Thursday, February 26, 2009

While we're waiting...

While we're waiting to hear from God, I wanted to share some pictures of Olive
Here is the information I have on her:
One more kid born with Sy.Down.
Her name is Olivera. She was born 4/5/2006. Admitted to the orphanage at the age of 8months 7 days. She was the 5th child from the fifth uncontrolled pregnancy. The birth was term, in the maternity home. AS was 9/10. She was born with Atrial Septal Defect, with moderate blood flow from the left atrium through the hole into the right side. She is under regular control of the cardiologist, doesn't require any medications, the next control should be done in December 2008.
She has syderopenic anemia and is receiving iron therapy. Also is small for her age. She is 2yrs 7months old. Height 76.5cm, weight 6.120kg.
We consulted the gastroentrologist and he didn't find any organic disease, he thinks it's due to the Sy.Down.
Her parents are mentally delayed. Olivera has 4 siblings, two of them are healthy the other two are developmentally delayed.
She is a very darling girl, but is significantly developmentally delayed.She is smiling, has eye to eye contact, still is not sitting without support, not crawling yet. Respiratory infections occure often.
She is very cute and we love this girl.

I know to some she isn't exactly the perfect image of beauty.
But, when I look at her, she's perfect.
Isn't she just so beautiful!?

and they buzz her hair! I can only imagine her beautiful long brown hair if they'd let it grow.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tell me!

Ugh - why am I such a brat!?
why does my soul keep screaming "tell me now! tell me now! tell me now!"
I have been waiting a few weeks now to hear from the lord - a month at most.. and yet it feels like an eternity!
And still no word!
and it makes me want to stomp around the house like a brat, and fuss, complain, and whine "why aren't you telling me?!?"
but I know...
I don't want to know.
But, I know that there will be no word until I sit and rest and wait on His perfect timing.
I need to be quiet and listen expectantly, and patiently.
And so that's what I'm choosing to do.
Every time my heart stirs up with anxiety, and I'm going to have to take Joyce at her word, and say "sit down soul, sit down and shut up!"

PS. while praying on my face today (thank you Beth Moore) Ethan mimicked me, put his head on the ground, and his butt in the air, and copied me. I said "thank you Lord", and he said "thank you", and I said "oh thank you Lord for these beautiful children, I love them, I love you", and Ethan said "i love you", and I just giggled and said "thank you God", and he said "thank you God" in his little funny voice.... it was so stinking precious!

What is going on?

Life has been wonderful around here.
We've had over a week now to recharge, relax, and enjoy.
God's been using this time to teach me a lot of things, and grow me in areas I didn't see coming.
I am currently learning how to focus my gaze on him, trust his timing, and be patient (among many other things).
I am really trying to hear the Lord on some things right now - so if you could lift this situation in prayer for me, it would mean so much to me.
I am waiting expectantly for a word from the Lord.

Let me just lay it all out there:
Karl and I are trying to see which direction our life is to go.
1. We have no more children - there is an aching in me for more children, so I doubt this is what the Lord wants, but you never know!
2. We have more biological children - I hate being pregnant, I have high-risk, high-stress pregnancies, and am pretty sure I don't want to be pregnant again.
3. We continue fostering, and praying we get to adopt from one of our foster children - this leaves our home open to the possibility of incredible stress, which is a little scary considering my previous experience. But, I know it can also be so very rewarding, and I am up for the challenge if it is God's will.
4. We adopt straight from foster care - no fostering involved, just like a private adoption. This also leaves our home open to incredible heartbreak, due to some foster children never attaching, never assimilating, and having very challenging life-long problems. But, I know that if it's what God wants for us - He will match our family with the perfect child if we step out of the way and let him.
5. We adopt a little girl named Olive from Serbia. She has down syndrome, other mental redardation, a heart condition, and microcephaly. She is 3 years old and in a baby-house currently, but will be moved to an institution at age 4, where she will likely live in a crib with little contact the rest of her life. The idea of that breaks my heart. I LOVE down syndrome, it is one of the most beautiful disabilities a child can have - they usually are like little children forever. Her heart condition is stable, non-life threatening, and requires no medical treatment. And microcephaly is a fancy word for being extra extra small. Just six months ago she was 30 inches and 13.5lbs. Yes, that is the size of the average 8 month old. She is incredibly beautiful, she looks like she could have come out of my womb, and I would absolutely welcome the challenges with a glad heart. HUGE OBSTICLE: She is a $15,000 commitment - which we obviously don't have.

We honestly want what ever it is God has for us. We are not willing to take "good" over His "great".
We are really seeking direction in this.
We are EXPECTING to hear from the Lord, we're not sure how or through who - but we are anxiously awaiting His word!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ped appointment.

Evie had her 10 month appointment yesterday...
She weighed in at an even 18lbs!
She fell to the 25% for weight!
Doc said she's genetically prone to being tall and skinny!
What a lucky girl!
I am the only one in my family that got the taller skinny trait, most of my family is shorter and stockier - and some how Evie got my build! Yahoo! She'll be my baby forever!
We got a little talkin' about not letting her nurse 2-3 times a night anymore.
I knew we shouldn't, but I want her to be my baby forever!
So, last night Karl gave her a bottle at 11pm and she slept through the night!
God is so awesome, because I was dreading having the battle of no nursing last night - and we didn't even have to fight it!
Thank you Lord and let's do it again, alright!?

Other than that - life has been peaceful, and un-busy, and wonderful.
I have really taken this week to just enjoy, and it's been lovely.

But, I'm still praying for that call that says "we have a (blank) month old baby here, no medical or behavioral issues, no drug exposure, fairly certain about termination - do you want him/her?".... YESSS!!!!!
(and yes I know, that's highly unlikely - but c'mon!)

momma kasey snapped this pic of us when we were heading out for the day

can you tell that evie hates being strapped in?

we realized tonight that her hair can get in a pony tail - not that i'm sure i should ever do it again (until it grows out at least) for fear that she looks too much like pebbles - but it was cute for the night.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My baby girl is growing too fast!

We went from 5 kids to no kids almost as quickly as we went from 2 to 5.
The kids left Friday after after school.

Then later that night my parents agreed to watch our kids for a couple hours so we could enjoy V-day a for a bit by ourselves.
We went grocery shopping, and then came home to make a wonderful dinner.
Burgers with blue cheese, american cheese, bacon, onions, lettuce, tomato... mmm!
We were suppose to break in to mozzarella sticks and strawberries with dark chocolate later during the movie, but the burgers were so big, we couldn't even think about food!
We watched some obscure small film about a guy who is neurotic about car alarms - it was strange.
But it was SO! wonderful being alone, in a quiet house.
And I let Karl sleep in this morning :)

Evelyn decided she wanted to grow up a bit this morning and try some soymilk out of a sippy!
She took it from Ethan but she seemed to like it.
She also decided that a cracker and some tic-tacs were worth crawling for!
This was her FIRST time crawling on her knees!
She has been "swimming" for a while now, but not actually crawling!
She didn't want to repeat the skill of course, but I did manage to get a picture the first/second time.
(She laid down in-between and started again, 1st or 2nd? I'm not sure)
My infant is growing!
And yes, I'm aware that she's 10+ months and should have been doing this by now, but I prayed to the Lord when I was pregnant that she would have a temperament like Amelia, and be small, petite, and baby-like for a long time - because Ethan came out a toddler from my womb! And the Lord has been showering me in his sweet sweet blessings and mercies with my little mamma!

Friday, February 13, 2009

They're going tonight.

We just got a call saying the kids are going to their relative tonight.
I pray that they do well in their new arrangements, genuinely.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

school days...

I got an email this morning stating that they should be able to get the relative placement figured out in the next day or two.
I also got permission to put the oldest in to his normal school for the next couple of days to give me a break during the day.
I met the teacher and she said that she had a meeting arranged for BM that day, and that she couldn't guarantee that they wouldn't see each other...
So, I had to call our social worker to get that all figured out.
I've only been home for about an hour, but it's significantly easier to handle things when the two oldest are separated.
Hopefully he'll come home good and tired, and we'll all have a better day tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


We had gained some ground over the past 5 days, but then after the visit with mom, everything went out the window this morning.
The case supervisor said that they are still checking in to the family placement.
But, things can only go as quickly as all the bureaucratic stuff will let it go.
If it's going to be a few days, we're going to stick it out - although I'm really not sure how I'm going to do it other than a miracle from God.
My brain knows what these kids have gone through, I want to will myself to be sweet, loving, forgiving, patient, un-bothered, and unstressed.
But, it is near impossible when a little boy is telling you that he hates you, and he hopes that you go to jail, and that he wants to run away and live with someone else, while simultaneously disobeying what you're asking him to do, his sister is egging on the situation, you have 10 month old that is screaming for you, and you have 2 two year olds fighting to the death over a car.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My first mom visit...

So, I met Birth Mom today, along with one Dad.
It was really awkward.
One of the only things Mom did say to me was "how are they doing?"
What do you say to that?
"They're doing great", implying they don't care they're not at home or "they're a mess", possibly putting guilt and blame on them, and worrying them.
So, I went middle ground, and said "they're doing good - but they miss you and ask when they can come home."
She is very anxious to get them out of our home and in to relative care.

The two older ones are little pistols, and act like a couple of gang bangers with no respect when they're together.
So, we try and divide and concur whenever possible.
The little one is adjusted really well - he isn't a problem at all.
All I have to do is say is "1 - 2 -.." and usually before I get to 3 he's stopped doing what ever he's doing, or obeys to what I'm telling him.
He and Ethan have a little problem getting along, but I think it's an alfa-male thing that will work itself out.

Mom and Dad brought 3 bags full of new stuff, pajamas, toys, etc and an office full of stuff they had at home.
Some stuff is missing parts or is broken, but it's the thought that counts, and it was a good first step towards healing for the kids.
We learned that the oldest wears glasses, and might be ADHD, and is getting tested for learning disabilities.
The middle might have juvenile diabetes.
Mom gave them lots promises, like they were going to get a wii, a kitten, and all kinds of new stuff when they come home 'in a few days'....
I noticed that the little girl is mom's little girl, and the baby is daddy's little boy - and the oldest is kind of left out.
I think that is a major reason why he is so hostile towards women, especially me, and has a lot of issues.
CPS is checking in to a family placement, and I think that would be good for him to have someone that is related to him, and will put him first for a while.

The kids lied and exaggerated about many situations to make us look bad on purpose to mom.
One said that we "whoop him" and make him sleep in the living room, and lock him up in a 'baby box'.
We obviously don't spank him, and he took a quiet time on a cot in the living room today, where he got to watch TV, which was a treat.
And we did put him in a play pin for one of his time outs because he wouldn't sit on the step, and was getting way out of control.
Obviously that freaked mom out.
Then to top it off they called me mom in front of BM and BD - and it got Mom real heated.
She asked them why they did that, and they lied and said I forced them.
Obviously, I didn't.
But none the less, it got mom and dad really mad and she forbid them to call me that anymore.
Which, obviously, is fine with me.
I'm now enemy #1 in mom's eyes.
But I sort of expected it.

Surprisingly, the kids still called me mom the second they got back with me.
I mean literally mom just walked down the hallway, and they came in to the other hallway with me....
I was surprised.
They didn't cry much, or have a big fit, or even regress and act horrible like I expected.
I'm glad.
I'm not the least bit mad at the kids for lying - I understand that sometimes the more the kids bond with their foster parents, the more they lie about them to their bio parents.
It's a loyalty thing, and BM and BD will give them a guilt trip if they say they like us, or enjoy being with us.
So, really it's a compliment in a way.

Then later I had to take the little girl to the DR. for a girl problem..
and that brings us to now.
And I'm TIRED.

Getting it worked out...

Talked with the social worker assigned to the case this morning.
We're planning on visiting with bio mom today.
I am going to have to sit down and meet her too.
I'm really nervous.
I hope she pulls through - they kids really want to see mom.
Karl talked to the foster supervisor this morning, and there are a few family options that might pull through.
I pray that the kids go with someone that is loving, and familiar, and has their best interest at heart.
They've asked us if needed if we'd be willing to keep the little one here.
I told Karl to call back and tell her yes, so hopefully that'll work out if there isn't a family that will take all 3.
I pray that they don't get the wrong impression about us.
I pray that there will be wisdom, and understanding on all parts of this situation, and that above all else the kids are taken care of.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

slowly improving...

today is going better.
i think i could stick it out.
karl says no.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

a little better...

so, the kids were a little better today.
they marched up stairs and abruptly woke us all up at 7:30AM.
we had some issues with not listening and having to be on time out, and hear a few "I don't like you!"s.
we got a lot of "I miss mom" and "when am I going home?".
thank God for our babysitter Julie.
she came over today and helped us out.
we went grocery shopping because they literally ate everything in the house,
and bought a few clothes from Once Upon A Child for the little girl.
she literally had nothing that fit her, just one t-shirt.
with 3 adults to 5 kids, it was much more manageable.
but, what am I suppose to do when it's me against all five?
I guess we'll see.
Karl called and left a message with the social worker about a transfer,
and I think we'll be able to hang in there until then.
it's not that they're bad kids, it's just we feel we've been thrown in to the water before we know how to swim.
We'll see how tomorrow goes.

It's not right.

This not the right fit.
We have requested for a transfer.
It could be weeks though.
I'm not sure how I feel about all this right now.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A lot to take in...

Well we sure learned a lot about these kids tonight.
Well, they told me mom and dad (and their friends) smoke cigarettes, drink a lot of beer, smoke crack, smoke weed, and do methodone a lot.
They said their house is really dirty, and that the oldest one doesn't have any toys.
They told me that their mom smacks them in their mouth and on their butts only (thank God).
They told me that their dad has "relations" with girlfriends in front of them, and that one girl would let the kids jump all over her while she was naked.
They said that their mom and dad are always in trouble with the cops, and in jail.
They actually asked to search my purse to make sure that I didn't have drugs in there.
They said that dad lets them look at the books with the ladies that are naked.
They seem to think they're going home any time now, and that they aren't going to be here too many more days.
They miss their mom, but asked if I could be their mommy, and if they could call me mom.
Later the oldest recanted, and said that he doesn't want to be anyones son other than his dad's and doesn't want to call me mom.
I said that was fine, I am "ashley", and he can tell people I'm his Aunt Ashley.
The kids have aggression problems, and do not listen in general.
They are super busy, and need constant supervision.
I can't help but feel a little overwhelmed.
I am SO tired.
But, we're trying to hang in there.
Praise God, Mark (the principle and Karl's former boss) has told us that the middle one can go to preschool for "what ever we can afford to pay"... and she's going to start next week.
Hopefully the oldest will start attending kindergarten tuesday too.
That will give me 1/2 days during the morning with just the baby, Evelyn, and Ethan.
Once I start getting checks for their care, I'm going to hire a house cleaner, and a mother's helper in the afternoon to help me get them lunch and get the house cleaned.
Hopefully they'll get a social worker next week, and we can get them in some therapy, and I can get a mentor foster mom to help me get this figured all out.
This is a lot for my first call.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

five under five.

Karl and I are once again foster parents to 5 under 5..
Last night when talking about if we were going to foster anymore or not, we both said "If God wants us to foster, we'll get a call in the next day or two", because we were considering calling and suspending our license, or actually getting pregnant and going the biological rout, but didn't want to be hasty if God wanted us to continue.
Then today, I receive word from God on just being in him over the next year - and not taking on new projects, and to stop trying to live up to impossible standards (that I set myself).
I tell my parents we're thinking about getting pregnant instead of foster/adopting, and that we're not going to make a rash decision, and that if God wants us to continue fostering, we'll get a call - if not we'll get a positive pregnancy test.
Well, what do you know - we get a call.
It was a huge internal 5 minute warfare for both Karl and I on what to say.
All we're told is that there is 3 kids, 2 yr, 3 yr, and 4 yrs - and they need an emergency placement, can we do it?
Uhhhh.... I'll call you back. (me)
Okay, I only have a few minutes. (her)
I call my mom and dad, talk to Karl, attempt call Kasey, and experience a huge adrenaline rush and massive mental combat in my head.
We very timidly say yes, and get pulled back in to the whirlwind.
We pick the kids up at 9:20pm - and here we are.

Come to find out they are really 2, 4, and 5 very soon to be 5 and 6. I'm totally out of my realm.

I don't know that this was the right choice.
Logically I wanted to just be in God's word, and literally be committed to nothing.
I JUST received word to rest and relax in him, to just be in the vine!
Maybe He mean not commit to anything BUT fostering?!?
But, I said many times to others and God "if you want us to foster, we will have to get a call in the next day or two"... and bam, 18 hours later a phone call.
So, it's like - what do you do?
I'm not thrilled that their ages are different than we were told. Its not the ages I had wanted.

So here I am, mom of 5 under 5.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mother of the year?

If anyone is getting nominated for "mother of the year" award, it's not going to be me!
We have had two chocolate incidences in the last two days.
First, yesterday I caught ethan in our hot chocolate container.
I'm not sure what I was doing, putzing about the house or using the bathroom or something.

We've been trying to bribe him to use the bathroom with chocolate.... so he so nicely sat on the potty in appreciation for the time out he didn't but should have gotten.

Then this morning I get Ethan set up coloring with chalk on his easel, and Evelyn playing with an airplane toy to come downstairs and let the dogs out.
Well, while I waited for the dogs, anticipating to go back up stairs in a short minute, I check my email.
In the middle of that, I hear "Mom, baby's eating".
"What is she eating?", me
"Baby's eating".
"What is she eating, honey", me
"kok-kit' (chocolate)
And sure enough, Ethan has gotten in to my stash of chocolate again - and this time has shared.
What a nice boy.
Needless to say, this was Evelyn's first time eating chocolate.
Ethan's was sometime around or after his 1st birthday, so we're a little premature with 9.5 months.


It's hard to believe my little momma, affectionately called "infant" my momma Kasey, is already near 10 months old.
While Kasey was over Monday night, she snaped a shot of me and lazy bones, Evelyn.


Although I look like a ragamuffin, I cherish any picture I'm in with my babies.
I also got some cute ones of her with daddy later that night, realizing I hadn't taken many recently.


They grow up quick!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Two are cake!

Whew, let me tell you - two children are cake.
This is the first time in two weeks that I have slept in til 8:20, and got to come down and "check things" on the computer with out having to get up every 15 seconds to say "sit down, turn around, eat your food", "stop touching her food", "put your butt in the chair, and stop yelling", etc.
Life is easy!

My lovins' left yesterday to go back home with their foster mom.
I found out *after the fact!!!!!* that J. has ADHD.
Come on! You should have told me this from the beginning!
It all makes sense now!
The last 4 days of the respite were the toughest parenting days I've ever had.
I think it was a combination of getting comfortable, and getting stressed that they weren't ever going back home.
I'm sure 2 weeks feels like a life-time to them.
While they were leaving, it was bitter-sweet.
I was rejoicing that it was time to decompress, and relax.
But very sad that I wouldn't get to hear "doggies naughty" or "I didn't poop in my diaper!" in the morning anymore.
Although super busy, and challenging - they really did want to be good kids, just had baggage.
I'm planning on sending them some pictures from while they were here and writing them a little letter with our address incase the adoptive parents ever need/want it.

Karl and I are so grateful for the experience.
I definitely think it was a time of teaching (a lot of things, one being patience).
And we're praying, praying, praying that God will lead the right kids in to our home when we get a call.
I don't think I could do such challenging behaviors that come with ADHD for the normal 9 months - 1 year.