Friday, February 26, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
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 ;)
Saturday, February 20, 2010
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.
Friday, February 19, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
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! :(
Sunday, February 14, 2010
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."
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
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! :)
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!
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.
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
Monday, February 08, 2010
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!
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!
Sunday, February 07, 2010
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.
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.