Monday, January 6, 2014

2014! Cheers- to All Kinds of New Beginnings!

     She is 14 months old(almost 15months) and she is absolutely thriving now.  There is no better reward for a foster parent than to see the daily effort you put forth as a parent really working.  Her "asthma" is nearly non-existant, she gained 1.5 pounds, she has taken her first steps, and went from 1 to 10 words in just 2 months, but most important of all, she has bonded with us.  As every adoptive/foster parent understands, the child's ability to bond to you is the door to every other aspect of the child's well-being. If the child trusts you to be there for them night and day, you have won 90%(not an official number) of the challenges to parenting.  Our family pediatrician made it official when we visited last month.  She was crying and reaching for me while he checked her over and he said, "Well, it is clear that she has bonded with you."  That simple statement meant the world to me.  I know now that we can climb any other mountains that get in our way!  She has a solid foundation to set her in the right direction.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to be her parent even with the length of time unknown.  We consider every day with her in our home a blessing.

Blessings to you in 2014!

Please visit www.invisblekids.org!

Invisible Kids Project

Learn More

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The InVisible Kids Project

I want to introduce a project that I am working on with a dear friend of mine, Holly Schlaack.  She has worked on the front line of the Child Protection System as a case worker and GAL.  She is also the author of "Invisible Kids".  She has started a non-profit organization that is working to make the needed changes in the Child Protection System.  The way the project works is by collecting data and stories from the people who have been touched by the system in some way: system employees, foster parents, foster children, and community members.  The information will be used to assess where the system needs work and what are its strengths.  The web site will also offer tools of support to these people.
I am so honored to be a part of such a worthy project.  I hope you will check  out the site and pass it along to those you think could benefit from the site!



Here we go again!

On November 7, 2013 a new little bundle of joy arrived at our home.  She is 13months old and she is absolutely adorable.  It took her a couple of weeks to settle in but now her little spirit is shining bright.  It was very apparent that she wasn't sure if we were a temporary home or somewhere she was going to be hanging out for a while.  She was definitely holding back.  Now she is a smiley and happy-go-lucky little baby.  What more could we hope for?  Each of us admitted that we were hesitant to let her into our hearts for fear of it breaking again but it didn't take long before the door to our hearts flung open wide and embraced this sweet little angel.  Love is a funny thing-it just keeps coming!


Thursday, August 22, 2013


     Clearly I am supposed to learn patience in my lifetime because over the last 3 and a half years I have certainly been put to the test.  I do feel that I am getting better at waiting but some days are still better than others.  Since we decided that we would open our door to fostering again we received several calls right away. Some referrals we couldn't accept and 2 that we accepted but didn't happen.  The first one we accepted was an infant girl.  They told us they would get back to us after they had worked out placing all of her siblings.  No one ever called.  Finally, I called and asked what happened.  The agency said they were still working things out.  Never heard what happened.  The second referral that we accepted was another infant girl.  I was really getting excited about this one!  I went into my nesting mode which included cleaning my house top to bottom and pulling out clothing that might fit her.  I waited, and waited, and waited.  No word until about 36 hours later that she would not be coming.  That was almost 3 weeks ago.  Not one call!  Weird huh!  I won't begin to try to figure it out because there is one thing you can count on with Foster Care...unpredictability.
     In the mean time I am practicing living day to day and moment to moment!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Turning the negative to a positive!

  Our time with her was nothing short of a blessing.  Did we have to go through pain and hurt in this process?  Yes.  Did we learn from the pain and hurt?  Yes!  I have no doubt about that.  I learned that our family was given the task of planting the seed of love and joy in this little girl's life.  I will proudly say that I think we did a stellar job!  Please don't feel that it was all for naught because she left us.  The seed we planted will grow because love never dies.  Even though we can't see with our own eyes now what is happening in her life, I do know one thing for sure....love will grow in her precious little heart.

Love and Joy to you all,

Sunday, August 4, 2013

     We had a nice respite from worry about her leaving us and difficulties with visits etc. for about three months.  In that time, we got into such a groove of life with the new member of our family that we almost forgot she wasn't ours.  Fostering became so natural and had fallen into place so beautifully until.... the other shoe dropped.  After seven months with her we find out that the potential for placement with her grandmother was becoming very possible.  Over the next three months we lived a roller coaster of emotions wondering if she would soon be leaving us.  I wouldn't let myself believe it because I didn't think I could keep living daily life with thoughts of her leaving.  The final word came in May and with no transition plan in place she left our home one morning to live in a home she had never seen and with a grandma she barely knew.  Our hearts were broken.  Our family mourned her loss together and separately in our own way.  The only relief we had was the fact that her mother decided to keep in contact with us through texting and pictures.  At least we had some way of knowing how she was doing.

(to be continued)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Invisible Kids: The Power of Memories Fifty Years Later

Invisible Kids: The Power of Memories Fifty Years Later: I stepped into a print shop yesterday and back in time. The smell of fresh ink was intoxicating, at least for me. I love paper and words and...

...Continued from last post

     It was apparent that she felt as at home with us as we did with her.  I believe I held her in my arms for nearly a straight week.  I only put her down when I went to bed at night.  In the first few days I would sit her on the floor to play and she would flop over.  She was eight months old so this behavior was concerning.  We took her to the doctor to be sure she was OK.  They told us that it was part of her recovery and she would get better.   That was an understatement!  She not only began to recover but she did it in warp speed.  It seemed like every day she was learning new tricks.  It was wonderful to watch how much determination she had to "catch up."  By the time we took her to her 12 month neurological assessment she had not only "caught up" but was exceeding her age in many areas.  It made me feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to have this child in my home.  We had a great big 1st birthday party for her.  My aunts, uncles, cousins, mom, sister.....all came to celebrate her precious life.  We all fell in love with this child.  She became a member of our family just as each of us had only she came to us in a different way.
     Every part about being her parent is delightful to me even though I had to turn back the clock 10 years to diapers, bottles, and waking in the night.  The only difficulty in being a foster parent is the foster part not the parent part.  I won't paint a rosy picture and tell you it is all a bowl of cherries.  It is tough sometimes.  Foster parents are the low man on the totem pole.  No one listens to your opinion about the welfare of the child.  You have to drop everything whenever the county says you have to take her for a visit or to the doctor.  You have to take criticism from case workers, bio family, and whoever else wants to hand it out about your parenting.  You may be accused of things you didn't do.  You hand over control of your life in many ways to the county.

So why would anyone want to be a foster parent?  
     I can only say that I would do any part of it again for her.  We have given and received so much love from her.   Who could pass that up?  She brought such joy and perspective into our home.  There have been so many life lessons for my husband and I and so many teachable moments for our kids.  She is a gift from God!  We only hope that we have been able to offer her as much as she has given us.