Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Catching Up

I've been busy I guess the last few days and haven't blogged... oops! :)

Liam's doing better. His fever came and went the but I think the worst is behind us. He's taken somewhat of a hiatus from water activities which has helped.

Sunday brought us to Father's Day. I thought a lot about the kids' birth fathers and where they were and if they were thinking of the kids. I pray for them often.

We went to Krispy Kreme to celebrate Father's Day with my dad, then out to lunch later at Cici's Pizza, and finally to see Stomp. LOVE that show! I've seen twice years and years ago, but the kids had never even heard of it. They loved it too!

Here we were before the show, outside the venue...

And inside waiting for the show to start... Yes, I was "busted" for taking the picture :)  I honestly didn't know you couldn't snap any BEFORE the show started for goodness sakes! :)

Here are the kids on Monday helping Grandpa to make hot dogs and asparagus on the grill.  They LOVE taking turns and being the grill helper!

Today I took my van to a local dealer, a warning light came on and I wanted to be safe.  It's one that came on previously and my own dealer had done some work, under warranty, regarding the same light.  It was fixed pretty quickly, and free!

My mom and I went to lunch together today at Panera which was fun.  I love it there.  Afterwards we picked up Olivia and Braeden and went swimming.  Following some much needed naps (while I biked on the stationary bicycle!) :), Olivia, Braeden, and I ate an early dinner and headed to the beach...

Fun on the boogie boards...

Fun in the sand...

And some scary fun finding out why we never should bring snacks to the beach! :)  (I later found out you are NOT supposed to feed them and that there are signs posted.  Hmmm... I missed those!) - so NOT the mom teaching moment!...

I also found out more about the state's budget cuts...

Basically, they want to lessen the deficit.  I get that.  They are calling for a 50% state income tax increase for two years which is to be voted on this week in legislature.  If it is NOT passed, then many many scary cuts WILL take place as of July 1st.  

The foster and adoption issues are only a part of all the cuts that will be made, but a large part.  Some things have already happened, and those will not be put back in place even if it does pass.  They have already ended the DCFS hotline to turn in children at risk and laid off all those workers.  In addition all adoption subsidy services such as counseling have already been cut.

A formal letter from DCFS was sent out June 18.  My friend J got it today, and I'm sure mine is being forwarded here as I type.  It states the cuts made as of July 1st.  ALL foster and adoption subsidy funds - cut in half.  All day care for foster, adopted, and theraputic care - cut.  All post adoption and adoption preservation services - cut.  Over 30% of DCFS employees will be fired.  Many DCFS offices will be shut down.  Caseloads for workers going up to 50 per worker.

I just don't get it.  I don't understand how you could ask someone to take in a child, who is not theirs, go through the hoops of potential issues, caseworkers, visits, etc, pay day care, pay food, pay clothing, pay any extras such as - heaven forbid - some toys, etc all for about $150-200 per month.  Are you kidding!?  That's about ONE WEEK of day care!  There are 3-4 more weeks, plus all the rest.  IF you had a stay at home parent, maybe.  Really for me the biggest issue is day care.  How can you ask someone to pay for day care when it's not their child???  Grandparents, well meaning and decent foster parents, other relatives, if you work out of the home, you are scre**d!  How can they afford to do that out of the goodness of their heart???  I don't get it!

Then, IF this does happen, it's very possible it would only take a few months for them to figure out it's wrong and reverse it.  I guess there are already lawyers in place ready to fight on behalf of the adoption subsidies since it was a legal agreement made.  And they tried to cut them years ago and it didn't last for that reason.  BUT, who's to say it WOULD be reversed???  

SO, you are going to have MULTITUDES of people, well meaning or not, who are NOT going to be able to or want to do this anymore, and WHERE on earth are these children going to go???????  I know if it comes to pass I will be called to take children.  I have spaces for three more technically.  So then (because my mind plays these things out), if I were called with the "perfect" opportunity: a 2 month - 22 month old or so, no major issues, most likely not going home... what do I say???  In my heart I say YES!  I don't care about paying the day care!  BUT, there is a chance they could go home.  Do I risk paying over $500 a MONTH out of pocket for a child who isn't "mine" and could go home in 3 months to 2 YEARS!?  That adds up!  OR what if I took in a child, and then a couple months later the payments and day are reversed and then the former foster parent wants them back????  It happens!!!  So much to think and pray about!  I want to do what I can for the children, but can I truly afford it?  Probably.  Would I if I knew they were going home and I was going to spend over $5000 to care for them 10 months?  Uh... that would be an adoption of an HIV child from Eithiopia!  Can I really do that to send a child home?  I don't honestly know, and it's a hard battle between my brain, my pocketbook, and my heart.

Today the legislature was in session.  Nothing was voted on.  Most likely lots of debating still.  I know many went on busses to lobby for the tax increase.  This week a lot will play out in many lives in IL.  My thoughts and prayers are with those waiting for the word, with those making the decisions, and with the children caught, once again, in the middle of it all with no control whatsoever...

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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: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources

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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