Welcome to our journey through foster parenting and adopting. I am so glad you have visited my blog.

My prayer is that through my experiences on this journey, I can be of help to someone else. I want Jesus Christ to be glorified through this blog because it is only through him that I am able to make this journey.

Here we go, let's start this journey together.

With All My Heart
Paula

Thursday, December 23, 2010

FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS

From our family to yours,  MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A BLESSED AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A GLIMPSE AT WHAT LIFE WOULD HAVE BEEN

First of all hello, so glad you have hung in there with me since I have been so bad about posting lately.  It has been very quite around my house well not quite but boring I guess you should say.

We are all doing well and still have no other foster placements at this time.  Our home is open but we are being VERY specific about the next child we take.

Yesterday Seth, Landon, Jacob and I went to Jacob's biological Moms house for her to give him some Christmas presents.  As i was standing in that tiny little house I could not help but think about what life would have been like for Jacob.  Now, before I go on with telling you this please don't think for one minute that I am trying to be better than them it is just so different and things would have been really bad for Jacob.  They meaning grandmother, granddaddy, biological mom, aunt and cousin all live in a one bedroom house.  They have 2 beds in the bedroom and some of them sleep in the living room.  When we went in the cousin was sitting at a little table in the kitchen eating a burnt corn dog and mushed up tater tots.  No transportation at all.  It was very hot in the little house and to top in all off it was 4 o'clock in the afternoon and they were all asleep.  I am not sure if the sleeping a lot is from drugs or depression or maybe both. 

They had several nice presents for Jacob but as I stood there I felt really bad to take them because I know they do not have the money to spend on gifts. 

We took BM some clothes for Christmas and I took them supper.   They are very appreciative of what you do for them and always tell me they love me.   They are all very sweet people that are just living in what seems to be a hopeless situation.

As I stood there I could not help but just thank God for taking Jacob out of this situation.  I thank him for giving Jacob an opportunity for a different life.  I also thank God for giving me the awesome responsibility of loving him, providing for him, and being able to minister to his biological family.  I pray that through my family that Gods light shines so bright on this family that they will want part of it. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

PRAYING FOR SHERRY BETH

On Monday of this week I really do not know why I did this but I did and now I can't shake it.  Well I guess I did it because God lead me there but boy what a burden I am carrying now.  I was on my computer and for some reason I went to the Alabama Heart Gallery and started looking at pictures.  The funny thing is I was not looking for baby girls I was looking at teenage girls.  I know go ahead and laugh, you know it was a God thing if you are reading this and have teenagers in your home and if you have been following my story and know that I said girl 2 and younger only.

Seth came into the room while I had her picture up and said "what are you doing"  I told him I was about to make a call to inquire about Sherry Beth and he looked at me with this puzzled look on his face and said "are you serious, have you told Daddy?"  Not yet honey, not yet.  Anyway I called our Social Worker and she had about the same reaction that Seth did but told me she would try and check on her situation.

I received a message from our Social Worker yesterday concerning Sherry Beth and I have to tell you it absolutely broke my heart.  I cannot share the details with you but based on the information I received she will not and cannot be a child for our family.

Like I told you in the beginning of this post I was not sure why I went to the Heart Gallery but now I know.  God was trying to get my attention and show me that I may not be able to take this child into my home but I can pray for her.  I can pray that God heal because after all he is the great physician, I can pray for her a forever family, and can pray for her new family whomever they may be, I can pray that God takes this beautiful girl and uses her circumstances for something great, the list can go on and on.  I am committing to pray for her and my challenge to you is to go to the heart galleries of your state or mine and find one child, you do not even have to inquire about them (believe me I wish I hadn't) just find one child and begin to pray for them and pray for them every day until they leave the site or move to the success stories.  My friend Kelly shared with me that this is what she does and I think that it is great and I want to challenge everyone to begin doing this.  Everyone may not be called to bring children into their homes but we are all called to pray.

Please join with me in prayer for these children.


Beth
This is Sherry Beth.

 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

THANKFUL FOR

As I think back on this past year I have many things to be thankful for.

I am thankful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
My family God has blessed me with,  My husband, 4 wonderful children God has blessed me with through birth and adoption.
My Christian parents who raised me in a Godly home
My Sister and brother
My Mommaw that God is allowing to still share in our lives
My Gangie that God shared with me for 41 years.  I miss you more than I could have ever imagined.
My Grandfathers that have gone on to be with the Lord also
My friends, truly one of God's greatest blessings
My blog friends that have allowed me to share in their lives
My opportunity to work in foster care
Our freedom we so often take for granted.
There are too many blessing to even try and name them all.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving

Friday, November 5, 2010

MUSIC TO MY EARS

Jacob and I went to the pediatricians office today to pick up a shot record and when they had it ready they called over the intercom.......Jacob Paul _______.  Oh my goodness, it was music to my ears.  It made my heart smile just to hear his name called.  This was the first time since the adoption that I had heard his name called by someone other than our family.

Silly I know but I loved it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

WE ARE OVERJOYED TO ANNOUNCE GODS GIFT TO OUR FAMILY

We are overjoyed to announce God's gift to
our family through the miracle of adoption
and journey of faith

Jacob Paul
Born 02.21.08
Forever ours 10.27.2010

Filling our hearts with so much love


Can we get on with this, I'm bored

THIS IS IT

TODAY IS THE DAY WE HAVE WAITED FOR, FOR SO LOOOOONNNNNGGG!!!!  In just a little over 2 hours Little J will be ours forever.  I cannot describe to you how that makes me feel.  I will post pictures as soon as it is final.

Monday, October 25, 2010

GOD'S PERFECT PLAN

I cannot believe I can finally say this but it is only 2 days until Little J is forever ours.  This is the best feeling ever aside from your biological children's due date.  The anticipation and excitement is amazing. 

First of all let me begin by saying that this is God's perfect plan being fulfilled.  That is the only way I can really explain to you how this all came about.

The first part of God's plan began with placing me in the same class with who would eventually be my very best friend in the whole word and my rock through it all.  Kelly from The Missing Piece is the best friend a girl could ever hope for and God knew I would need her more than I can even tell you.

Chyne and I originally began this journey to adopt only.  Absolutely no fostering and definitely not another boy.  We thought we were doing this to complete our family with a daughter.  Anyway, Chyne started talking to me about fostering.  He said he thought we should foster before we jumped right into adoption and also we had learned from our classes that it was very difficult to adopt without fostering first.  I told him no way.  I cannot do that.  "There is no way I can foster because I could never give them up and also I could NOT work with birth families."  I began to pray about it and God said oh yes you can.  I need you to have a heart for these children and guess what I also need you to love their families.  I immediately said no way, I might could handle the children part after all I have to problem loving them its the giving them up I don't think I can do but I cannot deal with their families.  Well, me and God wrestled with this awhile until I finally said okay I will try and our lives have never been the same.

We first got a call for an eight year old boy and a 3 year old girl that we took and only kept for 3 days because we found out more about the 8 year old and knew we could not keep him.  Our next placement is really where I can see God's plan at work.  We received a call for a 3 yr old girl, 2yr old girl and a 1 year old boy.  At this point I was thinking with my heart and not my head and said yes.  Oh my goodness, it was crazy here.  Finally after about a month I called our worker and said I am not asking for them to be moved immediately but we cannot keep them much longer please be looking for another home.  She agreed but said it may take a while.  In the mean time Kelly received a call for a 6 month old baby boy with a severe heart condition.  After consideration she and her family declined and this is where God really stepped in or should I say we allowed God in.  Kelly called me and told me about the little boy and I said well I could take him if they had another place for the 3 I had.  Now remember this is a boy not a girl.   Kelly reminded me that this is a boy and we talked a little more and both convinced ourselves that this would probably be temporary and this would work.  I called our worker and she said I doubt I can move the other 3 but thanks for calling.  Our God knew this is where this little boy was to be so he worked out all the details and 2 hours later I was holding the little boy that would one day be ours forever.

The road has not been easy.  We have had many ups and downs, setbacks, worries, you name it we have gone through it.  And guess what I had to love his Bio Mom.  Yes God showed me that not only do I need you to love Little J I also need you to love his Mom.  So with God's help I do love his Mom.  I have had to be taught to love his mom through God's eyes because mine would not allow it.  There was too much stuff there for me to love her through my eyes but through God's I see a beautiful young girl needing love, support and needing my God.

As I think back on all of this I am so glad that God's plan was not mine.  I am so thankful that I gave in to God and have been blessed far more than I can ever imagine. 

I guess the whole point in telling you this story again is to just try and impress upon you what a blessing it is to follow God's plan.   Just thinking about all the blessings we miss when we try and do things our way.   I am sad to say I have probably missed out on a lot of blessings in my life for trying to do everything my way and fighting with God.

God does have my hearts attention when it comes to foster care.  I have a tremendous burden for these children and yes their families also.  I can not wait to see what God has in store for us next.

Monday, October 11, 2010

FINAL COUNTDOWN

We are on the final countdown to adoption day.  It is only 16 more days until Little J is forever ours and I can finally introduce him to you all.

We had our adoption home study yesterday and everything went well.  This was our final step before adoption day.

This will probably be the longest two weeks of the process so far.  As you have probably noticed I am not a very patient person. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

GOODBYE LUCY MAE AND ALL MY OTHER RANDOM THOUGHTS

Lucy Mae left us yesterday to return to her Father.  This is one of those cases that does have a happy ending somewhat.  I will try to explain that last statement.  This is a happy ending as far as the foster care situation and her being able to return to her father but unfortunately there will never be an end where the Mom is concerned.  Mom has many many problems and her main problem is her dependency on her super controlling father.  This is a family that definitely has mental issues and it all stems from the father/grand father.  This situation will never get any better because this family will not take responsibility for their own actions.  They always have to blame someone else.  Lucy will always be caught in the middle.  We have really stressed to Lucy's dad to try and be positive and not to talk bad about her moms family no matter what they do. 

Lucy has been really testing the boundaries with her Father.  He called me today for support and reassurance today.  She will not listen to him and throws fits when she doesn't get what she wants.  I explained to him how he needed to handle the situation and how she will have to see and learn that he is not the old pushover dad he is new and improved.  He agreed and said today a new Daddy will be in the house.  We shall see how that works.  I so hope he can gain her respect and be able to be the Dad he needs to be.

Last week Little J and I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon with his Bio Mom.  She had not seen him in about a year.  We had a very nice visit.  She spent the afternoon playing with him and entertaining him.   We really enjoyed our time with her. 

I was talking to our foster care social worker today about relationships with Bio Families.  She has just started a new class for new foster parents and said that this was part of the topic last night.  I have to admit when I went through the classes to become a foster parent I thought to myself these people are crazy if they think I am going to have a relationship with BIO families.  I can honestly say now that after forming such a strong bond and relationship with Little J's bio mom and then never being able to accomplish that with Lucy's mom that the good relationships are much easier.  I cannot stress enough to new foster parents how important good relationships are.  Some Bio parents make it really easy to form these relationships like Little J's bio mom and then others it is almost impossible as in Lucy's case but either way you have to try.  I am very thankful for my connection with Little J's bio mom and I hope it can always stay that way.   I think one of the biggest differences in my two situations is that Little J's mom does not blame everyone else for her problems.  Lucy's mom blames everyone.  She feels she does not have problems it is just everyone else.

I am very thankful for my relationship with Little J's Bio mom and I hope our connection can always stay this way.

While talking to our case worker today we also talked about another placement.  I told her that we will only take girls two and under from now on.  We feel like that for our family it is best that we do not take anymore children older than our youngest.  Our worker has been very cautious about placing a baby girl with us because she knows how badly we want to adopt a girl and she did not want to place one here and then them have to leave.  I really appreciate the fact that she is trying to protect us but I let her know today that we are willing to put our hearts out there and take a placement no matter the time frame.   She cannot ever be sure how long a child will stay and we do not want to wait years for that one that she thinks may get to stay.  We are ready to love a baby girl no matter what the future may hold.  We took that chance with Little J and look at us now he will be forever ours October 27th.  God knows what we need and he will provide the strength we need to get through any situation.  We are ready for God to use us in another child's family no matter what.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

WHAT ARE WE DOING

Well, I know it has been a while since I posted last so here is a quick update on our family.

We now have a teenage driver in our house.  Seth took drivers education in school this trimester and passed his drivers test so we now officially have license.  He is still not ready to drive alone but he does have his license.

Patton is playing football and fall baseball.  There football team is doing very good they are 4-1 right now.  The fall baseball league he is playing on is also doing good the only problem is that we play about an hour and a half from our house and it is every Saturday.

Landon is doing great in first grade and he is also playing football but there record is not so good.

Lucy Mae is doing very good with visits with her dad.  She spends every weekend with him and at least once per week with him.  Her mom on the other hand is a completely different story.  Lucy's  Mom has absolutely no respect for anyone and will not do any thing you ask of her when it comes to decisions about Lucy.  She tells her things that are not true and in her own way tells Lucy she does not have to listen to us.  We are having another ISP meeting the first week of October and I think Lucy will be moving back to her Dad then and Mom will go back to supervised visits and that is the way it should be.  Lucy is having tubes put in her ears and adenoids removed on Tuesday.

Little J is doing great.  He NEVER stops talking but he is very entertaining.  He went to see his Cardiologist last week and he is still very pleased with his condition.  I want to get him potty trained so bad but he is not interested at all.  I think he may be 6 before he is potty trained lol.

Chyne and I are doing fine we are just very busy dealing with all the things that our kids have us doing but I love it and wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, September 13, 2010

OVERNIGHT

Lucy had her first overnight visit this past weekend with her Dad.  I have to say that things seemed to go better than what I expected.

Dad is still struggling with taking control and being the parent.  Lucy loves control and can easily get it with Dad.  He is working on this and is very open to me helping him and giving him advice.  He really does need to realize that this is like a second chance to get it right and if he doesn't let Lucy know that things are changing around his house it will go back to the way it was.  He commented several times that he could tell a big difference in Lucy.  I think that is great but she will go back to her old ways if he lets her.

Lucy did fine with coming back to us and is continuously telling me and everyone else in the house she loves us.  I am not sure what that is all about.  She has pretty much always told me she loved me at bed time but this is constant now.   I do think she likes it her with us and she will miss us when she leaves.

We should have a hearing for her by the end of the month and then she will return home to Dad.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

WE HAVE A DATE

After 2 1/2 years of waiting we finally have a court date. 

OUR ADOPTION DAY IS 10-27-2010

We are so excited to think in just a little over a month Little J will officially be ours forever.


                                                  

Monday, September 6, 2010

SOMETHING STRANGE

Lucy Mae is doing a lot better these days. ( of course, she would be since it is about time for her to go home lol)  Anyway on the other hand her Mother is something else.

The whole time Lucy has been with us she has tried to find something that I am doing wrong, finger nails too long, not answering phone, not keeping her clean you name she has said it.  Well, the icing on the cake was when she was accusing me of not taking care of her when she had a rash on her bottom that you could not even see unless she pulled her buttocks apart and looked.  First of all, Lucy bathes herself and does exceptional with that, secondly I do not inspect her private areas and will not unless she complains which she did not thirdly, Lucy had been sick and was on antibiotics that caused her to have diarrehea.  Anyway BM called me and tried to tell me how to take care of her.  This sent me in to orbit.  I was so angry that she would call to tell me how to take care of her when she is with me because she cannot take care of her.  I told her that she could call anytime to speak with Lucy but not to ever call and try to tell me how to care for her again.  She went on to tell me that the reason she does that is that she was told that Lucy was being abused in foster care.  She said that Lucy's Paternal Grandmother was saying that.  That is a lie because I speak with her regularly and they are thankful Lucy is with us and not the Mom.

Yesterday at the visit something really strange happened.  Lucy visited with Dad and was fine had a great time and cried when we left of course but then it was Mom's turn.  I received a call about 15 mins before pickup time asking me to come and get Lucy early that she was "ready to go home."  They said the whole visit with Mom she kept asking for me and saying she wanted to go home.  I am not really sure why this happened the supervisor said she didn't feel well which is not a really good excuse because why would she not want her Mom to hold her and take care of her if she was sick.  I picked her up,  and she does have a little cough but other than that she was fine.  She came home, played outside until dark ate supper and then went to bed.  I think that Lucy can sense that something is not right with her Mom.  Based on the therapist accessment and test scores for parenting views and several other things she says that the Mom is a lot worse that what she originally thought.  Her Mom is very needy and reversed the parent child role.  She wants Lucy to be there to take care of her not her take care of Lucy.

I feel very sad for Lucy that her Mom is like this but her Dad will be good with her.  The therapist now says that she needs to be moved from her quickly though becasue she is beginning to feel as though this is her home and that she could have a hard time leaving us if she is here much longer. 

The ISP is Wednesday, I will have an update for you then.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

ANOTHER STEP CLOSER

We met with our attorney today and let me just say we love him.  He is so kind and down to earth.  He simply just sat and talked to us for about 45 minutes today about just life in general and his true views on our system.  He does represent DHR for their cases but switches gears when he represents a family for adoption.  He does share the same beliefs that we have as far as Christianity, the immoral lifestyle that children are being raised in, etc.  He told us that they just had some different statistics come out and that 40% of all babies being brought into this world are illegitimate.  In other words these babies are being brought into this world unplanned, unwanted, and in alot of cases do not even know who their father is.  I would dare say that over half of the children our children come in contact with each day at school are either from a broken home or are in foster care themselves.  This is a very sad situation to me.

He also shares the same opinion that blood relatives are not always what is best for a child because in most cases that situation will not be any better than what they came from but our liberal politicians are who makes the DHR rules and guidelines.  This will really make you stop and research the politicians before you vote.

Okay, enough preaching.  Here is the happy part.  Little J is another step closer to being ours forever.  We signed all the necessary papers today and are now just waiting on a court date.  Our attorney said that we will be issued a temporary custody order until the adoption is final.  I cannot wait to introduce him to you officially.  Shouldn't be much longer now.

Monday, August 30, 2010

ALMOST THERE

Today was our first step in the adoption process. 

We went to DHR to do our signing with them.  This gave us consent to adopt Little J.  Once we go those papers signed we took them straight to our attorney's office and he will now draw up all paper work and have us sign and then we will get a court date.  We anticipate our date will be probably the first week of November.

At the signing we did get quite a bit of history.  As we suspected Little J did suffer from withdrawals as a newborn.  My poor baby had drug withdrawls which caused him to be very fussy and irritable.  I wish so bad I could have been there for him during that time of his life.  I wish I could have been the one to swaddle him and hold him and love him through that rough time.

He is doing great now and loved more than I could even begin to tell you.  He is the sunshine in all our lives and we thank God for him every day.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

CONTROL

Lucy Mae has been  doing much better in some areas but the thing we are having the most problems with right now is control.  She wants to be in absolute control of everything that everyone does.  She is not happy if she is not controling a situation.  If we are having a good time and she decides that is not what she want to do she will intentionally ruin the time either by crying, throwing a fit, or starting a fight with someone.

If I say Lucy Mae it is time for school she will be all happy and smiles but the minute we walk in the door she will stand stiff by the door and refuse to walk in, not crying because she does not want to go but just being stubborn and grinning about it. 

Just the other day I said Lucy Mae you and Little J need to go outside and swing.  "No I don't want to its too hot"  okay well then Lucy Mae you need to go to your room to play>  Crying Screaming No i want to go outside its not hot anymore.  Now please remember this was only 10 mins later.  I would not allow her to go out then because it was just control.

On a more postivie note, I think we will be having an ISP meeting this week and Dad will be given unsupervised visits and informed that they are moving to reunification with him with only supervised visits for mom.  I am very happy for her Dad.  He has worked very hard and it is time for her to return to him.  We will all miss her very much but we are not attached to her as much because we definately knew this day would come from the moment we got her.  We just want what is best for Lucy Mae and in this case there will be a happy ending for her Biological Dad.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

SIGNING DAY

We met Tuesday with our SW and adoption worker for our closure ISP and now the case is officially in the adoption workers hands.

We have our signing August 30th and after that we are headed straight to attorney's office to give him the papers so he can draw up the rest of the papers for us to sign and then we get a court date.  It looks as though we will miss the September 30 goal but hopefully we will get a court date the first of October.

I cannot wait for that day to come so that I can finally say Little J is mine forever, and ever.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

MEMORIES

My cousin had recorded this video of my Grandmother playing the piano and singing right before Christmas.  If you listen to Christian music you will be able to pick out that in part of it she is playing Sweet Beluah land and then she plays Amazing Grace and sings it and at the end she sings I will wait at the gate for you.  She loved to play and sing.

Her funeral is today.  I am not ready for this at all. We have been spending our days and nights at her house since she died.  We have just been coming home to sleep.  I know we have to stop but I cannot bring myself to going to her house and then leaving knowing it will be the last time we will all be there together as a family.  She loved her family very much and I am just having a hard time with leaving.  Please be in prayer for me and our family today.

Monday, August 16, 2010

THINGS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME

Last night I lost one of the most important people in my life.  My grandmother left this world for a truely better place last night.

I cannot tell you what a blessing she was in my life.  She was an amazingly strong woman with a heart of gold.  She always wanted to give you advice whether you wanted it or not.  Our families lives will never be the same.

I love you Gangie, thanks for helping make me the woman and mother I am today.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

BACK TO SCHOOL

Wow, this has been a busy week.  School started back here and it has been crazy.  As you know I drive a school bus and let me just say every bus needs a/c.  It has been so stinking hot here it is hard to do anything.
The boys are all liking their new teachers and everything seems to be good for them.

Jacob is doing great.  I received an email today from my SW and she said she received the final TPR decree and that she is going to try and get a meeting setup for next week with the adoption worker to begin the paper work.

Lucy Mae, weell that is a different story.  We have been having a lot of trouble with her these past few days.  First of all last Wednesday she was screaming at me and saying that I was mean and when I asked her how I was mean to her she said "because you took me from my Daddy and I don't like you."  I sat down and tried to explain to her the best I could about what happened and that I did not take her from her Daddy.  I told her that after the Judge said she needed to stay somewhere else for a while DHR called me to come get her because they knew that I would love her very much and take good care of her until she could go home.  I reassured her that as soon as I was told she could go home we will pack her clothes and I will take her.  She got better after that talk until yesterday. 

Yesterday was Lucy Mae's first day of preschool.  I got there to pick her up and it was like I was picking up a different child.  The school said she had been good all day but when I got there she started being very defiante.  She ran from me, hid under the tables, screamed no at me, etc.  She was in time out at least 5 times within an hour time frame.  She is very free with telling me that I am mean.  She has a very bad attitude toward everyone in the family.  All the kids are getting really annoyed with her.  I have tried to explain to them that we are trying to teach her things that they have been taught all their lives and she is trying to learn it in a month.  I try to explain this to them but I also have to keep reminding myself also.  I ended up putting her to bed early last night and she did not like that at all.  I have to say she was a little better today.  She tettered on the edge a couple of times but when I reminded her of the early bedtime she got herself back to gather quickly.  I guess I will use that punishment as long as it works.  Poor girl she is just very confused right now and really testing the boundaries.  Hopefully she will figure it out soon.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

COUNTDOWN TO THE BIG DAY

We found out yesterday that our order for TPR for Little J was signed on August 2.  I think it was also entered that day so our appeal time should be up at midnight August 16.  This information came from the attorneys office not DHR so there could be a couple of  more days we have to wait if it did not get entered until the 2nd or 3rd.  At any rate we are on the final countdown.

Our director of DHR is really pushing for our adoption and 6 others (Kelly with the missing piece kids are the other 6) to be done by September 30.  Apparently there is grant money available for DHR if this can be done.  She has already putting things in motion to try and make this happen.  Thank goodness for grant money : 0 )

GIVE ENOUGH ROPE

I know you have heard the old saying "give a person enough rope and they will hang themselves."  Well, that is exactly what Lucy Mae's BM is doing.   Her BM's side of the family definately have some serious mental issues. BM cannot do anything without her parents and her dad controls the entire family.

We had our 30 day ISP on Tuesday and BF did great.  He just sat and listened and let them hang themselves.  He is on offensive team now as our Social Worker calls it.  He is now just focused on what he can do to be a good parent not what BM cannot do.

As it looks right now, unless there is a drastic change, SW is going to get all assessments, visitation notes etc. and make a recommendation to the Judge at the end of the month for BM to have permanent legal custody of Lucy Mae with only supervised visits with BM.  This is very sad for BM but I do feel that the SW is exactly right.  BM cannot even remember to call and confirm a visit by 1:00 on Fridays (if not confirmed within 48 hours of the visit the visitation center refuses visit for the week).

The counselor asked Lucy Mae yesterday if she could go home today where would she want to live and she responded, "My Daddy's house."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

SPLISH, SPLASH

Spending time with family and friends on a hot summer day at the local splash pad is some of the best times you can have.  Such wonderful memories.  Here are a few of our pictures.

This is soooo much fun

just waiting

What a way to cool off


I don't like the looks of this

this is so much fun Little J




Wednesday, July 28, 2010

HURRY UP AND WAIT

I have been talking to our new adoption worker today and also trying to line up an attorney.  From what I can gather from the conversations today is that we are going to have a lot of hurry up and wait.

I will try to briefly describe the process so you will understand what we will be doing.

  1. The Judge granted TPR of Friday but now we have to wait for it to be granted and entered into the computer.  
  2. Once that is done we will have to wait 14 days
  3. After the 14 days we will then meet with our worker and DHR will give us papers to sign which is them giving us consent to adopt.
  4. We then will take the papers to our attorney and he will have a petition for adoption papers to sign.
  5. Once signed this will be taken to the courthouse to file and that will also give us temporary custody instead of the state having it.
  6. Wait for a court date which will be about a month from when papers are filed
  7. Have another homestudy done which is ordered by the Judge and is very dumb if you ask me because we have had Little J in our home for 2 years.  We have semi annual home studies by our foster care worker and monthly visits by the Social Worker.  Don't you think they should know if our home is suitable?
  8. FINALLY court date and sign adoption papers and Little J is ours.
  9. I get to give you his name and show you pictures of my beautiful baby.
All in all, if everything goes as planned, we should be finalized in about 2 more months.  I cannot hardly wait for all this to be done.  I am trying to have patience and I really thought I would just knowing that he will be ours but I think this wait will be just as hard because we are so close.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

COMMENT PROBLEM

If you left a comment on my last post and it does not show anymore it was totally an accident.  I changed my background and now I know at least 3 comments got deleted for some off the wall reason.  So if you left a comment and now it is gone please don't take it personal.  Please leave it again, I hate when things like this happen.

I think it was Kelly, GB, and Maggie.  Sorry girls.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

THROUGH MY FATHER'S EYES

I told you on Friday about Little J's BM.  She has relapsed back into her drug use.

Me, in my human flesh is mad at her, disappointed, frustrated, confussed etc.  I do not understand how you can go back to these things when you have been clean for months.

I was sitting in church today and I got this overwhelming burden for her.  I cannot explain it.  I got to thinking again about the situation that she has always lived in.  I thought about how she had been clean for so many months while she was away and then I thought about how alone and scared she must have felt when it was time to be released and returned home.  No job, no place to call home except the drug infested home in which she left and no one else to help her.  All she wants is to be loved and accepted.  She has zero self esteem and she just falls into whatever trap the devil sends her way.  She is using cocaine now and I am sure that is probably the drug of choice for her new boyfriend and like I said she will do anything to be loved.  She will never escape this life if she is not willing to break free and I truly believe she does not know how to do that.  These problems are bigger than her.

Anyway, while thinking about this today I just began to pray and my prayer is simply this Lord please do not let me see T through my eyes but please let me see her through your eyes.  Help me to show her your love.

After I came home from church I called her and I let her know that I did know she was using again and that I was heart broken for her.  I told her that I was not mad and that I just wanted her to know that I am always here for her and to please be careful and that I do care for her.

I am not sure what else to do for her at this point and I really do not think there is really anything I can do for her but pray for her and not quit on her.  If I quit on her I really do not know if there is anyone else in her life right now that is a Christian and I do not think I could live with myself if something happened to her and I had quit on her.  I know that I am only in this ministry of foster care for God's purpose and I want him to use me in this as he sees fit.  I do believe he placed this young mother in my life for his glory and I am not going to quit until he says we are done with her and you know what?  HE WILL NEVER BE DONE WITH HER.  So I guess He and I are in this for the long haul and that is okay with me.

Friday, July 23, 2010

IT'S OVER

Today  was our final TPR hearing.  In most cases the Judge has 14 days to make his ruling but today he ruled from the bench that TPR has been granted and Little J is legally free for adoption.   Yep, you read that right, we can now start our adoption proceedings.

I cannot begin to tell you how good that sounded.  After the ruling the judge brought me to tears.  He spoke to us off the record and thanked us for "being heroes in his eyes and rescuing Little J."  He told us that we can now make him a member of our family and raise him as "our son.  He has been ours all along but to hear the judge say it was an amazing feeling.

The adoption process will take a little while.  Nothing is fast in dealing with the court system.  I hope to be finalized by the end of September or first of October.  We shall see.

On a sad note, we learned today that Little J's BM is using again and this time it is much worse.  She is now testing positive for cocaine.  I didn't want it to happen but was afraid it would.  I am also sorry to say that after hearing this today we have made the decision to allow no further visits or contact with Little J until she can show by test results that she is clean for 6 months.  I know that sounds mean but we agreed from the beginning that she could have a relationship with Little J as long as she got her act together and stayed clean.  After all, that is the reason she lost him to begin with.

Ok, back to the happy.  We are just going to focus on the good things now and try and put all of these things behind us.

Monday, July 19, 2010

VISIT UPDATE

The visit went a lot better than I expected today.  Both parents showed up for their visit with Lucy Mae.  When I went to pick her up she was hanging on to her Daddy's neck and crying but not throwing a temper tantrum.  Daddy was crying also.  I told her it was time to go and we put her in the van and she had quit crying before we even got out of the parking lot.

Thank you so much for your prayers today.  I know that God protected her heart and helped her through this terrible time in her life.

FIRST VISIT

Lucy Mae has her first visit with her parents today.  I am not sure how that will go but I think it will be very hard for her.  Please keep her in your prayers today.  

I will update you later today on the outcome.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

4 VS 2

Oh my goodness, I have totally forgot what it is like to have a 4 yr old and a 2 yr old in the same house.  Everything is MINE, if you have it I want it, if you lay it down its mine, even if there is two of the same things we still have to fight about one.

Everything has been going just fine with Lucy Mae except for her and Little J being so controlling.  Lucy Mae is a little momma.  She wants to help Little J with everything and she watches him like a hawk and Little J does not like it one bit.  They can play very good together but when little miss bossy tries to take over thats when the battle begins.

We are enjoying having a little girl in the house (even if she is bossy).

Sunday, July 11, 2010

WHAT DO I DO

This is all new to me.  This is the first placement that I have had where the parents actually call to speak with their children.  The other placements I had the parents never called and Little J's was only 6 months when he came and so he was not old enough to have to talk.

Lucy Mae is doing great here.  She never ask for her parents, never talks about them except once yesterday she was playing with play dough and making a flower and she said my Momma likes flowers but every time they call she refuses to speak with paternal grandmother and her Daddy and then talks to Momma and cries.  She will cry and say I want my Momma.  Last night she did not cry as long but she did cry.  What do I do?  Do I try and console her or do I just leave her alone and let her cry?  I have tried it both ways and it really doesn't seem to make a difference except that for me I feel bad when I do not try to console her.

What does she need?  Does she need that time to just cry or should we try something different?  I am really considering calling the social worker tomorrow and changing some of the phone calls.  She has 4 different calls in an hour time frame and I feel that is too much.  What do you think?

I really dread the visits starting because I think that will be very hard on her.  Please pray that God will protect her little heart and make things a little easier for her.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

UPDATE FROM ISP

We had our ISP meeting about our new little girl yesterday.  I think I will call her Lucy Mae here because that is what I call her and she will smile real big and say no my name is ___ ____ ____.  Anyway we go to the ISP and honestly this is the craziest thing I have ever seen.  No drugs, no alcohol, no physical abuse just a mean, crazy, nasty divorce that is causing severe emotional abuse.  NO one can get along.  Both sides of the family had rather see her in foster care than with the other parent.  Dad against Mom and Grandmother against Grandmother.  Dad has already told me that he wants his daughter back but that if he can't get her he had rather us adopt her than her go to Mom.  Are you kidding me?  He has met us one time and already making those statements.

We did find out that she will definately be with us until the end of August but honestly I do not know if she will leave then after hearing them in the ISP.

They will have only supervised visits once per week and it was agreed yesterday that they could call once per day between 7 and 8 and I must supervise the calls.

This is how the calls went last night.  It was bad.

Paternal Grandmother called at 715
Me:  Lucy Mae its Mimi
Lucy Mae:  No I do not want to talk to her she is mean and I want to stay here.
Me:  Lucy Mae she loves you and just wants to see how you are doing
Lucy Mae:  No I do not want to talk

Dad Called 740
Me:  Lucy Mae is Daddy
Lucy Mae:  No I do not want to talk to him I want to stay here
Me:  Lucy Mae you do get to stay here for a while I promise but Daddy just wants to say hi.  Why don't you tell him about your room or feeding the fish or playing on trampoline.
Lucy Mae:  NO and she covers her ears and gets in corner.

Mom Called 755
Me:  Lucy Mae its Mom
Lucy Mae:  No I do not want to talk to her
Me:  Lucy Mae please just say hi.
Lucy Mae:  Mommy I want you to come here and see me
Mom:  Oh Lucy Mae I will, I will talk to Mrs Paula and arrange a time when I can come see you and see where you are living and see your room.
Lucy Mae:  No now
Mom:  I can't tonight but I will.  Guess what?  I am getting a house for me and you so you can come real soon.  I miss you, your dog misses you, your hamsters miss you.
Lucy Mae:  (crying)  I want you to come now
Mom:  I will soon baby
Lucy Mae:  NO shut your mouth and runs away crying.
Me:  I think we need to go now.  She is very upset and you do not need to be making promises you can't keep.
Mom:  But I just wanted to tell her that because she kept asking.
Me:  Well, she can never learn to trust you if you make promises that you can't keep just like telling her you would talk to me and arrange to come here.  You cannot do that and you know it and now to Lucy Mae I look like the bad guy because you cannot come.  I have to go to take care of her

Lucy Mae cried for about an hour.  This was so sad to me.  We specifically told them that this would be hard enough on Lucy Mae anyway so please don't make promises you can't keep and do not tell her how bad you miss her just try to be positive and see how much fun she is having.

Anyway, sorry this post was so long and I promise I will not give you the whole phone conversations everyday.  I just wanted you to get an idea of the situation.

Friday, July 9, 2010

GIRLY IN THE HOUSE

We received a call yesterday afternoon about a placement of a 4 year old little girl.  She is precious.  I do not think she will be with us very long.  Basically from what I understand it is a situation of a divorce gone really bad and she is the pawn.  DHR did not ask for custody the judge was hearing the divorce case and this had been going on for a while and he finally got fed up and ordered DHR to take custody.  We go to an ISP meeting this morning and I think they will come up with a plan.  DHR does not feel like she will go home today but probably will soon.  Until then we are just going to love on her and have fun.  Oh and by the way she is a girly girl.  She loves clothes, hairbows, and "looking pretty".

Monday, July 5, 2010

TRYING TO UNDERSTAND

I mentioned to you a couple of weeks ago about Little J's BM calling and wanting a visit and never calling back. Well, I finally broke down and called her to check on her.  She said she was fine, she assured me she was clean that she has just been busy.  All of this is just fine with me.  I really do not want to have to share Little J with her but I wanted to be true to my word.

 I just am really have a hard time understanding how people can be like she is.  First of all she ended up in a situation where she was going to have her rights terminated or signing over her rights but either way she was going to lose her child.  She did choose to sign her rights over to us but asked to continue a relationship with Little J.  We agreed that she would get to visit occasionally and could call and check on him and she never does either one.  How in this world do you not want to see your child.  How do you go through every day not wondering about them.  Why would you not to full advantage of someone agreeing to let you continue your relationship with your child, to continue some kind of connection.

This is something that I will never understand.

I have been really concerned about keeping my word and making sure that she knew that I was honest in everything we agreed to but I have decided that I WILL NOT call her again.  I never ever want Little J to feel that I kept his BM from him but,  from now on all calls and any visits must be arranged by her and if she never calls again I am content in the fact that I know I did everything I could to help her keep that connection between she and Little J and she made the choice to walk away.   I feel like now should Little J ever ask  I can always say truthfully to him that I did everything I could to keep her in his life and things just didn't work out.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

SHOPPING

I am in the market for a new (well new to me vehicle).  I started out looking for about a 2007 suburban or expedition with no luck and now we are looking at vans.  I have NEVER wanted a van.  Hubby kept telling me go look at vans, they will get better gas mileage, easier loading and unloading children, more affordable etc.  I finally broke down and started testing driving the Chrysler Town and Country Touring or Limited edition.  I have to admit I do like the van, I think.  Here is where you come in.  If you drive this mini van or some other one that you could recommend please let me know.  I want to know the good and bad before I purchase.  I am still not 100% sure I want to go the van route but I am leaning more that way now.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

CRAZY FOR FOSTER KIDS

I received a call last night about 2 babies in need of care.  They were ages 2 and 1.

Hubby said NO absolutely not.

I said PLEASE these babies need us.

Hubby said you are crazy about these foster kids and I know you want them but we cannot take 2 in diapers because we would then have 3 in diapers counting Little J.

I had to decline but not willingly.

I cannot help that I have a heart for foster care and that no matter how hard if will be I will be willing to take these children.  It broke my heart to say no but I know there will be others.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

CHANGE OF HEART

Sometimes in life when you think that something is just to good to be true it just may be.  God knows the beginning and the end and we have to trust that always.

A few months ago I shared with you about a possible adoptive situation that I was approached with.  From the very beginning of all of it I just didn't have a good feeling about it for our family.  It was supposedly what we had always wanted but it still just didn't feel right.  I found out this week exactly why, Mom has had a change of heart.  She will be keeping her daughter.  This was not the baby girl God had for our family and he protected my heart and my families and the hearts of the other family I contacted.

To the other family, I am so glad God is in control of our family and yours.  He knew that in the end this situation would rip all our hearts out when Mom changed her mind.

I pray that God will protect this family and guide them in the right way as they raise their children.

Thank you God for protecting our families.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

HOME AND DOING WELL

Seth is home from surgery and is doing well.  He has been very sick at his stomach the last couple of hours but I finally was able to get phenergen to stay down and he has eaten some supper now.  The Dr was unable to repair the cartilage because it was so damaged so he just trimmed it away.  He said the only disadvantage to that is that he could develop arthritis in that knee at an earlier age.

Thanks for your prayers.

SURGERY TODAY

Seth's knee surgery is today at 2:00.  He could not have anything to eat or drink after 5 this morning so his dad and I got up at 4:15 and made him breakfast.  Please remember him in your prayers today.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

QUICK UPDATE

I posted on 06-06-10 that BM was home and had called to see Little J.  I told her we were on vacation but to give me a call back over the weekend and we would arrange something.  To date she has not called back again.  I do not want to think the worst but it is very hard not to.  I really think she has not called because she is using drugs again.  She was gone away for about 7 or 8 months and I had really hoped that during that time she could rehab.  She went through lots of counseling and other programs while away.

I really do feel for her and her situation, but no one can change it but her.  Maybe I am wrong.  Maybe she just hasn't called because she has decided it is easier for her not to see him.  I don't know why she hasn't called I just hope she is okay.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

THE WAITING GAME

Do you ever feel like that all you do in foster care is play the waiting game?  You wait on a call from DHR to let you know they have a child for you, you wait to hear when and where you have to take the child for a visit, you wait and see if BP will show or call, you wait and see how many chances DHR will give the BP's to get it right, you finally think you are almost there and your child is finally going to be adoptable and then you just wait.

 Oh my, I am so tired of waiting.  I am so ready to make Little J our own officially.  I am ready to show you pictures of him and him with our family.  The time is up for anyone to come forward and say they could be Little J's BF and we are  waiting now to go to court.  Court will be July 23 for the TPR hearing and then guess what, we wait again.  We have to wait 14 days after the TPR is entered before we can even begin to file our adoption paperwork and then we have to wait on a new home study and yet another court date.  This waiting is the pits but it will all be worth it in the end.

Oh, I almost forgot.  I called our foster care worker this past week and let her know that we are ready for another placement if a child came in to care that she needed us for and that would fit within our criteria for what is best for our family. (girl only lol)  She said she would call us as soon as she got a placement.  I am very excited about the possibility of a placement.  I am at a point that I feel like I can do this even if it is just for a short term placement.  I do not have to have a child that is only adoptable.  God is preparing my heart to just be a foster Mommy for now and who knows what he has up his sleeve for us.  Our daughter may be here before we know it or God may just have tons of little girls he needs me to be a Mommy to for just a little while.  Whatever his will is I am ready.  We will just WAIT and see.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

SUMMER INJURY

Two days before school was out Seth slipped down a hill and twisted his knee.  He complained about it a little bit in the beginning and then didn't say `much after that until the last few days.  I took him in to see the orthopedic  doctor yesterday and he sent him for an MRI.  We went back today and Seth has a torn meniscus.  He will be having surgery June the 22.  Please remember Seth in your prayers.  He has a lot of anxiety about the procedure due to his past experiences with surgery.  His doctor told him it should be a piece of cake compared to the other procedures he has had but it is hard to convince him of that.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

SHE'S BACK

BM called me Thursday night while we were at the beach.  She is back from her stay in the prison system and wanting to see Little J.  I will probably meet her somewhere this week and let her see him and then that will probably be it until maybe Christmas.  I will allow her to see him on a very limited basis as long as she stays clean.  That was the deal from the beginning.  I will give her one shot and if she goes back to using again all visits will stop.  I am not DHR and I do NOT have to keep giving her chance after chance.  I want her to do well, I want her to succeed in life and be able to know her son but only on my terms.  She has done enough damage.  I have a friend that I was talking with earlier this week and I told her I feel bad that I am not wanting BM to be around Little J a lot and she told me why should you feel bad about visits when she never felt bad for the things that she has done to him.  I guess she is right.  I just want what is best for Little J and I do not want to ever give him a reason to resent me.  Please continue to pray for our situation.

Friday, June 4, 2010

AT THE BEACH

We are beach bums this week. We will be home Sunday. I will post pictures then.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

CHAMPIONSHIP

Landon's baseball team, which we thought would never win a game has made it into the tournament championship game this Thursday night.  Way to go Landon.

Oh and by the way wouldn't you guess it, the championship game is at 530 and Seth's graduation is at 700.   I am not sure how I am going to pull this off yet.  I will figure out something.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

THE BIG "40"

Okay everyone, go over to the missing piece and wish our friend Kelly a happy birthday.

                            its the big "40"

Happy Birthday Kelly, I love you.  Glad you are finally in the 40's club.



Wednesday, May 19, 2010

BUSY, BUSY

Wow, summer has not even started yet and we are already so busy.  Just a quick update.

The school Seth attends is a K-9 schools so they make a real big deal over 9th graders.  They have a 9th grade play which we attended last night.  He was a police officer and an alligator.  The play was very cute and Seth did a very good job.  Seth also will have  graduation on May 27th.

Patton just had his spring football game and is now about to start summer baseball.

Landon is busy with baseball and will hopefully make allstars.  We will find out next weekend.

Jacob is just busy being a 2 year old.

Chyne and I are just counting down the days until our much needed beach vacation which will begin May 30th.

School is officially out May 28th.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

CALL ME CRAZY

Okay, what I am about to post is going to probably blow your mind and you will indeed call me crazy but here it goes.

I have prayed about the situation I shared in an earlier post about the girl contacting us about adopting her newborn baby GIRL and I have come to a decision.  The decision is that I cannot take this baby.  This is the situation we had always dreamed of but it just does not seem right now.  I will try and explain why.  When we went into this process of  foster/adopt it really was strictly to adopt a girl but God had other plans.  He has completely changed my heart and has given me a true burden for foster children.  He has allowed us to bring Little J into our home and hopefully in about 3 more months officially be ours.  He has also continued to burden my heart with ALL the other foster children and placed a desire in my heart to continue.  I have no idea what that means for us.  I have always said I could never foster and not adopt but with God never say never, right?  I do believe that one day God will send me the daughter he has for us and I believe with all my heart that she is in foster care now or will be soon.  Therefore, I have to continue this journey with him.  I have to trust God with everything.

I do have to call the girl and let her know that for our family we just can not pursue this adoption.   I did promise her from the beginning that if I could not take the child that I would help her place it with a wonderful family and I do have the perfect family in mind.  Please pray for the girl and the new family I  will be talking with.  This precious baby will have a wonderful home and I am just thankful for the opportunity God has given me to possibly help fulfill another families dreams but most of all I am thankful for God allowing this girl to call me because only through this call have I realized that my heart truly belongs to foster children and foster care.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

30 DOWN 30 TO GO

Yesterday was the last day of the legal publication concerning Little J and Bio Father.  It had to run once per week for one month and now we have to wait one more month.  To date no one has responded.

So we have 30 days down 30 more to go.  We are on the home stretch, finally!!

Friday, April 30, 2010

JOY IN THE SMALL STUFF

I have to say  I am so thankful for Christian coaches and teachers in our schools.

Seth will be moving schools in August because the school he attends only goes through the 9th grade.  I have been a little apprehensive about this move because I guess I try and protect him too much and every one at this little school is aware of the problems Seth has and has always been great with him.

Last week Seth came to me and asked could he ask the football coach if he could be the manager.  I sort of put him off because I wasn't sure if they would have a place for him or if they would really want him there and I also wanted to talk to the coach first because I didn't want to put him or Seth in a bad situation.  Wednesday afternoon when I picked Patton up from practice I had an opportunity to speak with the coach and the conversation went something like this.

Me:  Hey coach I have something I need to ask you and if you do not have a place or can't do it I understand but Seth was wondering...

Coach:  Yes he can, before you even finish your sentence just tell him to be here tomorrow I have a job for him.

Me:  (with tears in my eyes) Thank you so much I will have him call you because I want him to ask also.

I wish you could have seen the smile that came across Seth's face when I told him.  He was thrilled and he said to me "I may not can play football but now I can be with my friends and be a part of the team."  What a joy to see him be so happy over something so small.  We take so much for granted, something like this just helps you see things a little differently.



Saturday, April 24, 2010

HOW DO I KNOW

About a month ago, out of the blue, an old friend of mine called just to chat and to let me know that she knew someone who was pregnant and because of her situation was going to place the baby for adoption.  She wanted to know if we were still interested in adopting.  I told her I would love to if I could adopt a girl this time and I just let it go at that.

This past Thursday I received another call and it was from the same friend and she had let's just call her Joy with her and she wanted to talk to me about the baby.  We talked for a few minutes and she said she was for sure going to put the baby up for adoption and would like for it to be open and would love for us to consider being the parents.  I explained to her that although I love my boys very much and would take 10 more at this point we could not even consider another boy.  I told her we might would a girl but I would just have to pray about it and see what happens.  She told me she understood and also told me she would be having an ultasound on Friday to find out the sex and she would call me as soon as she got out to let me know.  Her appointment was at 930.  By 200 I had not heard anything and so I assumed she was having a boy and that was why she did not call.  Then at around 500 my phone rang and it was Joy.  She called to let me know that guess what ITS A GIRL!!  My heart stopped.  I think a part of me wanted it to be a girl but the other part wanted it to be a boy and then it would be easy because we would have said no.

I am so confused.  I do not know what to do.  This is the call we had dreamed of for so long and now so many things have changed.  We now have Little J and would never ever change that, we have 4 children, and now hubby is saying no.  He says no more children.  I know it would be finacially hard for us to add another child but how do I know what to do.  I feel like this is the daughter God has had for us.  I was not pursuing another adoption I was not even thinking of ever having a daughter know and then out of no where this call came.

Even though hubby says no I told him she is not due until August 12 and I will ask again.  His response was ask again I may say yes.  I did ask him to just pray about it.  I told him I did not want an answer now just pray.

This is a newborn baby girl and she can be ours with no DHR,  no 2 year wait, no waiting on judge to decide our future just a matter of the parents waiving parental rights and the attorney doing the rest.  I cannot even imagine how this would be, to go to the hospital and bring home "our daughter."

Please pray, pray, pray for us.  Please just pray that God will reveal to us if this is truly "our daughter" because I know if this is his plan for us he will take care of all the details and provide everything we need.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

OUTSTANDING PLAYER

While we were out for spring break Landon went to a baseball camp K-2nd graders.  He had a great time.  At the end of the camp they gave out an outstanding player award.  Landon received this award.  We were so proud of him.  This award was given to the player that had not only great baseball skills but also to the one that used good manners, paid attention, did what the coaches asked.  Way to go Landon.

SURVIVAL

Well, we are back from our camping trip and we all survived.  We stayed in a tent, yep all 6 of us but believe it or not it wasn't so bad.  Thanks to my Mom and Dad we had a very big tent and plenty of other camping gear.  The boys had a great time riding bikes, fishing and hanging out with a lot of their friends.  Little J did great.  Of course he did since outside is his favorite place to be well his almost favorite place.  His most favorite place is in his Momma's lap and I love it.  Below is a couple of pictures of the campsite.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A CAMPING WE WILL GO

We are leaving today for our camping trip.  This should be a very interesting trip.  I have always camped as a child all the way up until we got married BUT it was ALWAYS in a travel trailer.  I have never really camped in a tent before.  I am not really excited about that but I am looking forward to this family time, I think ;O)

Update you as soon as we return.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A SIX YEAR OLDS VIEW OF FOSTER CARE

I know that sometimes people wonder how bio children of foster parents feel about fostering.  Below is a little interview I conducted with Landon.  We may get yes or no answers but you will get the idea.

Mom:  Were you happy when your parents decided to be foster parents?
Landon:  yes
Mom: Why?
Landon: i wonat to help
Mom:  Do you like sharing your toys
Landon:  yes
Mom:  Do you like sharing your Mom and Dad with other kids
Landon:  yes
Mom:  Do you get jealous when the foster children take up a lot of your parents time
Landon:  no
Mom:  How did you feel when the first children we had had to leave:
Landon:  sad.
Mom:  Did you want more children after they left
Landon:  yes
Mom:  What did you think of Little J the first time you saw him:
Landon:  i love him
Mom:  Do you think of Little J as your brother just like your biological brothers
Landon:  yes
Mom:  After Little J is adopted, do you want your parents to continue foster care
Landon  yes

Landon adores Little J and has never shown signs of jealousy. I do believe that this journey was a desire God placed on my childrens hearts also.  They may not have ever recognized this if God had not placed it on our hearts but I do hope that when they are grown that they would continue fostering with their families.

LEARNING TO RIDE MY BIKE

After 2 years of trying to get Landon to learn to ride a bike, he finally did it.  It took a bribe but it worked.  He wanted to go on a camping trip this week while we were out of school so I told him he had to learn to ride before we could go.  Looks like we are going camping.  He said Momma I love riding my bike.  I can't keep him off of it now.  Seth decided he would give the little bike a whirl so there are some pictures of him also.















Tuesday, April 6, 2010

EXCUSES

I hate excuses and that seems to be all I am getting lately.  The latest excuse with the publication is that the legal had to be sent to the state office to be proof read.  Are you kidding me?  An attorney has to send a legal to state office to be proof read but "if he doesn't hear from them soon he will just go ahead and publish,:"  Whatever, I am sick of this.

I also asked about our court date for April and that does not exist anymore.  "Due to the time frames your new court date is July 23.  Yep, that's right July 23. I cannot begin to tell you how mad I am.

Okay thanks for letting me vent.  I am just going to take a deep breathe and try to remember that everything is in God's perfect timing and even though I sometimes don't like the time frame it is God's perfect plan and it is indeed PERFECT.

Friday, April 2, 2010

NOTHING

Still nothing to report about the publication except that it has not been done.  The only thing I can tell you is now that they have been dragging their feet yet again at DHR, we will not be ready for our April 29 court date.  I am so tired of the delays.  I really do not understand what the hold up is because I thought this was going to be the easiest part.

Maybe we will be ready for a May court date.  We shall see.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

HOW TIME FLIES

Oh, my how time flies.  My first born baby turned 17 today.  It seems almost like yesterday that they placed that sweet baby in my arms for the very first time.

Happy Birthday Seth, I love you very much.

Friday, March 26, 2010

THE TEENAGE MONSTERS

Do you ever feel like some kind of monster has come into your house and overtaken your teenage child's body?
Well, I do.  This monster has made them mean, irritable, have bad attitudes, smart mouths,  can't stand ANYTHING their little brothers do, everything anyone says is dumb, they will not communicate with you unless you ask a question and then all you get is as little as possible to get by, and most of all they know way more then their parents.  I miss my sweet little boys.  Maybe they will return soon, but I still love them very much. : )

Thursday, March 25, 2010

KEEPING MY FINGERS CROSSED

Our SW called this morning and told me that she had spoken with the attorneys office and that they did have the court order to publish the legal.  The attorneys secretary said that she would put the order in front of the attorney as soon as he came in today.

Keeping our fingers crossed that it was done today.  Can't wait to check the paper in the morning.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE

I am about to go crazy here.  We have 5 weeks until court and the legal ad that has to be posted has to run for a month and it is still not posted.  I found out last week that the judge has already signed the order so please tell me how long does it take to carry an ad to the paper.

I am trying really hard to be patient but my goodness its been 19 months.  Hopefully it will happen tomorrow or Friday.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

WHAT'S HAPPENING

This is going to be just a quick update on the happenings here in sweet home Alabama.

Seth is driving us crazy wanting to drive all the time.  If your on the roads in Alabama, look out : )

Patton is still VERY busy with baseball and helping coach Landon's team.

Landon has started baseball so now we have two to keep up with.

Little J has helped define the meeting of "terrible two's".  He is the sweetest baby but into and on top of everything, but I wouldn't want it any other way.

Chyne is being so VERY helpful these days with all the children.  It really means a lot to me that he has taken on this new attitude of helping out.  He has always helped me but lately it is more and he seems to enjoy it. I love you, honey.

Me, well I am just busy with my job and helping with a consignment business, and keeping up with all the kiddos and hubby.  Loving every minute of it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

RESULTS ARE IN

Prayers have been answered, the last man they tested IS NOT Little J's father.  Praise God for his wonderful blessings.  Our SW told me to "go celebrate" because it is almost over.  All that is left to do is run a legal in the paper for 2 Weeks and if no one comes forward it is over.  Our court date is April 29 and then we have to wait 14 days before we can sign our petition for adoption and then depending on how fast our attorney gets the paper work done will determine when it is official.

THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE

I have been in prayer about where God is leading me as far as the foster care system or in some way helping these biological parents that have lost their children due to drugs.   I do believe that God brought me to this journey for his purpose.  In saying that I would like to share with you where I feel he is leading me at this point.

A few days ago I got the sweetest letter from Little J's BM and in that moment is when I really felt the Lord tugging my heart.  In her letter she was letting me know that she is doing good in her rehab process and that she did believe that God brought us into her and Little J's life because she could not give him the family he should have.  She expressed to me her love and appreciation and also that she is learning to let God help her also.  At that moment is when I knew this is what it is all about, if I can save one child and help one Mother come to know and trust God then it is all worth it.

After reading her letter I began to think about her and all the women like her that are doing really good in the confined quarters they live in.  They have strict supervision and no one there to tempt them with their old habits.  I then started thinking, what will she do when she gets out and has to face the real world?  Where will she go?  Who will she have for support because all her family will do is bring her down?  She will not have a job, a place to live, no money.

Again I felt God tugging at my heart and I do feel that he is leading me to possibly help start a new ministry of our church that would provide a safe place for them to live temporarily until they can get on their feet and know they can make on their own.  I guess it would be a church based transitional living house.  I do not even know where to  start.  All I do know is that if God brings you to it he will bring you through it.  Please be in prayer for me as I try to sort out where God is leading me.

Little J's BM ended her letter with this bible verse and I will leave it with you now.

Three things remain faith, hope, and Love but the greatest of these is LOVE.  1 Corinthians 13:13

Friday, February 26, 2010

WOW

Wow, you are not going to believe this but I actually did get a little bit of information today.  I found out that Lab Corp does have both DNA samples so we should get the results by next week.  I am so nervous.  I want to know but I am scared to know.  I did have a long talk with the SW today and explained to her that I feel that they should go back and talk to the judge about whether they have to notify the family if this deceased man is the father.  The last court date we had the judge said that if he was father his rights terminated at death.  That being the case I would think his ruling would over ride DHR policy.  I just do not want these people to know because it is a drug family and that is why they think the man was killed.  DHR is not going to support a move for Little J nor does the attorney even if a family member says they want him.  If they tell them and then deny them I will be concerned for his safety.

I also learned today that the TPR trial has been set for April 29 and if all goes well we may have his adoption finalized by June.  That would be wonderful.  Keeping praying for us as I know you have been.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

FOR WHAT

We have an ISP scheduled for tomorrow morning at 10:00.  For what, I do not know.  I guess we are going to go and listen to SW tells us, as usual, she still doesn't know anything.  I am so frustrated right now I could scream.  We have been trying to get DNA on this last possible father since October and we still have no results. To make matters worse this is the man that BM has said from day one was his BD.  I am so tired of dealing with my SW.  No offense to you SW's that read my blog but she is ridiculous.  She puts everything off and NEVER gives me a straight answer.  A good example of the way she puts off things is that in January at our home visit she asked did I need a check for Little J.  I said yes and she said okay I will get you one.  To date I still do not have it.  This was supposed to be for pictures and clothing and also I called her back and asked for his birthday voucher and I do not have it either.  This is what I have dealt with this whole case.  I am just sick of it and ready for him to be ours.  I am tired of home visits, having to ask permission to go out of state, having to report about Dr. visits, having to deal with waiting, I just want closure on this case and to know without a shadow of a doubt that he is ours forever.

Okay, thanks for letting me vent.  I feel better now.  I will update you on probably nothing from ISP tomorrow.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LITTLE J

My baby is 2 today.  I cannot believe how time is just flying by.  We are so blessed to be given the opportunity to have Little J in our family.  We love you so much Little J, Happy Birthday.  We had his party last night and he loved it.  His favorite part was blowing out the candle.  He probably blew it out at least 20 times and then all the little kids had to .  Needless to say we did not eat the part of the cake where the candle was.


Let's ALL take turns blowing out the candles!












I love my new clothes, I will try them on for you.











Oops, these are my shorts.

Friday, February 19, 2010

THE HARDEST CALL I HAVE EVER MADE

Yesterday I made the hardest call I have ever made to my Social Worker.  I had to call and let her know that at this time we can not bring Faith into our family.  This was a heart wrenching decision because everything about her fit perfectly into our family except for the timing.  We are just at a very hard time in our life right now.  We still do not have closure for Little J and his adoption.  We believe in our heart that he will be ours forever but we will not know that for sure until we sign those papers.  Therefore, we just felt that we could not place our family in another situation where we could possibly have to give up a child.  There was no way for SW to promise us that Faith was adoptable because the judge did give her BM 90 days to move back to our state, get a job, and a place to live and stay clean.  So far she has done 3 of the 4 things.  Do I agree with the decision to give her 90 more days?  Absolutely not, she has been given numerous chances and faith has been in and out of care since she was born however, that was out of my control.

I already miss that sweet little Faith.  Even though she never moved in she stole a piece of my heart.  I know that for now we have made the right decision for our family and God has given me a peace with our decision.  Faith may end up being the daughter God has for us but it has to be his timing and right now we just did not feel it was the right time.   I do believe that once our adoption is final with Little J that God does have that little girl out there for us.  I believe he will complete our family with that one sweet girl.  I am just trusting him and whatever happens in the future I know he has us all in his hands and all he wants from us is complete obedience.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

SUNSHINE

Sunshine Award

Thanks Kelly for the sunshine award.  Kelly is my very best friend in the whole world.  I could not have made it through this journey without her.  Check her out at The Missing Piece she is wonderful.

I also received the award from Barb at From Foster Child to Social Worker this lady is an amazing woman.  She has overcome so much and she is a great writer.  Ok, so just follow the rules below and give someone else a little sunshine.

The rules are:
1. Post picture on your blog or in your post.
2. Link to the person who gave you the award.
3. Spread the sunshine to 12 blogs.



1- The first award has to go to Brenda at another small adventure.  This Lady is wonderful she is a Mom to 4 children and a true advocate for waiting children.


2-  The next award will go to Tina at hammond adoption story.  Tina is a wonderful Christian Mom and has adopted an amazing little boy.


3-Amber at baker bunch-life is a great lady whose is a mom to more than one special needs child and is a blessing to follow her blog.


4-Check out J and J at a safe place to land.


5-The next is from the stork 23 they are just about to adopt their first child through foster care.


6-Another blog I have just begun to follow is joyous journeys this family has an amazing story that will touch your heart.


7-The next blog is daily life-sanford style this too is another new blog friend but she is what I wish I could be in my foster care journey.


Sorry I didn't send to 12 but please enjoy the sunshine.