Wednesday, December 21, 2011
I love these kids. More than I realized, and more than I thought possible. The true moment it hit me was in a conversation with DH about something, where the implication that they would be taken from us was brought up. Instinctively I thought "I can't lose them".
This may seem like a small thing, but for me- it was a turning point. I had been struggling- and I didn't feel like a MOM. I didn't feel like their mom for sure. But in that moment, I finally admitted to myself that they are MINE. God created them to be my children. I'm crying once again as I write this, because it's clearing up for me.
I spent two years crying over the desire for a baby. I wanted to be a mother SO badly, and I wanted to be pregnant. And I needed to go through all that to get to where I am now. If I had gotten pregnant right away, we probably still would have done fostercare down the road- but not right now. Not when our kids needed us. So all the whys, and the whens have been answered. I'm still foggy, but I'm starting to distance and see God's plan. It is beautiful and more amazing than I could ever imagine. G is starting to call me "Mommy" almost exclusively. Today she went on a string of "MOMMOMMOMMOMMOMMOMMOMMOMMOMMOMMOM" and I've never been more happy to be annoyed!
I feel like I need a quote, something to neatly wrap up how I feel about my life right now. I'm so blessed. I'm so excited for Christmas, and excited for every moment that is to come. God is good- SO GOOD.
Don't get me wrong, I still want to get pregnant (not right now) and I still want a baby- but that ache is gone. I'm a mom. I'm starting to feel it, believe it and trust it. These beautiful children came into our lives and have made me SO GRATEFUL for this holiday. This is truly the best Christmas I've ever spent.
I know that if anyone had told me in my moment of pain that I would be GRATEFUL for it- I would have slugged them. Truly- I would have. But today, I am grateful for every tear and every heartbreaking moment. Because I am here today, and I know that not only was it worth the pain- it was completely necessary. And I am truly stronger.
I wish all of you a very merry Christmas, and if you are still struggling you are in my prayers. I pray that you find God's path for you, whatever that may be- and that he carries through through this time.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
We talked about the kids and just about everything under the sun. I was a little frazzled, but we talked about a multitude of other things.
Among those things are changing the kids names, contact with the bio family and the most interesting development is the situation about us opening our license up again.
We had decided that once we move (we are house hunting right now) we want to open it back up for foster/adopt for an infant- under 18mo. I mentioned this to her and even said that if we had the beds I would do respite right now if we had the beds, but in this house we don't.
And then she mentioned a newborn who is looking like she will be removed from the home. Only a few weeks old. And I remembered I have a PNP that can go in my room and although I didn't say I definitely would, I told her I'm not entirely against taking in an infant right now (After yesterday I'm not sure why I thought this was a good idea)
I'm not sure if it's a good idea, or if it would be good for Lil Man and Lil G- but it's out there. I talked to Lil Man and Lil G about it and they seem excited about the prospect of a baby in the house, but I'm sure they don't entirely understand. I am going to ask their therapist if she thinks it is a bad idea or not.
DH is on board, and I would LOVE to have a baby around, I'm just not sure I can handle it. But I know that if it is God's will- he will give me the strength (and the energy!) to handle it. So we will see how things pan out.
Today is a crack down day of sorts with the kids. They have been MUCH better and they seem to be back to my normal happy kids. Lil G is seeming to be the biggest problem- and I really think she was allowed to do whatever she pleased at FMoms house, and doesn't understand being expected to listen, and follow directions here.
So all in all, GREAT day. The best part was DH getting up with the kids and allowing me to sleep until 11am :D I told him I needed a break after yesterday lol.
Monday, October 31, 2011
I'm tired. And crow does not taste good. How long does the honeymoon phase last? Because I think it's over. I hope it is. Today is bad.
::rummaging through cabinets for alcohol::
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
This is the exact book I'm reading, and I've had it from the library for almost a month and a half.
The kids are testing us more and more, and today was the first day I really felt a L&L WIN. I took the kids to the park after quiet time so they could run off some energy. Lil Man doesn't really enjoy QT, but amazing actually slept for about an hour of it today.
We had a good time at the park until Lil Man had to go to the restroom. Thankfully the park we were at had semi clean facilities, so the three of us walked over to them. They aren't far from the playground area, but further than I was willing to leave Lil G by herself, so she walked with me. While Lil Man was in the restroom, she was playing. I turned my back for just a second to help him, and she decided to run back to the swings. Once I figured this out I was SO MAD. My first reaction was to yell at her until she realized what a bad idea this was. But with G that wouldn't work even if I had tried it. I yelled for a moment until she heard me from where she was (much further than I was comfortable with) and watched her until she got to me. I worked a little L&L magic and told her we would be leaving the park.
Boy did it work. She cried (which she always does) and was not happy, but she knew exactly what was going on and WHY we had to leave. And at bedtime she told me all about how she "didn't listen" and "ran away from me".
Lil Man has been a little harder to work with on some issues, but overall I have been SO happy for L&L. I am actually that calm parent that rarely yells that I never thought I would be!!!
And when I do yell (I have yelled at them a couple times this week, and then felt really badly) they take notice because I rarely do. It's amazing!!
In other news, G has gone two days now with no potty accidents. I feel like I'm potty training myself since she won't tell me if she has to go- but as long as I tell her, and I don't let her go more than an hour or so between potty breaks- the accidents don't happen! :D
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
The good, the bad and the fantastic.
- They both have been diagnosed with attachment disorder (can't remember the exact terms) but are in therapy and are actually doing quite well.
- TPR was on the 29th before they moved in and the Bio parents officially have no rights.
- They are amazing kids and I love having them here, even in the bad moments.
- Lil Man is having some control issues, which is to be expected, and we are working on them.
- They call me "Mommy" on occasion as well as calling DH "Daddy". They are mixed in with our first names, and that is perfectly fine with us.
- We have a meeting with the adoption worker next week, to get the process started, but it will probably take about 7 months. They have to be living with us for 6 before they can file anything.
- Lil G is potty training, and we are on day 2 of just big girl panties (excluding naps and bedtime). Both days have yielded only one accident, so I count that as a success! I have to continually remind her to go potty, but I don't have to push hard to convince her to go, and she is good at holding her bladder, just not very happy about stopping whatever she is doing to go to the bathroom.
Monday, September 26, 2011
I am so very excited, and glad to not have to deal with FosterMom anymore, since she is making a lot of things difficult. But at the same time, it's so very surreal. Tonight I have been cleaning since everyone is coming here tomorrow to meet with the kids. We are telling them that we want to adopt them and that they will be moving in on Thursday. And I am on autopilot. I have a list of things to accomplish, and I'm mostly done with those. But the rest of the time I just feel numb to it all.
Don't get me wrong, I am SO THRILLED that the kids are moving in, and I can't wait- but I feel like it's not real. My every thought revolves around these kids, but they aren't here. So I'm a mom in that sense, but I still have all this free time! I'm trying to take advantage of it- I promise. But it feels like this isn't really happening. I'm sure once Thursday rolls around I will be FREAKING OUT!!
We will be telling the kids in about 12 hours and I can't wait for that. I am constantly wondering how they will react to that. I think Lil Man will be excited about it. But Lil G is rather attached to FM, and I'm worried that she will be upset at first. Either way, I know this is the best move for them- I just want it to be easy for them- which isn't really possible I suppose.
Lil G broke my heart a lot today. She asked for FM several times, which isn't like her. I think she knows what's going on and she's a little angry with me for not keeping her after this weekend. We had them overnight on Friday and then took them back on Saturday, and when we took them back she didn't want to go. It broke my heart to convince her to go back there.
I'm so ready for these kiddos to be with us. FM is making things difficult and constantly undermining me, so I'm just avoiding anything with her for the next 3 days. She is a control freak and is exerting her control. And that's fine. Because of the way she has acted in all of this she will not be seeing the kids again. Therapist thinks it's a bad idea and so do I. It makes me sad because this transition could have gone SO much better, but she wasn't willing to work on it.
I need to go to bed now since I have to be up at 5:30- but I hope things will go well tomorrow and telling the kids is a hit!
Monday, September 19, 2011
I have been very frustrated with Foster Mom for the last few days. She has completely cut herself off from me, which isn't that big of a deal except that CW is completely uninvolved and FM and I absolutely HAVE to communicate at least 3 times a week, and not just in passing. There are a lot of logistics to work out in the next couple weeks.
DH and I have discussed a lot of things at length, but I've also ranted to my mom a lot. And every time I do, she offers me advice. But I get irritated, because I've already *done* that. And then my mom just irritates me because I feel like she isn't hearing me. But she is. She is only hearing what I tell her, and I don't have time to tell her everything.
So today it occurred to me. My mom is telling me that I have to give FM some slack, because she loves these kids a LOT. And I realized- I HAVE been giving her a lot of slack. I have been as sensitive, and as kind and as accommodating as I possibly can be. I KNOW this is hard on her. I have only known the kids for a little over a week and I love them more than life itself. To have had them in her home for 4 months at this point? I can only imagine.
So every time I ask to see the kids, or ask for anything- it is *always* accompanied by "if that works for you. If not, it's no big deal". I am not exaggerating. I don't want to step on toes.
So as I'm talking to my mom, I figured it out. That is exactly why I am so frustrated. I am bending over backwards to help her get through this, and she is avoiding me, and when she *does* talk to me, she is questioning everything I do (at least it feels that way) and refusing to talk to me about the logistics. It feels like she is spitting in my face.
I can't actually do anything about this- but somehow just understanding my own feelings makes me able to get over it. I want to keep the kids overnight on Friday (for the first time) since it is Lil G's bday on Saturday. The kids would be back on Saturday early afternoon due to a previous engagement. I told FM this on Friday, and told her if it wasn't possible that was OK, we would celebrate on Friday with them when we have them for the day. But now she isn't wanting to talk about it. I'm not letting her just avoid me. If she doesn't want to- that's ok. But she is going to have to suck it up and tell me that- not just hope I forget and won't ask about it.
So I am over ranting about FM. She clearly doesn't want my help, so I will continue to be slightly accommodating, but I'm not bending over backwards. And I only have 2 more weeks to make this work.
Friday, September 16, 2011
They have basically NO clothes that fit/ are right for the season. FosterMom hasn't gotten her clothing allowance yet (supposed to be in her next check which is delayed) and it just got colder (literally two days ago) so they just have summer stuff.
So I have to buy all new stuff for this season. I am REALLY hoping she either gives me the clothing allowance or actually uses it on clothes- but she was totally freaking out about money all evening. I know that kids are expensive, and that the state is always late on payments, but it was almost as if she expected the payments from the state to cover everything.... Maybe I'm the only one who got the memo that it REALLY doesn't cover everything.
If she doesn't, I will still be fine because I have a boatload of clothes coming from family and friends, and I'm heading to the consignment shops this week, but it was just a weird convo.
And on top of the clothes, I have all the other stuff, which I'm actually super excited about- it's just a LONG list.
We had a great visit, and Lil Man and I went to the park just the two of us (the first time we've been away from foster mom BTW) and it was so fun. He has the most infectious laugh :D
We came back and played a bit in their room and I hung out while the kids ate dinner. I finally left right before bedtime, but not before setting up a next visit. Looks like I'm going to be having them MWF while Fmom works. So I pick them up around 9am and then take them home sometime in the afternoon. DH is going to LOVE THIS. He was so upset that he didn't get to see them yesterday and we couldn't go this morning. He is so cute :D
I have tried to talk to Fmom about the move in date for two days and she won't return my calls, so I sort of told her about it during the kids dinner, but we couldn't talk much (vague comments about "The date" etc) because the kids don't know the whole story yet. We will probably tell them next week. Or when they ask, whichever comes first.
I also wanted to talk to her about a ton of stuff that I talked with the therapist about, but I couldn't with the kids there, and again- she won't return my calls. So I'm done trying. I told her while I was there to call me because I wanted to talk to her, but she basically ignored me. I know she is busy, and I know she has the kids around her nearly 24/7, but she almost seemed to not want to hear what I said. She told me she wanted to set the move in date for the 10th instead of the 6th, and when I said it was already set, she said she thought I should fight to have it on the 10th. No thanks, maybe if you had called THAT DAY when I said I needed to talk to you ASAP, we could have discussed it. You have ignored your way out of having a choice.
I brushed it off by saying that everything hinges on how the kids are transitioning. If they aren't ready, then they won't move then. I just left it at that.
All in all, a good visit, but I'm excited to start having the kids without Fmom so I can get a better idea of what's going on. I really hope that the move will be seamless and the kids will be glad to move in here, rather than doing it because everyone is telling them to.
Only time will tell!!!
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
I am on cloud 9000009. I don't think anything could bring me down today. We get to see the kids again tomorrow, and I just can't wait. I've been on the phone for over an hour or so talking to the CW and the therapist about various things. It's important to keep them in school (headstart in our area), so I'm working on getting them enrolled now so they can start school immediately after they move in.
And I also have a list of things to buy and do before they move in. It's a whirlwind from here on out! These might be the longest and yet shortest 3 weeks of my life!!!!
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
We are licensed, as I posted a few weeks ago. What I haven't posted is that following Monday, our licensing worker called to tell us that we were licensed (which I knew) and also to tell us about an adoptive placement. We spent the next week learning all we could about Lil Man (4) and Lil G (will be 3 in a couple weeks). We met them for the first time on Friday, and have had two visits since then. The CW and the kids therapist agree that we are moving forward with an adoptive match.
The plan is to continue with as many visits as we can fit into a week. Starting next week we will be moving the visits to our home and starting with visits without FosterMom (who has been amazing throughout this, despite her internal struggles with letting them go). We have a tentative move in timeline for the beginning of October, and the parental rights will be terminated (assuming all goes well at court) on Sept 29th.
I am a bundle of emotions. Until today, I haven't let myself believe that this is actually happening, thus the lack of blogging about it.
But I am madly in love with these children. Lil man loves cars, is incredibly smart and has the most amazing laugh. Lil G is a girly girl at heart and yet still loves to get dirty and still manages to be a tomboy. They are not without their faults, and are in therapy for separate issues, but in a very short few days I've grown to love them more than I would imagine possible. I can't believe I have to wait until Thursday to see them again, and then I probably won't see them again until the following Tuesday.
Amidst all of this joy, is a teeny bit of absolute terror. In a matter of a few short weeks, I will instantly morph into a MOM! A mom to two energetic preschoolers!! I have a million things to do and a thousand more things to worry about. I worry about attachment disorders on a constant basis. I worry that the transition won't go smoothly and we cause further issues. I worry that termination won't happen and suddenly these beautiful children will be taken from me. I worry that they will be hurt somehow through this. I worry that they won't see how much we love them already, and that they might resent us. I worry that someone from DHS will suddenly look at me and say "Wait, you can't be a mom- what were we thinking?" Ok I admit, that last one is completely beyond irrational- but sometimes I do feel that way. Sometimes the child in me gets overwhelmed and says "Who said I get to be an adult? Who said this was a good idea? I'm not old enough for this!!!!"
And then that nurturing side in me longs for them to be home. My house is so quiet. We got home from visiting them this evening and the silence was deafening. I wanted so badly to hear Lil G's stutter, and hear Lil Man ask me a thousand questions about one small thing. I want right now for them to be upstairs in the bedrooms I'm trying to get ready for them. I want to know what they were thinking before they went to sleep. I want to be the one to see them first thing in the morning.
I know that this transition is the best thing for all of us, and I enjoy every second I get with them- but that little selfish part of me wants them to be mine, forever- right now. I suppose I've waited this long, I can wait a few weeks more.
And in all of this I praise God for his infinite wisdom. While I was begging him to be pregnant throughout these years, he was watching over these two. He knows all, and he knows better than I could ever imagine. He knows the needs that these children have, and he knew how to time things perfectly. How we would be licensed at the exact right moment to meet them, and he placed them with a foster family who could surround them with more love than they have ever known. He could place them with a foster mom who could manage to see right into my heart and know what my true motives and desires are. He knows all and he always has. I knew this somewhere but somehow, today- I know it so much more. I know that even if my fears come true, and the worst happens- that we were meant to love these kids. That we were meant to go down this path, and that no matter what happens, he will carry us through, and we will be victorious. We are meant to love children, I have always known this. And today, I am starting to get a glimpse of his master plan. Only a small glimpse, because I don't believe I could handle it all at once. But it's a wonderfully crafted, and beautiful plan.
If you managed to get to the end of this, I apologize for the ranting, but it's been pent up and I needed to get all of that out. I am so blessed today.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
So now we wait- which should seem like second nature to me, but instead feels like torture.
My cousin is pregnant again. This is the cousin who has three children already. She doesn't want this pregnancy and is actually struggling right now to find a place to live. I have been handling it VERY well IMO- but I would really be happy for anything to take my mind off of the fact that once again, she has what I have tried SO HARD to have.
I am looking forward to having this house full- and I hope the call comes soon! God has a plan and we have finished our part for now- so we just wait on him.
I think I will try to find some money for DH and I to go out to eat tonight. We need to celebrate, and we may not have many child free nights left!! :D
Thursday, June 30, 2011
I was very tired since I had stayed in the hospital the night before with my Grandma. She was admitted into the hospital on Sunday, and ended up with a similar problem as she did last year (spent a month in the hospital, several infections and a couple surgeries) but on a much smaller scale. I am actually in the hospital right now with her, and she is sleeping. She looks much better and will hopefully be able to go home shortly.
Thankfully Chris understood that I was very tired, and I'm hoping she didn't hold my fatigue against me. I can't even remember half of the answers I gave LOL!
Chris asked all the same questions of me that she asked of Paul, but my family section went a little quicker ;). She then went on to ask us about our relationship, how we resolve conflicts, how we handle stressful situations etc. She also asked us to name something difficult that we have come through together. We had a few, but our struggles with trying to get pregnant was the first that came to mind.
She asked about our discipline thoughts, and asked about how we were disciplined as kids, and what we would do the same and different as our parents.
Finally she asked us what our preferences were for placements. We said up to 4 kids at a time, ages 0-5 with no racial or gender specifications. We also said that we didn't want any severe physical or mental needs. This is very different from what we had originally said, but she told us that we can always say no. And we can always change that later on too.
I just know that if we were presented with a sibling placement like what she mentioned before (5, 3, 1.5 and 2mo) and there weren't any severe needs- I wouldn't be able to say no- despite the fact that we originally said nothing over 3.
I think God definitely knows what we can handle and we will hopefully be able to discern whether or not each placement is right for us.
I am really excited for this process. I asked Chris how long it would take for us to be officially licensed, and she gave me the following timeline. She will finish the report and likely send it out to her supervisor next week. It will take her supervisor approximately 1 week to review it and approve it. Then it gets sent to Lansing where it will be reviewed by someone in their department. According to Chris, that could take up to 2 months, but she added that the person who has been approving them lately is much quicker than others before her.
So I'm expecting about 2 months total.
HOWEVER- I have been told (by some awesome Foster mom friends of mine) that once the Homestudy is completed (I'm assuming that means her supervisor has approved it) we can be presented with placements provisionally- and this can happen when they are especially desperate. So although I'm expecting and planning for about 2 months, I'm also prepared for something a little more immediate.
Either way, we know that God has a plan and we are just along for the ride! And what an interesting ride it has been so far!
Friday, June 24, 2011
Chris (our licensing worker) came at 9am and after a little bit of paperwork- she started asking us questions. She began with taking a brief description of the layout of the house, and then we took her on a tour. She measured each of the bedrooms, and tested the temperature of the water. She loved the nursery, and commented on how cute it is :)
After the tour of the house, she started on the personal questions. She decided to start with Paul since his work schedule is more demanding and she wanted to make sure she had all of his answers. She asked some basic things like his work history, but she also needed a VERY detailed description of his family. This included parents and siblings. She even needed to know marital status and how many children each sibling had, as well as the relationship he has with each. For Paul this took a LONG time LOL. She also wanted to know what his childhood was like, where he grew up- what schools he went to and asked about some other family history. I think most of the time was spent on just that!
She finished with all the personal questions for Paul, but she still has to ask me the same questions, and then she has a section to ask us about the both of us and our relationship.
She said at least twice that she is expecting to fill this house quickly, and even mentioned a specific set of siblings that were brought in last week that had to be separated. Prior to this meeting I was still expecting to not be licensed or have a placement until at least the end of the summer! Well maybe that won't be the case, but I'm still not planning on it, just trying to be prepared if it does happen :D
All in all, it went well and we have another meeting on Wednesday at 9. That should be the last meeting, unless we can't get everything accomplished. But since my family is about 1/3rd the size of Paul's- I think it will go faster LOL
If it doesn't, we can always have a third meeting, but that would go very quickly. :)
Friday, May 6, 2011
And after I find this out, Lisa posts on FB about being home with her two beautiful girls and I just lose it all over again. I'm so glad I was there for her having the baby (who is beautiful btw) and I love Chelsea, but right now, she has exactly what I want SO BADLY while I sit here unable to do anything and wait on people who don't have time for me.
I'm trying to remember how I felt when I wrote that blog, but I'm not really doing well with it right now.
I think part of this anger is me dealing with my emotions from this weekend. But even so-I need prayers today.
Lord, Please help me to put my faith in you always. Help me to remember that you WILL fulfill your promises. And that I need to sit back and wait, and listen to you. Help me to get through this pain by leaning on you and not expecting me to carry it all on my own. I was not created to carry the burden of life. You created me to draw my strength from your holy spirit. Help me to remember that.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Well she is PG. I posted about it when I found out- but didn't really blog about the affect it had on me. I was devastated. She DID NOT want another baby right now, possibly ever. In fact- HOURS before she POAS- she told me very emphatically how she couldn't handle it right now. And to top it all off- she was staying with me for several months while here husband was here in SC. She saw him for ONE WEEK out of 3 months- and she got knocked up. Needless to say- I wasn't happy. At all.
Over the last 9 months I've sadly distanced myself a bit. She is amazing, and she hasn't pushed me at all. She has been completely understanding- and I really think this has actually brought us closer. She has said that she would MUCH rather me be pregnant. But we both agree that obviously God has a plan.
FF to this week. She is due today actually (getting induced tomorrow) and I flew in on Friday. I really debated whether or not I could handle coming down here this week. Do I REALLY want to watch my Little Sister (as I often refer to her) have exactly what I want? Do I want to hold back her hair and help her push and comfort her when all I want to do is scream because I can't have what she has?
The answer isn't really yes- but I wouldn't miss this for the world. She and I are SO close, and to miss this (intentionally) would kill us both. So I prayed, and prayed and prayed some more. I begged God for guidance. And finally settled on the decision that if I couldn't handle watching this and being here- God would arrange the timing for the baby to come before I got here. Well she didn't. Lisa is still pregnant- and going in for induction at 6:30 am. I'm not leaving until Tuesday afternoon- so I will be here for it all. And I know God will give me the strength.
Last night we were sitting in the guest room (we=Lisa, her husband, myself and Lisa's friend Debbie who I know very well) They were discussing pregnancy and how most women- although the labor is hard and there are lots of downsides- would never trade the ability to carry a child. Lisa was talking about the bad thigns about pregnancy, but then why the good things very much outweighed the bad. This went on for some time. Needless to say- I was VERY quiet- and simply tried to keep my composure (as I had been trying to do for a couple days) and then Lisa saw my face and realized what effect this was having on me- and she immediately said my name and apologized. And that's all it took. I lost it. I had promised myself that I wouldn't break down in front of her and burden her with my emotions in this time. This was supposed to be about her and Chealsea (the new baby girl). And I couldn't handle it. I excused myself and went downstairs to compose myself. And it was very difficult. As you can imagine, my emotions are on high and I am crying so easy right now. Repressing my emotions tends to do that lol. Later that night I talked to her and she apologized and thanked me for being here- even though she knows it's hard.
So Lisa took me to her church this morning. I have been thrilled that she found a church that she loves so much- and was glad to attend. The worship was amazing, and ended with a song about waiting on the Lord. Of course- this spoke to me in a very real way- and so I was crying.
And then the Pastor started speaking- I was intending to go into more detail about his sermon- but this blog post is long enough- so I won't. But the title of the sermon was "Waiting on the Promise". It was about waiting on promises that God gives us. He started out saying "God ALWAYS fulfills his promises" His entire sermon was about how when God promises us something (for me, a promise that I will be pregnant and give birth at some point in my life) he ALWAYS delivers- but we don't always get the *when*. He talked about how the waiting often molds us into the people we need to be to receive the promise. He also said a lot of other things that I can't remember- but I walked away with an entirely different view of my struggles.
First of all- I need to remember that my focus shouldn't be this life. This life will end. And it will not matter. But I am hoping to get to HEAVEN!! And that is going to completely outshine anything I think I want or need in this life. So the next time I think about how my life will be better, or how much I want kids- I need to remember that I should want Heaven MORE than I want a family.
And amidst all of this I finally came to the place where if I NEVER have children. I can accept that. God is enough for me. I have faith that he can make my life better than anything I can if I just put my faith in him. This was a place that was very hard for me to get to. I still believe that God made me with the purpose of being a Mom. But if that never happens- I have faith that I will live a very fulfilling life and I will make a difference in someones life. Maybe many someones.
At the end of his sermon- he made me officially lose it. I bawled my eyes out. I laid my head on Lisa's shoulder and sobbed. I had been trying not to cry (again) and I just couldn't hold it in anymore. The pastor asked those who were waiting on a promise from God to come to the front and allow the leaders of the church to pray. Lisa walked with me up there and I just felt at peace. I still cried- because although the waiting is necessary- I know that it doesn't take the hurt away- and that's the point. But the crying that I did was a cleansing cry. It was exactly what I needed and I think it really helped me. I'm still very emotional- and I've cried several times writing this blog- but I think I know why I NEEDED to be here. As much as I usually love my church- I'm not being fed at all right now and it's one of the reasons we are considering changing churches. But that is a post for another day. I needed that message, and it was delivered at exactly the right time.
Oddly enough- the church down the road from Lisa's house (20 min from her church) had a message on their sign on Friday. "God ALWAYS fulfills his promises". It made me cry as well. It seems to be the theme of this trip!
Thursday, April 14, 2011
She went home with her dad on Tuesday. CPS told us it was OK and DH is really not ok with it. He found out a lot of information about H's dad, and he doesn't feel CPS is doing their job. I'm not upset with CPS, but if what DH found out is true, then I'm very sad for H.
I have been trying to find the right person to speak with at CPS for us to talk to, and I've been given the runaround- but I have one more person to talk to this afternoon. DH and I have heard a lot of things, and although it is heresay, we are going to include it in the other things we know of.
I called her yesterday to see if she was coming over (we have the teens over every Wednesday for bible study/fellowship). She didn't come sadly, and we still have some of her things. I'm hoping I can continue a relationship with her.
And I talked with our licensing worker this morning. I've been in touch with her during this process, and she was following up with me. While I had her on the phone- I asked her about our homestudy and she said that she is so busy with other things. She asked if I would be ok with an intern doing our homestudy. I'm definitely fine with that, and she said she can always call me if she has additional questions.
So the homestudy will most likely be the beginning of May!!
I'm glad to finally have a timeline- you know how much I like control and plans LOL
Monday, April 11, 2011
We know a family at church, and without revealing too many details, I will say that H (the girl) and I have gotten very close. She is in my youth group, and she has stayed here a couple times. Her dad was arrested yesterday and she can't go back to the home at this time. She is staying with us tonight for sure, and depending on the status of her father she may be staying her for an extended period of time.
We don't know what's happening, and are walking blindly and as always- trying to trust in God's plan. I will be updating!
We found out that H's dad is getting out of jail today. She is still probably staying with us tonight, and we aren't sure past that. He wasn't arrested because of anything having to do with her, and his parental rights are not in question. She will probably go home tomorrow. The problem lies with her stepmother, and although it seems the couple are separating for now, I don't think it will last and H will be back in a toxic situation. I am already planning to talk to CPS about a few issues I've observed in the home, but what I do know isn't enough to remove H and her brothers (2 and 6 mo) from the home. So odds are it will just be logged.
CPS called us to ask if she was with us, as opposed to another place that had been reccomended. They want her to stay here tonight, but her dad isn't happy about that- and she doesn't want to be here either. I am having to move from the "friend" who is trying make her do her homework and make her laugh to the enforcer who is saying she has to do what CPS says. And if her dad doesn't agree with CPS then they are going to try and place her in respite care tonight. So either way she isn't going with her dad, but she doesn't see that. She really doesn't want to hear that she doesn't have certain options. That seems like such an obvious statement, but it didn't really occur to me that it would be a problem like this.
This is good training I think LOL
Friday, April 8, 2011
We are waiting for our Licensing Agent to finish her other Homestudies before we can have ours done. She said we are next on the list. She did email me last week asking about our age limit because we had originally put 0-1. Well now we are going for 0-2 and instead of just one child, we are open to up to 4 and definitely sibling groups. I would even go up to 4 yrs if the child was a part of a sibling group. Somehow that seems wrong to say though, I'm not sure why.
We had also originally said we only wanted children who were TPRed (termination of parental rights) or were low risk for RU (reunification). And now we have completely changed that. At this point I just want and need kids in the house. So we are definitely open to Respite care, which I would LOVE, and we are taking just about any situation. We are even open to some moderate special needs. All in all, I think we've come to a good decision about what we can handle for now, but now we just wait for DHS-something I'm sure I will be doing a LOT of in my future.
But I have been struggling in the last few days with mourning what I am NOT going to have. I don't get to have a baby shower, tour a hospital, decide on the "coming home" outfit. I don't get to decide whether or not to have a photographer do newborn pictures in the hospital. I don't get to experience pregnancy, I don't get to even TRY to breastfeed, and I most likely won't be able to experience the first days, months or even years of my childs life.
I do believe that I will get PG and give birth someday, but I can't focus on that- and amidst my excitement of finally being a Mom (albeit a temporary one sometimes) I am smacked in the face with the reality that I am NOT the same as my mom friends. I feel like I'm emotionally pregnant. I remember reading that phrase on some adoption forums recently. But I am! I'm emotionally pregnant. But it's like I'm pregnant with no due date, and with no warning of what my due date will be. I know I will have children, and it will mostly be through adoption through foster care. But who knows how long the licensing process will continue to take, and then once we are licensed- it could be minutes or months or more before we have a placement.
I'm so excited for what is to come, but now I just get to sit and wait. And it sucks. I suppose God is preparing me for the wait that will inevitably come once we are licensed and even during an adoption process.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
I am so ridiculously excited about this. I feel like we are finally getting somewhere. We seem to be moving along so quickly in the process, but I feel like it's taking FOREVER!! I just want a placement, whether it's permanent or temporary. I can finally say this out loud to myself and not feel bad- I am a mom at heart. I am a nurturer and I love taking care of children. I have found some satisfaction in this by being a Nanny- but it's not the same.
A few weeks ago, we had a "test run" of sorts. We ended up housing a 15 year old, a 2 year old and a 5 month old. Their mother was in the hospital, and the 15 year old wasn't trusted to take care of her two younger brothers.We know the family from church, and the 15 year old and I are rather close. She is one of the teens in my youth group. I enjoyed having them here SO MUCH, and I realized once again how much I love having little ones in the house. It just reinforced for me that we are making the right decision.
Since then, I've moved full force into finishing our nursery. Here are a few pictures! All I have are crappy cell phone pics- since my camera isn't working at the moment. I will work on getting better ones later!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
We are doing great on the foster care process and are almost ready for the home inspection. I'm extremely excited because I have the nursery almost ready. I will have to post before and after pictures soon.
I am going to be starting a new blog completely separate from this one, specifically for our family. I will still need this blog to let out my feelings, and this blog will remain fairly anonymous. But I want to be able to update our friends and family a little easier. I will probably have a lot of double posts.
I know I have been MIA lately, and I'm working on getting back to blogging :-)
Monday, January 24, 2011
I went to SC for the weekend, and it was a last minute trip. I went to visit my cousin Lisa, and I had a great time- despite the fact that I lost my Drivers License and was worried about how TSA would let me on the plane. :)
My Foster Classes have been going VERY well. I think we are moving at a good speed for licensing. DH thinks we may be licensed and have a placement as early as March 2nd. I think he is delusional, but I'm working to prepare for that. Although my biggest M2M sale is March 26th, and I'm planning to get my bigger items there (we need a Pack n Play, a changing table, a high chair and a toybox).
My mom has been so cute about this whole process. I definitely got my bargain shopping from her and my grandma and aunts. She along with my grandmother and great Aunt (all who live in FL) have begun the search for baby clothes. Since we have no idea about the placements we will have, or what size clothes we may need- she has decided that she will get two outfits of each gender for each age up to 1yr. She is also looking for several onsies and layettes etc. She wants us to have a few outfits for any child that is placed with us to get us through the first day or so.
Can you tell where I get my obsessive planning from? LOL.
Sometimes I feel silly for doing all this, but I'm so torn.
Today we got our physical forms in the mail. I am going to the Dr tomorrow, so I asked our licensing agent to send them to me, but I was expecting them to come via email for some reason. Before I opened the envelope I had the crazy notion that I was about to be informed that we were already denied for some crazy random reason. It's silly- but I started to think that maybe I should wait to buy these things until we are officially licensed- but that just wouldn't work for me.
I know that I need to have something to focus on, and this has helped- but I am starting to feel like I am going overboard. But am I really? We are preparing for a child to be in this home. These are all things that a pregnant woman would do- and she has a set time limit (usually) as to when her child will arrive. I do not. I have no idea if it will be in 2 months, or 4 or 12! So I suppose this is all valid.
In all honesty- if we were to get a placement tomorrow- we would be fine. We have a crib, several blankets, a stroller and a bouncy seat. The rest is more for convenience.
I am getting strange looks from various family members about this, I suppose maybe they are worried about attachment?
I think that if we were to get a placement as soon as March 2nd- I would be floored, but thrilled. I do not think it will be that soon, especially since we have a limited age range.
I warned you that this was a random thought post, can you imagine being in my mind 24/7?
Thursday, January 13, 2011
My first session was supposed to be on Tues- but it was canceled due to the weather, so we will have an additional class next Tuesday.
It was very informational, and intimidating at times. But also comforting.
I was overwhelmed with the amount of information, but all of it is covered in the MASSIVE binder of paperwork we were given. Seriously, a 2" binder PACKED with session info and even a section called "Promoting Safety, Permanence and Well Being"
The good things I learned, that helped to put my mind at ease-
In Michigan- when a child is placed with a foster family- there are TWO plans. One for reunification, and one for termination of parental rights. Both are being worked on at the same time.
The birth parents are given approximately one year to complete the requirements, or show great improvement. If after a year- nothing has changed- DHS will petition the court to terminate parental rights.
I had read some horror stories (admittedly not in my state) of children placed in a home for several years only to be reunited with the birth family in the end. While I fully agree that reunification is the BEST option if possible, I can't imagine that kind of time frame being productive.
DHS of Michigan puts an emphasis on Permanency- rather than Reunification. Reunification is the preferable option, but if that doesn't promote permanency- than they choose another route.
We talked a lot about the fact that children in foster care need more love and time than many kids- and what that commitment is. I had a hard time with one of the videos because they showed images of a young boy with HORRIBLE bruises. And of course, internally I was asking God-once again- "WHY?" Why can they have children and abuse them in this way? Why can't I have a child? I don't think this line of thinking will ever go away.
I have already realized that I am going to need to work on not judging the birth parents. I want to say that I will always remember not to judge someone else, but I can't promise that. Thankfully my husband is usually better at that than me. I am compassionate, but I have a hard time being compassionate to someone who has made mistakes that hurt someone that I care about. Whereas my husband is a great listener who tends to just accept people as they are.
A lot of things we talked about were more geared for older children, and I wanted to write those things off mentally, but I don't know what lies ahead for us. While we may only be considering babies at this time- we may be in a place down the line to take in older children, and I still need to be prepared and know how to deal with the issues that may arise.
This session definitely didn't turn me off of foster parenting, but I realized that I need to learn some things about myself and work on them to make sure I can give any foster child the best possible home.
I am really down this morning. I think it stemmed from seeing the Maternity clothes in the back of my closet. Two years ago, they were given to me by various friends. I thought I would be wearing them by now. But I am not, and I don't know if I will!
Do I give them away? That would seem like I really am giving up.
I am glad my foster class is tonight (my first one was canceled on Tues because of the snow). I really think that will help this mood. I know that we are getting closer to becoming a family, and even though I am still dealing with my feelings about not TTC. I'm sure this isn't a short process, and even once we have a child, I will still mourn the pregnancy process.
That is something DH doesn't understand. He is a fixer, as most men are. He sees the solution to the problem (adoption/fostercare) and forgets about the reason we made that decision. He wants me to be "better" and while I have come a long way, I still struggle every day to be productive instead of crawling into bed and staying there.
And as usual, I hate limbo. Although we are on the path to FC, we are in limbo again. We also just found out about a position opening within DHs company. He REALLY wants this job and I really want this for him, and us too. It would mean a lot of good changes, including schedule. As much as I am excited about this opportunity, I feel like it puts us in more limbo.
I am also starting to feel left out with certain friends of mine. When a discussion comes up about certain kid things, I cannot contribute. Either it is something I haven't experienced yet, or my opinion is discounted because I am not a mom yet. I know this will change soon, and I look forward to that- but it is still hard.
I have to remember to blog on days that i feel like this. I tend to think that because I'm doing better, I don't need to process these emotions. But if anything, I need to more so that I don't wind up back at square one.
Monday, January 10, 2011
At first I didn't think we would be attending those- since DH works afternoons, and the classes are from 6-9 on Tues and Thurs. I asked about Saturday classes, and the next classes are on days that DH can make it- but I can't. So we are taking the classes separately rather than wait until March to take them. By the end of the month we will be finished with the first requirement!!
I'm not sure where we go from there- but I'm assuming we begin the VERY long process of the background checks and home assessment. I'm already making lists of stuff I want to buy and have on hand, and what needs to be better organized/child proofed.
I am desperately seeking information on what to expect from the Home Study- so any input from Foster parents would be great, especially those in Michigan.
This has amazingly helped my attitude. We might have a child in the house by Mothers day! I'm not expecting everything to go perfectly- so I would like to be licensed by then.
Today I get to have two cuties in the house with me. My nephew William (3) had to have his tonsils and adenoids taken out this morning :( I have Joshua and Elizabeth, his younger siblings- so he can rest without his little brother trying to play and his little sister taking up mommy's attention.
I love having them in the house- and Elizabeth is at such a fun age. She is 6 months and such a happy baby. Her little giggle makes my heart melt. They are both sleeping right now- which seems like a miracle LOL!!
Thursday, January 6, 2011
You see- in all the insanity of Christmas and life- I was denying the fact that I was upset about suspending fertility treatments. I do still believe it was the best decision for me. We were really only once cycle away from injects, and we've decided we can't afford those right now anyway, so putting my body through another round of Clo.mid was not smart.
But the dreams and hopes I had for the next year or so of my life- being pregnant, having a baby shower- seeing the ultrasound, and ALL the things that come with a pregnancy- are gone. Yes, I know there is that chance of a "surprise" BFP- but I can't focus on that. So I need to accept these things and "mourn" them so I can move on. This has all occurred to me in the last few days. I wasn't blogging because blogging would require thinking about things- and that was too much for me I think. I didn't even realize what I was doing- but looking back (as usual) I can see my behavior clearly.
So after a real dip into my "hole" of depression and making DH angry because of my inability to function (and in this case, not doing several things that I promised him I would do- therefore putting us behind in leaving to visit his mom for the weekend) I realized a lot of things. DH and I had a 3 hour drive to talk, and in my case- cry. I realized that I was suppressing a lot of emotions because I didn't want to feel them, or I didn't think I should feel them. So armed with that knowledge about myself- I tried to deal with these emotions. I told DH that I needed to process these emotions, and that crying and dealing with them isn't a bad thing. I had 3 pregnancy announcements in ONE DAY (SERIOUSLY!?) and I had to deal with that.
Since then, I've been crying- a LOT lol. But again- it's been good. We decided that we REALLY needed to move forward with Foster Care. Thank to you to everyone who commented on my last post. It REALLY helped me and made me realize that I can't assume things will go wrong. I need to try and see how things work out. God has a plan- and I know that.
So that's the update part- and then we have today.
I was supposed to go grocery shopping today, and run other errands. Instead, I woke up to a husband who was in severe pain and needed to go to the doctor. I needed to run to the bank near our doctor (20 min away) anyway- so I went with him and then ran to the bank. On my way back, I heard a song that made me cry (at this point- nearly every song can do that lol) and was praying begging God to help me and just asking- for the 2343324th time- WHY? And I had the sudden desire to listen to some Christian music that might be more uplifting. I changed the radio channel- and there was a commercial on for fostercare/adoption. I listened to it- and proceeded to cry even more. I truly felt God speaking to me and reminding me that we had other options. For the first time in months- I can honestly see myself as a foster mom.
Our fostercare application was sitting at home on the desk 99% filled out, and thanks to some accountability from my friend- I ran home to get it on the way home from the doctors office. After we dropped off DHs prescriptions- we sat in the parking lot and filled out the rest of the application. And we went to the office of DHS (Department of Human Services) and.....
WE TURNED IN OUR FOSTERCARE APPLICATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is a huge step for me. We've had the application for over 6 months. And for the last month I have been saying that I'm going to turn it in. And of course I didn't LOL
So I think that's the update on me. I'm excited about this next phase. I'm off now to do some obsessive research about foster care in Michigan LOL!! I'm also planning to find more blogs of foster parents. Information overload- here I come!!!