Saturday, January 4, 2014

This is us

I'm feeling fresh and inspired so far in 2014. My New Year's resolution is to blog more. Get excited..

I thought I'd kick us off with a little catch up post to get everyone familiar again:

Me: 2013 kicked my butt every which way but up. I got stuck in the grief of losing Baby 7 and 8. It was very isolating. I watched other people lose children to illness this year, and their process was so much different from mine. Other people came out and grieved with them. There were ceremonies, meal trains, and shared memories. No one else around me knew the twins or really understood why I was so broken. There was no good time to talk about it. So many people still don't know, but the experience factors into who I am now and how I live- so sometimes I don't make sense to bystanders. I have taken my role as caregiver to my medically complex daughter very seriously, and I'm still learning to balance being Mommy with being Advocate /MMA fighter. The behaviors of our oldest have shaken my confidence as a parent, which has turned out to be a blessing in the end. I'm learning to accept that I'm not good enough and can not  muster enough control on my own to heal my children. Only Jesus can make them whole. Only Jesus can take what I have to offer in the way of love and determination, and turn it into everything my children need. It's not my job to be everything. It's my job to introduce them to the God that made them and loves them. Realizing I'm not good enough has been very freeing.

This is us. With babies 2 & 3!!

Brandon: I honestly can't say much for Brandon. He was laid off in the beginning of the year, and then found 2 jobs that he couldn't pick between, so he took them both. He loves our kids. He bought us all head lamps when the power went out in December. Unfortunately we don't see much of him around here. His resolution this year is to get settled in a less ridiculous schedule. His prospects are looking up.

Baby 4: Is doing awesome in the small Christian school we started him in last year. He is completely de-classified, and in general education with no services. His academics are on par. The teacher said she would place him smack dab in the middle of the class for reading and math skill. He's working on his behavior and constant talking. Right now he maintains a steady job of shoveling snow to pay off a broken window that occurred in November. Visits are still the same as they have been forever. We go to court in January where the plan is to adjourn the case until February.
Our Power Ranger, Boots, and Dora the Explorer

Baby Girl: Just turned 2!! My how time flies. She is taking a few steps independently. Using American Sign Language to communicate. She has around 20 signs, and is picking up everything we show her. We are going to be trying hearing aids later this month, but ASL will still likely be her primary language. That means we're all learning ASL!! We've gotten a lot of bad news about her health in the past few months, but she is feeling fine on a day to day level. It's more the long term stuff that's scary. She's back on oxygen and her ventilator 24/7 which was a huge step back from just being on the vent at night with no oxygen over the summer. We have 5 nurses that come into our home 16hrs/day to help care for her. They are awesome, but it is a huge adjustment to have someone in your home all the time. Baby Girl has gotten used to one on one attention from adults, and it leaves us worried about how that will complicate her life when they are gone. She has Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Special Ed, Teacher for the Deaf, and Speech Therapy at the house 5 days/week- leaving limited room for all her princess duties like stealing 4's toys, getting into the dog food, or emptying the Tupperware drawer.

Baby 9: Is a firecracker!! She just turned 8 months old and is: cruising along furniture, climbing steps, self weaned to table food, saying "Dada", "Hey!", "Ah Ma" (that would be my name), giving kisses, clapping, and waving bye-bye. She's wearing 18 month clothes, and has enough hair for two tiny whale spout pigtails. She's the sweetest little cuddlebug. She's super sensitive and her feelings get hurt pretty easily- but her sad, pouty lip face when you've told her no or taken a small object out of her hand before she gets it in her mouth is the cutest thing around. I literally might eat her up like I threaten to all the time because she's so stinkin' cute. Her situation is really up in the air. Everything was chugging right along towards reunification until just about Thanksgiving. Now she is definitely staying for a while and possibly forever- with the understanding that could all change again whenever. She went from no visits, to 6 weekly visits including overnights, to no visits again. She's so resilient, but I wish she didn't have to be.

This is us. Keep an eye out of more posts. I'm feeling hopeful... This is our year!


  1. I am a former foster child and I can tell you right now that this blog is so wrong!!!!!

    DO you not respect the foster care kids privacy?

    1. Respect... Well, I don't call them foster care kids- so that's a start. Children's identity does not lie in whether or not they are wards of the state.

      From there, I do not share the reason why they are in care or characteristics that make them identifiable. I do not show their faces or share their names. I do not go into detail about their behavior either- rather I share the impact that fostering has had on our family. The only child in this post whose face and situation was openly shared in this post has never been in foster care. I carefully consider what my children would want shared before posting. I'm sure that when my daughter is grown, she will not mind the world knowing she was a "firecracker". I also know that my son has no problems with people knowing that he no longer qualifies for special education because he is doing so well in school, and judging by his telling everyone with ears why he has to shovel- he doesn't mind me sharing the broken window either. Many young boys have broken a window or two- whether they are in foster care or not- so that is not identifiable information. My children's private affairs are kept private.

    2. There is NOTHING disrespectful about this blog! What is disrespectful is you and your comments. You are clearly angry and hurt, and my heart aches for what you've been through but there is no reason to attack these people.

      I recently found this blog and have worked my way all the way to this post from the beginning, reading every. single. post. Why? Because my husband and I are waiting on our license to come back from the state and are trying to absorb as much as we can to be the BEST foster parents we can be. Are there bad foster parents/foster homes out there? Yes. In fact, the bad ones are the reason my husband and I decided to become foster parents instead of "just" going down the adoption path. No one denies that they are out there and that things need to be done to fix that problem but being angry at the good ones does NOTHING to fix that. You think the bad ones are out there blogging about their experiences, (posts you clearly haven't read, by the way) getting additional training and doing everything they can for these kids?

      The children who have been in their care have never been named and their faces never shown. They are literally 'just' numbers to the readers. Names of other people involved are not given either. No privacy has been disrespected. Not in a single post.

  2. I wish the system gave me loving foster parents. Instead they gave me to pedophiles. Did you know there is a chance that those kids already came from good homes? I am not saying that's the case but saying there is a CHANCE.

    1. My heart aches for you and whatever happened that made you resent the foster care system. I wish the system had given you loving foster parents as well, but Teresa and her husband fight up and down for their children's wellbeing and don't deserve to be accused of any wrongdoings. I plan on becoming a foster parent to better the lives of as many children as possible, give them my entire heart and all the love I have, and be the best mom I can be. There are good foster parents out there, and I am so incredibly sorry that you didn't receive the love and family you deserved.

  3. Hello,

    Do you want to post my old group home workers photos on your blog? He pleaded guilty to assaulting a female co - worker. He sexually fondled her during the night shift. Its all over the news.