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