A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child. --Forest E. Witcraft

Monday, February 28, 2011

Now There are 4

Four teeth, that is.  BB has his third and fourth teeth breaking through on the top.  BUT they are NOT the middle two teeth.  They are the two lateral incisors on either side of the middle two teeth (yeah, I looked it up).  I can't feel the middle top teeth at all yet.  His first two were the middle two teeth on the bottom.  Have you ever heard of teeth coming in this way?

Friday, February 25, 2011

You Brought What?!

Well, Sweets' dad has to work tomorrow, so she called me about 8:30pm tonight and said I could pick her up so she could go to Chorus rehearsal tomorrow.  She needs to go back home in the afternoon.  Her dad met me halfway and will again tomorrow. 

So, Sweets jumped out of their car with her jacket wadded up and hopped in my van while I was talking with her dad.  The kids talked and giggled on the way home.  When we got home and everyone was in the house...
Sweets says, "Look what I found."  The story came out that a friend of her dad's gave her this little male dog, but she can't keep it where she and her dad are staying.  I put my foot down and said he is not staying here, especially not with our eight year old dog that doesn't get along well with other dogs!

So, I have until tomorrow afternoon to find a home for this little guy, or he goes back with Sweets to her dad's, and then who knows what will happen.  Not what I signed up for late Friday night!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Building Blocks

We bought a super size package of 12 rolls of paper towels at C*stco this evening.  Buddy thinks they are wonderful toys.  First he kicked them around the kitchen floor after taking them out of the plastic.  Later he hauled them all to his room. 

He stacked them along the wall in a pyramid before going to bed.  When I went back in to check on him before I went to bed, he had rearranged the stack into a pillar!  Guess that was more fun than going to sleep!

Monday, February 21, 2011


Tonight I took Sweets back to her dad's, because school is back in session tomorrow after the holiday.  She was really fussing before we left that she didn't want to go. 

Friday night she spent with a friend of her dad's, a mature lady who is more like a grandmother to Sweets.  By Saturday afternoon, the friend was frustrated with Sweets' behavior and ready for me to pick up Sweets.  The friend then let Sweets's dad know how she behaved.

When I returned Sweets home tonight, Sweets's dad said she had a two week time-out and that she was not going to his friend's house or mine for two weeks.  I told him she had Chorus rehearsal on Saturday morning and she could not miss.  He said he would take her and she was coming home afterwards.  Sweets told me good-bye and went in the house and disappeared.  I'm guessing she was crying in their room. 

Her dad insisted that she needed to respect other people and he, as a parent, had to make sure that happened.  I said that's fine, as long as he got her to rehearsal.  I asked him to call later in the week and let me know how the week was going. 

Part of me is glad he is attempting to take parental responsibility.  Another part of me thinks this is overkill, especially two weeks.  I doubt it will last that long, because he will probably want a break before then.  If he really does get her to rehearsal, then maybe his reaction is a good lesson.  But if he fails to get her to her commitment because he doesn't make alternate arrangements when he doesn't have a car, has to work, or wants to sleep in after staying up late Friday night, he is not really teaching a lesson in responsibility anymore.

Let's see how the week plays out.  I'll be praying for both of them.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's Here!

BB has a THIRD tooth peeking through!  This one is on the top; just a corner has come through so far.  He keeps sticking a finger in his mouth.  I think he is feeling it too!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Fun Overnight

Buddy had a wonderful time spending the night at his friend's house.  The mom said his behavior was wonderful and that it even rubbed off on her son, who asked questions more politely than usual.  What a joy to hear, especially after the not-so-good behavior around here lately!  The only downside - the boys DID NOT SLEEP.  Buddy claims they were up all night.  The mom said they were still up talking and giggling at 1am; she isn't sure when they went to sleep.  Now Buddy is overtired and having trouble falling asleep tonight, but I doubt it will take long.  So glad his first real overnight experience went so well!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Adoptive Parents Beware

Let me start by saying the LAST thing I want to do is discourage adoptive parents.  But I DO want to facilitate successful adoptions.  There is a systemic problem which exists within adopting from state foster care.  This post is intended to be a word of warning to help prospective adoptive parents go into adoptions with their eyes wide open, so that those adoptions can be successful.

The goal of adoption case workers in the state foster care system is to get a legally free foster child into an adoptive family and finalize the adoption as soon as possible. Then the child is no longer a ward of the state.  The child's behavior becomes the family’s problem.  Since many children can go through a honeymoon period in a new home, undesireable behavior is not always seen or recognized right away in the new home.  Unfortunately, this can lead to adoptive parents having more problems than they expected post-adoption. 
I haven’t been directly affected by this with my adoptions since my adopted children were placed with me first as foster children and their case plans were originally reunification; however, one of my former foster children did suffer through a disrupted adoption attempt.
This child was placed with me at age 4 and stayed about 9 months. She was returned to her mom, against my better judgment. CPS closed the case, and the girl and mom moved in with mom’s new boyfriend in a motorhome, where the little girl slept on a couch. She attended public kindergarten and did well. She visited me a few times during that year. Then mom and boyfriend packed up and drove up the western coast, landing in another state about 4 states away. They dropped her on the doorstep of a public agency in the fall. Mom said she didn’t want her daughter anymore, gave them my phone number, and disappeared. She may have signed something first; I don’t remember.

Somehow the government agency (not a child welfare agency) turned her over to a private agency who worked with the state child welfare agency to file all the necessary paperwork that would allow her to be adopted. She was placed with a single mom for adoption when she was 7. The mom had a biological daughter who was 8. Within months, my former foster daughter was sexually acting out with the 8 year old daughter.

The reason the seven year old originally came into care at age 4 was because she was “possibly” molested by her mom’s boyfriend (not the one in the motorhome). No charges were ever filed. But that allegation was definitely in the case file from my state which the other state requested, and I TOLD THE AGENCY in the other state when they called me for information. They NEVER told this adoptive mom! She heard it from me after the incident with her biological daughter. The adoption disrupted before it was finalized (to protect the 8 year old).

Luckily (at least I think) they found another adoptive home for this child when she was 8 in a rural area where she was significantly younger than other children in the home. The parents were supposedly experienced with difficult children. I was told the adoption finalized and she was doing well. The family never contacted me, so I hope all of that is true. This was almost ten years ago.

It could be sexual abuse, or RAD, or ADHD. It is anything that might prevent a family from going forward. Basically it is up to the adoptive family to seek out all information about the child. I don’t believe that a state worker will present it voluntarily if it is not a favorable impression of the child, until/unless a behavior occurs.

Social workers know what happens when they come forward with the information up front – it scares prospective adoptive parents off. I think the practice of withholding information continues, because many adoptions finalize and the worker never knows about the problems down the road. They believe hiding the information was okay, since it resulted in a successful adoption.  Perhaps it is not intentional. Maybe they really believe the child will change in a stable, permanent, loving home. I think many adoption case workers are oblivious to the fact that many of these adoptions are not successful and result in family destruction. It’s not under their watch.

My opinion and advice: The prospective adoptive parents should seriously question the foster placement of the child. They live with that child. The adoptive parent should make it clear that they want to know ALL, even the things that are not pretty, so they can make an informed decision. Ideally this should be done before meeting the child. Once an adoptive parent meets the child, it is hard to remove the rose colored glasses.  Initially the foster parent may not want to “burst the bubble” for the adoptive parent and/or they assume the case worker has already told of all the negative issues to the adoptive parent. But if the adoptive parent persists, I believe that in most cases, good foster parents will likely oblige. Note, however, that some frustrated foster parents may also be hoping the adoptive parents will follow through because they are weary of taking care of a difficult child.

It’s sad. It’s really, really sad. Adoptive parents should know what they are getting into when there is information available. It shouldn’t be kept hidden, with hopes that it will disappear! 

Again, I don't want to discourage adoptive parents.  This situation is probably only relevent in a small percentage of cases, but I'll bet the percentage is higher than we want to believe.  Adoption of these special kids can work, but it is SO difficult unless the adoptive family knows the full story on the way in.  Please do your research and make sure that the child you are considering is right for your family.  There is nothing much worse for a foster child who has already lost their birth parents to later distrupt from an adoption.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Big Night Planned

Buddy is planning to spend Friday night at a friend's house.  It will be his first friend (as opposed to family) overnight.  It will also be his friend's first time to have someone spend the night.  The mom and I know each other through our older daughters who went to school together (until they moved to another district) and are now in children's chorus together.  The boys are now also in children's chorus. Buddy and his friend are SO EXCITED!  I'm hoping all goes well and they don't get too crazy or hyper!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Musical Rooms

It's a plan that has been in the works for a few months, but we actually got started this weekend.  We are playing musical chairs rooms.  May is moving to the den at the front of the house and getting a new bedroom set we found at C*stco for about half of what we had seen elsewhere.  It's a full bed, so it will work as a guest room as well, assuming I can get it cleaned up when we are expecting guests.

Sweets will move into May's old room and inherit the twin bunk beds (currently covered in stuffed animals on top).  BB will move over into the room Sweets has been in with the twin trundle bed.  Hopefully, his crib and dresser which seconds as a changing table will fit, once we move all of the toys out.  Buddy gets to keep his room.  The first time this came up, he was not happy, but this weekend we turned it into a good thing that only he and I get to stay in our rooms.  Plus, now he is inheriting May's old desk, so he is now happy as well.

The first step was to move all but the heaviest four pieces of furniture out of May's room into Sweets' room temporarily and shampoo the carpet in May's room.  I'm not sure how the carpet in May's room ended up with so many stains and spots, but it's quite a bit better now - will probably have to do it at least once more. 

May then spent a few hours sorting through some of the bins of her things deciding what to save, give to Sweets, donate, or pitch.  What an agonizing process!  Unfortunately, she can spend an hour going through a dozen pieces of paper and just pushing things around unless she is monitored.  We made some headway, but not as much as hoped. 

My goal is to sort through her open bins before next weekend to reduce the amount moving to her new room.  I'm not going to let her move it and then sort, or it just won't happen.  Since Sweets is gone during the week, the piles in her room won't matter until Friday night.

Next weekend I will have help from family members to move furniture and setup May's bedroom set.  Let's hope we are ready!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


We went out to a Friday night fish fry at a local restaurant.  BB drank an 8 oz bottle before we got there and ate his stage 3 jar of mixed veggies at the table before the food came.  I shared some mashed potatoes with him, and then I gave him a small bite of white fish.  He LOVED it!  He got all excited and started hitting my arm.  He really wanted more.  He must have eaten a couple dozen little bites of fish.  I'm sure his tummy is over-full tonight.

What is so surprising about this is that BB does not like many of the meat samples he has been given.  The tiny meat jars of baby food - bluuck!  The stage 2 and stage 3 meat and veggie combinations - he doesn't want the beef, he'll suffer through turkey, he'll eat the ham and pineapple, and usually the chicken and noodles get finished.  But he much prefers the veggies and fruit, so that's where we stay most of the time.  BB has eaten tiny cubes of ham from the salad bar, but this fish is the first meat he likes well enough to let me know he wants more.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Job?

After school Buddy was talking with Miss M about the new laptop she is planning to purchase.  He wants a laptop badly for himself.  Buddy asked if she had all the money she needed to pay for it.  Miss M replied that she had most of it, but she was going to have to finance part of it.  Next came a learning moment where she explained what it meant to finance or borrow money to buy something. 

Buddy's next response was, "We need to find you a job!"  May burst out laughing.  Miss M asked if she really needed a job, and Buddy said yes!  May said, "This is her job!"  Buddy looked stunned and didn't understand.  May explained that Mom paid Miss M to watch them.  Buddy asked in disbelief to Miss M, "You mean you don't just come here?"

We are SO BLESSED to have such a wonderful nanny.  Miss M really is part of our family (and a lifesaver for me)!  I am so happy that the kids are so comfortable with her and that she loves us!  Thank you, Miss M!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Round 2

Ear infection, round 2.  I took BB back to the doctor today because his congestion and comfort level have declined since Sunday.  Last night he did not sleep well.  Yep, same ear, another bad infection.  So we are on a newer, better antibiotic.  Luckily this doctor loves foster moms and decided I was too busy to waste time on the typical second round of antibiotics and skipped straight to the good stuff!  Maybe we won't have to go back for a third round!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Behavior Box

I picked Sweets up after school, and I was a couple of minutes late. She was waiting for me outside her classroom door. I have to admit, I was waiting for the worst. Her attitude on Fridays is often difficult at best. But, pleasantly, she was in a good mood and just said, "I was almost starting to worry." 

We got in the car and started driving. It is usually a 45-50 minute drive since we get into some of rush hour.  We had a nice conversation, and she seemed in a good mood. Soon she asked, "What's for dinner?" This almost always leads to fussing, since she usually doesn't like whatever I say, even if it is something she always likes. I gave her an answer, and she "OK." 

I couldn't believe it! So, I immediately said I really appreciated the good behavior today and told her that she was doing very well. Her reply was "I found my behavior box." Huh? I played along and asked her if that is where her good behavior had been hiding lately. She told me it was, and that she had found her behavior box at the top of her closet. I said I was so glad she had found it, that I really liked it. She said she put it in her pocket to keep it with her. Finally, I told her to tell Buddy about her good behavior box and see if she could help him find his.  (He has had another rough week!)

PS - Sweets got a visit from a CPS investigator at school this week. Wonder what that means will happen next?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ten Months Old

It's hard to believe that BB is ten months old already.  I can't believe how much he has grown and changed!

He is still the happiest baby with the most easy going personality I have ever been around.  The only time he is fussy is when he is sick or hurting.  I have seen inklings of some independence starting to show up.  He now definitely knows what he wants, but he usually goes along with things however they are. 

BB still has two teeth.  He can army crawl (just not that interested in making those knees go).  He loves to stand and can walk with help or by pushing a standing toy.  No, he won't walk pushing a toy designed to roll - so funny!  When he is flat on his back and sees something he likes, he swings both arms up and down in front of him with excitement.  He is so cute!

Just this weekend BB started pulling himself up to a standing position in the crib.  He was quite proud of himself when I walked in! 

BB is a good eater.  He has great fine motor skills, even picks up rice crispies!  He eats some soft table food - applesauce, noodles, mashed potatoes, banana, tiny diced ham, rice.  He loves his baby "puffs" and O shaped cereal.  Talk about a neat eater, BB is the best.  We often don't even use a bib!  Although he used to have a lot of reflux, he seems to be over that now.  He is still on soy formula, likes prune juice, but won't drink apple juice.

The best part is when BB smiles and giggles.  He knows his family and loves it here!  What a blessing for all!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Problem Solved

Took Buddy's broken glasses to the eyeglass store.  For a $39.99 warranty charge (back dated to his first pair) plus a $10.00 copay, they replaced Buddy's frames and he has new glasses as of tonight.  The warranty will also cover any broken or scratched glasses for a minor copay between now and July.  Whew!  Problem solved... without a two week wait for insurance approval (which might not have happened) and without paying for a new pair out of pocket!  I'm feeling very thankful right now.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What Happened?

Buddy got new glasses two weeks ago... TWO.  Tonight they are broken.  He got his first pair last summer, but by December they wouldn't stay on his face without slipping down.  We went in and were told that he has grown and they don't fit anymore (non-adjustable nose V too narrow and ear piece too short).  We ordered new glasses with adjustable nose pieces and wire rims instead of plastic.  I think he bent the ear pieces last week by how he takes them off.  As of today, one broke off at the screw.  I really hope they can fix it and we don't have to get another new pair...