Friday, June 28, 2013


On a Wednesday night in late March just before Easter I left my house without telling my kids where I was going. For one, I knew my older boys would be upset about taking in another child. I already told them I didn't care to hear their opinion and they needed to find a little compassion in their selfish hearts! At 16 and 19 they are old enough to be told this! I did whisper to my daughter where I was going before I left and told her to tell everyone else, yes I am a coward but I just didn't want to deal with them. I drove 40 minutes away to wait in a McDonald's parking lot to meet my beautiful new girl! Her story is the same as every one's, she just needs to be loved and we have plenty of that.
Being the coward that I am, I texted my husband to tell him the news rather than call, I remember saying something like please don't be mad! If for even one minute I thought my husband would not have been supportive I never would have gone forward with accepting a new placement, but I know my husband and he honestly has the biggest heart of anyone I know. I was only nervous about telling him because he was out of town and the way it all came about seemed so sneaky and that is definitely not me! On my way home with Bunny, I called my husband and cautiously asked him if he got my text, of course he did and was laughing at me for being so worried. He actually wanted me to pull over right then and snap a picture of her to send him! The first few days home were just a little more than overwhelming. Even though I've had 7 kids, it's been awhile since having a 10 week old and I had forgotten how crazy sleep deprivation can make you! For those first few weeks I definitely felt like I had taken on more than I could handle with a new baby and a very needy almost 2 year old. Turtle's adoptive mom was a huge help, since we were still in the middle of transitioning him, she was able to take him for several days at a time, giving all of us a much needed break. It's now been 3 months since we brought Bunny home. I'll admit those first few weeks were not easy, I remember feeling the same way when Turtle first came to us. I think after the excitement of a new placement is over and reality hits I wonder what the heck did I just get myself into! Now that I've done this a few times maybe I'll be more prepared for the emotional roller coaster next time, at least I'll know what to expect. Bunny has been so much fun to have in our home, my little girl loves to hug and kiss on her, and having an older 12 year old to help out isn't so bad either! Her favorite thing to do now besides eat, is play with her tongue. She just discovered how fun it is to stick it out, it's adorable! I don't know how long she will be with us, we had a little scare last week when her case aid said she would be moving in with family soon. I realized then just how attached I am to this little girl, I balled like a baby for a good hour. After talking with the case manager I learned that if she is moved it will be a few months. I have to remember my role as a foster mom. These kids are not mine forever, I have to love them like they are mine which is easy to do but at some point I will have to say good bye. As hard as it is, I am ok with that. There will be days when it feels as if someone has ripped my heart out but I will heal, I will go on, and there will be another sweet baby who needs me too.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Update #3

This is the last one, I promise!

Our licensing agency has some rules about the # of kids, bio and foster, under certain ages that you can have in your home at the same time. Since my daughter turned 12 in February I knew we would be able to take in another child (no more than 5 kids under age 12). I finally worked up the nerve to talk to my husband about my brilliant idea at a restaurant we always seem to go to when we have to discuss something foster related, not on purpose it just seems to work out this way! I know he was hesitant but we both agreed that when Turtle left and after we took a little break, then we could think about taking in siblings. When everything went wrong with Turtle's move I kind of resolved myself to knowing that we weren't going to get a break for awhile so what the heck why not take in another? Honestly it was a little more than that, it was a serious nagging feeling that just wouldn't go away. I knew (even if my husband didn't!) that we needed to accept another placement. While my husband was on a short business trip I scoured craigslist and found a beautiful crib for a steal so of course I had to go get it, you know just in case. I called our licensing worker to let her know we were ready to be put on the list. We were (ok, I was)  willing to accept a girl between 0-6 months. She assured me it could take a few weeks for a placement, so I faxed in our placement profile and went about my day. Literally 2 hours later at 5:00 on the dot, my agency called asking if we could take a 3 month old little girl. I of course said yes but I was freaking out! I had just finished confessing to my husband about buying the crib and even said, "don't worry, there won't be any little surprises when you come home!" How the heck was I going to explain this one? This all sounds so sneaky, but I promise I did not mean for it to all go down this way! If I have learned anything from our journey through fosterland it is to always expect the unexpected, that and leaning on my faith. I know God has a plan for each of his children, the timing of everything proves just that. I don't know why our little Bunny girl is supposed to be here but she is and we are loving (almost) every minute of it!

Update #2

Tuesday March 5th was to be the day. So many emotions leading up to this day, it is hard to be both happy and sad at the same time. Earlier in the week I had packed up all of Turtle's clothes and toys that he was taking with him and gave them to his mom. I didn't want to be doing all that on the actual day that he left. The last thing I wanted to do was say goodbye to him and then come home to an empty house and start putting away all the baby things, I knew I needed a distraction and what better way to do that than plan a family vacation to the happiest place on earth!  Honestly part of me was really looking forward to taking a break and packing and preparing a family of 9 to go on vacation was overwhelming in itself and definitely gave me something else to focus on. Turtle's adoptive mom was running late the morning she was to pick him up so we ran some last minute errands. When we got home there were 2 frantic messages an an email from his caseworker saying we couldn't move him! At this point I was so over all of this, we had said our goodbyes, everything of his had been moved, and honestly we were just done. I called my licensing agency who has been amazing in supporting and advocating for us, the director called the cps supervisor and ripped her a new one which made us feel awesome! Long story short, Turtle is still with us while we wait for his family to be certified to adopt. We are doing visits  back and forth, his family is taking him for longer stretches of time and not only when it's "convenient" for them. We have built a really great relationship with them and we are excited to watch not only Turtle, but his siblings grow up as well. This process has been emotionally draining. It is not easy sharing the boy you love knowing that one day he won't be yours at all. At times it has been messy and ugly and not at all fun but I absolutely love these kids that I get to call mine, even for a little while and  yes, I would do it all over again.

Update #1

Wow, things got crazy here for awhile. I need to be better about blogging but there's just not enough hours in the day! I want to try to remember as much as possible about our foster journey so bear with me as I do a few updates!

Towards the end of January we met with Turtle's case manager and she still hadn't started the red file process, I expressed my concerns that he really needs to be with his forever family as soon as possible. We love him to pieces but he deserves permanency. She assured us the process would be pretty quick and that we should expect to start transitioning him at the end of February. Even though I knew this would eventually happen it is still heart wrenching every time we get new news. Fast forward a couple of weeks and I get a voicemail from her saying that the family that has adopted his older sister and brother wanted to adopt Turtle! I was excited for him but concerned also because I was always told that they had been asked to take him when he was born and they didn't want to. We were asked if we could all meet together on Valentine's day and even though I had plans with my hubby it wasn't anything that couldn't be changed. Not very romantic sitting in CPS offices but hey, what do you do! The meeting went well, thank goodness my husband was with me. I did pretty good keeping my emotions in check but still it was an emotional day, I cried the whole way home! I am super happy for him and for his family, I really like them. They are completely different from us but they are kind and loving and definitely want to raise Turtle with his siblings. Honestly there is no better place for him to be. We worked out a transition plan and even though they aren't currently certified to adopt we were all reassured that there would be no problem moving him in right away. My husband had a business trip planned for the end of February so my only request was that we waited until he returned to officially move Turtle to their home. Transitions went really well, we started off slow and moved up to overnights. The emotions come and go but I am at peace and grateful that we've had time to build a relationship with his forever family and hopefully be a part of Turtle's life for a long, long time!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


It is hard to believe that we are already at that point where we need to start the renewal process for our foster care license. I've already filled out the stack of paperwork our licensing specialist gave us, made all the copies she needs and have completed 4 of the 6 hours of required training. Thankfully we are allowed up to 4 online hours through foster parent college. We will still have to attend a class next week to complete our remaining 2 hours. Our licensing specialist is coming on Thursday to complete the paperwork and do our home inspection. Now that we have been through this once before I am nowhere near as nervous as I was 1 year ago! As long as I do some last minute cleaning and putting certain things away we will be good! I can't help but reflect on our last year of fostering and wonder if it is at all what I thought it would be. I guess my answer is yes and no. I still very much feel like a rookie. We have not had any of the typical challenges, have never had to deal with bio-parent visits and has pretty much been, "here's a baby, enjoy him!" Besides the emotional ups and downs which I don't think I was really prepared for, and chasing a toddler around again, our lives really haven't changed much. It actually makes me more nervous when we end up with a "real" foster care situation. I still feel very much unprepared. We are at that point again where everything is up in the air, we have no real date or timeline so we have no idea when our world will drop out from underneath us!

Friday, December 28, 2012


I should have warned you that I would fall of the face of the earth between August and January. Between football season and the holidays life becomes a blur for 4 months every year! Even though we are crazy busy it is definitely my favorite time of year. I can't believe Christmas is already behind us and we are looking forward to a new year. I am both anxious and excited to see what 2013 will look like for our family. Here is an update in bullet points as to what has been going on in our house:
  • Turtle is still here! As Mr. Caseworker was preparing the file to transfer to adoptions he ran across the name of another relative that he needed to contact. (seriously?!) Nothing must have come of it because we met with the new case manager last week that will be with Turtle until he is adopted.
  • I tried to find out how long the process will take to find and adoptive family but was basically told it will move as fast as she wants it to, well ok then.
  •  As much as I have struggled with the decision to adopt or not, ultimately I feel good about our decision not to adopt Turtle. I love him deeply but going into this I knew we just wanted to be a foster family, judge me if you must but as my husband has said we have to share the wealth. We have been blessed with 7 beautiful kids and I know there is a family out there just waiting for that phone call that will change their life forever. I hope we will be able to stay in contact with Turtle and his family.
  • I am in total denial (almost!) of how bad it's going to hurt when Turtle leaves. Most days I can talk about it just fine but it is becoming more of a reality and I can only imagine what I am going to go through. I am praying that I will be able to hold it together at least in front of him.
  • Totally non-foster related but my 13 year old sons football team won the state championship and my husband and I travelled with him and his team to Orlando for an entire week to watch them play in the National Championships where they took 3rd place! A whole week without kids, fabulous!
  • Turtle is receiving speech and occupational therapy. His new therapists re-evaluated him last week and determined that he has significant delays, enough that he will qualify for disability services. I honestly don't think his delays will be life long but he definitely has some catching up to do.
  • Foster care is nothing and everything like I thought it would be. I have grown and stretched and loved in ways I didn't think possible. We are starting the process to renew our license and since my daughter turns 12 the end of Feb. we will be able to take in 2 children at a time. Nervous and excited for the future!
From my family to yours we hope the new year brings you much joy and happiness!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


If I've learned anything in foster care land it's that everything moves sooo slowly. I have definitely had to learn to give up control. It is almost impossible to make concrete plans and at times that drives me crazy! As a mom of a large family I have to be planned and organized otherwise our lives would be so hectic, but as a foster mom I have to give some of that up. I have been trying to figure out how long it will take for the state to find an adoptive home for our Turtle. I am in no way in a hurry to see our boy go but I need to prepare my family as best as I can. Even though we know he will be leaving there is really no timeline so it still doesn't seem quite real, our lives continue on like normal yet with a huge gray cloud hanging over our heads. When I think I have things figured out, I learn that I don't. Mr. Caseworker texted me yesterday asking if he can come for one more visit next week before he turns the case over to the adoptive case manager. I was under the impression that he had already done that and I was just waiting for someone to be in contact with me. So another 2 weeks go by where progress could have been made but hasn't. It is somewhat frustrating because my one and only concern in all of this is Turtle. I am so torn. The longer he is here the more attached he will become but I don't want to say goodbye yet, at the same time I want him to start his life with his forever family as soon as possible. How do I plan for the holidays? Will he be here for Christmas? If he is and we are in a transition period with his adoptive family will they want him for Christmas and how will I handle that? So many questions and no one to answer them for me. It is seriously going to make me nuts if I let it! I am glad that for the most part I can just easily go with the flow. Life goes on and we will keep loving on our sweet boy and count everyday that he is here with us as a blessing!