Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wow.

Lizzy got so mad at me about this whole sitting on the potty thing that she screamed and cried so hard she broke a few small blood vessels on the top of her cheeks. She has done this one other time and it floors me every time.

Who screams and cries that hard?

My kid.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Potty.

I have decided to potty train 3 year old Lizzy.

We have been working hard on it for ONE day.

Things are not going so good :/

Monday, December 26, 2011

Three.

Two out of the last three Christmas' we spent living like a foster family.

2009: Our first foster child is granted a 2 night visit with her bio family (her FIRST overnight visit ever mind you). She left on Christmas Eve and returned the day after Christmas. We didn't see her at all on Christmas. This child that lived with us and on every other day that year and was treated as our child did not get to spend Christmas with us.

We also had our second foster son living with us at the time. He was 4 years old and very potty trained, but during his nap on Christmas Day he decided to pee his pants and not tell anyone (and we did not notice) until we had arrived at my in law's house for dinner...with no change of clothes of course. We ended up driving back to our home and missing most of dinner so that we could get him changed.

Welcome to caring for traumatized children.

2010: We had 3 foster children living with us (none of which were with us the last year) and one child that we thought we were going to adopt visiting with us. One of our foster children was allowed to go visit her bio family for Christmas, but many stipulations were in place. Number 1 was that she could NOT spend the night with them and if we were not willing to transport there would be no visit. Her social worker (we are talking about Lizzy by the way) called me after the lawyer had already called me and told me what was really going on and tried to tell me that Lizzy was going to have a 3 hour visit on Christmas. I said no. I was NOT going to spend my Christmas transporting her to and from a visit. I told the social worker she could either go very early and come home very late so that it did not effect my other children's Christmas or I wasn't doing it. She kept trying to make me do what she wanted me to do, but I just told her no. She finally gave in and said I could do what I wanted. I met up with her bio mom and dad early Christmas morning (which they also tried to get me to do it later, but I told them no) and then picked her up when they called and asked me if I could pick her up early (because it ended up working out ok for us to do that, other wise I would have said no).
That was the first time I ever told anyone "No" when it came to these crazy visits that they came up with.

2011: This was our first year doing foster care that we had to do nothing concerning visits or anything. It was REALLY nice. Lizzy's bio dad texted me and I just texted him back and told him I was too busy to talk. He texted me later in the evening and I ignored him. I'm sorry, but I am having issues with him right now. When my husband called him to tell him that Lizzy was not allowed to see anyone now that the visits were canceled and he tried to give my husband an attitude when my husband told him "We will NOT be doing anything that could jeopardize Lizzy" I am not as sympathetic towards him as I have been in the past. He needs to worry about what is best for HER, not how he wants things to be. Anyway, Lizzy's mom called the morning after Christmas. I spoke with her briefly. Mostly she wanted to know what Lizzy got for Christmas. I have noticed that she has a "thing" about this. Last Christmas and at her birthdays she seems to get a lot of satisfaction from all the loot Lizzy gets and I think she tries to brag about it to her family...as if it shows how well taken care of she is or something. I don't know.

Anyway, It was nice to have a visit free Christmas...after the last two we needed it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Visit.

We had a great time seeing Sabrina the other night. She was SO excited to see us. She kept looking for me. When I got there she gave me a big hug then hopped into our car and had to sit as close to my son as possible. It was adorable.

When we got to the mall she hopped out of the car and searched me out to hold my hand on our way in. It has been a while since she acted like that. I think she always felt like she was betraying her mom. She seems like she has been able to move past that and I am so glad.

When we are together I tend to pay way more attention to mom than to Sabrina. I have always tried to make her feel welcome and included. This visit was SO nice because mom acted practically normal. That sounds like no big deal, but it really is. She held a great conversation and wasn't too socially awkward like she normally is. She is still a step or two away from what I would call "normal", at least behavior wise, but she seems to be doing better mentally.

Sabrina was also acting more normal which I was happy about. She seemed more calm and less ready to throw a huge fit at her mom. I was really proud of her. She did have a moment or two where she was trying to be the boss of her mom, but it could have been worse. During those moments I try to support her mom by letting her know that my kids behave that way too sometimes and that when we are out we just have to have a united front.

We try to spoil them both when we come to visit. We got them dinner and then paid for all the kids to ride the carousel (twice) and for all the kids to go on this little train too. Mom always tells me that she is broke before we come and I always tell her not to worry about it. I know she really is broke.

It was also neat to hear that Sabrina's grandma's work all got together and bought Sabrina a ton of stuff for Christmas. They had just given it all to her the day we came over and she was wearing a whole brand new outfit. At first I was sad that she is "that kid" from "that family"...you know, the ones that can't afford their own Christmas. Then I just decided to be thankful that God has brought other people into their lives that want to help them. Sabrina's mom also told me that some one has been leaving one gift a day at their door step. It started 12 days before Christmas. It sounded like it was a neat thing for them to have happen and I was glad to see all these people that God is using to brighten their lives.

Sabrina's mom told me, "She asks for you guys EVERY SINGLE DAY. A day doesn't go by that she doesn't talk about you." It has been around 14 months since she left our home. It has been around 4 months since we came to see her and hearing that really made me think about how much more effort I need to put into making her a priority. They live an hour from our home and when we go to see them we need to plan on paying for everything. So it isn't the easiest thing in the world, but I will be trying to make it out there once a month to go see our girl who just will not stop asking for us.

She is worth it.

Past.

I have been wanting to call Sabrina's mom and arrange to get together with them before Christmas comes and goes. I have been SO busy I hadn't had any time to call her.

Yesterday I texted every number I had for them and it seemed that all their phones had been disconnected. I was a little bummed out (would have been more bummed out if I didn't have their address and could run over there when ever I felt like it), but I also thought maybe it was time to move on and let them move on.

Well, this morning I was deleting those numbers out of my phone and when I got ready to delete some old phone numbers of Lizzy's mom out of my phone I saw a number saved under "Sabrina's mom"...I texted it. I got a text right back from Sabrina's mom. I couldn't help but smile.

I texted her with "Are you free tonight? Want to get together?" and she texted back "Sabrina's been asking about you guys, she would love to."

That is why I try. That is why all these people have my phone number. That is why I talk to them and get to know them. That is why I put myself out there.

Because tonight I get to spend the evening with a little girl who spent 16 months in my house living as my daughter. She still asks about me. I still love her. She lives with someone else, but that doesn't change the fact that she was my first daughter and there is nothing that changes that.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wow!

I am freaking out.

I just received paper work in the mail saying Lizzy's termination trial has been scheduled for January 12th, 2011 at 10 am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who would have thought.....

I hope this is a quick thing that ends up the way that is best for Lizzy. Because both parents like to only attend the hearings via the phone (as in, not in person, but on speak phone from where ever they are at the time) the Judge said that if they did not come in person they would not need to participate because they are too distracting on the phone. (They like to sit there IN COURT, ON SPEAKER PHONE and fight with each other in front of everyone and when the judge tells them to be quiet they don't listen)

I am so excited and nervous...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Feelings.

So, a few weeks ago my hubby and I were talking. I brought up how we had an open spot for a foster child in our home.

(we had initially put a "do not call" on our home because I only wanted little ones and the Dr. had put me on lifting restrictions because of being pregnant)

Well, we started kicking around the idea of letting them know that we felt like we could probably take a 3-4 year old little girl because their wouldn't be much lifting involved with that age.

That conversation happened and so did other things and I never did call to open our home back up. This morning I got that nagging feeling. The one you get when, perhaps, God is trying to get your attention. I had a horrible morning and was not feeling well and all I could think about was a child that might need a home, our home.

So, in the middle of working on a business project, I waddled my pregnant self out to the kitchen to hunt down my cell phone and called. Big shocker that I actually reached who I wanted to speak with immediately...you know, unlike if I needed a child moved or something. Anyway, I told him about the 3-4 yr old girl, which he noted next to our name...and then...

You know what is coming next.

The opposite of what I had called about.

He asked me if I might be willing to do respite care for a 1 year old, 2 year old and 5 year old over Christmas for 7 days. Their bio mom refuses to let them go our of state with their foster family for the holidays. So, pending a hearing that was called to see if a judge will over rule the bio mom (which I hope happens) I am cautiously awaiting a phone call telling me that we will have 3 extra little faces for Christmas...pending my husband killing me for saying I would even consider it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Today.

I am going to tell you what today is NOT about.

Today is not about waiting to see if Lizzy's biological mom or legal dad are coming for a visit.

It is not about clearing my whole schedule in case they decide they want to show up.

It is not going to consist of me calling her social worker to see if she has heard from them.

It has nothing to do with them today.

It is amazing how much that changes MY life on Mondays. I can sit down to do something and not worry I will have to stop to run Lizzy to her visit. I don't have to bump up her nap time by an hour in hopes she will get a decent nap before the visit. I don't have to worry about washing her from head to toe (especially her mouth) immediately after getting out of the visitation room. I don't have to check her for fleas sometime today.

It is a wonderful feeling.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Birthday.

Today is Lizzy's birthday, her second birthday that she will celebrate in foster care...technically. She is here at home with us and was for the 2nd one too, so at least her memories will not be tied up in paperwork like my memories are.

Today, her bio mom called to talk to her.

I am a coward.

I had my husband call her back and say, "Here, you can say happy birthday to Lizzy and then I need to talk to you." He let her talk to Lizzy and then told her what the lawyer and social worker told me...that there is to be no more contact.

I listened from behind a closed door and my heart raced. Her mom acted like it was nothing and said ok. I know she probably got off the phone and cried. She has had to act so tough her whole life and she holds it in until she explodes.

Then my husband called her bio dad. He told him what was going on and bio dad kept trying to say that it didn't apply to him because he wasn't part of this case. My husband said that regardless of anything we will not be jeopardizing Lizzy's life (getting moved to another home or things of that nature) by doing things that the lawyer and social worker told us not to because we have to do what is best for her. Bio dad acted as though he didn't understand...which he doesn't. He thinks the most important thing is for Lizzy to be able to see him...or maybe the opposite, for him to be able to see Lizzy.

From day 1 this is the issue that my husband has had with them. They are willing to risk Lizzy's life being flipped upside down so that THEY get what they want. They don't focus on what is best for her, keeping her safe and with people she knows, it is about them.

It is so hard because I would let them see her, but is that worth risking Lizzy loosing everything she knows as normal? Loosing everyone that she loves? They just don't get it.

I told my husband that I was sorry that I planned the party, especially after him not wanting to. I am glad that it presented the opportunity to HAVE to tell them how things were going to HAVE to be. I never dreamed that the lawyer would call me up and tell me that none of them were allowed to see her. I thought visits would go on until TPR.

What a sad day to have to hear all of that. Can you imagine on your child's birthday you hear that you cannot see her.

So much heartache.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Someone.

Someone is (acting) very excited to be a big sister!


(maybe another story once the baby is actually out... :) )

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hearing.

um, wow.

I did not attend court after talking to Lizzy's lawyer this morning. He said there was absolutely no benefit to me going so why make the hour trip up there and back.

He called me right after court.

The visitation of both parents has been suspended because the lawyer stated in court that he felt that further contact with the bio parents would be detrimental to Lizzy.

The termination of parental rights was said to be "starting in the beginning or so of February".

and yes, I cried once I processed all this.

I am so happy for Lizzy...and our family for the record.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Start.

Sometimes I don't know where to start.

Monday, for the visit, mom was a no call no show. Didn't call me or the agency. She called me on Tuesday, which I missed, and I called her back today and she was just confirming the time of the party on Sunday.

Legal dad did come. Holy. Cow. I do not know what he has been doing for the last 6 weeks, but I seriously think he may be officially homeless now.

I can guarantee you that in the past two weeks he has not:

Shaved

Brushed his teeth

or taken a shower


Seriously, it was BAD. He stunk up the whole waiting room. He was acting weird and must have forgotten that he was mad at me because he actually talked to me. I don't know what happened to him, but he did not look this way 6 weeks ago.

6 weeks ago he was out of it, like he was on drugs, but he was MUCH cleaner than this. The social workers have complained about how bad he smells before, but this was the first time I noticed it like this. I seriously think he may be homeless. And may be on LOTS of drugs.

Wow.

Monday, December 12, 2011

This.

Of course, Legal dad is "coming" to this visit...unless they call me and tell me that something happened between now and 1 pm.

He is such a shady one, this legal dad wouldn't miss this visit...you know, there is court this week so that should be enough to keep this case going even though the rest of the time he doesn't want to see her...jerk.

Anyway, Carol mentioned something on the last post that is true. The GAL, or lawyer as I refer to him, is supposed to visit the child AT least one in between court dates...up until the last court date that I took Lizzy with me to, he had NEVER SEEN HER. He has been her voice in court for 15 months and has never met her. Under the circumstances, he has done an ok job communicating with me and if I was being totally honest I would tell you that the first time he ever called me he told me that he would probably not visit her because she was placed out of county. Nice.

Over all I don't want to complain about him though because out of my 7 kids he has done the best job. There is not much to compare him to...but oh well.

Today.

Today is the last "visit" day before court on the 15th.

I wonder who is going to come. After last week when Dad had transportation drive an HOUR to come get him and then never showed up to get in the car and actually have his visit I wonder if the agency is going to try again for this week.

I will call around noon to find out. I don't think that mom will come, she is planning on coming to Lizzy's birthday party this Sunday so I am pretty sure she will skip out on this one too. She has come to one visit in the past three months and the last couple have been recorded as "no call no show" because she refuses to call the worker to tell her she isn't coming, she only calls me.

Court should be interesting. I have a feeling it will be pretty lame BUT I think I will still go so that I hear what is going on myself. When I call to ask about the visit today I will also ask the worker about court...I know the time and date, but will confirm that and will also ask her if she turned in the report that she was supposed to and what the status of the petition for termination is. That should be interesting.

I also guess I better put in a call to her lawyer to remind him to call me before court too....

Always a fun time!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Real.

This whole bio parent thing is not something my husband and I agree on. I don't think he is wrong, I just think that I am closer to that part of Lizzy's life so it is different for me than it is for him.

My husband is disgusted by their actions. He has every right to be. Bio mom, for example, could come see Lizzy every week if she wanted to, but she doesn't. That is her choice. Based on this, my husband cannot understand why it is then on us to make special allowances for her to see Lizzy at other times if she doesn't even care enough to show up to the other visits.

He is right.

Yesterday when I called him to ask if he would totally be against me letting them see her for her birthday/Christmas he was not at all thrilled with this idea. He has a very hard time making allowances for people who truly make no effort towards this child that he now feels like is HIS child.

He is right.

By the end of the conversation I told him that I needed time to think about if I really wanted to try to get him to agree to this because it is always me asking him to change his stance and that didn't seem fair and maybe I was wrong. At that point he decided to agree to a party at McDonalds for an hour. That seemed more than fair to me.

I only tell this story because I am sure that there are other people in situations like ours that have to deal with this stuff within their marriage as well. It is hard to lobby against your own husband for people who have not earned it. It is hard, as a husband I am sure, to watch people use and abuse your wife and her sympathy for them AND watching those same people not think about their biological child that lives with you as your daughter.

I can tell that my husband and I will never be on exactly the same page, but I think that we do balance each other out in this situation. He is the voice of reason and I am the easily manipulated voice of compassion. I need him and he needs me.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What?

I MUST have lost my mind. I just booked a birthday party for Lizzy at McDonald's so her bio mom and bio dad can see her for her birthday (which is Dec 17th) and Christmas, two for one.

Seriously, I don't know why I am doing this.

Best.


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Truth.

I saw this post and it made me think about what I may end up going through with Lizzy once all these visits are done and over.

When Lizzy was first force to be in the visitation room with her Legal dad (who she did not know) she would literally have to be dragged in there kicking and screaming by the social worker. One day as I watched her face turn blue as she screamed and clung to my leg I said very loudly "THIS IS NOT RIGHT!!!"

Lizzy's social worker at the time then told the "higher ups" that I was being uncooperative. That was a fun meeting. I got the last laugh though when I told them everything the worker had been doing and they ended the meeting telling me "Please don't feel like you are in trouble" and "We will be addressing these matters with her."

AND better yet was the day they had a special court hearing to address this issue of her being scared and the JUDGE looked at the worker and said "This DEFINITELY should have been brought to my attention." because she had not brought up this issue at all to the court, I had through Lizzy's lawyer.

I am so glad that worker is gone. She did nothing but damage this case.

Anyway, when I read the post that I linked above it was a good reminder of what situations like this do to the kids long term.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

:(.

http://ourfostercarejourney.blogspot.com/2011/12/gotta-stop-answering-phone.html


this makes me so sad. THIS is what I am talking about when I talk about foster care and holidays.

Flowers.

Come check out Jovial Boutique! They make very cute head peices for little girls! Prices range from $4 to $12.
Any orders place now til December 15th will get an additional free flower clip! Headbands make great stocking stuffers too. Only 20 days til Christmas :) You can order by sending her an email at sarah.ziamba@yahoo.com!



Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas.

My first experience with Christmas and Foster care was devastating to me...at the time.

Sabrina was granted her first unsupervised visit with her mom ON Christmas. Not only was it her first unsupervised visit, it was for TWO over nights, the night before Christmas and Christmas night.

Oh how I cried. I just didn't see it coming at all. I thought because she had NEVER had an unsupervised visit that the court would not do that, but they did.

From what I have seen where I live, the courts seem to let the sentiment of the holiday perhaps skew their view of what is safe and what is not. They seem to think that because it is Christmas "it will be fine". In retrospect, I am glad that Sabrina got to be with her mom on Christmas ONLY because she WAS eventually returned to her, 8 months after wards to be exact.

Was it a "safe" decision? I don't think so.

Was it a "Christmas miracle" for that family? I think it may have been.

Looking back it is easier to think that it wasn't the worst decision that the court could have made, but on the other hand, it has made me VERY scared of the decisions that the courts make around the holidays.

For example, there is NO reason why Lizzy would have a visit on Christmas with ANYONE...but, I still worry that somehow it would get granted if someone asked for one just because of the holidays. I wasn't planning on going to the next court hearing (Dec. 15), but now I am pretty sure I will just to make sure I am there to speak up if that comes up at ALL.

What have your Christmas experiences been with foster care?


*Today is the dreaded visit day. Mom claims she has to work (yeah, I bet) and Legal dad is coming because court is right around the corner. I am trying to remind myself that this is foster care still, but I am so mad that he is doing this. :(

*Today's visit didn't happen. The agency's transportation drove an HOUR to go pick up Legal dad...and he never showed up. I guess he later called and said he had the time mixed up. The social worker was NOT happy and didn't accept his excuse. The visit was cancelled.
Mom was a no call no show, according to the agency because she refuses to call THEM and not just me. Mom did call me and left me a voice mail that sounded like she was still in bed.

To the social worker's credit, she called me before I left the house to come to the visit, which I thanked her for several times.

The excitement never ends!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Things.

There are a couple things that I keep hearing that I could do without.


1. "What? She's not yours? She looks just like you!"
(pertaining to Lizzy and I)


2. "Didn't I do your ultrasounds for her pregnancy?"
(the ultrasound tech EVERY. TIME. Lizzy is with me)


3 "Did you used to be a social worker?"
(every time I hand the new social worker a typed up timeline of Lizzy's time in care)


4. "You should do social work."
(every time a social worker gets done with their visit and I have chewed their ear off)


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hey friends, I just thought I would post about a few shops that are having some great sales, starting with one I already told you about. Over at "Unrefined" they are having a 25% off sale at their Etsy shop if you use the coupon code FANS25OFF when you check out. With gifts starting at $8 this could be a really good deal!


also check out her Facebook Fan page at


I will be posting a few other shops soon when have adorable stuff ready to go for Christmas! I love small businesses!!!!

Snow.

The snow has finally arrived. Lizzy was VERY excited about it. She kept saying, "Mom! Snowman!!!" I finally corrected her and told her, "It isn't snowman, it is just snow." to which she replied, "I love it!!!"

Later in our morning drive she also tried out excitedly, "Mom, close your eyes!" which I told her I wouldn't be doing because I was driving.

She is the morning entertainment around here.

Monday, November 28, 2011

ironic.

So, last week was the 4th week in a row legal dad had transportation set up thru my agency and canceled on them the day of the visit.


I forgot that if he did that 3 times in a row they were supposed to remove him from the transportation list and he would no longer have that available to him.

Today he wanted to come and I guess they said that he could come of course, but he would have to find his own ride. He obviously is not coming. I will be interested to see what they do with this. As much as I would like these visits to be over I also want the court to see that he has been offered EVERYTHING and still has done nothing...so I will probably be talking to the worker about that and will see if they want to give him another chance so that in court they can say they did. Ironic that I would be the one asking them to do that.

Also, mom texted me this morning and said "See if I can't do the visit on Friday. I have to work the 3rd shift tonight and I worked it last night and need to sleep"

I told her she needed to call the worker, which she didn't. I called the worker and she called mom and when mom gave her the same excuse she asked her who her new employer was (mom has never worked the entire time I have known her)...she was "unable to tell the worker who her employer was". The social worker canceled the visit and said they would not be rescheduling it this week.

I was actually glad that they cancelled because I am watching a 10 month old baby today. I work with several different companies and at one of them I met the mom of this baby. Mom is around 8 months pregnant, has 10 mo. old twin girls, and a nine year old son-along with an abusive husband and is now living in "The most dangerous city in the US" with her kids in a basement apt. of a funeral home that has been broken into 4 times within the past 6 months. She is supposed to be on bed rest because her baby that she is pregnant with has a hole in his heart and will need surgery as soon as he comes out. She needed to go pick up the twin's formula for the month and get her cell phone fixed so she called and asked me to help. I took one of the twins home with me for the day so she will only have one to run around with today. I called to ask her a question and she was standing in line for "Toy to Tots" to sign her kids up for Christmas.

Foster care sucks, but sometimes you realize that we really don't have much to complain about- even when dealing with these horrible messes these kids come with.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving.

I have a lot of to be thankful for, but I am going to go with this:

I am thankful that Lizzy had a Thanksgiving filled with food, family and fun. She was safe and with people she knows and loves.


That is what foster care SHOULD look like.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holiday Visits.

So, obviously this week is Thanksgiving.

Lizzy's visits are scheduled for Monday and the agency has gotten to the point where they aren't very interested in rescheduling any of the visits that the parents cancel because they never come to the rescheduled visits either.

Well, this Monday was no exception. Legal Dad cancelled and Mom (who sounded like she was high when I talked to her) cancelled as well.


Lizzy isn't the wiser...but, it is a holiday...normal people want to see their kids around the holidays, you would think they would want to, but no.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sees.

Having a child in your home that you love and hope to adopt is interesting. It is also interesting that that same child is the one that usually embarrasses you in public at least once while you are out and at least once a week you are one step away from sending them to live with the traveling circus people.

I am not a fan of talking about the difference between biological and adopted children, because to some people there truly is no difference. Some people love all the kids the same way. Maybe we all do...maybe loving each child is it's own thing all together.

But, in my own experience, I guess loving all my kids has led me to learn different things about my self and about how God loves me. Take my oldest biological son. Once he was born and I became a mother I could relate to how much of a sacrifice it really was for God to send Jesus to be killed on the cross...for me. It is unimaginable quite honestly. Loving my son is like breathing, it is that natural. I know for many many many people that is how it is with their kids, no matter how they came to them.

When I think about knowingly sending my son to accomplish a task like God told Jesus to it make me want to scream and cry and say "No! I will go! Leave him out of it." If ever there was a person I was willing to lay my life down for it is him. He taught me to be a mother.

After my sweet first born came my first foster daughter Sabrina. I fell in love with her the minute I saw her. But, there was a time before she came to live with me where I got the very strong urge to say "I don't know if I can do this." It was for a very superficial reason...her rear end is extremely deformed and when I saw her foster mom change her diaper I was basically scared of what I saw. Long story short, I fell in love with that child and her little deformed rear and ended up thinking it was as cute as she was. I walked through fire for that little girl and would do it all over again. She was one of those kids that foster care truly tortured. She was being pulled between two families she loved. As soon as she was settled in one it was time to go to the other. It made a lot of her behavior not so lovable and even though I will love her forever, I wasn't meant to be her Mommy. It kind of reminds me of how God must feel when one of us decides to reject Him. He never stops loving us, but He doesn't get to take care of us either.


And then there is Lizzy, my third foster child. My husband and I intend on adopting Lizzy if we are offered the opportunity. My love for her is growing into an unconditional love, but it is not as easy as my love is for my biological son...it teaches me something very different. When God looked at Jesus, I assume looking at him was like looking at a piece of himself and "loving him was like breathing". With Lizzy, I look at her and see what God must see when He looks at me. An out of control little mess that doesn't listen, talks too much, throws fits constantly and quite frankly probably embarrasses Him at least once a day. But, He loves me anyway.

I love Lizzy anyway.

I look at her and I see everything that is "undesirable" and every day I decide that it doesn't matter, because I love her. When Jesus died for us He took every undesirable thing about us and covered us in His righteousness so that when God looks at us He sees His Son...His Son that is so easy to love it is like breathing. He doesn't see what a little messy, loud, selfish person I am. That is how it is becoming with Lizzy. That same love that God has show me is covering my eyes and heart so that all I can see when I look at Lizzy is how much God loves HER. He loves her the same as He loves me. Probably a little bit more because I am old enough to know better and she isn't. :)

Our kids teach us so much. No matter how they come and what the situation is that they came from, they are little messy gifts (just like we all are) waiting for God to clean them up. Some day loving Lizzy will be as easy as breathing. Even if she keep embarrassing me in public every time we go out :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Am I looking for you?


Alright friends, I have a question for you. But, I will start with a story about me. I work from home. I own a business where I do video work. I have done this for about 5 years now.

Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed. For instance, when I got my second foster son Kellen, I also ended up having 3 video dead lines collide that night. Everything had to be done by the next morning. You know that getting a new foster child is crazy enough...add in no time to even get the kid adjusted or anything and having to literally pull an all nighter...it was just crazy. It also taught me that I could do anything. Seriously.

My darling bio son decided to help me by entertaining the kids...by squirting my kitchen floor with water and then liquid dish soap and then turning my kitchen floor into a SLIP AND SLIDE. They had a blast for like two hours. Then I handed them all towels and my floor was a little cleaner. It was insane. It taught me I could do anything. Seriously.

Anyway, all that to say, I know how hard it is to balance a job, build a business, watch the kids and give away any sanity you could have because you want so badly to be there for your kids...even if it means when their little heads hit their pillows you start your work day.

So, I want to know...do any of you run your own etsy shop, make your own adorable stuff that you sell, run a business that produces something people might give as a gift, ect.

Do you?

I am looking for moms who are working on building their small business, much like the etsy shop I mentioned here, that want to join me and other people trying to do the same thing to get your businesses some EXPOSURE! I want to network and probably use facebook to try to push these smaller businesses into the next level of success!

And, just for the record, there is no money involved here. I am not selling anything asking anyone to put money up for ANYTHING...this would be a networking situation.

So, if you have a business Facebook page, Etsy Shop, Website, Blog, ect. please leave a link to it in my comments and lets see if we can push each other up to the next step! More info to come depending on how many are interested...

Petition.

On Tuesday I got a call from Lizzy's old worker, the one I liked and the one who wrote the petition for termination.

She said she had gotten the petition back and was making the adjustments that the district attorney suggested-she also was updating it to the current status of the case. We talked for quite a while and she is the one that brought up the fact that Legal Dad had not come to a visit since they drug tested him.

She said that from now on if mom or legal dad comes to a visit they are going to be drug tested in the office. That should be interesting.

She said things are going to move very slowly, but they are moving. I told her I was hoping to have a meeting with the new worker and she said that would be a good idea, especially since in this case I am the one who has the most experience in court and in the case in general. That is a very sad, but true statement.

So, I am going to try to do that soon because her next hearing is Dec. 15th.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Facts.

Lizzy's bio mom did not notice I was pregnant. I was wearing something that didn't hide it, but I wasn't surprised that she didn't notice. She has gained A LOT of weight since i met her...maybe she assumes I have too? :)

Also, I hadn't put this together yet, but Legal Dad has not shown up for a visit since they drug tested him on the spot at the last visit he came to. Curious.



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gifts.

I don't know if I can do this story justice by I will try.

Have you ever seen an adult wearing a sweatshirt or t-shirt with a picture of a person who passed away? Ok, picture this:


Lizzy's mom wears a sweatshirt like this all the time (even to court) that has a picture of her Uncle on it who passed away. She has two of them, she jut got a new one done with a younger picture of him on it. Anyway, she told me that she has to buy her mom one and that I should get Lizzy one for Christmas. She told me where to get one and that she "needs" one.

You just never know what they will come up with and what they will try to get YOU to do. Seriously, do you know how hard it is to keep a straight face sometimes? This right before she told me about her smoking pot to self medicate herself.

Yeah. I am not sure that is going to make Lizzy's Christmas list...at least my list for her. Can you imagine a 2 year old with this on? At least if it wasn't their parent or someone they at least knew???

Yeah. Good times. Anyway, speaking of gifts, are any of you planning what you are getting your foster child's parent(s) or IF you are getting them anything for Christmas?

Last year I got Lizzy's parents a Christmas ornament with her picture on it. I did the same for Sabrina's mom and Grandma. I am not gonna lie, I wanted to get them something they wouldn't throw away and I figured if their kid's face was on it they wouldn't throw it away.

Well, I came across this etsy shop that has Custom Photo Blocks that would be perfect for a bio parent (or anyone else you are looking for a cute gift for!)

Also, I just got a discount code especially for you guys! use 15OFFMF to get 15% off your order!



With photo gifts starting around $10 I thought it was a neat idea. She also has lots of homemade wonderfulness that is worth taking a look at as well! (also, if you want it in time for Christmas you need to place your order by the end of November) Anyway, just thought I would share this idea with you :)


Mother.

Lizzy's mom showed up for her visit! Lizzy was excited to go see *insert mom's real name here* because a few moths ago Lizzy decided that she was going to call me "Mommy" and her bio mom by her real first name. I found this hilarious, but have not encouraged it at all...but it stuck.

You could tell Lizzy could not figure out why "this lady" was referring to herself as Mommy because Lizzy kept telling her that I am "Mommy". It is cute in our home, but face to face with their bio parent it is a little horrifying. I don't like watching her innocent two year old self bludgeoning knives into her bio mom's heart. (She has been gone for months, it is understandable on Lizzy's part)

As far as Lizzy was concerned, she had a great visit with *insert mom's name here* and was so excited when I came back to get her. Ran into my arms giggling and excited.

As far as I am concerned, even though I did not act annoyed at all, the visit was a little...rough. First of all, as usual, Mom cut it short by half an hour. She only has 2 hours with her, but she only did 1 1/2. Also, mom literally sat in the waiting room with me and told me that she has quit taking most of her medications and has decided that smoking pot is what helps her the most. She only smokes it in the morning if she knows she has a visit with Lizzy so she isn't out of it when she gets here, but it calms her down enough to deal with the social workers. She said if they try to drug screen her she just is going to say no because they have already decided to take her child away so there is no point in complying with anything else from now on.

And yes, that is pretty much word for word.

After the visit she had her ride park across the street from the agency because "the agency would not approve of who was picking her up". I gave her a ride from the agency parking lot to the other parking lot where her ride was waiting-across the street and a couple doors up.

Why you ask? Because she is the mother of my child, no matter what.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Why.

Why do I want Lizzy's Mom to come see her at her visits even though everything is moving towards termination?

I know my husband cannot figure this out, nor anyone that knows me in real life.

Lizzy's mom is very self centered. She, so far, has blown Lizzy's life apart and then in the end gave up because "she isn't ready to take care of a child".

I want Lizzy's Mom to come see Lizzy because SHE GAVE BIRTH TO HER. I want her to get to see her child and to love on her, because she should. I want her to want to make an effort so the Lizzy will someday know she cared. I want her to make good choices instead of bad ones. I want her to become dependable.

But, no, I don't think it would be best for her to go back to her mom even if she did make some huge changes.

I want her to come so that Lizzy will know her. I want Lizzy to feel special and like her Mom wants to see her. I want them to have fun together. I want Lizzy to have the best her mom can give her, even if this situation is less than ideal. I want Lizzy to know the person who made her at least tried.

So, today we will see. We will see if mom decides to come to her visit. She could have set up transportation for today last we, but she decided to tell the agency that she could get herself a ride this week. We will see.

We will see if legal dad decides to let someone come pick his butt up and bring him to see this kid that isn't his...we will see.

We will see.


*Update

Legal Dad canceled for today.

Mom says she is coming and does sound like she is. I guess today is the day she finds out I am 5 months pregnant too...the should be interesting...unless I wear something that might be able to hide it...

Friday, November 11, 2011

lovely.

Well, for now, Lizzy's case has gotten very boring. I guess we are waiting to hear back from the county attorney about the petition for termination. I also am waiting to hear that her new worker is out of training so I can request a meeting with everyone at our agency. I am currently taking notes about every visit, even down to the social worker asking Dad if he is happy with the therapy he is receiving because that is something he complained about in court last time.

I am going to take the report from the last hearing and my notes to this meeting and DEMAND that our agency:

1. Turns in a report to the court BY THE TIME IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE TURNED IN along with getting it to all the attorneys that are supposed to get it BEFORE the hearing as well.

2. That they also have an up date on the Petition for Termination - including the date the sent it in, ect.

I am so over this. If they won't do their job I am going to DEMAND that they do. I also am going to go over with them everything I have seen go on in this case that has made them look very bad in court. Very very bad.

I obviously worry that by "attacking" them they will get an attitude with me, but I also worry that everyone over them is finally going to be OVER it and move this kid to another foster home. Obviously if that happens we will know that we were not supposed to adopt her and will live, but it just doesn't seem right at this point and if I can avoid it I will.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Texts.

"She still ask's about you guys still though she really loves you guys" - From Sabrina's Mom

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Phone.

I guess Sabrina's mom wants to keep us around...she sent me a text with her new phone number and is chatting it up via texts with me right now.


Baby

Lizzy will say "Hi baby in the belly!" once or twice a day on her own. At first I thought she was understanding that I have a baby inside of me...but now I wonder if she thinks that is my new nickname?


:)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pictures.

I had put up the pictures I have printed of Lizzy's family for safe keeping, kinda. She is not exactly gentle with them and I really need to make copies of them for when she really ruins them. Anyway, she had not seen them in a WHILE and stubbled upon them. She was excited to see them and then, because she has no attention span, she also wanted to brush her teeth about two seconds after mooning over the pictures in her hand. I said ok and got her set up to brush her teeth and took the pictures and put them on top of her dresser so she wouldn't get them wet and then walked away.

After she lost interest in brushing her teeth she came running to me "My pictures! My pictures!" Not happily, concerned. I said, "You wanted to brush your teeth so I put them up." She got a little sad at this point and I put her in my lap and said, "Are you sad because you want to go see papa?" She said yes. I gave her a big hug and then told her, "Papa loves you very much and you love him very much. Papa is going to live at his house and you are not going to live at that house. Papa loves you, but he will live at that house and you will live at a different house."

I underestimate her sometimes I thing. She started crying. Not a selfish cry, just a sad "I know what you just said and I know it's true" cry. It didn't last forever and she perked up.

A couple days later, maybe more like a couple weeks, "Papa" called to talk to her and I let her talk to him. When she is on the phone she is still hard to understand and sometimes doesn't even say real words, but this time instead of talking about going to his house she kept asking when he was going to "Come over" to Lizzy's house, our house. She has never done this before and I feel like her little heart has taken a step towards understanding that she won't be going back to Papa's house.

It is still hard because I feel like I can't tell her she is staying here forever, nor do I have any idea how to get her ready to move anywhere else if that ends up happening. I don't talk about forever, I just talk about today for now. "Today, you live here, in this house. Papa lives at his house."

She doesn't ask about anyone else. No Mom...no legal dad. I know she is very unconcerned with legal dad obviously. It always interests me to see how she reacts towards her mom...when she talks to her on the phone she usually just asks her mom if she can talk to Papa now because she doesn't understand that they aren't together anymore.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday.

Today is another Monday, you just never know what it will bring!!!

Today it brought Lizzy's legal dad canceling his visit (yay!) and her mom calling the agency to get transportation 2 hours before the visit.

I talked to her twice last week and both times asked her to call and make arrangement with them so she could come. Of course she couldn't, she was too worried about what was going on in her own life...like asking me to pick her up and drive her an hour from my house to pick up her government issued SSI check that she gets once a month. She said she needed it because she had just started her period and needed "stuff". I told her that I couldn't take her when she wanted to go because I was in charge of my son's class party during that time. I said I could drop off some "stuff" at her house for her...then she changed her story about why she needed the money.

I know she is back on drugs. It is hard listening to the lies and excuses.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Visits.

I called Lizzy's bio mom yesterday to try to give her the phone number of the lady that she has to call to get transportation for her visit Monday. This is the second time that I have tried to give it to her. She said she would call me when she got home.

She never called.

I know they aren't going to set it up for her spur of the moment Monday...so I guess that visit is out too.

Sigh.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dumb.

I saw this on FB. I am actually truly surprised this was not in our foster parent training handbook considering all the other stupid, common sense stuff they try to add to training. Do you think reading this could count for training hours? :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Scream.

I just want to scream. I hate the idea of them investigating Sabrina's mom...at the same time I wish they would have check on her more in the beginning to avoid this. It is so sad, they sent Sabrina back to the exact situation that they had deemed unfit enough to put her in foster care in the first place.

I don't think that there is anything that they could prove that would put Sabrina back in foster care. We have a "Do not call" placed on our home because we had decided to not take any babies over 1 year old (because of Lizzy) and when the doctor put me on lifting restrictions I decided to tell them to not call me for anymore kids because it would be hard for me to say no even though right now I have to. It is hard enough to not pick up Lizzy...even though I do sometimes anyway.

I have always told them that if ANY of my kids come back into care I want them...but, I really don't want to live through this all again with Sabrina's family...yet the thought of her having to go to a foster home that she doesn't know makes me sick as well.

I doubt that they will take her again...but, the likelihood of a child going home and then being brought back into foster care isn't very small, it actually is very common. I hope that doesn't happen unless she is truly unsafe.

Cycles.

Well, Sabrina's mom's friend is trying really hard to get them to investigate Sabrina's mom. She actually has CPS at her house right now...I think they are interviewing her...the friend I mean.

Great timing, I was being nice and texting Sabrina's mom "Happy Halloween" and such and she is ignoring me...you know because I must be "in" on it. If only she knew how much I am NOT in on it.

wonderful.

Halloween.

You know what is nice?

Lizzy had no idea what went on yesterday. To her, she had a normal drama free Halloween.

That is probably the biggest part of our jobs as foster parents, to shoulder the drama that is her life so she doesn't have to.

It isn't always easy, and we get hurt in the process, but I promise-for every time we get hurt because we stand in the way of someone else hurting these kids they do hurt at least a little less. And that is worth it.



(Lizzy's dark curls just screamed "I am snow white!" so that is what she was. She liked it too. After I bought it I remembered that I was snow white one year for Halloween when I was little and that brought a smile to my face as I saw my 2nd foster daughter running from house to house in her Snow White outfit.)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Later.

Someday I will be done with foster care. I imagine eventually they will drive us nuts and we will just quit.

I wanted to record this conversation with Lizzy's new social worker that I had today.

Me: "Lizzy is sick, runny yellow snot and laying on the couch sick, do you still want me to bring her for her visit?"

Social Worker: "Yes, go ahead and bring her anyway. And if mom needs transportation she needs to call me herself"

Me: "Ok, now have you heard from dad about the visit today?"

Social Worker: "No, but I am going to assume he is coming so bring her anyway."

Me: "She is sick, his visit is in the middle of her nap. If you guys are not transporting him to the visit he isn't coming."

Social Worker: "Well, I was just going to assume he was coming."

Me: "So you are going to do the opposite of what we have done for the last 18 months, when she is sick and I would have to wake up a sick kid from her nap to bring her to a visit that isn't going to happen because he isn't coming."

Social Worker: "I am working on trying to get ahold of him. Let me talk to my supervisor and let you know what they say."

Me: "Ok."



I then called Lizzy's mom and found out that she couldn't do the visit today so I called the social worker back.


Me: "Hi, it's me. Mom can't come at that time even if you guys were transporting her so I gave her all your information and told her that she needs to call you to set up something for next week."

Social Worker: "Ok, I put in a call to Dad, he didn't answer. Our transporter has to leave at 11:45 am to pick him up for the visit so I will let you know if they leave to go get him."

Me: "Ok"


Last phone call of the day.


Me: "Hello?"

Social Worker: "Hi, dad never called back so the visit is cancelled."

Me: "Ok, so we are just planning on all this again for next Monday?"

Social Worker: "Yes."

Me: "Ok, and are you the official new worker on the case or the sub?"

Social Worker: "I am the sub, we are waiting for __________ to get out of training and then she will be taking over the case. That will be in about 3 weeks."

Me: "Ok, thanks for everything. Bye."



Shoot me.




Boo.

Lizzy's mom canceled the visit today because "I have to take my friend's kids trick-or-treating tonight and we are leaving during that time to go take them."

:(

I see where Lizzy falls on the priority list.

And for the record WHO IS LEAVING YOU IN CHARGE OF THEIR KIDS?!?!?!? I am hoping she is just helping them take their kids...oy.

Old.

This is an old picture from when Tina and the Baby were still here.

It is amazing how much you can miss someone. My husband, son and I still tear up when we see a picture of that baby. She was just too precious. She was as cute as she could be plus was so happy. It is so weird to mourn someone who isn't dead...but, it feels like the same kind of loss.

Anyway, today Lizzy has visits scheduled for today...I don't know if they will get canceled or not. Mom called Friday to get transportation and I am sure no one did anything about that. We are "in-between" workers and plus they want more notice than that if they need to pick the bio parent up.

Boy was Dad is a drugged up state at the last visit. He was OUT of it. I think it is due to the lithium he is on now, but boy, I don't know how he could possible care for a child, let alone himself, while he is on that.

I don't even know what to do about Mom. I think technically my job is to do nothing, so I guess I will go with that. I wish the workers were more available...but Mom is the one who is totally undependable so it really isn't the worker's fault.

I literally consider Mondays my "throw away" day. Based on these crazy people I might as well throw Monday in the trash every week because I never know what is going to happen and can't make any plans other than to be available for who ever wants to show up that day.

Ugghhh...anyway, Happy Halloween!!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Lizzy's mom.

Lizzy's mom called me Wednesday...two days after her visit that didn't happen on Monday that she didn't show up for and didn't call to cancel.

I said, "So, what happened Monday?" Her response was, "Ummm, I don't know."

That was all she had. Didn't even take the time to make up a lie to excuse it.

Ugghhh.

Anway, she just called me. "Can you call the worker and tell her I need transportation for the visit on Monday? The guy that I was with just stole $40 form me, $60 from my aunt and my pills and took off. I talked to his mom and apparently he stole a gun from her house before we came up here from *insert other state she was living in*."

So, because I am her whipping dog I did call the agency to tell them she needed transportation for Monday. But, I didn't even know who to ask for! Seriously, I don't know the name of her worker, the name of the supervisor...no one. Her old worker wasn't there so I I ended up leaving a message with someone who I couldn't even tell what they were saying their name was on their voicemail.

I have a feeling transportation for Monday isn't going to happen for Monday.

Oh, and no, mom didn't ask how Lizzy was or anything. She was too busy worrying about what was going on in her life.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

don't.

When ever I tell my sister "So and so called me and said *insert some crazy story from someone that is related to any of my foster kids* she always says "Why do you answer their phone calls?!?!" :)

Maybe when you guys read my posts you think the same thing. :)

At least the phone calls are a little "entertaining"...

Anyway, Sabrina's mom's friend who calls CPS on her all the time called me a few minutes ago.

"I called CPS on Sabrina's mom again. I went to her house and knocked on the door and Sabrina answered. It looked like no one was home and when I asked her where her mom was she said she was in her bedroom sleeping-which she was"

"Sabrina's mom was at my house last night and was talking to herself, she was almost in a psychotic state and was acting like talking to herself was completely normal. She isn't taking her bi-polar medicine"

(I know, I know, if Sabrina's mom is such a horrible person why would this "friend" let her in her house? I want to ask her that all the time.)

They actually went quite a while without speaking after the last time she called CPS on her. CPS went out to the house (didn't find anything too upsetting), but Sabrina's mom told her friend that CPS had taken Sabrina. Her friend called me up and told me "She said CPS took her!" which they had not.

She also told me tonight, "You know those books you made her full of pictures of you guys with her? I was in her room with her and she held one of those books up and said "I loved it in foster care, but I like it hear too". Um, I can't hear a 4 year old wording a sentence like that.

She (the friend) is always trying to get me to call CPS on Sabrina's mom. I have NEVER called CPS on her...because I have no proof.

Apparently Sabrina's mom sits around talking about me though because her friend told me "So I hear you pregnant..."

Glad to hear I am part of their conversation. :p

Carol,

I always love hearing from you.

I am curious, have your cases closed closer to the 12 months mark? I struggle so much with no one (i guess the court system?) following these time lines that have been put in place.

Lizzy turns 3 in December, obviously there will be no completed adoption by then so IF we get to adopt her I am glad that she will have that money for the future.


Slow.

The petition for termination of both of Lizzy's parents has been emailed over to the district attorney in the county she is from. He is going to look over it and "correct" anything that needs to be corrected and then send it back (to the worker?) and then it goes off to the judge for a termination trial to be set.

I am guessing 3 months from now?

This is a SLOW process. Lizzy's worker, the one I liked that just changed jobs, said after the last visit that this case will probably push 2 years. From what I have seen this is starting to look normal.

We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkins.








Lizzy had such a great time carving pumpkins with my hubby and son. Last year she would cry and shake if the pumpkin or pumpkin guts got too close to her. This year she wasn't thrilled...until my husband showed her how much fun it was and then she dove right right.

It reminded me of how far she has come and what a different child she is now compared to the little rolli polli that I brought home from the agency about a year and a half ago.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kisses.

So, yesterday, legal dad showed up and mom didn't. I am very disappointed in mom.

Anyway, I saw legal dad kiss Lizzy on the face and I have seen him kiss her tons of times on the mouth. After the visit the social worker, therapist, and I were sitting around talking. Lizzy climbed up in my lap and tried to kiss me on the mouth and I put my hand in front of her. I was horrified to do this, but until I get her cleaned up I do not let her kiss me on the mouth after seeing him. He is dirty, so dirty that the social worker told me that she had check Lizzy's diaper to see if she pooped because dad smelled so bad she thought Lizzy might have pooped in her diaper. She hadn't.

He is a drug addict.

He has discolored spots on his lips...I don't know what he has.

Anyway, immediately after I told Lizzy not to kiss me I turned to the social worker and therapist and said, "I am sorry, but he is filthy and I don't know what disease he has and I am pregnant."

Neither knew I was pregnant yet.

What a fun new way to announce it to people :/

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fortune.

Dear Mr. Fortune Cookie,

Next time could you please mean Lizzy's mom...not her legal dad who managed to come see her in some drug induced haze today.

And, could you tell her mom to stop being an idiot too?

Thank,

Me

Friday, October 21, 2011

For real?

This was Lizzy's "fortune" from her fortune cookie tonight at dinner.

No one else got one that said anything like this.

I am not superstitious...but are you kidding me?

Really?

When you get your licensed renewed or you know a worker is stopping by I know most of you probably clean a little more than you normally do. We are all concerned that they might judge us over how much dust is on our molding or thing we are not good care giver because the bathroom doesn't look perfect.

Oh, how silly that is, at least where I am.

Some of you will probably be horrified/jealous to hear this, I actually find it horrible. Convenient for me, but horrible.

Yesterday the licensing worker came out to renew our license. To get ready for this I made sure all the fire alarms were working, the water heater was set on the appropriate temperature, the basement was free of children's toys because our foster kids are not allowed to play in our basement because we do not have an egress window, and cleaned cleaned cleaned.

So, she comes in and we sit in the kitchen. She asks if anything has changed, I said no. She has me sign the paper work I need to sign, goes into my bedroom to talk to my 9 year old son while he was watching TV in my bedroom AND paying on the ipad 2...and then she was done.

She didn't check anything. No medicine lock up, no fire alarm, didn't even glance into Lizzy's room...nothing.

Can I tell you something? No one ever does. In the past year including this visit no one has ever made sure that ANYTHING was the way it was supposed to be.


Can any of you guess why kids end up in crappy foster homes? Yeah, me either.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Renewed.

We got our licensed renewed today.

While the worker was here Lizzy acted like the most terrible child you have ever seen.

I mentioned to the worker that I remember her being terrible last year while she was here and the worker remembered too.

I don't know why she does this.

Today she finally made me want to cry.

Sad.

Today I am sad. I miss some of my other foster kids who have left.

When I get too sad about it I get kinda mad.

I get mad about how unfair this whole process is. I get mad that not only do we loose "our" kids - they loose us.

I swear, if I was ruler of the universe I would MAKE the bio parents maintain a relationship with the foster family for the child's sake.

I know not every situation should be dealt with that way...but, some should.

I want my kids to be happy WITH THEIR FAMILIES. I want them to know WE DID NOT DECIDE TO GIVE THEM AWAY.

I I I I I.

I guess I have a lot of what I want on my mind today.

I have not had one bit of happiness that had to do with foster care that didn't end in heartbreak.

Foster Care is a sad world to live in.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Remember.

I have to try to remember the cute things Lizzy does...so that I don't loose my mind.

Like how she will yell "Thank you, Mommy!" when I am doing something she really wants me to do ... or getting her something she really wants me to get her.

Or like how she will smile at me when she is trying to make me smile because I am giving her a "look".

And how she has started wrinkling her nose when she smiles.

Or how she says, "Are you serious?" about random things because she is copying me ... I guess I tend to say that a lot.

I love how she will want to hold my purse and swings it over her shoulder like a little old lady carrying her purse very close to her.

She will try to sit in the exact way I am sitting, making a HUGE effort to cross her legs just the way I am.

She is always happy in the morning when you come to get her out of bed.

She has a sleepy eyed face when she just wakes up that is very two years old still.

I love that she named her favorite doll "Daughter". It may be the best name I have ever heard a doll named.

She plays with match box cars for long periods of time. She will carry around a backpack with them and various other toys in it and will plop it down in whatever room she wants to play in and will sit there and play with it for quite a while.

She finally watches TV and loves Dora and Elmo and Bubble Guppies.

She will grab one of her diapers and tries to change "Daughter's" diaper for her.



Lizzy is a very special little girl. She also is a very stubborn child. She is whiny and wants her way NOW! She seems to not be able to focus on things I am aware other two year olds can focus on.

Lizzy is showing a lot of progress in a lot of areas...and little progress in other areas. She is still a baby really. She is so young.

I really hope she ends up exactly where God wants her. I supposed she will even if it isn't where I think she should be.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Funny?

I thought I would tell you a story.

Lizzy's ears used to be pierced. By the time she got to me they had grown in. After I had had her for well over 8 months her mom brought a pair of gold stud earring to a visit and gave them to me.

"I got new earrings," she said. "So take these and jam them through Lizzy's ears while she is sleeping."


Uhhhh...no.



I kinda blew her off, but took the earring and said I would think about it. I never even considered it. I would basically have to re-pierce her ear with these none pointy earrings to get them threw her little ear lobes. Have you met this child? "Jam them through while she is sleeping." oh yeah, and listen to her scream and cry for the next two hours? Not only would I be hurting her, I am thinking my agency might not want me re-piercing anyone's ears.

She called me a couple times and asked me if I did it and I said, "No."

Later, after I had basically blown her off three times, she told me "Oh, we'll just get them re-pierced when she comes home, don't worry about it."

Yeah...don't worry...I couldn't have been any farther than "worried about it".


Why do I post these stories? Because this is what it is like to deal with the families of these kids. Some people are "lucky" and don't have to deal with the families or even meet them. That is not the case with me. I have to meet them, I even have to work out visits outside of the agency with them sometimes. I do not have to give them my phone number or talk to them outside of during the visit, that is my choice. While it does add stress to my life, it helps me to understand where these kids come from and what the life they came from looks like...I guess I am just too darn nosey to NOT want to know that stuff.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Girl.

We have had 5 foster daughters.

4 of them have come and gone.

1 is still here.

I might end up being the mama of 2 daughters, but for now I know I am the mama of 1.

Ugghh.

I have a curly headed little girl sitting on my lap that had two visits scheduled for today...but both cancelled.

Mom has not seen her in probably two months and had scheduled her first visit back for today, but called me last night to cancel because she hurt her foot and couldn't come.

Legal Dad called and cancelled because he just started taking lithium and doesn't feel good.

Her bio Dad called me today to check on her and talk to her for a minute. He said he would like to come see her, but his car is messed up.

This is what Lizzy life looks like. There is always something that comes before her. Always.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ideas.

You guys gave me a lot to think about. While I have no hesitation to put away the shoes that are too small that he bought her or most of the other things because she doesn't play with them anyway, I do think you guys gave me the idea that I was looking for.

I am going to make a story book for Lizzy out of a few of the pictures of her family and a few pictures of her life with us and it will be about her Mommy who grew her in her tummy, her Papa who loved her before we ever knew her and about how she came to live with us. I will put a picture of our house in it and tell her that she lives here now and that "Mommy and Papa" live somewhere else and that she is not going to live with them.

My reason for doing this is so she can let go of that idea, or at least I will be letting her know in 2 year old language that she is not going back there. If the day comes that she goes to legal dad, or somewhere else, I will add that in to our story time to get her ready to go there as well.

For those who may read this and don't know the whole story:

At this point the court will never be returning Lizzy to the house she was taken out of. It will not happen. You can ask anyone involved. She will either stay here, go live with legal dad, be adopted by someone other than us, or by some miracle she may be returned to her mom who has moved out of state. There is no option for her to go home to the home she may remember. My goal is to help her understand and accept that.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Smart.

You guys are just SO smart that I have to pick your brains again. Seriously though, I guess it just makes me feel better to bounce ideas off of you whether you know the right answer or not because I have NO idea what the right answers are :)

Anyway, Lizzy's dad that she loves, her bio dad, is for the most part out of the picture. He still calls to check on her and stuff, but anytime she talks to him on the phone or sees him (she saw him probably about a month ago) she becomes very hard to deal with. She becomes mean to us, she acts like we are the bad guys taking her away from him all over again, she gets whinier and is a mess for a week or two after seeing him or talking to him on the phone.

He is not part of this case. He kinda was when he and mom were still together, but now that they are broken up he has nothing to do with this. No visits and basically has no right to any contact with her. Lizzy loves him, he loves her, but he gave up. He wants to stay in contact with her and would like it if after she is adopted I would let him see her once in a while. Considering how she treats us after she sees him, it is hard to want to make that happen anymore, but I do have respect for the relationship she had with him before she ever met me.

That being said, I think she needs some time to let go of the idea that she is ever going back to his house, because she isn't. No matter how this goes she will either stay here with us, be adopted by someone else, or go to her LEGAL dad-the one she doesn't like. There is no scenario in which she will be going to live with him.

The back story is...I am thinking about packing up everything he ever gave her and every picture of him and putting it away for when she is older. He hasn't bought her many things, but she does know exactly what he did buy her and also associates some of the things her mom got her with him as well (I would pack those up too). None of these things are her every day favorite things, she just sees them and it makes her think of him and maybe ask about him. Her mom also gave her pictures of him and she looks at those once in a while too.

She will never be living with him again. She will only see him or have any contact with him if she stays with us...which might or might not happen. I feel like she needs some time to let go of the idea of her going home to "mom and dad" because "mom and dad" don't even live in the same house anymore...the home she remembers doesn't exist any more and even the house that still stands there is not where the court will put her.

So, my question is, what do you think of me packing up her stuff from him? Would you do it, not do it...why or why not? I will be saving it for her for when she is older, but I will not be bringing it out anytime soon.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Voicemail.

When I called mom back to give her my speech about not being able to set up visits for her with just me and Lizzy I got her voicemail.

I am not sure I have ever been so happy to have someone's voicemail pick up.

We'll see what she says, I am sure she will give me a whole speech about how no one will ever find out and it will be fine. And then I will give her a speech about how Lizzy tells everyone everything and if she thinks I am going to do anything to get myself in trouble...well, I won't be.

Fun times!


*Update*
Mom called me back and said she hadn't listened to my message. So I told her it all over again. She acted like it was no big deal, she understood and had already called the worker to set up a visit for her normal time.

Crazy Pants.

One Year.

One year ago today my worst fear of foster care became a reality.

I got a call after a court hearing that told me that a child I had loved like my own for 16 months would be leaving my house and going to live with someone I knew could not protect her.

One year ago every reason why I had NOT wanted to do foster care came and slapped me in the face.

It was a very hard day. But, it did not kill me. I didn't curl up in a ball and stop functioning.

I lived. My family lived. We are changed. We saw that even if "the worst" happened God would get us through it.

It was horrible. But, 1 year later Sabrina's mom and I are in a place where if I wanted to come see her I know her mom would let me.

Fostering is hard and you WILL get hurt. You will watch "your" kids get hurt and you will be helpless. It is no easy task to love these kids and then watch them disappear, but "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." -Matthew 25-40