Friday, September 30, 2011


I have a question.

So, Lizzy's mom calls me up, you can tell she just rolled out of bed and is still waking up.

"Can you have Lizzy call my mom and wish her happy birthday? Here is her number. Ok, bye."

Yes, because my job in life is to have this 2 year old talk on the phone to your relatives. For the record, Grandma has been in and out of the hospital all year and is not doing too well, but is currently at home.

So, what would you do, call the Grandma who completely ignored you the entire time she visited with Lizzy 6 months ago - who YOU went out of your way to monitor a visit for.

Or do you ignore crazy pants and know she will forgot she even asked you?

So, to call or not to call (I will let you know what I decided after I hear your thoughts)...that is the question.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Back when we had our first foster child, Sabrina, things sure did seem easier. That isn't what this is about, but boy has a lot happened.

I remember one time, when Sabrina was having unsupervised weekend visits with her mom, God decided to show me Who He is and the connection that he had put between me and that little girl.

It was around that time when I knew Sabrina's mom (well, Grandma actually) would be making the hour drive to bring Sabrina back to us. I remember standing in the kitchen doing dishes and I suddenly got the feeling something was not right. I tried to shake it off because every once in a while I would worry that they wouldn't bring her back and I would try to not think about it. I shook it off once or twice, but by the third time it felt like something (or someone) had knocked me in the back of the head and said in an inaudible voice "GO PRAY FOR HER, SHE IS IN TROUBLE!'

My husband and son were out in the driveway playing basket ball and I ran outside and told them that I felt like we needed to pray for Sabrina right now. We held hands and my husband prayed that God would keep our little girl safe no matter what was going on.

After that I walked back into the house. About one minute later my cell phone rang, it was Sabrina's mom. She shakily told me about how they were almost in a terrible car accident and she had no idea how they had managed to avoid it. I stood there in shock, rarely do you find out so quickly why God told you to do something. I told Sabrina's mom that that was amazing because I had JUST felt the strong urge to go pray for them...but, the concept of God and prayer I could tell was a bit lost on her.

There is a bond between me and that little girl that is something only God could have put there. I literally begged Him to put that there, "to please put a bond between me and a child I don't even know that is so strong no one would ever understand it". A bond that after 8 months of her never seeing us led her mom to letting us back in her life.

Monday I felt like I should call Sabrina's mom and check on them. I texted her and said "hey, hows it going?" She replied, "I just got home from the hospital, my mom has pneumonia." After I offered to help if she needed anything I told her I would call her Wednesday to see if they needed anything.

On Wednesday she told me that Grandma is still in the hospital. She has pneumonia AND a blot clot in her lung and the Dr. said she won't be coming home anytime soon. Sabrina and her mom are staying at a friend's house (I don't see why they can't stay at their house, maybe it is because the would have no transportation since Grandma is in the hospital?) I guess one of Sabrina's mom's uncles has flown in to help, or maybe just visit his sister, I don't know.

I thought it was ironic that all that was going on the day that I felt like I needed to check on them. I don't know if I will be able to help or not. If something was to happen to Grandma I just can't even imagine what that would mean for Sabrina and her mom, but I am trying to not let my brain go there. Eventually I am sure she will be fine.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Ring! Ring!

Me: "Hello?"

Child Placement Specialist: "Hello Mama Foster, how are you today?"

Me: (laughs because they don't just cut to the chase and ask me if I will take the kids) "Good, how are you?"

Child Placement Specialist: "I'm good. I know that you said that children younger than Lizzy or around the same age won't work right now, I was wondering if an older child might work."

Me: "No, I said the child would need to be much younger than Lizzy, we probably wouldn't consider anyone over 1 year old right now"

(No, I still haven't told anyone that I am pregnant)

Child Placement Specialist: "Oh, ok, let me write that down this time so I don't call you for the older ones anymore"

(This is the 3rd time they have called me and try to get me to take an older child)

Me: "Ok, perfect, thank you. Good luck finding a home for this child."

Child Placement Specialist: "Thanks Mama Foster, Good bye."

And I sit back and chuckle that I am still considering taking a child under one year old at all...especially after I swore I would never take another placement from this agency.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Hey Carol, I always appreciate you input especially since we have to deal with the "same" court system. I had no disillusioned thoughts that they would be terminating anyone's rights at this hearing. In the county we are dealing with a termination hearing has to be scheduled for them to terminate...or seriously discuss it.
Where I am at 3 months in between hearings is exactly what has always been standard in all our cases unless a special hearing needs to be called to address a specific issue.

I just thought that your comment brought up some good technically info and that I would share it along with letting you know that I wasn't upset about all of was just the lack of meaningful discussion that bothered me.

Monday, September 26, 2011


I am apparently very easy to please.

Like when Legal Dad calls and cancels a visit...that makes me very happy.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Last night I wanted to write out what happened at the hearing without mixing all my emotions up with it. I have always been very emotional when it comes to our foster kids and their well being and now that I am pregnant I would like to blame some of my emotion on that...but, I have a feeling I would have been just as upset either way.

First I would like to say that a rushed 15 minute meeting at which barely anything is presented on ANYONE's part (social workers, mom's lawyer, dad's lawyer, Lizzy's lawyer) is ridiculous to me. Yet, I assume this is normal. I hate that. This last hearing was pathetic and even though after reading the court documents I see that what my worker had "hoped" for was pretty much been accomplished I am horrified that that is the way in which these cases are treated. I would like to point out that no one mentioned the fact that Lizzy was taken away 18 months ago. Nope, no one cares. With a scroll of the pen she was basically sentenced to 3 more months in foster care when they set the next court hearing for the normal 3 months later. Who cares if she is in foster care for 2 years. Truly, who cares?

Secondly, the lack of ANYONE taking the lead and stating some of the obvious "problems" that are going on was pathetic. My (Lizzy's) social worker did a terrible job and it was only towards the end that Lizzy's lawyer spoke up and laid a few things on the table that NO ONE questioned or even commented on. I am glad that he did make sure people heard them and that they were recorded as being said, but it is amazing that someone can say "Realistically this man has only shown up for 20% of his visits" and basically everyone acts like "What do you expect?" I know they are used to this, but I have still not crossed over into the world of "Being a crap-tastic parent is normal" land.

I walked out of there and called my husband crying. I was so upset, I was convinced that it looked more like Legal Dad could get her than just about anything else and I, after everything else I have seen my other kids go through, was convinced at that moment that these kids are cursed to have the worst fate possible.

I know that is dramatic, but I have to say that so far in my experience I have seen:

-A child returned to a home where she constantly was saying she was being molested.

-A child removed from an abusive adoptive home and then adopted into a family that was rushed, blindfolded into finalizing an adoption that was not a good fit for them and now is just living with it because it is the right thing to do.

-A child that is forced to do visits with a dad even when she is screaming in such terror that her face turns blue.

-2 little girls given back to a mom who didn't visit them for 6 months and literally changed nothing about her life, but because 2 states couldn't get along and work out something to keep them safe they were thrown right back into what they were taken out of.

THAT has been my experience with foster care. I have not seen children "saved", I have seen children hurt. So, forgive me if my out look on Lizzy's case is not good.

After reading through the court report I do see that the court said "Go ahead and write the petition". That is the next step and it will be interesting to see what that leads to. I just don't have any high hopes for a fast resolution to this issue, that is for sure. I was beyond hesitant to even say I was willing to adopt Lizzy, as if me uttering the words would almost seal her fate to be handed to the worst option she had. I don't know what will happen. I am not desperate to adopt this child. I love her and want what is best for her, but I am not where I was 2 years ago. I have seen the worst and have come to the point where I know that it is ok that I don't understand why God puts these kids where HE does, but it doesn't matter. He is God and I am not and I take much comfort in that. I do trust HIM, even if it means me handing this child over to a man I would not even let touch my biological children-ever.

It's not easy, but it isn't about me. It's not about what I think is right. It is about trusting HIM.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I feel like I don't know where I even left off, but let's start with the day of court. It takes me over an hour to drive to the court house. It was raining, I had Lizzy with me and there were at least 3 detours because of construction on the way there. Tons of fun.

I showed up 10 minutes early. At 9:30am they called the case in...but my worker nor the dhs worker was there. The referee said that he had a termination trial at 10 am so time was limited. The lawyers chatted about how this is typical of my agency while the referee's court reporter got dad and mom on the phone so they could "participate". Finally, 15 minutes late, my worker and the dhs worker walk in. We have 15 minutes in which to "decide" what path Lizzy's life should head down so they get started.

Basically the referee was not thrilled with the report the worker wrote and everyone basically chatted about wanting to change the goal from reunification to termination. Dad doesn't want that and the Referee wants to see a list that contains everything DHS and our agency has done from day one to reunify this child to her parents.

I felt like everyone was annoyed with our agency and nothing changed, nothing was barely discussed. Visits stay the same, mom stated that she would like me to adopt Lizzy and that she would sign papers to that effect. What I was hoping for the most was that they would discuss suspending dad's visits, but under the circumstances there was no appropriate time to do that.

The Referee asked that my agency write up a termination petition within 28 days and then scheduled a hearing for 3 months from now. I think if they accept the petition they will schedule a trial...I don't know what that does or doesn't do to the next hearing that is scheduled.

After it was over my worker knew that she looked dumb and stated that to me later on the phone. I really like her and I think she will do better next time. I am basically writing my own report to give her, and now that I am thinking about giving it to Lizzy's lawyer and the Judge as well, of basically everything that has happened in the past 18 months of this child's life. I want the worker, who has been on this case for 3 months, to have something to work with. I guess recently Dad just admitted that he is living with a new girlfriend who has had her children removed as well. Based on everything going on with him I think Lizzy has a good shot of being free from him eventually. Until then we still will have these ridiculous visits to deal with.


Sorry, I'm just tired all the time.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Later. Again.

I'm sorry, I have just been super exhausted and my emotions have run pretty high concerning this situation. I will be back soon to talk about it.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Nothing happened...really. I guess we have two plans going now...reunification and adoption.

The social worker is going to write a termination petition.

The next hearing date is December 15th. 2 days before her 3rd birthday.

I will tell the details later.

9:30 am

Court is this morning at 9:30 am

please pray

Friday, September 16, 2011


Wednesday we had a meeting at the agency where the social worker, her supervisor, the DHS work, the foster parent (me), legal mom, legal dad and a monitor all sat down in a room either in person or by phone and were to discuss changing the goal from reunification to adoption.

Mom, dad and the DHS worker were on the phone, the rest of us were there in person.

Basically, the social worker listed off the reasons for changing the goal. I kind of thought they would let the parents make a plea or argue about it, which they tried to, but it seemed that the people controlling the meeting were sure to make sure that the goal of the meeting was basically to inform everyone one of what WAS going to happen, not debate about it.

Mom had a bit of a melt down, but it wasn't anything to crazy. She stated that even though not currently, before she and bio dad broke up she HAD done everything they asked her to. She then was emphatic that she wanted me to adopt Lizzy.

Legal dad does not agree with any of this and want Lizzy to come live with him even though he has no income, his house is in foreclosure, she doesn't like him and he has a big enough flea problem at his house that they are all over him. That is just SOME of the issues. We won't get into all the drug issues and prescriptions that he is on that make him basically incapable of even taking care of himself.

He insisted that even though Lizzy has been in care for 18 months they have not been working to reunify her WITH HIM for those 18 months (implying that he should have more time) and that he has not been offered the services that mom has gotten. He kept talking about therapy...I don't know how he thought that would make a big difference, but that is what he went with.

Basically everyone jumped all over him about only coming to his visits sporadically and the DHS worker was VERY good at answering all his statements in a very pointed way. For example, when he was asking about getting more services she told him to "Be careful what you ask for because so far we have been offering you transportation to the visits which you only use half of the time and cancel the rest of the time. If you ask me for services and then don't show up for them you are going to make yourself look very bad. Further more I see that you did complete your parenting classes, apparently you did not learn the things you are supposed to learn in them like how YOUR actions affect your child. You only showing up to your visits when you feel like it affects your child, so you will probably need to take another parenting class." She was very on the ball and had great answers for every excuse he had. She did make sure to get the ball rolling to make sure that he is offered every service imaginable so that when they go to terminate they can prove that he is unfit.

At the end of the day it all comes down to that there is a court hearing Monday at 9:30 am at which the social worker, DHS worker, and Lizzy lawyer are all going to ask that the goal be changed from reunification to adoption. I talked to Lizzy's lawyer today and asked him to ask that legal dad's visits be stopped if the goal is changed and also told him about all the negative things that have gone on at the visits. He said he would try to get them suspended and I know the social worker wants that as well.

Monday will be very interesting. I so hope the judge/referee does what is best for Lizzy and doesn't feed into this stuff from legal dad.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


To start with...on Tuesday I got a phone call from Lizzy's mom that started with an abrupt "Who is talking about adoption when it comes to Lizzy."


Reason literally One Million why I regret letting her get her hands on my phone number. (I also have about 200 reason why I am glad I have hers, but still...)

So, I told her "The social worker told me that she told you that they wanted to change the goal."

Mom: "Yeah, but they never said anything about adoption."

Me: "Well, when they change the goal to termination that means she would be adopted by someone."

Mom finally gets it. There was crying and talk of how "I did everything they asked me to" and talk of "I only want you to adopt her."

She also said, "I want what is best for her, I don't want her to have the kind of life I had...I can't give it to her right now..."

Eventually she got sick of talking about it and got off the phone. I started crying. I was crying for the little girl that Lizzy's mom used to be. I was crying for all the time she herself spent in foster care. I was crying for the things she never had and the things, like how to be a self-sacrificing mama, that she never was shown. I cried for a mama that was not going to be allowed to raise the baby that she carried for 9 months. I cried for a woman that I hoped would not look at this as God giving them the short end of the stick...again.

I cried and did laundry. By now Lizzy was following me around saying "You alwight mom?" in her two year old way. I picked her up and snuggled her, probably not for me...more for her mom who couldn't I guess. I looked into those brown eyes that can only be passed down by someone who isn't me and told her I loved her...and then let her follow me around the house some more.

Lizzy's mom is not capable of making good parental decisions. She tends to take a wrecking ball to her own life and those who are close to it every few months. She just wants to be loved, I can see it, but she doesn't know what it looks like, feels like, or how to give it back. She never had a chance to learn it. It isn't fair. I know "we all grow up and make our own choices", but I would not be too shocked to find out that if I was handed the same lot in life that I wouldn't have turned out much different than she has.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


The past two days have been mentally exhausting.

Yesterday Lizzy's mom called me up "shocked" that anyone was talking about adoption. To her a "goal change" was not the same as people talking about adoption.

Then today we had the meeting where they discussed the fact that they WOULD be asking the judge to, in their words, "Change the goal from reunification to adoption."

There is a lot to talk about. I will try to sort it out in my head and then I'll be able to write about it.


Wed. 10 am:

Meeting at which the social worker will present to her supervisor and the DHS worker over both of them that she would like to ask the court to change the goal from reunification to termination.

the following Monday:

Court date at which the social worker, in agreement with the DHS worker and Lizzy lawyer, will ask that the court changes the goal from reunification to termination.

If the court agrees the social worker than has to submit to the court a new report stating all the reasons Lizzy cannot be returned to her legal parents.

Then she hands it off to someone in our county to look over it. hopefully less than 3 months the person she handed it off to will do what they need to do and a termination trial will be scheduled at which time they will terminate all parental rights.

We will see how all that works out.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Yesterday I drove all the way to the visit that Legal dad insisted that he would be there for...only to find out at the last minute, after someone from the agency had already drove for over an hour to go get him, he canceled.

The best part is Lizzy was acting weird all day (you could tell a sickness was coming on) and I had to wake her up in the middle of her nap to take her to said visit...and while I was in the waiting room right after the worker told me that he wasn't coming SHE PUKED ALL OVER ME.

That was a great way to top off that jerk man canceling.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Mom is in another state, but isn't sure if she is staying there or not. I think she may know, but wants everyone to think she may be coming back.

She has been texting me all day telling me that she has been talking to Legal dad's girlfriend on the phone and that she said he is doing drugs constantly. Wouldn't it be nice if SOMEONE would actually enforce him having to take a drug test!??!? He has not taken ONE since this case started.

Mom wants me to tell the social worker that she is worried about him being around Lizzy because of the drugs...ok Mom, you just ran out of state, but I am sure that the social worker will still take everything you say VERY seriously....

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Dear Lizzy,

I talked to your social worker today. Things seem to look like your legal parents will not be able to parent you. I get scared, especially about your legal dad, because his intentions are not good. I thank God that HE is in control and has kept you safe from him so far.

Your mom told everyone that she was leaving, she told the social worker that you were with me and that I would take care of you. I wish life would have been different for her. Her mom, your grandma, was a very sick woman and she was not a good mommy to your mom. In comparison your mom did a very good job while you were with her and I am thankful for the things she did and the pictures that she made sure you had before she left.

I hate this and will be so glad when it is over. I will be so glad when you never have to be around that man, your legal dad, ever again. That will truly be one of the happiest days of my life.

Boy little girl does God have His hands on you, your new social worker is working so hard to keep you safe. She is trying to write a very good report so that the judge has to agree with her.
I think she will.

It's coming fast Lizzy, the day you will loose everything and at the same time hopefully gain even more than you have lost. This has been one of the hardest things I have ever been through...I am glad that I got to walk through it with you, I would do it all over again a million times if I knew you needed me to. I'm excited for you. I'm excited for us.


Thursday, September 8, 2011


If Lizzy's mom told me the truth yesterday, she hopped a bus and has gone to live in a state that is easily 6 states away from where we live.

She warned me about a week ago that she was thinking about do this, and then all the sudden called me yesterday to tell me her bus was leaving at 3:45 pm. I basically begged her to let me bring Lizzy to say good bye. She said she would call me back and never did.

I personally believe that she left. I guess we will see if she turns up.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Q & A

Mom and Legal Dad are still married. The court does not acknowledge the "bio" Dad because legally he is not the Dad. While Mom was living with "bio" Dad he was involved only because of their relationship. Once they broke up "bio" Dad is no longer involved as far as the state is concerned.

Great idea, but right now Mom and Legal Dad are being open about the fact that they are getting along so the social worker sees no need to move the visits. Plus, with the amount of times these people cancel I would rather have them only ruin one day of my week instead of two.

Lizzy's mom was still married to, but separated from, Lizzy Legal Dad when she got pregnant by Lizzy's "bio" Dad. In the state I live in, that gave "bio" Dad literally zero rights to his child and he would have to adopt his own child to become her Legal Dad, but that is only if the Legal Dad signs over his rights completely.

In Lizzy's case this is a HUGE problem because she was raised for 16 months by her "bio" Dad and her Legal Dad was a complete stranger to her. When she came into foster care, because of her mom's actions, the legal process started-thus offering services to Legal Dad, which has been a nightmare ever since.

Thankfully, no you did not read that here :). I imagine maybe you are thinking of me saying that Federal law states that if a child is in foster care for 15 months the goal must be changed to termination if it does not appear that the biological or legal parents will be able to care for the children in the immediate future.
I have heard many a social worker say of a foster parent "They got too attached", which is ridiculous because you want these children being raised by people who love them, but that is something that gets said, but rarely is a child moved because of it (though I am sure it has happened).

And here is where I have to fess up to where we stand when it comes to adopting Lizzy. Once I saw that things actually began to head toward adopting her I started to pray that if we were supposed to adopt her that God would change my husband's heart and make him want to adopt her.

Guess who changed his mind and is ready to adopt Lizzy.

Then, there was still ALL the reasons that I was worried about adopting Lizzy. So, I actually had to start praying for myself, that God would change my heart and make me want to adopt her. While I have not forgotten my post where I literally spelled out each reason while I basically didn't want to adopt her...God has changed my heart too. I am open to adopting Lizzy if God wants us to and if they terminate her parental rights I believe that we are her family and that we will be adopting her.

Because of all my previous concerns I have now begun to pray that if we are not supposed to adopt her that God will step in and not allow it. He always answers our prayers so from here on out it is in His hands.

We have seen a lot of good progress from Lizzy. Shockingly (sarcasm) the less she sees her family the better behaved and more "normal" she is. We are working very hard with her to be kind and act appropriately in public and at home. When we are at home she is just part of the family, she fits right in. She still makes things a little harder when we are out in public...but she is two years old.

We are the only family that she knows. She came to live with us at around 18 months old and has been here for 15 months. She has lived with us as long as she lived with her mom and "bio" dad. She still asks about them, but as I said before, I am pretty sure that is because I let her talk on the phone to them and obviously when her mom shows up for a visit that stirs it all up again.

I can't imagine her going to live with strangers after all of this, she really has become part of our family. Right now we are working on breaking down some walls that we all had put up in anticipation of her leaving. I know that I personally had put up a HUGE wall thinking that she would be leaving. I know that I would tell myself about all the things I didn't like about her in order to make myself not sad about her "going home" and I had even pretty much kept her at arm's length emotionally for the past few months because she really should have been gone by now. So, I am having to rebuild my relationship with her and it is coming along. I am enjoying her and can laugh about the things she does that are funny...I had gotten to the point where I ignored all of that so I wouldn't get hurt in the end...again.

I still worry that as I rebuild this relationship something will happen and they will send her home just to see if mom can do it or not, and if that happens I will take it as God saying she wasn't supposed to be with us. It won't be easy, but we have already done it too many times before, one more time won't kill us.

Friday, September 2, 2011


So, Lizzy's mom called and said that "If the next hearing doesn't go good I want to sign my rights over to you because I am done with this."

Considering they are requesting for the goal to change to termination I think she may do it.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I have been playing "Mom" to Lizzy for 15 months now.

I kiss the boo boos.
I change the diapers.
I deal with the "behavior".
I get the smiles in the morning.
I buy her toys.
I take her to the beach.
I care for her, usually, 24 hours a day.
I give her baths.
I tell her I love her.
I teach her things.
I know what she likes.
I know what she doesn't like.
I take pictures of her.
I think about her birthday parties.
I am the one that is embarrassed when she acts horrible.
I know what size she wears.
I know when her bed time is.
I know when she is tired.
I know when she is hungry.
I fill her sippy cup.
I put her needs before mine.

Yet, she still asks to see them. She still asks to see *Insert her bio mom's first name here because that is what Lizzy has taken up calling her* and she still asks to see "papa", her bio dad that has given up on her and her mom.

It used to really bother me, especially with Sabrina, that even though I was mom to her EVERYDAY she was still bonded to this lady that only came and saw her once a week...if that. I am seeing the same thing with Lizzy, she is still bonded to them even though she doesn't spend much time with them at all. I do let her talk to both of them on the phone when they call so that keeps them in her mind I am sure.

It used to bother me...until I realized that that is the way it should be. I would hope (and am absolutely positive) that if you took my son away from me that even a year and a half later he would still love me and his dad. It is amazing and quite frankly beautiful the bond God puts between a child and their parent - and I wouldn't want that any other way. I want my son and our new baby to be automatically in love with my husband and I, especially since we are already over the moon for them. I want the same thing for Lizzy. I want her to have parents that she is just in love with...and she had them.

The problem with Lizzy's situation is that Lizzy's parents aren't holding up their end of the bargain, but she is still holding up hers. It actually makes me want to cry because I am 95% sure she will never live with them again...and I keep thinking how do I explain to her why they don't come see her anymore without making her sad all the time?

Here I have spent the past 15 months letting her call me "Mommy" yet every time her bio mom was around I would tell her that that was "Mommy". If I was her I would be so confused by now...that probably is why she is calling her mom by her first name now.

This morning she asked if she could see them and I told her that mom didn't come to the visit this week when we were there so she couldn't see her...and that papa just doesn't come anymore. You could see that it made her sad and it makes you wonder what it is telling her little brain...and heart.

"Why don't they come see me anymore?"
"Did I do something wrong?"
"Why don't they want to play with me?"
"Where are they?"

I just can't imagine trying to understand that when you are only 2 years old. I imagine that eventually she will forget if it all ends and she doesn't have any contact with them anymore, I guess I mean I think her head will forget, but I feel like the things that are being written on her heart are always going to be there. They are always going to affect the way she reads situations that come up as she gets older. I guess I mean, I worry that this loss will be a filter that she looks through for a long time, possibly forever, that I wish she never had to know about in the first place.