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, August 24, 2014


Came across this video from a foster child's perspective. Helps explain why I get so passionate.  It has to be about the kids!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Enjoying the Heat

We have had some super hot days this week. We went out in the pool anyway.

This was a big weekend for BB.  He is now life jacket FREE!

He has been working on swimming for a while, but finally got his full confidence.


Of course, the others all equally enjoy the water.

I'm sure Precious will be next now that she is watching him!

Even Miracle likes to blow bubbles and get wet!

Monday, July 21, 2014

First Day of 7th Grade

Today was the first day of 7th Grade for Sweets.

She moved into Junior High this year and no longer wears uniforms.

She spent the entire summer with us, starting the day after school finished in May.

I drove her home last night.

She commented that she was excited about school
but not about going home.

We waited almost 25 minutes for her dad to get home.

Today Sweets said school was "good".

She made it to school on time and did her homework tonight.

That's progress over last year.

I'm hoping she has a good school year!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Little Help...

from big sister.

Mom, I'll help.

Open up!

Mmm good!

My turn.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

My Fashionista

He's ready for bed...

Something tells me his expression might be different when he is 21.

(Notice the dress shoes and mitten!)

Thursday, June 26, 2014


I know I'm a little lot late, but I finally transferred the pictures from my camera to my computer.

It only took eleven pictures (and some suckers) finally get this one!

Miracle enjoyed her first Easter.

She even caught on to finding the Easter eggs!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

15 month Miracle

Miracle is such a sweetheart! She had her 15 month checkup and the doctor is pleased. Although still at 5% for weight (19 lb 5 oz), she has hit the 75% mark for height (31").

She loves to eat, just about anything, but really likes meat! She is happy most of the time. Her personality is far more easy-going than BB or Precious.

She still has a very limited vocabulary, consisting of the following words in the order acquired:

duck, more, mom, Daisy*, ball, out, hi

*Daisy is our dog's name, but Miracle uses it for all dogs.

Miracle's smile is infectious, and she generally likes everyone. We are so blessed to have her in our family!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

March Equals Busy!

The month of March flew by before I knew it. So much happened, and I didn't have time to write one thing. Ugh!

During spring break, I took May, Sweets, Buddy, BB, and two of my friend's kids to Disneyland. My friend watched Precious and Miracle, who also enjoyed their "vacation". We had four day park hopper passes and took full advantage of them. We stayed at a hotel across the street from the entrance to Disneyland, right next to Mickey D's. Our room was great with beds for all. It was right down the breezeway from the pool, which the kids also enjoyed.

BB had a great first time to Disneyland! He loved all the sensory input of the rides and all around him. He rode every fast ride he was tall enough for. He really liked the roller coasters. The only ride he didn't like was Star Tours (simulator), because of the asteroids that "crash" into the ship. He said, "The robot hurt me!"

We also celebrated birthdays for Miracle (now 1), BB (now 4), and Buddy (now 11). We had a family birthday honoring them and my sister who also has a birthday within the two week span.

The last weekend in March was the big fundraising gala for the Children's Chorus. That kept the oldest three (and me) busy that week, culminating in rehearsal and performance on Saturday. The gala was beautiful and the kids all did great!

Thursday, March 6, 2014


We have a trip to Disneyland planned in the not too distant future.  Recently I was trying to calm BB down one evening, so I started talking to him about the different rides and things to see at Disneyland.  Since then, he asks every morning and every day when I get home, "Are we going to Disneyland now?"  I answer "later" or "soon" but that does not satisfy him.  I learned my lesson: don't tell him until a couple days before we leave.

One time I told him that I still had to work a few more days and wait to get paid so I could buy the tickets for Disneyland.  A few minutes later, he comes back with a penny in each hand, exclaiming "I have tickets!" I told him that was a good idea but the tickets are pieces of paper with everyone's name on them.  He then proceeded to tell me one penny had his name on it and the other one had Buddy's name.  He is one smart little boy!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Half Done

I'm half done with the final paperwork for Miracle.  Friday I went to the Office of Vital Records to get her new birth certificate.  When I walked in, I saw 90% of the seats taken and a line about ten long at the starting window.  My initial thoughts were "Uh Oh".  But I waited.

I ended up with #15 as they called #3 - not too bad.  In reality, the entire process took a little over thirty minutes.  Once I made it to the first window, the rest went reasonably fast.  I walked out with two certified birth certificates with Miracle's new name and my name as her mother.

Next I thought I would try the Social Security Administration office.  I should have been clued in when it took two long drives around the parking lot to even find a place to park. The place was an absolute zoo.  I got my ticket with #580.  Then they called #452.  Are you serious?  Yes, there was one set of sequential numbers.  I think there were about fifteen open seats out of almost two hundred seats in the room.  There were 18 windows, but initially only five were open.  After about twenty minutes, they had ten windows open.

Finally, after waiting over an hour and a half, they called #527.  I was over half way there, but I really had to leave to get to another appointment.  This was the fifth time I have been through this exercise.  I have always gone on Fridays.  By far, this was the busiest and longest wait time ever.  Note to self: don't go during tax season to get a social security card.  Oh wait, I need that card to finish my taxes.  Guess I will have to go hang out at SSA on another Friday morning soon!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Miracle Update

Miracle has changed so much during her tenth month. It's hard to believe all of these changes have occurred in less than four weeks:
  • Five new teeth, making a total of six
  • Walking, yes all by herself, across the room
  • Sleeping through the night every night, instead of just some
  • Eating table food almost exclusively - one bite of baby food and she is done!
  • Drinking through a straw and with a sippy cup
  • Outgrowing her 6 mo clothes, in length only
  • Babbling on her own, not all the time, but more than not at all
She definitely has her own dainty personality, and she is fully aware of her surroundings. Miracle loves to be with people and to be held, but she also plays well on her own.  

I can't wait to see what the next month or two brings! Good job, Miracle!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Three Little Sweethearts

Three Little Cherubs

Playing in the tub,

Not too fond of pictures,

But bonding in their club.

I love these three little ones,
all unexpected additions to our family.
I ache for their birth mom;
she's missing so much.

Thank you, God,
for your infinite wisdom and grace.
Thank you for our family.
Please give me the strength and patience
to raise all my children
in a way pleasing to you.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Career Day

Today was Career Day at school,
and the kids were to dress up for their chosen career.

May wants to be a nurse (or maybe a doctor).

Buddy wants to go to West Point and be in the Army.

Keep up the hard work!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Very Nice Visit

This weekend we had lunch with May's bio dad.  We see him two or three times a year.  The last few times have been when he has attended one of her concerts.  This time we had a leisurely lunch at a serve yourself soup and salad buffet restaurant.

May always enjoys seeing him, and I know he absolutely cherishes the time he spends with her.  He is also very glad to see the rest of the kids as well.  I had asked him if he would prefer to have lunch with just May and me or with everyone.  His reply was that he wanted to see "his entire family".

He can make May laugh out loud as he tells her stories about her first few months of life.  May did not come into foster care until she was just about a year old.  He told her how she took her first few steps in front of everyone at a family gathering and everyone rushed to find the elusive camera.  He also shared how she always had a pacifier in her mouth but once they forgot it and she did just fine.

May catches him up on what she is doing.  He then recounts all the things she has done: dance, gymnastics, violin, choir, basketball, volleyball...  She told him she is planning to throw discus and shot put in track and field and he was thrilled.  He said he always loved track.

He tells May about the rest of his family.  There are so many, we can't keep most of them straight, but she knows she has two other adult half siblings and several nieces and nephews.  May likes to tell her friends that she is the oldest and the youngest in her two different families.

The connection that May and her dad share is special.  I'm so glad she has that bond that I could never provide.  Her bio mom has been out of the picture since before she was adopted.  Her dad has turned his life around and is stable on his own.  It took him years to get there, but he hasn't relapsed in over five years and seems to be making a difference through the VA by helping homeless veterans and teaching law enforcement agencies about dealing with mentally ill individuals they encounter.

May's dad is thrilled with the life May has and with the ability to be part of her life.  He thanks me over and over.  I told him that I was so blessed that God chose me to call her my daughter.  This visit was very special for everyone.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Ten Months and Tiny

Miracle is ten months old*.  She is so tiny; she looks closer to six months.  But she is long and so very cute!

She weighs 16.5 pounds and is 29.5 inches long.  She is still wearing 3-6 mo clothes, but some of the one piece items with feet are too short.

She has one bottom tooth, which arrived on her nine month birthday.  She loves food, all food so far.  She really likes finger food so she can feed herself.

She has started crawling and is beginning to pull herself up on things.  She is vocal, but not really babbling, more like screeching, screaming, and panting. 

She almost sleeps through the night, sometimes from midnight until about 6am.  Most nights she wakes once and gets a new bottle. 

Miracle is a very happy baby.  She takes a lot of rough-housing from BB and Precious, but she is quickly learning to hold her own.

*This should have been posted about two weeks ago.  An update will follow on what Miracle has done since.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

It Is Time

I have finally scheduled BB for a psychiatric evaluation.  His behavior is just not normal for a child of his any age.  Physically he is considered developmentally on target.  Even his speech falls within normal boundaries, although it was still on the low end when tested last spring when he turned three.  BB qualified for developmental preschool because of social behavioral skills outside the norm for a preschooler.  Apparently, they were quite outside the norm.  That was no surprise to me.

Well now he has been in developmental preschool three half days a week since August.  He seems to do fine there.  He also attends daycare those three afternoons a week and has done well there.  I think going to daycare also helped get him finally potty trained.  It has definitely helped him learn to "play" with toys on his own.  Unfortunately, it has also taught him some naughty words with which we are now dealing.  The structure of these environments is definitely to his advantage.

BB has an extreme temper.  Okay, that may not be totally abnormal.  Sweets had a temper that was off the charts as well.  With BB, however, it degrades from there.  Because he is very smart, and he is also very persistent, when he has a meltdown, it is like he throws a switch inside.  He gets a certain goal stuck in his head and that's all he can think about until he gets that result.  Usually, it is what caused the temper tantrum to start.

Yesterday, the behavioral specialist came out to see him.  He wanted an apple for a snack right at that time.  I told him that he needed to go play with her first, since she was here to visit him.  He threw a fit and went on over and over, "I want an apple!"  Finally she suggested we set a timer for a minute.  He could go play until the timer went off and then break for the apple.  I set it for two minutes, figuring it would take a minute to even sit down and attempt to interact with her.  When the timer went off he came over and insisted, "I want my apple!"  I finally got him to say please, and then I washed the apple and got out a knife to cut it.  He went ballistic.  He wanted to bite into it.  I told him I would cut some for him and he could share the apple with Buddy and Precious, because it would soon be dinner time.  He said "NO!"  I put the apple down and told him he needed to share if he wanted the apple.  Next thing I know, he grabs a different apple and throws it on the floor.  I then told him, "No apple.  If you throw the apple on the floor, you don't want it.  Go play."  The rest of the hour was not a pretty picture.  He consistently went back to "I want my apple."

This is just one minor example.  BB often slaps or pinches people as he walks by them, even those he doesn't know.  It doesn't matter their age or size.  He can't be left alone with either Precious or Miracle.  Although he can be genuinely sweet with them, he can also be mean for no reason.  The big kids are frustrated with his behavior and their tempers are often short.  I am beside myself with how to deal with him sometimes.  So, it's time for a professional opinion.  This was initiated by the behavioral specialist.  Yesterday wasn't the first time she witnessed this type of behavior.

I'm wondering now - What questions should I be asking?  I'm hesitant to slap a label on him and start giving him medication, but I also know we can't continue the way we are.  Medically, we've had two procedures and put him on allergy medication and melatonin to help him sleep better.  He gets minimal sugar, and when he does, I don't notice a significant difference in behavior.  Same is true for red dye.  How do you know what to do and when to get a second opinion?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A New Year

Looking back, 2013 was a very busy year. There were ups and there were a few downs. Some medical issues have made me slow down tremendously. I'm still hoping and praying that this is a temporary situation. All in all, it was a good year.

We are blessed to have three little ones join our family in each of the last three years. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect that! Only God could have orchestrated this family.

I renewed my foster care license late last year. That makes twenty years of foster care. I'm not really planning to take a placement any time soon, but I want my license current just in case anything ever happens with Sweets. There will be no excuse that she can't come to live with me immediately. I am open to short-term respite as needed.

I'm hoping to continue to blog to share some of the happenings around our crazy place. Life is busy; I'll do my best to find time. 

Some cute sayings from BB over the last few weeks:
  • "Put raindrops in my ears." - Following tubes in his ears, he needed ear drops.
  • "I get your belly butt." - He hasn't yet added 'ton' to belly button.