Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Down With the Bottle

We are DONE with bottles!!! (Well, I guess that's not completely true as Little One is still taking a bedtime bottle for a little while.) - BUT today was his first day with no daytime bottles and he did GREAT! He hasn't cared for the cup much at all, but by afternoon today when he realized he wasn't getting a bottle, he chugged! :)

Little One also had a visit today. She gave him two nice gifts for his birthday: a blue TY whale buddy and a VTECH phone. Unlike many other bms I've dealt with, these were new. My only question to the caseworker when I next see her will be if they were from her or the agency. I want to know only because if they were from her I will definately hold onto them and remind him who they're from as he gets older, should this become a permanent situation. If he does end up going home, then I definately want him to go home with the things she's given to him.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Happy Birthday to You...

Happy First Birthday Little One!!! You are getting so big! You have come so very far since you first came to live with us on Nov. 2. At that time you had just turned nine months old. You were behind others your age and I was worried. You could not sit up by yourself, or crawl, or stand. You couldn't say much other than one sound. You even seemed to not know how to eat from a spoon. You just stared at everything and didn't react much out of joy, fear, sadness, whatever. After only two days you were laughing, eating like the 9month old you were, and starting to sit and try to crawl. Now you can sit, crawl, stand on your own holding something, pull yourself up, sit yourself down, take a couple steps holding something, say many sounds (mamama was this weekend), feed yourself cheerios and peas and cheese and other finger foods, drink from a cup, cry out of sadness, yell out of fear, and smile your big cheesy smile whenever you see me come to pick you up from day care. I love looking at you and can't wait to see what this next year brings.

Blah, Blah, Blah

We're heading into actual new territory in foster care. I have read about CASA workers in other blogs, but didn't realize we had them here. Little One now has a CASA worker. From what I've been told, which isn't much, maybe those who know more can tell me, it is basically someone who can be a non-biased third party to represent the child, Little One. I guess bm says a lot of "junk" about myself and the agency, etc. and they want someone to be "witness" to what is going on and the fact that what she says is not true.

Caseworker told me yesterday that bm complains about me trimming his bangs (he has TONS of hair, if I didn't it would be down to his nose!), putting clothes on him that are too small (yeah - usually it's the opposite because the things that fit best are a little long and need to be rolled up once), and basically abusing him. Yep, you heard that right, any little mark on his body is the start of her accusing me of abuse. A small scratch on his face from his nails, a small mark on the private area? that I never even saw myself, etc. Wow. Sad that she has so much time in her one hour supervised visit that she has to throw all that out about me, someone she has never even met. I guess the picture collage and framed 5x7 I've given didn't amount to much. I had nothing to do with the fact that your child is in this, I admit crazy, system.

Anyway, I guess the CASA worker observed the visit last Wednesday. She asked the cw to set up a time to come meet us and see him in the home, possibly yesterday, but as the cw didn't even tell me about her until yesterday (a LOT has been going on in cw land - update later), that didn't happen. She is going to come next Monday evening. I look forward to meeting her and getting her take on bm and the situation.

On another note, just when I thought all was done and peachy keen with my newly adopted son Braeden, life hits you in the face. Nothing can ever be "simple." His adoption was complete on Oct 30, 2006. A couple weeks ago I received a letter basically welcoming me to IL adoption subsidy and post adoption services.

In this letter, it states that it is critical that I go to my local social security office ASAP to officially have his name changed. The letter states that to do this I will need a copy of the order of adoption. It goes on to say that until this change is made, Medicaid will not pay his Medicaid related expenses. Basically, he has been without insurance since Oct 30?????!!!!!! So, being the dutiful person I am, and not wanting Braeden to be without insurance, I go to the Social Security office. WELL, the Social Security office tells me that I cannot change his name with them until I have a copy of his new birth certificate. I say, but this letter from DCFS says that I only need the order of adoption. She says, yes, I don't know why it says that, but you need the birth certificate. Which of course I have yet to receive. SO, I leave that office and get on the cell to call my lawyer to see if he has received the birth certificate and/or when it can be expected. They tell me that new birth certificates take as long as 6 months!!! So, it could be another 4 months!

Mind you, Braeden has a 3yr appt scheduled on Valentine's Day. Beyond that, what if he got sick or heaven forbid - hit by a car or something (if you knew him, you'd understand this is a real threat! :) ) SO, I try day after day at all different times to call the name at the bottom of the letter. The one that says, if you have any questions, please call. NEVER answers, always voice mail. I finally leave a voice mail - she wants name and number ONLY - and have not heard from her. Talked to our now former cw for him yesterday and she's never heard of that either. She is supposed to be trying to get me info from the agency. I cannot be the only one this has affected, come on. What do others do?????

Pray that there are no issues with him sickness wise!
Friday, January 19, 2007

Night Time Fun

Well, we may be heading down a new road at our home. Tuesday night (Jan. 16) I was up in my bedroom (it's a converted half story/attic with open stairs down to the first floor) about an hour after the kids went to bed, when I heard crying. The funny thing was that it wasn't coming through the monitor from the boys room, I heard it from the stairwell. It was Olivia. I called her a few times and she finally came up to where I was working on the boys duel birthday invitations.

I asked her what was wrong, why was she crying? She has come to my room a few different times, even in the middle of the night a couple times due to a bad dream or some such thing. When Olivia is very tired and pretty much out of it and I ask her something, she just says something random that may "fit?" So I knew she was out of it when she said, "I was upset because I didn't get to go downstairs with you tonight." Meaning she was crying because we ended up staying upstairs instead of playing in the basement after dinner? This was not even something to be upset about. It wasn't like I had said they couldn't go down or anything.

Anyway, I then heard little feet downstairs! - Braeden does not know how to open his door as his sticks pretty well. I asked her (as if I didn't know - what was I thinking?) who it was. She said it's Braeden. I said, why is he up? She said he was crying. I said no he wasn't, I have a monitor here, how did he get out of his room? She didn't say anything but started crying again. I went downstairs and not only was his bedroom door open, but the light was on! Luckily Little One slept right through and Braeden went back to bed without a fight. Braeden is not able to reach his light, so I now knew she had been the one to open his door and turn his light on. I couldn't believe it! I tried questioning her as to why, to no avail. She had no real answer. I started thinking maybe she really didn't even understand what she had been doing. Possibly even sleep walking??? She has never done anything like this before.

Well, a little over an hour later I heard a door open downstairs. I was a little scared to say the least. I said Olivia's name three or four times, but no answer. My heart racing, I called a friend and told her to stay on the phone as I went down to check things out - OK, so she doesn't even know my address without looking it up, and she has a small daughter too, so what did I think she could do??? Nothing, but at least it was someone to listen for my screams of death. I went downstairs and Olivia was coming out of the kitchen. I asked her why she was out of bed and she said she was taking her medicine. Ummm, no, I don't think so, we did that before bed. Now I knew something was amiss. I sat her on the toliet, hugged her, and sent her to bed.

I then talked to a friend who has had experience with sleep walking and she said it very possibly could be that. Well, it just happened again tonight. Luckily she didn't go in the boys room tonight, but did come downstairs to the basement where I am. She was crying and I thought maybe it was a "regular" bad dream or something, but when asked why she was crying she started to say she was upset because she couldn't go with me... I just stopped her and hugged her. I put her on the toliet, said I was glad she didn't go in the boys room, and sent her to bed with a kiss. I hope this is not a sign of things to come. Being single, the night scares freak me out! :)

On other fronts, Little One is beginning to cruise and in addition to his two bottom teeth which are fully in, he is getting three on top!!! I can't belive he'll be one on the 30th, and that he's only been here for 2 1/2 months - it seems like he's been part of our family so much longer! :)
Saturday, January 13, 2007

Summer Plans

Yes, unbelievably I'm finding out that now, or even prior to now, is when you have to start planning summer vacations when you have a family. Especially certain types of vacations. I have thought a lot about finding a rental cabin on a lake in WI (not far from here) to go to every other summer. We would go to the same cabin where we could swim in the lake behind the house, get to know other people going at the same time, etc. Kind of like camping, but without dealing with the tent and having some comforts of home, especially on rainy days. I found a couple great, reasonably priced, cabins that were exactly what I was looking for, but then realized you needed to really make these arrangements before now for the upcoming summer and you needed a hefty security deposit as well as half the week's rent, sent in a check, no credit card reservations or anything. So, long story short I decided to put that off for one more summer.

On our "off" summers then I want to begin going on some other vacations. We visit my parents in Florida usually at Christmas and in the summer. While I LOVE going there, and the kids do too, I also want to be able to go back to some vacation spots I've been to or some I've always wanted to go to. One place I've been that I've wanted to return to was the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area of Tennessee. I loved it there, such beautiful mountains, and lots to do. As Olivia calls big hills here in IL mountains, I really wanted her to see some "real" mountains! So, I found an awesome!!!!! cabin on Bear Mountain for an extremely low price! We will stay 6 nights in a cabin with two bedrooms, two baths, a loft area with two full beds, a hot tub, in a secluded section of the mountain with gorgeous views - all for around $450!!! I've been researching attractions in the area and found some great deals and things the kids will love. Braeden and Little One are free for almost all and Olivia gets a pretty good deal. We are renting through if you are interested at all. I'm so excited!!! Braeden keeps saying, "I so excited about the mountains!" (His words exactly, I did not write this grammatical error!) :)

Well, as if that wasn't cool enough, while we were in FL over Christmas I happened to mention that Little One will be the same age this summer as Braeden was when my parents and I took them for four days to stay at a Disney resort and go to the parks. We had sooooo much fun and the kids loved it!!! My dad said maybe we should do that again this summer? I pushed it away as too expensive (we had a friend of mine who works there help us out last time with admissions and hotel costs) and just a nice idea. Next time I spoke with them on the phone they were talking about how my mom has ALWAYS wanted to stay in the Contemporary Resort (the one the monorail goes right through as you go into Magic Kingdom) and maybe we should look into that. Well that would be even more expensive as even with the discount last time we stayed in one of the lowest priced resorts. I loved it though and it was so great. Anyway, the next time we talked my dad had spoken to someone with AAA where they belong and booked a five day stay in the Contemporary, looking out onto Magic Kingdom, with a five day parkhopper pass for each of us, AND the meal plan where you get one "grill" item from a vendor each day, one "treat" each day such as popcorn or ice cream, as well as a sit down meal each day. Some of the character meals are included in that, and we are booked to eat breakfast our first morning there with Mickey and friends!!! OH MY GOSH!!! Unreal. And my parents are so generous. I asked for a total that I could save and pay for, my dad says, "Oh treats at the park would be good." !!!!
Monday, January 08, 2007


We had a BLAST over the holidays! Sorry to have been away for a while. The kids and I had a great Christmas. I was "super mom" on Christmas morning. We had to leave for the airport to catch a plane to FL. In order to leave at 11am, there was a lot to get done. I had finished all packing, except a couple tshirts they were getting for gifts, the night before. It was packed and in the car. Christmas morning we were up and opening gifts about 7am, I did not wake them early, this is normal for them! :) I had all gifts out of their boxes and batteries in all but one. We packed up all garbage and even put a few things in their respective new places. I had to take down the real tree so there was no fire issue and took all ornaments and lights off prior to hauling it to the curb. I made a breakfast of eggs, toast and sausage and packed lunches for Braeden and Olivia to eat in the car on the way to the airport. I finished packing the suitcase and loaded it in the car. Little One had his morning nap while I finished some of these things, and then I gave him a bottle. Braeden and Olivia (and I) ate the little Whitman sampler boxes of candy from our stockings. We were ready to hit the road!

We made it to the airport with LOTS of time to spare! (I always over estimate as I fear lateness!) They were great at the airport. The only time I stress, and I did with one and with two, so three is not much different, is at the security checkpoint when you have to unload everything including shoes and the stroller through the little xray. :) Actually, on Christmas there were not as many people and the workers were incredibly nice. The plane rides there and back went great.

Florida was fun as always, and Little One enjoys the water as much as his older brother and sister. I took Braeden and Olivia on a Pirate cruise - so fun! We had a water gun fight, searched for treasure, listened to stories, had faces painted like pirates, played musical chairs, and of course bought the requisite souvenir for $10 each! :) Skipped the family pic for $15 though as I did NOT look good! :) Olivia had her hair braided at the beach which always look good. Little One HATES sand!!! He screamed and cried the second I set him down, funny pic though! I shopped way too much (at 5 different Gymborees! Awesome sales!!!). Saw Night at the Museum, part of it twice as I tried to take Olivia and 30 min in she started crying that she was going to have bad dreams. I went back myself the next day! :) We swam in a pool. Lots of fun stuff. It ended way too fast. I also love going there because the cable my parents have has the Discovery Health Channel, which has the show Adoption Stories. I love that show! Of course my basic cable doesn't come with it! Oh well.

Now, we assimilate back into the routine of the working single mom... Yuck.

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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