Sunday, July 24, 2011


is not always our friend...

We had a great (and free) trip planned this weekend. Still worked out just fine, but not quite as we originally planned. But aren't some of life's finest moments just that way?

I had a free hotel night with some points that I needed to use soon. We booked a night near Chicago and close to some good friends we haven't seen in a while. The 8 of us had a great night swimming and talking at the hotel before I herded the kids into bed! :)

(Liam's new vest I bought for swimming so my nerves aren't quite on edge as usual lately.)

Saturday we had planned to use our season passes at Six Flags and go to the water park which we hadn't done yet. Mind you, it has been HOT and rainless for weeks. We had originally planned to go last weekend, but previously in the week there had been a HUGE power outage and some of the park was still without power, so this weekend it was. And Friday night it decided to THUNDERSTORM! I was dreading the day as I heard the loud noise through the night. (Not much sleep while watching Liam... he's had a number of seizures at night following swimming... crazy...)

Saturday morning brought cool temps, drizzling rain, and sunless skies. But we put on our brave faces and went anyway, leaving the towels in the van and deciding to skip the water park. Instead we went to three shows we hadn't seen and some rides. And we had lots of fun!!!

The weather became warm and sunny as the day went on.

Look who found herself on stage in a kids' game show!

Pretty much sums up the good day we had...

Friday, July 22, 2011


We live in a culture of "invincibility thinking." Or... "It's not going to happen to me." "I'm not going to get hurt." "I'll be just fine." ... Etc.

There may be break through moments of reality where you see the true humanness of each of us. Red blood running down a child's leg after they fall from their bike. An elderly relative who passes away. A day of the 24 hour flu. But... each of those fleetingly passes by our consciousness. The leg wound get cleaned up, bandaged, and is all better in no time. The relative is near that age where people do pass away, and although sad, it "fits". They are sorely missed, but soon we are back to our norm. The feelings during the day of flu fun are deep, but they are forgotten as the flu subsides as quickly as it came.

Recently I set up our new crib in my bedroom. I know that when our new little one finally does come home, we will spend weeks and months working on bonding and attachment. One way we're going to facilitate that bond is by having her sleep in my room. I set up the crib as a day bed and will be pushing it up against my bed so that I am right there if she has trouble during the night.

I set it up early though. Because it's now Liam's bed; at least currently. I am now daily, hourly, sometimes by the minute, reminded of our mortality. Of the lack of "control" we really have as to what happens to us, as if I ever really had control before anyway. I am reminded every time Liam is quiet for even a few seconds in the car and I have to turn around to be sure he's not having a seizure. I'm reminded when my heart RACES every time he seems to be having one, when his eyes stare just a little too long without blinking, when I hear a funny sound from him, when he doesn't answer me when I call, and when I finally realize he's ok. And I'm thankful for those "ok's" because I know that sometime soon it won't be ok, it will be another seizure.

In our van Liam sits in the row behind me and just to the right. I am CONSTANTLY looking back on him. When we go to a movie he stares, a lot, and I will ask him what he thinks, or give him a tickle, to be sure he's ok. At night I check him when I go to bed. I check him when I hear a funny sound and/or no movement (if he's moving anything I know he's not having a seizure). I worry if he's not around for a couple of minutes. I worry when I see him asleep like this...

It's constant worry. Constant reminder of what "could be".

And yet, too, I know that this isn't much compared to what many families endure. Are enduring. And I have even more sympathy for them than I ever was able to before. And I pray for them. For us. For any parent having to go through watching their child go through something that we just can't control, can't help, can only watch and be there for.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Being Real


Showers are hard for me as an adoptive parent.
Well, I take that back.
As a foster-adoptive parent.
Things MAY have been very different if my adoptions took place in a more "traditional" manner so to speak.

When my first adoption happened, all three of my children were already living with me. Braeden's was first. He had already been with me for over two years. I know for people on "the outside", they saw him as mine already.

I do get it.

The actual day of adoption wasn't that "big" of a deal - to them. It was merely a formality, the child lives with you, is clothed and comforted and disciplined and celebrated and PARENTED by you. They're "yours." But as a foster parent, you are "told" time and again, maybe not in so many words, but still, over and over you are shown that you are NOT their parent.

A trip 30 minutes away, but over a silly state line, requires forms, signatures, permissions.
Enrollment in a day care means having said day care "ok'd" and approved. And more forms and paperwork for the state to cover payment.
Paperwork at all requires you write their given name, and that doesn't include your last name, and sometimes this gets you looks or questions.
A trip to the hospital often results in hours of waiting simply because the test they want to perform requires approval by the state first since the state, not you, is the primary guardian.
Even a simple haircut requires consent from the birth parents.

No matter how much you love them.
No matter how many hours you have spent at their bedside.
No matter how many times you've been yelled at or taken the brunt of a tantrum or spoken in love when you've wanted to scream.
You. Aren't. Their. Legal. Parent.
And that day of adoption means the WORLD.

And it often goes unnoticed by most others around you.
And it usually means no "baby" shower.
No fanfare.
No special recognition.
Except in the adoption world.
With others who "get it."

And sometimes, sometimes baby showers are hard to attend.
It's hard to realize you've never had that.
That special feeling of awaiting a child,
of being honored,
of being loved and cared for in such a way.
Hard to watch as others receive gifts that you had to buy yourself
(sounds so silly really, so materialistic, but it's more about the idea behind the gifts I think).

Not sure why this has hit me hard this week, but I find myself grieving for some of the "traditions" with having a child.

As I await news on a new little one who is available for adoption...
as I get more and more impatient with the "when" of knowing who our new addition will be...
I look at others who are expecting...
their expectation visible, physical...
I wear my necklace often, but many giggle at it, don't fully comprehend...
There are no congratulations as there would be with an enlarged stomach proclaiming an upcoming arrival...
And the excitement withers a bit.

Waiting is hard.
Saturday, July 16, 2011


Braeden was full of cuteness yesterday!

First he and Olivia were coloring.
Braeden is into making "lists" and he was making one of the places he'd like to visit.

His list included some GREAT locations...
New York
...and 10 others...

It was one of the others that showed me this was truly Braeden's list and no one else's.
I LOVE that he even remembered that to put it on there!

I'm sure it would be a GREAT place to visit:
white picket fences

Anyone know the reference? :)

Later we headed to our local Super KM**t store to pick up some groceries.

Braeden and Olivia recently got their allowance
(and of course it was burning the ever proverbial HOLE)
and brought it with "just in case."

If you have one and haven't been recently,
they have been doing some major clearance on toys!

After showing Braeden some GREAT Star War*s walkie talkies that were marked down to $3.99, and an amazing Erector set marked at $3.99...

THIS is what he ended up buying!

Oh yes he did!
(I did grab two of the Erector sets on the sly for him or others as gifts down the road.)

He thinks they're "peach" colored which cracks me up.
He went to bed with them and sang them a lullaby.
And he's played with them a bit today.

SO cute!
What a wonderful father he will be!
Friday, July 15, 2011

Midnight Secret

After TEN years in the making...

And many many months of fans (like me) of the amazing books waiting with baited breath as each movie was made and released...

The final chapter in the Harry Potter saga has been turned into film and opens today.

Of course,
since it's such a hit,
there was also a midnight showing last night all over the country.

And since that's the best time to sit for my kids (ha!),
And since our summer college age sitter's plans fell through to see it herself (sorry!),
I had someone to stay at the house while I trekked out to the movie in the middle of the night!
(And the kids had NO CLUE.) :)

The theater didn't plan well on their timing of letting people in.
There was one HUGE line for the large theater showing the 3D movie,
and another line for 3-4 small theaters showing the 2D film.
The smaller line was let in first and then our large line.
We didn't start MOVING until almost 11:10 and our section,
with many more in line behind us still,
didn't make it IN the theater until almost midnight.
Which means the show actually began closer to 12:30.

it was WORTH IT!
GREAT movie!
I don't know that the 3D was worth it,
only a few scenes where it really even registered,
but still,

(My kids stopped watching the movies after the second and I've told them
as soon as they read the books they can see the rest!
I have yet to have one take me up on that!) :)

Tell me, are you a fan?
Are you planning on seeing the movie?
Or did you already?
Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Answers Please!

After all we did regarding Liam's seizures over vacation while in Florida, he still isn't "status quo".

I had thought, hoped, prayed, that increasing his dosage of medication was the "answer."

He had grown, and his meds needed to reflect that.

I was wrong.

Tuesday morning he had another.

While we were out at the local summer morning movie, and prior to it starting.

God was in control.

Sitting in front of us was a good friend from church and her kids.
And in front of her was another woman from church with her kids.
So my friend was able to come out and help me call 911 and be calm,
while the one in the very front watched all of the kids.

The rescue crew did come, as his seizures almost always last at least 5 minutes
and I'm supposed to call whenever they are 5 minutes long.
But, he recovered and I took him home to sleep away the morning,
as seizures EXHAUST him.

My friend at the theater kept Olivia and Braeden with her so they didn't miss the movie,
and she brought them home after,
and was able to see Liam walking around and smiling.

He is getting blood work done this morning and they are talking
of scheduling an EEG and/or MRI, possibly an overnight EEG.
I'm glad and hope that we can get some answers.

My only concern, irritation is that we JUST did an overnight EEG.
And we did that while in FL when I had support to watch the other two,
since I have to be there all night with him.
I'd like to know why that info wasn't/hasn't been sent to his docs here
like it was supposed to.
I don't want to redo something already done.
The MRI is something I could see doing as that HASN'T been done.

Please pray for us.
Pray for the doctors to find answers.
Saturday, July 09, 2011

The Separate Post

You may remember a few days ago when we had that amazing dinner with David and his family in Atlanta. I had shared that I had an incredible story of what happened to us right before that almost prevented us from going? Well, here it is, and you won't believe it! I still picture this in my mind as unbelievable!

We were early for our dinner meeting so we stopped at the Martin Luther King Jr. Site to pass some time. Since we had the dog with us we needed somewhere ok for him, and we had been here two years ago so I knew that it was free parking as well as outdoor spaces where we could walk. More pics from before. (Of course we LOVE MLK so that helped too!) :)

Was great to see it yet again even if we weren't going to be able to really look around inside at the exhibit. We were excited about seeing the footprints of famous African Americans. Braeden even remembered that he had stood for a picture on Sammy Davis Jr's and Olivia on Rosa Parks'.

They were amped up, but we each needed the restroom so we headed there first before finding those famous prints.

As Olivia and Braeden waited right outside the doors with Percy (our pup), I took Liam inside first. Hmmm... this is where things went wrong. So very, very wrong...

Because, I bet you had NO idea, just like I didn't that IF the conditions were JUST right...

IF you had a long fabric (awesome) wrist key fob with three keys attached...

And IF you had a shallow pocket and of course left your purse in the car for this quick stop...

And IF you were pulling up your pants JUST so while the toilet flushed...


You keys CAN fall out...

They CAN land RIGHT in the toilet...

And before you can blink your eye, they CAN be whisked away forever, never to be seen again...

Oh yes, they CAN...

Just sayin'....


All I have to say about THAT is THANK GOD, literally, because as I was packing for our trip, I somehow came upon my extra car key, and SOMEHOW decided to toss it into my purse. For what reason? I NEVER carry a spare?! Thank YOU GOD! So the very nice security man pried open my van door, and I was able to retrieve my one spare car key. WHEW! Who knew getting to dinner could be so much work!

(NO idea WHAT I would have had to do IF I hadn't had that extra key! Getting more made as I speak and placing them strategically in the car, purse, and house!) :)
Thursday, July 07, 2011


The other night as I was taking the kids to the beach, an interesting conversation developed in the back of the van.

Seems that driving often affords those times of contemplation and serious discussion that eludes us at other moments of the day.

This one began with Braeden and Olivia getting on the topic (somehow?) of Satan and God.

They were talking of how Satan betrayed God,
and how horrible and wrong that was.

Then they began discussing how wrong it is for others to disobey and go against God.

I gently joined the conversation at this point and shared how even WE go against God.

Their eyes got big and they asked "How?" "When?"

And I explained that whenever we sin:
whether we are mean to a family member,
disrespectful to our mom,
if we lie,
if we hurt others,
if we don't listen to what is right,
we ARE going against God.

They were dumbfounded as they soaked in this truth.

I love watching my children, especially Olivia as she is getting older,
"try out" new ideas, and discover them for herself.

Though she's getting too big for many "younger child" ideas and games,
she is growing so very much and learning every day.

Through this discussion, Olivia talked of making a list
to remind herself to stop and think
each time she is angry.
Each time she wants to respond to something in anger.
She tends to "forget" many many things,
daily, mundane, routine, things,
she processes differently and doesn't remember many things
that were said and then reacts as if I'm "out to get her" at times.
We are working on this.

And I was proud of her role in this discussion
and her learning curve regarding God and her world.

Love car conversations!

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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