Tuesday, May 31, 2011

letters home..........

what to write???

i wanted to ask this on facebook - but was not sure... b/c who knows the responses i may get...

i like sending notes w/ the caseworker to bubba's parents...

we are still under the impression that reunification is the main goal... so to keep them attached i keep the letters going....

but it feels odd...

not TOO many details - don't want them to figure out the county (or town) we live in --- trying not to be obvious about leaving out details, but it's difficult.

i also send pictures - but again - leaving out details, like our son's face, our faces, license plates, numbers on mailboxes... etc...

Sooooo.... my question for all y'all in cyberspace...

Any ideas for prompts for parent letters???

some examples of what i've done so far...

Monday, May 30, 2011

166 - 180 GRATEFUL

166. two pairs of grey-blue eyes stairing at me and looking to me for comfort... eyes that are the eyes of brothers... for a while at least

167. matching shirts at WALMART - $3 each! can indulge myself at that price

168. consignment store finds - and $50+ credit to pay for it all!

169. hearing bee tell chef hubby "that's not nice daddy!" while playing smooth moves on the wii when he's beat (and NOT THROWING A FIT! - praise GOD)

170. buy one get one free wine @ publix (classy - i know!)

171. being found by someone who has started this journey of loss... and praying she feels less alone than i did in those early days

172. all the gorgeous pictures of this little man who is (almost cuddling and) sitting next to me

173. my sweet dog - that doesn't bite bubba (even when he bites her!)

174. answers to prayers (literally after getting on my knees and asking the FATHER to bring comfort to bubba and help him sleep --- bubba fell asleep 45 seconds later!)

175. the ability to make it through one of those do we have enough money until payday time periods...

176. reimbursment from FSA for daycare

177. ELC... i've read other blogs that fosterparents are paying big $$$$ for daycare or on ridiculously long waiting lists - we got in as soon as the voucher cleared ---- and only pay 7.50 a WEEK for bubba

178. friends who GET IT

179. chef hubby understanding a need a "time out" for just a few minutes to be back

180. the ability to recognize i need that time out

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Right Age (for us)

i remember searching the web for advice on how to blend foster kids and bio kids and finding... close to bupkus...

now we are in the midst of our first placement and watching the interaction between the two is fascinating.

one question i had was "what is the right age for my bio (or previously adopted) child to be?"

for us the answer is close to 5.

we had hoped to do this a year ago but finances and house issues stopped us.

i should know by now to trust GOD's plan.

bee is at a great age... he will be five in about a month... he is at an age of independent play, he can (doesn't mean he always will) follow simple directions and be (somewhat) trusted to STAY PUT.

he had just gotten to the point where i would let him play in our yard on his own w/ me working and checking up on him occasionally from the inside.

i will say own my family's structure has alot to do w/ the comfort i take in having an independent child prior to adding on to the family (my "baby" sister and i are 7 and a half years apart)

BUT - for this whole foster care craziness.... it helps to have a child who has some basic logic grasping skills.

bee understands certain concepts... when we explained it wasn't nice to "tease" bubba by saying daddy daddy for no reason he grasped that concept...

he "understands" that while bubba is his brover, that chef daddy and i are "auntie and uncle" to bubba... he will be sad but not confused when bubba leaves

also - if he had been much younger the age gap would have been tight.

we are open for placements from age birth to 2 yrs old (during school yr we only take as young as 6 wks so they can be in daycare)

he is able to "hold his own" - or at least not be injured by the semi-agressiveness of bubba

today i was reminded how great this age was - we were at a local ocean center. i wanted needed a mountain dew because i enjoy the smooth flavor am hopelessly addicted. the machine was clogged w/ sand. bee was able to stay and play with one of the games (the center is fenced in) while i ran inside w/ bubba to the gift shop for change. when bubba threw a fit about sitting still during the presentation - bee could stay and listen to the presentation while bubba and i took a walk through the gardens.

i had a hellacious night putting bubba down while chef hubby was out the other night bee played for an hour on wii fit w/o needing any momma help... sigh... it's sad he doesn't need me but wonderful that i am able to give bubba the undivided attention he needs.

in saying that - chef daddy and i are very cognizant in giving bee individualized time - more on that in the future

***** any other bio/adoptive/foster parents have any other thoughts on this topic?

--- please feel free to link up blog posts in the comment section

Saturday, May 28, 2011

new favorite song

stronger than you think

recently this woman commented on my post about my story...

love how she says best day followed by worst day...

love that GOD gave her the gift of this song before she realized how much she would need it and how strong she actually is...

we are not alone in this walk... even in the moments that leave us breathless... we have HIM...

Friday, May 27, 2011

i would love them too much

the phrase you are doing such a good thing is usually followed with i could never do that, i would love them too much…

you know… because i don’t

*i mentioned this at the end of a recent post, and realized i could rant on it forever…

i read a great blog on this topic recently (found here) suggested by my awesome friend L

this statement had always bothered me and i couldn’t put my finger on it…

until Liz stated it…

"but my least favorite comment is "oh, I thought about fostering, but I just couldn't do it. I just couldn't let them go."

i never know what to say to this one. I cannot figure out if these people are insulting me , or themselves more. See i take it as they are in a way saying i must be quite cold-hearted to be able to 'let them go'.

to me “i would love them too much” as an excuse… means you think i don’t love them as much as you would.

i realize that is nit-picky cranky talk, but foster parenting is parenting in such a different reality.

the stress of that reality, can put some of the best people in a funk…

as a whole, the stress can be contained, but there are days when something has happened, something that can’t be shared… information that is confidential… and your heart is breaking… and to have someone casually toss out the (subliminal) message that you don’t love your kids, that you are cold-hearted… is awful

i haven’t even hit this point of heartbreak yet, and i try to paint the picture of reunification for the family is the goal – and that we are so happy…

it is and we are…

but to know bubba will leave… eventually… is hard… we’ve had him for 3 weeks… i’m waiting for the shoe to drop that he is going home… it’s living with the question of when should we schedule Bee’s party? will bubba be there? should we sign him up for swim classes?

just because i won’t collapse into complete despair when he goes, does not mean i love bubba any less… i will feel sorrow, i will grieve…

BUT… i know GOD has a plan… bubba does not “complete” me, no one on this earth could, would or should…

BTW - thanks Liz for commenting on the post in which i alluded to your quote --- i couldn't remember for the life of me where i had read it! so glad to edit this post and put in your credits!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bubba's First Visitation

18 hour notification...

Mr. E picked up Bubba up from daycare @ 10ish - drove the hour to the town of origin

visit with parents...

back to the house at 3ish

i wasn't home to hear the info

sounds like there wasn't much info

plans for reunification?

answer - too soon to tell, still gathering information... bubba has been away from his parents for a month

slow molasses movement of bureaucracy even more obnoxious when it keeps a family separated instead of healing

last night i packed a bag of stuff....

an outfit to wear and an outfit to pack - cute, but nothing i would be heartbroken over if it didn't come back (other blogs have mentioned that), diapers, snacks, lunch, toy (fun truck from friends), and the book that comforts him

i pray the book and truck will come back... and GOD hears...

i send pictures and a card with updates for mom and dad... i pray they will give us info on ears... we get medical info, but nothing about ears

i pray that all will go well...

they have time to play and be together

everything we sent comes back (minus pics and card) just as hoped...

also more clothes... again seasonally inappropriate, too small, dirty, and smelling of smoke... BUT... they brought things for him!

behavior post visit --- not as expected! i had thought he would be acting out, super aggressive, or lots of crying.. so far so good... we painted, played, and i am playing single momma to two boys tonight...

return of some behaviors we had almost seen leave - more hitting, more "wrestling" with uncooperative bee, biting the dog (yes... the dog)... but no to the degree we were fearing...

we'll see how the evening progresses... i have a feeling they will show themselves as things sink in with the little man

***update*** 55 minutes to get him to sleep... ugh

confession from corinthians

1 Corinthians 13:5

It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.


this is supposed to be teach me thursday... but it's more of a confession...

this fabulous verse... it doesn't apply just to our romantic lives - but to all... including our children.

* when i snap a sarcastic remark at my child, i belittle his feelings or worth

*honestly, most of the things that get on my nerves are selfish - random noises i find annoying, disruption of "me" time

* this cannot be excused with "i'm tired", "it's been a rough week", when i do this and excuse this  - i am the anti-example of CHRIST :(

* youch... when i remind him of all he has done wrong (or do so to my husband)... i am not showing the forgiving grace...

All of these are components of GRACE... here is to a new week, and the GRACE of GOD to try again!

To Show Them Jesus

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

shades of grey…

there seems to be a prevalent image of foster parents in our society – black and white – like the cowboys in old westerns…

“black hat” foster parent:

• in it for the money

• beats the children

• steals from the children

• lazy

• religious fanatics who want to brain wash children

“white hat” foster parent:

• self sacrificing

• saint

• homemaker

• faultless

• unflappable

• knows just what to do all the time

reality check y’all ---- absolutes are rare, if ever found.

i like to think if forced i would fit more the white hat role… but even that role can be stressful…

i am not a saint

i am not “such a good person, doing such a good thing”

sometimes i hate this

sometimes i want to SCREAM AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS

sometimes i lose my patience

sometimes i am one step (or half a step) away from tears

i want to give the transparent, ugly truth… but that is hard… i don’t want it to come back and bite me if someone links this to who i really am…

when Bee is being an absolute pain in the ass… i can feel that rage that “those people” must feel… the difference is i take note of it – i recognize it – seize it – and do whatever necessary to de-escalate

parenting is hard

foster parenting is hard x’s 2 (or 3, or 4, or a “hungred”) in a fishbowl

when people (well meaning) put foster parents on a pedestal, it makes the fall so much harder and the guilt of the NATURAL frustration child rearing brings about so much worse.

it makes it harder to speak with others about that frustration, about the failures of parenting - and when we are free to speak about our failures we are free to learn from them

its also frustrating because the phrase you are doing such a good thing is usually followed with i could never do that, i would love them too much…

you know… because i don’t

Monday, May 23, 2011

161 - 165 grateful - short, sweet, exhausted!

grateful that:
161. blogger is working - for a few minutes didn't think it would be up

162. exhaustion to remind me that we really don't need to take on another foster kiddie at the moment

163. financial struggles to remind me that we can survive if we spend wisely - and not to take for granted the blessings we have

164. days w/ Bubba... no news on length of stay just yet

165. God's Grace... HE knows i'm grateful... even if the list is short tonight!

Friday, May 20, 2011

upcoming loss... maybe?

bad girl that i am... i've been lurking online public information sites (court proceedings).

bubba's momma's situation has changed.

i have a feeling we will be getting a call soon for him to go home.

this is GOOD.

i hope.

still hard.

read this a LONG time ago... great resource...


there is very little written about the grief of a foster parent.

there seems to be a general assumption that since we signed up for this we won't grieve as much, that bugs me...

anyway... praying for information and grace during the transition (whenever that is)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

strange noises

what is that noise our neighbors keep hearing????

 a volaciraptor screaching???

nails on a chalkboard magnified by 1000%????

 nope just Bubba when he doesn't get what he wants...


Tuesday, May 17, 2011


today bubba was sick... still... so after some medicare wrangling (bubba's current provider is 2 hours away) i was able to get special compensation to see a doctor 15 min away (woohoo)

i love the foster parent resource manager!

turns out bubba has an ear infection.

it was rough.

the dr's apptmnt was H-E-L-L

after being "inspected" last night, he was not just clingy, he absolutely wrapped himself around me.

the entire time the dr tried to look in his ears - he screamed and cried... you would have thought he was being tortured.

the whole time he was crying for mommy...

in that moment, i despised her... not because he was crying for her... because she has made choices that has made it so she can't be there for him. he was so sad - he was completely hysterical, it took him quite a while to calm down. i couldn't even get him to take his medication.

he's such a sweet guy, he deserves his parents.

on the drive home, i kept thinking about how angry i was with them. i was focused on that and judging them.

then over the radio played a song... the song that has met so much to me - the song that was going to be the model of how i would treat parents... YOU ARE MORE.

i can't harbor resentment and anger and be a model of grace and forgiveness...

Monday, May 16, 2011

First Visit Case Worker "E"

***warning fragmented thoughts - want to get all down while fresh in mind***

tonight we had our first visit from bubba's case worker

he called in advance (prb b/c he is based an hour away from our house)

just enough time to clean up from dinner

he showed around 630.

seems like a nice guy

had to account for bubba's bumps and bruises (and there are alot - the kid is active and falls all the time!)

learned little about the case - which sucks, had hoped for more info.

gave pictures for the case file and the parents.

another letter (this time for mom and dad) apparently dad was "distressed" at court today since he has no idea where bubba is. nice to hear.

there is paternal family in the picture - home study occuring now. not for custody - but for them to supervise visitation.

that was a bit concerning to me... i sort of thought family was in the picture for custody.

part of the routine is to strip bubba down for an "inspection" - quite traumatic.

i hadn't expected the strip down body inspection, also hadn't expected the check on our food - had to be sure we had 3 days supply!

we will be getting weekly visits since bubba is new to the system.

interesting occurence - in the midst of the visit - bubba leaned over and bit bee b/c bee had a book he wanted - a big bite, interesting to have to deal w/ that w/ a case worker in the room.

dealing w/ meltdown post visit - bubba is a bit rougher for bed - but he was NOT happy about stripping down - broke my heart.

hindsight - if bathtime hasn't happened - we will have him observe that rather than an "inspection"

148 - 160... Grateful

148. brownies baked by friends

149. a loving church feeding us every other night (something they do for mommas w/ new babies)

150. the fact that i didn't turn it down (didn't think we needed it --- whew - thank GOD! appointments out the wazoo)

151. my hubby getting up at 530 w/ bubba and letting me sleep until 8 on saturday

152. WIC - every lil' bit helps w/ 2 kiddies!

153. buckets of water for lil' boys to play with

154. boxes for play

155. matching shirts for mother's day

156. tunnel = safe place for bubba

157. cool breeze in the front yard
158. the quiet reflection during sunday morning sermon
159. friends who will humor my son's lunch request
160. the joy of another sister in christ beginning her journey down foster-adoption!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Honeymoon Over?

we were told in MAPP there would be a honeymoon period, i honestly didn't believe... i figured our kids would be too young... a 2 yr old wouldn't be on good behavior first...

i think i was wrong...

****HONEYMOON PERIOD**** - time period that foster (or adoptive) children are on super good behavior b/c they are afraid that you will not want them - typically followed by more than usual negative behavior as they see if you will "dump" them - to test how real are your affections

much like a dog who pees on your shoes... yesterday bubba was walking around with his sippy cup of milk... he leaned over my shoes and spit the milk out directly on them.


he continued to spit milk out  (needless to say - no more walking around w/ sippy cups)

when we lay him down at night, one of us lies next to him in the twin and rubs his back until he falls asleep - otherwise he screams and cries (it's really heartbreaking)... he looked at me gave me a huge hug... pulled his head back - and bit me on the cheek.

he also has a habit of getting in a boxing stance (cute) and he has a pretty good right jab (not so cute - and actually painful)

throwing toys - old - throwing them at us (and bee) new...

it especially manifests right after he's been sweet...

it's as if in his little mind he regrets being nice to us - like it's a betrayal...

i wonder...

i wonder if i have way over analyzed... it's possible... but it's amazing how his behavior has changed in a week.

Friday, May 13, 2011


**belated posting... don't know why i didn't get around to posting it yesterday... we arent' busy or anything :)

how to measure 1 week...

7 days

3 days taken off of work by me

2 days taken off by chef hubby

7 nights crying before falling asleep

3 major fits by bee at home

so many fits thrown by bee at school, they may not take him to field trip they have been so at a loss

100s of toys, cups, forks, spoons, etc. thrown by bubba

4 times the toys have bonked bee on the head

100s of hugs and kisses bubba has recieved from us

2 kisses i recieved on our "week-aversary" from bubba (caught me by complete surprise)

too many times to count that i've been bit, hit, punched, spit on by bubba

1 birthday party to celebrate a bubba's birthday with church friends and family

2 exhausted foster parents

2 tired boys confused by change

1 life changed...


Thursday, May 12, 2011

a man of GOD

what do i mean by saying my #1 job is to make Bee a man of GOD???

i love Christina’s model of parenting – and the concept of grace

one way we model grace in our home is how we speak of Bubba’s parents.

it would be easy to demonize someone who makes poor choices, the type that lead to them not having custody of their child.

instead, we pray for his parents.

we pray that they are able to do what needs to be done to have Bubba back. that is hard…

when Bubba cries at night, Bee is confused and asks why, I remind him that Bubba is missing his momma and daddy and ask how he would feel.

we are working slowly with Bubba about the rules in our house, but we have told Bee to give him extra space, and to be generous. that right now, Bubba is learning our rules.

one thing that has come up especially is a book “things that go”. it was Bee’s when he was small, not a particular favorite – but as most toys and books, once was his alone. we have given it to Bubba and it is especially hard on Bee… we have tried to explain to Bee that the book helps Bubba when he is sad. it’s his “special toy” (i.e. transition item).

i wasn’t sure he understood…

and then, he drew this…

we won’t send it, but truly warms my heart to know he’s listening.

To Show Them Jesus

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

transitional item

of all the things bubba came with, this is the one thing we didn't wash

he sleeps w/ this every night...

it stinks... but it smells like his home

he tries to get me to kiss it, shoving it in my face...

it makes me nauseus

but... hey... the kid's growing on me <3

Monday, May 9, 2011

139 - 147 ...following our first placement

139. dinner with good friends

140. an unexpected call for placement (while w/ friends!)

141. a friend who feels as i do about pictures and moments!

142. sweet friend who drove me home (thank goodness i hadn't driven!)

143. hubby who gets so excited he forgets to ask for child's name

144. loving church who loves on our boys

145. sweet lil' county boy who has come to stay w/ us city-slickers for a while

146. the joy of a little boy playing with bugs (something Bee would never do!)

147. hands of my first-born w/ the evidence of boyhood

Sunday, May 8, 2011

first days

i have tons of pictures, but of course... that gorgeous face must be guarded.

we are just finishing our 3rd evening with bubba...  and each night... we get him to sleep this way...

he LOVES playing outside... and kicks off his shoes each time... he is truly our bubba

an adoption friend, brought us dinner with this sweet treat for the boys

we were lucky in that he has come with clothing... but as always with foster care, things are a bit odd...\

the clothes very much smelled of smoke (as did the basket) and the majority of it was too big or too small

i had to wash all the clothes 3 times using extra detergent, baking soda, and eventually green clean... they came in this laundry basket which we had to scrub out as well.

this is what doesn't fit

this is what fits (luckily we have some clothes from Bee... and friends have given us some handme downs as well so we don't have to rely on this alone!)

we have had a great time playing, getting to know one another, and bonding... overall a great time!
lots of outside time, playing with cars, running around!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day

our first day with bubba... bee had a mother's day luncheon at his school...

i was greated with this at my table
 *i love you mom in sign language*

then as the class came in, i was greeted with this

then i had the joy of eating w/ my sweet boy

later in the day, he wrote me this sweet note (originally he asked me how to spell dear momma i love that you came to my luncheon)

today, i saw this beautiful sight

tomorrow, i will spend the day with two awesome boys

i will have a lunch made for me by my hubby and my father
i will eat with my boys, my hubby, my dad, and his parents
(my mother is out of town with her mom and my sister)

bubba's mother...

she doesn't know where he is

she is in a place of limited freedom

she won't get a gift tomorrow

she will eventually get a card
***how difficult that was to pick up --- finally decided on a card that said I love you bunches.... all the other ones said Mom you're the greatest***

she will eventually get a little photo album of pictures we have taken since he's been with us

she will eventually get these drawings her son made and the outlines of his hands

she will eventually get this note from me hoping to give her peace of mind

but tomorrow... she will not see her son, she will not know where he is

we all make mistakes, we all errors...

i just can't imagine paying the price she is paying... not spending time w/ this awesome kiddo


in order to get bubba we had to meet up w/ the woman who had him from time of removal (about 2 or 3 nights)

we got NO paperwork - apparently neither did she.

we are still waiting for the "green folder".

we know little to nothing about his situation - which even if we did... couldn't share.

the little we've been told is NO visits and probably won't be for a while due to issues not related to him.

there is a possible family member in the north of the state, so we think a few weeks to a month or so.

when we picked him up, the first thing i thought was how cute, and then - HE"S HUGE! he was wearing a size 4 outfit - it was a little big (not much) but we have him in 3s. (they fit - and our 5 year old still wears his 4s!)

anyway - we ended up picking him up in the parking lot of a restaraunt the emergency foster care mom was attending an event at.

we took a quick pic, grabbed a small laundry hamper and diaper bag of his stuff and hopped in the car.

poor boy cried and cried for "momma". (or so i thought mamama is everything).

my heart broke for the little guy. he had a toy that seemed to be from home, and it gave him no comfort.

i noticed though, his crying would pause when he saw a big truck, or digging machine... so out of our diaper bag came the book of trucks i brought along (figuring what boy doesn't like trucks).

GOLDMINE! this bubba truly loves all things with wheels.

guck guck is what he says anytime he sees a truck and we pointed out trucks and such all the way to my dad's office where we picked up Bee... who was super excited to lay eyes on his new "brover".

next up.... first days

Friday, May 6, 2011

THE call

just like we were told - we got a call for our first placement BEFORE we got a call saying we were licensed.

and a week before the date we were told we would hear by.

first time (and probably ONLY time) we have gotten anything done early in this process.

in a truly - you gotta be "$h**ing me, that only happen in movies" moment, i got the call from hubby that he had gotten THE CALL while out with some girl friends (actually a text because i ignored his first call - did not think in a million years that was why he was calling!)

we were out celebrating one's new job - and we figured it would be the last time in a while i would be able to go out since placement was pending... these women are my support, my prayer warriors, my life-partners (you know how i mean that), fellow christ-followers....

one has helped me through the majority of the grieving process... and i held her hand and rubbed her legs as she labored and birthed her second son.... and in a surreal moment - she was sitting next to me as i "birthed" my second son... GOD was at that table at that little spanish restaurant...

so... the call...

all we were told was white boy - just turned two, and that there is family that is being located... when i asked hubby for the name the first time as i was sitting at the table - he realized HE FORGOT TO ASK!

we decided yes - this fit our parameters... so while hubby called for pick up/drop off info (and to find out his name)... us ladies giggled at the fact that while in my mind i had invisioned our first to be a little black girl we were getting the opposite!

since we didn't have a name we were joking about what it would be and (due to the agricultural area we were told he is from) two of us busted out at the same time with - BUBBA!

and oh how it fits...

more to follow on the pick-up and first day... we are now about 40 hours in... just finished second bed time... surviving it - loving it!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

he knows...

the sorrow

the grief

don't tell me a 2 (or is it 3 year old) doesn't grieve

that his heart isn't shredded by the betrayal

he cries out for his parents...

what have they done?

i don't know and he doesn't care

it's way past his bedtime

he's exhausted

he wants his mommy - (and someone else mimi)

i want them to be what they need to be so he can go home to them

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

first placement call!

oh my!

8 days (not business) after our license was submitted - we got our first call.

more details to follow - happened in the most awesome timing in the world - i was sitting at a great restaurant with some women who have walked this journey with me.

GOD was at that table!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

100 posts and just over a year...

i have learned over the past year

to look for blessings in the little things

to breathe more

to love more

to pray more

is IT easier? sure... but there are still times where IT hits me like a ton of bricks and takes away my breath.

just this past weekend at my cousin's wedding... went to the ladies room during the reception and as i was shutting the door... it hit me... in one week, we could be getting a phone call for a child to enter our home.

why are we already on this path of foster care? so much earlier than our plan (ha!)???? because i will not carry more.

it's almost 5 years past, it's easier! (hope for those in the beginning of this walk!) but just as the title of this blog suggests... it's there all the time, like my shadow.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Grateful list 131 - 138.