Sunday, December 13, 2009

Foster care now and then

It seems like time for an update on my foster care and adoption journey, so I will start a few update posts to fill you in on the ridiculous crazy life of a foster care family and the beautiful children we have been blessed to care for:

For those who know Daisy, my first foster baby, she is still a joyful part of our lives. She visits when I pick her up, which is every 2-3 weeks now. If I go over two weeks, she usually gives me a call asking to visit. She says, "pick me up!" (her mom swears Daisy begged, but I think it may be mom needing the break sometimes. :-) Do I care? No. What struggling young single mom of four young kids couldn't use a break from a wild little three year old? Especially if you knew your three year old would be loved and cared for and treated like a princess. The more love we give Daisy the more it is returned.

It is easier now with Daisy. She still calls me mommy once she gets away from her mom, but respectfully calls me Susan in her presence. I am glad, as I never want her mom to feel I am in competition with her. Someday, I know to Daisy I will be just "Susan" and that is okay. I am not her mommy and over time as she bonds with her own mother she will start to understand the difference. Now it is hard, as she still wants to stay with us, and resists being returned home. But she doesn't cry like she used to, so it is easier for her, but sometimes harder for me.

I pray there will never be a day that Daisy does not want to come to my house, because we have more rules, or her gang is not in my street. But my family knows this is a possibility. We have joked that we don't want to have Daisy's baby in foster care. Sad. But if our love can help to let her know she does not need a gang or a man to make her feel whole then we know she will be okay.

So I am happy to say, we didn't "lose" our first foster baby, as I once thought, when she was returned home in a last minute court change, while we were in the process to adopt. We still have her in our lives and we have gained so much.

As I say this I know it is time for a visit. Time to pick her up, complete with a change of clothes, box of baby wipes, and milk and snack at hand. You see, when we arrive to pic her up, we can go no where with her, unless she is cleaned up. She is usually filthy, and will turn the bath muddy. Her hair. . .well we never know. Sometimes they chop up her beautiful hair just for fun. She sometimes has magic marker, black, used as makeup. Little drawings on her body too. And her clothes will usually be something I would be embarrassed to give to good will. Sometimes they are fine and clean, but a size 5. Daisy wears a 3. Her mom has clothes for Daisy, we have given her many, but she chooses not to use them. So now we don't bother. We have a small wardrobe for her (who am I kidding, she is better dressed than me!). We wash what she comes in and put it back on her for the return trip home. I don't know what her mom thinks she wears at my house, but she never has asked, and has never offered to send an outfit.

We aren't rich and are actually really struggling and probably do not have as many resources as her mom, so don't think I am being insensitive. I am just telling you like it is.


"A child fills a place in your heart that you never knew was empty"

Monday, December 7, 2009

I'm still here. . .

but just wasn't able to post about life, because truthfully, it sucked. Yes, not the usual good English I try to use, but appropriate.

Sometimes blogs bug me; how personal should we be with people we don't know who maybe don't even care, but have forgotten to "unfollow" us? Well, one thing I have learned is you don't want to get very personal with people who do care.

People who care about you sometimes can't handle the truth, plain and simple. They may still love you, but being involved in your messy life is too much for them. I understand. No really I don't, but I try. I get it, that my life may be too uncomfortable for you at this time, so you needed to check out. But I wish you would have told me you were going to disappear. Then I might not miss you so much when you're gone.

No, I don't plan on using my "foster and adopt" blog to rant and rave every day. Only now and then because I am too lazy and busy to start another blog. That is because I would have to find a new theme, and the only thing I dread more than choosing a theme, is creating a password.

I will update you on my foster adopt journey soon, but I may rant here a bit too. You can unfollow me now.

~ Susan

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

Monday, March 30, 2009

Babies are such a nice way to start people. . .

Those of you who have read my blog at all know that I love a good quote. I have always loved the one above.

I was just thinking about how a baby can make people smile who had no intention of doing so, cause a crowd to flock around me when I am not interesting enough for that kind of attention on my own, and make people happy for a little bit while they just enjoy looking at another miracle of God and forget their own troubles for a moment or two.

I am currently providing double the smiles as I cart two babies around. :-)

Here are a few more nice baby quotes I found for your reading pleasure. . .

Babies are always more trouble than you thought - and more wonderful.
-- Charles Osgood

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

It is not a slight thing when those so fresh from God love us.
-- Dickens

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.
-- Elizabeth Stone

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.
--Author Unknown

People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one.
-- Leo J. Burke

And the last quote reminded me that one of mine shall surely be up very soon, so I shall go to bed.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Birth mothers need to visit their children . . .CPS has this one right!

Based on my experiences in the foster care system, I often do not agree with CPS, and how they are choosing to handle a case, but I have one to three foster children to love and care for and a social worker may have up to 60 on their case load. And the social workers are also tied by the law, the court, the lawyer, the judge, and their supervisor.

Most birth parents will tell you the system stole their child and doesn't want to give it back, they are wrong.

In many cases, DCFS is trying to give the children back to their parents, but the parents will not do one simple thing that the court wants them to do - visit their child.

I used to think they were making it too easy on these parents. What?! The parent uses drugs, abuses their child, neglects them for months, and finally the child is taken away in order to keep them safe and sometimes to feed them since in extreme neglect cases the children aren't being fed.

And the judge says visit your child. Regularly. Now I have realized how important that is.
  • keep the mother child bond if there was one
  • establish a bond if there wasn't one
  • show that they are responsible enough to keep a regular appointment
  • show that they love their child so much that you can't stand to be away from them and they are the most important thing to you in the world
So now, I understand the importance of the visit. Sure, drug test, take your parenting classes, attend AA meetings, and get a suitable place to live.

But most importantly, visit your child. When the birth mother of my foster son can only make about half her visits, and has never been on time for the last six months, how could she have handled J's chronic ear infections resulting in two ruptured eardrums and six doctors visits in 3 weeks?

Sorry, now I am rambling. But if she wants her son, how can she not want to see him.? And believe me, she makes the choice not to come. She doesn't call to apologize or make excuses for herself. She just doesn't come.

My nineteen year old son went camping this weekend for the first time. I miss him. He is nineteen, so I won't jump in the car and track him down. I won't call him repeatedly on his cell phone - well, I may have, but he said there is no cell service.

Baby J's mom sometimes goes weeks without making a visit, but legally she gets until June. No, her child wasn't "legally kidnapped" as one blog wants us to believe. He was taken for his safety and his mom can see him if she chooses. She can have him returned if she chooses.

It is in her hands.

"Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children."
Charles R. Swindoll

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Are You My Mother?

When my son Brandon was a toddler, he had a favorite book for a while. It was the Dr. Suess classic, "Are You My Mother."

He wanted me to read it over and over again. I got so sick of it that one afternoon I "misplaced" the book in the closet. It was put right next to the popcorn vacuum like toy that his grandma gave him. (those things are so loud! with three kids 3 and under I could only take so much noise. . .)

Little Boy D, the newest edition to our family, walked up to me the other day and calmly asked,

"Are you my mommy?"

I looked at him and replied, "Yes, when you live with me I am your mommy."

He had a little smile and he walked away so I guess I said the right thing this time.

Oh, he still feels more comfortable calling me Susan with a drawn out "A", from a bit of a Filipino accent acquired from his last foster mom, but he knows who I am.


For where your treasure is,
there will be your heart also.

Luke 12:24

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns TV Show

Whether you are a fan of Tyler Perry Movies or not, his new show is something you might want to check out.

Meet the Brown's is a new show airing on TBS, the network that air's Tyler Perry's House of Payne. I have to admit that I have never seen house of Payne, but my girls think it is hysterical.

I do like some of Tyler Perry's movies. They are not Christian movies, but do have Christian characters who are unashamed of their faith. They aren't perfect, but neither am I!

Anyway, back to Meet the Browns:

The show is based on one of the characters from the movie. Mr. Brown owns a house he inherited. He starts a home for seniors, thinking that's what his father would have wanted. Then there's the handyman and the celebrity doing her community service for a DUI.

Then - yes, there's more! - a friend who is a social worker is looking for a home for two children whose mother is in prison. The Brown's are a respite home, so they end up taking the kids in and the social worker drops by now and then.

Besides loving the fact that there is a show featuring a family doing foster care, the show was really really funny. We were laughing out loud!

Check it out. If you missed it so far, I noticed you can catch up on episodes online.

Here you go: