Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Oh So Much to Say!

As soon as I decided we were definitely NOT going to Missouri this Christmas and could rearrange our budget accordingly, Todd's brother called and guess what? We're going to Missouri! We have a new nephew, sweet baby Renzo and we have been asked to be his God parents! We are so honored and so excited! Besides I just can't wait to get some baby snuggle time! He is just the cutest little dude EVER! Guess I better start rearranging the budget again! hahaha The girls are doing well, we have been able to avoid the hospital for almost 2 weeks at this point (Girlfriend was in the hospital twice in 2 weeks for breathing stuff). Their Momma is doing well, has a house even! Now if she can maintain she should be on the right track to getting her girls back! She has to remain employed, continue passing drug tests, keep the house going, and make good decisions. The girls got to spend a solid 4 hours with her Monday and had a great time! Girlfriend is so funny! Her personality is really starting to come out now that she can communicate with us! She is so sassy and all drama all the time! She talks about Lane Michael non stop and is usually badgering him to give her a piggy back ride. Her favorite toy is usually the one Ryan is holding and most of her evenings are spent on a kitchen stool helping me cook. Little Miss is Girlfriends polar opposite. She's rambunctious and silly! Just goofy all the time! On the rare occasion she does get herself into trouble it's for her defiant little attitude! She has no desire to be told what to do and isn't going to listen until given no other alternative. But as sassy as she is, it usually quickly melts into her normal hugs and giggles! This girl gives the best hugs! With Christmas right around the corner, we're trying to get everything ready and this year is our least organized to date! We don't have a tree or decorations up! We don't have shopping done...not even really close! Nothing up, very little bought, nothing prepped! Makes me sad! I love Christmas and want it to last as long as possible! Maybe we can get the decorations up this weekend since we'll be out of town next weekend! We have all the kids biggest gifts bought and just have a few stocking stuffers and a few small things. We're all really excited for Christmas this year! I have so much to do and hope we can get it all done but with Todd in one of his hardest semesters to date, I just dont know how we'll have time...I always have kids with me and he's always doing homework...maybe after bedtime one night!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Before writing anything I should update my last post, the title Permanency may have been misleading. There has been no new news in the girls case. We are just no longer ABLE to have children of our own. and that is a good thing. onto my regular post. Todd and I feel lead to be right where we are. We feel like we are working God's plan for our life. We feel as though His hand is in our lives right now, sculpting us for....something. We don't know his plan, won't pretend to, but what we do know is that we feel right about what we're doing. Others who have foster, adopted or ever stepped out of the boat may know what I'm talking about. What I didn't expect is for our family to be so....opposed to what we're doing. Especially my family that has always been so open to new and more people. My family is resentful of us for fostering. It not only took me by surprise but it hurt. Like HURTS still...I thought this person would not only support us but even...enjoy this, embrace it...something. Everyone is wonderful to the girls, please don't get me wrong! They are treated like absolute princesses but from a few people, its just surface...sad but you can't change other people.

Friday, October 26, 2012


I will not go into details but I'm rather excited that as of today (SQUEE) there will be no more pregnancies for me! YAY!! that is all.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How Visits Affect our Life

Visits is by far the best and worst part of foster care. Sometimes from this end it seems like the cons outweigh the pros. I know that they are necessary, I wouldn't have it any other way. I want the girls to remain bonded to their mother, and I want them to get to see her, again I wouldn't want to change that. But visits are for so many reasons exhausting. First of all, twice every week we have to drive 20 minutes to visit, entertain ourselves for 2 hours and then drive another 20 minutes home, once we are home, Little Miss is usually fine but Girlfriend, oh what a hard night she has. Last night for instance she spent her entire evening laying on my chest whining while we played on the computer, watched TV, folded laundry or whatever it was we were trying to do. While cooking supper she either spent her time sitting at my feet whining or crying or she sat on a stool beside me holding my shirt....and if we weren't doing that, we were holding hands. Then at bedtime she is terrified and I spend probably 15 minutes reassuring her that we'll be there in the morning, that she will sleep in her bed and I will sleep in mine. When she finally drifts off to sleep, I tip toe out of her room, usually waking her and starting the process over. As if she isn't sad and miserable enough, she is still hurting/confused the next day while she acts out, becomes aggressive and still borderline clingy. None of this is meant as a complaint, I just feel so bad for Girlfriend, she's never her usual spunky, active confident self...and all of this was avoidable.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Challenging Myself

I think this year I'll challenge myself. I want to take time and make some Christmas gifts for my children...pinterest has been kind enough to provide some ideas for the girls such as an owl pillow, princess crowns,and a run around bag (which I've been wanting for me for sometime so I'll be making mine at the same time), and for Ryan I want to make a sleeping bag, and maybe a sock money...but for the big boys I'm struggling a little more. They're harder in general because they're so into all things technology...I just don't know where to go from here for them. I need some ideas! I'm hoping Pinterest will help me out over the next few weeks!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Boys of Fall

My Boys of Fall. Oh be still my heart! LITTLE MONSTER

Sweet, kind, handsome, funny and look at the size of those hands! He has my Dad's hands...My Dad's hands were square, muscular, strong. And never once raised to us. And in comparison to the rest of Ethan his hands are massive, square and thick. In football they call Ethan "Little Monster" we're told it's because when the coach tells him to blow through the line, he blows through (he's first string on the line and second string running back)! They underestimate his power because he's so small. But then he surprises us all and takes on even the biggest boys! At church the other night, a big kid (probably middle school) stopped Ethan on our way out the door and said "you're the beast at football right?" Ethan's been beaming for days! TACO
Smart, funny, lives in his own show tune, this oh my! At football they call him Taco...we have no idea why. Lane plays first string on the line and is second string Center. And in recent practices he's been the Tackling Taco! Known to bring down the big boys during a scrimmage and very rarely sits the bench! It's such a big difference from last year when they only played a few plays during the last quarter. I'm sad to see football come to a close but so excited to get a good schedule going!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Adjustment Time

I went to this blog today:

and found this list:

from the day they arrive to the day they leave, and our experience goes something like this:

1. Aliens - That's what they are when they first arrive, strange little people invading our home and snatching away all our free time. The most commonly heard sentence around our house is I can't take one more hour of this.

2. Armageddon - Chaos ensues as our schedules conflict, or rather, as they reveal that they've never had any kind of schedule and throw hour-long tantrums at the words "bath time" and "bed time." The phrase of this stage is I can't take one more day of this.

3. Acclimation - We're getting comfortable now, which means that the day progresses more smoothly, but it also means that they are testing their limits, trying to tell if we really mean that they will get a time-out for throwing toys and hitting their sisters. I can't take one more week of this.

4. Alignment - Schedules and personalities begin to smooth, mostly. For the first time, we're more stressed about upcoming court dates than the end of their daily nap. I can't go on like this forever.

5. Attachment - This is a lie because we've been getting attached to them and they to us from the very first hour. But now you can really see it. Now we're not just strangers, not just babysitters, but something that resembles of family, and the phrase that embodies this stage is the most difficult one: I can't stand the thought of letting you go.

When the girls first arrived, I didn’t think our family could take the stress they’ve brought to our life. Today I confided in my mom that I’m having panic attacks, and she says it’s the girls…it is. And it isn’t. It’s the girls plus football. It’s the girls plus a job change. It’s the girls plus….life. I think I’m right now inbetween Armageddon and Acclimation because I’m still adjusting to them and our new schedule but they’ve adjusted to our home and our schedule. I’m hoping by next week we’re in full blown Acclimation and by Halloween to being well on our way to Alignment!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

All About the Kids

Of course I've never posted about my girls so I'll start with them!

Little Miss is so spunky, and cute, she's the smaller of the twins and is just beautiful! When she laughs, her whole face lights up and you can't help but laugh with her. However she only has 3 ranges of personality, laughing, screaming and sleeping LOL This girl can go a mile a minute and I'm so excited to get her into gymnastics. Last night she was laying on my kitchen floor on her belly, she brought her legs around and sat up into the splits and then finished bringing them around to have them straight in front of her. I think she'll really excel in tumbling! Little Miss at first really took to men, she was leery of women but with men she'd spot one in a crowd and that would be her buddy for the rest of the day. She would lay her head on their chest and just sigh, pat their back and snuggle in for the long run. But slowly she's coming around, I try hard to bond with her since she seems a little more resistent to me. After spending some time with her and her mom though I can see that Girlfriend eats up lots of Mom's attention so I try very hard to help her bond with me. Little Miss loves playing with babies, loves getting all dolled up and LOVES going outside to play! She hasn't discovered TV yet and we kind of hope that's a ways off. When she came to live with us, she had NO words, she couldn't say please, thank you, eat, more. nothing. In the 3 months we've had her she has started saying please, thank you, I want a cup, no, and so much more! I'm really proud of the progress she's made! She also goes to bed easier now! She used to lay in her bed and scream, so we started letting them watch a show and fall asleep in the living room, then move them to their bed, we now start getting them ready for bed about 8:30 and they are in their bed by 9, asleep within 20 minutes. I love this girl, she reminds me of Ethan when he was an itty bitty!

Girlfriend...oh how do I describe this girl in a way that you can get a real picture of who she is? hm. She is a bull in a china shop, a tank, a moose, loving, sweet, rambunctious and funny, oh this girl is funny! While walking the other day she decided it would be fun to walk like an ogre or....a hunchback. she bends down, closes one eye, limps and makes a noise like a yetti! It's hysterical! She's much more vocal and aggressive than her sister, loves the boys but is kind of rough with them! Graceful she is not! but she does keep us laughing! OH how I love her! This weekend my step brothers girlfriend asked Girlfriend if she'd like to come stay with them and she shook her head no. In an effort to make a joke I asked Girlfriend if she wanted to come home with me and SHE SAID YES! Haha not the answer I was expecting so about an hour later step brother's girlfriend asked again "Girlfriend, do you want to come to my house?" and Girlfriend shook her head no and pointed to me! I think she's starting to bond and even developing some stranger danger!

I guess I'll just continue backwards up the chain.

Ryan is such a little man! So much like my father! I can't believe how much he's like my dad...every day there is something that I think "man dad, really?" Ryan is funny, sarcastic, smart, and kind. We need to work on him standing up for himself though, he has such a tolerance for others, won't push back, won't hit back, won't stand up for himself. But we're working on it, I'm hoping before preschool he will better about it. Ryan has an amazing vocabulary for a *just* 3. He's protective of his siblings, and loves his dad! Ryan doesn't really play with toys, he rides bikes, fixes things around the house and spends much of his time snuggled in my bed watching his show (trying to escape the volume of the girls). Ryan is the perfect middle child because he's confident enough to tell us his needs and not allow himself to be pushed aside. He also adores his older brothers, wants to be just like them, wants to do everything they do! Thank goodness they adore him and allow him to follow them where ever they go!

Ethan oh this boy! He definitely keeps us on our toes! He's such a good boy! Strong and independent, wants to be a leader, a good friend, a good person, Wants to be just like his dad, talks often of growing up and having a family, this is new, just since the girls arrival has he recognized that he wants kids. His world right now revolves around football, he plays football as often as he can, throwing the ball around with his Lane Michael, or his dad. Ethan is one of those boys who sleeps with his football and wants to wear cleats to school! But there is NO denying how much he loves his little brother (and sisters). Last night while I was doing one the hair of Little Miss, he snuggled with Girlfriend to help her get calm for bed. And it's Ethan I find snuggled in with Ryan when Ryan wakes through the night. This boy never ceases to amaze me.

Which brings me to Lane Michael, who is...goofy, and easy going, kind, and has such a heart for Jesus. I just can't wait to see what God has in store for this boy! Lane Michael is so smart, I never worry about his school work but encourage him regularly, reminding him stay on top of his grades so that he can get into medical school. He has decided he wants to be either a chef or a doctor, and as an adult I'd like for him to have all the opportunities in the world because this boy can do ANYTHING he puts his mind to! I'm excited to watch him grow up! I'm sure he'll make me proud!

Have you ever felt inadequate at something? Yah parenting is my thing! I feel like any other parent could/would do such a better job! My kids have the potential to be great, I just hope I'm doing enough to help them get there!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Things I didn't understand before having foster children

I had no idea before having foster children what it would actually be like. A list of things I always wondered: every foster child comes with a stipend, it's not enough, no one gets rich doing this and it certainly isn't worth it to be "in it for the money" every child has their own history, and not everyone needs to know what that history is. foster children will not always want to live with foster parents, just becuase it's safe doesn't mean they want to be there foster children can play hell on your self confidence, mine don't always prefer me over strangers I don't want to hear horror stories about babies going home. just because we signed up to send them home doesn't make it any easier when we have to actually send them home, we will bond to them, love them and yes send them home. these kids change your life. I don't mean your outlook on life (although they do that too) they change your schedule, your family life, how you spend time, what you teach your children, everything. visits, worth while, appreciate that the birth parents need them as do the children, it's a huge pain in the rear for scheduling! the parents aren't always the monsters movies make them out to be, and sometimes they are. your family won't always love the children they way you do. (this one shocked me) you now have to be careful about pictures of your family being taken and what will be done with those photos. bio kids might get more attached to foster children than we realized (Ryan might require a lot of therapy) every foster child/case is different and so there are no answers to the million questions you have before your foster child arrives.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

1 month left of summer

Todd is almost done with his summer classes, it can't come fast enough! It feels like my kids haven't even gotten a summer! They've been cooped up in the house all day every day! It's not Todd's fault, he has to get his work done but it ends up being a lot of hours in the house (plus it's been too hot to go outside!) as soon as he is done with school though, it is ON! I mean seriously, the rest of our summer will be crazy! We have football from here on, the only week we have off is for fair! Next week is fair, the week after I'm taking the week off and we are going to Tennessee! Woot Woot! As soon as we get home from vacation, the girls have their 2nd birthday! The next weekend is Ryan's birthday but since Todd has drill that weekend, we will celebrate on the 25th! The week after that the boys go back to school! Todd has a lot of summer catch up to do!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Life Changes In Just One Month

What hasn't changed since this time last month. I started my new position at work! On June 28, 2006 I started as the investigator for the County Veterans Service Commission. On July 1, 2012 I started as the director for the County Veterans Service Commission. Back in December my boss retired and they replaced him with someone who just wasn't right for the job. He resigned in April. They brought Doug back in as the temp director until they were able to figure out a direction they were going to move in. Todd and I were out on a grown up date to the Japanese steak house when the president of my board called and asked if I was interested in the directors position. um YES! Since then they brought on a new guy as the investigator. I really like him! He has more potential than anyone I've seen in a long time! He's motivated, nice, funny and he WANTS to do well! That's HUGE! Our family size has...well you know, jumped from 5 to 7! Nothing is like it was! Not one thing in our life wasn't turned upside down by this! These little people are amamzing! Ryan is taking it all in stride and loves having the girls around. Although he does struggle with the idea of them going home. Lane and Ethan are being such good boys and are SO mature all of a sudden! It seems having the girls around has really helped them to mature. We also started football this week! The boys are so excited and are playing hard! The coach has already commented on their passion and drive and said he's excited to see what they can do this year. I'm so excited for them! Life is good. We're in a great place right now but we also know that at any moment everything could change.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ready to Slow Down

I think we'll wait forever to slow down...and be sad when we do. Last night was our last baseball game until tournaments. Thank goodness! And Todd will finish this semester in about a month...and then he'll be off for 2 months. When he does go back, his schedule will be nearly the same as a school schedule (out at 3) It will be so nice to have a co-parent again! Right now we're each solo parenting...Todd through the days and me through the evenings. It's not bad...just busy. SO much to do, laundry, dishes, yardwork, etc and only a few hours to do it in. As soon as we get a chance to slow down though, things will pick right up again with football and other summer activities. I am glad though that we only have 2 big kids to keep up with instead of 5 in sports and activities and friends...I think I'll go make a chore chart so that we can better stay on top of things!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Family of 7

We've officially been a temporary family of 9 since last Friday...nearly a fully week and we've loved every minute of it! Our big boys have been such a huge blessing and such big helpers! They've been helpful and loving, and shown nearly no jealousy for all the little kids. Ryan has taken to the role of big brother like he was made for it! He's so in love with these 2 little girls and has started (without our encouragement) calling them his sisters. And the girls? They're amazing! To have been through so much and to be such beautiful and well behaved little girls...amazing! They have so much potential and love a good routine! Mouse has really taken to me, she's adorable, rough and tumble, out going and just a good girl all around, while Girlfriend is definitely Todd's little girl! She's sweet and shy, but seems to be drawn to men. A funny side story, the girls are bi-racial, and saw a friend's son (who happens to also be bi-racial and probably the first bi-racial person they'd seen since coming to our home) and Girlfriend just couldn't take her eyes off him when she finally got to him she wouldn't let him put her down. He was such a good boy and held her for a good 15 minutes but never left my side with her. It was so sweet! We're having a great time with these girls, for as long as they're here! and Todd seemed to really like their Mom when he met her today! which is amazing! No one gets this lucky for their first placement! We're truly blessed!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Placement. or TWO

Respite care must have gone well. Well enough for them to have called us again today with a placement for 2 little girls. Twins. They are a year old, will be 2 in a few months. I can't give many details here but Todd will be picking them up tomorrow morning at Next County Agency.

Friday, May 25, 2012

I should rename this blog!

The title of my blog (Diabetes, Loss and Adoption) no longer fits what I write about. I rarely mention Lane's diabetes...mainly because it's such a small aspect of our every day life. To put that much thought into it is exhausting and instead of focusing on that, I choose to focus on other things...better things. Loss...? well I don't believe we've "lost" Braden...we know right where he is, waiting for us in glory! And Adoption...well adoption is no longer the goal and foster care is no longer a means to an end. We don't know where we're headed. We have no "goal", no desired end result...just a path, and right now our path is raising 3 incredible men and listening for God's call. That being said, he is pushing us out of our comfort zone! You see, we just got a call to do respite care...for 2 of these boys is older than I agreed to be licensed for. The only reason I'm agreeing to this placement is because Todd is home full time with them and it is short term. We will set up rules and a schedule so that there is no opportunity for funny business but I am nervous that our caseworker will continue to push us out of our comfort zone. I must stand my ground though for long term placements.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Now We Wait

We are DONE! Right now we're waiting for Next County to get our license done. They'll send it to the state after they're done, our licensing worker said they work quickly and then we go on the "real" waiting list. BUT we know it will be some time before we get a call, and we're ok with that. We know we are happy with our family as it is right now. Well...most of us are. Ryan however is rather confused by the whole process. He has asked several times if we can just go get baby K (a little dude at the babysitters) or baby R (my cousin's new baby). Ryan is definitely ready to play the big brother role. Last night he told me to "go get a baby" and since he brought it up, I thought it might be a good time to talk about it. This is how that went: Me: Ryan do you want a girl baby or a boy baby? Ryan: a baby Me: Who will hold the baby? Ryan: Momma will hold baby Me: Who will feed the baby? Ryan: Me...Ryan will feed baby Me: Do you think I could feed the baby? Ryan: No Momma. Ryan feed baby, Momma hold baby. Go get my baby. Go get bottles. Me: What will we feed the baby? Ryan: bottles. Not nuggets. Not apples. Go get bottles. I love the way his little mind works. Obviously he has been talk to J (babysitter) about what not to feed the babies.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Growing Apart...or Growing Up?

I don't know what to do with a relationship that I seem to be outgrowing. A relationship that was with my best friend. And now? we have very little in common. Conversations are short. Because we just don't live in the same world. Our peers are different. Are in a different place in life. We used to do everything together, now we barely see each other. In the beginning we could talk for hours, now neither of us have much to say. We might talk about how our day was, kids, family...? But there's no conversation. We just seem to have outgrown each other. Not for lack of love or trying. But in order to really salvage the relationship, we'd both have to make some major life changes. Changes I'm not willing to make right now. I am in a good place in my life and it obviously centers around my children and career. We just happen to be on different paths...I think we both notice the difference...I'm just the only one willing to admit it. I just don't know how to fix us.

This post actually describes several people in my life right now...and it's probably not you.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Very Bad Weekend

I can’t even put into words how bad this weekend was. I could tell you all of the events of the weekend. But it won’t do the weekend justice. It was just bad. It started off ok, I took the afternoon off Friday to get a start on the house since we have a homevisit on Tuesday (today), so I cleaned our bedroom, sorted through winter and summer clothes for the kids, and got us packed up for the weekend.

This is where I’ll stop and tell the POTENTIAL plans for this weekend. We were supposed to meet my cousin in Lexington and hand off the kids to them, they’ll keep the kids for the weekend while we’re in training in Cinci.Then we’d meet back in Lexington and trade back.

That’s not what happened.

We got on the road late, about an hour late. Hit Dayton at 5 on Friday afternoon. Traffic. Hit Cincinnati and more traffic. Sat in a traffic jam for 45 minutes. At 7:45 we passed through Cincinnati (cousins had been in Lexington since 7 at this point). Realized Ryan had broken out in hives, stopped at Kroger to get Benadryl, called the sitter to see if he had gotten into anything that day. He had not.

Finally at 8:30, we traded off children, they headed to the Georgia line and we headed to the Ohio line. Finally got to our room at 11:30…and if we thought that was late….omg. My poor cousin (who should have gotten in at 1:30 finally got in at 6 am due to a traffic jam).

So Sunday at 4 pm, we headed back to Lexington…this time it was our turn to wait. And wait. And wait. There was a huge 6 car pile up, a very bad accident which closed the highway for 6 hours. At 12:30 my cousin and her husband arrived in Lexington. By then we knew it was too late for any of us to get back on the road so Todd rented a hotel room where we all crashed for a few hours. It was a long night. The next morning we all got up and headed home.

Please know I get just how lucky we all were this weekend. An hour or even a half hour difference and my kids could have been IN that accident, instead of in the traffic caused by the accident. I know just how blessed we are!

To add to the chaos, I had a miscarriage this weekend. Not that I wanted to be pregnant. Just a lot of stuff that goes along with that. I had a positive pregnancy test on Friday, and a negative test on Saturday.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Foster Training sessions in Cinci

Training last weekend was the same as it was last time.
Training last weekend was vastly different from the last time we went through it.
The difference?
Was in the trainer.
Is in us.
We are on a different journey.
This is not a means to an end.
Our hearts have been transformed.
We, of course, don’t want to say good-bye to the children we will undoubtedly love.
We don’t want our children’s hearts to be broken.
But as a mother, I can’t imagine not being with my children.
Not seeing them daily.
Hearing the giggles.
Watching them learn.
Helping them grow.
So the difference?

The difference is in us.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Patchwork Family

I have a very dear friend whom I love dearly.
She and I are always out and about with our brood in tow (7 boys total all between the ages of 2 and 9 years old).
That many boys begs a lot of questions, usually start with how many, what ages and then always without fail "who belongs to who?"
Which usually is promply answered by my dear friend who says "the 4 that look like me, are mine"
And I silently think "I have the patchwork kids".
My children may not look alike, act alike, and although no one would look at a picture of my kids and say "no denying whose kids those are" they compliment each other beautifully.
Ethan with is black hair, blue eyes, quick whit and servants heart.
Lane Michael with his brown hair, brown eyes, sensitive soul and heart on his sleeve.
Ryan with his blonde hair, blue eyes, strong-will and beautiful spirit.
Each so different, so independent from one another, unique.
Sewn together beautifully when God himself formed our family.
I love that my dear friend can say that her children are all replicas of her, I used to envy her that.
Now I enjoy my patchwork family.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Wanting to re-do my bathrooms (basement and upstairs)

I have a decent sized bathroom upstairs (our only bathrooms are upstairs and in the basement). In the bathroom upstairs we currently have wall's a busy wallpaper...not my favorite and it's everything. Including the ceiling. yah. yuck. But the bathroom has tons of potential! It has a beautiful wood surround on the tub and just really pretty wood work. the mirror is large with wood surround and opens up. So whatever I do with the bathroom, it has to go well with a dark wood; which does kind of limit my options a little (especially since I'm not willing to paint any of the wood). So here are some things I took from P*interest that I'm liking and thinking for the upstairs bathroom:

I love this color, but would want to change out my light fixtures.

I don't know that this color would go as well with the dark wood but love it.

This bathroom will never happen but if I could have my dream bathroom,

I imagineit might look something like this. swoon!

This is most likely what I'll end up doing in my bathroom.

Something mutedbut with a pop of color!

Look at that light fixture!

and this is what I'll be doing to the basement bathroom.

I've already decided!

The basement bathroom is also wall papered (ceiling and all - weird) so I'll also be changing that up a bit but I think this would be fast, and inexpensive! and VERY pretty! I think my husband (hint hint hunny) could even take these very cook barefoot/sand/beach pictures for me this summer at the beach when he does the (hint hint hunny) pics I've been waiting for (the ones for the back porch). A can of primer and a can of this color and the painting is to find the time!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Raising Brothers

Last night, I had the pleasure of witnessing one of my favorite things about brothers. Lane Michael was walking a few feet in front of us, he was unhappy because we had once again had to remind him that not every conversation (this one about downs syndrome) was about him. Ethan caught up to him and put his hand on Lane's back and was whispering something in his ear, I could hear him enough to know it was rapping/singing and occasionally Lane Michael would laugh at whatever Ethan had said. They walked like this for nearly a block before they saw Schneiders Market and took of running/racing to pick their treat for the night. such a special moment in their life, and I got to observe it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Philosophy Part 5

When and how to discipline:

So that everyone knows what to expect, our family has set up a few basic rules

1. Do as you’re told, the first time you’re told
2. Clean up after yourself
3. Respect yourself and others
4. Hands to yourself
5. Act lovingly
6. No talking back or lying

If it doesn’t fall under one of these 6 categories, it’s not a punishable offense.

For discipline, we use as many natural consequences as possible. We also use a 3 strike system, after being told,
Strike 1 warning
Strike 2 lose a privilege for a day or more
Strike 3 black out

Blackout is a system used in severe cases (we have only used this technique twice). In short, all privileges are temporarily revoked, leaving the child with books, and basic clothing, the child looses screen time, toys and free time until amends have been made.

Philosophy Part 4

Morals and values:

We hope to instill so many of the Christian morals and values into our children, helping them to become good, loving men. Beyond that, we are working to instill honestly, integrity, service to others, self respect and hard work. We hope they’re honest, not only to us, but to their significant others, each other and most of all to themselves. Our family has made hobbies and careers from serving others, working as police men, charity work, and a service officer, not to mention a long line of military service, it’s important not just to us but for society. Self respect is a value that sadly seems to have gone by the way side in children and young adults. So many young men don’t care enough about their appearance to pull their pants up, wear a belt, get a haircut or use the English language properly, but this isn’t a problem exclusive to guys, young women have stopped dressing appropriately and acting like young ladies. We also want our children to know hard work, we want them be to know the feeling of going to bed tired, and appreciating the fruits of their labor, but not just physical labor, but hard work academically, to reach their full potential.

Philosophy Part 3

The ideal home environment:

For our family we have tried a few different techniques to create the home environment that works best for us. There are a few things we know we want to use and a few things that just don’t work for our family and our children. A strong routine has given our family time together, organization and our children expectations. We also know that some flexibility is good in our routine to allow for fun activities together. A structured system for discipline allows our children to know what is expected of them and to know what to expect if they should happen to break one of our rules. We also feel it’s important to show affection when welcomed. I think one of the most important aspects of our home is being a team, when we work together to get our chores done we have more free time. I have found that when we’re out about at a store or running errands, a simple reminder to my boys to “be on my team” reminds them to not work against me, but to work with me. It reminds them that the sooner I’ve finished up, the sooner we can get to something more enjoyable. It’s been a great tool for our family

Child Care Plan

The people we have chosen to leave our kids with are kind, patient, capable people. They are qualified to handle medical situations and high stress environments.
Child care programs should offer structure, stability and age appropriate education. I would also insist the staff be qualified to handle medical and emergency situations.
As we both work outside the home, we have a child care provider here in town. Julie is kind, loving, and patient. She has cared for our own children for nearly 3 years. During summers, since Todd is a student, and hopes to teach, he right now has summers off, so our children are home with him.
Lynne’s mother is an alternative care provider for their children for date nights and in emergency situations.
If any of our children are sick, Lynne usually takes the day off work to stay home with that child, unless Todd is available that day (currently Tuesday and Thursday he is home through the day and has evening classes).
Currently in our area, we have our child care provider (Julie Hoelscher), New Beginnings (a daycare/preschool) and the YMCA, along with several other available facilities in the area.


HI, We’re Todd and Lynne
Todd Michael Skaggs was born November 16, 1978 in St. Louis MO to Dennis and Diana Skaggs and raised by Dennis and Judy (step-mom) outside a small town in Lynn, MO.
Lynne Cecile Clementz Skaggs was born March 21, 1982 in Lima, Ohio to Lou and Laura Clementz and raised outside of Spencerville, Ohio.
Todd and Lynne are both the youngest of large families; Todd has 7 half brothers and 2 step brothers while Lynne has one brother and 3 half sisters. Todd’s biological mother Diana has 5 other sons, Sean, Lee, Scott George and Pat, Todd has not had contact with this side of his family since he was 5 years old when his mother stopped visitations with him. However he has 4 other brothers who he was raised with. Michael DeLuca lives in Missouri with his family, Todd seldom hears from him other than an occasional e-mail. Mike, married to Wendy, battled a short bought with cancer before passing away in 2011. Patrick Skaggs, married to Cara lives in Missouri, and Todd is able to see him on the occasional trip to Missouri but they remain close through Facebook and phone calls. Pete DeLuca, married to Amanda, also lives in Missouri and much like Todd’s relationship with Patrick, they see each other on the occasional visit and through Facebook and phone calls. Lynne’s one brother Louis Clementz is married to Andrea, they currently live in Arizona and have limited contact with family. Amy lives in Pennsylvania with her current significant other but she hasn’t been in touch in 10 years or more. Heather Newport-Franks lives with her husband Tony, in Lima, Ohio but since taking on the role of care taker for her ailing mother (cancer), she too is no longer in contact with the family. Gina lives in Urbana, Ohio with her children , Gina and Lynne see each other as often as possible, holidays, special occasions and the off weekend when no one has sporting events (which isn’t often).
As a kid Todd’s parents were strict, often using hard labor and spankings, Todd’s parents’ strategies aren’t something he sees as effective or something he’d choose to use in his own home. As a kid, Lynne’s parents used a variety of techniques when disciplining, she was lucky to be #5 and have the advantage of learning from her siblings’ mistakes but the 2 forms of punishment they used most often were spankings and groundings but disappointment is what actually worked on her. She’s always wanted so badly to please her parents, when she failed to do that it really seemed to hit home.

June, 1996 Todd left his home in Lynn Missouri and moved with friends in St. Louis. During the summer of 98, Todd left his home for basic combat training with the United States Army, after completing his first round of training; he went back to Missouri to finish his senior year of high school. After high school graduation in 1999, Todd returned to the US Army and continued his 6 years of service. While Lynne also joined the United States Army between her junior and senior year in high school, she did not leave for basic training until after high school graduation in 2000. After training, she was stationed in Germany where she and Todd met.
No one often spoke of sex in Todd’s home growing up, which may have led to his early sexual maturity. Lynne being raised in a close knit community, a Christian home, she was sexually a late bloomer. Sex wasn’t often spoken of but there was an open invitation if she had any questions or concerns.
Todd graduated from Affton High School in 1999 and after 10 years, he returned to school at Findlay University studying high school education on target to graduate spring of 2013. Lynne graduated from high school in 2000 from Spencerville, and while she hasn’t gone back to college yet, she does plan to go back to school after Todd has graduated.
Before going back to college in 2009, Todd drove truck for 5 years; however driving truck is physically exhausting, and kept Todd from being as active in his family as he liked which led him to change directions and go back to school. Lynne worked at a bank for 3 years before landing a dream job as a veteran’s service officer for Auglaize County nearly 6 years ago; helping veterans apply and get the benefits they are entitled to through their service.
Todd and Lynne after sharing 10 significant years of their life together, identify many of the same major life events. They have both been changed forever by each other, by the birth of their children, the diagnosis of diabetes in one of their sons, and by the loss of their son Braden and Lynne’s father Lou. Todd and Lynne were both also shaped by their time in service and are still being shaped by their faith and religion.
Todd and Lynne have neither one been married previously, or even in a serious relationship before meeting one another and have no children outside of the three they have together.
While Todd and Lynne don’t suffer from fertility issues, they did lose a son in the 39th week of his pregnancy. While they still obviously grieve the loss of Braden, they have come so far, and made peace with his death, most days.
Todd and Lynne are both relatively healthy, however, Lynne had her thyroid removed in 2007 and will have her gall bladder out soon. She is currently taking Synthroid to keep her hormone levels in check. Neither has ever struggled with any addiction but Todd was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder shortly after returning from his deployment to Iraq. His PTSD is well managed through organization of the home, routine, remaining busy and through his religion. While we have very little medical history for Todd, we do know both families have a strong history of autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, epilepsy, MS, and celiac disease.
Neither Todd nor Lynne have ever committed any crime, and have stayed out of trouble.
Todd is active in the Ohio Military Reserve where he is currently a Staff Sergeant, and an instructor in the academy, training new troops as they come in. He also enjoys working on a project car bought from his mother-in-law shortly after his father-in-law passed away, as it was his project car. And while they don’t currently own horses, they have been a much loved hobby for Todd. Lynne’s hobbies are mostly wrapped up in her kids but recently started running, it’s something she does, just for herself, it allows her to reduce stress and feel better throughout the week. As a family, they enjoy football, baseball and traveling.
Lynne handles the majority of the finances in the home and has many financial goals, short term; she’d like to be debt free by the time Todd graduates Spring of 2013 (excluding their mortgage). She’d also like to avoid future debts, once debt free. As soon as they’re debt free, they’d like to begin building their retirement/college/future funds. Todd would like to teach in a physical class room and eventually coach baseball; Todd will also need to have a master’s degree in education. Lynne has landed her dream job, but would eventually like to move into the director’s position (10 years down the line), she’d also like to return to school to obtain a degree in social work. Both Todd and Lynne would like to see all their children be successful in whatever they choose to do, as long as they become productive members of society and reach their individual full potential, whatever that might be. They would also hope to set the example of giving back to the community, so that maybe their children would follow that path.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Philolsophy part 2

The ideal relationship between parent and child:

Much like the relationship between parents, if you take care of the big “stuff” the rest will fall into place. However, it can’t all be summed up in communication, love, respect and trust. While all of these are important, I think children need nurturing, education, and appropriate affection from their parents. Children can’t know they are loved just on instinct alone. They need parents to teach them not only that they are loved but also to love others as well as themselves. Our schools have taken on much more than academic knowledge. It is the job of parents to teach children about age appropriate relationships, sex, maintaining the home, personal hygiene, and independence. How to get and keep a job, social skills and proper nutrition are things children should be learning at home, not necessarily at school. Teaching our children about these activities will also open the door to having an open and honest relationship, allowing the child to look to the parents for answers, knowing they’ll not be snuffed out, ignored or steered wrong.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Oh How I Loathe Todd's Hobby

Yesterday I found a pile of clothing left on the recliner from Sunday afternoon when Todd changed clothes, 5 days it laid in my basement. Here is the conversation (via text) that followed:

Snarky: dear todd, i am not oblivious to the mess of BDUs in my basement. one would assume that if one was working to minimize confrontation regarding a much beloved hobby, one would not leave unsightly piles of CRAP in ones otherwise clean space. sincerely begrudged and disgruntled spouse

Todd: My dearest lynne i am sorry about the mess and will rectify said mess as soon as possible. Please forgive me as I have been consumed with other matters. Even though that is no excuse i will remedy the situation asap. your humble servant Todd

Unconvinced: My dear Todd, thought I am hesitant to lift my spirits regarding rectification of said situation, all is forgive *insert obligatory smiley face which leaves you wondering if I am angry or kidding"

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Philosophy Part 1

The ideal relationship between parents:

Coming from two vastly different backgrounds/childhoods, Todd and I are very different people with our own ideas of how life should work. But what we do agree on is the type of relationship we strive for, work for; our ideal relationship. I could write a very detailed list of the things we’re looking for from each other but it can all be summed up in a few attributes. Mutual respect, love trust and communication. If we take care of these four things, everything else should fall into place. I believe most every situation, problem or hiccup can fall into these categories.

It also helps to have shared religious views as this is such a big aspect of a person’s life.

The Next county Agency required a 5 part philosophy on parenting sheet, this is the first part.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

First Homevisit

Licensing Worker (LW) came out today at 10 am and left at 12 so she stayed about 2 hours. She asked a couple of questions, went over the over all process and gave us the things we'll need to get done. Although, going through this before, we're pretty well set on what we need to do and how the process works.
So she asked us why we want to be foster parents and for me it was easy. I've always known I'd want to be a foster parent. It wasn't as easy for Todd, he never considered it but after some prayer his heart was softened. We knew it was a good time in our life, financially, in our marriage and our children are all at a great place. Everyone is a good age.

She asked us about conflict in our home, and how it's resolved. We explained how my family is entwined so deeply in each others lives and that it's Todd's job to keep them at bay and remind me that I don't have to do as my family chooses. I CAN tell them no, or do what I know is right for my family. We explained how we handle conflict between the 2 of us (communication and compromise) which led her to ask how to came to have such good communication between us. We told her that both being military, we share a lot of the same ideals and a lot of the same parenting and life styles. we also explained to her that we married young and really matured together, finding what works for us and how to work together.

She went on to ask what our strengths are. I told LW that Todd's strength lie in his parenting, he's a great Dad that does the activities, the costumes (Halloween and school play), sports, walks, bike rides. and Todd said that mine are in the numbers, and being the nurturing one. We're a good team. And our weaknesses? Todd doesn't like change and noise. I don't like clutter and a chaotic home. I don't mind kids running and yelling as long as the house is clean.

Todd immediately told LW that he realized that his struggles with change may be problematic but that we have found our own way of working through those struggles, we know it takes a few minutes for him to process the change and that his struggles have helped us to help Lane Michael when he struggles with the same thing.

We talked for probably an hour and a half, walked her through the house, talked for another 15 minutes and set up our next appointment for early March. By then we'll need to have a financial statement, our physicals done, our philosophy of parenting and our autobiography. After that we'll have our finger printing done and our final homevisit with the kids present. Then as soon as our pre-certification classes are done, we're all set. Things are moving along.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Home Study Preparation

Our first homestudy is Tuesday. Having gone through this once before we kinda know what we need to do to make sure the place will pass the homevisit. Our current "to do" list includes:

replace the fire extinguisher

put protective plugs in all the outlets

change the batteries in the smoke detectors (though they're work well right now)

move the toys from the boys bedroom to the basement to open up their bedroom and give them a little space in there

I'm looking for any websites or other information that would help us get ready. I think we may need to get a locked medicine cabinet for our daily meds (especially since Ethan's are considered a "controlled substance"). So far I'm not having any luck but I think we're doing ok so far! We're also working on making sure we're on the same page as far as children we can/will accept, discipline, our marriage, our family goals, communication, etc.

Lane Michael has asked that this become a family tradition, that when we are too old to foster, we can hand our foster children down to him, and he can hand them down to his kids. I think he was a bit confused. I've since talked to him about the process and that these children are real children and will grow as he grows...I thought that would be common sense by now. Guess not.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Two and a Half Goals Met

I recently listed my financial goals here:

and then later decided that we may be able to reach our goals faster if I went out of order a bit. So, I went ahead and put $2000 into savings (rainy day and emergency fund), paid off the ATV (which I had planned to do at the END of this year) and paid off our larger credit card ($3600) leaving us with only the smaller ($3000) credit card which I'd like to have paid off before Todd starts his fall quarter, allowing us to save up for Christmas, instead of using out of the savings account. I'm starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel!

And my official soapbox rant of the day: I will NEVER again go into debt for FUN! Never! Ever! Seriously! We've been paying a long time on an ATV that doesn't even live at our house and we don't even get good use out of! I'll never again spend years making payments on a non-essential! GAH!

ok, stepping down!

Monday, January 30, 2012

My Bigs are 9!!

Can you believe it!? They're 9!! So big! So mature! Somethings I want to remember about them right now in this moment:

1. Lane Michael sneaks past our door in the morning to watch cartoons and have a little down time before the day begins. He makes himself breakfast, tests and then asks us how much insulin he needs for said breakfast. If Ryan and/or Lexi wake up he tries oh so hard to get them downstairs without waking us and make them breakfast. He has been successful a time or two.

2. Ethan and Ryan lay in bed together a few nights a week reading before lights out. They both enjoy this time together and then giggle until I finally have to use my firm voice to tell them to stop talking.

3. Lane Michael has such an 'old man' personality saying things like "Dad, could you turn the radio up a smidge?" or "have a safe journey home" Funny dude

4. Ethan's 2 front teeth are very large. Ethan has an itty bitty peanut head, his 2 front teeth are affectionately known as his "chicklets" (never to his face so not to feed into any insecurities).

5. Lane Michael hasn't melted down in weeks and weeks....not true. He has had 3 full blown melt downs since November 2nd....2 were within 12 hours of me feeding him a breaded cheese stick and one within hours of him eating a granola bar that contained gluten. Amazing difference in my dude!

6. Ethan and Lane Michael are quite the social butterflies! They're constantly going to parties and at their birthday sleepover they had lots of friends over (JohnJohn, Austin, Garren, Keith, Tyler, Jack, and Joey plus those who didn't sleep over - Tanner, Grant and Daron). They're really enjoying getting older

7. While they were 8 they played football and baseball - both were so much fun, we'll definitely be doing both again this year.

8. Ethan when having a hard day can still be found curled up in his Grandpa Lou's robe. nuff said.

9. They're becoming such big boys, they're able to do any chore asked of them, the other night, when we got home from the grocery, I started putting groceries away while they carried in the rest of the groceries and closed up the van. They can clean their own room, sweep floors, load and unload the dishwasher, clean the bathroom, the basement....about the only chores they can't do are laundry and mowing (which I'm just not ready to have them doing quite yet).

10. I want to remember how much fun they are right in this moment. They're good kids who make my life easier, make my smile and make me proud every moment. I enjoy being their mom and can't wait to see what the next 9 years offer them!

Mama Said...

My Mom knows really knows me. Gets me. We are very tied to each other emotionally. (Yah yah, I know, cut the apron strings). So when I told her early on in life that I wanted to adopt and be a foster parent she always responded with "take care of the kids in your home first". Finally this weekend I took the opportunity to explain to her that we are caring for our children first. Lane Michael has a lot going on medically. Always will. I need him to see adoption as a tangible option in growing his family. I need him to know that he can love someone without being biologically connected to that person. I need him to see that it is possible to have a family without contributing to their genetic make up. I want this for all of my children but specifically for Lane Michael. All of his "stuff" is genetic, and could be passed to his children or their children. All of the things he faces are also linked with infertility, he may never be ABLE to have kids of his own. So, like I've always said, God does not work in mysterious ways. He just doesn't. He gave Todd and me a heart for foster and adoption, I think it's best if we use it! And after explaining all of this to my Mom, I think she understood where we're coming from.

Friday, January 27, 2012

God is Opening Doors


We called Next county to get the pre-certification class schedule.
The schedule for classes was compact and only a few weeks long...because they have classes Tuesday and Thursday evenings and then again on Saturdays.
That won't work for us. Todd has class (like real college type classes) on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
So I called Next county to see if we need all the pre-cert classes or since we've been through them before if we could just take certain classes and maybe even have me go and Todd miss the ones on Tuesdays and Thursdays. After I explained the problem to her, she asked if we'd consider pulling our application. um. no. Let's see if we can't find another way around it and then if there are no other options, we can pull our application.
So I called My County to see if I can take their training and what the schedule is. My County faxed the schedule over immediately. Turns out, the classes are Saturdays only from 9-4, none of them fall on weekends that we have anything else planned, including Todd's drill schedule. Also our date of Application in January 6, and the classes end June 2, so we'll get it all done before the 6 month dead line!
I just e-mailed our licensing worker to have her check the dates and have called the training coordinator to sign up for the classes. I see God's hand in all of this, things have fallen into place beautifully and I just don't think it's all a coincidence.

I e-mailed Next County licensing worker and it turns out we have to have our homestudy complete by 7/7/12, so we are well within the guidelines!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Our home study is scheduled. I have the day off. Todd, Ryan and I will sit down with our caseworker and work out the details. I told the caseworker a little about Todd's schedule and she bawlked at the time he'll spend away from us in the coming days/weeks. She asked if we think we can get our stuff together for licensing in the next 180 days...we can. We're still working out training schedules but we'll figure it out, or pull our application and start over (execpt we haven't done anything yet so we won't really be starting over). I'm looking at the schedule for Auglaize county to see if it's more scedule's hoping!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Why Adopt?

So I'm a member of this great board...there are roughly 93 women and we all have kids the same age (2 years olds) so we go there and talk and discuss our lives and we've been talking for over 3 years now (since we found out we were pregnant in December 2008). We talk about careers, our kids, our other kids, pregnancies, anything goes. Recently I've been posting about our foster/adopt licensing. Yesterday another mom piped up that she would love to adopt, it weighs heavy on her heart regularly, as her nephew is newly adopted but that her husband isn't exactly on board, another momma commented that she is in the same boat. This other Momma's husband didn't understand why they would adopt since they aren't infertile. For years, adoption has been seen as the last resort to becoming parents, as second best to biological children. Another woman (who also feels lead to adopt) posed this question: why ask "why adopt" instead ask "why not adopt" and if there are valid reasons why it's not a good decision for your family, that's ok but it may open up hearts to the option. I do understand though why it isn't an option for some people. I just think that more would be open to adoption if they looked at it from a different perspective.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tax Time

While I don't agree with the way our tax structure is set up, right now in our life, we financially benefit from it. This year we should get back enough to set some into savings, pay off the ATV, pay off my credit card, pay off medical bills, have our cars worked on and even buy my new front load washer and dryer. We expect to get our return on or around February 6th...I'll start funneling that money immediately into the various debts and savings. So this time next month we should be down from 4 debts to 2 debts and medical bill free (temporarily as I have some dental work I need done, Ethan is getting tubes and Todd is considering getting a vasectomy). I don't necessarily want to make this information public but it's part of the path of becoming debt free.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dave Ramsey's Snowball

In order to be debt free (save our mortgage) by the time my husband graduates from college we are practicing the Dave Ramsey Snowball method. We have 4 debts plus medical expenses. I posted last month that I was thinking I'd like to pay off credit cards early in the year and then concentrate on the small ATV loan we have...instead we have decided that we'd start with the small ATV loan since it's a smaller principle balance but a larger monthly payment. We currently owe $2000 so it won't take long to eliminate that debt and the rest will follow, I can funnel that money straight to one of our 2 credit while I'm changing the method I'll use to eliminate debt, the end result is the same (though hopefully it will happen faster if I start with the ATV payment vs. the credit card). Also I'm hoping that building the savings account will allow us to avoid using credit cards in the future. However, when my husband graduates (tentatively) in the spring of 2013 he will not only be debt free but also will have NO student loans for his bachelors degree so if we absolutely have to use one small credit card to get there, I am ok with it....although will do just about anything to avoid using them! I'm hoping we can also put away a few hundred dollars to use if/when a foster child arrives for their immediate needs until we get them set up with any services they may need.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Update to Yesterday's License on Hold...

I talked to my cousin and I talked to my husband and I talked to my mom and what Todd and I decided was that we will continue on our path to renewing our license. I asked cousin if she knew when she'd be coming. She doesn't know, she doesn't have a time frame and she hasn't told the people she is currently living with that she's moving out. So the way I see it, I can't put my family on hold for something that might happen someday. And when April (her due date) comes and goes and she isn't living here, then I will have set us back months in getting our license renewed.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Maybe Putting Things on Hold.

Once again, God has laughed at "our plans". My pregnant cousin called me this weekend to ask if she can come stay with us. This puts renewing our foster license on hold. Will update with more information as I have it to give.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Quick Update on My Most Recent Posts

Ethan is having his tubes put in on Friday.

We got a letter today from Next county CPS, saying they had received our application for child placement and are ready to begin the homestudy process, so we should call them to set up a time for them to come to our home.

We also have a crib and high chair in our home and the offer of a changing table. Well on our way!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Deceit Never Does Anyone Any Good.

My wonderful husband was talking to my Mom the other day, discussing our decision to renew our license with Next County to be foster parents. And remember that I only told my Mom I "wasn't sure" yet what we'd do with that license? Todd dropped the bomb...he told her he has no desire to be foster parents to the children of Cousin 1 and Cousin he's relaying this story to me, I'm waiting with bated breath to hear her reaction, sure in my gut she exploded into a mess of "what are you thinking?"s and "what about your 3 children?"s. Instead he calmly said "she sighed a huge sigh of relief" What? Turns out, the family drama it could/would create stressed her out.
So 2 days ago (Saturday) I said "we never got a chance to finish our conversation...Todd and I are leaning towards being foster parents" we were quickly interrupted so I didn't get to hear her thoughts.

Yesterday at church she opened up about everything going on regarding a specific relative and the drama in his life and how scared she is for him in his current situation. Afterwards she had "buyers remorse" that is to say she regretted "airing her dirty laundry...but then she says she felt like God was saying to her "hey, what you're doing isn't working...let me work" and before she knew it, she was in front of the church crying and telling the church how bad the situation was.
I told her that she's now opened the door for others to help her with advice or experiences OR it may be that someone else needed to hear that this situation is not ok...and then I took the opportunity to say to her that lead is how I felt about foster care.

She then explained that she has NO reservations about our ability to do foster care, I told her that I didn't want to overwhelm my support system, she didn't say she's on board but didn't say that she's not either, I'll take that as a good sign. We were able to talk openly about our concerns. Mainly Lane Michael and his emotional well being. She said that physically, she knows his diseases are controlled well but her fear is that I will have to put the emotions of a foster child and the birthparents above the very strong emotions of Lane Michael. Lane Michael's diabetes causes him to be very emotional...his extreme highs or lows can cause him to emotionally shut down or be hyper sensitive for a few days at a time. It's extremely frustrating and sometimes (for him) embarrassing. I want to be available to him emotionally no matter what else is going on in my life. Mom's fear is that no matter how well we're balancing him and his emotions, she'll feel we're letting him slide. I promised to be acutely aware of his emotional needs (his and his brothers). I also promised to give it up if it becomes too much for my immediate family (me, Todd and the kids). After all, we're not doing any kids any good if we aren't functioning properly.

Bottom line, I wish I had been upfront and honest, instead of beating around the bush and I would have saved everyone some stress!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Permanent Tubes.

After the boys were born, we were sure they were perfect. Absolutely wonderful. We were in love and couldn't imagine that anything would be wrong with either of them. Then we had his hearing tested. After the first test the tech went to retrieve a new machine. She checked both boys a second time. Called in a 2nd tech and the 2nd tech tested both boys. Ethan was deaf. He was completely deaf in one ear and mostly deaf in the other ear. After that we had appointments and retesting...lots of retesting. At 13 months old Ethan got a set of tubes. Fixed the problem...temporarily. He walked soon after that and spoke (in his own language) after that. Lane Michael had to translate for a very long time but eventually he came around. Things were going well for awhile, really well and then about two years ago he started having a hard time hearing, became hard to understand and spoke loudly...well, more loudly. Took him to the doctor, the audiologist and finally the ENT. A 2nd set of tubes. Over the holidays I noticed he wasn't saying the first OR last sounds of all the words and was starting to sound "airy"'s hard to understand but his words weren't as solid as they usually are. Back to the doctor. This time they're putting permanent tubes said it's obviously a recurring problem and will need tubes consistently so we'll just put more permanent tubes in. Doctor said there is a lot of fluid on the one ear and even more on the other...a significant problem. Hope this clears things up for good!

A Foster Thoughts Update

First of all, the packet know, the packet that gets us came the day after we called...I'm thinking they're either desperate, or on top of things...I hope this trend continues. It's a big packet that might take a bit of time to sort through but Nikki offered to pull our old license from Auglaize to see if she can carry over any info from that.

Second, family support. Or lack thereof. My Mom has always been really supportive of everything I do. So the other day I was sitting with her at lunch and told her I called Next County to get our license renewed, I told her I wasn't interested in her taking a strong neutral stand, and asked her opinion. She asked what we're planning to do with it. I was honest, and told her we don't actually know yet and that this all stemmed from Cousin 1 and Cousin 2 both having children (or being pregnant) and the possibility of them being taken into care. Both children should be removed for VERY different has ruined one child and will ruin this child if given the opportunity. The other is living with someone known to be (convicted of) being inappropriate. She suddenly had to go back to work and was very cold shoulder for the next 20 minutes and since then. I'm sure she knows we're leaning heavily on being foster parents to children who do not belong to Cousin 1 and Cousin 2.

Which leads me to my third point. How do you explain to someone feeling "lead" to do something? How do you explain that tugging at your heart? That nagging feeling that has been there for a very very long time? Someone who may have never felt this....desire. I can't even put into words...and if I can't put it into words, how can I explain it? How can I help someone else understand that I don't feel I can ignore this any longer? And it feels right. I know God has my back...I know he's pushing me or leading me on this path. How do I justify having another child when there are so many already here. How can I ask others to make a difference when I'm not. How can I sit sit in my home surrounded by so much love and teach my children to love in big ways, to reach out to step out of the boat when I myself have not! This feels right, and feels like it's where I'm supposed to be headed...even if they don't support this for me....God does. I can't face God someday and when he asks "what about when I called you to the field, called you to be my feet, my tongue, my arms? You turned your back" all I'll have to say is "my Mommy didn't want me to. My friends gave sideways glances." Not. Good. Enough. God provided a husband who is willing to join me in this more excuses.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Made the Call

To the next county over (up)...I asked if living in a different county was a problem and the CW said absolutely not, that we aren't the first and when I explained why I didn't want to be licensed with our county, she said that was understandable and actually a good decision. She asked the ages of us and our children, how long we've been married and what ages we'll accept...when I told her I won't take anyone older than Ryan she seemed to agree with keeping people in age order. She asked if we are willing to accept sibling groups, I told her that I doubted there would be many sibling groups all under the age of 2...she said we'd be surprised so I agreed but told her that Todd couldn't transport everyone in his vehicle, she said we could decide later. She asked if we're only interested in adoption or if we're interested in fostering...I told her fostering with potential adoption. Asked how many bedrooms (3) and said she'd get the packet in the mail today.

Here we go again! We might be crazy!

Monday, January 2, 2012


the idea of foster/adopt. Todd and I have been going back and forth on the idea of having a 4th child. We love our family of 5, and had started to get some pretty hardcore baby fever. So tonight we decided we need to after talking about it and talking about all avenues of adoption, we've decided we'll revisit adoption. I'll call the next county over tomorrow to request more information about foster care through that county. I work very publicly and don't want to chance being linked with any clients. We'll keep you updated.