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.