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, 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.