Friday, February 26, 2010

A Dissection

Last Saturday Braeden took out a bday gift he bought himself when we went to the Museum of Science and Industry.

He chose an Owl Pellet...

Have you heard of these??? When an owl eats, they eat the whole animal (mouse, mole, bird, etc) and the parts that aren't digestable such as the fur, bones, etc forms a pellet in the owl's stomach and is then "regurgitated". Thus forming the owl pellet.

These are very easily dissected and interesting and are now available for sale! :)

They do at least come with two wooden "probes" which Olivia and Braeden used. We saw a tiny skull and little bitty ribs amidst lots of fur. YUCK! :)

(Oh, and PJ at home kind of days like these... yeah Braeden will sometimes ask me to "draw" him a lion face with permanent marker! It comes right off at bath time!) :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Future in Running???

Or just running after kids??? We'll soon see! Olivia and I are now officially signed up to do our first ever 5K at the end of March!

Are we crazy? Quite possibly! But it'll be fun trying and participating! And it's for a great cause! I grew up in and around Young Life since I was five years old (wow, that's a long time now!) :). A wonderful organization! They're hosting this 5K in my hometown. We'll be heading there for a fun weekend and driving by some for sale houses again while there too- assuming of course the 5K doesn't do me in! LOL ;)


Well, it still is interesting to see what is happening with Braeden's bio family. The agency has decided to meet with them again since the first meeting ended so poorly. My friend T met with her worker two days ago and called me in the middle of the meeting. I guess his family told the agency that it wasn't fair they weren't able to visit with her two kids since they get to visit with (Braeden's original name) ALL THE TIME. They were just outraged by this. And the agency diligently wrote it all down and asked T about it. T about jumped through the phone, which is one reason she asked to meet with them. Braeden has NEVER met them, let alone visited with them (his siblings). He had parental visits until termination, period. And we have had absolutely no contact or even contact info since. And that was in July of 2005.

So T called me and had the worker relay the same to me over the phone. I assured her that (Braeden) didn't visit them and had never visited them. Meanwhile, this agency only took over the older kids after termination and never knew Braeden or the family, the worker doesn't even know Braeden's "new" name. Wouldn't you think that would tip you off to the fact that the family didn't visit with him??? Anyway, on the phone, the worker tried to get me to tell her Braeden's new name! I couldn't believe it! I didn't tell her, because at this point with tempers the way they are, I don't want them to know his "new" name. So crazy! I still am just in prayer for all involved. Only God can take this mess and weave it into majesty. And I know He CAN do just that!

I will be slowly changing my blog to erase the early posts where I used his nickname given to him by his parents. It's sad it has to come to that and I hope I don't have to go private. I enjoy hearing from others who are in process to becoming foster parents! Keep your comments and prayers coming!

National Day

National Sugar Pancake Day was on Tuesday. My parents "sent" us to IHOP for the free pancakes last year on their dime. (They've been generous enough to give me a credit card linked to their account for when we travel to FL, and on times like this where they want to take us out to eat!) BUT, last year the kids didn't get the free pancakes! So this year I told them that we could go, only if they got the free cakes, and could pick a side also to go along with them. They each got pancakes, sausage, and a drink. And then... hot fudge sundaes! I mean, really, what better dinner could there be! LOL :) At least my olders chose milk to drink, not Liam! He's all about the sugar and got pop! He only shared Olivia's sundae though as he never eats it himself when he gets one.

Notice how Braeden's eyes aren't on the camera... and this is the third try to take his picture! He cannot sit in one position and focus long enough! :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010


For staying in pajamas, but then venturing outside for a long walk... :)

We're getting lots done around the house, playing board games, getting in a little exercise, and having a great time! :)
What a blessing my three are!

Update on Foster Care...

Well, it seems that quite a pandora's box has been opened, and I think this agency is finding out what this family can be/is like. Here's what I've come to find out the last two days...

My friend T says that (this is the most she's ever discussed the adoption to me) the adoption was never a "rush" to her because it was just a piece of paper solidifying what was already a given... that they were her children. So, each time the agency (and it took a while to "re-do" all the paperwork and "start over" with a new worker and agency when the kids were made specialized and transferred after the TPR), would present the adoption subsidy paperwork to her to sign, which was already sporadic at best as she was usually the one calling them to do a home visit, etc, there was always something wrong or not included that she felt needed to be included. Each of the kids have multiple "issues" that she wanted to make sure were documented and covered. If something isn't put in the subsidy, then there is no guarantee that it will be covered and could be major out of pocket dollars at some point. So she wouldn't sign, and asked that it be completed with the information she requested. I do "get" that, if that is truly what was going on. It took an additional year for Olivia's subsidy to get done due to these same issues, because my agency refused to put ANYTHING about her HIV in the subsidy which I found ludicrous, BUT I still think theyir adoptions should have been done long ago.

So, now to the present, the parents somehow found out from someone that the kids weren't yet adopted, as we know, and decided to "do something about it." I think they had the adult siblings contact the agency though because they really don't have a leg to stand on with termination already done. So, the sibs contacted the agency on the pretense that they wanted to visit with their siblings since they weren't adopted yet and hadn't seen them since they were babies. The worker felt sorry for them (I again can totally understand this) and agreed to do a visit yesterday, and at that time talk about possible additional visits. This is all within the agency's realm.

The agency neglected to talk to my friend T about this at all until two days before; this past Wednesday. My friend brought up concerns obviously and due to a needed change in day on the family's part, the visit/meeting was moved to Thursday, two days ago. In the meantime, the sibs were adding to the list of who would be attending this visit/meeting. They were now planning on bringing aunts, uncles, and maybe even the parents. Because of this and the change in day, the agency ended up not bringing the kids to the meeting/visit.

The family was irrate and furious. Not only due to the non-adoption but now also because they had been told that the children would be there and they weren't (I completely understand this and would feel the same I'm sure.) They told the agency that they had hired a private investigator and would be taking T and whoever else to court to stop this adoption. They made MANY threats and the agency has now decided it is probably not in the children's interest to do visits.

When the kids' termination was around the corner, T and I both had to have orders of protection due to threats made in the courtroom. Because of all of this, my friend has never shared any info electronically at all of her kids. The family knows her, knows her name, etc. She moved out of this area to her hometown about 30 minutes north. She has been very careful. They had never met me due to these same concerns. When Braeden was first placed with me, I was told up front I should never meet them. The caseworker had to call security to just get him out of the hospital safely and to make sure she wasn't followed to my home. The family can be dangerous.

I am still hoping to hear what is going on with all of this. I am thankful that the visit did not end up taking place and believe that God intervened in this area for these kids. I do not think it would have done them any good when the motives were not at all pure. I am now extremely leery of contact, even a PO Box, myself, but am not withdrawing that option and will leave it in God's hands. I still think it would be good for Braeden now and in the future to have a photo, some contact, etc. And I will continue to pray for the family. I know God can work miracles. And I know He can do miraculous things. I have no trouble believing that they could do a 180 on their lives.

I thank you all so much for the supportive emails and comments! Prayers are definately still needed as T is very concerned for the safety of the children. The family now knows her new town. She is living in a primarily white area and it would be quite easy for them to sit outside the elemetary school and wait for two black children to walk out, then follow them home. It's sad, but it's true, and it's scary.

Again, I place it all in God's hands. Not for an outcome, but for the children. For their protection, for their safety, for their stability and security. They are dear to me and I don't wish to see them hurt for anything.

Thanks again!
Friday, February 19, 2010

Americans We

Last night Olivia was in a school music production called Americans We. She did a great job singing, had a line between two songs, and was one of only two who actually placed their hand over their heart when the National Anthem was sung. I was so surprised. What has happened to showing simple respect for our country??? So proud of my "All American Cutie"!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Foster Care

We've had quite a bit of information yesterday about some things going on that could be quite life altering. Not to us, per se, but to Braeden's brother and sister. I hesitate sharing too much, but am pretty secure in the safety of this blog, even more so than Facebook. Just know that I have prayed much on the sharing of the following information, but share it in the hopes that others can learn from this, to share what we're going through presently, and to ask for prayers.

Braeden's brother and sister, who are currently in third and first grade, have not yet been adopted by my friend who parents them. I can't explain why as I don't really know myself. When I try to ask I get short answers that don't tell me much, so I stopped asking after a while and will only bring it up sporadically. They also don't understand the fact that they are in fact foster children, nor do they understand that my friend, T, is not their birth mom. The oldest MAY remember some visits, etc, but termination happened in July of 2005, that was 4 1/2 YEARS ago, and to an eight year old that's a lifetime. His sister was even younger and she truly doesn't know any different. What makes it harder is that my friend T doesn't talk to them about the situation. They haven't been told they have another family, mom, dad, etc. Braeden knows he's adopted, knows he has birth parents, and while it's age appropriate sharing, he knows. They don't.

I say all of THAT to lead into THIS, for that is the biggest issue that is now at hand. Because for these two dears, their life, their world, is possibly about to be turned UPSIDE DOWN and I can only imagine the damage that is potentially about to be done.

Yesterday I received a call from a friend who is a caseworker. She ran into Braeden's bio parents and they stopped her to talk. They told her that they received a letter (this is my biggest WHAT??? I have about all of this, how could they have even received something of this nature) telling them that my friend's two kiddos had not yet been adopted. Termination happened 4 1/2 years ago. They have no ties to them. I don't get how they would be told this. Anyway, they told the caseworker that they can't believe the kids still aren't adopted and are going to fight it. When asked then about my Braeden, they said that they knew he was adopted and fine, but can't believe the other two were still not adopted.

I was worried at this point, but really didn't think that they had a leg to stand on. I wasn't going to contact T about what I had heard, and was just praying like nothing else. Mind you, I was not sure exactly what to pray for. But was definately praying for these two kids caught in the middle. Do I WANT them to leave my friends', no. We see them, know them, spend time with them. BUT, is it right that they have not been adopted yet, no. I haven't felt is was/is for a long time now. Braeden came to me a YEAR after they had already been living with T. And his adoption was completed LONG ago.

Then last night T called me, so I knew something was definately going on. But, came to find out through our conversation that she actually didn't know anything about what I had heard, instead, she received a very disturbing phone call from her agency. They told her that beginning this Friday, TOMORROW, her two kids will be having visits with their adult siblings. (Our kids have sibs from the same two birth parents who are adults. They were never in the system to my knowledge.) The kids have NEVER met or had visits with these siblings before. Parental rights are terminated. And from the phone call I had earlier in the day, I just knew something was at work, so I told her about my call and what I had heard. She was already beside herself with the news about the visits. My info just made this harder to hear. I told her she needed to call her agency TODAY and MAKE them tell her exactly what is going on, because I am sure that there is more to it. Now that I've had some time to process a little more, my guess is that the parents can't "fight" the termination/adoption, but are having the siblings do it. Possibly to get the kids placed with them???? That's my feeling. And are they "wrong" in this? I can't answer that. I don't want to go there. It is such a hard hard position. I am just constantly praying for these kids.

Beyond all of this, I did tell the caseworker when I spoke to her, that if they see the parents again, to please please offer them my PO Box if they would like to get updates on how Braeden (by his former name) is doing. I would love to provide info for them if they're interested and see where God may lead in developing some sort of relationship. Braeden would also LOVE to have a connection of some kind: a picture, a letter, something. I pray that this would happen before we left the area.

So, my heart is burdened. And it's laid out for you to see. I can see this from so many sides. So many emotions. So much heartache. I pray whatever happens, it is all in the kids' best interests. And that THEY are left stable, secure, and loved. Because right now I'M a mess!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Not because of the heat... for this is the temp it was in our house yesterday morning, and all through the night before...

But because our furnace decided to burn up!

You can kind of see the black burn marks in this photo...

Sunday night around 9 I realized the furnace wasn't kicking on, and the temp was slowly retreating. I called the only place I could find in the phone book who was open, and they asked if I wanted a repairman. Well, I WANTED to say NO! I don't WANT a repairman on a Sunday night! But knowing I was leaving early in the morning to take the boys to day care so I could get Olivia to her Chicago Dr. appts by 8:30 am, I NEEDED a repairman! :(

Fast forward almost two hours. I am trying to keep myself awake, waiting for a call or the doorbell, and nothing. I call back and ask if they know what time it might be that the repairman comes??? I'm told they haven't gotten a hold of him yet. Nice. Within ten minutes, what do you know, he calls. He asks what happened and then if a 6am appt would work. Perfect, fine, maybe I won't pay horrible Sunday fees then, come on over at 6!

I placed another blanket on each of the sleepy darlings, got myself in warm and snuggly, and slept. Finally. It was chilly getting ready in the morning at 55 degrees! :) But we did it and survived!

Our doctor appointment went really well! Olivia's neutrophil counts had been low and they are now finally back up where they should be after lowering one of her seizure meds slightly.

By the time we spent some girl time in the afternoon and picked up the boys, the furnace was fixed, to a whooping $578! I know, I know, that's a good cost compared to what it could have been. And believe me, I know that we are extremely blessed that there was no actual fire related to this and that so much more COULD have happened! It just stinks when you're so close to (hoepfully) selling your house to have to put this much money into it! Especially when that's money that is now coming off the down payment for our new house. Oh well! :) We have HEAT! :)
Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Weekend in Pictures

Braeden found a garbage can lid someone left, and quickly claimed it as his sled. Out of the two we had at the start of the season, one was broken early on, and one was stolen from next to our front door. All we found at the stores was ONE blow up sled, so this was a welcome "gift."

Olivia, ever the cooperative big sis, was pushing Liam UP the hill!!!
Valentine's day breakfast for my three Valentines...

Ready for church...
An indoor "pizza picnic" after church for lunch...

Hope you have a Happy Valentine's Day!

Our forever Valentine claimed us as HIS long ago...

"I call you by name, you are Mine." Isaiah 43:1

Thursday, February 11, 2010

"For the Poor People"

The boys and I are hanging out at the McD's play place while Olivia's at dance tonight.  Usually we go grocery shopping or do some such, practical, errand.  But I'm just plain BEAT.  Tired.  Not feeling the greatest.  So I decided to head to McD's, get a couple refillable drinks, and let them play play play while mom sits sits sits.  Oh, and the free wifi with my laptop doesn't hurt either! :)

Braeden just handed me a penny.  He finds pennies EVERYWHERE.  I swear, almost every time we go somewhere, he is BOUND to find a penny.  Pennies.  They sure don't seem like much to us in these days of 25 cent gumball machines.  But to a five, oh I mean six, year old, they can be riches, pennies from heaven.  I wish, oh how I wish, I had kept each of these pennies separate and counted how much he has found.  

And each time, every single time he finds a penny, instead of keeping it and being happy for finding money, he gives it to me and says, "It's for the poor people."  What a blessing if we all had hearts like these.  What a lesson for me each time he says it.  What a heart for others.


A HUGE plug for a friend and her son!

A friend of mine whom I work with has an eighteen year old son with CP.

Meet Sean Rooney...

He has recently become a published author! His first book, entitled Paddy's First Day at Hilltop School, is about a young, second grade muskrat named Paddy who happens to have CP.

A Student in a Wheelchair Faces Challenges Head-On in this Entertaining and Engaging New Illustrated Children's Story

Join Paddy, a young muskrat with cerebral palsy who drives a bright yellow wheelchair with green racing stripes, in Sean Rooney's Paddy's First Day at Hilltop School. Paddy's family is moving to a new town and that means starting at a new school. He'll be meeting other students, like Austin, a tall, skinny rabbit, and Luke, a skunk who rides his bus and is a bully, all as he gets used to being a part of Mrs. Huggins' second grade class.

This captivating story, filled with colorful characters and delightful illustrations, is sure to become a much-loved favorite as it imparts important life lessons.

This would be a wonderful addition to any home library!

You can look here to read more about Sean and his book: Paddy's First Day

But you may want to actually purchase through Amazon. If your cart totals $25 or more, you will have free shipping through Amazon. Paddy's First Day

Please help support this wonderful young man! He'd love to publish more of Paddy's stories! :)
Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Please continue to send prayers our way as we try to sell our home and move back to my hometown. I know this is where God is leading, I know He is in charge, but it is hard to wait, hard to see three showings come and go where they LOVED the house but not the location or found another right after that was liked just a little bit more. Hard. Pray for my patience and strength!

I am a THIEF!

Stolen! Yep, I stole the next idea you’re going to read about! But, as a teacher, you learn quickly to “steal” or use great ideas when you see them. Why recreate the wheel so to speak. I use many ideas I’ve gotten from teachers I did practicum or student teaching work with, a great first year teacher book I read, and things I see in other’s rooms from time to time. So why not do the same as a parent if I see or read about a great idea??? I mean, a great idea is a great idea, right?! J

So this idea was taken from my online friend Amy.

The big red heart. Yesterday I read about Amy’s idea on my Google Reader over lunch. I loved it, so during my plan time I quickly made up a Valentine myself. Liam was the first to give our Valentine to Olivia, thanking her for reading with him. She is always so generous and good with him in this way. It has passed now to each of us and is slowly making it's way around again, they are so excited for this idea and to think of ways to say thank you for the little shows of love they are often doing for one another!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Birthday Dinner

Braeden's dinner ended up spread out over the last few days, what a lucky kid! :)

Since we were gone almost all day Sunday, we did his birthday dinner last night. He chose corn dogs, chicken nuggets, cinnamon apples (but we ran out of time and did apples and peanut butter instead), chocolate milk, and brownies (which he got to crack eggs for, his favorite thing! LOL)... mom did NOT eat this menu! :)

Liam saying he didn't like peanut butter on apples and making a yucky face...

Then grinning his great grin when he showed he was just being silly!

Opening the musical card from his grandparents...

One outfit, one toy, one book... Braeden's book was about elephants, and I can't believe how much he already knew about them! We read the whole book last night and he LOVED it!

Olivia gave each of the boys one dollar of her own money to spend on something at Dollar Tree... they are beyond thrilled and want to go SOON!

They are getting so big SO QUICKLY! :)

It was a great evening!
Monday, February 08, 2010

Weekend Pictures

It was another great birthday weekend! On Saturday we had cake and ice cream for the boys to celebrate their two bdays. We have large parties only at ages 5, 10, and 16. It just gets to be so much otherwise. On "off" bdays then, we simply do cake and ice cream and have a couple family friends over. Saturday a friend and her husband came as well as a friend who is parenting Braeden's bio brother and sister. They chose a Transformers marble cake and Take the Cake ice cream (A MUST TRY!!!) as well as butter pecan.

It's been so wonderful to still be able to see and have contact with Braeden's brother and sister. It's also been quite a lesson to me in nature vs. nurture. Prior to foster parenting, I think I truly believed that if a child is placed in a good, loving, home, no matter their background, that "love would conquer all". Oh what a naive person I was!

Not that these things don't make a difference, don't get me wrong! But it's so easy to think that prior to "walking the walk." Having children who have been so badly damaged at such a young age that they cognitively see the world as bad and in need of control, it's eye opening how insignificant a loving parent can be. But in addition, how much it can affect those already in your home. Anyway, with Braeden and his siblings, it's been eye opening in other ways.

If you've met Braeden, you know how off the wall he can be. Especially if someone comes to our house, or we are going into a new circumstance. It's a lot for him, it's overstimulating, and he literally bounces off the walls. He is the stereotypical definition of ADHD: being run as if by a motor. And he is often climbing and hanging on everything in sight...

I am not an advocate for medication, as a teacher I've seen it used on kids strictly to get their parents SSI payments when the kids didn't need the meds AT ALL, but I've also seen it desperately needed and successfully working only to have parents not give it consistently, and then cases where it truly is helping and making a difference in a child's life socially and academically. We've been blessed to have been given wonderful preschool, Sunday school, and kindergarten teachers for Braeden thus far who have worked so well with him. They've seen the child within and not just his activity levels. I've also had to pick him up from Sunday school when he's been given some teachers who haven't understood and worked as well with him. But we are closely treading near the point of needing medication. Unfortunately in many ways, hoping it helps him in many other ways.

But it's been SO interesting to me to see how closely he mimics his brother in these areas!!! They were never raised together, but share the same two birth parents and have similar prenatal histories. Amazing how closely they mimic each other in activity, in impulsiveness, and in "smarts." :) Both are very interested in names of things, how things work, etc. So interesting. Braeden learned about the sub 505 yesterday. I bet he could tell you a million things about it today, about how they had to bring it to Chicago and then built the area around it. About the huge torpedo longer than a few of him which he saw up close. and it goes on...

For his bday yesterday, we took the train to the Museum of Science and Industry. I haven't taken all three there yet and it was up and down. The boys are both ones to go off on their own so that was a little difficult, but we had a great day! This was grandma and grandpa's gift to Braeden (so much "stuff" already!), and then he was able to pick out something at the gift shop as well. We had a blast!

Even bubble gum ice cream! what a treat!

We love going to Chicago!!! So many things to do and learn about! Another wonderful birthday!!! And we slept very well last night! :)
Sunday, February 07, 2010

Another Birthday

Unbelievably my "baby" is SIX years old today!!!

Braeden came to me at THREE DAYS old! When you're a foster parent, especially one hoping to someday adopt, there are often a lot of "possibilities" presented to you. As you get to know people in your agency, they get to know you, etc, there are many times when you may get a call letting you know that at some point they may have a certain child placement. Maybe they're with a relative or another foster parent and it's not the best placement and may not work out, or maybe their case is headed toward termination and the current placement isn't wanting to be a permanent home, etc. It's an emotional roller coaster. You obviously want the best for this child, but then are told that they are potentially in a "bad" place, or could be available for adoption, and even with the smallest possible information, you begin that head over heels fall for a child you don't even know. You daydream about what you would "need" to get (crib, car seat, cute clothes, etc.) :), how they could fit into the current family situation, etc. And then often the placement never even comes to pass.

Braeden was a little different for me. A good friend I had met through our foster parent training had received a placement of a little boy who was a few months shy of being two, and his infant sister. She originally didn't even know if she could "do" that, and wondered if they'd split them up to where I could take in the boy and she the baby girl. It was only supposed to be a placement for a few months, and with their young ages and the fact that we were friends and would get the kids together often, there was a possibility, but in the end they wanted to keep the two together and my friend said yes.

Well, the temporary placement became much longer, as I've seen happen all too often, and about four or five months later, it was known that the bio mom was now expecting another little one. With the two of them being one and two at the time of the birth, my friend told the agency there was no way she could take the baby. I had no placements, and prayed about my part in the situation. What a great way for me to help a child, keep them near their birth siblings, and also potentially be in line to adopting, since this case was looking more and more as if that was the way it was heading. I talked to my school district about taking some of my sick days for leave if this were to happen, talked to my mom about coming to help out since the baby wouldn't be able to start day care until they were two months old and I didn't have enough sick days to get me through, and spoke with everyone I could at the agency to let them know I'd be able to be a placement opportunity if indeed it were needed. It was looking more and more like the baby may not even be taken into custody.

On the morning of Feb 9, 2004 I received a call at work that "the baby" had been born on Saturday, and he was indeed taken into placement. Did I "want" a baby??? Wow! He was just over 5 pounds and so tiny! They were to be at my house at 5:00 THAT NIGHT! I talked to my principal, frantically made three weeks of lesson plans, shopped online for some premie sized items since I wouldn't be able to shop that day, and tried to contain my excitement. My mom was ready to book a flight out in a few days, and we were "good to go." As the afternoon went by, I received a call that they weren't able to get paperwork together in time and that it would actually be the next morning that they'd bring him to me. That gave me a little bit of breathing room and some time to shop for all the necessities.

The first night, wow! I was emotionally exhausted, physically exhausted, and wondered what the heck I had gotten myself into! I called my mom crying and she booked an earlier flight. Of course, that's how I almost always feel the first night with a foster child, throw in exhaustion from being up with a newborn, and I was a wreck, but it didn't last long. I was in awe of this little blessing God had entrusted to my care!

And what a peanut!

He grew and flourished, traveled with me to FL at only two months old, and soon became the center of my world.

He had the funniest personality, even if he was sometimes a little stinker! And he still is today! :)

What a tremendous young man he is growing into becoming. Such a heart for others, a brilliant mind and memory, and still, sometimes, a stinker! :)

But I wouldn't trade him for anything in the world, and when I was able to adopt him into my family forever, it just made the bond that was already there, even stronger.

Happy Birthday my big six year old! May you have a wonderful next year! I'm so glad you came into my life, and so excited for you to still know your older brother and sister after all this time. Love you mister!!!

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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