Thursday, February 11, 2016

All too familiar...

It's been just 5 short months since we kissed our foster son goodbye & here we are. All over again. Getting ready to kiss this baby goodbye. A family member has been approved by CPS to take her. I don't know if there are ever words. How do you put into words what it feels like to have part of your soul ripped out. There are no words to describe how it feels to pray for something so hard & have all those prayers answered in one beautiful child. To see a child that is so special, so blessed & with so much potential & fighting spirit, to love them with every bit of your soul & know it's just not enough. Our love can never be enough for us to keep her.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Redemption....

I have tried over the years to not talk too terribly much about our kid's bio families/parents. I don't really feel like it's my place to spill all their dirty secrets, or exactly what all of our kids went through. We have been blessed to stay in contact with Tuck's foster family as well as some of his extended family. We also have stayed in contact with the girls' bio parent's. Mostly this was for them, and the girls later down the road, but it would be a lie if I didn't say it was for selfish reasons also. That reason is to be there in case a bio sibling comes into custody. After the girls' adoption the ultimate wish is that their parents really learn from that loss. From losing their kids. The prayer is that they turn their life around & that one day, years from now, we can tell the kids "losing you made them realize the mistakes they were making & they didn't repeat those mistakes". Unfortunately as a whole, that hasn't been the case, with the exception of one. Our girls' mom. She was the one I worried about so much, she couldn't even bring herself to come to court. She was young, addicted to drugs, in way too deep & sinking fast. But here we are 4 years after the girls were taken & she is walking the long hard road to redemption. There are lots of long roads after you screw up, but none as long & rocky as that you walk after hurting your child (and I don't mean physically). She is clean & sober, with someone she loves & raising their family. She has two little boys & a another baby girl on the way. She is walking that road every single day to raise her new kids the way I know she wishes she could have raised our girls. I know it isn't easy when everyone you know is an addict, or remembers the OLD you, the addict you, the mistakes you made. But there is only one way to rise above that & it's to work hard to never repeat the mistakes you made. I'm so, so incredibly proud of her & all the work she has put in & how far she has come. You can never change the  past, but the best way to make amends is to acknowledge it, learn from it & move on. I know one day the girls will be happy to see losing them changed her for the better. That there was a purpose & a lesson in that loss & that she knew better & she did better....

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Parenting Style..

I've done a ton of posts about everything foster/adoption related, but I thought maybe this would be an interesting topic. Obviously everyone has their own parenting style. Chris & I are by far definitely independent parents. By that I mean we raise & encourage independent children. There are a ton of ways & examples so I'll go over a few. First I'm OK with my babies getting bumps & bruises. Yes, I said I let my kids get hurt. To make it worse when they fall down I don't jump up & run to them instilling fear at the slightest twinge of pain. I know, I'm horrible. My reaction to their tumble teaches them THEIR reaction. If I jump up & freak out they think "oh, I should be freaking out about this" even if it doesn't hurt. If they fall & cry, of course I go to them, but not unless they cry or are hurt. Our kids are 9, 5 & 4, guess what? They don't cry or whine over shots, not even getting blood taken. We have never held our children down for shots, instead we talk to them, give them a chance to compose their feelings & make the choice which is much less traumatic & puts them in control. We also don't believe in co-sleeping. Please do not think we are letting our babies cry it out. We are investing the time to teach them to sleep alone & find comfort in themselves. If that means we go into the room to soothe them 20 times a night, that's what we do! We invest that time in our children instead of putting them in bed with us. Our current foster baby is almost 5 months & currently sleeps through the night & has for nearly a month. She sleeps alone in her crib every single night. This same baby has never been allowed to cry for more than a minute. I could show you a million other examples & reasons we are raising independent babies, but I will tell you the reason I think so many parents are NOT. I personally believe (this is where stuff gets controversial) that many parents are raising co-dependent children to stroke their own ego. It makes them feel good when their toddler cries for them & they can run in & save the day. It feels good to the ego when you can just sleep with your baby & your baby "needs" you. It feels good to the PARENT to be needed. But what they do not understand is it doesn't feel good to a child to constantly NEED a parent to be happy, content or confident. To be taught you can't be happy without that person. What happens to these dependent babies when their parents can't be there? When will they ever learn to think for themselves? When will they learn to solve their OWN problems? Don't get me wrong, I am there if they actually get HURT, or to praise them on their accomplishments & to cheer for them when they get it right. I am raising the leaders or tomorrow, not the hand holders of the next generation. With independence comes CONFIDENCE. My children are confident & don't look to me for approval to do things, instead they are the fearless explorers that leap without hesitation! It shows in their interactions & the way they take control when things go astray . They don't wait for me, they don't wait for approval, guidance or hand holding. They figure it out, they use critical thinking & do it themselves. So yes, it feels great as parents when our babies need us. But PLEASE think about how it feels to always NEED someone else to be happy. We are here to guide our children through life not carry them through it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Here we go...



There have been so many changes lately! Number one is our sweet baby's case is looking like she will be going home to her daddy or a relative. We know things can change quickly & nothing is set in stone, but deep down I think she's going home. Once again it is bittersweet. I love seeing her daddy step up & fight for her & do the work it takes. It's not easy for any parent to be alone raising a child, much less a daddy with a baby girl. As much as we would love to keep her as our own forever, I'm proud for him & she deserves to be fought for!! We are thinking she will be moved to a family member sometime after Christmas while her dad finishes his case plan & we are happy to keep her. Regardless of where her case goes we know it's meant to be & we have no control. We are just going to enjoy her, love her & be here for her.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

So, so sweet...


What can I say, this baby is so, so sweet! She is mellow, calm, undemanding, happy, content & just perfect. She has the biggest deepest eyes that are just full of wonder & when she stares at me I just KNOW there are great things in her future, wherever that may lead her. We obviously are still in the VERY early stages of her case & we, again, have no idea where it's headed. I haven't even had a chance to talk to her case worker about where her parents stand, the probability of them working their case plan, or what they are or are not going to try to do. We never in a million years thought we would have 3 girls, and one little boy, but if this is what God has planned for us....I'm OK with that! Meanwhile we are roaring toward Christmas so fast. Its such a great time for us & the kids. We just love baking, shopping & spending much needed time together. Chris always takes vacation around Christmas so we can really just soak it all in. We are all looking forward to that.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sugar, Spice & Everything Nice.........

You guessed it! On Thursday we were SO blessed to bring home a beautiful baby girl from the NICU.

 She is so strong, such a fighter & an amazing warrior! She has fought through SO much & overcome so many things. I know the world holds amazing things for her, wherever her future leads. I can't say much on her case except it looks optimistic with the exception of one hurdle. We are already SO in love with her & it just feels RIGHT. It is such a good fit & it just feels so natural & easy. Its a feeling we had with each of our other adoptions. Meanwhile, I ask you to say a prayer, not for us or this special baby, but her mom. My heart breaks for her past, her present & her future. Please say a prayer for her to know what amazing things she can still do in this life, the difference she can make & that she finds the strength to make her dreams come true. 
She needs a miracle. 







Thursday, September 10, 2015

Bittersweet.....

And just like that it's all over. We handed over our foster son for the last time today & after 8 months there are no words except that it was very bittersweet.  We're happy him for, proud for his momma & have no worries for his future. But it stings. I have cried so many tears I can't count. Giant, burning, blinding tears. I know people think we go into this knowing this isn't our child & we should be prepared. But the truth is they're wrong. When we bring a child into our home it's to love them 110%, the way every child deserves to be loved by a parent. Not with a guarded heart. It's just like telling a pregnant mom her baby won't make it. Does she love it less? NO!! She loves that baby so, so much. She tries to prepare her heart, but you can never prepare a parent's heart to say goodbye to their child. We loved our foster son the same way. We loved him as much as any Mommy & Daddy have ever loved a child. I'm not sure where our future will lead. Right now we're just taking a few days/ weeks/ months to get back to where we were & for the wound to heal just a little.