Friday, August 26, 2011

Adoption Update

The waiting continues.

Our adoption worker called today to tell us that we were not the chosen family in either of the staffings this week.  We weren't really surprised by this information, I'm not sure why.  I had told Mike earlier today that I just didn't feel like we would be chosen.  It just wasn't meant to be.

So now we wait for the sibling group of 4's BIS, which now is being pushed back to the end of Sept./beg. of Oct. because of more scheduling conflicts.  I won't get started on my feelings that these kids should come before lunch dates and vacations!

Our worker also mentioned that there is a possiblity that TWO of our previous adoption situations may be looking for a home again.  We'll know more in the next few weeks.

We are disappointed but not ready to throw in the towel.  We just have to wait a little longer for OUR kid(s)!

Foster Memories Friday - Josie & Drake

The next placement that we accepted was for a caucasian sibling set.  Josie was about to turn one and Drake was two.  When we picked them up at the SRS office we were surprised that Josie came toddling up to us and wanted picked stranger anxiety there!

It was nice to have our home filled with the laughter and noise of more kids and Brooke loved little Josie.  Drake was a little more difficult, he would throw the loudest most destructive tantrums that I have ever seen.  He would kick, hit and lash out when put into time out.  We began putting him in his room for timeouts...until he started tearing up his room (including hitting the dresser on the wall over and over and then knocking it over).

Drake and Josie ended up only staying with us for less than a month before moving to Grandma's house.  They left on Josie's 1st birthday.  We were called a few months later when they were removed from Grandma, we were sad to say no to taking them back but we knew that Drake would be even worse the second time.  A couple years later we heard that Drake went to live with his dad and Josie was adopted by a family member.  We get to see Josie around town every now and then :)  Drake would be 11 now and Josie would be 9.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Just Kidding

Yeah so I spoke too soon!  Our worker e-mailed to tell us that the staffing scheduled for today was being rescheduled again :(  They also sent a small update on the medical needs of one of the children and asked us (as well as the other 3 families) to fill out a form about the kids and send it back.


But I have to wonder if this staffing did not happen today for a reason.  What is meant to be will find a way to happen!

It's ON

All THREE best interest staffings ARE going to happen this week. 

Today is the first, for the sibling group of four.  We found out that we are one of four families being considered.  I'm hoping for a call from our worker later this afternoon with the results...but I'm not holding my breath.

Tomorrow the BIS is for the two boys.

Friday the BIS is for 1 boy.


I know that with four families being considered for each kiddo/sibling set that the possiblity of us not being chosen for any of them is high but I don't want to think about that right now.  I'm glad for the kids' sake that there are so many intersted families but we never dreamed when we decided we were meant to provide a home/family for more kids that that would be the case.

Praying that we are given peace about the outcome on all three days.

Monday, August 22, 2011


This is going to be a looonnnggg stressful week.  We have something to do in the evening everyday but one this week, we have THREE best interest staffings (or at least we think they're still happening this week) and my mom is having surgery on top of all the regular ole stuff...bleh.

I'm going to try to keep myself distracted by finishing up the playroom decluttering and cleanup that I've been working on.  Here's what the dressup cabinet looks like after a makeover...

First Week Fashion

Last year I took pictures of the girls' outfits for the entire first week of school and thought it was fun so I did it again this year.  Brooke snuck out on me (darn that driving stuff!!) before I could take a picture one day and another was very blurry so I'll just do Lexy's first week fashion (she chose skirts all week!) and a few of the hairdos we did.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A keeper

Brandon's (Lexy's "boyfriend") mom asked me if I'd be willing to keep Brandon after school a couple of afternoons a week.  The kids are loving getting to spend the time together and I'm loving listening to them talk!  The first day on the way home I hear this conversation from the back seat...

Brandon - "when I get married..."
Lexy - "to me"
Brandon - "yes when I get married to you I am going to buy myself a lamborghini or a ferrari...but I'm not going to let you drive it because they are too fast and unsafe.  BUT I will buy you a corvette or camero!"

She better keep that one!! :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Foster Memories Friday - Randy and Jessie/Zander

After Alex left, we decided that we needed to take a few months "off" to process through our grief.  During that time we did respite (basically babysitting for other foster families) for a couple of different families.

Randy (Scooter) stayed a couple of weeks with us while his foster family was going through an allegation investigation. 

Jessie and Zander stayed with us a couple of different times when their foster family needed someone to keep them.  This resulted in a great friendship with this family.

Monday, August 15, 2011

1st Day

Another first day of school is upon us.  I have such mixed emotions about school starting...I'm one of those moms that actually enjoy having my kiddos at home so it makes me sad to have this quiet house to deal with again but it makes me happy to see the girls' excitement at getting to see their friends and the chance to learn and grow.

As per tradition, I fixed breakfast while the girls got dressed in their new 1st day of school outfits.  Then we took some pictures, Brooke said "I am NOT holding that sign" but she did to make mom happy. :)

Then I watched as my 15 year old baby...yes she's still my baby, get into her car and drive away.  Oh what knots that put into my stomach!!!  We agreed beforehand that to keep this momma's nervousness in check that Brooke would call when she got to school to say "Here" and hang up...ya know anything more would be utter embarrassment for her :)

Lexy has been telling me for weeks that she would "allow" me to walk her in to school on her first day but when we got there this morning she asked if she could walk in by herself :( yep she's growing up too fast!  Sweet thing kept saying "but I love you so much mommy" to make me feel better :)

So now I sit in a very quiet house (except for the TV that is only on for the noise) planning a special 1st day of school dinner (tacos) and dessert (brownies) while I wait for time to pick Lexy up!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Summer Fun - Week 11

We started off the week playing glow-in-the-dark minature golf.

Lexy and I made a trip to the lake to play in the sand and water.  I hadn't been there since high school but I knew Lexy would love it after visiting Myrtle Beach this summer...and she DID!  I think I've created a monster, she says she wants to go there everyday!

We also spent a day at Coco Key, an indoor waterpark with Robin and her kiddos.  We had a fun time and it was nice to not have to worry about sunscreen (since I got burnt the day before).  I can't believe I didn't take one picture of our day :(

On Friday, we took Lexy's school supplies up to her school to put away and met her teacher.  And then we headed up for an early movie (Glee 3D), went to lunch at Denny's (a favorite of all of ours) and then headed to Target for some shopping.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Foster Memories Friday - Alex

As I mentioned last week, we got our next call just a few weeks after James joined our family.  That call came on a Friday afternoon at 4pm, a caucasian newborn baby boy just out of the hospital needing to be picked up from the office (an hour away) by 6pm.  I knew I couldn't get ahold of Mike to ask his opinion but I knew his answer would have been no, he was always the voice of reason and we were overwhelmed at the time with James.  So I said YES (who could say no to a newborn?) and had to listen to him grump all the way up to the office.  The office was closed so I had to bang on the back door to be let in (kinda felt like I was doing something wrong).  I walked out with the most beautiful little peanut, Mike changed his tune once he saw that little face. :)  I had been told that we could and would want to choose one of his 5 (this was narrowed down from the 20 that mom wanted to name him) names (most very weird) to call him by, we chose Alex.

Alex had severe acid reflux but it took us a couple of months and lots of sleepless nights to convince the dr of this.  I remember just a couple of nights after bringing him home I took Alex to Wal-Mart in the middle of the night to get gas drops to see if they would help.  The well meaning cashier gave quite a loud performance at the sight of us thinking that I had just given birth and was out alone in the middle of the night with a screaming baby (Mike's ears had to be burning).  Her face turned red and she apologized profusely when I explained that I was a foster mom and therefore did not give birth meer hours ago.  Thank goodness my job was one that I could go in my office and take small naps throughout the day b/c that was a LONG couple of months!

When Alex was about three months old we were told that his worker (who was the worker from h-e-double hockey sticks) was moving him to be closer to his birthmom who had moved back to her hometown after being released from the mental institute she had been in (schizophrenia).  By this time we had fallen completely head over heels in love with Alex, we were devastated.  As it turned out, the move never happened and we ended up agreeing to transport Alex back and forth once a month for visits with his birthmom.  During this time we got to know birthmom, some family history (Alex has six siblings, five of whom has schizophrenia) and we found out that Alex's great aunt and uncle from CA were completing the paperwork to possibly have Alex moved to them.  We were told early on that these relatives had not passed the homestudy needed previously so we were asked if we would be willing to adopt Alex if that were the case.  We said absolutely yes.

We celebrated so many of Alex's firsts with, coo, word, steps...and then right after we celebrated his first birthday with him we got a call from his maternal grandma saying that she didn't think the great aunt and uncle would be passing the homestudy and would we please adopt Alex.  We assured her that we would love and care for him as our own forever.

A week later I went to court (alone) and got the most devestating news, the great aunt and uncle had passed the homestudy and Alex would be moved immediately.  I was an hour and a half away from home, alone and my world was falling apart.  The worker was SO mean, rude and uncaring after court.  I tried to hold myself together and be professional but I ended up having to excuse myself telling her that she would just have to call and tell us when and how Alex was leaving (she was on the phone with the great aunt and uncle).  I went to my car and cried and cried.  It took me forever to drive home that day through my tears.  Before I even got home the worker had called to tell us that the great aunt and uncle would be picking Alex up from our home in one week.  She also wanted to make sure that we weren't a flight risk...I have to be honest and say that the thought of taking him and moving to another country did cross our minds!

We spent the next week packing and loving on "our son".  I don't think I stopped crying the entire week.  The worst part was having to explain to Brooke (6) what was going to happen :(  The day came for him to leave...the great aunt and uncle came to our house, stayed and talked for a little while (they were very nice), packed their trunk full of all of Alex's belongings, loaded our son into their car and drove away.  Before placing Alex in the car I handed him a book and a lovey that played "you are my sunshine", the song that I sang to him multiple times a day.  I asked if they would call him Alex or his birthname and they said they would be changing his name to Robby.  After they left we went inside and I cried myself to sleep and slept the rest of the afternoon. 

We learned quickly that losing a foster child after this long in your family felt a lot like a death and had to be grieved in that way.  For about a month I didn't leave the house unless absolutely necessary for fear of someone asking about Alex or even how I was doing.  We also asked the school councelor to talk with Brooke and they ended up making a wonderful picture book about Alex.

The great aunt and uncle did send us a few pictures a couple of months later and about a year after he left we got to see Alex/Robby.  They were visiting family nearby and invited us.  Unfortunately Mike wasn't able to go but Brooke and I did.  It made me feel good that they had kept pictures of Brooke in his room so he knew her by name when we saw him and he ran down the hallway to her.  He came to me willingly and played with my keychain and phone (just like he used to) and gave me hugs.  It was definately a feeling of closure for me, he seemed happy and well taken care of and he was no longer "my Alex".

We lost contact after that visit but I did hear that the great uncle has since passed (of cancer that he was battling when they came for Alex) and that they may have moved to our state.  Alex/Robby would now be 9 1/2 (10 in Oct.).

I have to admit that I cried the entire time I wrote this, the pain of losing Alex runs very deep :(

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Real Adoption Update

Soooooo...Our adoption worker finally called today.  She said she didn't have much update but here it is...

ALL of the best interest staffings were rescheduled, yep that means that we've been waiting, worrying and wondering all week for nothing! Ugh!!!

So now the updated schedule is...

Sibling group of 4 - BIS 8/24
Sibling set of 2 - BIS 8/25
Single 2 yr. old boy - BIS 8/26

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Adoption Update

Yeah so this is where I should be putting an update about the two best interest staffings that we were included in this week.


I can't give an update if I haven't been given one!!!!!!  My patience is being tested and I am FAILING miserably!!!

I e-mailed our worker last week with a couple of questions and never got a reply.  I only know she's still alive because she e-mailed on Monday afternoon saying that the budget that I e-mailed to the worker of the 4 pack of siblings didn't make it and I needed to send it to her.

So allegedly there was a BIS sometime Monday for a sibling set of two boys, 4 & 2 with our agency.  Our worker had said that while she couldn't "technically" tell us if we were chosen (they have to wait for SRS approval) she could tell us if we were not chosen so we could decide if we wanted her to still go to the BIS on Wed.   NO CALL.

Then allegedly at 11am on Wednesday there was a BIS for the siblings set of four with another agency.  We still don't know how many families were even being considered

So I've e-mailed and left a voicemail for our worker asking for ANY information that she could share with us and SHE ISN'T SHARING!!!

So I sit here going crazy - er....

Monday, August 8, 2011

Extreme Home Makeover

We had heard on the news that the Extreme Home Makeover show was being taped in a nearby town this week.  Saturday they were going to do the big reveal so we headed over to watch.  Most weeks we watch the show so the girls were excited to get a glimpse of the stars.  We stopped over at the sight about 11am to take a few pictures and found out the reveal would happen about 7pm.  We headed back into town to waste a few hours before heading back out at 4pm to get a good spot.

Fortunately they had bleachers set up for spectators (and we got a spot) but it was HOT!  We had snacks, drinks, things to keep the girls busy and an umbrella to try to keep the sun off of us so it wasn't unbearable.  The crew was wonderful about handing out (free) water and gatorade all day but the sun and heat were just too much for some and EMS had to remove several sick people throughout the day.

Before filming started one of the designers, John Littlefield, came out to the crowd and signed autograghs.  Brooke got one, Lexy only wanted Ty's autogragh and was disappointed that he didn't come out.   Filming began about 7pm and we got glimpses of the designers Ty, Paige, John and Ed.  We heard that Paulie was there earlier in the week but didn't see him at the reveal. 

A little after 8pm we decided to leave.  The girls weren't feeling well, were tired of standing, were hungry and the SLOW process of filming had lost their interest.  So while we saw motorcycles and servicemen go by about 4 times, the limo go up and down the street about four times and a fake family walking up to the house we never got to see the real family or say "Bus Driver, Move that Bus!".  Lexy had even made a sign but the crowd was told that we would not be hollering the words because the father of the family has PTSD and loud noises were a trigger for him.

All in all we decided that it was a hot exhausting day but it was worth it to experience something new!  Oh BTW the house was beautiful, 4000 sq. ft. and we heard it had a big pool in the back!

Of all things I forgot my camera, I had to use my phone so I couldn't get up close pics of the stars :(

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Summer Fun - Week 10

We went swimming with Robin, Kenzie, Molly and Ryan at the pool in another town.  The heat index was well over 100 and it felt like we were swimming in a warm bath :(  But the kids had fun so it was worth it!

We enrolled in school...yes the girls actually found this exciting, they both want to go back!  They miss their friends!  Then we spent the day at the mall with Robin and her kids doing some back to school shopping.

Lexy had a bubble mania day.  We tried all kinds of fun ways to make bubbles, we even made our own bubble solution!!

We also did a last minute chinese lunch and trip up to Deanna Rose Farmstead.  We love going up there, so many fun things to do and animals to see! 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Foster Memories Friday - James

A couple months after Ronnie & DeeDee left, we got a call for a 3 (almost 4) year old caucasian boy.  We hesitated at first because he was closer to Brooke's age (5) but decided that it would be nice for her to have someone to play with.  Since I had taken a job (first one in 7 yrs.) as a para at a local school, James went to daycare during the day while Brooke and I were at school and Mike was at work.

Right away we noticed something was not right with James.  He never played with Brooke, he showed absolutely no emotion at all, he was very manipulative (especially about food), always wanted to be in control, broke things, stole, lied constantly and he never wanted to be touched or have help with anything.  Both his daycare provider and our family were having a very hard time so I began doing research trying to figure at what could be causing James to act the way he did.  We asked for help from our foster worker and finally got James evaluated and he was diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Severely Emotionally Disturbed.

Parenting James turned out to be one of the hardest things I have ever done.  We discovered that children with the type of disorders he had must be parented completely different and people judge (even family) you because they don't understand.  I questioned myself daily.  I still thought love could conquer all and when love didn't help James I felt I had failed. 

During this time we had gotten a call for and accepted our next placement, a newborn.  James seemed to just totally ignore the new baby until one day I picked them both up from daycare. The daycare provider told me that she had gone in the kitchen for a moment and the baby (that was in a swing) began to scream, as she turned the corner to check on him she noticed that James was pulling the baby's leg and would not let go.  Neither she nor I could get James to tell us why he had done what he had done and he showed no remorse for doing it.

We asked for James to be removed from our home.  We felt he needed someone more experienced in parenting a child with his disorders and we were scared for the safety of the other kids in our home.  James left our home after four months.  I felt guilty for having him moved but after he left I discovered that parenting him had taken a huge toll on me (emotionally and mentally) and our family as a whole, we did what was best for our family.  James would now be 13 1/2.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer Fun - Week 9

Brooke was at Cheer Camp most of the week, having a great time!  While I wasn't nervous about her going (a miracle), I did feel a little sad that this was a preview of what is to come.  The cheer camp was held at a college (the girls stayed in the dorms) about 2 1/2 hours away.  It makes me sad that in three short years this will be our reality...Brooke will have graduated from high school and will be moving on with her life.  :(

While Brooke was away, Lexy and I spent a couple of days lazing around the house, and a couple of days shopping for school stuff.  Lexy isn't much of a shopper until she gets an "all about Lexy day" and then she loves it!  She got gym shoes, a bunch of earrings (she can't wait to be able to change hers, her six weeks are up the day before school starts!), an earring holder and a really cute first day of school outfit!

On Friday we went to see The Smurfs movie.  Both girls thought it was cute.  Afterwards Lexy just HAD to go to Target and get a couple of smurfs to play with while Brooke did some school shoppping.

On Saturday we went up to the Midwest Kidfest for some family fun.  They had pony rides, inflatables, a pet adoption event (Lexy's favorite, that girl would have 100 dogs if we'd let her), and lots of vendors selling their items.  Brooke got some more flower clips for her hair and Lexy got a new hat for the winter! They both enjoyed playing with the little spider monkey that was there too.