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, April 29, 2013

First Day

Today was BB's first day of school.
Well, it was daycare, actually.
But we played it up as school, and he was E.X.C.I.T.E.D!
His daily report said he was
"happy" and "active".
That's my boy!!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Lovin' It

Precious is seeing a whole new world!
She is now front-facing in her carseat.
She is dancing with the DVD player.
She even follows along with some of the motions.

And when she is done,
she just looks out the window and chills!
(Pictures courtesy of May while I was driving.)

Friday, April 26, 2013

One More

We have welcomed another little one into our home.  She is the bio sister of BB and Precious.  I picked her up Thursday from the foster home where she was placed directly from the hospital a month ago.

The case manager did not review the case file in detail and decided she did not have my contact information, even though she knew both siblings had been adopted.  Eventually CPS contacted me and wanted to move the baby. 

Court was this week and bio mom did not show.  Seems she is AWOL again.  This tiny little girl was born drug exposed (like the other two) but has suffered no obvious symptoms.  She was born full-term at 6 pounds, but at one month is already over 8 pounds. 

She is very sweet, easy to sooth, and sleeps well.  Precious is quite jealous but already coming around.  BB was in awe and wants to help constantly; he is very protective.  Buddy can't wait to hold her, ALL THE TIME.  He said he wants to learn to change diapers!  May just returned from a week of 8th grade camp this afternoon and was excited to see her.  Sweets is not here, but knows we have her. 

People will ask Why?  Don't you have enough?  When are you going to stop? 

I have prayed and prayed over this decision.  Yes, I knew the baby was coming.  I just had no idea when or what state bio mom would be when the baby was born.  It was not a sure thing that the baby would even be found by CPS, let alone pulled.  But I knew mom was pregnant.

For a long while I didn't know my answer, if I received the call.  Then I truly believe the Lord was asking me to take one more.  As if to confirm my decision, last Sunday's sermon spoke volumes.  It was a call to action, listening to the call of God. 

I trust that He will provide, that I can do this.  Will it be easy?  Of course not.  Possible?  Definitely, with His help!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

So Proud

May is a huge help with the little ones.  She frequently reads BB a book or two or more in his room at bedtime.  The other night I listened in from the hallway.

May was reading a Disney book.  She was reading with feeling and expression.  She was using voices.  She was not struggling.  BB was eating it up!

This event may not seem like much, but it is HUGE!  May is dyslexic.  She could hardly read at all for many years. 

At the end of second grade, she was two years behind, barely knowing what sounds letters make.  That was after eighteen months of private tutoring and a year in reading resource (special ed).  She spent two more years in pull out resource classes for reading and almost maintained being two years behind.  But her self-esteem tanked.  Everyone made fun of her and called her dumb.  She did not like school.

I switched her to a private Christian school for fifth grade.  God truly orchestrated this move!

Two years earlier, I met the principal at this private school the spring Sweets was four and I was searching for a kindergarten for her.*  This principal heard my family's story and just LOVED on us.  She met May as a result and later learned, after I enrolled Buddy in kindergarten a year later after my fabulous experience with Sweets, that May was struggling with her dyslexia in public school.  She told me she would be returning to teaching and would be teaching fifth grade the following year, the year May would be in fifth grade.  This teacher was a speech specialist and had previously taught a student with severe dyslexia who was by then very successful in high school.

I completed an application for May to attend this private school as she was completing fourth grade.  Her IEP (special ed plan) was provided to the school with all her records from the public school.  I received a call from the newly hired principal in June saying that despite her high intelligence level, they could not accept her, because her special needs were more than that school could handle.  I was devastated, as she hated school by then.

I asked the new principal to reconsider and eventually resorted to begging, saying May needed to go to a new school.  I solicited the teacher for help, since May would be in her class and she was willing to teach her.  I told the principal I would agree to a one quarter trial period; if the school would just accept her for one nine-week grading period, I would agree to disenroll her if it did not work.  The principal brought us in for a pre-admission interview, a standard practice at this private school.  At the end of the interview, he asked May to read him a couple short books.  Keep in mind, she just finished fourth grade.  The books were second and third grade level.  She struggled through part of the second grade book and could barely touch the third grade book.  But, he accepted her!

The rest is history.  This teacher taught May for fifth and sixth grade.  Now May has followed her to the junior high school and had her for some of her classes in seventh and eighth grade.  The other teachers have also been just as awesome and work with this teacher to adapt teaching methods to be most effective for May.  Last year she was reading at grade level.  YES!!!  She still struggles with schoolwork, but now she is succeeding.

Now May can read out loud to her little brother and not stumble.  I am SO PROUD of her!

*Sweets has a late fall birthday and missed the public school cutoff for kindergarten.  This private school tested her and accepted her a year before public school would.  I felt it was imperative for her to start that year.  If she went to live with her dad, she did not need to spend an entire school year in front of the the TV or dropped off with different people each day (he would never send her to daycare).  If she stayed with me, she needed to be ahead of Buddy, who was only four months younger but at that time developmentally a year younger.  Sweets is now in fifth grade, the youngest in her class, and one of the smartest.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


BB and Precious sit in the middle seat of the minivan.  BB faces forward on the right, and Precious still faces backward on the left, in full view but out of reach of each other when strapped into their car seats.  The other day they were having a ball laughing at each other. 

BB would make a silly sound and start laughing.  As soon as he would stop, Precious would laugh at him.  When she stopped, he laughed back at her.  And so on and so on and so on for several minutes.  It was so cute!

So much better than when he hits or pushes her every time he passes her in the house!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Double Digits

Buddy turned TEN!
He is an amazing son with a bright future.
He has been saying for months
that his goal is to go to West Point.
(Not bad for a nine year old!) 
He likes sports, music, electronics,
and rough-housing with his siblings.
He makes the Principal's List at school with all A's.
He is quite proud of his new bike and his ability to ride it.

I remember when he came to our house.
He was just going to be here a few months
until another home study was completed.
God had a different plan.
After many months of uncertainty,
Buddy was here to stay.
He had a rough start and is now an incredible young man.
God can and does heal.
Praise the Lord for my oldest son!

Friday, April 5, 2013

My Boy is Three

BB turned three!
I remember when he was so tiny.
He has come so far in three years,
but he still does have more ground to make up.
He can dress and undress himself,
including shoes and socks,
but he still wears a diaper and avoids the toilet.
He is speaking in long sentences,
even if it is difficult to understand many of the words.
He can balance amazingly well on his new balance bike,
although he still receives both occupational and speech therapy twice a week.
He can eat almost any food without problems,
but he is still a very picky eater and must avoid lactose.
He is full of energy and loves being outside,
and he keeps on going and going and going.
I LOVE my little man!
I am so happy he joined our family.
Regardless of the challenges that come with him,
I am blessed that God brought him to us
and chose us to be his forever family.
BB is very smart and will go far in life.
We all just need to stay focused on that path,
one day at a time.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Pinewood Derby

Buddy joined Cub Scouts last summer.  This was our family's first experience with Boy Scouts, and so far it has been a really good one.

In March, the Cub Scout pack held their Pinewood Derby.  About a month before, the boys were given a box with a block of wood, wheels, and directions.  They did get some help during one of their meetings to actually cut out the car based on a pattern of their own choosing.

I contacted our minister at church and requested a male mentor who might like to help Buddy with this project.  A gentleman volunteered and worked with Buddy to make the car (we'll call him Mr. P).  Mr. P came to cub scouts the night they cut out and sanded the cars.  About a week later, Mr. P took Buddy to his son-in-law's house to finish the car in his garage where "he had a tool" for everything!  Buddy named his car the Boss.

The scout leaders helped Buddy attach weights the night the cars were weighed to make sure they were all close to 5 oz, but not more.  Then the week of the race came and all were invited.

Eight cars raced three at a time, first in eight qualifying races, followed by four final races.  It was quite an elaborate wooden race track. 

The Boss took second place in its first race, just barely being edged out of first.  Buddy's car won its other two qualifying races and moved to the finals with three other cars.  Mr. P was so excited, probably even more than Buddy.  The Boss raced three times in the final races and took first and second places. 

Certificates and praise were awarded to all the boys who raced their cars.  Then the winner was announced.  It was Buddy and the Boss! 

Buddy couldn't believe it, and Mr. P was beside himself.  All the boys had fun.  I think the spectators did too!  What a neat experience, one Buddy will always remember!