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

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Celebrating One!

My baby is one!  The year has gone by so quickly, it is hard to believe that BB is already one year old.  He is absolutely the cutest, most adorable baby ever!  Okay, so I'm a little biased; I'm allowed!

What are we like at one?
  • weigh 24 pounds
  • six teeth; four on top, two on bottom
  • great sleeper
  • not a picky eater
  • infectious smile and giggle
  • crawl everywhere
  • walk along anything, including walls
  • like to play with balls
  • no words yet
  • starting to drink from sippy cup
  • love to eat finger foods
  • favorite game peek-a-boo
  • don't like getting diaper changed
  • talk and babble a lot
  • tolerate carseat, but would rather not
  • not a stroller fan
  • want to be held by mom and big sis
  • like to sing, sing, sing
  • love my family
BB is such a joy and blessing!  He is a gift from God to our family.  I am so happy that I said yes to this newborn placement.  I trusted Him and ended up with a son I never expected!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fabulous Family Day!

Today was a wonderful day!  Started with church - even got there early enough to not be rushed and socialize a little.  The sermon was about how God's kingdom does not discrimininate; the message was especially good for Mae.  Then we came home and my parents were already at our house, followed shortly by my uncle.  Not too long afterward, my local sister who picked up my out-of-town sister from the airport made it.

As a family, we celebrated three birthdays: BB turned 1 this week, my sister's birthday was the next day, and Buddy will be 8 next week.  We ate together, watched some TV/movies, and let the kids play.  It was a nice relaxing day without any major expectations.  Everyone pitched in and helped things go smoothly. 

I am so thankful we had this day all together!  Thank you, God, for my wonderful family.  We are so lucky to have each other!  I love you guys!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sweets is Here

So happy I was able to pick Sweets up tonight.  It wasn't exactly smooth, but no hard feelings. 

As long as I ignore her dad's decisions to not be home when he says he will, to blame me picking her up at the time he set as the reason he didn't take her to the promised movie this afternoon, and his complete lack of processing any information I give him, I can choose to not let his childish behavior upset me. 

Sweets is definitely upset that she hasn't been with us for two weeks and missed our vacation.  In her head she gets it and understands what happened; she is smart and more mature than most 8 year olds.  In her heart, she is hurt.  But by the time I tucked her in bed tonight, all was well. 

This weekend should be fun and busy for all of us. 

I'm focusing my energy forward, not backward.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Positive Sign

I did talk with Sweets and her dad again.  As of now, I am scheduled to pick her up Friday night for the weekend.  Thank you, God!  I'm sticking with the positive thinking!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Legally Free

I actually saw court paperwork that said BB is now legally free for adoption.  TPR is complete!  The case manager said the case should transfer to the adoptions unit in the next week.  Hopefully the new adoptions case manager will contact me soon for the initial paperwork.  Since I am already certified to adopt, and BB has already been in my home for almost a year, things should start rolling smoothly (famous last words - hope I don't regret them)!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I am missing Sweets.  It is the second week of her spring break.  For the last three years, she has spent most of her school breaks with me.  This time, she has called only twice in the last week.  Her dad is not answering his phone when I called today. 

She is upset because she didn't get to go on vacation with us.  It was her dad's doing, combined with my unwillingness to be completely walked over by him.  Sweets understands it was his decision and choices that led to her staying home, but her heart hurts because mom has always fixed it before. 

I keep praying that she is safe and okay.  For the moment, I believe she is.  But it hurts just the same...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Having Fun

We are having a good vacation.  It is sad that Sweets couldn't join us, but we are adjusting.  She has called, so I know she is okay. 

BB is not on his regular schedule, but he has been a trooper.  He is asleep now, while the big kids are swimming. 

Met up with some friends yesterday afternoon and again today.  The daughter is May's age, and the son is a little older than Buddy.  Each pair of kids get along GREAT!  It is so fun to spend vacation time with this family.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Brotherly Love





These two really love each other!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

No Cavities

May and Buddy went to the dentist yesterday.  Good news - No Cavities!

May has discoloration on her front permanent teeth.  When I asked the dentist about it, he said it happened as each tooth was forming when she was an infant, probably in the first year of life.  Possible causes are too much amoxicillan or eating toothpaste resulting in too much flouride.  I asked if drugs in utero could cause it, and he said it was possible, but didn't know of studies confirming that. 

So much happened before this child became my daughter!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Saga Continues

The saga started in the two "MAD" posts below.  After my 80 mile roundtrip to their house on Saturday, the story left off with Sweets' dad agreeing to get a Power of Attorney (PoA) signed on Sunday so that Sweets could leave the state with me on vacation this week.  I had told him I would pick her and the PoA up Sunday after 5pm.

At 2:15pm Sunday, I received a call from Sweets' dad that I could come pick him up now to go get the PoA signed.  I reminded him that I was busy until 5pm.  Could he go get it signed before that?  He said yes.  I called at 4pm; he was still waiting for a ride.  Same story at 4:45pm.  I rushed over to his house by 5:30pm because the only place I knew that would notarize it on Sunday closed at 6pm. 

They were not at their house but would be there "soon".  At 5:40pm I called again; he said he would be home in 5 minutes.  He did not answer the next two calls but finally came walking down the street with Sweets at 6:15pm.  Thank goodness for the DVD in the car to keep Buddy happy and for BB's nap!

After spending another 30-40 minutes driving him around to no avail, the PoA was still not signed.  He refused to pay $20 for the mobile notary that I found searching online (love my new cell phone) while I waited 45 minutes for him to come home; he wouldn't even split it with me.  He told me to take Sweets and that he would meet me halfway the following day with the signed PofA.  I can see right through that one! Take her now, he'll have an excuse why he can't bring me the PoA tomorrow, and I'll have to choose between taking her home, picking up the PoA (assuming it is signed), or going without the PoA.

I told him he could bring Sweets when he brought the PoA the next day.  He needed to let me know where and when.  Then I explained again to Sweets that I couldn't take her on vacation without the paper being signed.  I told her that it was her dad's job to get the paper signed and meet me the next day.  As she got out of the car, she said to Buddy, "I'll see you tomorrow, hopefully."  How sad for an 8 year old to expect her dad to fail. 

He started calling me about noon at work today, saying he didn't have a car.  He promised to get the PoA signed but didn't know if he could meet me.  Maybe his brother could bring her.  I said that would be fine.  After 6pm he still didn't have the PoA signed and hadn't even called his brother.  Finally he called me back after 7pm and said he had no transportation to go anywhere tonight.  I told him we weren't leaving until Wednesday, that I would meet him halfway tomorrow if he could get a ride.  He replied that maybe Sweets couldn't go this time, but maybe next time.  I told him that was okay as I ripped my heart out.

He handed the phone to Sweets who was crying by this point.  I talked her down but felt so sorry for her.  I told her he could still fix it if he got the paper signed and came halfway tomorrow.  I know it is unlikely, but I wanted to give her hope.  I reminded her she could call me anytime, even while we were gone if she didn't make it.  She was better by the time she got off the phone and started focusing on the fact that she was hungry and wanted to eat dinner.

Now I FEEL SO BAD!  It has gotten to the point that I have to treat her dad like a child.  I drew the line (meet halfway) and now I have to enforce it, even if it means Sweets misses this vacation.  I knew that when I said it, but I really hoped he would pull through.

Her dad has pushed and pushed to control every situation.  He is habitually late, including meeting me at his own house.  He doesn't do what he says he will.  Even Sweets openly says he lies all the time.  He has told his friend (who relayed to me) that he is deliberately playing me, expecting me to get frustrated and help him even more.  It has turned into a game of "who will blink first." 

I really hope I have done the right thing in this situation.  It is clear he wants Sweets to go, both to make her happy and so he doesn't have to arrange/pay his family members to take care of her for the next 5-6 days.  I feel like I have been enabling him to be a lousy parent by making things easy for him.  I justify it because I don't want to hurt Sweets, but it is clear that he is now purposely taking advantage of me.  He is using Sweets as a pawn (while trying to gain custody of Lil Sis), and I can't further participate in that behavior.

If you managed to read this LONG post, PLEASE share your thoughts.  I really want to know if you think I should handle this differently.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

MAD - Part 2

This is Part 2 of the story started in He's Mad! below.  Sweets' dad finally decided she could go with me, but not last night.  I wasn't willing to wait around for hours while he took her and some cousins to a carnival first.

He said I could come back and get her in the morning.  I told him that wouldn't work, but I could come back around dinnertime and get her.  That was fine.

Next I asked him to sign a Power of Attorney (PoA) that allows me to get her medical care if necessary.  He said he wasn't signing anything right now, because CPS was investigating him.  I told him this is the same form he has signed multiple times before when we have gone out of state or when I have taken Sweets to the doctor or dentist for routine checkups.  He let me take that over two years ago after he let her state insurance lapse and didn't know what to say to the doctor the one and only time he ever took her to a checkup. 

He was hesitant still.  I finally said I am not taking her out of state on vacation if I don't have a way to get her medical care in case of an accident or emergency.  The previous PoA had expired. I told him Sweets could go take her shower while I took him to go get the form notarized.  Unfortunately, the places were either closed already or wouldn't accept his only form of ID (another story). 

He said he would get the form notarized Sunday afternoon and then I could pick it up with Sweets.  I told him I could not take Sweets without the form being signed.  I made sure Sweets understood that her dad had to go get the form signed before I could pick her up and take her on vacation. 

I plan to call this afternoon to confirm before I go over there again.  As it turns out we have to be clear over to the other side of town this afternoon anyway, so it's not too far out of the way.  For Sweets' sake, I hope he can follow through.

He's MAD!

Someone called CPS about Sweets. Her dad is being investigated (totally separate from his case with Lil Sis). A case worker came to talk to him early this week. He has been steaming ever since.

The broken record says, "I'm a good father. Why would anyone do this?" He is sure that someone close to him made the report. I told him I did not. He can't figure out who it was (so he can make sure that person never sees Sweets again); therefore, he is MAD at everyone.

I talked to him on the phone a couple days ago and he was ranting. He said he is going to change schools, move, get a new phone number, and not let Sweets go to anyone else's house.  He said she is quitting the Children's Chorus and doesn't know if she can go on our planned vacation with me (spring break started today).  He wanted me to come talk with him this weekend so he could ask me questions and decide.

I waited 20 minutes after the scheduled time for him to finally get home. Then he told Sweets to go get in the shower.  I told her no, until I knew what was going on.  My feeling was if he was going to ruin her life, he was going to take the credit for it in front of her and not blame me.  So I asked if she was coming with me.  He said he had to think about it.  I asked for how long.  He said he didn't know.  I raised my voice and asked why I just spent an hour driving and $20 in gas to come talk with him (80 mile RT) if he didn't know.  He said I wanted to talk with him.  I told him NO, that he wanted me to come and answer some questions so he could decide.

He started the same rant from the phone again, all beginning with "I'm mad".  I calmly said he had already told me that in answer to several statements.  Finally, he asked me to swear that I didn't call CPS or give information to someone else to call.  I told him I don't like to swear, and that I don't lie.  I said I would exactly once, but never again.  I told him I swear I didn't call and that I didn't help someone else call.  He then said he didn't like swearing either (makes lots of sense, right?).  He went back on his tirade about how the person that called knew lots of information about him.  I finally asked again if Sweets could go with me.

He said yes, but to come back in three hours, that they were going to a local carnival.  I told him that was not an option.  I had to go pick up Buddy back by my house in less than an hour (and was already late).  No, he couldn't meet me later, because he was only borrowing a car.  He said I could come tomorrow.

To be continued...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Eleven Months

BB turned eleven months old near the end of February.  He has totally blossomed in his development and abilities lately: 
  • graduated to real crawling from army crawling
  • babbles in phrases and "talks back"
  • drinks from sippy cup with handles (sometimes)
  • goes to bed with water instead of formula
  • pulls up and walks along everything, including the walls
  • starting to eat table food
  • sits and plays in the big bathtub (loves it!)
  • picks up tiny things like crispy rice
  • displays his inner personality, including mini tantrums
 We are so blessed that he has joined our family.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Why do smoke detectors ALWAYS go out at night?  Just once, couldn't the battery die at two in the afternoon instead of when I want to sleep?  At least this time it was right before I went to sleep instead of at 3:00am. 

Just as I was getting in bed tonight, BEEP!  I thought, please don't let that be what I think it is.  About a minute later, BEEP!  So, out of bed, slip on shoes, go get the ladder from the garage, wait for another BEEP to determine which battery is bad.  Of course, it has to be one of the highest smoke detectors on the vaulted ceiling.  I HATE getting up on the ladder when no other adult is here.  I envision falling off and breaking my back.  Tonight I find myself climbing up when no one else is even awake.  But I did it!  Battery replaced.  No catastrophies and no more BEEP!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Then There Were 6

BB's two middle top teeth are breaking the skin! He cut all four of the top teeth within a few days. That makes six teeth total.  Amazingly, his happy demeanor hasn't left him during this time.

Last night BB held a fork on which I put a piece of peach. After playing a while and waving it around, he stuck it in his mouth.  It didn't take long to put the next few pieces on the fork in his mouth, but he wasn't too keen on giving the fork back to reload!

Tonight we tried again.  It took some time before he put the fork with food in his mouth, but after the first bite, the rest went quickly.  I'd say we are going to outgrow the baby food soon.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Officially Certified!

I was notified today that my adoption certification arrived!  When the last i is dotted and last t is crossed on the termination of parental rights for BB this month, his case can move swiftly into an adoptions unit.  Apparently, the ongoing CPS units that handle cases until the child either returns home or parental rights are severed are swamped, and cases are moving quickly out of these units.  This is good news for us!  Last time around with Buddy, cases were taking one to two months to tranfer to adoptions because those units were swamped, and nothing happened during that time.  Here is to hoping that BB's adoption might be final this summer!