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!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Mr. Caseworker called on Monday, I didn't listen to my messages until late Tuesday afternoon. He left me a message saying there has been a ruling in the case. Bio dad's rights were terminated and Grandma's petition was denied. Is it possible to be both happy and sad at the same time? As soon as I heard the news I did a little fist pump, Yesssss! Then I began to tear up. I know that if I don't give myself that time to let it all out I won't. I hate to cry in front of my kids so I ran up to my room but stopped to grab a phone on my way so I could call my husband, then my son wanted to tell me something so by the time I made it to my room for some alone time the moment passed and the tears wouldn't come. They are there though, my heart is heavy because I know the end for us is near. I am sooo happy for Turtle though, and for the family who doesn't even know that they will soon be getting a call to adopt our sweet boy. I can't imagine doing anything harder than what we are about to do. When I told my kids last night that Turtle is going to be adopted they were all happy for him, but my sweet six year old little boy started crying right away. I assumed he was sad that Turtle would be leaving but he said he was sad for Turtle that he couldn't go home to his family. I quickly had to explain to him the cold hard facts of why Turtle can't be with his parents, and also reassure him that Turtle doesn't  know any better, he is happy, we love him and are taking care of him until he can go to his forever family. As a mom I feel somewhat guilty for sort of crushing my children's innocence. They are aware of so much more than most children growing up in "normal" families. They know there is a world out there where mommys and daddys choose drugs over their kids, where parents end up in prison and can't take care of their kids. I also know they are gaining so much by us being a foster family, I am so amazed by them everyday. So many emotions going on. This is all so new to us, I'm not sure how long this whole process will be. There is another foster family  on my son's football team and I know their last foster child was just adopted a little bit ago so I will definitely be picking their brains tonight at practice so I can get a better idea of just what to expect. Again, so happy for our little Turtle but so sad for me. I will go through the heartbreak again and again and again though because they are worth it, and I just can't imagine walking away from these kids.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


As of today I still haven't heard if the judge has made a ruling in Turtle's case. I am getting a little tired of people asking me but I know they mean well. Mr. Caseworker came by last week for his monthly visit. I asked him how he felt court went, telling him that my husband and I left thinking it really could go either way. He said he really didn't feel that way at all and was pretty confident that the ruling would be positive. I am relieved by still very guarded. I never get my hopes up, I just hate being disappointed! So until we know for sure I will still believe that things could go either way. I am not pessimistic just a realist, but I do feel at peace and even hopeful that the best outcome will happen for our sweet boy.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


So here it is almost 3 weeks since court happened I haven't heard anything! I wasn't really expecting to hear anything last week but for sure this week and so far nothing. I texted Mr. Caseworker on Friday reminding him of something he said he was going to do but hasn't and just said let me know as soon as you  hear anything regarding Turtle's case. He didn't reply. I am not that anxious about it considering there is just nothing I can do at this point, I just wish I had the answers. After going through the crazy emotions of court and the possibility of him leaving I told my husband, I hope you know he's not going anywhere! I was dead set on this sweet boy never leaving our home. When we began the process of becoming foster parents my husband was very clear that he would support my desire to foster 100% but we were not adopting. Nothing against adopting, we think it is wonderful but we have been blessed with 7 great kids and for now we choose to just be a foster home. I am definitely open to the idea of adopting one day. Turtle has been in care since he was born, if we were his first and only home I think there is no question that we would want to adopt him. It has been a hard self journey for me but I truly believe that my role in his life is as his foster mommy. I know that each child that comes into our home is there for a reason, I don't know what that is but I do believe that God has a plan and I have to give up control. I think the only way I can muddle my way through foster care land is to really believe that. If adoption is meant to be for us then we will know without a doubt that that is what we should do. I know if we were to adopt Turtle it would be for purely selfish reasons, to avoid the pain that will be inevitable when he leaves. There are sooo many families waiting to adopt and I do feel good that we can help make someone else's dream come true. I keep telling myself this in the hopes that it will make it easier to let him go! My 9 year old son said the other day ," I'm ready for the next one." All of them love Turtle and I know we will take awhile to heal once he leaves but I think this is just God's way of preparing their hearts for when he does leave. My kids have been amazing, I am so proud of them for stepping up and accepting our foster kids completely. It has opened their eyes to a whole other world and it has been so neat as a mom to watch them grow in so many ways. For now we will just keep doing what we do, loving our sweet boy and creating forever memories.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I should have updated earlier but I think I just needed time to process. Long story short, no decision was made that day but I will tell the long story anyway.  I was such a wreck that day! I know that I am a strong person, things really don't bother me but this was different. We live in this world of foster care but for us we have been somewhat removed from all the hard stuff. We don't have bio visits, I don't have people coming over all the time, I just take care of our little guy and live our lives. Going to court that day made it all very real. All along I knew there was a grandma out there who wanted Turtle but actually seeing her, hearing her voice just made it all too real. My husband and I sat in the back of the courtroom, we were all waiting for the grandma to show up so the hearing could start. I was secretly hoping she just wouldn't come! When she finally did show up she opened the door and asked if this was where she was supposed to be. She couldn't see us, and we couldn't see her from where we were seated but just hearing her voice made me tear up. I told my husband that I didn't think I could do this. I just can't bear the thought of him leaving us to live in  a life of poverty. If this case were just a matter of financial concerns there would be no case. She is his family and that's where he belongs but because of grandma's loooong criminal history it is just not a safe place for him to be. Grandma did herself no favors that day, let's just say she is a very interesting individual. After 3 long hours of testimony the judge took the matter "under advisement" and he has up to 60 days to make a ruling. The attorney thinks we should hear something in about 2 weeks. My husband and I both left thinking that this could go either way. It will be a tragedy if he leaves, not only for us but for him. Turtle deserves to grow up in a home full of love with opportunities to do all the things that kids do. I know that she can't give him that. So once again we wait. I am not thinking about it all the time, I think my heart is trying to pull away. My brain wants me to think that it will be ok if he leaves, that I will have so much more time to myself, that I need a break, that the future is too unknown for me to take on. In reality I know it is just the opposite, but I am in survivor mode trying to protect myself form heartbreak. I knew it wouldn't be easy but it is very definitely worth it, he is worth it.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Today is the day. I told my husband this morning that this is the hard part. We live every day like any other normal family but then there are the days like today when you realize nothing about being a foster family is normal. Who would willingly put themselves through this? We must be slightly crazy. I am being completely unproductive this morning, watching the clock, praying, crying, not sure what to do with myself. I want to sit and cuddle with Turtle but now that he's walking he's not having it! I am so grateful that he is young enough to have no idea what could really happen today. I keep going through different scenarios in my mind as to how things could go, how will I react, how I will I tell my children. I just don't know, we haven't been down this road before. I didn't make a big to do about saying good bye to Turtle this morning, if he leaves there will be time for that still. My kids know about today but I'm not sure they really understand what a big deal it is. I wish I had some of their innocence! My agency representative offered to go with me to court but then I never could get a hold of her and she didn't bother returning my calls. I really didn't want to go alone and without even asking, my husband said he'd go with me. I am grateful for him but somehow that makes it even a little more emotional. Going with someone I barely know I would be more inclined to hold it all in, but being there with my husband I don't know if I can! Going to court today serves many purposes, the first is that I am hoping our presence shows the judge that Grandma is not the only option. I am also hoping that if things don't go our way that I will leave with some sense of peace about it. If not, it will make it that much harder to let him go. This is not easy, but loving him is and I will gladly go through the hard stuff for the opportunity to be his mama if only for a little while.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Court is on Thursday. Last week I started to feel the nerves creeping in, now there is an indescribable anxiousness that has taken over my whole body. Almost my every thought has something to do with what is happening this week. Even my husband is getting anxious. We know it is going to be hard if he leaves. Every one of my kids is begging us to adopt him. I just don't have answers for them yet. It is crazy to think that just one person holds Turtle's entire future in his hands. I wonder if the judge really understands how great of a responsibility that is or if he is just doing his job. I pray that he "gets it". I am not required to attend these court cases but I will be there this time. I want the judge to see that there are people in this world who love this little boy and care about what happens to him. I think that the only way that I can reasonably get through this is to know that it is just not in my hands. I have to believe that God has a plan and it may not be what I think is right but I have to put my trust in Him and have faith that whatever the outcome may be it is truly His will.  These next few days I will try to prepare for him leaving but I don't think I will pack up everything. His stuff is mainly in one place so if needed I can quickly gather his toys and clothes. I want to spend my time holding him a little longer, saying I love you a little more often, and kissing those big chubby cheeks a few more times!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Baby Steps

Guess who is walking! Over the last week Turtle has gone from taking 1-2 steps between the couches to standing up by himself in the middle of the room and walking! I am one proud mama! The progress he has made these past 4 months has been nothing but amazing. When he came to us at 10 months old he was just barely sitting up by himself. We have been blessed to see him roll over, army crawl, crawl on all 4's, pull himself up, cruise around the furniture and take his first steps. I know that these are exciting milestones for all parents but we celebrate each and every accomplishment as if it was the most exciting thing that has ever happened! At a family party tonight he showed off his new skills to our family as they cheered him on! Have I told you  how amazing he is! I tell everyone that being a foster parent has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I love it. It is hard work, an emotional roller coaster, but it is times like these that make it all worth it!

Friday, July 27, 2012


Before today I knew Turtle had another court date in August but I didn't know when. After the last court hearing in June his GAL had said the hearing was set for August but he couldn't recall the exact date. I was assuming it was mid month since that would be 60 days from the last one. I was secretly hoping not to know the actual date thinking maybe I would just cruise through the day none the wiser as to what was happening. At least that way I could avoid the anxious days leading up to court. Mr. Caseworker visited today and I just had to ask when it was and he surprised me by saying the 30th! I am excited to have another month with my sweet boy, but I really wish things would move faster so our Turtle could find his forever family. As much as I want to "save" him, I know that we are not his forever. I love him dearly, I will not even think about the day we will have to say good bye. I am desperately hoping bio dads rights will be terminated and the judge will have mercy on this sweet boy and give him the forever family he deserves. Mr. Caseworker will start the adoption "red file" process now to hopefully persuade the judge that there is a forever family waiting for him. I pray that if adoption is the answer that his adoptive parents will want to continue a relationship with us. I guess I am hoping for a lot, but I want nothing but the best for him.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blog Hop

Before we became a foster family I spent hours and hours on the computer reading about other foster families experiences. Even though we are new to the world of foster care, I know I have gained so much by following these other moms through their own journeys. Here is a list of other foster blogs for you.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


We have been on vacation for 11 days now, I think this is a record for us. My husband and 2 oldest boys went home after our time at the beach and me and the 6 younger kids have been at my mom's house for the past 6 days. It has been great but I am ready to be back in the comfort of my own home. Having a large family is pretty routine to me but I can tell it has been a little overwhelming to those around us who aren't used to it. I have to say that my kids are really well behaved though, they have gotten along for the most part, I just think the constant noise can be too much for some people. My mom was having a get together today at her house with some friends from church so I took my kids out for the day just to give her time to clean and prepare, and breathe! We saw the new Ice Age movie, well my kids did, I was out walking the lobby with a very noisy Turtle! I did get to see the end and stayed to watch the credits as the theme song played and I couldn't help but think how perfect that song is for us foster families. Yes we may look different and may not be your ordinary family but that's what makes us stronger. I love it, my new favorite song. When I came back to my mom's house her friends were all leaving, I overheard my older (step) brother explaining to someone that I was his step sister. When I heard him say that I have to admit it kind of stung a little. His mom, my step mom raised me, she has been a part of my life for the past 30 years. I have always called her mom, my youngest step sister has just always been my sister and I refer to my step brother as my brother. We aren't extremely close  but I probably have more of a relationship with him than  his 3 biological sisters do. I know he didn't mean any harm in it at all, I was just somewhat surprised to hear myself labeled that way, for me it sort of creates somewhat of a separation. That got me thinking about how we refer to Turtle. I never introduce him as my foster son, I just say this is Turtle and if asked I will say we are fostering. I have caught myself recently stopping myself from saying to my other kids, "your brother" when referring to Turtle. Like, "don't wake up your brother!" I don't know if I should refer to him as their brother or not. I know they all feel that bond with him, my 6 year old is always saying that it's just like Turtle is part of our family. I want to protect them from the heart break they will feel when he leaves but I know I can't, and calling him their brother won't make that any harder or easier. Maybe I am protecting myself, as if it will hurt any less when he leaves our home whether I call him my son or not. Having Turtle on vacation with us has strengthened our bond even more, I could see it as I watched my husband carry him proudly through a restaurant. I felt it as I held him close and experienced new places together. No one in the world loves this little boy as much as I do. Not his mother who chose a different life, not his father who sits behind bars, not his grandmother who has never seen him. Me, mama, mommy. My husband and I will have to have a very serious talk when I get home.

Friday, July 6, 2012


I didn't realize that I haven't blogged in such a long time. Our summer has been relaxing and pretty easy. We leave for our family vacation next week and I can't wait, I am excited to spend time with my family. I finally called Mr. Caseworker yesterday just to make sure it was ok for Turtle to travel with us. I don't know why I kept putting it off, I guess I knew it wasn't going to be a big deal I just wanted to make sure he knew where Turtle would be. After I got off the phone with him I thought, "that was pretty easy!" Then I had a little bit of foster mom guilt. I read several other foster blogs, since starting on this journey I have found comfort in hearing what others have experienced, and great inspiration as I try to navigate my way through the system. One particular mom has had to jump through all kind of hoops to take her kiddos on vacation with her, and I can't help but feel somewhat guilty that so far our journey through foster care land has been so easy. I don't have people coming in and out of my house all the time like I thought I would, we don't have bio parent visits to deal with, I see someone from our agency or Mr. Caseworker every few months. They come monthly but it's usually at the beginning of one month and then not until the end of the next month, not every 30 days. Turtle is a part of our family which is sometimes interrupted by a court date. I am grateful that so far things have been as drama free as possible, I know it won't always be this easy. I was watching my 9 year old play with Turtle in his high chair tonight and thought about how hard it is going to be on my kids when he leaves someday. They love him, I love him. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about him leaving, or the possibility of him staying forever. So nothing about foster care is really that easy, except loving these kids, that is definitely easy.

Monday, June 18, 2012


I really hate court days. I feel like I am freaking out on the inside but outwardly no one would ever know. Actually the last couple of days have been busy making sure Turtle would have everything he needed if he ended up going to grandmas. I have bought extra toys and clothes, and his favorite snacks. Two of my older kids had doctor appointments today then we ran around picking up the last of his WIC food, all the pictures I have ever taken of him, 189 in the last 2 months, not bad! My phone kept reminding me that court was happening in x amount of minutes. I couldn't help but think that this baby's life is about to change. Thankfully we were busy all morning but when we finally got home I saw the dreaded light blinking on my answering machine. There was a message from the GAL about 45 minutes before court, makes me a little upset that he didn't call sooner. He knows nothing about Turtle and had he bothered to call me earlier I could have given him alot of info to help Turtles case. Oh well, I called the number he left and surprisingly he answered! I apologized for not being home earlier (he is actually the same GAL for Drummer) we talked for a second then I had to ask what happened in court today. For being as tight lipped as he was for Drummer's case I was surprised he even told me anything but like last time pretty much nothing happened. I guess this was just a preliminary hearing to decide if an actual hearing was needed. I have no idea, but, another court date was set for August, he couldn't remember the date off hand which means Turtle will be with us until then and in the GAL's words, most likely after that! Yippee! As happy as I am that we get to love on this little boy for a little longer I grieve for him because I know that he needs and deserves a forever family. He has been in foster care since birth and by August he will be 14 months old. I don't understand why it is taking so long to make a decision in his case. Everyone always asks how long we will have him and I have to say I don't really know, our lives now are lived from court date to court date with a whole lot of loving in between. I am so excited to share the summer with him, we have a lot of fun things planned and the one thing my kids all said when I told them that Turtle would be with us until August is that "he gets to go to the beach with us!" I am so glad that they are happy to share their lives with him too.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I had so much fun putting together this little party for Turtle, and by little I mean us, my in-laws, our best friends and their kids, our neighbors, and Mr. Caseworker! I believe first birthdays should be a big celebration, I know most think why have a big party when the birthday kid won't remember it but I think it is more about a celebration of their life and the joy that they have brought to ours. I told my husband that maybe I went a little overboard but he said Turtle deserves it, and you know what , hes right! We are so glad that we were able to share this special day with him, all day I had a lot of different feelings swirling around about that fact but I will save that for another post. I wanted to make sure Turtle ate a good dinner before diving into his cake but I probably shouldn't have fed him so much, he was a little too full to eat much cake but he did do a good job of spreading the frosting all over his face! I was really touched that the special people in our lives would take the time to come celebrate with us, we have incredible family and friends! When I texted Mr. Caseworker last week about our little party he said he was honored to have been invited and would of course be here. Have I mentioned how awesome he is? Turtle was way more interested in the tissue paper than his actual gifts but it was fun to watch him go crazy with the paper! He loves all his light up and music toys, my husband wanted him to have a musical table that would help encourage him to stand up, my daughter and I made him a blanket, it took all day Saturday to make but we are sure proud of it! He didn't come to us with anything "special" so now he has his own blankie, a super soft & squishy stuffed puppy and 3 bright and colorful books. I am a huge fan of children's books so I want to make sure all my kiddos leave with at least a few of their own. We had such a fun time, I feel so lucky to have this little guy in my life! Happy 1st Birthday Turtle, we love you so much!
 He was a little more interested in the balloons than his cake!
 Turtle loved the bright tissue paper! We had to take it away just to get him to look at his gifts.
Turtle and his very own blankie, he had lots of helpers who wanted to open his gifts!

Friday, June 1, 2012


Yesterday I got a call from the hospital wanting to schedule Drummer's upper GI that the pulmonologist had ordered for him. I explained that he was my foster son but not longer lived with me. I let the scheduler know that I had given all of the information to his new foster mom and she was supposed to follow up with it which obviously she hasn't. I just had the thought that maybe she has gotten it done somewhere closer to her, it's a possibility. I want to think the best but it is not my first reaction. I could call his caseworker to let her know but I really don't think it would do any good. I actually had a dream last night that I did call her to check on Drummer and she informed me that he and his sister had been moved and were living with a hitch hiker! What the heck! I don't know what part of my subconscious that came out of! I guess that I will always worry about him and hope for the very, very best for him. That's the thing about foster care, these kiddos come into our lives for such a brief moment but they will never, ever leave our hearts. I don't think there is a day that goes by that I don't think about him. I have had the opportunity lately to talk to several people about foster care. I love to share our experience and hopefully inspire others to get involved too. They always ask if it's hard to let them go and I say it's the hardest thing you'll ever have to do, it's brutal, gut-wrenching and just plain sucks. BUT, being a foster parent is the most rewarding thing I have ever done, and I will put myself out there again and again for the opportunity to give these sweet kids the love and attention they deserve.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Things have been relatively quiet here. We have had an incredibly busy last few weeks with baseball, end of the school year activities and my oldest son's graduation. Yesterday we had a pool party and celebrated the May/June birthdays in our family. It was so fun to include Turtle in all of the festivities of our long 5 day weekend. I even told my husband that he fits right in. We were able to celebrate Turtle's birthday with our extended family and it was so sweet of everyone to sing to him and give him little gifts. I have the best family, and am so lucky that everyone is supportive of our role as foster parents. I am excited to plan Turtle's actual birthday party this week, now that things have quieted down a little we can look forward to a fun 1st birthday celebration! Since becoming foster parents just 2 short months ago everything has been sort of a whirlwind of events and emotions. I wasn't prepared for how quickly I would become attached to my boys and how much it hurt when Drummer left. Having Turtle come into our lives that very same day was actually a blessing, crazy yes but good for us. It has been amazing to watch the changes in Turtle, both physically but also in his countenance too, you can't help but see it. This morning as I came downstairs he caught sight of me and army crawled just as fast as he could over to me, he definitely knows I'm his mama! I am so glad that I get to love on him and that I have been blessed to have him in my life. So for now we are going to enjoy the next couple of weeks of summer and not think about what will happen next!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


We bought ourselves a little more time with Turtle yesterday! Court was postponed for 4 weeks because of a conflict of interest between the attorneys for dad and Turtle so Turtle is being assigned a new GAL and court is set again for 6/13. By 5 o'clock I hadn't heard from Mr. Caseworker so I texted him to see how things went. About half an hour later he called back to explain what happened. I am relieved and excited. When I told my kids that Turtle gets to stay with us another month we all did a happy dance around the room. Of course he has no idea what is going on but it was so fun to see my kids genuinely happy. I have been thinking so much about what my role is in his life and what really is best for him. I feel like if I am going to survive the world of foster care I have to be okay with letting my babies go home. The hardest thing is knowing that 9 out of 10 times we or another adoptive family could provide a much better life for these kids but is that really what is best? I think I have to come to terms with the fact that family is family and as long as it is safe for them to return home or with another family member then that is where they need to be. Going into this I really wanted to help strengthen families, we haven't had the opportunity to work with birth parents yet but I hope when we do it will be positive for everyone. If there really is no reason for Turtle not to be with his Grandma then who am I to stand in the way?  I just want so much for these babies to grow up loved, to have a chance at a successful future. I want the same things for them as for my own kids but maybe even more because it will be so much harder for them. Yesterday I attended an awards ceremony with my second oldest for an anti-drug video he made. We had the opportunity to hear from our County attorney who spoke to the kids and shared a little about his life and how he grew up in south LA, raised by a single mom. One thing he said that really stuck with me is that your circumstances in life do not dictate who you are or what you can become. That is true for all of us. I think I have been prepared for my role as a foster mom my whole life because of the experiences I've had growing up. We all have the choice to dwell on the negative things or get on with life. I choose to keep on swimming! I love being a foster mom, the good the bad and the ugly, I love it. Others may not think so but I think foster parents are a choice people. What we are asked to do, love these kids like ours and then let them go-I have never had to do anything harder in my life. It hurts, it hurts bad but we survive and we open our hearts to the next child that needs us because we know that our hurt is nothing compared to theirs. So, a lot of thinking going on here, I am learning as I go and with each new experience will come more confidence. The great news in all of this is I get to plan a 1st birthday party! Can you guess what the theme is going to be? Turtles of course!

Monday, May 14, 2012


Two more days until the fate of our sweet boy is determined. Mr. Caseworker just came by for his monthly visit, he was 10 minutes early in fact! Despite the fact that he forgot about last weeks visit I still really like him. We talked for awhile about what could possibly happen at court on Wednesday. Unlike Drummer's caseworker, he is very open and shared quite a bit with me. Apparently the judge assigned to Turtle's case is the most pro-bio family judge in the county. Great. Not what I was hoping for. Turtle's paternal grandma passed the home study but only marginally, she is dependent on the state to meet her financial needs. I know that she is family but she has never seen him, she has no relationship with him and he's about to be a year old. I also found out that she didn't even raise Turtle's father, he grew up in group homes himself. It breaks my heart knowing that there is a strong possibility that he will be placed with her. I could tell that Mr. Caseworker really loves this little boy. He has been his case manager since birth and has watched him grow up. I am glad that he came to see us, he admitted that he was initially against Turtle being moved from his first home, but now that he has seen him and the progress he has made in just the past month he is happy for him. He kept saying how much he's changed, that there is a 110% difference in what he can now do. He just sat here for awhile watching him play, not really saying anything. I think he was actually a little emotional! So sweet that there are people in the system that do love these kids and they become attached to them too. The next few days will be hard, I don't even know if he is leaving but just thinking about it I get a huge lump in my throat. It just stinks that this little boy has been through so much already, he needs a family. I  hope that the judge will see that and give our little Turtle a chance to have a life full of love and happiness.

By the way, I managed to keep my house clean all week for todays visit. I even scrubbed my scary bathroom! My daughter's room is still a mess (she's grounded until it gets cleaned!) and the playroom is beyond help but it didn't matter because he never looked around! I know the one time that I throw caution to the wind and my house is a disaster will be the time someone decides to check in all the rooms! In all honesty it's never really that bad,  last week was just a little crazy and it got the best of me!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Yesterday we had an appointment scheduled with Turtle's caseworker. About 30 minutes after he was supposed to be here I sent him a friendly text asking if he was still planning on coming out today. Kudos to him he replied right away very apologetically that he forgot to put the meeting on his calendar and would need to reschedule. I can't tell you how frustrating this is. I have come to expect it but I am very busy too and am usually squeezing them into my schedule so if they run late it throws my day off too. Not to mention the stress I put on myself to clean the house, although that's not a bad thing I do stress over it! I am learning though, I never got to my daughters room and the playroom is a disaster but figure there was at least a 90% chance that he wouldn't even look around so I'd probably be good. I should have figured in the last 10% that he'd be a no show! I realized the other day that nobody except Mr. Caseworker even knows that I have him in my home. I don't even know how that is possible but the DE$ department that sends us our monthly billing statement showed no record of Turtle being here or even that Drummer had left, then I had to call CMDP the other day because of a problem getting a rx for Turtle and the nice lady that was helping asked if I was E****, the former foster mom. Nope, not me. So basically Mr. Caseworker has not filed the necessary paperwork to let anyone know that we have baby Turtle and as far as anyone else is concerned he is still somewhere else. I know there are a lot of kids in care and the system is overwhelmed but these are children and not one of them should ever be forgotten.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I called Turtle's case worker today just to get an update on things and find out if we would be able to take our sweet boy on vacation with us at the end of the month. I am still trying to figure out if I really want to know what is going on with my kids cases or if I like being kept in the dark.  I have to say that I really like this caseworker, I haven't called him much but of the few times I have he has answered his cell phone every single time, I have never had to leave a message. He caught me up to date on what has been happening, bio moms rights have already been terminated, I'm not sure if this happened since I've had him or before but she has never had any contact with him that I know of. Apparently there was a hearing today for TPR on dad who is currently incarcerated and will be for awhile. The bio dad's mother wants Turtle placed with her but everyone involved is against it, her background isn't too stellar either. A hearing to decide on his placement with her is scheduled for the 16th. I already knew some of this but having an actual date is so scary, if the judge decides Turtle be placed with his grandma he would leave right away. I don't know if I can do this again so soon. I knew Turtle was another short term placement, but still thought we would have him for at least a few months. I am still very hopeful that he will be free for adoption and we can help make another family's dreams come true. It is hard enough letting these babies go but to have to send him into a bad situation is just unthinkable. There is no way you can let your mind get too wrapped up in it all, I have to remind myself constantly that we are loving him and keeping him safe and that he is happy. I know that we have made a difference even if it is just for a little while. Just 30 minutes ago everything was great, now I have a BIG date looming over my head. Now what do I do the day of the hearing? Do I have everything packed up just in case, would they move him immediately? I wish I wasn't so new to all of this and knew a little more about what to expect. I think all we can really do is expect the unexpected!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I am cheap. I hate spending full price on anything. I love to shop clearance racks, use coupons and get a good deal on everything. I am frugal in some areas of my life but not in others, it's good to have a balance right? I heard that some places will give discounts to foster families but haven't had much luck finding any except for a local kids resale shop. Somewhere I heard that the YMCA gives discount memberships to foster families but haven't had time to check into it. I called the other day and the girl who answered didn't give me much information but just said to come in and talk with them. So today we took a little trip down to the Y and took a tour of their fabulous facility. Another mom was taking the tour too and actually brought up the question of discounts for foster families, she does respite care. The "concierge" told us it was completely free for the whole family! Oh happy day, gotta love free! I was hoping for a discount but heck, you can't beat free! I am very excited, especially with summer coming and the kids are all home from school. My teenager has been bugging us to join a gym so he is going to love it! They have a heated outdoor pool, top of the line fitness equipment, group classes, a huge basketball gym, rockwall, and a really fun kids area with free child care for the little ones while I make a fool of myself on the treadmill. I guess I have no more excuses for not getting in shape! I've tried looking online for other discounts maybe to our local museums or zoo but haven't found much. If you know of any please let me know!


In the last week people have asked me questions that have caught me off guard. I always thought I was of the opinion that I would rather people be upfront with me but I think I'd rather them keep their questions to themselves! At my daughters softball game last week another mom asked me where Turtle was from. We live in a big suburb of an even bigger city so I was trying to figure out what she meant, when she must have seen the confused look on my face and asked if he was from the United States. I know she meant well, and that she assumed that he was adopted but seriously, just because he is black most certainly does not mean that he came from Africa. I have no tolerance for ignorance. Then today as I was checking out at the grocery store the cashier asked if he was adopted. I absolutely don't mind this question because it gives me the opportunity to share our experience with foster care. After I said no, we are fostering I think she thought this gave her free reign to ask anything. She first started by saying oh, is he cross-eyed? Um, no he was looking at a toy hanging from his carrier that was right in front of his face, that would make you cross-eyed too. Of course I didn't say that, I am always the polite one! Then she said, so nobody wanted him? Excuse me! Uh, no they just couldn't take care of him right now. How dare she! I know I am just a foster mom but he is my baby. I hope this was just her being dumb and not that she thought that because he was "just a foster kid" she could say whatever. I am protective of my kids but since we started fostering I am fiercely protective of my foster babies. No one or nothing will hurt them if I have anything to do with it! I am going to learn to be a little quicker on my feet. Not rude, I just need a snarky comment to put people politely in their place!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I am a planner by nature, I like to make lists, shop out of season, and plan ahead. This is a great ability to have when you are trying to run a family the size of mine however not so great in the world of foster care. I have learned to let go of alot. I would not say that I am a control freak, I just like to be organized and know what's going on. And if you throw off my routine I have a hard time adjusting unless it works in my favor! Turtle's birthday is a little over a month away, I am pretty sure he will be here but are we ever really sure? Everything could change in a moments notice, or nothing could happen for awhile, we never really know. I want so  badly to plan his first birthday party but the frugal (and self-protective) part of me won't let me buy decorations, or birthday gifts just yet. That is sooo hard! I was told there is court at the end of the month but wasn't given a specific date. I think that I really want to go just so I know what the heck is happening with his case and get a better idea of how long we get to love on him. I would love to take him on vacation with us in early June, I know we would be given permission I just don't know if he will still be with us then. That part is really hard for me, not only the lack of planning but I don't even want to let myself imagine doing all the fun things together and then be heart broken if he's not a part of it. For now I just have to try to put it out of my mind and hopefully in the next few weeks we will have a better idea of what's to come.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Super Doc!

Yesterday we had an appointment with Turtle's pediatrician. I purposely drove 45 minutes out of my way so that we could visit with the pediatrician that he has seen since birth. It was so worth it. As foster moms we don't usually get to know much if any medical history about our kiddos. It was super important for us to see this particular doctor since she had a huge role in him being court ordered to be removed from his former foster home. Everyone in the office commented on how happy he was, that they had never seen him laugh, or talk that he was usually in a stroller crying. So sad that my boy wasn't getting loved on as much as he deserved. The pediatrician filled me in on some of the issues and I could tell she was very glad and somewhat relieved to see that she did the right thing, she even expressed how hard it was to get involved. I am so, so glad that there are good doctors out there who will fight for these kids too, she is awesome! My little Turtle is changing like crazy, still working on clapping, his fine motor skills are a little lacking but he's gonna do it , I promise! He is a super happy baby, loves all the attention he is getting, loves to laugh, and loves to yell! He definitely wants everyone to know that he is in the room! We are so blessed to be able to love on him, I love seeing how much these babies change in just the first few days of having them in our home. It just goes to show what a whole lotta love and attention will do!

Friday, April 20, 2012


I have no shame in the fact that I use WIC for my foster babies. At least while they are on formula it is a huge help. I would rather spend my money on clothes and toys and spoiling them silly anyways. The other day I had an appointment set up for Turtle but found out that the former foster mom had already gotten checks for April so unless she returned the checks to WIC or gave us the formula then we were out of luck. The lady at our WIC office really went out of her way to help us and I could tell she felt really bad that she couldn't do anything for us. I assured her it wasn't a big deal, I can buy him formula and food. She went all the way to the state level trying to help! Apparently former foster mom already used the checks for the month and told the state WIC supervisor that Turtle had already gone through his formula. 7 cans in 2 weeks, I highly doubt that, I don't think he even goes through one entire can in a week. I really could care less about it, I am just really upset that someone involved in foster care who is supposed to be doing the absolute best for these kids can be like that. The formula is his, not hers. When Drummer left I sent all his food and the 9 brand new outfits that my agency had given him. The way I see it, it belongs to him not me. I guess not everyone is in foster care for the right reasons.


You know you're a foster parent when you dream about a placement call! Never before in my life have I dreamed about foster care, now I am dreaming that I received a call for a 17 month old little girl. I actually considered it and was trying to figure out how to juggle the 2 boys and now her. So crazy!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Long Shot

I just emailed our placement coordinator asking if I could take Drummer. I haven't even asked my husband! I know it won't happen, we are only licensed for one but I had to at least ask. It would be crazy fun to have both little boys here. What if they say yes? It won't happen but at least I tried.


Earlier as I was sitting here catching up on my blog posts my phone rang, the caller ID showed blank, blank State govt. Having got that call a few times I knew it was CP$. Drummers CW was calling with a problem, apparently the new foster mom was going to have to put him in day care alot more than she expected and wanted me to take him back. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!! My heart sank at that moment, I wanted to cry but held it together long enough to let her know this is why I was so adamant that he not be moved, but nobody would listen to ME! We would have kept him in a heartbeat but I already have a new placement and I won't disrupt him. She basically said thanks and hung up. That's when I cried. I love that little boy, he will be a part of me forever. I tried so hard to make sure that the new foster mom was aware of the amount of care that he needed. CP$ just doesn't care. They want siblings together which I fully support but only if it is for the best interest of every child. I would have set up visitations with his sister on my own time and expense. I would have done everything possible to help everyone involved, it makes me so mad. I am not okay with the fact that he may be moved again but I am good with my decision not to move one for the other. Part of me wants to call up my agency and ask if there is anyway I can take them both but I know I can't. I am hurting for me, for him, and for all the kids out there disrupted because of somebody else's agenda. Foster care sucks!


When Drummer came to us it was seriously love at first sight, I was all in. I have to say that I really hate babysitting other people's kids. I have tried it and I just don't like it. The one thing I was worried about when it came to fostering is if I would feel like I was babysitting someone else's kids. I was relieved to find out that no, it is not that way at all. I was amazed to find out just how quickly you can fall in love with a child you don't even know, I felt fiercely protective of him. When Turtle came on Friday, it wasn't quite the same. For the first 2 days I thought there is something seriously wrong with this kid, there is alot that he should be doing by now that he's not. I wish I would remember to take a picture the day that these kids come into our home. It is amazing how much they change in just a few short days, Turtle looks like a completely different child. Maybe he was just dazed and confused, I don't know but he is definitely not the same little boy that came through my front door on Friday. It took a few days but by Monday I was completely in love! It took a few days to figure him out, and we are still working on getting him up to speed, I will seriously throw a party when he claps for the first time! He isn't crawling yet but he gets up on all fours and rocks back and forth like a rock star, he's gonna do it just in his own time. I love cheering him on and giving him all the attention he can handle! I have to admit, it is really nice that he sleeps through the night! I originally planned on taking in newborn to 12 months and now I just don't know if I could do the newborn thing again. Drummer required alot of time that with 8 kids I just don't know if I have the energy for. Turtle has been a dream, he is on a pretty good schedule and loves his naps! I am looking forward to seeing his case through to the end, whatever that may be. My heart truly is in fostering, I want to see these kids go home or be adopted by a forever family. I don't know how long Turtle will be with us but we are going to do BIG things together!


The night before Drummer left my little girl was really sick, so sick that I ended up taking her to the ER. I'm not gonna lie, a part of me was really glad for the distraction. As soon as we had a date to move Drummer I could feel myself pulling away from him. I was a little more "bothered" by having to care for a baby, and just didn't feel the same. I don't know if this is common or not but I think it was my minds way of surviving the emotional trauma. We spent a good couple of hours at the ER, poor baby had pneumonia and strep throat. By the time we got home Drummer was asleep and I finished getting things together for his move. After getting him settled with the new foster mom I dragged my poor daughter out shopping with me! Not the best mommy of the day but at least she could sit in the cart and didn't have to walk! Not even 2 hours later as we are in Wal*art picking up a few last minute things for my sons birthday tomorrow my phone rings. I honestly never hear my cell phone, it drives my husband crazy but seriously I don't use it alot so it's usually buried in my purse or diaper bag! Today it was in my pocket and while on my way to check out I get a call from CP$ asking if I would take a 10 month old little boy. I asked alot of questions then agreed to talk with the CW. The CW calls about 5 minutes later and fills me in on some of the details, apparently a judge ordered him removed from his current foster home today. Ok, well I guess I can do this.I called my hubby and said "don't be shocked but we are taking another baby!" Good thing I was already at the store, I was able to grab what we needed then rush home to clean my house! I was really looking forward to the weekend baby free too, we were going to be crazy busy with baseball games, baseball pictures, my sons birthday and taking care of my sick little girl. Looking back maybe I should have said no but so far I haven't learned how to do that and I am very glad I didn't because I think I am in love with this little guy but I think a day or two to grieve a little and recharge would have been good for all of us. My kids are so awesome, I know they were sad saying goodbye to Drummer so when they walked in Friday after school and I said "guess what?" they were so excited! Friday night could have been very overwhelming but somehow I held it all together. Heavenly Father is definitely giving me the strength to do what I need to do to help these sweet babies. I don't regret for one minute our decision to foster. I will go through the heartache over and over again for the opportunity to give these kids the love and safety that they deserve.


I have learned so many lessons these last few weeks that I will have to devote a post to just that, lessons learned. The first is never, ever, agree to help transfer your foster child to a new placement. I honestly thought I was doing what I was supposed to, being helpful and kind but I will file this one away as what not to do. The transfer went well and I am glad that I got a chance to meet and talk with the new foster mom but as I drove the 30 minutes to our meeting place I felt as if I was driving to my death. It was seriously a form of cruel and unusual punishment. I imagine if you've ever driven a pet to the pound or the vet to be put to sleep it felt a ot like that. It truly was awful and something I don't think I can go through again. The new mom is nice, grandmotherly and kind. I really don't think she is prepared for a baby, she didn't know how the car seat went in or that he needed to face backwards. She bought size 5 diapers because she was told he is 5 months old. Granted it's been awhile for her but really this isn't helping me. I emotionally said goodbye and immediately went for some retail therapy to get my mind off things, there was no way I could go home to an empty house to start putting baby things away. On my way home I called our placement coordinator to let her know that Drummer had left our home and that we were open for another placement. Silly me, I should have known better!


I really wish I was a better blogger! I have been so busy, it's amazing I even get to breathe! So much has happened the last few weeks, I wish I had blogged as we went along but this is as good as it is going to get I'm afraid. I love the foster blog world, I have gained so much by reading what other foster moms are doing and what to expect now that we've entered into this crazy world we call foster care. So to catch up, little Drummer has moved on and we have a new little boy we'll call Turtle. I wish it were that simple buy it's been hard. Last week I finally met with Drummer's new CW, I was all prepared with 2 doctors notes saying it was inadvisable to move him at this time to a place where he would be in daycare. I was confident I could plead my case and in the end do what was best for him. After my little spiel, CW calmly says "we'd like to move him this week." The foster mom who has his sister apparently only works part time and Drummer would only be in day care maybe once a week. Why couldn't anyone say that up front? I have fought for 3 weeks for this little boy for no reason. I am relieved that he won't need to be in day care but frustrated by everyone involved. Now that we have a date set for transferring him on Friday, I am so sad. I knew it would be hard but this is brutal! It is amazing how quickly you become attached to these kids. I know I did the absolute best for him, I can't dwell on him leaving but rather focus on hopefully the good that came from him being here in our home. I have so much to say I will have to continue the saga in another post! More to come.........

Thursday, March 29, 2012


When we picked up our little guy I could tell right away that he was having respiratory issues. Most of my own kids have suffered from this and it was easy to see. CW told me he has had pneumonia and rsv, poor little guy! After getting him home we quickly tested his pulse ox, he was getting enough oxygen but having to work so hard to get it. I started him on breathing treatments but by morning I told my hubby I was taking him to the ER. It's a good thing I did, Drummer ended up having bronchitis and double ear infections. I am so glad they didn't have to admit him and I was able to bring him home and love on him some more! We are doing treatments every 4 hours trying to get him cleared up, almost a week later he is doing better but still not completely recovered. I emailed CW Sunday night and basically said he was too sick to be moved anywhere and that with my experience with these kind of issues it was best if he stay put. Not bad for my first go at all this, I love this little guy and I am not letting him go that easily. After a talk with her supervisor, CW agreed to let him stay until he is better so that when he is moved he can go into daycare. Say what?! First I was super excited that Drummer gets to stay but then I wondered if anyone realizes how sick this little boy really is. This is the third or fourth time in 6 months that he has had respiratory issues, he cannot go into daycare! Every time he gets sick it will more than likely go straight to his lungs and he will require a week or two of around the clock treatments. Nothing against the other foster mom but he seriously needs to be in a home where he can get the care that he really needs. I met with his GAL yesterday, expressed my serious concerns about having him moved but I don't know if I was taken serious or not. It is obvious how happy he is here, and for our first placement he has been a dream! I have been told absolutely nothing about his case. I think because I am still looked at as a temporary placement that I am being kept in the dark. Apparently there is a court hearing tomorrow. I tried to pry info out of the GAL but he wouldn't budge other than the fact that "mom just isn't getting it". I just looked up his parents online, don't know if that was particularly smart they look a little scary! I still didn't find out anymore except when they had been arrested and that Buddha looks more like his mom. Honestly, I really don't want to know much, I don't think it affects us in any way. My job is to love this little boy, and keep him safe, that's easy!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Wow, what a crazy few days its been! CW lady ends up calling me back about an hour later and asks if I would take him for the weekend. I was hesitant but I want to foster and this kiddo needed a safe, loving place to go so I said yes! Apparently the other foster moms license needs to be amended so that she can take both kids and that just wasn't going to happen Friday afternoon. About 1/2 hour later she calls back, I was like "are you kidding me?" when I saw the caller ID, I don't think my heart can take this! Well, she just wanted to meet halfway since she was driving from over an hour away, I was sympathetic and quickly agreed to meet her and pick up the baby. I quickly ran to my favorite store and picked up a few things now that I new what size I would need, ran home grabbed the hubby and we were out the door to meet our new son! I have so much more to add but right now I am running out the door to yet another appointment!

Friday, March 23, 2012

No go

I am sad. My first introduction to foster care sucks.The caseworker just called and explained that the foster mom who was taking the sibling wanted to keep both of them. Understandable yes, I am glad that they get to stay together but I can't help but feel disappointed. I guess this is the reality of what we do. Maybe next time I won't get so excited, now I have to go put everything away. My little girl is sad too, I guess I have learned something through this. I need to do a better jjob at protecting my kids' feelings and my heart too if that's even possible.

The Call

Our lives changed today at about 1 0'clock. My husband always calls me about that time on his way back to the office after lunch so I didn't think much of the phone ringing at that time until I heard the caller ID say the one thing I've been waiting to hear since Wednesday! Our placement coordinator knows the child we are willing to take so she has been submitting us when a case comes available. I was wondering if she would call us every time she submitted our name but apparently not because CP$ called me directly and said our agency said we would be willing to take this little boy. Well of course I said yes and she said she would have the caseworker call us. I quickly called my husband (after I jumped up and down!) and told him we got the call but I didn't know anything else yet or if it was even a done deal. About 10 minutes later the caseworker called and gave me all the information she had, she was so super nice! Going into this I was really worried about dealing with all the adults involved, the kids would be easy, the adults maybe not so much! I have only had one conversation with her but she was beyond friendly and I am excited to work with her. I called my husband back, gave him all the details that I had and talked about what needed to be done. We also talked about how sad this really is. I can't imagine what these parents must feel right now. After doing my little happy dance my heart ached for this family but at the same time there are obviously things going on in their lives that warrant their children needing a safe place to call home. I am so glad that I have kept up with the house this week! I did major cleaning on Monday & Tuesday so I just had to keep it straightened up. After getting off the phone I ran around making beds, unloading the dishwasher, vacuumed the kitchen area and picked up some toys. Then I got to the fun part of going through the clothes I have gotten here and there, putting away the girly things that we won't need and taking inventory of what we need. i haven't gotten much in the way of clothes but I do have some new onesies and socks and blankets that will help until we make a run to the store later today. I washed up the baby tub, set up the swing and the play mat and now we just wait! They are coming from over an hour away and had to make another stop first so luckily I have had about 3 hours to prepare myself and my kids for our new arrival. I have been thinking about this day for so long, I can't believe today's the day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I just met with the placement coordinator from our agency, it was really a simple meeting just going over the ages of the children we are willing to accept and some other details. She had mentioned that she wished she had come last week because she had 6 calls for newborns. She wanted to know when we would be willing to take our first placement and I said right now, we are ready! She is going back to her office to submit our names for 2 of the kids right now. I sincerely doubt we will hear anything about those kiddos but I am glad she knows that we are waiting. So glad to know that we are finally on the vacancy list and can accept a placement. I know that this will be life changing for my family. I hope that I wont be overwhelmed and will still be able to meet every ones needs. A lot of people are counting on me! I just feel so grateful for my family and especially my husband who really didn't want any part of this but knew how important it was to me and has been 100% supportive, he is even a little excited too even if he wont admit it! So now we wait a little more, but this time its for real!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


We have been licensed for a week now, I thought by now we would have our first placement but I am learning patience! All week I have been waiting for the phone to ring, a placement coordinator from our agency needs to come out to our house before we are put on the official list of open homes. By Wednesday I still hadn't heard anything so decided to send a friendly little email to the licensing specialist to let her know we hadn't been contacted yet. My husband always says the squeaky wheel gets the grease. I don't want to be a pain in the rear but I truly just can't sit here and not know whats going on. As long as I know the status of things I seem to be able to move on. I really have no problem waiting, I know we are not the only ones who are, I just want to know that our file is not sitting there collecting dust! Later that evening our licensing specialist was kind enough to email me back. Apparently there has been some turnover at the agency and the person who was assigned our file felt overwhelmed and quit. Not because of us, just the work in general! We were being assigned an interim specialist and she would be contacting us. So we wait some more. Today I finally got the call I have been waiting for and the placement coordinator will be coming out next Tuesday afternoon. All in all the timing has probably been a good thing. It is spring break here and all 7 of my crazy kiddos are home from school. Had we taken our first placement this week it may have been a little overwhelming. I will be able to get my house back in order Monday when the kids are gone and life returns to normal. I am all about schedules here! I am so ready for the crazy excitement that that first call will bring!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


It's official, we are licensed! Our licensing specialist called me tonight to let me know that our license came back approved as of yesterday. I was so surprised, I told her I have been checking my email like a mad woman and haven't gotten anything! She seemed surprised too, she said they always email it but double checked it and sure enough it didn't get sent to us. Exactly 4 months to the day from our very first PS-MAPP class! Next week the placement coordinator will visit us and then we will officially go on the list of open homes. It feels so good to be licensed, I want to shout it from the rooftops but my neighbors might think I am a little nuts! It is still a little surreal knowing that I have talked about becoming a foster mom for years and years and now we have actually gone and done it. I am pretty sure the wait was worth it, now we get to wait some more. I am quickly learning that life as a foster family involves a lot of waiting! So ready to begin this crazy, wonderful jouney!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I am still here waiting, anticipating, checking my email every 5 minutes. Our home study was submitted on Friday afternoon. I figured best case we would be licensed today. I wish I could go on with life like it was any other day but the waiting is killing me! I am trying to keep myself busy but it is still hard. The thing is, once we are licensed we will still be waiting. I don't know why I am so anxious for that little piece of paper to come. I guess it is just one more step in the process before we can move on to accepting our first placement. My husband is definitely not as anxious, for him the longer we put it off the better. He is super supportive and involved but it just doesn't affect him the same way it does me. I am trying to enjoy my last few days of freedom, and full nights sleep, things are about to change. I hope to have good news tomorrow!

Saturday, February 25, 2012


I swear I can hear the seconds ticking by. Not that it is at all quiet in this house of 9 on a Saturday! I am so anxious, I just want this coming week and the next to speed by! I am having a hard time thinking of anything else but finally being licensed and even more than that of becoming a foster mom! I have had the joy and privilege of giving birth to 7 beautiful children. As I anticipated their due dates, readied the house, checked things off the to do list, the excitement built until I finally held that precious child in my arms. I am feeling that exact same way as I wait for our license to come through and anticipate the call that will change our lives. I know that becoming a foster mom was what I was meant to do. I am conflicted in knowing that a child has had to suffer in order to need me, but that is the reality of the world that we live in. I hope that I will make a difference.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


We met with our licensing specialist last night for our final interview and to sign more paperwork. We are the first family to have everything ready so she is writing up our report today and will send it to her supervisor to be reviewed in the next couple of days. Last night when she was here I asked her how long the state is taking to complete licenses and she said just a couple of days, oh my goodness! I was under the impression it was more like 2-4 weeks. When we began the process to become foster parents we were told 6 months so I have been preparing myself for our first placement in May. As we got closer it was apparent that it would be sooner than that, maybe the end of March. Now it looks like the first week of March. I couldn't sleep last night, I kept making a mental list of everything I still needed to buy that I wanted to have on hand until I could get to the store once we receive "the call". I spent the morning at the zoo with my little girl then off to Target we went! Since we are open for kiddos from birth-1 buying clothes is almost impossible! I have a few gender neutral onesies and sleepers in a couple of sizes so at least I have something clean to put them in. Today I bought a can of formula, diapers in size 1 and 3, wipes, baby cereal and 2 jars of food, a baby monitor and who knows what else! I already have everything else I think I will need except for a playpen. We have a brand new crib but since I wont know which room to put it in until we know the age and sex of the child I don't want to set it up yet. A playpen can pop open at a moments notice and will definitely be helpful. So now that I am ready I think I can breathe! Placements are still happening in our county within days of being licensed, there is such a desperate need for foster homes right now. I am excited, anxious, a little nervous but in my naivete I feel ready! I think I will be on pins and needles for the next couple of weeks. Breathe!

Monday, February 13, 2012


The other day as me and my little girl were driving in the car I asked her if she had something and she said "check"! She constantly makes me laugh when she says things I have never heard her say before. This was a proud mommy moment for me as I am hoping that this is a sign that she is a list maker like her mama. I love making lists and crossing things off as I accomplish them, actually it is the only way I think that I can stay sane! This last week we have been able to check two big things off of our foster care checklist:
home inspection passed-CHECK!
family interviews done- CHECK!
Tonight is our last PS-MAPP class, I am excited to be done but at the same time I have learned so much and hope to be able to continue some of the friendships we have formed throughout this process. The biggest thing for me was realizing that my experiences as a child have prepared me in so many ways to  become a foster mom. I am grateful for the trials I have had if that means it has made me a better mom. It is crazy to think that in about a month we will be answering a phone call that will change the rest of our lives!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Things are really moving forward. Our licensing specialist came out last week and interviewed me and a few of the kids, she will be back today to finish my interview and the rest of the kids. Our home inspection is scheduled for next Wednesday, we have frantically been trying to get ready for that. We don't have too much to do but it is a little nerve racking knowing someone will be coming into your home and looking over everything. Good thing I like to keep a clean house or this process could become very overwhelming. I have taken the opportunity to organize practically every cupboard and drawer in my house, I know they won't care but having someone look in them could be embarrassing so it's kind of the kick in the pants that I need to get it done anyways! My daughter is having oral surgery the same day as the inspection, definitely not ideal but there was no other time they would be in our area and I really don't want to delay our licensing so we will make it work. We just finished our 9th class last night, just 2 more to go! I need to schedule our doctor appointments and our CPR class and finish getting some of the paper work together and we will be set. Our specialist said she hoped to have us licensed within 30 days after our last class so for us that would be mid March, crazy! This whole time I have been planning on sometime in May so that is really exciting. After class last night my hubby and I went to Target and bought a crib for our new little one. It is weird buying things for a child we don't even know yet but so fun too! I scored a infant car seat  on clearance last week for half off but other than that it is hard to buy things since I won't know the age or sex until we get that first call. I am still a little dazed that this is really happening. I have thought about being a foster mom for as long as I can remember so now that it is actually here it is somewhat surreal. I hope that I am up for it, that my family adjusts well to the changes, and that this experience will be positive for all of us.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Up to this point we have finished 7 of our 11 required classes. Without the holidays we probably would have been finished by now but the breaks have been good too. Our class is huge, 42 of us I think. The agency decided to let everyone stay in the class because there is such a need for good foster homes right now. I am glad because I hated feeling guilty over my selfishness! A few of the couples in our class already have kinship placements, most are wanting to adopt and the rest of us want to foster. People ask me all the time if I want to adopt and I'm not sure what to say. I am going into this wanting to help strengthen families and to love a child that needs a safe place to be. If I say no, well that sounds a little heartless but we are not fostering so that we can adopt, but of course if a child that we have loved and taken care of ends up not reunifying with their parents we would want to adopt that child. It is just a weird question to me, it goes along with "I could never do that". Ugh, really people. I have read alot of foster blogs dealing with this topic lately, most say they are not anything special, they just do what others won't. I say to them, "you are special!" It does take a special person who is willing to put aside their own needs and maybe even those of their families to help these kids and families, not everyone will do that. I have actually really enjoyed our PS MAPP classes, I have learned alot about myself and have a better understanding of what these kids are going through. I have realized that my experiences as a child from a broken family will help me relate somewhat to these precious children. My husband is more on board than ever, we are excited to complete our home study and finish up our training so that hopefully in a few months we will finally be licensed foster parents!