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! :)
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
2. Adoption Stories (But only in FL, I don't get it :( )
3. Greys Anatomy
4. The Amazing Race
4 Places I Have Been
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
That's all I know. Lisa :)
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.
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!!!
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???
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! :)
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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!!!
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What you should know about HIV
Other Awesome Blogs
• 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 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