Tuesday, November 27, 2012

"Keep Your Eyes Open"

As most of you probably already know, we had a very good Thanksgiving this year.  On Tuesday, November 20, 2012 the parental rights of Baby Girl were terminated.  She will remain in foster care with us for the next 90 days and then we will finalize her adoption.  The tentative date is for Friday, March 8, but it really all depends on how efficiently the paperwork is shuffled. 

We definitely learned alot more regarding her case during this hearing.  There were times that my eyes watered up hearing about the circumstances that led her into foster care.  I just can't believe that was MY baby in that house.  That was MY baby in harms way.  I see her now and I'm so thankful she will not have a memory of that time.  She was only 4 weeks old when she was taken out of her home and placed with grandma then us.  I'm so thankful every single day for this beautiful little girl and that we've been able to witness all of her firsts!!!

We only ask for continued prayers for the next few months that everything goes smoothly.  We appreciate all of you throughout the past 9 months and when we do this again, I know you will still be there to support us!!! 
God is great, all of the time!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

"One Life to Love"

So it's official...she's a crawler! Not only that, she also has 5 teeth with one on the way AND she has started pulling up in her bed! Oh goodness!!!! We were so anxious for her to hit a new milestone and now we want her to slow down!!! We are totally loving every moment of these new adventures!!!

Another event this week is our 4 year anniversary! It seems like its been more like 10 (in a really great way)!! Looking back at everything we've been thru and everywhere we've lived, it's been a very exciting ride! Shout out to Dallas, Nashville, The Woodlands and Port Neches!! Lol!!!

This past weekend Baby Girl got to enjoy her first Mexican Heritage Festival!! She may not be Mexican by blood, but she has no choice in being a part of the culture lol!!!! She was absolutely precious in her mexican dress and GIGANTIC yellow flower on her head!  She fit in perfectly!

Updates will probably be few and far between until November unless something happens!!! We are asking for continued prayers for the trial on November 20, we can feel the prayers being lifted!!!

Friday, August 31, 2012

"All This Time"

So as many of my Facebook friends already know, Baby Girl has not had a successful parent visit in a little over 2 months!  On Monday we found out that we will NO LONGER have weekly visits and we are officially going to once a month visits ONLY if the parents call to schedule it!  The change was a result of the lack of interest on the parents part as well as the change in her permanency plan! You guys have no idea how relieved I am.  Every single Monday I have been stressed out and I finally get to just really enjoy my day and not worry about Baby Girl being put into an awkward position. Baby Girl has recently begun grabbing on to me if a stranger tries to hold her so I can't imagine what I would do if she did that at a visit!  Better bring on the security! LOL!!!

I have to admit, though, I'm a bit sad for her parents.  They are missing out on the most fabulous child with the most amazing personality! I pray for them almost daily...I pray that they allow Baby Girl to have a beautiful, blessed life.  I pray that they make the decision to allow us to love her the way I know they want to.  I pray that they use this experience to seek God and learn how good and merciful He is. 

Although the change in family visits is wonderful news, we are not out of the woods yet...81 days until trial!  I'm pretty confident that we are clear and free, but as we've experienced, it doesn't always work out the way we plan!  With that being said, please keep praying that Baby Girl becomes a permanent part of our family!  I can't wait to give her our last name...and pierce her ears! Haha!!! She is so wonderful and beautiful and smart!  I'm so proud to have been given this blessing and honored to be a witness to her life!

Today is also Baby Girl's 8 month birthday!  She is a whopping 15.9lbs and although everyone says she's tiny, I can definitely tell my baby is getting big!!!  She has a slight ear infection right now, so we are fighting a fever and crankiness but definitely entitles me to more cuddle time with her!  She has FOUR teeth yet she refuses to start crawling!  She gets in position and rocks, but as soon as she starts to make a move, she lays down and cries! :(  She loves her food and is a champ with the sippy cup!  Little by little I'm introducing her to table food!  So far she loves mashed potatoes and refried beans! LOL!  I'm starting to plan her 1st birthday ( a little early, but I'm really excited) although I don't want to rush her growing up!  Needless to say, I'm enjoying and embracing every single day we have with her!  Hopefully for the rest of our lives!!!

Thank you for the continued prayers!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

"Love Takes Time"

As I lay here tonight getting baby girl to sleep, I was again reminded how awesome our God is. Baby Girl is perfect in every single way and she has been entrusted with us! Hopefully forever! Why in the world have we been chosen? What did He see about us that allowed us to have this baby in our lives? She is amazing and has blessed us in ways we could have never imagined!

I could not stop staring at her! Is this what I've been missing? Looking at this beautiful creature and thanking God for this miracle of life? I was suddenly overwhelmed with emotions! Unbelievable! Totally unbelievable! I'm so happy right now! I cannot stop thanking God for this life, for everything that I've been given that I absolutely do not deserve!

I know our journey is not yet complete! I know we have a bumpy road over the next few months! I know that the power of prayer works! Thank you to those praying for us, we can feel it and greatly appreciate it!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"Outta My Mind"

Our Initial Permanency Hearing was yesterday - Baby Girl's 7 month birthday.  It was not exciting...at all!  They didn't even call our case.  Her parents did not show up so all they had to do was enter in her new plan of unrelated adoption and agree to keep her in our home until our trial in November. In 80 days (November 20) the court will make a final decision in our case...which at this point is termination!  Since her parents still have rights, we will continue with our Monday visits for the next few months!  This is so frustrating.  I'm  having to leave work in the middle of the day to bring her to a visit with parents who aren't even showing up!  Not only does it disrupt my day, it disrupts Baby Girl's day too!  You have no idea the anxiety I feel every time I pull up to the office! 
For now, all that we ask is for continued prayers. 

I figure now is a great time to give a little update on Baby Girl!  She is growing like a weed and has 3 teeth (2 lower and 1 on top).  She is eating like a champ and would probably eat all day if I let her!  She eats her cereal/fruit in the morning and afternoon with her bottle and then veggies/cereal at night!  We are finally going to switch her to 2nd food and more complex cereals to see how she does!  I get a lot of criticism for not feeding her table food, but it makes me nervous!  I'm sure I'll come around...eventually! :) 
We just got back from a mini vacation to the beach!  Z is with us for a few weeks so it was a great time to get out of the house!  We went to Moody Gardens, lots of beach time and then a trip to the Strand.  Moody Gardens was fun for all of us and Baby Girl was so well behaved!  She was amazed by everything!!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

"How He Loves"

No real updates today...just a regular old blog post! :) 

I was looking at pictures of Baby Girl when we first brought her home and then look at her now and I cannot believe how big she has grown!  She's still only 14 pounds at 6 months old, but she's not our skinny little baby anymore!  She LOVES food and would eat all day long if I let her...somedays I could swear I gave birth to her LOL! So far she loves bananas, pears, prunes (she's not a very picky eater), squash, carrots and sweet potatoes...a big NO GO on peas!!!  Last night she tasted a lemon for the first time and LOVED it...no squishy faces! LOL!!!She's also talking alot! She like to hear herself scream or just make new noises!  Chase said that's environmentally inherited (apparently he thinks I talk alot hahahaha)!  There are so many times that I look at her and my eyes fill with tears. How in the world did we become lucky enough to have this beautiful, perfect little angel?  I can't even wrap my mind around it! 

Chase leaves tonight for his 2 week training in Houston so I'm interested to see how that goes! Just me and Baby Girl...EEK!!!  Hope Nana keeps her phone near b/c she may have lots of phone calls!!! We want to have Zoren come stay with us for the month of July, but without him being home a couple of day during the week, I'm not sure what she would do while I'm at work and he's at training!  GRRR!  I AM looking forward to our vacation at the end of the month, though!  The beach, Schlitterbahn and Moody Gardens!  YAY! 

For my prayers warriors...we will continue our family visits every Monday so lots of prayers for peace!  Our next hearing is July 31.  Not quite sure what to expect at that one as we've not been able to predict ANYTHING throughout this journey so far! :) 

Friday, June 29, 2012


Today we had a Permanency Planning Meeting.  We've had one before that Chase attended and it really wasn't that fascinating...just talked about the baby and how she was doing.  Today was different.  There were 10 people in a conference room, excluding her parents who did not show up (although they were invited to be there).  We talked about how she was doing and all of the new things she was doing like grabbing and eating baby food!  We passed around our 8 million pictures and talked about how much we loved having her in our home.  Then the business began. 


The CPS Supervisor (we will call her Jane) asked our CPS caseworker (we will call her Suzy) what Baby Girl's permanency plan was.  Suzy replied that her current plan is reunification with her parents (which we already knew).  She then went on to say that the plan was in the process of being changed to a Related Adoption (where a relative of the bio parents would be able to adopt her after passing a home study).  Jane then asked if any relatives had been named at this point - the answer was NO...her parents had not given any names of anyone interested in taking baby girl throughout this entire process.  Jane then turned to us.  She asked us if Baby Girl became adoptable, would we want her.  Trying to keep as calm as possible, we both answered DEFINTELY!!!  She then said that since we have had her since she was 5 weeks old and we were attached to her and love her, then the new permanency plan would be UNRELATED ADOPTION!


Holy cow!  You have no idea what I was feeling when she said that!  My grin was so big there was no way for me to hide it!  As I looked across the table, I saw the CASA workers and our CPS worker smiling at us!  Now...this is NOT set in stone!  We still have to go to court in July and November.  We will continue doing everything that we are doing now, but at our November trial, termination will be offered to the parents.  The only other hurdle we would face would be if a relative came forward or if the parents decided to start working their plan!  At that point, CASA would step in for the best interest of Baby Girl. We praise the Lord for the wonderful blessings he gives us although we are not deserving!

With all of that being said...I need some major prayer warriors to get on their knees!  I know that God will take care of all of us no matter the outcome, but prayers for Baby Girl to be in a loving home are very appreciated! I will keep you guys updated as we get any new updates! 

Today was a good day...a very very good day!!! 


This post may be short bc I'm doing it from my phone!!!

So Baby Girl had a visit today...for real this time! I was at work so Chase brought her, which is how I would like it always to be! Mom and dad BOTH showed up! sigh!!! Anyway....so they had their one hour visit (after 8 weeks of no shows) and then signed their plans!!! WHAT'S THAT YOU SAY??? Sign their plans???? Yep...after 5 months, they FINALLY got a plan! This is so ridiculous! She is a person, not an animal! I cannot believe that neither her parents nor CPS demanded a plan right away!!!! A plan, btw, is a layout of what the parents have to do in order to regain custody of their child(ren)! Usually it's comprised of several classes, drug tests, a place to live, etc.!

Needless to say, I have been a mess all day! I'm devastated at the thought of losing Baby Girl! I know we have a long road, but I feel like I'm already mourning! I'm incredibly grateful for having Baby Girl in our lives and I cannot imagine not seeing her, holding her and taking care of her everyday!

Today was the first time I have felt a weakening in faith! I don't want to lose faith, but I'm exhausted! This is going to sound pathetic, but I'm so tired of things falling apart! Of course, in the same breath I realize how blessed we are to have what we have! I continue praying because I know that I have Him in my corner, I just feel overwhelmed right now!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"Home Sweet Home"

I had a couple of messages asking about updates, so I'll jump right in.  As you know, there have been no parent visits since April 19 and before that, only one visit the week after we got Baby Girl.  This past Friday, Chase got a phone call at 12pm from our case worker.  Mom called and cancelled the visit because she got a job and could not make it.  She said that Monday or Tuesday would be better and our case worker told us she would set something up, even if she had to get Baby Girl from daycare.  When Chase called to tell me the news, I was having lunch with a friend I hadn't seen in a while so Lori, I truly apologize for the sudden change in my demeanor! LOL!

Ok...here I go!  First of all....2  hours before the visit??? Really????  And what about the previous 7 weeks, where were you then?  Secondly, NO WAY anyone is bringing Baby Girl to a visit other than us!  We would leave work in the middle of the day just to be sure we were with her! Lastly, I was really bummed to hear she had a job because I instantly began to think the worse (I asked for major forgiveness for celebrating failures and not rejoicing in her making her life better).  She's obviously working part of her plan and it's only a matter of time until we lose Baby Girl!!!  I continued to regress even further than that.  Why can't I just have my own baby?  Why does it feel like I'm never really going to be mother? This is so unfair!!!  What kind of life lesson is He trying to teach me???  Why is everything so easy for some people and everything is so darn difficult for me???? Pathetic!!  I've definitely calmed down since Friday although when I really start to talk about the "what ifs", I get teary. 

Needless to say, today is Tuesday and we never got a phone call back from our caseworker to set up a visit!  The week is young, though, so there is still a possibility of it happening!

I had begun to do so well at pushing all of those thoughts out of the way and focusing on the day to day.  The devil places fear in our lives.  He enjoys when we open ourselves up to vulnerability because that's when he will strike.  I will not let him in.  I will not let him ruin the wonderful time I have with Baby Girl.  She is a beautiful, innocent, sweet baby and I will continue to love her and spoil her as much as I can!!!  We never forget to say our prayers and ask God everyday to watch over our family and protect our hearts!

In other Baby Girl news, we started VEGGIES this week! YAY!! (I sooo wish I could post pictures)  I wasn't sure if it was time, but she does great at eating her cereal with a spoon so we thought we would give it a try!  We tried peas first and she made it through the first few bites before she realized that she did NOT like them so we gave up on them for now (we will re-visit later)!  Tonight we tried sweet potatoes and she LOVED them!  We will introduce fruits once we've mastered the veggies!  My only problem is I have NO idea how often we feed her the baby food along with her formula and cereal!  Any advice from mommies out there would be greatly appreciated!

I'll continue to update as we hear more about our visits!  Please remember that she has a hearing set for July 31 so prayers for a fair judge are welcome.  Our BIG court time isn't until November, but you never know what could happen between now and then!!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

"Pictures of You"

This won't be a very long post because I have a very upset baby sitting next to me who apparantly does NOT like to be put down when we are clearly in the room with her!  Yes, she is spoiled and I admit that it is 100% my fault! LOL!! 

We went to Burnet this past weekend for my beautiful SIL's high school graduation! We had a great time and even got to spend a weekend with Zoren!  Thank you to the Haley's for putting up with our craziness!!! 

SO...it's been 6 weeks since Baby Girl's last family visit.  They cancelled the first 2 and then no showed for the others.  Tomorrow is week number 7 and although they don't  have a great track record, I'm still anxious.  I never know if they are sitting in the lobby or if they will be walking in the same time I am.  I'll be fine most of the day and the moment I pull onto the street where the CPS office is, my stomach starts churning and my heart starts beating like crazy.  I'm getting the feeling as I write this!  Our case worker told us that she was going to attempt to get in touch with Baby Girl's parents and let them know that they have until Monday to decide if they will be showing up for future visits.  If not, then they will stop.  We waste half of our day waiting to see if they will show up and that is not fair!  It's not fair for us and the anxiety that goes with it but most importantly, it's unfair for her! 

After our visit tomorrow, I'll update and let you guys know what was decided!  All that we ask is for now is continued prayers...patience for us, clarity for her parents so that they will make the best decision for Baby Girl and for Baby Girl, that she will know the love of God through us no matter what the future holds!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

"It's Your Love"

Baby Girl is officially 4 months old!  I cannot believe it!  I feel like only yesterday I was holding a tiny little 5 week old!  She went for her 4 months shots and weighed in at 12lb 7oz and 24.5 inches long!  Unfortunately for us, we don't have a pediatrician who tells us precentiles, but from what I figure, she is in the 25-50% with height and 10-25% with weight (wow....those are some BIG gaps)!!!! We are slowly introducing cereal although she has NO idea what to do with a spoon! :)  Now if I can only get her to start pushing up!!  She WILL NOT do it...she scoots around using her legs but that's about all!  We just have to keep trying and one day I know she will catch on!

Now an update on progress!  In my last post I told you guys about her first visit with her mom and that we were going to weekly visits every Friday!  Last Friday I got to the CPS office a couple of minutes early when her case worker came out to tell me that her parents had called about a minute before to let her know they did not have a ride to the visit.  I could tell she was very frustrated and said that when she tried to call back , there was no answer.  Today Chase called me at work to let me know that our case worker called him.  Baby girl's parents cancelled their visit this Friday as well.  Hmmmm....

I would like to speculate on WHY these have been failed visits, but I have chosen to just enjoy that extra hour I get with this precious angel!  I made a decision last week that I know I have attempted several times before.  I have give it all to God.  I can't do this anymore!  The idea of "what if" was consuming my entire day...everything I did.  I would cry every single time I talked about our "situation".  I decided that I CANNOT do that anymore. I need to be the best mom I can be and if I'm sitting around boo hooing all day, I can't do my job!  She needs me to be here for her now and I can't do that while I'm trying to predict the future.  Afterall, it's not my call!  I have left it all for Him...He will take care of us as He always have.  We are also very blessed to have such an awesome amount of support around us as we go through this. 

On a final note, Baby Girl's baby dedication was this past Sunday!  We wrote a bio that was read as we stood up in front of our church family:

"Baby Girl" was born on December 31, 2011.  She came into our lives on February 7 as our very first foster placement.  From the moment we laid eyes on her, we were in love.  She has blessed our life in more ways than we could ever have imagined.  She has a beautiful smile that lights up the room and without a doubt, will have the personality to match.  Her big beautiful eyes take in everything around her and she is growing and learning new things every day.  We are so blessed to be witnesses to this perfect miracle.  Today we are dedicating her so that she will truly understand our love and devotion to her; that no matter what the future holds, God will always have his arms around her keeping her safe. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

"While I'm Waiting"

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"He Weeps"

This afternoon baby girl had her first visit with her mom (supervised at the CPS office).  Chase and I made the decision to both be there to meet her.  I had been building up the anticipation since we got the phone call on Tuesday.  I had so many mixed emotions...and still do.  I wasn't sure what to expect.  I went through a million different scenarios for a 5 minute event.  I thought of all the things I would say when she asked how baby girl was doing.  I thought of how she would notice how much we love baby girl.  I thought that she would not want to speak or look at us.  I thought about how she would be resentful toward us for being around for all of baby girls development the past 2 months.  In reality, it resembled NOTHING like what I had imagined.  Both mom and dad showed up.  Dad seemed fine but mom looked like a nervous wreck.  I could only imagine what she was going through.  They handed baby girl to mom and she looked so uncomfortable.  Almost like she didn't know what to do with her.  At that point we left and waited for the longest hour of our lives.  When we arrived back at the CPS office the door opened and mom walked out crying and headed out the door.  I then heard the phrase I knew was coming, but hoped wouldn't happen..."we are going to start having weekly visits".  

I don't know what comes next.  I assume mom either already has a plan or will have one created for her soon.  The rest will be in God's hands.  LOL!!!!  I hear myself say that and I really want to believe it but I can't seem to live it.  I know my God is a great and merciful God.  I know that He will protect my heart.  I know that He has a plan for each one of us.  I know that I am supposed to give my worries to Him.  I KNOW all of this so why can't I let go!  Why am I sitting here crying over the idea of one day not having baby girl in my arms.  It hurts my heart so much to think that we may not always have her.  Maybe this foster to adopt thing was a mistake.  Maybe we weren't cut out for this.  I could barely keep it together knowing that we are progressing toward weekly visits how am I going to keep myself together if she is reunited?  

This is so selfish of me.  I am all about me me me!  I'm not thinking about the big picture.  IF her mom follows plan she should have her baby.  She is HERS!  I'm only thinking about poor Lisa.  How desperate I am to have my own baby.  I don't wanna share.  I don't wanna give her up.  This is me looking in the mirror....admitting the truth.  I truly believe that we are creating a safe place for children by becoming a foster family but HONESTLY....I'm doing it for ME!  I want a baby!  This is so unfair!!!!!  UGH!!!!! 

PS:  THANK YOU SO MUCH for all of the prayers!  I could feel the blessings surrounding us all day!  I don't know what I would do without the wonderful, thoughtful support of each of you! :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

"Sick as a Dog"

For those of you who are my FB friends,  you know that baby girl has been sick! She's been a little sniffly for about a week or so and we thought nothing of it!  Last Sunday she started to get a bit wheezy and that got me concerned.  I brought her to the doctor and nothing was alarming...wheezing was off and on, no coughing and no fever.  She came home early from daycare on Tuesday but still no fever.  Wednesday I asked my cousin (a repiratory therapist) to take a look and let me know what she though!  Baby girl had 100 degree fever and lots of congestion so we brought her to the ER. Unfortunately, she tested positive for RSV and they admitted her right away.  She stayed 2 nights at Baptist Hospital and today we came home!!!  She never let it get her down, though.  She was still happy and slept and ate just fine!  She broke her fever early so there were no concerns with her coming home!  She has the cutest nebulizer to do her breathing treatments with - a pink panda bear! :)  

Her lungs sounded good yesterday evening so we are very thankful it wasn't anything too awful!  Thank you for all of the prayers for her - they definitely worked!  The staff at the hospital was phenomenal!  They were so attentive and I never felt like I was a bother (I have a tendancy to talk too much)!  They treated baby girl like she was the only paitent!! THANK YOU to all of the staff on the pedi floor at Baptist Hospital in Beaumont!

I hope all of you have a super fantastic Easter weekend!  Please remember we are celebrating because Jesus died and rose again and for that we are all forgiven and will live forever in the glory of God! 
Now I need to go tend to a grouchy 3 month old! LOL!!!
Happy Easter!!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rope the Moon

It's been a little bit since my last post, although not too much has really happened!  There is a follow up hearing scheduled next Tuesday, April 3 to check dad's progress, I think!  Without giving too much info, we don't think dad will be able to make it!  I don't really know what will happen after that hearing.  Once we hear something, I'll be sure to post about it!

Our lives have continued to be blessed every day we have her in our home.  She is 3 months old now and time has really flown!  I can't believe how big she has gotten since we first laid eyes on her at 5 weeks old!  

Baby Girl -
Over the past couple of months you have really started to show us who you are.  We are learning about what makes you smile (we LOVE your wrinkled nose when you smile) and what really upsets you!  You love taking baths and probably would be happy sitting there all night!  We tried to buy you new fancy bottles yesterday, but lucky for us, your favorites are the $1.97 evenflo bottles!  You think your daddy is hilarious, but we have yet to hear your laugh - I know it's coming soon, though!  You don't mind all of the freakishly large bows and flowers I put on your head which is great b/c I have a ton! Your focus has really gotten sharp and you follow me around the room with your eyes!! You hate tummy time but we keep putting our through the misery!:)  You have OFFICIALLY slept through the night for 2 weeks straight now (9pm til 7am)!  You still sleep in your swing which is just fine with me!!! 

I hope you really know how much we love you! You fill my heart with joy every single day! You are a special little girl and I hope that God blesses you with a lifetime of happiness and security!  You have been mine since the first day I saw you and will be forever.  I didn't have to give birth to you for you to be my little girl.



Monday, February 27, 2012

"I Saw God Today"

Baby Girl's 14 day hearing was last Tuesday and the judge saw it necessary for her to remain in foster care.  No relatives came forward, so she is staying with us.  Dad agreed to the plan the court made for him so now we wait (mom was, um, unable to make the hearing)!  There is a progress hearing in April and then another one in July.  We will just take one day at a time and love every moment we have her!  She is growing so fast and she is such a wonderful baby!  Right now I'm watching Chase talk to her as he changes her diaper!  I love it! 

We thank God everyday for trusting us with this precious life. We know that we were chosen and although it will be a very rocky road, we know that God has his arms tightly around us and will never leave us to handle this emotional overload on our own! I'm amazed every day how beautiful and perfect she is.  She has brown hair and blue eyes.  Her eye lashes were light and have darkened in the last week or so.  I'm still curious if her eyes will stay blue!  She's breathtaking! 

She has her 2 month check up on Thursday with her original pediatrician.  I'm excited to get some information from her birth (weight, length, etc).  We THINK she is about 9 lbs right now.  She likes to look around and her focusing is really improving.  She stares at me when I talk to her and I truly believe she understands everything I say, LOL!  She smiles, we think.  It's hit or miss, but I'm pretty confident they are not gas grins anymore!  The other night she laughed for the first time while she was sleeping.  I was so excited and I can't wait to hear it again. She is starting to coo alot and lifts her head when we are burping her so that she can look around. She's truly amazing!
I went back to work last week after taking off 2 weeks with Baby Girl.  I could TOTALLY be a stay at home mom!  Chase is such a meanie for making me work! LOL!!!  She stayed with a friend of mine last week and Chase is off this week - then she will go to daycare!  I really love where she is going.  I know several people who use this daycare and it comes highly recommended!  I'm confident that they will take very good care of her.

This past weekend we celebrated Grayson's 1st birthday!  I cannot believe he is already a year old!  Time is flying!  He's so stinkin' cute and such a character.  Baby Girl was so excited to celebrate her big cousin's birthday...and to wear her first pair of blue jeans!!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Jesus Loves Me

We are on our way home from a fabulous weekend in Dallas! To keep myself from falling asleep too soon, I've decided to blog!

First of all, let me tell you how great it was to see everyone...Zoren, Annie, Kasey, Grayson, The Stogsdills, The Rosenbaums and the Shelbys!!! We had so much fun!

As I'm sitting here in the dead silence of the car (Baby Girl is out like a light), I keep thinking, what if we don't get to keep her?! I understand in the grand reality of the "system", the odds are stacked against us! Most people involved in this situation are pro parent! After all, we are only foster parents! We will only get to experience most of this beautiful little girls firsts, but disregard us! What do we know?

I can't stand the thought of not always having her! My eyes fill up with tears any time that thought enters my mind! So many people asked us in the beginning "are you sure you can handle foster care?" I typically would answer with "we won't know if we don't try"! Now I know! I will handle it like a blubbering nonsensical shell of a human! In short, we will not accept another emergency foster placement anytime soon! The what ifs are killing me and I don't think I can handle getting attached and losing them! We will continue to work with the foster care system, but for now only with children with an adoption plan! After we have completed our family, we will visit emergency foster care again - I can almost guarantee it! I know that my purpose on Earth is to help the children that can't help themselves so I'm confident we will be involved somehow! I know that's what we are doing right now, I just didn't expect to fall head over heals in love with her!

Baby Girl's 14 day hearing is Tuesday so we will see how that turns out and just take everything slowly!

Pray pray pray!!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

"Feeling Groovy"

SHE'S HERE!   On Tuesday, February 7 at 5pm we were entrusted with the most beautiful little girl in the world.  She is 6 weeks old, has the biggest, bluest eyes and has totally rocked our world!  An 8 year old in the house is one thing...a newborn is quite another!  Overall, she is not a very fussy baby (as I type this, she is squirming in Chase's arms after being fed and changed, LOL)!!  She tells us when she's hungry and when she needs changing!  She goes to sleep (although she really just sleeps all day) around 11pm, wakes up at 3 for feeding and diaper change, then usually sleeps until 7 or 8!  Today she slept til 9!!!  YIPPEE!!!  I've been off work for the past week and will be next week so that we can postpone daycare as long as possible.  We have a friend taking care of her the week of the 20th and Chase is taking vacation the last week of Feb so she will not have to go to daycare until March 5!  Thank goodness! I hate thinking of putting her in there, but we need to work!  I've made several visits to the daycare she will be attending and absolutley love it.  They are excited to meet her so that makes me feel a little more at ease!

I have totally LOVED shopping for her!  She now has a fabulous collection of headbands with ridiculously big flowers and all things pink - and thank you to everyone who sent her clothes, she loves them, I can tell!!!!  She is so tiny that her 0-3mo clothing are way too big so I had to get her a few newborn outfits for now!  I'm not allowed to post pics of her on the internet otherwise they would be all over the place :)  For those of you who have received pictures from us, please do not post them on Facebook!  Her aunt, uncle, cousins and grandparents are in love with her and she never has a lack of arms to hold her!  She is one lucky little girl!!

We have no idea what her plan is at this point.  She was an emergency placement, so technically she's not officially our foster baby!  She has a 14 day hearing on the 21st at 8:30am.  At that point they will see if any relatives have come forward for her and have had an approved home study. If nobody comes forward, then she will remain in our care until they create a long term plan for her, either reunification or adoption (usually about a year long process).  Obviously, we don't want her to go, but we know that's not our call.  We love her so much and get teary every time I'm holding her and she just looks up at me and I think that I may not get to see those eyes forever!  If she leaves our home, I can't imagine the pain we will feel but we will be OK knowing that we were able to love her for a short time.  Ultimately, we are praying that she stays with us...forever would be a wonderful and beautiful blessing.  For now we will take one day at a time and enjoy every single minute with her!

At this time we are asking for prayers for her plan.  We pray that she will remain in a safe, loving environment. We pray that she will understand how much we love her and would do anything for her.  We pray for protection over our hearts if she does not remain in our care.  Pray for all of the children who need protection and love out there.

Well, I see that we have totally lost track of time and missed church :(  I will update as often as I can about her progress and any changes to her care!  Thank you for those of you who have been so supportive through all of this, we really appreciate it and love you all so much!

Monday, February 6, 2012

"God Gave Me you"

Today has been absolutely crazy!  To sum it all up, we got the call!  That's right....the call!!!!  Let me back it up and tell you how this day came to be!

I recieved a beautiful gift from a friend that totally made my day this past weekend!  I necklace with a charm that very simply says "Ask Believe Receive"!  So that's exactly what I did!  I asked Him....I asked Him for the family that we are supposed to have.  I asked Him to give me patience throughout this time of waiting for our baby.  Then I believed.  I believed that He heard every word I said. 

Today I recieved a wonderful book from a coworker with a personalized message to me and Chase!  It's the story of a family and their personal journey through adoption.  I look forward to reading it and see this process through someone else's eyes! (sorry, I can't seem to rotate the picture and I got frustrated so here ya go, LOL)!!!

Then it happened.  The call.  At 11:03 this morning Buckner called with a referral.  A six week old baby girl for an emergency placement.  I called Chase and although I was asking him what he thought, I had already decided YES.  Luckily, he agreed.  It took 2 hours for them to call us back to let us know that she would be placed with us.  We were supposed to get her tonight, but due to some paperwork issues, it will be early tomorrow!

HOLY CRAP!!!!!  We are going to be foster parents.  We don't know very much about her, but we don't care.  We are so excited to have a baby in our home!  I will probably be taking off work the next 2 weeks to get things in order around the house and with the day care.  I know this may not be forever, but it is for right now. We are getting an opportunity of a lifetime.  Regardless of the amount of time she will be in our home, we have unlimited love to show her.  Our thumbprint in her life! 

I have so much to do before she gets here, so I'm making this short!  I'll update tomorrow as soon as things get settled! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"My Story"

WE ARE OFFICIAL...FINALLY...AGAIN!  We are now a foster home with Buckner and I couldn't be more excited!  I spoke to our home developer for a good 30 minutes yesterday reviewing all the different types of placements we could be called for.  The first is legal risk/straight adoption.  That's what we did with H4G...we are submitted and then a family is chosen by the child's case worker.  The second is an emergency foster placement.  That's when the child has been taken from their home and needs a place to go immediately.  These children will not have a plan yet and may be reunified.  There is a possibility of an adoption plan eventually with some, but not a promise.  The third is a planned placement.  This is when a child currently in a foster home is heading toward an adoption plan.  Typically these kiddos will be in a foster home not interested in adoption...that's when we would be approached.  It would be a slightly slower process of introducing us to the child(ren), but much more of a permanent, "forever home", placement. 

I hung up with Amy and 5 minutes later she called back.  I thought she may have forgotten something to tell me.  "Lisa, it's Amy again.  I wanted to talk to you about an emergency placement we just received.  She's 3 weeks old but is a temporary foster placement"!  Yea...it was that fast!  We declined.  She's not old enough to go to day care and we aren't able to take off work for a month with every temporary foster placement. If she were a little older or if it was in the summer (my mom could have helped out), we would have said yes. It was the hardest thing for me to do.  I called Chase and we just didn't feel in our heart this was IT! 
Amy understood completely and that she had another family to call and not to worry!  I was sad to say no, but you would just have to know our situation to understand why we did.  I'm so upset that we couldn't take her home!

We did say yes to a legal risk/adoption placement, though.  We've been submitted to these types of placements before and obviously have never been chosen...but there's a first time for everything.  We probably won't know the outcome of that submission for a few weeks. 

I'm hopeful that our call will come soon.  I know we are headed in the right direction and all I can do is put the rest in God's hands!

Chase and I have also been working on our spiritual and physical health.  We are on day 6 of our "read the Bible in a year" journey!  Yippee!  Only 359 days to go! LOL!  We've also started eating better (no fast food) and working out!  Zoren being here really kept us on a routine and we truly enjoyed it!  Now that she is gone, we went back to our old ways!  Our daily devotions, excercise and cooking dinner has forced us back on a schedule and we are noticing how much more time we are spending together because of it.  We want our home to be as healthy and blessed as possible for the child we'll have someday!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

"Hope Now"

So Chase and I decided to become a Facebook Free Family!  I did NOT expect the reaction from people that I got when I announced it!  I've had some people that were supportive, some upset not to see pics anymore and some actually thought it was a stupid idea and "how could you, it's how we keep in touch with friends"!  Yes, that's true...but 90% of my friends don't respond to invites I send them or ever comment or post anything to keep that connection.  What happened to keeping in touch and not just FB stalking eachother (which I am sooooo guilty of)?  Yes, I agree it's difficult to leave FB...which is even more of a reason for me to leave; it's become an addiction.  I feel like I'm always checking it or always starting sentences with "I saw this thing on Facebook..."  I sincerely hope to keep in touch with friends I've reconnected with during my time as a 5 year occupant of Facebook, it would be sad not to!  I will continue to blog, though, and I will start to add many more pictures so that family and friends far away can keep up with us! 

In other Dodson news...Zoren is back with mom.  She went home for 2 weeks over Christmas break and from an 8 year old point of view, it was greener on the other side.  We tried to talk to her about the reasons she wanted to come live with us in the first place and how happy she was with us.  There was no convincing.  She completed her first week back at school and then her mom picked her up on Saturday.  Our house is so quiet now.  I'm going to miss that little girl more than she will ever know.  I didn't realize what an emotional experience it had been until I had to withdrawl her from school.  She is too young to realize it, but our hearts are broken.  We will see her again soon and will work on having some regular visits and things will go back to the way they were.

In foster/adoption news...Buckner submitted our updated home study 2 weeks ago only to realize we were still in the system with our previous agency.  Our home developer FINALLY got a hold of someone last Thursday to take us out of the system and now we wait to be submitted again.  If it's not one thing, it's another.  I wonder if anyone else has gone through this much crap trying to get licensed.  I feel like the only one in the world and our light at the end of the tunnel keeps disappearing.  I'm not thinking to much of it, though.  When I had a completion date in mind, I was so disappointed when it came and went with no progress.  I just see it as it's just not our time yet.  Our baby isn't ready yet. 

Her last night with her cousins

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Auld Lane Syne

A new year, a new start!  So many things that I need to do this year!  My resolutions are both realistic and cliche'!  Of course, I resolve to lose weight!  I HAVE to lose weight...for my sanity and for my health.  I'm at my highest weight right now and I can't stand the way it makes me feel.  I'm uncomfortable in my own skin!  YUCK!  I also resolve to drastically work on my relationship with God.  I need Him.  I've always needed Him, I just wasn't willing to give up my life for Him.  "Our life is a gift from God, what we do with it is our gift to God"!  Lastley, I resolve to build my relationship with my husband!  We have a fabulous relationship, but inviting God into our marriage can only make it stronger and happier.

Of course, I'm hopeful that 2012 will bring in a new addition...or 2, to our home.  Since we are foster to adopt, we may have several children pass through our home in 2012!  One more reason for us to strengthen our relationship with God.  We will have these children because of Him. 

I thought it would be fun to create a timeline of events that have occurred each year since Chase and I have been together...this should be interesting!

2007 - moved to Nashville, got engaged
2008 - got married...twice thanks to Hurricane Ike
2009 - diagnosed with cancer, became CANCER FREE, moved to The Woodlands
2010 - lost my pawpaw, began our foster/adoption journey
2011 - lost Chase's pawpaw, moved to Port Neches, Zoren came to live with us
2012 - ???????


(our 80's theme NYE party)