Monday, January 23, 2017

Have You Ever?

     Today this post comes from a tired, defeated and sad mama.  I have a 5 year old.  A new 5 year old.  What I have noticed with each passing year is that the next stage we enter is even harder than the last.  When A turned two I thought I was in for it.  The "terrible" twos were actually pretty fun.  Then we hit three and it was all down hill.  She started to learn how to push buttons, and although her vocabulary was limited, she still tested her limits daily.  Four was a little more vocal than three and then there was five.  Five years old has been...hard.  What I have been reminded over the past month is that I have, in fact, become much more patient and much more calm (to a point - let's not get crazy).  I find that my stress level is much lower if I choose not to yell back or nit pick with my child.  But if this little girl uses her sassy little voice to answer me one more time, I'm going to run out of the house screaming.  Is this normal?  Who can say!  I haven't even consulted with my other five year old mom friends because I'm afraid I'll sound like a terrible person.  Now don't get me wrong, A has her moments where she is precious and sweet and so incredibly kind-hearted.  I do believe with all of my soul that this is the true child I have raised.  

     The moments when she ignores my pleas to stop walking on the couch, when she says "I AM" when I tell her to put on her pj's, when she writhes around on the floor because her sock feels "funny", when she throws an ever lovin' fit because I tell her that it's too late to eat candy, when she is snarky and sassy (not the cute way) and just plain defies everything I tell/ask- that's when I start to lose my marbles.  My husband and I pride ourselves on being consistent.  She doesn't get a toy just because she asks, she must finish her chores before she can play or watch a movie, she must go to bed when we say so.  My husband is the best at backing me up too!  Even if he would have done something a little different, he never undermines my decision.  Through all of this - I still question my parenting.  What am I doing wrong?  Did I yell too much?  Did I spoil her too much? Why is she so defiant toward me?  Am I the only one feeling like this?

     I pray for her (and for us).  I have lifted her up to God to raise her in His word and to glorify Him.  I have cried myself to sleep just last night after an argument with a 3'7" child because I could have just given her a drink of water.  I don't think I'm a bad mom or an incompetent mom.  I'm sure there are several of you who are dealing with the same thing, but I feel so alone sometimes.  Sure, I post pictures of our happy little family because, let's be honest, who really wants to see the sad and frustrating part of our life.  

     Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE my daughter.  I think she is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me.  I would give my own life for her and will do everything in my power to be sure she is happy.  I'm just frustrated and tired.  After all of this whining, I will continue to pray for her and with her, I will continue to love her unconditionally and set boundaries for her to follow, I will be there for her no matter what and I will lend an ear when she wants to chat.  I'm so proud to be her mama but man oh man, the next stage better be a bed full of roses :)  

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Here I Go Again

Sometimes I forget that I have this fabulous outlet to think and type and get everything off my chest.  Today has been a pretty good so far, afterall, it's Chase's 40th birthday.  I love that man - just FYI! :)

The other thing on my mind today is the giant step we have decided to once again take.  A couple of months ago we completed our foster care application with Covenant Kids.  I filled it out without any intention of turning it in soon.  I wanted to see how Chase felt and the kids - I already knew what I felt.  I feel like this is my "thing".  I feel like out of all of the gifts God gives us, I keep getting pulled in this direction.  Maybe it's because I can't have children of my own.  I don't question it, I just go with it.  My biggest concern was Chase.  This is not something that I can do on my own.  He was quick to come on board (probably because he knew it was something important to me) and we both agreed that we would only be able to take one kiddo at a time this go round.  A is excited and wants to be a big sister.  I explained that a little kid may come live with us - it could be for a short time or a long time but they may go back to their mommy.  Her response was simply "or they might live with us forever".  Yes baby...they might.  Z is almost 13, so I can only guess at her feelings on a little kid in the house LOL!!  

Needless to say, I turned in our application.  They have since received our Buckner information and in the process of reviewing that, we've completed all of our online training, updated all of our general paperwork and will attend an orientation this Friday.  We are ready.  I even bought a convertible crib.  A wants to share a room with the "baby" so that works out great!  Our goal is to be completed by the new year (depending on the availability of on site training classes).  

I'm not as anxious as I have been the last couple of times we did this.  I'm anxious to finish updating our license, but I'm not anxious about the placement.  I know that God will take care of that.  He will decide if we foster or adopt.  He will decide when we get a placement.  I have faith that this will all work out if it's meant to be.  

Today I only ask for prayers for patience and guidance. 

**I realized I never updated from my last post regarding A's sibling.  She was adopted by paternal grandmother.  We were very sad about this development, but pray that she will be cared for and loved in her new home. 

Here I Go Again

Sometimes I forget that I have this fabulous outlet to think and type and get everything off my chest.  Today has been a pretty good so far, afterall, it's Chase's 40th birthday.  I love that man - just FYI! :)

The other thing on my mind today is the giant step we have decided to once again take.  A couple of months ago we completed our foster care application with Covenant Kids.  I filled it out without any intention of turning it in soon.  I wanted to see how Chase felt and the kids - I already knew what I felt.  I feel like this is my "thing".  I feel like out of all of the gifts God gives us, I keep getting pulled in this direction.  Maybe it's because I can't have children of my own.  I don't question it, I just go with it.  My biggest concern was Chase.  This is not something that I can do on my own.  He was quick to come on board (probably because he knew it was something important to me) and we both agreed that we would only be able to take one kiddo at a time this go round.  A is excited and wants to be a big sister.  I explained that a little kid may come live with us - it could be for a short time or a long time but they may go back to their mommy.  Her response was simply "or they might live with us forever".  Yes baby...they might.  Z is almost 13, so I can only guess at her feelings on a little kid in the house LOL!!  

Needless to say, I turned in our application.  They have since received our Buckner information and in the process of reviewing that, we've completed all of our online training, updated all of our general paperwork and will attend an orientation this Friday.  We are ready.  I even bought a convertible crib.  A wants to share a room with the "baby" so that works out great!  Our goal is to be completed by the new year (depending on the availability of on site training classes).  

I'm not as anxious as I have been the last couple of times we did this.  I'm anxious to finish updating our license, but I'm not anxious about the placement.  I know that God will take care of that.  He will decide if we foster or adopt.  He will decide when we get a placement.  I have faith that this will all work out if it's meant to be.  

Today I only ask for prayers for patience and guidance. 

**I realized I never updated from my last post regarding A's sibling.  She was adopted by paternal grandmother.  We were very sad about this development, but pray that she will be cared for and loved in her new home. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

And then we just came back home...

We arrived in Beaumont at 2 am and got up bright and early to be at the courthouse at 8 am.  I'm still tired thinking about it.  So as we are sitting outside the courtroom waiting for it to begin, up walks the CASA supervisor from A's case.  She came over and said hi and asked why we were there.  When we told her, she said "I was just assigned this case yesterday and I was hoping someone had contacted you".  She was surprised that we knew about it immediately but was happy we were involved.  She went to speak with the attorney to let her know that we were there and interested.  We waited a few minutes longer and then we saw our CASA volunteer walk up.  She was amazing during A's case and was there for this case as well.  We had gone into this with no agency help so it was nice to see some familiar faces to help us along.  As we were standing in the hallway talking about the case and what to expect, grandma walks up (bio dads mom).  I recognized her instantly although I had only met her once almost 4 years ago.  She did not recognize me.  I was not surprised.

We entered the courtroom and the anxiousness of the unknown washed over me just as it had every time we were there for A.  Our case was the 2nd one called.  The attorney announced that the parents were not "available" to be in court but that we were the adoptive parents of her sibling and interested in placement.  She also reminded the judge that the sibling (A) case took place in his court and the parental rights had been terminated.  Depending on the reasoning behind the termination, this case may be handled as an "aggravated case".  She also let him know that we had since moved away and that we were reopening our home for this child if that's the direction they were going. CASA then stepped in to tell the judge that A was doing well and that she had kept up with us over the years.  

Not much happened after that.  The little girl will remain with the current foster family and we patiently wait for a letter to let us know the next meeting.  Since parents are not directly involved, we will have a group meeting with CPS and grandma to discuss next steps for this little girl.  We spoke with grandma briefly outside the courtroom.  She said that she was grateful that A was doing so well and understood why we were there.  

We left with as much knowledge as we came in with.  Not much.  I should have known not to have any expectations of this initial hearing.  He heard everyone and then a plan will be made.  This is the hardest part of everything.  The waiting.  The unknown.  The hardest part of fostering is not having control and then ONE DAY your life changes forever.  It's also the most rewarding in some cases.  

I'll continue to update as I gain information.  Please continue to pray for everyone involved...especially the judge and CPS case workers to make a decision that is best for this little girl and patience for me and Chase!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

It's a New Day...

So I decided it was time to dust off the old blog and take it for a spin.  I mentioned prayer requests on Friday for A's sister.  I may have mentioned this waaaayyyy early on in my posts, but we had always known there was a new sibling somewhere out there.  We did our best to make it known that we wanted the siblings to be together but never heard anything.  Over the past 2 years, we have done our own "research" so I've kept some very distant tabs on this little girl just to be sure she was ok.  Since the baby girl was born outside of the county that the original CPS case took place, she automatically went to dad.  

So after 5 years of being foster parents, after our boys have gone home (big hooray for their mom doing an awesome job), we decided to finally close our home - we are no longer a licensed foster home.  For the past few months we have been planning family events, booked a cruise, bought tickets to the Polar Express train ride, planning an international trip...everything we had waited to do once our family had settled - then the phone rang.  "This is CPS, I'm calling about your daughter's sibling...".  My heart just dropped and my eyes filled up with tears.  I was in the middle of working and my whole world just stopped.  I suppose we should have been prepared, but deep down I had really hoped that people who have been given 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) chances will do what's right for their babies.  Over the next few hours we determined that our house was indeed no longer licensed but we had another option - kinship placement.  I explained to CPS that we would do whatever we have to do to get these girls together.  They deserve to have each other to do life with.  I know A is a great kid and we are a very strong and loving family, but one day she will ask questions.  I would love to have a sibling for her to go down that journey with.  Someone who understands and is her flesh and blood.  CPS explained that Chase and I will need to be in court at the 14 day hearing - front and center.  I have no idea what to expect at that hearing, but we are pretty used to that.  Every court date for A was a mystery - we never knew if our case was even going to be called. I'm not anxious right now, I'm hopeful.  

The baby girl is currently placed with a local family who is aware that we exist.  It's a matter of where this goes from here.  In the mean time, I am asking for your prayers.  Prayers that whatever happens is in the best interest of this little girl.  Prayers that what she has endured over the past 2 years will not inbed itself in her being and that with love and protection she will flourish.  Prayers over our travels back and forth as we attend court hearings.  Prayers for A as she would really like to have a "baby sister that walks" haha!  I'll update as soon as I have more information.

Here we go again...

Friday, May 1, 2015

And then THIS HAPPENED....

As I write this, I'm sitting in the mall parking lot after sending the boys home with their mama!!! I got a call at 4pm that the DA went before the judge and the judge allowed the weekend visit to continue pending an investigation of the drug test! Even though that only gave me 2 hours to pick up the kids and pack their bags, I was so excited to tell the boys!!! 

We raced home, Thru some random stuff in a bag and headed to our drop off destination! This would be my 1st time to ever meet mom! 

She seemed so nervous so I quickly unbuckled the boys so they could get out and give her a big hug! She thanked me for taking care of them and I hugged her and told her how proud I am of her! We went over their daily routine then they got in her car and that was that! 

From what I understand, they will see how this visit goes to determine if they continue on this path! I'm praying that this weekend is smooth and everything is peachy! 

Thank you for your unending prayers and support...God is good!!!!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

And then this happened...

So today was court!  It was supposed to be a happy, joyous day for mom and the boys.  My caseworker started texting me around noon to get logistics set up...weekend visits for the month of May...pick up and drop off at 6pm every Friday and contact info with mom to coordinate locations!  DONE!  Court was at 1pm.  I got super slammed at work and didn't have a chance to look at my phone until I left at 4:30pm.  I see that I have a text from our caseworker "call me when you can.  Emergency!  No weekend visits :("  I frantically called her a handfull of time with no answer.  Finally I called our CASA worker who gave me the scoop.  Court went well...the judge was really happy with mom's progress and the weekend visits had been entered in to court.  It wasn't until after the hearing that the caseworker read an email from the "drug tester people" who said that mom's hair strand test came back positive. 

WHAT THE HELL!?!?!?!?!?!?

Everyone had been so proud of her and the work she had done.  She was so excited to get her babies back!  Now nothing.  Now they are still in the system and no weekend visits!  Next hearing is in August.  *sigh*

Here's where things get really sad.  I recently had a change in jobs that took me from 40+ hours to a nice and cozy 34-36 hours per week.  I took this new job to spend more time at home and with my family.  I recently learned that BECAUSE I took a job with less hours, we no longer qualify for daycare assistance after May 20.  "They" want me to either find a new job with MORE hours OR, even worse, get a 2nd job in order to qualify!  I will never ever choose work over my family.  I worked way to hard to become a mommy to have a job tower over my kids.  Unfortunately, though, that means that we would have to pay daycare out of pocket indefinitely.  That is not an option.

So this is the situation we are in now.  Tomorrow I will call my child placing agency and I will sadly, and probably while crying, let them know that we are submitting our 30 day notice.  This means that in 30 days the boys will be removed from our home and placed in a different foster home.  I hate this.  I hate that a system with such ridiculous rules is forcing 2 innocent little boys to be shuffled between foster homes for something that is far from their fault.  I hate that I feel like a horrible human being for letting them go.  I hate that they will think that I'm failing them as an adult or that I don't love them enough to keep them.  I have no choice.  We absolutely cannot pay for daycare for 3 toddlers.  It's not even a financial possibility.  If I had an option of staying home, then I certainly would.  

My heart is hurting already and we still have a full month with them.  Tonight I just kept grabbing their faces and kissing them.  I couldn't let go of little B when he jumped in my lap.  I know they drive me crazy and I sound like a lunatic most of the time, but I love these boys with all of my heart.  As I sit here with tears pouring down my face, I ask for your prayers over our situation.  Pray that mom is able to follow plan and understand what she HAS to do to get her boys back.  Pray that our hearts are protected when the boys leave our home.  Pray that the next family will love the boys as much if not more than I do.  Pray for the boys...big, huge, gigantic, knees on the floor, hands in the air prayers for the boys.  I don't want them to end up a product of the system.  I want them to know what a family feels like.  I want them to know that they are loved and people genuinely care about their well being and future.  I want them to never feel like a burden or that they have EVER done anything wrong.  I want them to have tons of laughter and hugs and kisses their entire life.  

Please...just pray.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Missing you...

Since it's been so long since I've updated this thing, this blog will probably be a mash up of updates and my latest "poor me" thoughts!

First for updates!  The boys are doing great and enjoyed a fabulous Easter weekend getaway to the beach with my fabulous family!  We go to court April 30 where mom's attorney will file a motion to return.  This basically means that because she has worked her plan and done quite wonderfully, her attorney is asking for the boys to go home sooner than the 1 year expected date in August.  CPS has told us that they have no reason fight it because mom has done so well.  I only hope that when the boys go home, that she is ready!  They may make me crazy and look like a screaming lunatic (although Aubrey makes me do that too sometimes), but I will miss those babies so much.  We always knew that they would go home but you can never prepare a heart for it.  I pray the boys continue to grow and flourish like I've witnessed over the past 8 months and that this experience has forced there mom to realize how precious her babies are.  

So now the topic that prompted me to write today.  I miss my family.  I miss my mom and dad and living so close to them.  I'm sad that Aubrey is so far from her family and doesn't get to see her grandparents as often as she used to.  I didn't have a lot of friends in PN, but my entire family was there so we always had something to look forward to...even just a trip to Casa Ole.  I'm so lonely here. The kids and work keep me busy for the most part, but man oh man do I wish I had some family close.  I never regret anything because that only make people bitter and resentful.  I'm thankful that I have a wonderful husband and as a couple we decided on this move.  I love my house and my new neighborhood and my job.  I don't regret anything. I'm just sad.  I miss Aunt Eva or Zita calling to meet me at Rancho. I miss going to my mom's for dinner when Chase was out of town or worked late.  I know that I can't do anything about it at this point, but I just felt like I needed to let it out. I am hopeful, though, that we will make some good friends in our new town/neighborhood and the lost feeling I have will subside.  

And there you have it...poor little Lisa! :)  Happy Saturday everyone!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

What the Future Holds!

I've been telling myself for the past couple of days that I need to blog about what's been on my mind, but between 3 littles and packing, I honestly haven't had a chance to sit down.  Now that the kids are napping, I'll take a few minutes to release my heart on the blogging world.

I absolutely adore the boys and I know that they will be going home to mom in the next few months (no definite date yet).  I know that my heart will hurt and I will be devastated knowing that I won't see their precious little faces every day.  With the pending reunification, Chase and I have had a lot of time to discuss the future of our family.  I knew from the very beginning that we would not be adopting the boys and I was always ok with that.  We had originally discussed one more baby, under 1 year old and legal risk (which means most likely an adoption) after the boys leave our home.  As time goes on and discussions get a little more serious, I start to rethink this. We are at an age where I'm just not sure if we want to start over again.  I LOOOOVE babies but I just don't know if that's what we still want.  I hate even saying that because we never know what type of option will be presented to us.  Yep...there I go again changing my mind!  

At first I think that Aubrey needs to have a younger sibling.  She will have a friend to grow up with and fight with.  I will have someone to pass her clothes down to (if it's a girl, of course) and she will have someone to share experiences with.  

The other side is that Aubrey has a great big sister and a huge family with lots of cousins.  She is a very self sufficient little girl and will make friends throughout her life that she can share experiences with. Chase and I love the convenience of 2 kiddos and being able to get up and go whenever we want.  Not to mention the cost of childcare...YIKES!

There are all kinds of reasons (or excuses) but I know that I've never had a say in my life.  God has always reassured us that we have a set path - a way that He has prepared before we existed.  If we are supposed to grow our family, it will happen.  If not, then we are completely content with our 2 beautiful girls.  Our hearts are always opened to His guidance. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

5 Years Ago Today...

5 years ago today I had a surgery that would change my life forever.  I thought I would never get to experience being a mom and I would forever be missing a huge piece of my life.  We were moving to Texas the next week and although I was so excited, the entire experience was very bitter sweet. The months leading up to this surgery are still crystal clear in my mind.  I remember the day I got my initial diagnosis - my sweet friend Janet sitting next to me at work.  I remember my first oncology appointment on my 30th birthday and how I was so lost trying to find his office that I forgot why I was going.  I remember ignoring the fact I was just told that I had cancer and I was more concerned with having a baby. I remember taking a pill 4 times a day for 3 months in hopes that this hail mary would actually make a difference.  I remember flying to MD Anderson for a 2nd opinion and sitting around a big round table with Chase and my mom as the dr. confirmed everything we had already been told and that they had no treatment other than surgery and/or chemo.   I remember the day of the final biopsy with high hopes only to find out the cancer was still there and I needed to act fast.  Finally, I remember going into the hospital the day of surgery and realizing I would never have my own children but that I had a chance at being cancer free.

The morning of my surgery 12/14/2009

I write all of this as I hear my 3 kiddos running around behind me all needing something different from me.  I hear A asking for something to eat - B is quietly playing with his cars - D is running around scaring everyone with a sword.  5 years ago I never thought any of this would be possible.  God has a way of flipping things upside down.  I should have known better than to believe that my ideas of how my life would turn out was the only way.  We know the boys won't be with us forever, but that precious, chatty little girl is forever ours.  I got to have my baby.  God heard the desires of my heart and He delivered.  Miraculous...yes!  Not to mention, I've been cancer free for 5 years!  :)

As I look back at the journey we've been on the past 5 years, I can only count my blessings and thank God for the struggles along the way.  It has made both of us a stronger person with a much deeper faith in what our Lord can do.  Happy Sunday! :)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

No Matter What...

The days following my last entry were amazingly better.  Not necessarily because the kiddos magically became best friends, but because I reminded myself to have faith and patience every step I took.  They were still crying over the little things and never ever listening (someone tell me that one day they will), but I was different!  I kept my cool and temper under control. I told myself over and over again that this too shall pass...I'm the grown up...I have control over my emotions.  My faith is tested every single day.  As a parent, as a caregiver, as a wife, as a Christian.  God has my back NO MATTER WHAT!  I will serve a selfless, loving God with all of my heart NO MATTER WHAT!
Needless to say, our home is still just as crazy as before but these kids continue to be pretty awesome!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


For those of you who actually read this blog, this one's going to be more of a therapy session then anything else. The day started this morning at 6:30 AM when all children were awake standing in my bathroom staring at me as I got ready for work. Usually I like to get up a little earlier than everyone else so that I have time to get ready before waking them up and having craziness take over my house. So we made it out of the house on time, I got everybody dropped off at daycare, and made it to work at a decent time. I knew something was going to be a little off when I picked up Aubrey after work and she was crying before I ever walked in. Apparently today was just not miss Aubrey's day. 

Made it to the house with minimal arguments over who's daycare teacher is better or who can say their ABCs louder. We make it in the house and then it all begins. Screaming… Yelling… Throwing… telling on each other… And anything else toddlers can possibly get into.  The first hour we were home every one of the kids had their chance at timeout. Did that phase them? Of course not. Finally I had dinner ready, everyone seated at the table. Great!!! I walk away for five seconds and when I come back Aubrey is sitting practically sitting on top of one of the boys and the littlest decides he's going to eat his food while sitting in the middle of the table. I did my best at keeping calm, got each one of them off the table, cleaned up and started getting ready for bed.

Now that they are finally all asleep and I've had a chance to catch up on all of my shows, I start to think back about how this day turned out. Although I was able to keep my calm most of the night, I basically lost it by the time all of them had gone to bed. Chase is out of town so I'm sure that some added stress on me as well. I called him and just cried. He can't do anything from where he is and I know he felt helpless.

Once I cried it out and had a chance to calm down I look back and think, it probably was not as bad as I made it out to seem. There were several times tonight, though, that I began to question our ability to parent three very different children who are very close in age. I started to think maybe we are just over our head. Maybe we should have kept birth order and only fostered babies younger than Aubrey. Then I remind myself what I always have to remind myself. This is not a mistake. They are not here in our house by accident. I will continue to soldier on and remember that my God is a mighty God who can provide peace and reason for everything that happens in this life. I sleep now knowing that tomorrow is a new day. I get another chance tomorrow. Tomorrow will be better.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

As we near the end of September I can't believe that 2 months has passed so quickly since the boys have come into our home!  I can definitely say that we are much more settled and stress free than we were that very first week.  Man oh man...that seems like a lifetime away!  I am finally to the point where I can comfortably take all of them out by myself.  We have had scream free grocery store trips, seamless church visits 2 times a week and happy plays at the park!  Our next big adventure will be in a few weeks - I'm taking all 3 of them with me to Port Neches to visit family!  EEK!  With 2 potty trained kiddos, that means LOTS of stops along the way!  Not to mention, one of our DVD screens got cracked by a car seat incident so we'll see how that goes! :) 
We've also been blessed to find a wonderful new church family in the last month.  Although we LOVED and will always love our Praise family, this church has definitely welcomed us with opened arms.  The kids love going and ask everyday if we are going to church!  I've already attended a women's ministry dinner and we are part of a great group of parents on Wednesday nights!  We've also been introduced to several other foster families in the church which has lead me to an awesome foster/adopt mom's group!  I'm so thankful for everything falling into place.  It's not perfect, nor do we ever expect it to be, but it's pretty darn good!
As far as we know, the boy's mom is doing really well with her plan.  We know that the EARLIEST she will be able to get the boys back is around February, but we also know that the judge can extend it to August (she has up to a year to work her plan and stick to it...longer if an extension is granted).  They see her every Tuesday and I'm learning not to take the things she says personally.  I've never met her, but the case manager will tell me the "concerns" mom has and it always gets me so upset.  I live with the boys every single day - I know that they are bathed, fed and loved every single day.  She picks on little things like "why aren't they wearing the shoes I bought them" or "B has an ear infection because he won't let me clean his ears, I assume foster mom never cleans them" - he didn't have an ear infection, FYI! :)  The case manager has to reassure me that this is mom's way of controlling an uncontrollable situation.  I will continue to do what I'm doing - loving these boys and showing them how Christ can work in their lives!  My next major update with the case probably won't be until January unless something crazy happens! 
Around the same time of the next hearing, our NEW HOUSE should almost be completed.  I'm expecting it to probably be closer to March because it's being built in the winter and the ice up here really stinks! :)  We've already finalized our showroom choices and now waiting on permits and such.  Hopefully they will break ground in the next month or so!  YAY! 
Hope everyone is having a wonderful beginning of FALL!!!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Let's Play Catch Up

I finally found my long lost login for my original blog so this post is basically just all of the posts from my NEW blog!  I'll start updating on this account from here on out...

So I felt something yesterday that I haven't felt in years!  I was reading Facebook (duh, what else would I read LOL) and came across a gender reveal post for a 3rd baby of a friend of a friend and I got a little sad.  Not sad like I used to be...just a little. Now please don't take it the wrong way because I am so freakin' excited for my friends and family expecting babies and I love seeing pictures, learning the gender, reading updates, etc!!!  This is my own inner battle.  The sadness that if I want a baby that we can't just "try" - I go thru a process.  Even then, it's not necessarily permanent.  It's selfish and I know that.  It is what it is! 
Then a second later I see Aubrey come around the corner and my eyes fill up with tears.  This is the baby that God has given me.  I was lucky enough to be her mommy from (almost) day one!  This is the one who calls me mommy, cries when I leave the house, excited to see me when I pick her up from daycare, cuddles with me on the couch, reminds us to say prayers before meals, sings her ABCs to me in the car everyday, helps me clean the house (clean up, clean up)!  My little mini me!  My life!  My perfect, sweet, crazy little baby girl!  Then I thank God for the struggle I endured.  I understand it now.  This is what it was for.  This beautiful angel baby is the reason I cried so many tears at the idea of never getting pregnant.  She's my miracle baby and I couldn't imagine life without her. 
I also have to be reminded that the 2 little boys who have dominated our home over the past 5 weeks were not sent to us by accident.  They have allowed us to feel the craziness of a full house and enjoy every minute.  They may not be with us forever, but during there time here we are learning patience (even when we thought we had no more to give), unconditional love and selflessness.  Life lessons for everyone in our family. In return, I pray that they take with them memories of us and our love for them. 
I give all thanks to God for the blessings that are right in front of my face.  I have no reason to feel sorry for myself - my life is full of wonderful miracles and beautiful gifts from God!
Prayer requests:
That our daycare situation clears up SOON and that we won't have to move the boys from the daycare they love so much!
The boy's mom - that she continues her plan and keeps a clear head so that her babies can be with her again because I know they miss her terribly.
That we feel peace about the "system" and all of the administrative hiccups we've encountered so that it is not a deterrent for future foster placements in our family.

Friday, August 29, 2014
So we are coming up on a month of having the boys with us!  Although they are sweet and pretty well behaved boys (considering their ages LOL), I feel stressed out every day.  My precious baby girl is also having a hard time adjusting.  I hear constant yelling because someone took her toy, looked at her toy or called me mommy (they mimic what they hear from her).  We are all still getting used to our changes and, although I feel it getting better...we have a long way to go.  We've considered a few times early on that maybe we should submit our 30 day notice and just move along.  Then I have to think about WHY we are doing this.  It's getting us out of our comfort zone.  It's putting us OUT there and fulfilling our duty on earth.  These boys need a safe and secure home and we have that.  So why do I feel frustrated every day?  Why do I want to hide in my room?  Am I a bad parent?  Should we stop fostering?  Any advice on how to handle a house full of 3 and under kiddos is greatly appreciated!
I also miss having a social life!  I need friends.  I need friends to have a girls night and I need friends who want to have play dates.  I really think that if we could just get out of the house every now and then, each of us would be better for it. 
As far as the plan, it sounds promising, but it's still early.  Mom has signed up for all of her classes, shows up to every visit and sounds very focused on getting her life together.  There is a hearing in 2 weeks and every 3 months after that. At the 6 month mark, they will see how she is doing and then they will have a better idea of the boys' future.  The judge in our county is pretty strict so he expects her to follow her plan perfectly.  For the sake of the boys', I do too.  Our oldest one obviously misses her and it breaks my heart when he has a sad day!
Now I'm off to get baby girl so we can have a girls only afternoon! :)
Friday, August 8, 2014
Tonight I had a silent heart to heart with our oldest boy. He had a wonderful day running around and having a great time. Bed time was going smoothly as usual. He quietly went to lay in bed (he doesn't talk much anyway) and I tucked him in, said goodnight, then walked out the door. About 10 minutes later he was standing in the hallway! His eyes were so sad. I walked him back to bed and sat at his side! I rubbed his back and told him that I knew he was sad. He whispered "mommy". My heart instantly broke. As tears rolled down my cheek, I assured him that we would take care of him and keep him safe. I could feel him take a deep breath and relax. 
I can't imagine what his little heart and mind are feeling! I'm sure he is so confused and even in his moments of giggles, there's a little sadness. He's such a sweet little boy and has experienced more than most. Prayers for peace over him!!! 
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Just some thoughts to document my feelings since I know at some point in my life, I'm going to look back and barely remember some of this!

1. Boys are way different than girls!  I know everyone is saying "no sh**" right now, but until you actually experience it, OH MY GOSH!  My little girly girl who wears jewelry, bows and carries a purse doesn't know what to think about these boys who will just run into eachother for no reason - or run their cars into eachother and crack up laughing!  We girls are very confused :)

2. 3 children 3 years and younger DO NOT always play with eachother.  I thought "great, they will have instant playmates"!  NOPE!  Sometimes they are fine but most of the time they are fighting over something like a white Lego. 

3. Mommy really values her sanity.  Nap time, although I would love to be cleaning or napping, has turned into just sit and do absolutely nothing.  I stay as quiet as I can so that I can juice that nap for as long as I can and regain all of my marbles!

4. I grieve my family that once was.  I know it's been less than a week, but I grieve my family prior to the boys: One little person to put to bed - Fast grocery store trips - Worry free playing at the park - One bath - Potty trained little girl.  Selfish?  yes.  In the same breath, I understand that these boys need us AND in the grand scheme of life, the time we devote to loving them and keeping them safe is minimal yet crucial. 

5. Praying does wonders for the mind.  Every night when I put the boys to bed, I rock each one of them and say a prayer over their heads!  The calm and peace truly help to clear my head.  OH...and prayer works! :)

6. My house stays cleaner and more organized with 3 kiddos than it did with 1.  I also cook a decent dinner every night and have managed to take a shower every day! 

7. I'm really impressed with my patience. 

8. Foster kiddos are still kiddos.  They still play, laugh, run, cry and learn.  They cannot be discounted or pushed to the side because of a situation they had nothing to do with.  They cannot be thought of as a "burden" or "messing up plans".  There are no consequences or mistakes...only purpose.

9. I need a social life more than ever!

Monday, August 4, 2014
As most of you know, we had a foster placement on Friday afternoon.  Two little boys - 3 years old and 20 months old!  Although we were asked SEVERAL times by both CPS and Buckner if we thought we could handle 3 kiddos 3 and under, we were confident that we could!  FALSE! JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL...the first 24 hours were the most stressful 24 hours I've EVER experienced.  I literally cried for the first day and a half and most of the time felt so overwhelmed that I couldn't get off of the couch.  Chase and Zoren were awesome by stepping in and taking over the house.  Something that I would normally be doing.  These poor little boys!  They are really not any more trouble than any other kiddos their age.  It was totally not was me!  Of course a lot of if was very selfish.  We had a great vacation planned for the weekend and then off to my mom's for the week.  We still brought them on our mini vacation, but I felt so restricted trying to keep up with all 4 kiddos! Needless to say, it ended well then we headed home.  Today has been our first NORMAL day at home.  Chase had work today but I'm off all week so that helps to set a schedule for the boys. 
We managed to all wake up and get breakfast on the table.  I miraculously managed to get all 3 kids to sit down at the table for all 3 meals and they actually ATE their food.  Amazing!  I also got them all down for naps, played outside, snack time, played with flash cards and still kept my house from falling apart and most of my sanity intact.  By the time Chase got home, I thought I was going to pass out!  All kids were bathed and in bed by 8:30 (well....except for the little girl sitting next to me now WIDE awake)!!!  I'm so tired.  I don't think I give enough credit to stay at home moms with multiple children! 
The boys have a visit with their mom tomorrow morning so I'm curious to see how they are when they get home!  I know their mom is probably missing them more than they know.  From my understanding, they have never been away from her and she was very concerned about where they were going and who was taking care of them.  The reasons for their departure from her is still a little foggy.  The little one has an old burn on his back that was never treated and got pretty infected.  He was in the hospital for a couple of days to have it treated so that may have been the spark.  He's doing great though - he's such a trooper! 
So now at the close of day 3, we've decided to at least make it into next week when they start going to daycare.  If at that point, we feel like it's still not something we can handle, then we will let CPS know.  We have an amazing Buckner case manager who is very sympathetic to our needs and fears (and kudos to our previous case manager for being a great confidant this weekend when I was losing my mind)!!!  This has definitely been a learning experience for all of us. We have a much better understanding of our capabilities and what patience really looks like
I placed an ISO ad on our local online garage sale Facebook page looking for a car seat and met some pretty wonderful ladies that are also foster mommies!  I know that God placed these boys and those ladies in my life for a purpose!  It's hard to question things when you know there are no mistakes!  I'm also very thankful for the friends in the area who have offered their homes, hearts and ears to me in order to relieve some stress!  Oh - and I can't forget everyone that has called and had to listen to me cry like a wimpy baby lady - big THANKS for that!
Tonight I have some specific prayer requests for you:
- for the boy's mom, that she is able to follow plan and be reunited with her babies
- for the boys, that they continue to be comfortable in our home and learn to trust us a little more every day
- for Chase, that he find the patience and compassion I know he has in order to be a role model for these boys as long as they are with us
- for Aubrey, that she continues to enjoy having instant playmates and learns a life lesson along the way
- for me, that I'm able to have patience and sanity to do the best for these boys and love them and keep them safe while in our care

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
As of Monday, our foster/adoption license was officially updated.  We are now on the open home list which means that we can get a phone call at any minute for a kiddo to come into our home! 
I have to remind myself that this may not have the outcome it did with A.  We may very well be a temporary safe place for these kiddos until their parents or a family member is able to take them.  I expect myself to get anxious when I think about it, but I don't.  I'm much more secure this round.  I have a much better understanding of how the system works and what our part is in this whole situation.  I know that if a child returns to their parents or family member, that we will have done our very best at showing them unconditional love and care for as long as they are with us.  I also know that when they leave, I will always and forever have my baby girl.  I can see God's plan for us so much clearly than before - although I also understand that at any moment our lives can shift directions without any warning.  His path brought us baby girl FIRST so that we knew that we would have the strength to continue in our ministry of fostering other children.
Hopefully I will have updates for you soon, but until then I have prayer requests!  Please pray that when we receive the phone call, that we are given the wisdom to make the best decision for the child when it comes to placement, pray that we become closer to God throughout the waiting process so that we are ready for the next step, pray for the babies in foster care so that they will be comforted and safe while in an unknown environment.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
I've decided to start a new blog for 2 reasons...1 - I wanted to start fresh with our new adventures and 2 - I absolutely cannot remember the email address I used for the previous blog!  I'm sure it will come to me eventually, but as of right now...I have no idea!  If you are interested, our original blog can be found at!

Well, we are officially settled into our new home after 7 months of trying to get comfortable (and missing my family back home).  Baby Girl loves her daycare and we get to see Z every other weekend!  She's playing soccer so we actually get to see her more often than that!  I love having that girl around! :)  We both have good jobs and I really enjoy getting to spend evenings and weekends with Chase after all of these years.  Chase also recently graduated with his Bachelors degree and I am so proud of him!  Needless to say, we are doing pretty great! 

As of yesterday, we have completed our last training class with Buckner of North Texas that is needed to update our license.  We have a few little loose ends to tie up but nothing that should take too long!  Once we get our remaining info to our home developer, we will be licensed.  We have decided to keep our license the same - 0-3 years old and Foster to Adopt.  We played with the idea of adoption only but I'm constantly being reminded that this is bigger than us.  This is not about our selfish desires. 

There are several things that we have learned over the past couple of years and things that I need to remind myself as we enter this new arena.  I know that our placements may not flow like our first placement did.  I know that our babies may be reunited with their birth parents and that we were never meant to keep them forever but only for enough time to place our thumbprint on their lives.  I know that visits will not be easy and that I will become attached to each and every child that enters our home.  I know that God will always take care of us and be our strength when we are weak.  I know that we have a wonderful support system whose prayers are mightier than any word. 

With that being said...I ask you to pray with us and for us.  I ask that you pray for a smooth transition back into the foster/adopt world.  I ask that you pray for our sanity as we wait and wonder when that phone call will happen.  And lastly, I ask that you pray that we are able to make a decision that is in the best interest of that child's needs when we do get that phone call. 

I look forward to MANY more posts in the future with our new journey!!!


Sunday, October 13, 2013

"Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)"

I'm seriously the worst blogger ever!  The last few months have been such a blur but I'll do my best to cover the major events that have come and gone!
April:  Chase was offered a fantastic opportunity with a great Plano!  He accepted and moved to Dallas at the end of the month.  Baby girl and I had to stay behind until the adoption was final.  Our wonderful case workers did their best to be sure that everything was in place so that we could join Chase as soon as possible.
May:  Nothing....still waiting
June: We FINALLY had a court date - Monday, July 1, 2013 at 8:30am!!  Once we had a court date I started looking for a job and thankfully received an offer to begin the 2nd week of July!  We also frantically looked for a place to live and found a great house north of Dallas!
July: THE DAY WE HAVE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR!!!  We made sure that anybody who wanted to attend knew all of the details...Monday, July 1 - 8:15am - Jefferson County Courthouse, 2nd floor, Judge Randy Shelton's court room!  We were joyously blessed with 20+ attendees sporting the bright turquoise shirts we had designed for this super special day!  We were also featured on Channel 6 news (in Beaumont) on their Forever Families segment!  A huge thank you to Ashley Gaston and Channel 6 for being there while we celebrated the most exciting event in our lives alongside the most wonderful family and friends that we could ever ask for! 
Everyone waiting to enter the courtroom!
We had a packed house!
Our Forever Family with Judge Randy Shelton
Our interview with Channel 6 News!
Introducing Miss Aubrey AnnMarie !!!!

We cannot thank you guys enough for following our journey over the past few years!  Your prayers and thoughts have carried us through when we could see no light at the end of the tunnel.  We always knew that our Lord God had a beautiful plan for us and if we could endure the heartbreak and the cracks in our path with fearless determination, we will be overwhelmed with blessings in the end.  We look forward to the journey ahead and will continue to live our life to serve Him through the ministry of foster care/adoption.  Now that we are finally settled in our new home, we have begun the process of transferring our records to an organization locally and will eventually open up our home to another child.  Again, thank you for following us and I look forward to many many more updates in the near future!

Friday, March 8, 2013

"Right Where I Need To Be"

Oh my goodness, it is already MARCH!!!  I just realized that I haven't updated in a couple of months!!!  Well, if you guys have been following, then you know that TODAY was supposed to be THE DAY!  Obviously, it's not!  As we sit idly by, we pray that files have been requested and that SOMETHING is happening behind closed doors to get us an adoption date.  I'm happy to say that the 90 day appeal period if officially over and we have secured an attorney....just waiting for the big day!  We also celebrated the one year anniversary of Baby Girl coming into our home on February 7!  Time flies! 
We know that all things happen in God's time.  We faithfully continue with our lives and are calmly waiting for our time to LEGALLY become a family.  As you all know, we were a family from the moment she came into our lives! 
God is so good!
With that being said, I decided to go out and design the shirts that we will be wearing to court that day (whatever day that may be).  They are still working on a final design, but they are going to be awesome - turquoise, yellow and orange :)  For those of you interested, they will be $14.00 each, add $2 for 2XL and 3XL (will also have youth and toddler sizes available)!  I will have order forms ready as soon as possible so let me know if you are interested!  There is no maximum number of ppl who can attend court that day and we would LOVE all of you to be a part of this amazing day!  Email me or message me if you want an order form! :)
I'll be sure to update as we get more information!  As for now, we are just enjoying our 14 month old and looking forward to a wonderful future!
Thank you all for being such a great support team and praying for us! 
We love all of you!