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

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Nice Day

Today was a nice, relaxing day.  It was also the start of celebrating my oldest daughter becoing a teenager!  May will be 13 this week!  It is hard to believe it has been that long.

We started with church this morning.  The sermon was about expectations.  Wow, that's a loaded topic for me.  Mine have changed so much over the years!

Afterwards, my uncle met us, my sister flew in for the day to see him and May, and my other sister joined us for a nice lunch at one of our favorite restaurants.  Even BB was on his best behavior!  Unfortunately, my parents have been ill, so they skipped today, and Sweets was not allowed to come this weekend (long story).

This afternoon the kids went swimming with friends who came to pick up their dog we kept for the weekend.  She was a sweetheart!  The kids had fun, and the water in now officially warm enough in the backyard pool.  BB joined them for part of the time.  He came out shivering!

Later in the day May opened presents from our visitors.  We'll have another celebration next weekend, hopefully with Sweets.  I'm still trying to figure out what to do for May's big gift.  I'm running out of time!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Catching Up

Today was a day for relaxing and for catching up.  I didn't finish everything on my to do list (not even close), but I got a few things done.  My semester is officially over now, after I sent in my final paper last night at midnight.  I feel the stress level dropping considerably. 

It was nice to have a day with no commitments.  I did all the usual stuff - laundry, dishes, shopping, bills - but it felt good.  I even finalized some of our summer vacation plans.  Yeah!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Patience is Not Always a Virtue

I arrived at 2:30pm for a 2:45pm doctor's appointment this afternoon.  All paperwork and payment was done in less than ten minutes.  Then I proceeded to wait ... and wait ... and WAIT.  At 3:30pm I went up to the desk and said that I just wanted to check, because my appointment was 45 minutes ago.

I was informed that Dr. was running two hours behind.  Yep, TWO HOURS.  I scheduled this appointment two months ago and couldn't wait over an hour more before even getting called back.  I was so frustrated.

Now I have a 7:30am appointment, but not until the first week of July!  What a WASTE of time!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Tonight at bedtime, Buddy and I were talking about Precious' name change.  He said he still wanted to call her by her birth name.  I told him that's all right, but he would get used to her new name. 

His next question: Can we get another baby and name her [Precious' birth name]?  While laughing out loud softly chuckling, I replied that I didn't think there would be any babies coming to us soon.  

Buddy's response: Why?  I told him that some people think five is enough kids.  He replied, "Five is not a lot; twenty-two is a lot!"

Apparently, he had learned about Wilma Rudolph in school and was amazed, both by her athletic accomplishments after overcoming a handicap and by the fact that she had twenty-two brothers and sisters.  I just read up on her; she was an amazing woman!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Since all of my children came to me through foster care, someone else named them.  When the time came for me to adopt them, I had a decision to make regarding their names.  Obviously, their last name changed to mine.  But their first and middle names needed a decision. 

May was almost four when she was adopted, and was quite mature for her age.  We were transitioning her two younger "siblings" through foster care home to their birth mom after raising the three girls as sisters for almost two years.  May's first name is very unique, and I had mementos that I had collected, including a special painted clay handprint, with her name on it.  I decided to keep her first name and change her middle name to something I would choose.  Since her first name is also a little long, I knew I wanted a short one-syllable middle name.  I played around with several names, trying to find a combination which sounded good to me.  When I proposed the name to my parents, I learned that my paternal grandmother's middle name was a different spelling of the middle name I had selected.  That sealed the deal. I chose that middle name and spelled it like my grandmother's middle name.  I thought it was extra special because now May had a "family" name.  As I filled out the adoption paperwork, it turned out that CPS had incorrectly spelled May's first name by adding a letter.  So in the end, I actually did change the spelling of her first name from her original birth certificate to the spelling CPS used, but that did not affect how it was pronounced.

When Buddy was adopted at about three and a half, he was much less aware of what was happening.  He was extremely developmentally delayed when he came to me and had made huge progress and just started preschool.  I didn't even consider changing his first name, because I didn't want to cause any confusion, and I liked his first name.  I changed his middle name to my dad's middle name, so Buddy would also have a "family" name.  That decision was the simplest one by far.

BB was only about eighteen months old when he was adopted and had no clue what was going on.  I knew I would be adopting him from the time he was about nine months old.  It would have been easy to change his first name, but I didn't really consider it.  Again, I liked his first name, and we are maintaining contact with extended birth family.  They had asked, as we progressed through the stages of the case, if his name would change when he was adopted.  I told them I had kept the first names of my other children and would probably keep his first name as well.  I selected a "family" name from my mother's side for BB's middle name.

Now we are to Precious.  She has a very common first name that is just not high on my list.  I also couldn't come up with any good middle names that met my standards to go with it.  So I started considering changing her entire name.  After all, she is only two months old and already we are progressing toward adoption with little to no reason to believe anything will change.  I decided I really wanted to give her my maternal grandmother's name, but it did not fit with her first name.  However, a piece of her birth name is the same as a part of my grandmother's name.  I got creative.  I'm planning to change her first name to my grandmother's name and change her middle name to the remainder of her first name.  As an example, let's assume her birth name is Elizabeth and my grandmother's name is Bethany.  I would be changing her name to Bethany Eliza.  That's not the real names, but you get the idea.  I really like this arrangement, because she will have the "family" name that I really want to give her AND she will keep her birth name, just in a different form.  In my book, it's official and we are now calling her by her new first name (except when I slip up multiple times a day).  I'm hoping this will institute the change before BB realizes her name did change, since he is not talking enough to be significantly impacted.  Welcome to the family, "Bethany".

Monday, April 16, 2012

Last Class

Today was my last class of the law school semester.  I still have a major final and a ten page essay to write within the next two weeks, but at least the classes are done! 

For my last class, I was to question an expert witness and give a closing argument in a mock trial.  After a weekend full of kids' events, I was so exhausted, I went to bed last night and got up at 3:45am today to write my statement and prepare.  I went to work this morning, rushed to school and attempted to cram for my first class for which I hadn't prepared, and then reviewed and revised my questions and statement for my last class. 

The witness examination went well, but with only ten minutes left in the class, a decision was made to skip the closing arguments and listen to the deliberations of the decision makers in the mock trial.  Although relieved, I was internally steaming that I had spent so much time preparing for something that didn't happen.  I really wanted those hours of sleep back!  The silver lining - our side got our desired result, even without the closing statement!

I'm so glad that classes are over.  Two major events left and the semester will be over.  Then only 6 credit hours left!!!  I'm hoping to earn these through externships in juvenile court, observing and possibly assisting in foster care dependency cases.  That will be so much nicer and more meaningful than sitting in a classroom taking notes on criminal procedures and the like!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Court Today

I went to court for Precious today.  No parents showed up.  Mom has not had contact with CPS since the week of the last hearing in February.  Alleged dad has never had contact since the day Precious left the hospital. 

Today the court changed the case plan to severance and adoption.  A hearing is scheduled in July.  Unless mom or dad seriously step it up between now and then, their rights will be terminated.  It is sad, but it is reality.  Nothing has changed for the parents since BB was put into CPS custody over two years ago.

Through family, I was told that mom decided to stay away in BB's case, because she knew she was not the best place for him.  I never met her until after Precious was placed with me.  I've seen her only twice.  I think she felt comfortable with me taking care of her little ones.  She knows they are well cared for.  I have the feeling she has decided to let Precious stay here and not fight.  Again. 

I hope she gets past this stage of her life.  I can't imagine her life and her choices, but I hope she can change.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Stages of Life

At dinner tonight, Buddy commented that someone was too old to be called an adult.  He then distinguished between an adult and a grown up.  This led to him defining the following stages of life:

0-1       Baby
2-4       Toddler
5-7       Little Kid
8-10     Big Kid
11-12   Pre-Teen
13-19   Teenager
20-39   Adult
40-60   Grown Up
61+      Old Man or Old Lady

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Enjoyed a wonderful day of worship,
fun, and fellowship with family and friends!

Saturday, April 7, 2012


. . . to have five sleeping children under my roof.

. . . to be able to watch them grow and change each day.

. . . to have meaningful conversations with my almost teenager.

. . . to have a baby that sleeps through the night.

. . . to remain a part of Sweets' life on a regular basis.

. . . that Buddy & Sweets are so close they want to share a room.

. . . that BB has a world of things to say . . . someday.

. . . that Precious becomes more a part of our family every day.

. . . that May loves being a big sister and is so willing to help.

. . . to be a mom!

Friday, April 6, 2012


BB and Precious had their 2 year and 2 month checkups this week.  Everything is good!

BB is now 37" tall and weighs 32.5 pounds.  Precious is 24" and weighs 11.5 pounds.  She is about too long for some of her 0-3 month clothes!

The doctor is concerned about BB's speech, especially based on bio mom's history.  I said he has started to make noticeable progress over the last month, since the therapy format changed.  He wants to see BB back this summer to make sure progress continues to be significant. 

Precious is doing great.  No concerns, but he told me what to put on the very dry patches on her face - hydrocortisone 1% cream covered with vaseline.  One application after her bath last night, and there is already a difference!