who you want to add to your family.

In foster care, the child comes looking for you. And when they do you want to say, "yeah, you found me!"


"Adoption is not about finding children for families,
it's about finding families for children."

Joyce Maguire Pavao

Vegas is too hot for babies. . .

I did talk to the current foster mom today and it was a little strange. She is a nice Christian lady and I do respect her and her husband, but they are a bit different. . . They are another culture and some of it is due to that. They are also a generation older than I am so that may account for some of our differences of opinions.

She wanted me to forget about them until I went to Vegas at the end of July for my mom's surgery. She doesn't think they should have to go to respite while I am gone so they should just stay with her. (This is the same women who had me watch the boys while she went to Vegas and asked me to watch them in August when she goes on another vacation!)

I mentioned I could take them with me and she thought that sounded way too hard, even though I usually take my foster children with us wherever we go - they are part of our family for as long as the Lord has them with us.

She said Vegas is too hot now. Well, it is too hot now! But we lived there for 8 years and we didn't ship the children off for winters up North!

Her and her husband don't want to adopt them. They are in their early 60s. They just want to keep them in foster care it seems. She wants the newborn since they are very easy for her she says. "They don't go anywhere," she explains.

She also spoke to me about discipline issues. (she is afraid we may have spoiled the boys in the three days they were here)

Mrs. S also complained that the 22 month old will not watch TV. My very normal average children did not watch any TV at that age. I mentioned this. She didn't hear me.

I don't think she wants them, but she doesn't want me to have them either. I was told that there are not families lining up to take siblings of mixed races, and especially 3 under 2. So let's give them a chance please.

Oh, and the grandma is in the picture and may want them so I won't hold my breathe at this point, but I will definitely throw my hat in the ring since the Lord has put them in my heart. I will at the least be praying for the "three babies."


Women should not have children after 35.
Really...35 children are enough.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Three Babies

Well, here we are again, waiting for a social worker to call.

I did make the phone call like you knew I would. My social worker laughed at me. Thought it was hysterical that we "fell" so quickly for the boys. Then she told me that she just found out there was a new sibling due in the next two months and she was sure I could get out of that one if I tried, and convince the county to just give me the boys.

What?! "Get out of that one!" Is she nuts? I told her no, I want the new baby too. There was a pause and some more nervous laughter. She is starting to get it. She doesn't have children yet and can't imagine why I would agree to take three when I already have three.

Sounds a little crazy, true. But I am not as young as I used to be. Who is? I don't have time to collect three siblings one at a time like I did the first time around. I have go to speed things up!

So, I don't know much yet. The boy's social worker is supposed to call this week. We feel unsure still and are so nervous that our hearts will be broken after we got our hopes up. I was told by the our social worker that she thought it was a done deal; the county worker was so thrilled to hear of a family who may take three siblings at one that he could hardly contain himself. And it wouldn't be at once. The new baby isn't due until August. Please pray for the baby's safety and the mother's. She is apparently on the streets and it sounds like there is probably no prenatal care happening.

I'll update as soon as I hear something.

I hate to talk about it sometimes, for fear this will all go away - but luckily I don't have that kind of power. ;-)


Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Romans 12:12

Monday, June 23, 2008

We're Back. . .!

I know, it wasn't much of a break, but it was nice none the less. ;-)

We aren't completely back, but we did venture back in the shallow end with a respite this weekend. Truthfully, in retrospect, my family is not the best one to do respite, since we tend to fall in love with all the children within two days.

I haven't been over to Brooke or Brianna's blog yet, but I could probably save us all some time and tell you to go hear about our weekend on their page! But, I guess I shall give you a bit.

I was asked about a respite situation (a foster family needing babysitting overnight or more) and decided to help. It was a 10 month old (he is 11 months we found out when searching for a birth date on this very big 10 month old :-) who has asthma. Apparently, there are not a lot of homes available that have space to watch a baby that also can or will watch a child with asthma.

All three of my kids have asthma, and started as babies - so this situation didn't phase me. I also have asthma. The crazy part of the whole thing was the nurse involved. Yes, doing her job - but still. . . She wanted me to come in for a training session on how to give a nebulizer treatment and notice signs of respiratory distress.

I explained to the social worker that I was experienced. . .blah, blah, blah, and that is why I volunteered. I also "legally" can do the repsite, since I have taken special medical needs training. The SW said I still had to go - that the nurse insisted to cover their "tushes." (not the word she used, but the one I grew up using. ;-)

Come the time for training, maybe the nurse was busy because she ended up talking to me on the phone for 5 minutes and calling it good. That was fine with me. Hey, I will admit if I was over my head, but this was my area of expertise.

So, enough about me - you wanted to hear about the boys! They were very sweet babies and we all miss them, of course. After a year and a half of foster care, they were the best sleepers I have ever taken care of. Two naps a day, and sleeping through the night! For that reason alone I am considering adoption, LOL!

Seriously, they are apparently, possibly, with all probability (you like that) going to be available for adoption. Along with a sibling due in August. It isn't for sure. There is a grandma who sounds very iffy at best, but the county often gives children to blood relative as long as they are breathing. Sad, but true.

If they were in my home as foster kids there would be no hesitation in saying we would adopt. Because we would be in love. After three days, I love them, but I am not in love enough to say I will adopt three at once. At once! Hey, I have done three children before, but they didn't all come at once!

If I could have them moved here so we could fall in love, that would be my choice, but I don't see them moving them just because I would like to get to know them better. It makes sense, but the county doesn't do things that make sense.

The mother has a very serious case of bi-polar so the foster parents advised about that mentioning it is hereditary. I can't say that would stop me as it is very treatable usually, not always passed down, and we don't get to choose with our own biological children so I can't see "turning down" a child because of this. I know many others would disagree.

I also think this isn't the right time for us. But we will wait on the Lord and His timing. I have already been heartbroken thinking I knew best the child I was supposed to adopt. I have also become okay with not adopting at all. Okay is a strong word here. "Accepting of the fact," is more truthful.

Anyway, I think I have to pray about them. I was going to leave it at that, but knowing me, I have a feeling that I will probably call the social worker to ask for more info. Oh, if you are reading this you can go ahead and say "what?!" I have heard it before.

Keep in mind that if this looks like it will work out, it won't, so I am probably safe. :-)


Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Luke 12:32

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Foster Care Break

Hello to my readers. Wanted to let you know that my family needs to take a break from foster care for a bit. We have a lot going on right now and can't devote ourselves to the children. It is sad and quiet around here!

If you are new here, read the archived posts before you go.

Ny'Asia, our seven year old, was adopted by her Aunt in Tennessee and we are still in touch every few days. ;-) We are so happy for her to have a wonderful family to go home with. Most foster kids are not so blessed. Her Aunt is very nice and we also talk with her for updates on Ny'Asia.

Our baby J is in a new home and doing great. It was hard to say goodbye, but he was so lovable and cute we knew he would be wanted by many families. I spoke to his social worker today and he is doing well. We had him in respite care while we went to Vegas to see family, and he has stayed. We have the option of getting him back and boy it was hard to say no!

D, our first foster baby to join our family, will be in our hearts forever and hopefully our lives. As of now, we still see her about every other weekend. It is hard because we love her and miss her so much, but I can't complain (much) since most foster families do not get to stay in touch.

I hope to be doing foster care in the near future and if I am you will read about it right here! :-)

Good bye for now,

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Four Hours in a Row!

Yes, I really did get four hours of sleep - all in a row last night! Baby J has not been a good sleeper from day two. Day one, he fooled me, slept all night, never to accomplish this task again. It must have been the trauma of leaving his mom, the strange family (us ;-) or the first night in his comfy new crib. For whatever reason, he slept until morning and I thought I had hit the foster care jackpot.

A baby who sleeps through the night is a thing of beauty.

Day two: J settles in and reveals his true colors. He is a horrible sleeper and proud of it.

Hence, I have been delirious for the past three weeks. Oh, other family members try to be supportive, but how can they? They have never gone through mommy 101, so they do not have the natural inclination to arise from slumber when a baby whimpers.

Brandon will stay up until all hours of the night with me if a baby will not go to sleep, but if a baby wakes up at 2:00 am it is really useless to wake him as he probably just fell asleep himself.

Brianna, bless her heart, is just not a night person. The other children and I have had to come to terms with this. Somehow she did not get the night owl gene. When her clock shuts down for the night it is over. Now, she is the first one to rise in the morning and always has been, so what she lacks at midnight she makes up for at 7:00 a.m morning feedings!

Brooke has a heart of gold and good intentions. She will even plan our middle of the night sessions with the crying baby of the month. Pick a movie or two ahead of time and insist I wake her up when the little tyke starts to cry. Well, good intentions are just that sometimes. She really is a trooper if I have the energy to drag her out of bed, but a quick tap or jarring nudge will usually just cause her to pull the covers up tight as she rolls on over. The first few nights she will jump at the call, but when her sleep meter gets low and she is not functioning on her full beauty rest, it is hard to convince her to get out of bed for another round of Anne of Green Gables or Pride and Prejudice.

So what do I owe this night of a little over four hours of uninterrupted slumber? I would love to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. . .


How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
Proverbs 6:9

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Something Positive Out of the Pain

I am sure you have all either experienced it yourself or at least been close to someone who has.

You know when you are going through a horrible trial and the pain is so great you want out. Sometimes, someone, a well meaning friend or family member, says those words that don't help at the time, but they are mean to comfort you. They will tell you that someday you will be able to help someone else because of the trial you are going through now. The experience can somehow be positive because you will use it to ease someone else's pain and suffering. . .

Today, N, our seven year old foster daughter asked to call her mom. She meant her previous foster mom. She has been moved from her home and is missing her and her two "foster sisters" she lived with. She was not told why by any therapist and so she has not been able to heal or have any type of closure about the move. I decided enough was enough. She needed to be told something.

Well, I did explain things a bit more than anyone else did. It really helped her to understand that it was out of love that her foster mom tried to sabotage her adoption by her aunt. Her foster mom loved her and wanted to keep her. But it was wrong and now she can't have any contact with N because of it. (it is a long story!)

I was also able to explain things using the comparison of me and D, our foster daughter who was returned home to her mom while we were in the midst of adopting her. She lived with us for one year. N met D last weekend when she came for a visit.

I explained to N that I loved D like her foster mom loved her. I loved D so much that I wanted to keep her and adopt her. But the judge at court decided she would go home to her mom. Even though I disagreed, I had to do what the court said to do. support the decision and return D to her mother. Since I did not try to sabotage the plan or get in the way, or cause problems for the mom, I now have been so blessed to have D remain in our lives. She is now with her mom and family, but comes to visit every week or two. N saw how much D loved us and how much we love her, but that it is also good that D is with family now. We didn't try to keep her so we can still see her.

N was able to understand finally that her foster mom loved her so much that she did something wrong and now can't see her. Not because she doesn't want to.

I know you see where I am going with this. :-) Our trial and pain of losing D has helped me to explain to N what happened to make her half to move and not be able to talk to her previous family. She really was happy to finally know the truth - or as much as I know.

So it is true that God can help you use your trials to help others. I still don't want the trials, but it is nice to have something positive to do with the pain. The Lord does command us to encourage and lift up one another. He even gives us the means to do it.


Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

Foster Care False Allegations and Mandatory Court Reporters

Yesterday was an eye opener. I had the experience of someone allowing me to eavesdrop on/ their conversation and truthfully I kind of wish I had left to give them privacy. I heard something that was downright frightening to think about. If you aren't a foster parent it isn't something to worry too much about - although it could happen to you too.

keep in mind that I am changing the names to protect the innocent, but giving them names to help the flow of the story)

I was at our foster agency picking up the baby from his visit with Best Drug Mommy. Another foster mom was dropping off two of her little ones to visit their mom. She asked the mom to come outside to speak with her. My daughter and I were there so I told Donna that we would step inside. She said no, we could stay where we were. We stayed.

The mom of her two foster kids is a mentally ill woman and she has abused and neglected her kids because of it so her kids are in foster care. They were taken into custody to protect them from their mother and they are in a wonderful home. I know of the family. They are upper middle class, middle aged, stable, loving, and do foster care because they can provide a good home for children who need it. Most foster homes are not abusive low class families doing foster care "for the money." Believe me, they could make more with a job at Walmart.

Back to the conversation: Foster mom Donna, a conservative Christian with a classy European accent, quickly asked me to excuse her French. I guess she knew the conversation would be bad.

It turns out that the bio mom reported the foster mom for abusing her kids. CPS (Child Protective Services) had showed up at her door to investigate. It was a false report and the bio mom tried to deny it at first. She said her therapist had reported it. Well, her therapist has never seen the children and only was taking the moms word for it. The mom said her daughter had a black eye.

The daughter is anemic and always has dark looking circles under her eyes because of her condition. Her son apparently had a bruise on his forehead one day that he got while playing and walked into the wall. The bio mom knows the kids aren't abused and she is darn lucky they are in such a good home! She is mentally ill, her children have been taken away and she is trying to cause trouble. She is actually hurting her children. They will now be moved from an excellent foster home and a family that they have bonded with. People always complain about all the moves foster kids go through. The bio mom caused this herself.

She has also caused trouble for a caring, responsible, safe, and loving foster family. Yes, the report will be found unwarranted, but the damage is done. This family will have this on record and suffer through an investigation because the therapist is a mandated court reporter and he is required by law to report this.

Could he have called the agency, social worker involved, asked someone to check the children, or used common sense before calling in the report? Probably. But he didn't.

Who else is a mandated court reporter for expected child abuse? All public officials, doctors, teachers, and more. And me. Yes, foster parents are mandated court reporters. Would I ever call in a report because of one bruise on an otherwise happy, healthy, well cared for child? NO.

But some people do and it is a little scary. Will I think twice now before taking in an older child who could call in a false report themselves for attention? Will I refuse to take a child from a mentally ill parent who has visitation rights? Yes, to both of those. I know there could be exceptions, but I have a family to think of. I know things can happen anyway, but I can't knowingly and purposely put my family in harm.

It could happen to any of us, but the fact that we are more at risk is kind of scary and sad.

Yes, someone has to protect the little ones. But there is real abuse going on in the world. Calling in a report for a little girl with a dark circle under her eye and no other cause for concern is crazy. What's the world coming to?


You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
Exodus 20:16

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Best Drug Mother in the World

Yes, that is the mother of my foster son. She is wonderful, knows everything, and could teach me a thing or two. Her baby being detained originally was a big mistake for which the judge actually apologized to her for. Then, she was minding her own business, bonding with her new baby son, when she had a relapse. So the baby ended up back in foster care. Yes, this is the second time in five months.

She was such a good mother that she was exclusively nursing her son - except of course when she was attending her classes required by court to get her son back. Yes, she was nursing while doing drugs.

Best drug mommy in the world called me on the phone the weekend her son came to stay. Good thing, since I was a bit lost. But drug mommy to the rescue. She told me how to burp her son. Explained, in detail how to burp him, since apparently he didn't burp like other babies. I was grateful for this information since the baby was getting quite grumpy after two days of not burping. He was even starting to swell.

Well, the best drug mommy also knows the best bottles for her nursing only baby. She is also quite offended if you do not purchase those bottles. It is not like I was stupid enough to show up at the first visit with just any ordinary bottles. I bought the special vent things from Playtex. Wide nipple tops for babies transitioning from nursing. Hey, it wasn't the Platex nursers with the annoying little bags so my name is mud. She actually came out of the visit complaining the little guy was choking from the bottle. I so wanted to say,

"Really? he never chokes at my house. You just must not know how to feed him a bottle." I didn't, but I thought it.

A few days later I had a chance for best drug mommy to really put me in my place. Her son came down with a case of thrush in his mouth. Caused by an overgrowth of yeast and quite common in young babies. But being the good foster mommy I am, I take him to the doctor for medicine. So I told the mom on one of her many calls. She then informed me that he had thrush once before in foster care only - never at her house. And it is cause by dirty bottles and nipples. I was able to casually mention that it was not caused by this and she preceded to argue. I was able to choke out that it wasn't caused by this at my house, but I am not sure my pathetic attempt to save my hide worked. She was sure I caused this case of thrush.

This week we have had the fun of best drug mommy resuming her nursing on her visits. This is after two clean drug tests. The mom has been even more humble about her mothering abilities now.

How do I stand it and why do I allow this to continue? Well, I am learning so much. . .


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Not in my plan. . .

Okay, let me say to anyone out there, that I didn't plan on not writing on this blog for the last few weeks. It just happened. It wasn't just being busy - we all are. It is just that I often have so much to say that I can't decide what to focus on so I don't say anything at all.

The dog? She is better. Nothing better happen to her, if you know what I mean.

We have a lot of things up in the air right now. Real Estate is low and gas is high and we are struggling. We can't sell our house so we must make enough money to keep it. And spend less. Hasn't happened lately. Right after the dog surgery fiasco my car got sick ( not sure what was wrong, but I took Neil's word for it) and cost us almost $2,000.00. When it rains it pours!

We did finally get that baby boy the girls have been wanting. Practical me wanted another girl, because we have all the clothes. But it all worked out. We had to spend some, but the county worker said I will get a clothing allowance for little J. (This is a check they send you and you just have to show receipts that you spend it on the child)

Then, my dear friend Penny called today to say that she had baby boy clothes for us she salvaged from garage sale leftovers someone was giving away. What a blessing! The clothing allowance is never enough and is always too late to really help. I was stressing about needed stuff for baby J, but the Lord provided through a friend. I should have known. :-)

Did I tell you about N? She is seven and so sweet. Not in our plans at all! We would have never said we would take her age now, but the way we were asked we ended up saying yes to a temporary situation that has turned into a bit longer than expected. . .

Yes, a surprise, a kink in my plans, a bit of an inconvenience (we leave for school at 7 am ;-), but so glad we said yes. This is a good foster care story that will have a nice ending. More on this story later.

Just thought I would try and get back into this. I will be so busy this month, but can probably post more. I work better under pressure.


For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
Jeremiah 29:11-12

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Cat vs. Toy Poodle. . .

and the cat won.

I sit here past 1:00 am, not horribly unusual for me, but there was a reason tonight. I was waiting up for the animal hospital to call about our toy poodle Chessie. She had to have surgery tonight.

Sunday morning before Neil and Brandon left for church, Neil let the dog out to chase a cat. He thinks this is great fun to watch. Sadly, this cat didn't like it and turned on Chessie. She caught the back of her leg and tore it deeply, putting a tear in her tendon. We couldn't even tell how bad it was at first, but decided to take her to the vet.

Just like children, did the dog have to get hurt on a Sunday?! Am I right? I call and find out there is a vet hospital open on Sunday, but they are so backed up they are only taking life and death situations. Today when she is seen she already had a fever of 103.4. Thinking that was terribly high, I googled it and the normal dog temp is 101-102. Still, it was elevated. They said infection sets in the tendon.

10 minutes later I was signing the estimate for surgery. I was guessing About $400.00, but I was wrong. It is closer to $800.00! But you can't put a price on a family member. . .

Brandon was with me. (Brooke is really sick with a horrible head cold and Brianna was staying with her for support and healing from getting beamed with a softball at PE today - ouch!)

Brandon and I are a little sarcastic together. Probably not a great thing for Christians, but it is from my Jewish side of the family, LOL! We started joking about the price of the surgery and what a doctor would say if you refused - creatively. Imagine the following conversation. . .

$800.00?! Put her down! I can buy two new poodles for that price!. . . ;-) Hey, laughter helps and we thought this was funny. We can redeem ourselves though.

$800.00 for a dogs 15 minute surgery - crazy.

The tech calling and adding almost $40.00 for pulling two bad teeth - adding insult to injury.

Having Chessie healed and home with us - priceless. . .

Okay, we stole it from a credit card commercial, but how do you think I paid for the surgery?


Happiness is a warm puppy.
~Charles M. Schulz

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Foster Mom and Her Phone

I have become quite sensitive to my phone these days. The phone can be a messenger of blessings, or a bearer a devastating news. To any family, but doing foster care takes this up a bit.

I am acutely aware of the silence of my phone, and how long it hasn't rung. And when it does ring, emotions are on high. Is it a baby? Will they actually come to live with us? Will they stay forever? If the caller ID says it is our agency, you could almost hear a pin drop, as the family waits to hear if they called us with a child. And if it is a child, you will hear a squeal out of my teen girls that would make you think they just were given their first car. Brandon, will not squeal on the outside, but I bet if you could listen on the inside you'd hear one ever so lightly.

What happens if I leave the house, or go to the bathroom, or heaven forbid, decide to take a shower mid day? My girls must drill me on if I have my cell phone.

1. Is it on?

2. Is it charged?

3. Is the ringer on?

4. And will I hold it and not keep it in my purse so that I am sure to hear it ring?

The shower? Leave the door open so we can bring you the phone!

When the phone rings, if it is not about a child, there is disappointment, and then anger that we weren't called. And if we later are called back to be told it didn't work out for some reason - which happens quite frequently - well, then, it is good you are not here to see us. I am afraid we don't always act unselfishly. I am trying, and trying to teach my kids at the same time. But it is hard. We love babies and young children and feel that the Lord has really called us into this life.

So bring on the orphans! Okay, that sounded a bit silly, but we feel that way sometimes. We have two empty cribs now, and too many memories of D sleeping (and crying :-) in them. We need some new memories. We need to be busy. Oh, we are busy people for sure, but I mean busy with something that matters.

Well, I need to go and spend some time with the kids I do have, for the Lord has blessed me beyond what any mother deserves. I am ashamed sometimes for wanting more.


Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
But let patience have its perfect work,
that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
James 1:3-4

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Boy, oh boy. . .

The last two days have been a roller coaster. We were called and asked to take a newborn baby boy and it was most likely going to adoption. I'll cut to the chase. . .today we found out they placed him with another family because they thought we didn't have an approved home study for adoption. It wasn't showing in the computer. This was just a clerical error or lack of communication situation - that cost us the baby.

To make matters worse, the adoption worker - assigned to us - don't know what happened to the last one - called me out of the blue today to say she had our archived study and everything was fine and she just needed to update a few things. She thought we were still adopting D and J. When I told her the news she was so sweet and sounded genuinely empathetic to our situation. I really like her. :-) I am going to call her tomorrow and see if she can put us in the computer as an approved family or if we need to update first. I think we were never added since we were getting a study for a specific child, not to be put on a waiting list.

Then an hour later we find out we lost the baby for lack of a study. I made a call. Explained my case (the baby is still in the hospital at this point) hoping we could get him placed with us. One worker made some calls, but she called back to say the worker who had already done the paperwork for the other family said she wasn't doing it again.

I am sad, and our girls are very very sad. We are all disappointed. I am happy for the other family and I hope they cherish him and raise him in a home where he will see people who love the Lord.

This is who I want them to be: they are a nice married couple - man and wife!, who couldn't ever have children of their own and have dreamed of adopting a newborn from the county because there is no way they could ever afford international adoption and they have a heart for children in our messed up foster care system. And they are Christians who desire to homeschool.

Hey, a person can dream can't she?!

There is a reason this happened. I am praying I grow from it and don't let it make me bitter. I will be going to Target tomorrow to return his car seat. We bought him a new one, even though we really can't afford it. I have a pink one (thank you Jennifer :-), but I really couldn't bear to go pick him up in that.

Wow, I really didn't "cut to the chase," did I? Brevity is not my forte.

I hope there will be good news soon. My parents are both ill with mom in the hospital, my car needs major repairs, and we are almost out of money.

A newborn baby would have been nice. . . :-)


"We must accept finite disappointment,
but never lose infinite hope."
Martin Luther King

Now abide in faith, hope and charity, these three.
1 Corinthians 13:13

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Foster Care Trials and Tribulations

If anyone is out there and reading this blog I apologize for not posting for so long. After losing D and J it just was really hard to talk about it or even write about it. I mean what could I say? D was with us for one year and really felt like she was my baby. To her I am her mother so to me she is mine. Now she is at her bio mom's and it feels like someone else is raising my baby.

This whole trial has actually made me have a little more compassion for the mothers who lose their children to foster care. Not all of them, but many of the moms do love their children with all their hearts, but because of addiction, lack of resources, mental illness, and the way they themselves were raised they are incapable of taking care of them. It doesn't mean that they are not hurting.

Having D now in her mom's home has given me a small glimpse into a mom's world who has had a social worker say we are taking your children. That is what happened to me.

The sadness and helplessness is so compounded because D did not want to leave. She was depressed and wouldn't eat or sleep for missing us. This made us so sad. We could handle our grief, but a baby should not feel this way. It was the hardest thing to see. It is good that D has now started to attach to her mom and the family. She is happy again and she really has enough love for all of us!

I am blessed to say that after some initial problems that I was too emotional to post about, D's mom has let us continue to see D. In fact, she really has been pretty nice about it and insisted we take her, and has let us have her for weekends. Now many of you, and my family included, may assume she is doing it to get a break from D. This is probably true, but I won't worry about why she is doing it - just that she is.

Can I go through this again? I will pray I never have to find out. I know that D will probably someday, maybe at her mother's request, stop calling me mom. That will be sad, but okay. As long as she always calls. :-)

So to those who say you can't do foster care because you couldn't stand the pain of losing the children, I say, "yes, you can." My family put so much love into D and she blessed our lives so much that we didn't lose her - we gained her in our lives. If one day her mom doesn't let us see her anymore (we know this could happen) I will grieve all over. But I will also pray for her every day and for this privilege I am grateful.

I am ready for my phone to ring again. Somehow I know that having full arms will help heal our empty hearts a bit.


I will be glad and rejoice in your mercy,
for you have considered my trouble.

You have known my soul in adversities.

Psalm 31:7

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Favorite goodbye quote

I noticed I didn't leave a quote or Bible verse on my last post, and to be consistent I will do it now.

I thought it needed a goodbye quote and figured it would be pretty depressing finding one, but here it is:

"Don't cry because it's over.
Smile because it happened."

Dr. Seuss

I love this quote, although it isn't deep enough or meaningful enough for our situation, a quote never is. It simply is a thought that makes you think. . .

During this trial of our girls leaving our home to return home to their bio mom, I have tried to remember that for their family this is seen as a blessing. For D and J it may be a good thing if their mom steps up to the plate and becomes their parent. There is a part of a child who always wants their "real" mom. J loves us and cries to stay, but still wants to go to her "real" mom too. She wants us both. Sadly, Kids don't just need a mom, but need a parent (or two :-). It may turn into a disaster and we pray D and J will not be hurt.

Yes, we are hurting - bad. But do we wish we had never taken in little D and then her sister? Not on your life! It is worth it all to have them for a year of time and hopefully in our lives forever.

The risk of a child leaving is not a good enough reason for me not to love them. Only God knows how long we will have anyone in our lives. He gave us a time with our girls and I am thankful.

So when strangers and friends say they couldn't possibly do this and how can we handle this, and all the other comments we will get for months, I could go into a big lengthy discussion - and probably will at times. :-)

But for now I am happy to have found this quote. It is a simple thought and says a lot.


"Don't cry because it's over.
Smile because it happened."

Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hard to post, so I'll post poetry

If you want to know what is going on you may be able to read it on Brooke or Brianna's blog. I just can't bring myself to write about what is going on. I do write bad poetry when I am depressed so I guess I'll post my latest.

Too Many Kisses

a few days is all that's left
that I can call you mine

then you'll go, and I'll be left
with memories of another time

so forgive me if I cry a little
and hold you for so long

these last few days are here
and I can do nothing but hold you dear

I can do nothing to make you stay
so forgive me if I give too many kisses today


Monday, February 25, 2008

I'll Race you to the Potty!

Potty training has begun full force at our house - and like everything, we have to do it the hard way. We have not one, but two little tushes vying for the royal seat. Sometimes it can be quite cute. One of the girls will yell "potty!" and start running, and the other one will try to cut her off at the pass. I have even watched as one tried to rip the other off the seat!

Even though they fight to go first, they still like to praise each other for a job well done. Things can get a little hectic trying to keep the M&M jar filled, but it has helped to keep the interest up. And they both pronounce M&Ms the same way - "num nahs."

Will the competition help them to learn quicker, or ultimately will it prolong the process? Only time will tell.

I will tell you my proudest moment came yesterday and I could tell that the youngest was really getting how important praise is for everyone - now matter how old.

I walked in the pool room (our room with a pool table) and said I'd be out in a minute and walked in the bathroom. As I walked out the door and shut it, D looked up at me and started clapping wildly and yelling "yeah!!!"

It was my first standing ovation and I will always remember it.


Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work.
Ecclesiastes 4:9

Friday, February 15, 2008

I'd Give You the Moon. . .

Sometimes children ask for easy things; in fact, when they are younger it is usually the easy stuff.

Can I have some milk?

Can I go with you?

Hold me please?

These are just a small sampling of the requests I got today from our two year old foster daughter. We don't know how long she will be with us so we are eager to please, creating a bond with her so she will feel loved and secure while with us.

Meeting their needs helps. I got the little stuff today.

When Neil came home the request was a little bigger and not so easy to fill.

M (who we found out is actually an "A") looked up and saw something big and bright in the sky.

She looked to Neil, my husband, and asked him, "what's that?"

He said, "It's the moon."

"Get it!" A said.

"I can't get it."

"Too big," A innocently asked?

"Yeah, too big," he replied.

"Oh," she said, and ran off to play with her foster sisters.


Set your affection on things above,
Not on things on the earth.
Colossians 3:2

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Chocolate Milk and Cheetos

Well, I think I may have heard it all. I am shocked a bit, and as a foster care mom, you may think it is hard to shock me. You hear such unbelievable stories from and about birth parents. As one social worker told me, as she tried to defend her decision to send a child back to a parent who was seriously lacking in any skills and resources to take of a child let alone herself,

"we can't expect these moms to have the same parenting skills as you do, and what we may think is bad parenting may just be their parenting style"

So what was so shocking? I spoke to M's mom today. She called me on my cell. M moved in on Friday, five days ago. Her mom has been in a rehab center and must have just got calling privileges.

M's mom seemed really sincere in our conversation and was grateful to me for taking care of her daughter. Actually said she appreciated my family for helping her out.

Then she started to share little parenting secrets. You know, those wee little gems that other experienced moms share at the park, and you then share with others. Something you will pass down to friends, sisters, and eventually your own daughters.

So how does M love to wake up and spend her morning? She was about to tell me a gem.

M loves to have chocolate milk in the morning. She even gave me her recipe.

"Buy the chocolate syrup and squeeze a ton of it in the milk"

Simple enough.

She said M loves it and will "lap it up."

M will sometimes take a morning nap then. I didn't have the heart to tell her that this was a sugar induced coma.

And now her mom dares to share her secret for a good breakfast. You guessed it.

Cheetos. She actually said that M's favorite breakfast is chocolate milk and cheetos. Loves it!

Cheerios?? I wanted to ask, but the mom was clear. She hadn't misspoke.

So there you have it. You may be surprised to know that I have decided not to give M chocolate milk and cheetos for breakfast. I just can't, no matter how much she loves it.

Hey, that wouldn't be fair to my bio kids who still eat unsweetened cereals and bread with actual wheat flour.


Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he's buying.
~Fran Lebowitz

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Busy with new baby. . .

I almost gave up blogging, but my dear friend Jennifer convinced me to give this another try, so here I am.

We have a new little one, who ain't so little ;-) We were hoping and praying for an infant, but when the phone rings it it hard to say no to someone who needs you, even if you think you need someone else.

Our foster agency called about a two year old little girl on Friday night. I have an almost two year old now, so in hindsight, this seems a little crazy. Wow, are we busy. But many hands make light work.

The baby? Well, she is so big there will be no sharing of clothes between the girls. She is tall and big, but still has a baby face and baby chub. We were told M is half black and half white. She really is 100% adorable. One parent, probably mom, is blond. M has got quite a head of dark blond curls. I complain about my frizzy hair, but no more. This is a whole new ball game! Jennifer has experience with black hair from her two little boys so we called her for help. My bottle of frizz eaze just isn't cutting it.

M came to us with the clothes on her back and socks on her feet. Right away she was happy to go with us, but has started to ask for some relatives such as grandma and daddy. We are sad for her. She must be so scared, but she hides it well, blessing us with more smiles as the days go on.

Her mom has court on Wednesday so I will find out then what is happening. We are thinking that there may be a relative who comes forward to take her. M was well taken care of (clean and well fed) so we think someone out there loves this baby. If there is a relative, we know M may go, but she will not be as scared.

We don't want her to go, but a loving grandma may be missing her so we are trying to be prepared. She is so big, with a huge head of blond frizz and tons of dimples when you can coax her binky out of her mouth long enough. We can't look at her and not smile - really.

We didn't really want a two year old now, but we took M because we thought she needed us. I think we really needed her if you want to know the truth. M may be here for a week, a year, or forever. We don't know. But we will always be grateful we said yes when the phone rang. We just didn't know what God had in store.


When they placed you in my arms, you slipped into my heart.
~ Author Unknown

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Waiting is often the hardest thing we do. Waiting to hear "the news" can be exciting or excruciating, depending on "the news" we are waiting for.

As a foster care family we are always waiting. I hadn't thought of it until earlier today, but the continual waiting is stressful. First we wait to finish classes, home studies, physicals, background checks, and more. Then some families wait for children. We already had a child in mind, so she was actually waiting in another home for us to finish all of our waiting.

When you have a child move in there are many waits: You wait for them get used to you, feel comfortable, and to finally bond. You may wait for them to listen and sleep through the night too! The waiting may be different if they are a foster placement or a foster adopt placement - at first. Then you love them and want them to stay forever.

We are a waiting foster family. We are still waiting for our phone to ring because we are going to take a baby as soon as there is one who needs our family. We are also waiting to hear if we can adopt our two foster daughters. This is the hardest waiting we have done. We are praying that we can adopt them if it is God's plan. If going home is not the best thing for them we want them to stay in our family. We love them and can't imagine life without them.

So for now we wait. We are waiting to hear something. The next hearing date is March 10th. I'll keep you posted.


but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Monday, January 21, 2008

I Miss Someone. . .

Missing their family is probably a common feeling for almost all children in foster care. Studies and experiences show that even abused children miss living with their family - wanting to go back to moms who may have beat them, abused them, or severely neglected them.

This is sometimes hard for us to understand. How can a five year old cry for a family member that neglected them so severely that they arrived in foster care malnourished with their teeth so decayed that almost all are fillings or had to be pulled? We want to run with the child to the hills, and not even attend court required visits, feeling that the parent may not deserve to see the child. I know that is the way I feel at times.

But the child may feel differently. That is the only family they have ever known. And now they are with strangers. No matter how much we care for them and love them, foster kids will often times want to return home. Sometimes "the system" has to step in to protect them and they may not ever return home. Other times the parents are sadly never able to or never want to be parents again.

I pray that if my five year old can't return to her family that she will learn to call us family. I don't just mean call me mommy. She does that on her own, wanting to belong and be like her sister who is a baby and has always called me mommy. I mean think of us as family if we adopt her. Her new family, but forever hers.

Families are not only born. Sometimes they are made - one day at a time.


There are no unwanted children, just unfound families.
The National Adoption Center

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Our phone rang. . .another baby

I have to tell you, we were all a little disappointed about not getting the baby boy we were called about yesterday. I told everyone we could be called again real soon, so be ready.

Well, about 11:oo am, I was called about a three day old baby girl in the hospital and asked if I would take her. I said, "of course!" My teen girls squealed in delight and actually jumped up and down - I kid you not. The placement worker did mention she was African American and asked if that was alright with us. I said yes as long as her family doesn't mind.

We were all so excited. A brand new baby. We praised God for his great goodness to us, not believing we were called again so soon. The four of us worked like crazy to get things ready. Then, about 3:30 pm we were called and told a grandmother had showed up who wanted the baby. I don't blame her. I just pray she will be as good a caregiver and home for the baby as we could have. And possibly better since it is her own granddaughter.

So for now we are missing baby number two. Well, we are even more ready now. The crib and bassinet are ready. The girls even got the baby swing out.

I am praying we will get a call on Tuesday for another baby. Sadly, babies are detained by CPS for many reasons, but we will love being here to love them when they need it most.


Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but when the desire comes it is the tree of life.

Provers 13:12

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New baby. . .almost

Being a mom is full of trials and tribulations, and if you are also a foster care mom you will have a whole new set of woes to live through.

Today was one of those days. . .

We are already living with our hearts ready to break any day. We know the possibility of our two foster daughters leaving is soon. We really won't know until the day they go or the day we sign adoption papers. Sometimes it is that precarious of a situation when you are dealing with "the system."

Another baby could never replace our little D who has been ours for 10 months. But still, we have agreed to take another baby if there is one who needs our home, all the while hoping and praying that D and J also stay. We have an extra crib and many extra arms around here. Our baby is quite the toddler now, and knowing she might go there is a sense of wanting a little one to need us, keep us busy, and depend on us. I can't get anything done around here and I guess I like it that way! LOL!

So, we got the call today. So soon since I upped my license so we were surprised. I'll tell you now it didn't work out. It was hard to have our day end without our new baby that our hearts had begun to attach to - if only the idea of him. He was six months old. On the way to pick him up we were called that the placement fell through. Could mean many things, but what it meant for us was sadness. We had our hearts set on him, and had already started making plans.

This is one of those times that I tried to look at this from another perspective. God's. He has plans and they are bigger and better than mine. Maybe He needed us ready for another baby that needs us. . . Maybe my family needed to remember that anyone who joins our family or leaves our family is God's child, on loan to us for how long He decides. . .

So we all prayed and agreed we must wait on God's timing.

I hope the phone rings tomorrow. . .


"What seems to us bitter trials are often blessings in disguise."
Oscar Wilde