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.