Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Girlie's Future

Well, after lots and lots of prayer and thought, I've decided to be Girlie's foster home until she is able to transition to an adoptive home. That would be after termination, of course. I love her to death, but in that I also want so much for her.

I know that she is in a stable secure environment right now and I'm so proud of all she has accomplished and how far she has come. But she still has so far to go, and I think that a lot of that may never fully be resolved for her. She just went through and saw too too much for her little life to comprehend fully. Although we don't have the aggression at home that we did when she came, it's still there in bits and pieces. And it does show up in other areas. At church last Sunday, where we have gone since she was placed with us, she bit a child, hit a child, and then when one of the youth ministers leaned down to talk with her about the hitting, she turned and slapped her across the face! One of the hardest parts, and I know they don't understand, is that one of the two teachers of the class would barely look at me and he said that if it ever happened again they "would just page me." Well, that's what you probably should have done. But the way it was said and how he wouldn't look at me just shows how little people understand what foster children have or may have gone through and where this behavior could come from. Yes, she's "just two" and yes, many children this age get behaviors through their home environment, but they know she is a foster child. He was acting as if it was somehow my fault she was behaving the way she was.

Anyway, my point is that I foresee her having a lot to deal with as she gets older. I expect her to be diagnosed with RAD. I expect many problems in school, socially, etc. She really needs a two parent or single stay at home parent family. One that is experienced in parenting. One that can pick her up from school when they call to say she has been acting up and needs to go home. Hopefully even one experienced with RAD or at least will take the time to research it and really know what they are "signing up for." I do not want her to be adopted and then have that disrupted down the road.

I just know on some gut level that she is not meant to be a forever part of our family. I am excited though to be able to be able to help her transition, maybe even help be a part of choosing a family for her, definantly help her to get to know them at least. I've already started her lifebook to tell the story of her while she was with us.

I don't know when her parental termination would be coming through. I know they said they were going to expedite it, but I talked to someone who used to work at our agency, and they have never seen that actually happen and said they would be surprised. I also think, if mom is indeed pregnant, that the baby should not be placed with her. No idea if the agency would agree. I really think she needs to be the only or far youngest child in the home. She will target any her size or younger, even bigger get targeted but they can at least hold their own. She's tried to bite my mom a couple of times! She will really need a lot of attention and focus in moving to yet another family and with a newborn baby, I think it would be too much. Not that I plan on keeping or taking the baby myself. I don't think I would if they offered, but will pray about that if/when it became a reality.

If any of you would be interested or know anyone who may be a good match for her, I'd be happy to talk more through email and possibly pass your info on if/when the time comes. She is a doll. (Really, I'm not just saying that! :) She is and I love her sense of humor. She is also SO SMART!!!) She just needs a lot more than I will be able to give her. Please keep her/us in your prayers.
Monday, February 25, 2008

On The Mend

We are slowly and finally all on the mend! Braeden went back to day care on Friday while Liam stayed home one more day. I slept a lot over the weekend and feel a million times better. I had planned to go to a friend's to scrapbook Sunday so kept the sitter and my mom and I both went. It was a nice break. We also went to dinner. I feel so much better today, but still tired now that the afternoon has hit. I think all the kids are doing well finally. Olivia still hasn't gotten anything, so my mom will stay a while longer to make sure we're ok.

Thursday afternoon Liam's doctor finally got him in after Monday's scare. He looked him over for literally 5 minutes! I told him what happened, apparently he forgot the call from ER and talking with them and didn't have the report. I said that it was exactly the same as what happened last summer and he said, "What happened last summer?" I wanted to strangle him!!! So, I proceeded to remind him of the 911 call and the EEG and MRI he prescribed, etc. He said "I guess you earned a trip to a pediatric neurologist." OMG! That was the entire visit that we just waited three days for!? so, they are supposed to be setting up an appt at University of Chicago. I asked if they could please, please, please get an appt for spring break. We'll see. At least I know that hospital well. :)
Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Downhill Fast

Grandma came in last night and we are happy to have her! Braeden threw up at the airport, from the drainage. Today he was running around playing until Grandpa wanted to talk to him, then he slowed down and said how sick he was! lol Liam and Braeden are home today. They will probably be out at least the rest of the week. I think Olivia is getting sick. She feels tired and has a cough, but that's it for now. I was doing so great washing constantly, etc. Hoped I could get past it, or at least wait until the weekend. My chest is now killing me and my eyes are burning and my ears hurt. :( Yuck. but I'm here at work!!! Trying to get through the week. We have so many kids out it's crazy. The room across from mine was missing 6 yesterday. I only have 7 full time, 10 part of the day. One is out. I love being sick. ! :(
Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Information I SHOULD Have Had... and DIDN'T

I finally got a hold of Liam's cw this morning. I told her what happened and how I had overheard his bio mom talking at the last court date about his brother having "seizures all the time." I said it would be really good to know medical information on this and whether it is a genetic trait. She was great and called mom right away. She confirmed that yes, he did and gave her her grandmother's number. Her mom is who has Liam's brother, but she was working today so the great grandmother had him. She reconfirmed saying that his brother had had seizures of the exact same kind every time he would get a fever over 101, BUT hasn't had one in over a year. They are trying to get clearance for his doctor to fax the information to the agency and Liam's doctor. I did let her know that when this happened in the summer he hadn't had a fever, but I'm glad to be on the right track. It just frustrates me that I was the one who first had to come up with a seizure "diagnosis", that even after I did the current cw didn't follow through to ask mom if there was a family history, that I again had to overhear mom say this, and then finally something is being done. The cw at the very least should have had this information all along, if not me as well as his foster parent. Especially when he developed related issues. AHHHHHH!!!!


Today has been a day of doctors, and as they are not always on my top ten list of people I would like to spend the day with, it has been a long one.

Girlie has had low fevers all weekend, so I called her doctor this morning first thing to get her in since I had a feeling it was an ear infection again. (No school/work today for President's Day.) So Olivia and Girlie and I got a lot done this morning. She was to get in to the doctor at 12:40pm. At 11 my friend J and her daughter came to hang out with Olivia, Girlie and I until her appt.

At 11:10 Liam's day care called to tell me he had a 102.5 fever! I called his doctor before leaving to pick him up, to see if I could get him in today. The first thing they said was, "Well, I see that he had a well child appt on Feb 1 that was rescheduled and then one on Feb 14 that was cancelled." I'm thinking, what does that have to do with him being sick, but ok... and said, "Yes, and the one on Feb 1 was the snow storm that closed schools, etc and his caseworker wanted to reschedule it. Then he WAS at his appt the 14, but an intern from the agency took him since they are doing his doctor visits right now, and she was told she couldn't sign for the vaccine he needed and it had to be rescheduled." She said, "I'll talk to the doctor and see..." A while later she came back on the phone and said that that was a "high fever" and I needed to take him to ER to be seen!!! What??!! Oh please! I've had kids with 102.5 many times and have ALWAYS been told to do Tylenol/Motrin and watch it. That is NOT a high fever.

Now when Braeden was his age and had the 104 fever, that was high, and his doctor all but laughed at me for being so concerned and told me to give him the warm bath, Tylenol, Motrin and WATCH him. No, they were upset because he missed the last two appts I guess, and didn't want to see him. Ridiculous! It didn't even have anything to do with me!

So, we were at Girlie's doctor's from 12:30-2, yes she has an ear infection. I also asked about her "weird post-antibiotic sickness" and he gave me ideas, I'll share more on that later. Then we went directly to ER and were there from 2:15-5:25! Liam was diagnosed with the flu. It has hit here HARD!!! The ER was FILLED and they even had a cart of pitchers of water, ice, and pop cans for people. Everyone there to be seen had to wear a face mask because of the strain of flu going around. (He did look really cute in the little kid mask and I kind of wished I had a camera!) :) The doctor said she could prescribe a flu med, but it really didn't do much and I needed to just give both Tylenol and Motrin, not alternating, but together. Tylenol every 4 hours, Motrin every 6 as the fever with this flu strain was real stubborn. Fun.

I dropped off Girlie's prescription on the way to get Braeden from day care, and was told it wouldn't be ready until 9pm!!! I said I'd get it first thing in the morning. I wasn't staying up until 9 with the kids to get a med! (A little foreshadowing of how silly I am that 9pm is late.)

I had asked how soon they thought Liam would be able to return to day care. (I used 3 non-paid days last week alone, and 2 others with Olivia's appts!!!). She said they were writing most of the kids out for AT LEAST the rest of this week. I wanted to bawl. I called my dad, my mom was at Bingo, and asked if she might be willing to come help if I bought a plane ticket. Much cheaper for me to do that than keep taking these days. Each one is a small fortune. Let me just say that we have a Stokke Kinderzeat, which I LOVE. It was Braeden's and Girlie uses it right now. I've wanted to get a few more, for Braeden and Liam, even Olivia really, but so much money. Yeah, I could just about buy one for EACH day I have to take off right now!!! :( So, she has a flight and is coming tomorrow. No return ticket until it's ok for her to return. I am so glad!! So blessed!!! Thank you mom!!! But, our night was not over!

I had given Liam Motrin at noon, and they gave him Tylenol at 3:00, so I gave him Motrin when we got home at 6, then Tylenol at bedtime at 7. At 8 I heard him crying in the monitor. It was not a good cry. It's the cry you hear when something is WRONG. And, then we repeated the scariest night of my life. You can read the post here.

It was awful. I called 911 and they hung up after, I thought on all those shows that they always stay on the line with you until help arrived? Guess not! Anyway, I then called my friend J to come stay with the kids, which she did. During these calls he came "out of it" quite a bit but still seemed slow to move, etc. A policeman came first then the ambulance. This time I had them take us to the hospital. Right where we were a few hours before. As we were going to the ambulance my neighbor across the street came to ask if I needed a sitter. SO nice of her!!! I told her no, but thanks. We were at the hospital until 12am!

They ran a few tests, xrays, etc but found ta da.... NOTHING! I knew they wouldn't. The doctor there attributed it to his fever, but I told them the same thing happened this summer and he had NO fever then. He prescribed the flu med the other doc didn't which seems funny to me. I was also told by this "group" to give Tylenol and Motrin every 6 hours rotated. Shouldn't there be a "set" way to battle this flu!? You'd think!!!

So then we were stuck there. The ambulance guys had said the hospital would get us home and not to worry about my car. But then the hospital said a cab, which is what they do, wouldn't take Liam without a car seat. Duh! I knew Girlie's day care provider, our friend H, would most likely be up so I called and asked if she could bring me a car seat. My mind was so out of it, I didn't even think of asking her just for a ride home, dummy! But she called when she got here and asked if I didn't just want a ride, so that's what we did. I am so blessed to have good friends here!!!

And the whole time at the hospital I kept thinking, and I want MORE kids, I can barely do it with these with the issues they have!? What is my problem? But then I think "yeah, but..." My goodness. Now Liam is fighting sleep as he is ready to go. He slept pretty good at the hospital. And, I have to call his doctor's office tomorrow, whom I SO don't want to talk to, to get him in for a check in the next couple days. What a day.
Sunday, February 17, 2008


I usually don't tend to open forwards much. Yes, I like them when I read them, they're cute, but I don't open most. This one I did and I really liked the message it portrayed. It says it's a true story, I don't know if it is but it makes it so much better if it really is...

The following scene took place on a British Airways flight between Johannesburg and London. This is a true story.
A White woman, about 50 years old, was seated next to a Black man. Obviously disturbed by this, she called the air Hostess.
'Madam, what is the matter,' the Hostess asked.
'You obviously do not see it then?' she responded. 'You placed me next to a Black man. I do not agree to sit next to someone from such a repugnant group. Give me an alternative seat.'
'Be calm please, the Hostess replied. 'Almost all the seats on this flight are taken. I will go to see if another seat is available.'
The Hostess went away and came back a few minutes later. 'Madam, just as I thought, there are no other available seats in Economy class. I spoke to the Captain and he informed me that there are also no seats in the Business class. All the same, we still have one seat in First class.'
Before the woman could reply, the Hostess continued: 'It is unusual for our company to permit someone from Economy class to sit in First class. However, given the circumstances, the Captain feels that it would be scandalous to make someone sit next to someone so disgusting.'
She turned to the Black man and said, 'Therefore, Sir, if you would like to, please collect your hand luggage, a seat awaits you in First class.'
At that moment, the other passengers who were shocked by what they had just witnessed stood up and applauded.

We need more of this in our world.
Friday, February 15, 2008

Information I Shouldn't Have... Again

I had our monthly home visit tonight with our new caseworker. She seems really nice and to be trying hard to figure things out. It's a lot to find out as you go as communication is not always the best. I talked with her for a while tonight about my concerns for and with Girlie. I had Braeden and Olivia go play somewhere else, it's just information they don't need to worry about. I shared a lot that is on my mind with long term as knowing some of the family history and all that's going on lately, she could easily not be going home. I talked about my concern of RAD and that I am unsure if she is meant to be a forever part of our family, but that I would like to be a stable placement as long as I can. Even if that means until termination and we can transition to a good adoptive family. My other concern is that if mom is indeed pregnant, I don't know if I can take a newborn if I decide Girlie is not to live with us forever. A newborn means my mom coming to help for the 6-7 weeks until they could start day care, up at night while working during the day. Etc. All of which I've done, did with Braeden, and would be happy to do again, IF it was a situation where they probably weren't going home. But if I took it on knowing they weren't going to stay, I think it's too much. If that makes sense. It's just really a lot to think and pray about. What is best for Girlie in the long run? I hope to touch base with the agency therapist this week. She doesn't start to see kids until age 3 but I'm hoping she can talk with me and sort some of this out. There is just no way to know for sure, which I do understand. It's a leap of faith, but I don't want to regret it for any of us 6-10 years down the road.

Anyway, to the info I shouldn't have, the cw went on to tell me that she shouldn't tell me but would, that they were looking at trying to expedite termination in her case. Also, IF mom is pregnant, which she doesn't seem to believe, and mom has the baby in IL, then supposedly the baby will most likely be taken immediately and they will try to expedite termination on the baby as well. Now, what that exactly means I'm still figuring out. I'm going to talk to some people this weekend hopefully. I don't know how quick an expedited termination could take??? So, may have less time to think than I originally thought, but maybe that's good???

Clothes at Six

Olivia - the clothes she was able to wear yesterday really were a big deal for her. Clothes have become this big thing with her, but not in the way you're probably thinking. She has a closet of great clothes that we bought a season ahead and did really well finding great clothes at great deals. A couple of months ago she began wrecking them at school. I know, "She's 6, come on, she's not perfect."

But, when she comes home day after day with dry erase marker on them that won't come out, then fine tipped marker, then grass stained knees, then strawberry sauce from lunch all down the front of a shirt, then mud all down one pant leg, then a big circle of I guess dirt in the middle of her chest on now 3 shirts that won't come out, and then finally a hole in the neck of a shirt which she did by poking a pencil through, Hello!!! There is a problem. I got her five "play clothes" outfits, including the grass stain pants, the mud stain pants, the holey shirt, and the marker shirt, and she has been wearing those five outfits to school since. But, I still want her to be able to wear her other clothes and take care of her things.

I've tried all sorts of things from having her pay for a couple things which we had borrowed from a friend, talking to her about responsibility, time outs, etc. I am out of ideas... So, I thought maybe having her wear something special for Valentine's Day would help. I asked if she wanted to wear a special outfit and she helped put it together. We talked about being responsible and taking care of our things. And I told her that this would be a start toward helping me trust her with clothes again and she could work toward wearing nice clothes at school again. She did great!!! She was so proud of herself! And she said, "Yes! I get to wear nice clothes to school from now on!" I said to hold on, that that was not our deal and that this was a first step. I said that if she was taking care of her things that next week she could wear a nice outfit again one day, then the next week two days, etc. She understood and was still excited.

So today, Olivia went to school in one of her five outfits: a light aqua turtleneck from Gymboree that was the first of the center smudge shirts, and a pair of jeans. She came home with stains all over, literally, the front of her shirt. I asked what on earth happened to your shirt. Get this - she said she had been given gum by the teacher and "spilled" or "it leaked" on her shirt. So basically, she was drooling from gum??? That is crazy. She has never ever done that with gum. What is the deal???!!! That shirt is really going to look lovely if those stains don't come out.

And speaking of stain remover, any ideas for really great ones??? I've always had good luck with Shout. Girlie spilled chocolate milk all down the front of a new Cinderella sweatshirt that she wore to day care not long ago, and all of it came out. But, most of these stains Olivia has put in haven't.

Happy Valentine's Day (Yesterday)

Our day started off very well. I had laid out a little heart box of chocolates and a book for each of the kids at our table for them when they got up in the morning. They were so excited. They actually got to eat candy first thing in the morning. ;) Olivia got to wear a cute dress she had gotten for her birthday that's red and has white embroidered hearts around the hem. She also got to wear new tights that are white on white with hearts all over. She thought she was so cool! :) The others didn't have necessarily Vday clothes, but wore red, which Braeden thought was very fun. They each brought their Valentines to class, and Braeden even had to make a card box - for day care! Seeemed overboard, but oh well. We actually made a very cute, easy and creative box. We took a Safari hat from our dress up area, put a cardboard bottom on, and then cut a hole in the top. Very cute. My class at school also did really well. They didn't get all crazy like many classes do on days like this. We have no room mom for our class, the joys of special ed, but the kids loved just eating junk and watching part of a movie. I actually got Valentine gifts from some of the kids which was so cute. (I often don't get anything - for Christmas I had one gift, unlike many other teachers who are loaded down - another part of special ed it seems.) I got a heart of chocolates, a chocolate rose, and candy. So cute. :)

Then, on the way out of the parking lot, my cell phone rang. Oh joy, Girlie's day care, she had 102.5 fever! I get to stay HOME on Friday, today, lucky me! What a concept! I emailed a pastor from my church earlier this week to see is she knew of someone who is at home, retired, whatever and may be interested in helping us out on days like this. She's going to put it in the bulletin at church. I really hope someone feels called to this. It would be such a blessing. So, today Girlie and I hung out. She is ok on medicine. I hope it's not another ear infection.

All in all a wonderful Valentine's Day though. The kids were so excited and saying Happy Valentine's (or -times) Day all the day long. :) So, Happy Valentime's to you too...
Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Large Families

I read a number of foster and adoptive blogs which I LOVE. Many of these are larger families, which is so interesting and exciting to me. I long to build my family. I love adding children who desperately need homes and giving them a solid foundation and somewhat "normal" life that they may not have had otherwise. I love seeing the people that each child is turning out to be. I love them.

It always surprised me when I read some of these blogs and heard from them some of the negative reponses they have received from people, including church families. I have started getting some of this myself, at only 4 children. I do understand where people are coming from. Yes, I only have a certain number of sick days with my job and unfortunately usually go beyond these. Yes, using so many days due to sick kids does impact the kids I am supposed to be teaching at school. I leave good lesson plans (I think anyway) but they struggle with change and structure and it's hard when I'm not there. And yes, maybe each of my kids isn't getting the attention they would in a smaller family size.

BUT, I love my kids. I love seeing them grow into caring brothers and sisters. Even to siblings who haven't been with us long and may not continue to be with us for whatever reason. I love helping kids who have been through a lot in their short lives to have a childhood that may have been lacking prior to coming to our home. I feel called to these children. It states in the Bible that we are to care for widows and orphans. I don't know any widows. But there are plenty of orphans I can help.

Do I wish I had a husband to help with support and discipline and finances and sick days, maybe. Do I wish I had family close by who could help if needed, sometimes. Do I wish I hadn't taken on so many kids, never. I believe God has brought each and every child that has passed through my door for a reason. I may never fully understand why, but these children were meant to be a part of my life. They have taught me more than I have taught them. They are my children. Olivia and Braeden and Liam are mine same as if I'd given birth, and those who haven't been through adoption or foster care maybe can't fully understand that. To suggest that maybe I need to let one of them go live somewhere else to focus on the children I do have is like saying I need to cut off an arm to focus on my legs. Girlie I love so very much but am still at the point of figuring out if she may do better somewhere else. I can't explain it. She was one who seemed like maybe she would be going home, mom was doing real well, but now she may not be going home. I have prayed for that decision and am still at a crossroads.

I've also been praying for an answer to the question of whether or not I should try to search out a work-from-home situation. Maybe that would help and would allow me to be home more for my kids, which I would love. But to give up a secure job with health and retirement, etc, is that what I am called to do??? I just don't know. A lot of prayer in these things lately. Money is becoming not a problem and I love that. Taking extra sick days isn't such an issue of money anymore, which is so freeing. But I know that stopping my number of kids isn't what I am meant to do. I know that. And it makes it so much harder to feel like you are losing some of your support because you choose to help children.

Does that make sense?

Not Quite So Sick

Well Braeden definately needed to stay home yesterday. He was so completely miserable. He was very solemn and didn't eat much at all, then slept 3 hours for nap until I woke him to pick up Olivia. So, I kept him home again today. He could have gone to school, he is fine now. Go figure. :( Still a bit of a cough, but that's it.

New Favorite

Olivia has a new favorite color. It has been red forever. Now... Apple Green! :)

The irony is that the room she used to be in, the smallest bedroom, now my room, we had painted that color, still is. When she moved to the bigger bedroom we painted the walls a deep pink, close to red but still matching her quilt. lol! Oh well, it probably won't last either! :)
Monday, February 11, 2008


Girlie has had a lot of issues in her short little life. She's really been through a lot prior to coming to live with us. Since being here we've seen quite a bit from her, showing us a glimpse of what she's gone through. This weekend was no exception. Friday she went to her first visit with her 17 year old brother, who lives in a residential setting, whom she's never even met. He lives about an hour south of us. At her last ACR, the reviewer stated that since they were both in care they needed to do visits. I understand the theory, but she's never met him and most likely will never be a part of his life, even if she does return home. Not to mention that when I tried to get Olivia visits that she should have been having with her brother, whom she did know and love and live with, nothing was done. Anyway, off of my soapbox. This was the first visit, going there, and with our new caseworker whom she's only met once or twice herself.

Upon returning to day care, our usual provider was gone and her "sub" was there. Girlie has been with her before, but not often. All this was perhaps too much for her. She refused to nap, hit the sitter, and was just mean. Saturday with our sitter, whom she has been with many times, she scratched Liam's face, pulled the sitter's hair, told her to shut up, etc. Sunday, she even hit the other kids a few times during the day with me there. She is usually pretty good when I'm around. I'm hoping though that all this was just because of the uncertainty of Friday.

Because... my fear is that she has RAD - Reactive Attachment Disorder. RAD is not good. It is very difficult to parent children who have this. Our friend/Girlie's day care provider who has both adoptive and biological children, has a child with RAD. He is great with her and around her, but she was unable to send him anywhere without her when he was young, and he still has issues at school and other areas. He's now 11. Many adoptions are disrupted when children end up having RAD. My friend is currently in the works to adopt a 7 year old girl from another adoption situation where they are readopting her due to her RAD. It is hard to parent a child who does not give back and has some potentially major behaviors.

So, I have calls out to our (new) cw and the agency's therapist. Just to get ideas, info, etc. If she does indeed have RAD, I have a huge decision to make. It really looks like she may not be going home. I love her to death, but I don't know that I can parent a child with RAD. As she gets older it can manifest itself it many ways, is that best for the rest of my children, or me? And who knows, Liam or any other child could end up developing similar issues. You just do not know what these children have been through and what that will mean long term. There are children adopted at birth who end up with RAD, because they were not cared for prenatally. Not enough nutrition, etc. It has nothing to do with current home/environment/love given. All the love in the world does not "cure" RAD. I just don't know what to do...
Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Weekend

We had a pretty good weekend this weekend. Saturday was great. Got a lot done in the morning, including setting up Braeden's workbench.

Our babysitter came at 1:00 so that Braeden and Olivia and I could go to High School Musical on Ice! (Thank you Santa for the great tickets) :) We had so much fun.

The show was very neat. I had heard from others who had already been just how crazy expensive the souvenirs were, so I had bought something for each of them ahead of time and gave them their items when we got there. I got them each a different "dog tag" type necklace with HSM and the cast on them. They were cute, and much much cheaper than the things there. They were so excited! Parking was $20 which I knew ahead of time, but when we arrived I saw many side lots set up that were $10 and then one for $8. We were early enough that I parked in the $8 lot and then had $12 left over. We used that to buy some extra snacks inside. We had brought granola bars, etc and then bought nachos, a huge KitKat, and a drink. They had cotton candy which Braeden LOVES, but I had already talked to him before coming in that we weren't going to get any. Sorry, but I'm NOT paying $12 for cotton candy! Yes, $12! Of course, it did come with the cheap plastic "Ryan" hat, but come on! I wonder where they make their money???!!!

Braeden sat on my lap during the performance and he felt somewhat warm. When we got home, I took his temp. and it was 104! Yuck. He went to sleep with Motrin and was Motrined up throughout the day. He just does not feel well at all. He said his legs hurt and ate no snacks during the day, he didn't play a whole lot, so it's home for me tomorrow. :(
Thursday, February 07, 2008

Big Day

Braeden had a great day today for his birthday. He brought packages of brownies with sprinkles (since no one accepts homemade treats anymore) for both day care and preschool. He also got to wear this fun shirt we found on clearance at Gymboree over Christmas. It has a dinosaur and says " It's my birthday ". So cute! He chose a birthday dinner and picked ham, sweet potatoes, and stuffing. For dessert he chose carrot cake! They were loving it! He got a great workbench from Grandma and Grandpa that they had sent here, which mom needs to put together still. :( From the kids and I he got a yellow Columbia fleece, Hot Wheels garage, a great set from Barnes called the Superhero Starter Kit, it has a red cape and is so cute, and a Disney book of Animals. The book was the hit of the night (before the workbench was brought out) and he stopped all gifts to look at it page by page. He LOVES animals!!!!!

On other news, Liam's bm cancelled his visit today, saying she has the flu. It was cancelled yesterday morning and sadly my first thought was prayer that it was not actually morning sickness. For some reason I just have this fear that his mom and Girlie's mom are both going to end up pregnant at the same time. That would be a nightmare.

My Baby's Four

I cannot believe Braeden is four today! Where has the time gone???

My little boy's not so little anymore! He is growing into such a wonderful, caring, and still crazy young man! :)
Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Braeden, in the bathroom tonight was asked a question. I don't even remember what I asked because his response just caught me off guard and I was cracking up.
He said, "I'm just not quite sure about that."

Girlie at dinner, "Thanks for the patty-cakes mamma." (pancakes! - which we had last Sunday for breakfast!) :)
Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Olivia's Appointment

Olivia's doctor appt yesterday was nothing. It was pretty much just her regular 3 month check up. They did her normal blood draw and will test that not only for everything they usually check, but will also check the med levels of her new seizure med and will check for sensitivity toward a new medicine. They want to switch the medicine they placed her on over a year ago. This is the one that was causing her low white blood count. It also has seizures as a possible side effect.

Does that mean that that is what her seizures are from? Not necessarily. With her history and everything there are just too many risk factors to say for certain what could have caused them, but it IS a possibility. The new medicine has an extreme sensitivity in about 1-2% of the population. They used to just have to start someone on the meds and wait and see, but they have JUST developed a way to check the blood for something that determines this sensitivity, which is great. So, she will be starting on the new med once the test determines she's not one of the 1-2%. The thing that really stinks is that the new med is a liquid! :( We were done with those and on all pills which has been so freeing! Such a bummer!

I also talked with them about a report I just read Friday that came out on Thursday. It listed 11 antiepileptic meds in a study that found a link between those and a higher increase in depression and suicidal thoughts. Of course Olivia's med is one of those studied. It sounded in the report like even the ones not tested would most likely have the same outcome, however. The report actually made sense to me in a way. The past few weeks while she has been on her new med she has shown a preoccupation with death and dying. Not in the way a teen or adult would, but it's definately there. She came down crying and crying one night because she had had a dream where she grew up and I died right away. She has also been overheard playing with Braeden and talking of death in the play. In the car the other day they were playing and she said that "They have four kids, but one of them died so they only have 3 now." We have talked about death in an occasional talk previously, but this is way beyond. Of course this is extremely concerning and I was able to have her leave the room with our social worker at the hospital for a while as I discussed this with her nurse practitioner. She paged the NP of neurology, but no response. She is going to talk about it with her and get back to me. Two years on a med that is already showing this is scary.

Big News

Well, the big news of the day - girlie's mom is PREGNANT!!! She thinks she is anyway. She hasn't been to the doctor yet, but thinks she's about two months along. Unbelievable. Why, oh why does this just continue.
Monday, February 04, 2008


I have never been good with money. Not that I've been one who's run up tens of thousands of dollars of credit card debt or had creditors call me to pay on accounts I owe. The only couple of times I've been late on a payment has been due to poor organization (finding the bill under a pile in the kitchen???) and not because I didn't have the money. My credit rating is great... BUT, I have only ever had a max of maybe $500 in savings at any one time. And that was usually whittled away with some crisis or another. And I've almost always had debt, isn't that the American Way??? lol I assumed as much. I envied families who were debt free and I could never wrap my mind around that. How did they do that??? How is that possible???

This past year I have really been burdened with not taking care of the money God has granted me in the way He would like. I bought and read the book The Financial Peace Planner by Dave Ramsey. Love it!!! I was pleasantly surprised that it speaks of prayer and trust in God as I didn't realize it was a Christian book prior to reading it. It made so much sense and was so easy to follow. I have a plan for our family finances now that I am so excited about. I NEVER thought I'd be excited about money - unless of course I were to win the lottery or some such thing. :) But I am excited! I am in the middle of another of his books now, More Than Enough. Loving it too!

In the book The Financial Peace Planner, it speaks of Baby Steps to take toward taking control of your finances and letting your money work for you. The first 3 are: 1. Save $1000 in an emergency fund 2. Pay off ALL debt, except the mortgage 3. Save 3-6 months worth of expenses in a liquid fund (for the What If of job/health/etc.) I have already completed the first Baby Step, and am well on my way toward the second. I will have my last debt (credit card and student loan), minus my van, paid OFF in the next two months with the help of my tax refund. I will then put my disposable income toward the van and should have that paid OFF by the end of September!!! That will be sooner if the ?President's tax refund plan for the summer goes through. I also have developed a plan for college savings with the purchase of mutual funds, which I began this year for Olivia and Braeden and will add Liam next year if all continues as planned with him. I am just so blessed with what I've been given and am so glad to finally have a guide and plan for what to do and how to do it with saving for college and paying off what debt I do have. After this debt is GONE - Hooray! - I will save for those What Ifs and will begin paying extra toward my house to get my mortgage paid early. I also look forward to the future of possibly adopting internationally which I have felt called to for some time. I am developing a love for the people of both Liberia and Ethiopia and maybe someday will bring a little one or two home from there. (not anytime soon, we're talking future!) :)
Sunday, February 03, 2008


I don't know a thing about politics. Literally. If you told me you were Republican or Democrat, ok... what does that mean??? I don't know. I listen to what individuals have to say, what they represent.

That said, this infuriates me...

By now you may have heard that Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, in a 1992 Associated Press questionnaire completed while he was running for the Senate, advocated for the isolation of HIV positive individuals, stating:

"If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague. It is difficult to understand the public policy towards AIDS. It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population, and in which this deadly disease for which there is no cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crisis it represents."

He also seemed to tie his thinking on HIV/AIDS solely to homosexuality, stating, "I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk."

Huckabee has since refused to recant or retract the statement, insisting that he didn't mean HIV/AIDS patients should be locked up, but not indicating how he thought they otherwise would have been "isolated."

Wow. To make such a statement 15 years ago, maybe... but to be in a position you currently are and not come forward with the truth, it's obvious you still feel the same way. How on earth. Are you not an educated person??? There is no risk. Wow.

Olivia's 'Do

I decided to branch out from my experiment with Girlie's hair last week. I forgot the skull cap for nap time at day care and she ended up pulling out most of the beads in one day. I just took the rest out, but the braids still look nice. I tried the beads on Olivia today. I washed her hair in the "box braids" (I think they're called???) and just undid each section one at a time to redo. I then had to resection each into 2-4 new sections in order for the braids to be thin enough for the beads. She has about 35 braids!!! It took a while, but it turned out pretty well. She was very excited. The last few times she's had her hair braided in FL at the beach, Olivia has ended up pulling out beads. She vowed she wouldn't and really wanted it done, so we went the "extra mile." :) Tomorrow we head back up to U of Chicago for her next appt. They will check her med levels, etc. I also want to ask about a report that was released on the 31st. It tested 11 anti epileptic drugs, one of which is the one Olivia is on, and showed an increase in levels of depression, suicidal thoughts, etc.
Along those lines, I have a "lead" on what could possibly be the issue with Girlie. I looked at my past blog info after thinking that she may have had an ear infection shortly before she was "sick" the last time. Sure enough, she did. She would have ended antibiotics 4-5 days prior to her illness. She threw up one day, slept the entire next day, no fevers, one or two more weird throwing up episodes, crankiness in the mornings, all of which is exactly what is happening now. This time it began the day her antibiotics ended. Anyone out there in the medical field have any ideas? I looked up allergic reactions to antibiotics and found information on four types. Although one shows itself immediately, the rest do not. Could she be allergic to the meds she took for her ear infections??? It's the only lead I have. I'm going to contact her doctors the next day or two to see about getting her tested. It's just too coincidental. Hopefully we'll figure it out.
Liam has done much better. He hasn't had a fever today, but was still a bit cranky. Not completely himself, but no fevers at least. Here's hoping we have a great week! And you too!
Saturday, February 02, 2008

Blowing Out the Candles

Braeden did a great job blowing out the candles tonight!!! Liam needed a little help, but got there eventually. They had so much fun. I think more of Liam's cake went into his lap and around the tray of the high chair than actually in his mouth. He just isn't a big cake eater. But, that's ok! More for us! :)

Braeden received a pair of PJs and a hot wheels set from our friend, and Liam got PJs and a Melissa and Doug puzzle. Liam's PJs say "My Imaginary Friend Did It" - they are so cute. Braeden's have a moose which is a big hit and his car set was played with extensively in the hour before bed. I gave her the idea for that as he has played non-stop with a small set at day care every day I drop him off. I'm going to get another small set for him that connects to the one he has. Can't wait until his actual birthday on Thursday!


I am so "sick" of sickness!

Last September, Girlie had a period of about a week where she was sick, but nothing defining and no one could figure it out, they basically thought I was imagining things or she was adjusting to our home. I knew something was wrong, as did the caseworker, but nothing was discovered. And then it went away as mysteriously as it started.

It's started yet again. Thursday night she threw up during dinner. I assumed it was because I "forced" her to eat a bite of sweet potatoes. When she came to me in August she wasn't even two and asked for pop and french fries as I drove past a McDonalds. She wouldn't eat hardly anything that we served, especially meat, vegetables, fruit, cheese, eggs... you get the idea. She has come a long way and does well now for the most part. She eats fruit all the time. She still has a hard time with others listed, but is doing better. Anyway, sweet potatoes were a new thing and she wasn't having any part of it. I said she needed to eat a bite. She did and then proceeded to throw up. I assumed it was because of that. (any hints on cleaning a jute rug???)

I didn't even think about her throwing up the next day when she slept on the way to day care (weird for her). Her day care provider called a while later to let me know that she had shook during breakfast and wanted to go to bed. No fever through any of this mind you. She slept and when her dev. therapist came they had a hard timing getting her up and she wouldn't even interact much. She slept or lay on the couch most of the day, but ate pretty well, and no fever. Her provider also told me that when Girlie was crying and asking for "mommy" she said "You want your mommy?" and Girlie made it a point to say "No, I want Lisa" (my name).

I made an appt for her at the Dr. after school, and of course he found nothing. I called the agency to let them know what was going on, and as Girlie now has a new caseworker, asked her to talk to the previous worker to know more of what we did in Sept and what happened then. She had open heart surgery at a very young age and it is very scary to think that it could be related to that. I wanted them to document that something is going on again, that I've taken her to the Dr. and I don't know what else to do.

Friday she was somewhat cranky/crying but then ok after she ate. Today about the same this morning, then seemed ok. At dinner she threw up all over the table. Still no fever and not really acting sick. I am at such a loss.

Liam on the other hand began the day this morning with 101 temp. I gave him Motrin and when my friend and her daughter came over for cake to celebrate the boys' birthdays, he was hot again. This time, 103.8. yuck!!! He's asleep now with Motrin and I'll check him again when I go to bed.

Poor babies!
Friday, February 01, 2008

Snow Day

We began our winter storm warning last night at 6pm and it was to continue until tonight at 6pm. I was one of some teachers hoping for a snow day for today. I don't mind making up a day at the end of the year. It's these freezing not-wanting-to-get-out-of-bed days of Jan/Feb that make for a great free day time. A day with no plans because we should have been at work. We have a new automated system which calls all of the houses in our district to let them know of school cancellations and reminders. IF we were to have a snow day, we would get the call at 6am.
I was up at 5:30, my usual time. Couldn't sleep, though my alarm was set for 6. I sat on the couch and watched out the window. We had gotten snow, but it really didn't look like that much. I thought there was no way our district would take off today. I showered and dressed and sat in bed with the phone in my hands. At 6:02am it rang! A snow day!!! No work, no school! I changed and went to bed. Of course we were all up and raring by 7. :) But it was a good try. :)

We had a pretty lazy day. Got some laundry done. Olivia and Braeden played in the front yard in the snow. Girlie hasn't felt well for a couple days, so I didn't want to take her out. During nap I shoveled the drive and walks which went well, it was gorgeous out, but now my arms are paying. After nap time the daughter of a teacher friend, who interns with me and who is also a sitter (a senior in HS), her two friends and one of their siblings who is five, came by our house. We live down the block from THE only sledding hill around here. Our block has been packed with cars since about 3pm. They were on their way sledding and wanted to see if we would go. I said I didn't want to take Girlie out, but if Olivia and/or Braeden wanted to go they could. Braeden wouldn't, I think he was shy, but Olivia did and had a blast. They were gone about 1 1/2 hours! She should sleep real well tonight. :)

Tomorrow we are having cake and ice cream with a friend and her daughter to celebrate Liam and Braeden's birthdays. Braeden turns 4 on Thursday! How is he 4 already???!!! Wow!

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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:

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