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!
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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.
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...
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.
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.
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! use15OFFMF 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 :)
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.
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.
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...
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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? :)
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.
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.)