Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Happy Birthday!!!

Happy Birthday Little One / Liam!

It amazes me how much you have grown and changed this past year. Last year you qualified for speech, developmental, and occupational therapy, and now people can't believe how much you're talking and doing! You amaze me everyday. I love your smile and big belly laugh. I don't like so much how you get mad and knock things over in your anger, while looking around to make sure that I saw you meant business. We'll work on that! :) Happy Birthday! May next year be even better! :)
Saturday, January 26, 2008


I'm so excited with Girlie's hair today. I did both the girls today. I have become extremely lax with them. I am not good with their hair, I am not good with hair period. Especially because sadly, at the age of 37 I think I have arthritis in my finger joints. I feel it after painting the house, and often while doing their hair. So, I've been content to keep it in one or two puffs, which is how Olivia likes it anyway, and as they will often pull out braids it's an easy way to do it. Anyway, today I braided both the girls and put beads in Girlie's hair!!! I've never done beads before and it looks so cute! To do them in Olivia's would take FOREVER. Her hair is so thick I would have to put a million little braids in, but Girlie has pretty thin hair and it went well. I'm praying she doesn't pull them out, so took pictures to capture the moment. I also made her a skull cap to wear at night to hopefully keep her fingers off and keep the style a bit longer. I took an old pair of kids tights, cut them off about 3 inches down the legs, tied the leg ends to make a knot, and voila! skull cap! She looked so cute and I just checked and it was still on, so far so good.

Here are the hair results, not great, but great for me...

Friday, January 25, 2008


I've Been Tagged...
Here I go..

4 Jobs I've Had
1. College Dorm Dishwasher - so gross!
2. Making Ice Cream Bars for Fannie Mae
3. Bible Salesperson at a Christian Book Store
4. A mom (the BEST job ever!)

4 Movies I watch Over and Over
Does The Lion King count????
1. Harry Potter (whichever is newest gets watched)
2. The Holiday
3. 13 Going on 30
4. 10 Things I Hate About You

4 Places I have Lived
1. Moline, IL
2. Normal, IL
3. Bloomington, IL
4. Kankakee, IL

4 Shows I watch
1. Survivor
2. Adoption Stories (But only in FL, I don't get it :( )
3. Greys Anatomy
4. The Amazing Race

4 Places I Have Been
1. Florida
3. Tennessee
4. Colorado

4 People Who Email Me Regularly
1. My Dad
2. My foster care caseworkers (blech)
3. My friends from Moline - but not enough! :)
4. My Yahoo Groups

4 Favorite Things To Eat
1. Instant Mashed Potatoes
2. Teriyaki Sirloin from The Melting Pot!!!!!
3. Chips and Salsa
4. Whitey's Ice Cream

4 Places I Would Rather Be
1. Traveling with my kids
3. On a roller coaster
4. At a movie

4 Things I look Forward To This Year
1. Liam's TPR done
2. Our vacation at Niagra
3. The farm we are taking the kids to in FL
4. Seeing the Lion King with the kids

Finally Info!

Finally, just heard from the doctors with all info they have. There is nothing on the MRI to show a mass or cancer or anything of the sort. There is an abnormal EEG, which we knew, that shows activity. Many of the children they see there for seizures have idiopathic beginnings - unknown. Maybes - started from her HIV??? Started from some type of viral cause??? Started from stress and or extreme tiredness??? They are switching her med that she began over a year ago that "caused" her low white blood count. She will be on her seizure meds for at least two years. If after two years she is seizure free, they will try her without. She is not to swim or do monkey bars or anything without supervision. As she is young this should not be an issue. Gymnastics is not high on their list but if she is supervised should not be a problem. We had a visit set up with them for FEB 18, but they want to see her sooner to check her med levels, etc. We are going up there on the 4th.
That's all I know. Lisa :)
Thursday, January 24, 2008


Social worker called again. They still have not gotten the neurology team to look over the EEG and MRI. It's getting really old. While trying not to cry I told her I need information. They want to see her Feb 4th. I said I would be more than happy to bring her there, BUT I want to then be able to hear from neurology and everyone if we are making this trip. We already have a visits there scheduled the 18th, and it costs me a good chunk of money out of my paycheck now to take a day off, I want it to count. She said she's left them one message today but will call again and will see what she can do. Ridiculous.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I know it's a busy day at the hospital, I know, I do. But please quit telling me you're going to be able to give me information on my daughter's MRI and EEG the next day, then the next, then, oh, a 3 day weekend and not until Tuesday, only THEN to have the social worker call to "reassure" me that I'm not forgotten, but it is a clinic day and the doctors have been busy and haven't been able to get a hold of the neurology team yet. Seriously. Come on. It's been a week now. I WANT some information. I NEED some information. NOW. Oh, and keep her away from things like gymnastics, at least until we have more information. Yes, information, that's what I want too! But you do know that I JUST paid about $75 to start a new gymnastics session, we went to one class, and have now missed two WAITING for your INFORMATION! (Can you tell I'm a bit perturbed???)

On the cute side, here is a pic of Olivia a week ago right after the EEG...

Adoptive Parents...

I saw this on another blog and loved it...

You know when you're an adoptive mother when....
You know you are an adoptive mother (or you should be!) if:

1. The fact that there are 143 million children without a parent to kiss them goodnight has ever made you lose sleep.
2. You realize DNA has nothing to do with love and family.
3. You can't watch Adoption Stories on TLC without sobbing.
4. The fact that if 7% of Christians adopted 1 child, there would be no orphans in the world is convicting to you.
5. You spend free time surfing blogs about families who have experienced the blessing of adoption.
6. It drives you crazy when people ask you about your adopted child's "real" parents.
7. You have ever been "pregnant" with your adoptive child longer than it takes an elephant to give birth (2 years!)
8. You had no idea how you would afford to adopt but stepped out in faith anyway knowing where God calls you He will provide.
9. You have ever taken a airplane ride half way around the world with a child you just met.
10. You believe God's heart is for adoption.
11. You realize that welcoming a child into your heart and family is one of the most important legacy's you could ever leave on this earth.
12. You know what the word Dossier means and you can actually pronounce it!
13. You have welcomed a social worker into the most private parts of your life.
14. You shudder when people say your child is so lucky that you adopted them, knowing full well you are the blessed one to have them in your life.

...Number 4 just floors me.
Saturday, January 19, 2008

Medical Information

Yesterday was teacher institute day at our school. That meant that Olivia didn't have school, but I did. I took her to spend the day at our local park district. They offer before and after school programs and day off programs. She's been there before, we were signed up, and I dropped her off as always.

Well, I didn't even think about the fact that - she is now having SEIZURES! Duh! I hadn't mentioned it all. I did later, but I was still surprised it hadn't crossed my mind. It made me realize we needed a way to let emergency personnel know if/when she were to have something happen when I'm not around.

So, I thought of a medical ID bracelet. The problem was I really didn't want one of the classic ones I've seen that are engraved, because I wanted to include her HIV information and meds, and didn't want just anyone seeing that on her wrist. I checked the internet, and lo and behold I found a site that had two great bracelets. I decided to get one of each so we would have a back up.

This one I ordered in pink:

And this one in purple:

Both of them have information inserts that you fill out and place "inside". That means I don't have to wait to have all of the information that we are waiting for right now, so I already ordered them. I am so excited!!!


Well, Girlie woke up with whatever Braeden had last weekend. 101 temp this morning, but then completely fine on the Tylenol. When it wore off though she started shaking and was so cold, but had 102 temp. I bundled her up and gave her some Motrin, she seems ok for now. They are all on their way to dreamland as we speak. Oh, and as for the moodiness that Olivia's doctors said were a side effect of her new med, yeah, big tantrum at lunch time. She went to bed a bit early.
Friday, January 18, 2008


Well, Oivia's doctors called. The radiologist is who did the first quick look at the MRI and thought it looked good. The neurologist is who needs to do a thorough reading of it, but has been unable to do that yet. They are off Monday, so it will be at least Tuesday before we know anything more. Bummer!
Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Quick Update on Today

We had a long day today. Olivia had another seizure this morning about 5 am. After dropping the littles off at 6am for day care, Olivia and I went to UofC for her tests. She had an EEG at 8:15. After, we had a regular clinic visit. They told us they would consult with the neurology staff today/tomorrow and hopefully contact us later in the day tomorrow with the results.. Her MRI was scheduled for 12, but we didn't get to go back until about 1. They sedated her, and she went in for the test at 1:30. They said it would be about an hour, but finally called me back 1 1/2 hours later. She came out of the sedation well and we headed home (she was so out of it!). Not 20 min into the drive one of her doctors called my cell. Another doctor had done just a preliminary reading of just the EEG and said she needed to start seizure medication tonight. They called it in for us and we picked it up later. They will do a more formal assessment of the EEG tomorrow as well as the MRI and hopefully contact me in the afternoon when they know more.
Saturday, January 12, 2008


Well, early as it sounds, I've been planning our next family vacation. We began this last summer. We go to Florida at least twice a year for 1-3 weeks at a time, which is awesome. My parents live there and they are so generous and welcoming to let us come and spend time with them. They are in Clearwater so it's a great and inexpensive vacation for us. Last year I decided that I also wanted to begin taking the kids somewhere else on vacation during the summer. (Having a summer off with teaching really is nice.) There are many places I've been that I'd love to take the kids, or places I've never been and always wanted to go, or places that I've read about that have little, out of the way experiences and activities.

I found last year in planning that many rentals are booked early in the year, so my planning for next summer began shortly before Christmas. Last summer we rented a cabin in the mountains of TN and it was wonderful, well there were a lot of issues, but the vacation itself was wonderful. :) Read my blog from last summer to find out more! :) So, this summer's destination???

Niagra Falls!!!

I am SO excited! I was looking up places that were in a similar driving distance as our TN vacation because the drive there was just the right amount of time, and I found that Niagra Falls was the same time factor! We are renting a little cottage right across the stree from a marina, about 25 minutes from the Falls. I have found some GREAT things to do while we are there. There is an orchard nearby that has an original barn with a hideaway in the basement from the underground railroad. There is also a small park in the town we're renting that has a vintage carousel and 4 other vintage rides which each cost 25 CENTS!!! :) We are going the last week in July, and it's going to be so hard to wait! :)


Well, if yesterday couldn't have been crazy enough, my phone rang as we were wrapping up the day, and it was Braeden's day care. He had just projectile vomited EVERYWHERE! I'm so glad it was Friday, BUT he has been completely fine! Go figure! He played the sick card well last night, how old is he again? :) It was "I'm sick remember mom, I think I need to sleep in your bed... etc." Too funny. He has been completely fine. Nothing with Olivia again either, thank God! She is scheduled for an EEG and MRI on Tuesday at her "big city" hospital. The hardest for her will be that she can't eat past midnight Monday and can only drink water/juice in the morning before 7am. Then, nothing at all until everything is finished. Her MRI is last at 12 noon, so when we're done with that she should be able to eat/drink. As of right now they are going to try to do the MRI without sedation since she's usually real good/compliant. If she has a hard time, then they will sedate her. I'm hoping they don't have to.

In an hour I'm taking Braeden and Olivia to see the new Veggie Tales movie. It looks cute, we love Veggie Tales, and movies, and who can beat an afternoon of popcorn, candy, and a show! :) I told BRaeden and Olivia that Little One will probably be with us forever, that we will most likely be adopting him although it will still take a while, and they were SO excited!!! We talk about how we don't know the future of kids living with us, until adoption happens. One reason Olivia was SO excited for hers! We have started telling people that they can call him (his first name)+(the name we're going to change his to). We've called him this at home for the past year and Braeden calls him by his "new" name constantly. His name, once adopted will be.... (drum roll)...


I'm still considering middle names, but have a couple already. I know name changing is a big issue, but there are a lot of reasons to change names of former foster children, one being the children's background/family. It's sad to say that it's a scary/dangerous thing for some of these families to know who you are, where you live, etc. In the past I've had to get an order of protection even from one parent. If their child's name is changed, it makes it harder to be found. I have no problem with the children knowing and having a relationship with their birth family if it's safe, and especially when they're older and it's their choice to search for them and get to know them, but sometimes you just can't. And then there are the times when the names are just bad. Braeden laughed when I told him what he birth name is/was. His parents didn't even call him by it, they used a nickname which we took up as well. Anyway, that will be Little One's name, and what I will begin to call him in the blog now.

Liam, it sounds good. :) My three "forever" children... Olivia, Braeden, and Liam.
Friday, January 11, 2008

Blessings and Appointments

Well, after a not very nice email to my agency wondering how they could even consider placing Little One in the home of someone he doesn't know after he's been here so long, I received a call this morning from the agency. They had an administrative meeting this morning and made the decision, in writing, to keep him with me!!! This does not bar mom from appealing or anything, but it looks like he's here for good!!! I'm so blessed.

On the other side, Olivia has an appointment for Tuesday to have a CAT scan, EEG, and appointment to figure out what's going on. I pray they can find out the cause and a way to help her, last night was just too scary.

Thanks for all of your prayers!
Thursday, January 10, 2008

What a Day

How do you continue with "normalcy" when so many things are happening. Only God can help, only God can lift me through this. I need to rely on Him.

More Prayers Needed

Well, I had thought I had Olivia's leg problems figured out. It has only happened a few times since I've posted on it, and those were nights where she was extremely exhausted. I assumed, still am unsure, that it was exhaustion and was "taking the place of" the sleep walking we saw last school year. We have stopped cheerleading and are taking a break from swimming as well. She is only participating in gymnastics one hour a week, and we're home the rest of the time to help with her weekly schedule.

Anyway, about an hour ago we had quite a scare. I heard a huge thud and assumed it was girlie falling out of the crib or something. I got to their room and Olivia had fallen out of bed, her limbs were in awkward positions and rigid, and she was shaking, I guess would be the word. It looked like a seizure. I don't think it lasted long, of course it seemed like forever. She "came out of it" and while she had a hard time still sitting, she was able to sit up with my help and relax. I got her back to bed and have been checking on her since. She is out, hard, but sleeping.

I tried right away to call her nurse practitioner and dialed the pager number to be told by a recording that it was an invalid entry, I checked again and did dial the right number. I tried a friend from school who is the nursing assistant for our district to talk with her or get our school nurse's number, but she wasn't available at home or on her cell. I tried one of my teacher assistants from school who used to be a nurse, but she wasn't home. Wow. I talked to my mom and we agreed, hopefully rightly, that as long as I watched her tonight and she seemed ok there was no need to go to ER. I pray that was/is the right decision. I will take her to bed with me when I go in a little while. I tried looking up seizures and hiv online, but that was too scary. Is it emotional issues from foster child-hood and not seeing her brother any more??? Is it an hiv - related neurological issue??? Neither would be great but the first would be much better.

I will be talking to quite a few people tomorrow. Hopefully things will get accomplished at work as well. Though I don't think my heart will be in it.

Brighter Note

On a much brighter note, here is the short-term post I promised with the kids' Christmas picture. We went to a wonderful church that put on a service with a great play by the youth of the church. Braeden and Olivia loved it, BUT they had passed out candles at the start of the service and we told Braeden how we would get to light them at the end, so all through the service he kept saying and asking if it was the end. :)

Prayers Needed

I just received an email from Little One's cw. They are looking at the grandma as placement. They are starting an interstate homestudy on her and also having a meeting with staff to look at pros and cons of both her and myself. IF the homestudy isn't approved, then he said it's an easy decision, but they will be looking at both of us. I'm floored. I just knew that that was what they were going to say. I think that if they are beginning a homestudy on someone who lives in Alabama, then they are planning to go with her. Why begin that if you weren't? And why wouldn't she be granted a "passing" homestudy when she already has his brother? Why allow someone to "have" him when by that point he will have lived with me two years and doesn't know this person? He has met her twice and the second time the CASA worker was there and said she didn't even interact with him. Why!? Oh my gosh! Why!? I am going to try to contact his GAL to ask her opinion, etc.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Today was Little One's court date. It was a good day. :) I still, as I said, haven't heard from the agency regarding their thought as to whether or not they will try to make his bio grandma a placement if/when termination happens, but I think it's a good day for Little One today.

Bio mom ignored me while we waited to go into court. Another GAL whom I know from outside the "system" came to talk to me as I waited. She said how glad she was that Little One was with me and "will be with me..." I said that I wondered if the agency wasn't going to try to send him to Gma and she said "Oh, nobody is thinking that!" Which makes me think that his GAL will not go that way even if the agency tries to do that, but I still don't know. "Dad" (I don't think he is bio dad, but I guess he hasn't been proven not to be???) showed up in chains which was interesting. He's locked up and will be for some time. Mom was not happy to see him there. She has another boyfriend she's always with.

In court the judge started by asking if the goal was still return home within one year. L.O.'s GAL said yes but that it looked like it wouldn't be that way for long. The judge was looking at the paperwork and said that it looked like mom had made no progress. Her lawyer tried to get ther court to rule that mom had made progress, she had made attempts. The judge said that yes she had made attempts, but no progress had been made. He changed the goal to Return Home pending Capacity, I think was the word used. They are awaiting the results of a full eval of mom's capacity for parenting.

The cw was asked by the GAL if there was anything the agency needed from the court to fulfill this finding of info so that when they resumed for permanency in June everything would be done. He first said no but then she said that DCFS usually won't pay for these evals without a court order and she suggested they order it to be safe, so he agreed. Why doesn't he know this???? I'm glad she was pushing him and got this done. Mom was not happy of course. She said that she is doing everything. I kind of wish the judge would have gone over what she hasn't done, but he pretty much just ignored her.

The worst part for me was that while we awaited the hearing, about an hour in the outer part of the court house, mom didn't even look at me. I don't mind that but what I mean is, she hasn't seen her son for 3 weeks, over Christmas. Doesn't she wonder how his Christmas was? What he did in FL on our trip? What he's up to? How he's doing? Anything? I don't understand not wanting to ask all sorts of questions and being interested in what he does at "home." I know she sees him weekly, but it's one hour in a play room at the agency. Doesn't she want to know about his everyday life? I mentioned this only once to his CASA worker after I met mom at the family meeting. She seemed like it wasn't a big deal. She said that mom sees him every week. That isn't much to me. I just don't understand not wanting to know about your child. How they go to sleep. What they like to eat, what they don't. That to me is more sad than anything.

His next court date is June 24, oh how I can't wait for that day!!!!!

On a side note, Girlie's cw told me today that her bio mom thought I was kidnapping Girlie by taking her to FL!!!! Wow! That's crazy! She had court today too, which I didn't even know. Mom didn't show up and it was pretty much just continued until May since it was only her first court date.


We had such a wonderful holiday. It was very blessed. I did not hear back from the agency supervisor and still haven't. I have calmed some over the issues and just know that this is not the time to move agencies. I just can't "give up" on Girlie, because that's what it would feel like. She is doing so well. Also, they are getting a new caseworker and both kids' cases are being transferred to her. I don't know if that is good or bad really. I love Girlie's worker, she has done wonders. But am definately glad to be rid of Little One's worker. So we'll see...

We did Christmas presents from me, and one from Grandma and Grandpa, Monday, December 17 so that we didn't have to drive it all down to FL and they had some time to play before we left. Braeden and Olivia received a couple things they were very excited about, I love that...

Olivia and her Annie movie!

Braeden and his new scooter!

Our holiday break was wonderful. My mom had flown in the 12th to spend time with us and then drive with me down to FL. We left the day after school was out, Dec 21. We were able to drive it in one shot. The kids did GREAT in the car!!! Girlie had a little trouble with sleeping, but since she was never in the car much before coming to live with me and sleeping in a car seat can't be much fun anyway, I think that that wasn't too bad. My mom helped drive parts during the day and I took the night shift. I was prepared to stop at a hotel or a rest stop to sleep, but didn't need it. I felt great and we drove all the way through. It took about 21 hours total with stops.

Our time in FL was great. We went to church and Red Lobster, as is tradition, on Christmas Eve. They looked so cute all dressed up! I will post a 24 hour pic of the group. The next morning brought more gifts and we had lots of fun opening and sharing these. Later in the day Grandma and I took Braeden and Olivia to see The Water Horse which was cute.

The rest of our time in FL was spent shopping clearance racks (lots of good 1/2 price stocking stuffers for next year!), one trip to the beach, seeing The Doodlebops in concert which Girlie talks about constantly - she LOVED it, spending a free (except Braeden's ticket) day at Busch Gardens where Olivia rode her first coaster with a loop!, a lovely flat tire - but luckily it wasn't on one of the drives there or back, and mom seeing two other movies on her own. (I love movies!) We drove back the morning of January 4. On the way back I did stop for two hours to sleep, but otherwise we made it all the way again. We were so blessed with wonderful weather for the drives both ways which was great.

Busch Gardens...

The lovely flat we got on the way to the beach...

We had been to the beach once and the next days before leaving the temp was supposed to be in the 40s. The first trip to the beach, my camera batteries were dead! So no pics of Girlie and her first time there! :( Bummer!!! She was hysterical, wanted NO part of walking on the sand, even with shoes on. I'd pick her up to set her on the sand to walk with me and her knees were pulled up so her feet were by her bottom, it was too funny! She did manage to sit on the towel and play in the sand. :)

Grandma then flew back on Sunday and we started back to school/work on Monday. Whew, where did the time go??? It was a wonderful, blessed holiday!!!


Before I update you on our wonderful holiday, I start with a cute story. Saturday Olivia asked me, "What day is today?" - You know how you lose sight of that during vacation! :) - I told her it was Saturday and she said, "Oh, shoot, if it was Sunday I'd have only one more day until school." She LOVES school!!! :) Then my first grader said, "My first day of second grade!" LOL Why on earth she thought she would be starting second grade after break I have no idea, but she did! Maybe she thought since we were talking about the "new year" she assumed that meant a new school year as well???? It was too funny.

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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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Blog Archive

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:

Other Awesome Blogs

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