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

Friday, November 30, 2012

No Home

I came home from work at lunchtime today.  BB was not interested in napping, AT ALL.  Thankfully he played in his room for a while, letting me get some things organized. 

About 2:30pm, I loaded BB and Precious into the van.  It was time to go pick up Buddy from school.  Then we were off across town to pick up Sweets and Lil Sis, who was going to spend the weekend with her maternal uncle on my side of town.

A few blocks away from our house, I realized I had left my cell phone on the counter.  So, I turned around to go get it. 

BB was very upset.  He started yelling "No Home"!  He wanted to pick up Buddy and Sweets!  This little boy really loves his big brother and sister!  Just maybe, he was also trying to make sure he wasn't going home to another naptime!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

First Band Concert

Tonight I went to Sweets' first band concert.  For those of you who have never been to a 5th and 6th grade band concert, let's just say I'm grateful it was only a half hour long!

There she is in the front row, one of four flutes in a band of 37 fifth graders.  She was all smiles, especially after she found me in the audience.  I walked in right as the band director turned around to start the music.

Afterwards, I couldn't find her dad.  I knew he had brought her to school for the concert.  When I asked Sweets where he was, she said he told her to ask me to drop her off at the laundromat a block down the street.  WHAT?!  He decided it was a higher priority to do laundry during that half hour than to come to the band concert.  Amazingly, it didn't seem to bother Sweets.  I tried not to make a big deal about it, but I wonder how much it really bothers her inside.  She passes things like this off as "that's just my dad".  So sad.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Sweets is now ten years old.  I remember when she came to me at eight months old.  And I remember when she moved to her dad's just before she was five, and my heart nearly broke.  Now she has lived with him longer than she lived with me, but she is still my daughter and in my life.  It has been a challenge, driving back and forth every weekend to pick her up (40 miles each way), negotiating schedules with her dad (usually at the last minute), trying to monitor schoolwork, providing extracurricular activities, and dealing with her dad's ego and authority mindset.  All in all, Sweets is totally worth it.  She is a bright, energetic, outgoing child who is much more independent and mature than a ten year old should be.  She is sweet and tender and caring, even though her own feelings and struggles sometimes get in the way.  She has so much potential in so many areas.  I am very glad I still get to be her mom, even if from a distance most of the week.  I'm loving watching her grow up and am excited to see where she goes in life!

Precious is now ten months old.  She is developing her own unique personality.  This weekend she started walking with a push toy that Miss M gave her as an early Christmas present.  Although I think it will still be a while before she walks on her own, she seems to enjoy this newfound freedom in an upright position.  Precious is babbling a lot.  She knows how to get our attention.  With eight teeth, four on top and four on bottom, she is branching out into trying many table foods in addition to her baby food.  This week she ate pieces of lettuce, tomato, pasta, potato, roll, and pumpkin pie, to name a few.  She is definitely bonded to me and has started getting a little clingy, wanting mom over others, even people that she knows well.  It's hard to believe ten months has passed so quickly, and yet it seems like she has been with us forever.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Not Ready Yet

Since I am home four days in a row this weekend, I thought I would give toilet training a try with BB.  No way, no how.  He is totally not ready.  Although he will pee in the toilet, semi-on-command, he has only once pooed and that was likely an accident.  He soaked and messed four pair of training pants in less than half a day.  That was despite peeing on the toilet at least twice during that time.  The wet and messy pants made no difference to him at all.  I think we are waiting a few more months before trying again. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


My 5th grader has used the following vocabulary words during conversations in the last 24 hours:


She claims she will no longer use the word 'hate' because 'despise' works so much better and "most people don't know what it means anyway".  In her daily world, where most of her contacts have English as a second language, she is probably right.


"I know now not to put lotion on while simultaneously drying my hair," as I was blow drying her hair last night.


She was looking for a reaction on this one!  I think she likes the way it sounds.

I'm impressed!  Are you?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


BB can be so nice, sharing with Precious . . . sometimes!

He was the resourceful big brother giving his sister a treat!

They played together and snacked together.
So cute!!!
Of course, the food is not supposed to leave the kitchen.
But sometimes you just have to give them a pass and take pictures instead!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Being Thankful

Yesterday's sermon was about being thankful.  Not so original at time of year.  But the main message talked about being thankful for all of the little things, not just the big items that we plan and hope for.  We all have so much to be thankful for, and much of it, we have and don't even think about how we got it. 

Most of us all have similar general lists of things for which we are thankful: health, shelter, food, freedom, faith, and family.  However, being a foster parent, the concept of being thankful for family has taken on a whole new meaning.

Virtually all parents are thankful for their children.  Unfortunately, in foster care, we sometimes see, and maybe even meet, parents who don't really want their children or consider their children a burden or a nuisance.  Some of these parents like to have their children, but are quite satisfied seeing them only for an hour or two a week just to lay claim.

Most parents are exceedingly grateful when their baby is born "normal".  As a foster parent, we are grateful to have a child placed in our home, often not knowing what needs that baby/child has.  As special needs or past traumas are discovered and dealt with, we say thank you for every little inchstone of progress.

Few parents think about being thankful for privilege of "continuing" to raise their child.  Although some parents must deal with extreme circumstances of accident or disease that may claim the life or health of a child, most don't regularly consider the possibility of their child leaving.  In foster care, we almost daily recognize the possibility that one of our children could leave our home with almost no notice or warning at all.  Each day I am thankful to have a foster child one more day, one more week, or one more month before the next decision point that might take him/her away. 

When a foster child is able to stay and be adopted as a permanent member of the family, that thankfulness continues.  It is not just a blessing that this child has become part of my family and has a home forever.  I am also thankful for the trials and tribulations that this child avoided by not leaving my home and having to readjust back to their birth family or start over in a new family. 

I am also thankful when a child is successfully reunified with his/her birth family.  Granted, sometimes all I can do is worry and pray that the child is safe and loved.  But sometimes there really is a success story and I am thankful for the birth parent(s) and the child being able to make a home together.  It is also a privilege to help these families as they move forward, and I am always thankful when I am allowed to maintain contact with foster children after they leave.

Finally, after becoming involved in foster care so many years ago, my capacity to be thankful for my own birth family has grown exponentially.  Initially, I realized how thankful I was for things I never gave much thought to before: being raised in a two parent home with two loving parents who cared about me and my sisters daily, having parents involved in my schooling and extracurricular activities, being taken to church and raised to know God and Jesus, experiencing discipline that was appropriate and designed to help us become responsible adults, never being hungry or worrying about where we would sleep, and many more. 

Over time, I also recognized how thankful I am for parents who are still an integral part of my life.  I am so blessed that they are both still here, together, and involved in my life and my children's lives.  In addition, I am exceedingly thankful for their ability and willingness to experience the ups and downs associated with foster care, both as foster grandparents and dealing with me as I go through the painful times.  I know they don't always understand why I do what I do, but they support me 100% and continue to stand by me.

Being thankful for my family, both my children and my parents, sisters, and extended family, is so easy.  My family is definitely not perfect and sometimes they drive me crazy, but there is so much to be thankful for!  I wouldn't trade my family for anything, and I thank God for giving me the family that I have!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Nine Months

Precious is nine months old, and this name truly fits her.  She is the cutest baby with the most infectious smile and giggle ever! 

At her nine month checkup, she weighed 21 pounds and was 30 inches long.  She's not small and has been wearing 12 mo clothes for a few weeks.

She is eating up a storm.  She loves her finger food, especially toasted O cereal.  She will eat every kind of baby food you give her, although I think the mango took the longest to finish.  She is starting to eat "real" food, and so far has tried bread, pasta, beans, peas, and banana, plus probably some more I have forgotten.

Seven teeth are present, four on top and three on the bottom.  Precious has really been a healthy baby.  Other than a few days of diarrhea or vomiting, she has rarely been sick.  Any slight fever has generally been attributed to her teeth.  No ear infections or prescriptions, other than for rashes.

She sleeps well and has finally figured out how to stick her pacifier back in her mouth in the middle of the night.  Sometimes she naps twice a day, sometimes only once.

She babbles a lot, but no words have been uttered to date.  She won't wave at all, but she will lift her arms slightly to get picked up.

She has definitely mastered crawling and moves across both the carpet and the tile.  She can pull herself up to standing along the couch and in her crib.  She has also moved along the couch, taking a few steps.  No independent standing yet. 

She is easy to please, but she also has quite a temper when she wants something and doesn't get it.

Prcious is a blessed addition to our family.  I am so glad she is here!  I'm really hoping my adoption certification gets approved very soon.  We are running out of time for finalization this year.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Homework is a bad word right now.  May has lots of it, and it hasn't been getting done. 

We started off the school year with May being responsible for her own homework, by her own choice.  This did not work, AT ALL. 

Next, I started asking what was assigned and what was due.  In some subjects, I would ask to see the assignments after they were completed.  May hates it when I check her homework and ask her to correct the ones that are wrong.  Unfortunately, when a large number are wrong, there is a problem that needs to be fixed.  Even this approach has failed.

Now I have found out that I was not getting the full story.  Many assignments were never mentioned.  Others were claimed done, only to get partial credit for being incomplete.  Ugh!

Reality hit the fan.  Things are going to change.  Micromanagement of homework starts, effective tonight.  The word grounded entered the discussion.  Phone calls and texting are no longer available for any non-family, non-emergency communication.  I wanted to add chores, but the time will be needed for more homework. 

I really hoped not to get that intimate with eighth grade homework again, but the time has come.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


I was changing BB this afternoon.
He was squirming, so I let him hold my cell phone. 
(You know where this is going, right?)
Usually, he plays with the camera.
Today he made a phone call.
I caught him, just not fast enough.
So, I said "Hello?  I'm sorry my son accidentally called."
Response, "Is everything okay?"
"Yes.  Who is this?  I'm not sure who he called."
"Sheriff's department."
(Fabulous, right?)
"We are fine.  I'm sorry.  We are both okay.  Thank you.  Good bye."
"Good bye."
Luckily, it wasn't the 9-1-1 number.
One of my contacts works at the sheriff's department,
 and the non-emergency line is programmed as the work number."
Tonight I had someone show me how to better lock my phone.  :-)

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Getting ready last night...
Trick or Treat!
BB really got into it this year and said both
"trick or treat" and "thank you" without many prompts.

Never too big!

Sweets was with us Saturday when we went to a party.
May helped the youth group host "Trunk or Treat" at our church on Halloween.
They served free hot dogs to the community, along with a free hay maze and lots of trunks!

The kids all had a fun time this year.
Best news of all:
Sweets' dad bought her and Lil Sis costumes and took them trick or treating on Halloween.
That's a first in five years!