Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween 2008

Well, while the morning was rather rough in our household and school was just long, the evening turned out fantastic!

At school today we had a Fall Festival where each grade level (3rd - 5th) went outside at a different time in order to play games and have fun in a couple bounce type items. Prior to the kids going out, our school psychologist decided to try it out and have a little fun. She landed hard and wrong on one of her ankles and as my grade (3rd) came out she was icing it. I ended up having to help her with a wheel chair to get into the building soon after as she could barely stand. Turns out she broke it!

Later, a fifth grade teacher passed out or fainted and hit her head on her file cabinet. An ambulance was called and took her to the hospital. Last I heard they thought it could be the flu and she was somewhat dehydrated.

I'm praying for both of them tonight.

The kids and I had a blast trick or treating!

I'll try to post more pictures and share more of the day tomorrow or Sunday. Tomorrow I'm surprising the kids by taking them to Fright Fest at Six Flags Great America!!! :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Adoption Day

Today is the second "anniversary" of Braeden's adoption! I can't believe it's been two years, but even more that he's been with me for 4 1/2 years! Where does the time go? :)

He was such a peanut! Braeden came to live with me right from the hospital - 3 days old and 5 lbs 6 ounces!!!

We had donuts this morning to celebrate and read the book Happy Adoption Day! :)

Happy Adoption Braeden! You certainly keep us entertained, and I can't imagine my life without you! :) Love, Mom

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Well, my letters reached their destinations today. I was also supposed to have a home visit today with the new caseworker and the supervisor, the one who told me that my name would not be used. Nice timing. (I so despise confrontation).

I received a call at 4:15 (the home visit was to be at 4:30) to basically make sure I was home and tell me that they were on the way, that they received the letter today, and that we would discuss it then. Of course they were late.

Not five minutes after they called, I received another call. Thinking it was them, I answered, but it was Liam's CASA worker. She had not been at court, but her supervisor had. She said that she had heard about court and was sorry to hear what had happened, that it should not have happened. She went on to tell me that her supervisor, who had been at court, had just called her to fill her in and asked her to call me to let me know that the judge received my letter today, read it, and there was going to be some big meeting about it! I was glad to hear he had read it, I really didn't know if he would, and that he had taken it seriously. I thanked her for the information.

Finally the caseworker and his supervisor arrived. They didn't waste time talking about the letter. And the supervisor completely denied ever saying that my name would not be used! He said that he had told me he would check into whether or not they could do that, not that they had agreed to do that! OK, well, IF that had been true, I would have been calling to find out what was determined so that I knew going into court what I was preparing for. Second, even IF that is what he had said (which it wasn't), he still lied because he never contacted them at all! I am just so tired of his excuses.

This is the same person who at a family meeting with Liam's birth mom, told her that my adopted daughter was going to be getting a wish from Make a Wish, completely none of her business, had nothing to do with Liam or his case, and a matter of confidentiality. Yet when I discussed this with both he and his supervisor, the regional supervisor, it was that he didn't say that, or excuses about how the mom should know that in case the wish was a trip and Liam would be a part of that (her wish started out differently). NO! She had no business knowing that and only needed to be asked/told that he would be going on vacation if that were the case.

So, the caseworker asked how they could rectify the situation, "Ummmm, you CAN'T." and went on to "comfort" me in that he "probably won't remember my name." Yes, I understand that, but that's NOT the issue. And as often as you can say "probably", it only takes one time. One time to be a news headline. From them, this information was not something that needed to be said. They messed up. They should have spoken up in court. They didn't follow through. They put my family in jeopardy. That is the issue.

So supposedly I am going to be invited to this big meeting. They said that everyone will be there and I can "air my issues." Whatever. I really hope that it does not turn out to be "them against me." They kept telling me that that is how things are always done. And my name has to be given for the record. OK, if you are so sure of all that, then why even tell me anything about checking into not using my name in the first place. The caseworker started to say, "The accused (dad) does have a right to be there and to hear the case against him, he has a right to stand against his acc..." And I said, "Whoa! I am NOT his accuser and I have NOTHING to do with him losing his parental rights. This is the state against him, not me, and that's the problem. He is losing rights because he can't parent. Period." I could NOT believe that almost came out of his mouth.

And, to top it off, why or how is it that kids know exactly when they can push every button there is!? Liam was an angel the whole time, just sat on my lap. Olivia had already ruined any chance of seeing HSM on the big screen when I picked the boys up and she was in trouble over a couple small things, and she hauled off and hit me in the head! And Braeden, whew, that boy was a NIGHTMARE the whole time they were in the house! Things he never would do otherwise. Pulling off couch cushions and sliding down them, running and acting ridiculous, I mean please.

What a night. I am wiped. I need to spend time reading my Bible. I will be doing that shortly. I need to be rejuvenated. I need chocolate. No, I need ice cream. Anyone know an ice cream delivery service!? The downfall of single parenthood! :( :)

Update: Olivia just came out of her bedroom to tell me her underwear were falling apart!? (we're still using the bedtime alarm to work on bed wetting) I said, "Hmmmm... were you messing with them and pulling them to rip?"
"Go back to bed." Argh!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Let's BE Church!

What a wonderful, exciting, and perfect opportunity to be the church to one another. If we weren't already sponsoring two children, I would be the first to jump in line. Won't you please consider partnering with these wonderful folks as they invite the online community of believers to sponsor an entire ORPHANAGE!? They will have so many great opportunities to get to know the children being sponsored including email and letter sharing, videos, and even mission trips to the orphanage itself!!! You can read more about this at Red Letters Campaign and/or the Voice of Adventure. Please consider checking this out!!!
Sunday, October 26, 2008

Getting Back to Normal

I'm finally feeling like myself again. Tuesday really took a lot out of me.

I worked on a letter on Thursday and had a great friend help with the revisions. Another helped with how to address it. I ended up writing to the judge, state's attorney, G.A.L. (Guardian Ad Lietam), caseworker, agency supervisor, agency regional director, and the police dept. I was told by some friends that I should send one to the police dept to start a file in case of any problems. I found out from a couple other people that I most likely could have plead the fifth, citing safety concerns. But that is also something that the agency supervisor should have told me when I spoke with him about my concerns. I had no idea. Plus, the fact that it took me so off guard and I was sworn in, I couldn't think of anything at the time. I could have prepared myself to say that if I had known it was possible.

The other thing I found out was that, as much as I am hoping that he doesn't remember my name, some people on my yahoo foster care group say that he will get a copy of the court report, and there it will be in black and white. Anyone out there know if this is true!? I know court records are open, but I thought in juvenile cases like this they weren't??? Anyway, the letters were mailed out yesterday. I wrote something at the end stating that I was looking forward to discussing this with them and that if they had any questions to please contact me. Each letter was individually addressed, with CCs at the bottom of everyone else receiving it.

Braeden and I went to High School Musical 3 on Thursday. Olivia did really well with not getting to go, though she did ask that if she was good for the hour before, could she go. I said no. :) I stuck to my guns, and she was fine. Did great for the sitter. She doesn't know, but Thursday when our sitter comes again I'm going to take her. :)

We all went to a friend's daughter's birthday yesterday and had lots of fun. That's where Liam went all out in his dressing up! :) Braeden was a bit off the wall, to say the least, but it was still fun. My friend J and her 3 went also and we had a great time.

Today we went to church and once we arrived home we walked down the road to the river to get some shots, hoping for a good one to use in Christmas cards. I got 3 great ones! :) A few would have been REALLY good, if it weren't for my blurry camera of late! :( So I finally gave in and bought a new one online today. I can't wait to get it. :)

Here's to a great new week! And to you as well! Blessings!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My Little Princess

Oh look at that adorable little girl in the princess dress, gloves, and of course the cowboy hat...

Who is it you may ask??? Did they get a new placement you may ask???

Oh no... it's LIAM!!! Isn't my little princess just the cutest thing!? :) LOL

And here's our Fireman princess...

No regular Fireman boots, not for our princess, it's princess shoes all the way!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Where to even begin. My heart is constricting just thinking about it again. I wish I could sit here and say that my heart was calm and composed, that I felt prayers spoken for this time, that I was able to do this. I wish I could.

A little background, Liam's bio dad has a violent past. He is in jail and will be for quite a while, but I'm sure he has "connections" around here and is a member of a gang. Not 100%, but pretty sure from what I've heard. It's a bit scary.

Previously, once I knew bio dad would be in the court room when I gave my testimony for this best interest hearing in Liam's termination, I had spoken to the agency supervisor about not using my name in court. He assured me a few days later that he had spoken to the state's attourney and GAL and they would only use my first name and not my last. I had banked on this. I was prepared for questions related to raising Liam for the past almost two years of his two and a half years. Imagine my shock when the first thing I was asked upon sitting in the stand was to speak and spell my first and last name. I couldn't believe it. I just looked around the court room, hoping that the agency supervisor, who was present, would speak up and say something about having spoken to someone previously about my last name not being used. Oh no, he just grinned and shrugged. The judge said, "It's not a trick question..." I wanted to crawl in a hole. I started practically hyperventilating and was heaving and crying through speaking and spelling my first and last names. Then they proceeded to ask me where I worked! And what I taught! They had to get me kleenex! I could barely speak.

How can that be safe? How can that be the norm? How can they allow case after case of foster parents in this for caring for children to give testimony and witness against some pretty violent people while letting them know your names and work places? And I was supoena'd, it wasn't like I had a choice to be there. I couldn't not answer once I was on the stand. How can they do that??? I don't understand how that is ok???

After that they went on to the questions I had been prepared for: how long has he lived with me, what does he call me, what does he call the other children in the home, what do we do as a family, what was he like developmentally upon arriving in my home (at 9 months he could not sit up, crawl, etc, and was barely using one sound to "communicate"), what I did to address his developmental concerns, etc...

Once I was dismissed and sat back down, the judge began talking about what was happening today at this hearing and bio dad yells, "Subject! .... Subject!" - pretty sure he was meaning Object. He began saying how he/Liam (not his birth name by the way but what I am naming him) sat at 2 months and he would know because he's his dad, etc. I knew exactly what he was talking about, he was mad at my testimony. MINE. The rest of the people there weren't totally paying attention to him and acted like he made no sense. He did say a few other things I didn't understand, but I think he was meaning something as in when he said Subject for Object... but they didn't know. Bio dad had to BE REMOVED FROM COURT because he was so mad and getting out of control! He was in shackles, but they still removed him! And he did not get to come back! I could hear him all the way in the court room yelling! While he was out the judge asked if he had mental issues, like I said they thought he was incoherrent. (Maybe because I teach special ed, but I really did understand where he was going with what he was saying.) His lawyer said that, Yes, he was being treated for mental issues!!! She then said that the correction officers did not think he should return to the court room. And the judge went on to terminate rights.

Afterward, his atty came up and congratulated me (I know her from a church I went to for a while). She said something about it being a hard day (referring to my tears and barely being able to talk) and I said, I really didn't want him to know my name. She was so nonchalant and said that the state's atty is young and forgets things like that. OH. My. Gosh! I just do not understand. How can they not understand that that is not safe. I'm single no less. And he can go online now and look at my school's website which has a picture of me and my name and an email. My last name is not hard to remember. I'm still in shock. I can't even process this fully. My dad suggested I write a letter to the agency, state's atty, and judge. I think I will. If you have any ideas for things to include, phrases, sentences, verbage as a friend would say, I'm all ears. It's hard for me to put my thoughts together very coherently right now. But really, what good will it do now? Who will protect my baby if his bio dad decides to try to "get" him? Who will protect myself and my other children? They don't live in my home.


Loving Orange

Before I even attempt to begin my post about court today, I thought I'd start with these (blurry) pictures of Liam. Upon picking him up from day care today I wondered what the light was picking up in his hair. ORANGE Everywhere! They painted pumpkins today. And supposedly they tried their best to get it out. It was covered!!! :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

One Word - Hilarious!

You know those times where you just laugh and laugh with the kids, and it's such a good feeling. But then there are also those times where you know you probably shouldn't laugh, but can't help it. Not because the child did something funny, but wrong, and is in trouble, though I've had those times too, but the times when the child is stuck or something similar and they are uncomfortable/embarrassed and you just can't help yourself. I was about crying tonight I was laughing so hard at/with Braeden. Ok, at, he wasn't laughing! :)
We have these "stuffed" animal masks that Grandma and Grandpa gave us. Braeden's is a lion and he loves the thing, wears it often. Not sure what possessed him, other than he's four and will try anything, but he came to me and it looked like he had cut off his tshirt sleeves. I could not figure it out. Then I saw it, and at the same time he was begging me to help him get it off... he had taken the mask and put it onto his back like a backpack - and could NOT get it off. It was hilarious, I can't adequately describe how funny it was!!! He was half laughing, half upset, and just wanted it off. I told him I would help, IF he let me take a picture. He wanted NONE of it - but I followed him into my room and got a few pics while he tried hiding, then I did help him get it off. HILARIOUS!!!

It was just too funny! You can't hide from mom Braeden! :) (He was laughing at the same time as he was hiding. ) But I will keep these for a long while to torment him! I'm so mean! :) LOL
Sunday, October 19, 2008


* Court -
Liam's court date for the final part of his termination will be on Tuesday. I am extremely nervous. I have to testify with the bio dad in the courtroom. They will ask me questions about my relationship with Liam, etc. I am nervous because bio dad has a violent history and although he will be in jail for a while, he's never seen me and doesn't know my name. Now he will know what I look like and will know my name. I've asked that my last name is not given, but things like that "slip" through all the time.

I just have to keep reminding myself that God is my Supreme Protector. I hope that dad will see me as someone who truly loves his son and will take good care of him. I hope that he will understand that I am not someone to be mad at and that he will choose not to appeal the termination but will let it go through. I pray that His will be done......

* Mom's night out this week with my weekly sitter was a true mom's night out. I ran some much needed errands. Olivia had spent Sat and Mon the weekend prior with me one on one, and Braeden was the Thursday before, so this was my time.

Next week is the release of High School Musical 3. Big news in our house! :) I had told the olders that I would take them when it came out and they've been bugging me as to when it was. Braeden had had rough days at day care on Wed and Thurs, and I had been "paying" for giving Olivia all the one on one and fun times from Monday especially. (If you don't understand that, spend some time with kids with attachment/trust issues. - it's almost like it was so fun and special, that she had to go into self protection mode to control her situation, walls back up, negative acting out, etc.)

So, I had explained to Braeden (mostly for his benefit with the behaviors from day care) and Olivia that this was the last night with a sitter before we would go to see HSM 3. I hoped they would have GREAT behavior and no major problems this ONE night and that if there were any big issues, then I would have to take someone else to the movie with me. Why did I even say it???? Why didn't someone jump out of the sky, land on me, and stop the very breath before it left my lips??? Where were all of you!? Braeden was an angel. He did fall and hit his head on concrete however, which led me to come home a little earlier than usual. Usually I get home a little after bedtime. That night I pulled in right as they were about to go to bed. Through the big front window I see Olivia stare at me with huge eyes like saucers, practically jump off the couch, and go toward her room. IN HER UNDERWEAR!!!!!!! This is one of a few HUGE rules in our home. Mostly because we do have many foster children. Not knowing a child's history, some of the issues we've had with even Olivia, we don't walk around in underwear! Plus a sitter was there, not even family! And she was sitting with the sitter and the boys on the couch for a story - in her unders! A HUGE no no. Which she knew. Which is why she practically ran from the room. Which she didn't think I'd be home to see. Then, I checked over her homework, she completely rushed it and wrote extremely sloppily which we have worked on since the beginning of the school year. Which she didn't think I would check for some reason, even though I always do? Then, the ONE job she had to do that evening, wasn't even done. Unbelievable. I should have never said that about the movie. But she took the choice out of my hands.

WHICH was the next chapter of the book I'm reading about attachment and got to last night!!! Why didn't I read that a week ago??? He specifically said that parents of children with attachment issues should never let the child know ahead of time what a consequence or reward for something would be, because they would inevitably choose that in order to be the one in control. If they do or don't do what was asked, then they allowed you to be in control, but if they don't and take the consequence, they were in control and chose the outcome. Even if that's not what they would actually WANT, the need for control weighs heavier. Makes a lot of sense, but it will take a big change for me. And now she can't go to HSM on Friday! :( I think what I've decided to do is to take Braeden and my friend J's daughter. Then without her knowing, I will take Olivia next week when the sitter comes, assuming she's had a decent week which I think she will. Especially if she doesn't know it's coming. Still I'm so bummed. I was extremely emotional at work the next day over this. I hate it.

* Gas - I LOVE that gas is finally under $3 again!!! Such a God send with the new van!

*Christmas - I'm almost all done with my shopping!!! I have to do it periodically over the year when I see great deals or I'd never be ready. :)

* Friday J and I went to a foster parent support group about an hour north of us. It was good. A little weird since there were a ton of people and no one really asking about us. They all knew each other. And at first they were asking what topics the group would like to have and began talking about nutritional meals, holiday stress, etc. and I thought "what???". I want to talk foster care, issues our children have, etc. If these people don't know how to put together a nutritional meal there is something wrong. :) But, then, someone started talking about issues with court, etc and someone said that that is what we need to be talking about and could we get GALs or judges or someone to come in to discuss and I thought "yes, that's great!". So hopefully, we're on our way to a solid group providing some help, support, etc. But I still think it's weird that they all knew each other and didn't ask us to intro ourselves at all. :)

I guess that's about all for now. I've been itching for a new foster placement. Call me nuts! :)

An Apple A Day...

Today we made caramel apples! Something new for the kids. (We cheated a bit though and used the apple wraps.) :) They LOVED it!!! Of course Liam ended up eating mostly caramel, but isn't that the fun part!? I couldn't find my camera when we made and ate them, but the one shown above was extra and I found my camera in time to get a pic of it, then staged Braeden as if he was eating it! :) I had to keep reminding him he was not to actually take a bite, he was SO tempted! :)
Monday, October 13, 2008

Day Off School

Today was Columbus Day - no school for Olivia, no work for me - so we took full advantage! :)

It's nice to be able to spend one on one time. Olivia first went to a cheer "camp" at the high school. She was all decked out looking ready to go...

She had a blast, did a great job, and loved having the big high school girls around to lift her!

After camp, we went out to lunch together. Then, we took her bike with no training wheels to the park. She practiced and practiced, and did SO GREAT!!!

By the end of the hour and fifteen minutes, she was riding!!!

Look at her go!!! As you can see, her bike is a bit small. I found one online that she really likes - plus it's only $65!!! She is still having many dry nights, so we made a deal. Each dry night she has (only for this project) she will earn 50 cents toward her new bike. Once she raises half the cost, I will match the amount and she will have a new bike that fits! :) Go Olivia!!!

After the park, we headed to the movie theater to watch City of Ember. I LOVED this book, I was not as enamored by the movie. It was ok, but left out a LOT that I think should have been in to make it flow better. It also changed the book in ways I don't think it needed to or should have. I think the movie would have been better if it was more true to the book. Oh well, that's why I like to read the book first.
Tomorrow I'm off work also, as I have a day long workshop. Such a short week. And it's the final week for my student teacher. I will surely miss her! Not because I don't want to teach - I miss that! but I'll just miss having her around and talking / collaborating with her. Hopefully we'll stay in touch.
Sunday, October 12, 2008

Covered Bridge Festival

Yesterday Olivia and I went with my friend J and her two oldest girls to Parke County, IN for the Covered Bridge Festival. We had been there before, but it's been years. We decided this was the year to go back.

It's a lot of little towns with rows and rows of vendors: food, antiques, crafts, flea market items, you name it, with small roads and covered bridges in between.

We went to both Mansfield, IN and Bridgeton, IN. Lots of people and things to see.

We bought some great Christmas gifts, and the only thing we splurged on for ourselves (besides food!) was three small wooden cut out "frames" with magnets on the back. They could also be fit inside larger frames. They each had a child's name carved/cut out of the bottom, and they had Braeden - spelled the "right" way! :) I never find it spelled that way! So I got one for each of the kids! :)

We ate some great homemade chicken and noodles with mashed potatoes and a roll for lunch, had a lemon shake up, and then a bloomin' onion, which I loved. Olivia, however, not such a big fan of the onion! LOL :)

We headed back in the evening and stopped for pizza on the way. It was a great day! My stomach was not liking the onion so much later, and I was up a lot during the night! Oh well, more time for me to read the last of the Twilight books! These things have become an addiction! I've read each of them in two days, just started the fourth, and last, last night, and am halfway done with it. :) Whatever will I do when I finish!? :)
Tomorrow is Columbus Day. I'm taking the boys to day care, and hanging out with Olivia. She's going to go to a cheer camp at the high school from 9-12, then we'll do lunch, then I plan to bring her bike with no training wheels to our park for her to practice as this is still not something she's accomplished yet, then we're going to go see City of Ember. I loved that book! It's youth fiction which I read while working at the Junior High and really liked it. I wasn't as impressed with the sequel, but am looking forward to the movie. My mom saw it this weekend (I had "made" her read the book :) ) and said she thinks it'll be ok for Olivia so we're going. Olivia has not clue of any of the plans, I'll surprise one piece at a time. :)
Monday, October 06, 2008

Virtual Baby Shower

Wow, how exciting! A fellow blogger, someone I've spoken with by email a few different times, is expecting FIVE babies! :) That's right! And not just any babies, but five very special babies ages 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, from foster care! Amy and her husband are committing to adopt these precious children, and they already have SEVEN of their own! Wow!!!

So here is where you come into the picture, you can help, as they are in need of lots right now!

Here is the info from one who is giving this shower:
Some blogger buddies and I are hosting a virtual baby shower for my friend Amy. YOU are invited. If you would like to participate or help host the shower then read away! We are glad you came. :0) Amy could really use our help and support. I hope we can all let her know how much we care.
My dear friend Amy is expecting 5 babies.... Yes you read that correctly. FIVE! Nope- no typos. She is expecting 5!!! The due date is projected to be 4-6 weeks from today and she just found out she was going to have 5 more babies 2 days ago. :0) AMAZING! You think THAT is amazing??? Wait till you hear this...
she already has 7 children at home. Oh yeah. Now we are talking. Now she will add 5 more beautiful babies to their family. Now this family needs 5 more beds, 5 more car seats, 5 more dressers, 5 more seats at the table, clothes for 5 more, etc. etc. And no, they have no idea what they are going to drive! The new kiddo's are a sibling group of five coming to them through the foster system -but they are no longer foster children because this precious family is adopting them. They are ages 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1.

You can click on the link at the top right side of my blog to connect to Angel's blog who is one of the hosts. From there you can donate money through paypal to this amazing family!

Odds and Ends

Some updates, random as ever...

Liam's best interest termination hearing - still scheduled for October 21. I will be testifying in front of his bio dad. The agency asked about having him be out of the court room for my testimony, but he will be staying. They did contact the state's atty and Liam's GAL about not using my last name. Bio dad is in jail for sometime and has a pretty violent past. I really don't want him to even know what I look like, but I guess that's unavoidable. Scared? Yes. But, I know God will be there and has His hand in all of this. I am confident in Him.

Olivia's bedwetting... She has wet the bed every night since she came to live with me at 3 1/2. Once she turned 7 and nothing was still changing in that area, I asked her doctors about a nasal spray I had heard of through a yahoo group. Her doctors spoke with urologists, and while the nasal spray works immediately, there is only a 15% rate of success once the child is weaned off of it. They thought she instead was a candidate for an alarm system and wanted her to come in and have a clinic appointment with them to get her started. Well, as a single, full-time working parent, who uses up all her sick days every year and ends up taking sick days without pay every year, I really didn't want to "spend" a day's pay on taking her there to be looked at and put on an alarm system, when I've read up on these and could buy and implement my own for a third of the cost of me taking a day off. So that's what I did.

We began the alarm system a little over a week ago. It consists of a small transmitter which you place inside a panty liner in her underwear. There is then a cord (you can buy a cordless version but it's a lot more expensive) which runs out of the underwear, under her Pajama top, out the neck and hooks there into a small "box" velcroed to her shoulder. Once a small amount of moisture (your fingertips themselves can set it off just holding it) reaches the transmitter, it sets off a beeping. It's loud enough to wake her, but not terrible. My room is right next to hers so I left both of our doors open. The first week it was like I had an infant again. My body was just waiting for that alarm to go off. Talk about exhausting. It got better after a few days.

The first night she woke three times, and the next few it was from 1-3. I have two transmitters, so I would have one ready and she could do that herself when she woke up. Her unders were wet, though the bed wasn't soaked, and she went some on the toilet too then. She would put on a whole new pair ready with transmitter. Last Thursday night she only woke once and her underwear were dry. Friday night she made it all the way through the night - dry!!! And then the same Saturday night!!! Sunday night we were back to one time, but her underwear were dry! We are making progress! She is proud. I am proud. And I'm so glad it's working.

Braeden... his preschool teacher told me I may have to start buying crackers for the class??? I asked why and she said because she gives out crackers for correct answer to questions, and he answers them all!! lol! She said she can't believe how sometimes it seems he's not even paying attention and then he still knows the answer! :) That's my boy! :)

Phone Drama

Did you know that if you googled the phrase cell phone in washing machine you will get 932,000 hits!? Well, you will! And I did google that, because THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED TO MY CELL PHONE! Can you even believe it!? :( I did lots and lots of laundry yesterday and then saw it at the bottom of the tub after one of the loads. boo hoo hoo

BUT - I went today to see where I was in my plan and what I could do, since I really needed a cell phone. :) (I never realized before how much I do depend on it, what with babysitters, my agency contacting me, etc.)

AND - I found an awesome phone which I love! No, I did NOT splurge for the new tmobile GPhone (like the IPhone) although I really wanted to! :) But, I held back and got something more than what I had, but a lot less than that. My new one is HERE. (Though I didn't get quite THAT deal.) :( That's for first time subscribers of course! But it does have a camera which I've never had, and video, and IM and email abilities. The one downside, I do not have my phone numbers!!! They are lost! :( Oh well, I can re-input them! And I've learned to be even more careful on where I put my phone!!! :)
Sunday, October 05, 2008

Harvest Days at the Zoo

Yesterday the kids and I went to Lincoln Park Zoo for their Harvest Days. We had SO much fun!! It was a perfect day!

Liam acting like a monkey

Finding the "right" pumpkin

Olivia found the smallest one she could

They loved their free pinwheels!

Fascinated by the bees

And driving the big tractor!!!
It was a great day!!! :)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Can't Do Anything About the Past, but Still...

Have I said I love the book I'm reading Parenting Other People's Children??? :) lol Yes, that's right, I think I have. Yesterday's portion that I was able to read was especially pertaining and just what I needed. It explained what needs to happen to help these children heal. The author calls it the "Repair Cycle." And, what do you know, it's what is happening with Olivia and I, granted on a lighter scale than it would with kids with more trust issues than she has. And it's a big part of why I thought she needed therapy. Now I think we're doing ok, but I still want her to see someone else to help her process the issues about her brother. (By the way, I cancelled the original therapist appt we had and am going to get her into the specialist on attachment issues in foster/adoptive children.) :)

Basically the repair cycle goes like this:
1. Connecting Phase - connecting, bonding, attaching, sharing experiences
2. A Precipitating Incident - ends the connecting phase, meltdown over consequence, etc
3. Battle Phase - anger, misbehavior, control battles
4. Reconciliation Phase - banish our anger and return to connecting phase

What did I tell the therapist basically as to "why" I wanted Olivia in counseling? "We go for quite a while and she does really well, then it's like she hits a brick wall and we have all out he**." Luckily our "battle phase" usually only last a day or two, but I know for many, especially many in the early stages, these are often and long.

The author says that he is describing here a "technique that people who successfully repair TD (trust disorder) children universally use." And that "as repair advances the child should be spending more time in the connecting phase and less in the battling phase with each successive cycle completion."

Prior to going through the repair cycle, he explains the four "rules" that we need to follow to work with them to be able to trust us as their caretaker, their parent. They are things that we use with all children, but that with these in particular we need to make sure to follow these unfailingly.
1. Supply all their needs.
2. Be trustworthy
3. Be sure the child knows that he is trusting you (that YOU are in control)
4. Be emotionally strong
(He goes on to explain these in detail and why they are so important.)

BUT, it also makes me SO MAD to know this. SO MAD that this information is so readily available, and is available, and makes sense. Anger that I wish I could do something about, and hopefully can in that I can help other foster parents or soon to be foster or adoptive parents, understand these children and what is going on.

Mad... that as a foster parent in training attachment is touched upon so lightly. Yet nothing of serious impact was discussed, leaving the foster parent unprepared for the issues these children bring with them into the home and how to help them heal.

Mad... that this book, or a similar book, is not a mandated part of training.

But most especially angry... that had I known what I now know, Olivia's brother would probably still be with us.

He is/was the classic case of a child with a huge trust disorder. And yet, when I debated "professionals" responsible for his care: psychologists, psychiatrists, his counselor, his SAS worker, etc, none of them gave me any inkling of an idea of this as a possibility. Attachment, trust, etc, these were not even mentioned! I was told time and time again that if I just gave his meds a chance, it would allow him a little more time to think about his behavior... he is bipolar and I need to allow time for his meds to work... etc etc etc. Yet I told them time and again that NO, meds are NOT his issue or his cure. He is FULLY aware of his behavior and is using that to manipulate us in the home. Over and over I tried to get SOMEONE to HELP. To give me/us options and ideas. And I got nothing. He wasn't/isn't bipolar, he doesn't/didn't need meds. You CANNOT medicate RAD or trust disorders. You can't! And that was the problem. And that is what NO ONE even gave me an idea of. And that is what I am now beating myself up over... because he's Olivia's brother. And if I had known this information, I could have worked with him. We could have gotten through it. We would have been ok. And he would be here and she would not be missing that part of her life. If only...

Let's Connect!

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About Me

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

Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

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What you should know about HIV

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

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Orphan Crisis

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

Hence the title of my blog

Little Did I Know

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

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

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

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