Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I am sitting here watching Alaina and Jay play in the bathtub thinking of all of the ways my life has changed in the last seven days. It truly boggles the mind.
First of all, there hasn't been an infant in the house in 6 years. (Jack will be 7 in April). I had forgotten how things revolve around their schedules and feedings and naps. I had also forgotten how much stuff you have to tote around every time you leave the house!
Secondly, there are toddlers in a house that is no longer toddler-proof. We needed cabinet locks, baby gates, toilet locks, outlet covers and all kinds of medicine droppers. We also needed a high chair, sippy cups, cribs, bath toys, and lots of diapers and wipes.
Thirdly, I need eyes in the back of my head! These kids are quick. And they are in to EVERYTHING! Since these are foster kids, you can use your imagination to think of what their home life was like. Sooo, they are very curious about things that they have probably never seen before. I have to watch them every second.
There are more changes, but this is all I have time for. I feel fortunate that I was able to get this much done.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
We have three new little ones living us right now. Alaina, Jaylen and Brianna arrived yesterday afternoon and will definitely be here through the new year. Alaina is the oldest and is 2 1/2. Needless to say, our house is CRAZY right now. I would love to post some pictures, but that will have to wait. When things settle down, I will post more.
We appreciate all of our friends and family who have helped out the last couple of days and brought stuff over for the little ones. Thanks a bunch, everyone!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Anyway, our social worker came today for our last visit and to bring us our certificate. We are now officially licenced foster/adoptive parents.
Actually, we got put into the computer yesterday. And, we almost had two little girls yesterday. Our social worker called us around 8:30 yesterday morning and asked if we would be willing to take two sisters that were taken into custody the night before. They were 18 months old and 8 months old. We said yes.
Let me tell you, all heck broke loose over here.
Todd was already at work, so I called in reinforcements in the form of Meme (my mom) and Gran (Todd's mom). I needed to straighten up, pick up all of the very small toys that a baby and toddler can put in their mouths (and believe me, there were ALOT), find the crib, put it together, and countless other things.
AND THEY WERE GOING TO BE HERE AT 10:00 AM!!
Chaos reigned for about an hour and a half.
Then, the social worker called again and said they weren't coming. They had had an emergency hearing and the judge gave custody to the father.
What a letdown! After all of that running around and getting ready and trying to figure out what the next few days were going to be like, it was like someone popped my balloon. Curt was really disappointed as well. Jack didn't seem to be bothered at all, but he is pretty flexible.
But, in spite of the disappointment, we learned some valuable lessons. The first thing we learned is that this could happen pretty quickly. We have decided that it is probably a good idea to set up the crib and just leave it up in case we need it.
Something else we figured out was that we probably need to find some of the baby things and get them washed and ready for a spur of the moment placement. These little girls yesterday didn't even have shoes and socks!!
The most important thing we learned, however, was to be ready and willing to do whatever God would have us do. We don't have any idea what our family will look like in the weeks and months to come, but we do know that God has a plan for our family. And, that plan will ultimately be for good and for His glory if we follow his leading.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
This is second year Todd and I did the whole Black Friday shopping madness. We had such a good time last year that we decided to go for it again. The boys spent the night at the grandparents' so it was just us.
We got to our first store around 6:00. We hit a few stores, then had some breakfast, then did some more shopping. We called it quits after lunch because the traffic was getting crazy.
We got some pretty good deals and are only missing one gift from our list. Now I can just sit back and enjoy the rest of the Christmas happenings!
(I was going to take pictures to post, but in my sleepiness, I forgot the camera!)
Thursday, November 27, 2008
From left to right: (seated) Meme (my mom), Curt, Pa (my dad), Jack, Nanny, and Uncle Ron. (standing) Gran (Todd's mom), Grandad (Todd's dad), Todd and me.
I'm also thankful for my big brother, Greg, who couldn't be here today.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Here is the link to the article: Op Ed piece that was written by Steven.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
A half-million kids in our own backyard...
From the beginning, God's plan was for children to remain safely in the homes of their families, experiencing His love through nurturing parents.
However, we live in a broken and hurting world.
Currently, more than 500,000 children are living in foster care in the United States. Of those, approximately 127,000 are "legal orphans" and are waiting for forever adoptive families. Where will these precious children grow up? Will they experience God's love, or will they receive little more than basic care, constrained to cope on their own when they reach 18?
For the third straight year, Focus on the Family®, FamilyLife®, Shaohannah's Hope, and others are joining voices to share the good news that God has a plan for the more than 127,000 l egal orphans in foster care and the 130 million orphans living in our world...and His plan is you.
Take a few minutes today and pray for these little ones that God loves so dearly. Pray also that you will be open to God's leading. Now visit CryOfTheOrphan.org--and click on Get Involved to receive a personalized list of resources and ways to help based on your interests. Become a part of God's plan for the orphan today.
Be sure to tune in to a week of very special radio broadcasts on Focus on the Family and FamilyLife the week of November 17-21.
Join the millions of believers whose lives have been transformed by caring for the least of these.
Jim DalyPresident and CEO
If you have a chance to listen to any of these broadcasts, I know you'll enjoy them.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
There were no special events here at our house. We played, baked a cake, made homemade pizza, and had a friend come over. Just an ordinary day.
An ordinary day made possible because two young girls showed bravery beyond what I can comprehend and love that is amazing.
An ordinary day made possible because our hearts were open to God's leading and His will for our lives and for our family.
An ordinary day made possible through God's miracle called adoption.
An ordinary day spent with two extraordinary boys! Mama loves you, boys!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
In the interest of full disclosure (and to make Stephanie happy), I admit that today is my birthday. There will be no pictures because I feel that the ones from Monday are sufficient!
A note to Autumn:
Happy Birthday, girl! It is such fun to share this special day with you. Thanks for all of the ways you bless my life. You are the closest thing I have to a little sister! Give Pepper a hug and kiss from Nanny!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
(With Leisl, 1990?)
I wish everyone had a friend like Steffie. I am so glad and grateful that God gave her to me! (And, after looking at these pictures, I hope she remembers how much I love her.)
I love you, my friend!!
Saturday, November 1, 2008
The one I heard about today is called The Cry of the Orphan. I have posted a link to this organization down below. It is a joint ministry of Focus on the Family, Family Life and Shoahannah's Hope. Check it out and see how you or your church can get involved.
Friday, October 31, 2008
In case you can't tell, those are spider web pizzas and a snake shaped sandwich. I got these ideas from a magazine, but the boys thought I was pretty cool anyway! And really, isn't that the whole reason moms do these kinds of things?
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I saw High School Musical 3 on opening day.
The first feature of the day.
Curt and I went as a "date". I would like to say that the whole reason I went was because he wanted to see it, but that would be fibbing. I really wanted to see it, too. We both enjoyed it. It was a good movie. It reminded me alot of "Grease" with all of the singing and dancing. Only this movie was clean and you could actually take a kid to it!
Also, (and I know I am dating myself, here) Zac Efron reminded me so much of Kevin Bacon during the "Footloose" years! Ah, fond memories of high school!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Our social worker came today to do the first interview with me and the boys. She will talk to Todd next time, when we can schedule a time for him to be here. The home study interview is basically a telling of your life. You start off giving the names of your extended family and tell about your life from elementary school up to now. I've done this twice now and this one was by far the fastest one. I guess it gets a little easier every time you tell it!
After she and I spent some time talking alone, the boys took her on a tour of the house. Jack did most of the tour-guiding, so of course they started in his room. She's just lucky he didn't show her his Hot Wheels one by one. She would still be here.
All in all, it went very smoothly. We have to have our fingerprints done and get a few more papers together, but we should be fully certified by Christmas.
What a terrific Christmas gift!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
The highlight, of course, was our trip to Oregon. Oregon is absolutely beautiful and I highly reccommend going there if you can. For us, though, the best reason to go to Oregon is to spend time with the Derosier family. These friends of ours moved to Oregon two years ago and we miss them terribly. We had a terrific time with them. All of the kids got along great and the four grown-ups even got to enjoy a date-night! The entire trip was a very relaxing and renewing time. I'll have more posts and pictures later this week.
We also completed our last night adoption class. We still have a Saturday class to complete, but the bulk of it is done. We found out today that the first part of our home study will be Thursday morning. We are super-excited about it, but, Thursday---YIKES!
A home study, for the uninitiated, is when a social worker comes to the home and studies it.
Seriously, the social worker will come and look at our house and interview all of us. I'm not at all concerned about me or Todd, but what the boys will say is always up in the air. Also, she will look for things like where our fire extinguisher is and if we have smoke detectors in all of the bedrooms. This visit will be the first of four. We will also have background checks, be finger-printed, and will need to provide references and medical paperwork.
Adoption is a ton of work, my friends.
But worth every minute!
Friday, September 26, 2008
We are excited about the prospect of expanding our family and are ready to get on with the work. In the next few weeks, we will be assigned to a home development worker. This worker will complete our home study and personal interviews. Once all of our paperwork is completed and we have finished the classes, we will be eligible for adoption and/or foster care.
We can't wait!!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
(Sorry, I can't figure out how to turn it the right way!) Anyway, the puzzle was lots of fun and we were so proud of ourselves for finishing. Todd was very impressed when he got home. Every now and then I would walk past the table and bask in the glow of our completed puzzle! Aahh!
Then, I woke up this morning and found this:I would like to know how a cat can take pieces right out of the middle of the puzzle and leave the rest of the puzzle intact! Lucky for that cat, I found all of the pieces and was able to put it back together. I'm not finished basking, yet!
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Inside, I cleaned out the downstairs closet and set up pallets up for the boys to sleep on as it will be too dangerous to sleep upstairs during the height of the storm. I have also done mounds of laundry in anticipation of 5-7 days without electricity. I even managed to bake a batch of cookies and a batch of homemade graham crackers. I figure I should use up the butter and eggs while they are still good.
Gustav, GO AWAY!
Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
While part of me thinks it is CRAZY to attend a class to learn about something we have already done twice, I understand the difference. Our boys were both adopted as newborns...one 5 days old, and the other 3 days old. The child that we adopt next will come to us because of abuse or neglect or some type of loss. That is alot for a little one to handle. It almost overwhelms me when I think of it, but I can't not do it just because it is hard.
The class will be over at the end of September and hopefully the certification will be completed soon after that. My heart starts to pound when I think that there is a sweet little girl waiting for me somewhere. I love her already.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
There are millions of children around the world that will go to sleep tonight with no mom or dad to tuck them in and pray over them. If you would like to know more about adoption, click on one of the links to right and check it out. But, be careful...your heart might be missing a few beats, too.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
But, we were busy in those ten days. August 4th was our official First Day of School. It is hard for me to believe that this will be our 5th year of homeschooling. I could say that the first week of school was a blissful week of learning and cooperation, but that would be a LIE! The first week is always bumpy, but hopefully we will hit our stride soon and there really will be learning and cooperation, not whining and complaining (and that was just me!).
Later that week, I had my wisdom teeth removed. Not a pleasant experience, but not as bad as I had anticipated, either. I have had lots of ice cream, so that is a plus. There are no pictures of my puffy cheeks, so that is a plus, also!!
And, of course, we have been watching alot of the Olympics. Curt is a big sports fanatic, so he is interested in every event. I usually only like to watch the gymnastics, but this year we have seen water polo, volleyball, swimming, gymnastics, diving, fencing, and basketball. Jack is not very interested in the sports but is loving the fact that the Olympics are in China. He cheers evenly for the Chinese and the Americans!
Friday, August 1, 2008
Our version of a Jack-in-the-box!
Curt's box: St. Landry Parish Sheriff's TANK
The general destruction of the playroom:
And, after all of that, they decided to put on rubber boots, pack some snacks and go exploring. I am not sure the purpose of the rubber boots. As you can see in the picture, the boots disappeared in the water.
I am so thankful for the imagination that God gave my boys and the fact that they are such good friends. Also, a hearty THANK YOU to Mr. Paul, the A/C man who gave us the boxes.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Not the kid, the hardwood floor. (The kid was my helper for this project and he did some good work. ) We suspected there was hardwood under the carpet, but weren't sure about that or what condition it would be in if we did find it. Turns out, it's not too bad. There are paint splotches all over it, but other than that it looks pretty good. I'm not worried about the paint because, hey, it's a closet!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Today is also significant for another reason. One year ago today, I had a hysterectomy. It was a very hard decision for me to have the surgery, but I am glad I did. Aside from the physical benefits, I have learned much about myself and my God. I have learned that He is sufficient in all things and that His plan is much bigger and larger than my own. I have learned to let go of things that I cannot change. I have learned to be more thankful for the blessings in my life. I have learned to trust God more and to embrace the quiet and listen for His voice. He has been my comfort and sustainer. I also would not have made it this year without Todd. Words cannot express how much his support and care of me have meant. He is all I could have wanted in this life and I am grateful beyond measure for what God has done for me.
I am a different person than I was a year ago, and I am so thankful.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
A friend loves at all times...Proverbs 17:17
Monday, June 23, 2008
While Curt is at camp, it is a good opportunity for Jack to have some one on one time with mom and dad. Jack is 6 and won't be old enough for camp until next summer. He has been making a "yist" of things to do while big brother is gone. The first on the agenda was to make some cookies. He had a great time measuring the ingredients, starting the mixer, and scooping the dough. The best part of the baking, though, was eating a nice big chocolate chip cookie still warm from the oven!
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
The girls and I have been studying together for almost two years and I HAVE learned alot. One of the most valuable lessons I have learned is the importance of friendship and how God brings us together before we know we will need each other. In the last two years we have gone through the diagnosis of two chronic illnesses, two pregnancies, two new jobs, a college graduation, three new houses, struggles with children (and spouses) and the ups and downs of every day life. We have prayed for each other, loved each other, supported each other, held each other accountable, helped each other and spurred one another on to better things. Only God could have known the value of having true friends through these challenging seasons of life. I thank Him daily for "the girls" and am blessed beyond measure for having them in my life.