Thursday, March 30, 2006


Well, I finally heard from the caseworker yesterday. Turns out the court hearing was not exactly as we had thought, but we are on our way. J's bio parents didn't show up, so the agency was told they needed to advertise in the paper, etc in order to try to inform them of what is about to happen so they can be involved if they choose. We already know (99% anyway) that they won't appeal, but the proper steps do need to be taken. So - they set a date of April 26 as the next hearing. At this time they will set the date of the first termination hearing.

Although it's a little bit of a setback, the end is still in sight. :0)
Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Even More News!

Yesterday I waited on pins and needles to find out the date for the first of J's hearings for termination. Her caseworker leaves now at 3 and I hadn't heard anything by the time I left work at 3:30. I decided to call her supervisor whom I have a pretty good relationship with to see if she knew. She chuckled when I asked and said that she was sorry but she didn't know and she was sure the caseworker would have it for me tomorrow (today now!) BUT she said, she did have news on B's case! She talked with someone yesterday who said that they were pretty sure his parents' appeal had been denied, but she just didn't have the actual paperwork in her hands yet! The supervisor said we'll get started on the subsidy paperwork for his adoption right away! I'm so excited! I had a feeling that when things started coming together it would be both at once. God is so good... all the time! :)
Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Some News... Finally!

Speaking with J's caseworker yesterday, I found out that the caseworker has court today to find out the date of the first part of J's termination! After that would be the best interest hearing at which I would appear to testify. Scary. I can't believe it's actually on the way! It seems like forever, and now it's becoming a reality!!! What joy! And on such a stressful day as this ( I have my student's annual reviews all day long. ) What a blessing! I'll update more specifics as I find them out!!!
Monday, March 20, 2006

Who Have I Become???

Well, Friday our family did something I thought I would never expose my kids to, we went to see Barney Live! I know, I know, Barney???

After college I was a nanny for six years. I watched enough Barney in those years to want to be Barney-free the rest of my life. I suppose with the time and distance of those years growing ever greater, and the love B has right now for anything related to farms, especially animals, I broke one day while walking the aisles of a local store. Seeing the DVD "Barney Goes to the Farm," I couldn't help myself. He loves farms, I mean LOVES them. He has a horse that he carries around with him everywhere. On our way out the door to any destination, B says, "Horse with me?" How can you say no to that? His favorite books right now are farm books, he got the Little People Farm for his birthday, he plays the one sheet on his Little Touch Leap Pad that has farm animals repeatedly, etc.

So, when I saw the DVD, Barney or not, I had to get it.

There isn't a day that goes by now that B does not say, or yell, "Barney Farm!" to get across the message that "I want to watch that movie, and I want to watch it now!" (He would be a complete couch potato if I let him!) At night, B will often cry the most pathetic cry until I walk in his room to assure him he's fine. The second that door opens I hear "Mama, cow Moooooo." or "Mama, pig bacon." His favorite little "trick" lately is that he knows that cows have milk, sheep have wool, chickens have eggs, and pigs have bacon. Very cute - unless it's the fourth time you've gone to his room to answer his cry only to have him so eloquently tell you about the animals.

So, to make a long story short, I've been checking recently on The Wiggles or Bear in the Big Blue House concerts. One such check yielded results for a Barney show soon to come. I had to, I just had to. So, Barney here we come! Friday was the day. It actually went really well. The only down side is that the intermission was a bit long. B was not happy about Barney going away and as much as J and I tried to take his mind off it, he grew ever restless and tired of waiting. He finally came back and we ended up leaving with a stuffed Barney for B, a CD for J, and a feeling like I was a pretty good mom for me. That was short lived. They of course fell asleep on the ride home (the show started at 7pm and we had an hour and 15min drive). While that was fine for B - I could carry him in, I don't have enough arms to also carry J. I was forced to wake her and she was a BEAR! Crying and crying because she couldn't get the back door open. I told her it was locked and we needed to go to the front. We ended up ok and off to dreamland, but it was a rough 15 min.

I think I'll keep checking for the Wiggles, now that would be fun!!! :0)
Monday, March 13, 2006

And the wait goes on...

Nothing new on the adoption front. It seems like that's all this is: a Wait. The mentality being "The kids are safe, why worry about a piece of paper making it official." Because it is so much more than that. Not only for us as parents, but for the children too. If they are even 3 they understand permanence. Not the same way they will understand it one, three, even ten years from now, but they understand. They know their name is different from yours. They know they are "just your foster child." No amount of stability can change that.

J and I talk frequently about adoption. Her little face gets this huge grin from ear to ear as she says "You're going to adopted me!" No, that's not a typo! She says adopted, even though I've explained it's "adopt." :) At church a few weeks ago the minister spoke of a verse with the word "adoption" in it. J happened to be in the service with me that day instead of her class. She looked at me with that same huge grin and whispered the same message.

We talk also about names. I know this can be very controversial, but I have prayed and let God, and the kids decide. J knows her last name will change when that day comes and the judge declares we are a "forever family." Also, since getting B at birth and knowing his situation, I chose a name for him shortly after his placement. Since B isn't his legal name anyway, I wanted to name him when that official day happened. So, he has a name that we call him from time to time around the house. He knows himself by that name as well. It's mostly that name and B put together. I have talked to J since she came to live with me about why I call him that other name on occasion. She understands, and began stating that she wanted to change her name too. I'm perfectly happy with her keeping her name, but she is adament. We will often "visit" that conversation and then I "shelve" it for a later date. After 6 months or so of these talks, and the pending termination, we talked more seriously. For her age, she seemed to really understand what changing her name meant and was able to tell me why she wanted to. I spoke to her about at least keeping J as a middle name, and she lit up at the idea. So, the process began. I ended up choosing six names to begin with that I really loved. Of those, she did not like two so we crossed those out on paper, and talked about the other four. She was repeatedly drawn to one in particular. As before I would shelve the subject for a while, then bring it up again later. She continued being interested in the same name. I still wasn't fully convinced she understood the seriousness of changing her name. The other day she convinced me. We were on the couch reading books when she said, "When I change my name, my friends at school might not know right away that I have a new name. It's ok if they still call me J because that will be my middle name. Then they can learn my new first name." I smiled. I told her that what we would probably do would be to call her J (new first name) for a while so that everyone, including her could get used to the new name. Then, after a short time, we could drop the Jakala and everyone would know her new name. She was thrilled, great idea mom! :)

Other than that, the wait for permanency goes on...
Friday, March 10, 2006

The Journey

Well, where to even begin. Our journey began in March of 2001 when I began the process of becoming a foster parent.
I knew God had placed me on this earth to be a parent. As I went through the training and learned the good and sometimes bad of being a foster parent, I knew He was leading me in the right direction. I received my license in October of 2001, and in March 2002 I received my first placement. Jackie was a wonderful four year old girl. The next six weeks she was with me was a mixture of the joy of a child as well as some eye opening of the "system." She went to live with a sister who had already adopted three or four other siblings. I heard from her once after she left and was able to take her for a day to give the sister a "break" and spend some time with my "first child." I didn't hear about her again for a while. I ended up getting Jackie "back" in Oct after she had unknowingly to me been bounced to a number of foster homes. Her sister "couldn't handle her." She was with me until the next summer when some unfortunate events caused her move to a residential facility. It was rough.
I knew through this, though, that I wanted more than "just" foster parenting. I wanted to be a forever mom. I went over a rough road with several foster placements, and trying to adopt waiting children. The agency I was with was not helpful at all. Finally in September of 2003, I made the switch to my current agency, now called something else.
A friend of mine had two children placed with her through this agency. In October we found out that that mom was pregnant and the children my friend had were only 2 and 1. She could not take a newborn. I called everyone I knew at the agency and let them know I would be more than happy to take the baby if needed. I talked to the school district I taught for and asked about time off if this became a reality. They were so helpful and agreed to let me take my sick days if it came to pass.
We knew mom was due in early February 2004, but were not sure exactly when or if the baby would even be "taken."
On February 9th I received a phone call at work. Baby M was born on Sat, Feb 7 and was taken into custody today, could I take the placement. My mind went into overdrive and I stammered out a yes. I frantically rushed three weeks of lesson plans into my plan book and told the school I needed a sub. They were to be at my house at 5pm. M was only 5lbs and I shopped online during my lunch hour to order some preemie clothes. At 4:30 I received a call. They ended up not having the paperwork completed in time, but would bring him by the next morning.
At 10am, M, whom the parents had nicknamed B, came to live with me. My life would never be the same.

B very quickly became the center of my world. With so little time to prepare, my mom was wonderful and came to help for the first two months. He grew and flourished.
As B turned 2 1/2 months, another child was presented to me. She was 20 months old, living with a foster family, and in need of an adoptive placement. Of course I jumped at the opportunity, while inside thinking "What am I getting into?" She was pure joy.
Barely a month after she moved in and became in all respects other than legally my daughter, I received a phone call from the agency. An aunt and uncle from CA have come forward and we are allowing them to file an interstate compact to adopt her, sorry. Unbelievable. The caseworker eventually gave up this part of working with the agency due to this case. So now she was no longer my daughter, but my foster child whom I had to ready to leave someday. I had to put my trust in God that this was where she was meant to be. Unfortunately, that someday took much longer than anticipated and she was with me another 6 months. I miss her terribly.

In Feb. 2005, B turned one. We had a wonderful turn out of friends and family. The next month I received another call. This one about a 6 year old boy and a 3 year old girl (J). They were in a relative placement that wasn't working out, and their case was heading toward adoption. Was I interested??? Of course!!! The first couple of months were wonderful.
After that, the bio mom whom the children hadn't seen in almost a year showed up and began visits again. The 6 yr old had a very hard time with this and an even harder time expressing his feelings. We began to see a lot of acting out in numerous ways which were hard with two little ones. He ended up hospitalized locally. After, it was ok for a while but shortly spiraled out of control again. I did not understand God's plan in this. I teach special education and dealing with behavior disorders at school is something I do well. At home it's a different story. I didn't have the time he needed to truly work through things. He ended up hospitalized again after threatening me. I was scared for B and even J. I gave notice that he would need to find a family more able to help him.

The agency was able to make him specialized while he was hospitalized and found him a home that had worked with similar situations. J was able to stay with me as she was flourishing and had bonded with B and I so well.

In July of 2005, B's parental rights were terminated - adoption looked like it was right around the corner. His parents ended up appealing the decision, and at present we are still awaiting that decision.

Also in July, J's case passed pre-screening. We know that her parents will most likely not appeal, and only needed to have the pre-screening packet sent to the state and await a date for termination. Sounds simple, right? Not so much. The person who was to send the packet, quit around this time. Her office was left a disaster area and the very important packet was "lost." J's caseworker asked a few times about the packet after finding out it had not reached it's destination. It was found last month!!! So, it is now with the state and we await word on a date for termination.

Looking at this from a new vantage point, I see God's hand in everything. It has been such a rocky road, but like David was carved out of marble, the rough spots have helped "chip" away at some of the unneeded material around the person God has created me to be. I look forward to adopting my two darlings and will update as things progress!

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About Me

I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!

Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

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What you should know about HIV

-HIV can NOT be spread through casual/household contact. HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing, swimming or any other casual way. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles). - HIV is now considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives. - People who are HIV+ deserve to be treated with love, respect, support and acceptance as all people do. Additional information on transmission of HIV can be found on the Center for Disease Control website:

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Orphan Crisis

• 147 million orphans in the world
• 50 million orphans in Africa 
• Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS
• 16,000,000 have been orphaned by AIDS
• Every week, AIDS claims as many lives as American fatalities in the Vietnam War
• 854 million people do not have enough to eat
• Malnutrition is associated with the deaths of 5 million children under the age of five
• Every 2 seconds an orphan dies from malnutrition

Hence the title of my blog

Little Did I Know

Little did I know that the road would be so rocky
Little did I know that the trip would take so long
Little did I know that my heart could hurt so much
Little did I know that God is never wrong

Little did I know that love could be so powerful
Little did I know that a dream so far could go
Little did I know that God would place the right ones
Little did I know that my heart, so large, could grow

Little did I know that a dream has it’s own timing
Little did I know that this day would finally come
Little did I know that four souls would be sent to guide me
Little did I know that they would choose to call me mom

But God knew all along and He had a plan to follow
God knew all along that my dream would soon come true
God knew all along that we five should be together
God knew all along that I’d share it all with you