Monday, December 15, 2008
William turned 6 years old. He is such a fun child and I love spending time with him. He is very concerned about animals and their well being. We got him a dog for his birthday and he takes care of it 100%. William spent the week before and the week of Thanksgiving with his dad. Every time her returns from a visit we have to start all over again with appropriate behavior. I know it is a lot for him to deal with and I will try to make his transition as easy as possible. Unfortunately, his behavior has trickled over to school and he has been getting in a little trouble. Not a lot, but it is not him. I will be going to his school this week on Tuesday and Thursday.
Little Bit is 14 months and taking steps. He doesn’t walk out right, but that is his choice. He can crawl faster than walk so he chooses to do so. I am not walking with him or pushing him to walk, it will happen when it happens. LB loves to eat! In fact, it is so much fun to watch him feed himself since he makes moaning sounds when he enjoys the food.J LB is also very attached to the people he knows and loves. Case in point, he screamed when he saw Santa! We went to court for LB Nov. 25th. Not much was done except we have another date set for May 12th. The case worker needs to get LB’s dad’s and mom’s signatures to TPR. Unfortunately, we don’t seem to be high on her priority list……just pray that she gets it done by the 12th.
Potato is 9 months old and is so sweet! She has really come into her own. She is full on crawling and getting in trouble with LB. She also loves to laugh, giggle and say dadada. P also has been clapping for the last month; it is so cuteJ Her next court date is in Feb. In fact, I need to find out exactly whenJ
As most of you know I am a running fanatic. I coach 2 XC and track teams. My high school team took third in state and my #1 runner took first in state. I have another runner who took 4th. All in all, the other 4 runners came within the top 48 in the state.
My husband and I have been very involved in trying to change the school that our son attends. Being the XC and track coaches we interact specifically with Jr. High students. Regrettably, these students have repeatedly stated for the past 3 years that the teachers were not fair and bullied them. We finally had enough and went to the administration over and over again, they did nothing. We finally had enough and sent out a bullying survey to the Jr. High parents. This caused quite the uproar. Needless to say we got everyone’s attention and after a couple of meetings with the school’s pastor, advisory board and administration things look like they are going to change. We will still need to see these changes take place before we decide to keep Liam at the school.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
I’m hoping that with the CASA worker that the next court date will bring a TPR date. Our CASA worker is incredible and she has done all of the research and homework to make sure that the judge is aware of Little Bit’s mother’s ability to function in the real world, and more importantly on a day to day basis(she can not). The caseworker also told me that his mother still states that she wants use to raise him and that she does not want her family to have him. I just hope that his court date isn’t moved and we can get on with it!
Potato is 7 months old. She has been very cranky lately, but so cute. I really took for granted the way I “knew” why my oldest child was acting a certain way because I knew his biological parents (his father and I). I swear it makes a difference. I still respond in the same way, but maybe my foster babies need something else?!? Maybe I needed something else as a child? Just a thought.
My husband and I have been discussing hiring a cleaning service. Today I called and hired one. I’m not even going to tell him, I am just going to wait and see his reaction tomorrow night. He just thinks that we can do it all, but I know I can’t. So if they come every other week, I think my life will be much less hectic. Now maybe I will hire a lawn service:)
Monday, September 15, 2008
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Initially, I was so happy that there was interest in his family to see him, and actually when we all first introduced ourselves I still felt the same way. I might have even been a little envious of the fact that Little Bit will have/know his bio family.
Anyway, I digress…. Little Bit’s grandmother and her husband, his uncle, and one little girl cousin met us at Mc.Dona.lds. His grandmother seemed normal and very happy to see Little Bit. His grandmother’s husband, who has been around since Little Bit’s mother was a child, also seemed somewhat normal, and very happy to see him. Then we met Little Bit’s uncle who is his mother’s brother. He was practically in the same condition as Little Bit’s mother…..That makes you wonder what how his grandmother was as a mother since two of her children are not functioning adults. Not to mention the fact that they were both in and out of foster care and group homes their entire childhoods. It also makes you think about the grandfather’s role in it all since he has been around since they were children as well…… Sorry, but this is hard to discuss without the background information….
We didn’t really discuss Little Bit’s mother or their family, except that they couldn’t remember how many grandchildren they have?!? However, they did talk a little about the grandchildren that live with them. They are trying to get custody of both of them since their mother, the grandmother’s daughter, was murdered a few years ago. I guess one of the kid’s dads wants custody as well.
We spent the majority of the time taking pictures and they took some video. At the end his grandmother began to cry; I assured her that we would keep a relationship and that she would be his grandmother. She then started to cry and I felt sad for her. BUT then the grandfather said something that stopped me in my tracks, “Don’t worry, we will fight to get him back after we get the other two first.” My mama bear instincts kicked in hard core.
You see it will be fine if she has a grandmother role in his life, but if he were to be immersed in that lifestyle who knows what his life would be like; actually I do know what his life would be like and that is why I will never let it happen.
Furthermore, the premise of this meeting was for the grandmother not to disrupt the placement, but for her to meet Little Bit. My husband assures me that the grandfather only said that so that she would stop crying cause that’s what men do, but I don’t care.
Nevertheless, I called Little Bit’s CASA worker and detailed the meeting and how bizarre it ended. My husband also called LB’s worker and this was the first time she ever commented in a non-neutral way. She said that she felt the family/visit was shady.
Needless to say that was over a month ago and they have not contacted the worker since. I still want them in his life, but maybe we will just hold off on that until things are more definite with his case.
I am sure there are other things that I am leaving out and if I find it significant I will add it another posts.
Friday, July 18, 2008
I wrote that last post and before I was able to publish it Little Bit got a fever and then we noticed a bump just below his belly button. I immediately had my husband bring him to the ER because I figured it was some sort of infection; maybe something to do with his previous double hernia surgery.
They sat in the in the ER from 8:30-12:30. The doctors knew it was some sort of infection but they wanted to wait until the pediatric surgeon came in around 6:00am. They were originally going to keep him over night so that was when I got a babysitter for potato and went to the hospital.
They then decided to have us come back for surgery scheduled for 6:00am. It turned out to be MSRA. I KNOW!
They are pretty sure he gave it to himself scratching his eczema. He is fine now, but at his 9 month appointment he had a double ear infection.
He never is unhappy so I never know. This is his third infection, if he gets three more within this year he might have to get tubes. We will cross that bridge when we get there.
We went to Chicago to pick up my oldest son. He was very excited to see my husband and me. We also brought 3 of our runners with and did lots of touristy things. The best thing was going to a CUBS game.
We had a family team conference meeting for Potato. Obviously, her parents were not there. They did inform me that they were changing her goal from reunification to adoption. We also went to court and the only person they need to rule out is Potatoes’ biological dad. Initially, they were searching for her dad on her birth certificate. However, it turns out he never produced a SS card so he can not be on the certificate. It also turns out that Potatoes’ last name now reflects this change. I received her SS# and Medicaid card.
Next court date, next month.
Lastly, our Casa worker was able to find Little Bit’s dad! She also took some pictures of him for us. Now we are just waiting to see if he can sign away his rights.
We are also meeting with his maternal g’ma and great g’ma on Tuesday. I’m not as nervous as I was before.
Still no SS# for Little Bit....................UGH!
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
She also said that she talked to Little Bit’s maternal grandmother and we plan to meet on July 1st. We will probably meet at a McDonalds or at OCS office. I think that this is for the best. I am glad that his worker took the responsibility of setting up this meeting. Especially since it is not in his case plan and I don’t have to do it. I hope that she is “normal” but I am expecting the worst and only hoping for the best. I really do hope that he can have a relationship with his someone from his biological family.
Potatoes’ worker called to inform me that the name that we thought was her last name is not her last name after all. In fact, the last she now has isn’t even her mother’s last name because her mother had lied about that. My poor baby! I guess it won’t really matter since her last name will be changed again to our in the next year.
My oldest son is still Chicago and I miss him terribly. Fortunately, his father pays child support, but unfortunately he hasn’t paid for anything else. He owes me about $1,500. Now, it usually doesn’t bother me except for the fact that I have to keep hearing from my son all of the things that his father is buying him. All I can think is that yeah I would buy you that too if I didn’t solely pay for your entire school tuition for last year and for the upcoming year, bowling camp, reading camp, medical bills, airline tickets, ect…… So I feel guilty am contemplating going out and trying to buy the same things he has at his dad’s house. I told this to some of the kids I run with and they are trying to talk me out of it. They keep reassuring me that William knows that I love him and e doesn’t need all that shit. I know they are right, but it is still hard to hear……
Endometriosis is starting to kick my ass. Anytime I get my period I have life stopping pains where I can’t breathe. Also, in lieu of giving TMI, anytime I go to the bathroom I have to hold on for dear life because the pain is so intense! I know I need to have something done about this but I am contemplating what I should be. I had cervical cancer when I was 22,( No, not from HPV, it was hereditary), and have been told that once I was done having children(haha) or when I turn 30, I should get a hysterectomy. Well, I don’t have any plans on getting pregnant, and I will turn 30 at the end of July so maybe I will have it done sometime this year.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
The lawyer that was representing his mother stated that she was unaware that his mother had been moved to a new facility and that she was not having visits with him. She also wanted to point out that her mental evaluation was 6 months old and that she couldn’t see how anyone could make an educated decision without an up to date evaluation.
Little Bit’s case worker didn’t say a word about how his mother calls her everyday and how she had just talked to her doctors and that they still recommended that she not have visitations with Little Bit and that she remain in care at her current facility.
After it was deemed that we would meet again on November 25th for another court date the case worker told me that Little Bit’s mother’s lawyer would do anything to get her clients reunified with their kids.
That made me a little freaked out and pissed off at the same time. We will not be going back to court without our own lawyer and we also contacted CASA to work for Little Bit’s best interest. We are still wondering why he wasn’t assigned a worker when he was placed in care. We are also still waiting for Little Bit’s SS# for our taxes…..It seems as though someone is dropping the ball somewhere along the way…. I just need to get more aggressive and stay on top of things better I suppose.
Potato also had a court date: This one went much better. It was deemed that her case would reflect abandonment and there is another court date set for July 17th. The case worker is hoping that we will have her adopted by the end of the year!
My oldest son is in Chicago visiting with his bio dad. He has been gone for 1 of the three weeks and it is killing me. I hate when he is away, life is so boring without his little body running around the house.
Little bit almost has another tooth and is crawling like a mad man! He is getting so big and is so happy. Potato is getting big too. She is only 5 pounds less than Little Bit and is 4 month younger.
I have some of my runners over during the day to help me with the babies and organizing my house. One of the little girls made me buy Potato a headband with a bow. I couldn’t even figure out how to attach the bow to the headband, she thought that was very humorous. However, today I bought her another one with two bows to match some of her outfits. I can see how this could get addicting and expensive!
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Oh, I did get that sundae and I am so glad that we talked!! You totally need to take a road trip or I will come to you:)
Sunday, June 01, 2008
Potatoes’ CASA worker came for a visit and gave us some interesting news. She apparently went to the last court hearing and the judge was ready to move forward with TPR, but had to be reminded that the parents get 4 month, which will be on July 2nd. She did inform me that there will be a court hearing on June 16th and I intend on being there!
Little Bit’s worker also came for a visit. She informed us that his mother want us to be her payee; which would mean that we would be responsible for the money that she gets from the state. She desperately wants to get out of the facility that she is in and go back in a halfway house. I understand her desire for more freedom, but she really can’t live on her own; even in a halfway house. Nor, do I want to be her “mother” as well.
Also, if we did accept the responsibility of being her payee I fear we would have too much contact. I am all for Little Bit knowing his mother and seeing her while he grows up, but I want to b able to control that contact just in case she is not lucid or becomes dangerous.
Little bit’s court date is on June 10th. I know they will just say that he will remain in care, but I also hope to get another date that will include TPR. A girl can hope right?
I am totally loving being home with all of my babies!! William is attending a summer camp through his school and loves it. It goes for 2 weeks. He is also attending a reading camp and a bowling camp. He will also have to visit his dad for three weeks. I hate when he is away, but I know he is having fun. Today, I hope to get him a little pool for the back yard.
Well, now that things have kind of slowed down I will try to blog more about what we do each dayJ
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
I know it has been forever, but if you can believe it I have been just a little busy:)
Where to start…..
Little Bit is now 7 months old. He is just the sweetest child that I have ever met.
He smiles all the time and now says Dada.
He also says mmmmmm before we feed him any food. He can even hold his own bottle!
He had his first ear infection this past weekend and also learned to say Mama in the process of healing.
He can sit up almost by himself and can also pull himself on the floor; he is trying so hard to crawl.
Best of all, he sleeps through the night: )
My girl, who I will give the internet name of potato, because that is how she is shaped, is 2 months old! She is the easiest baby in the world. However, we are still getting used to all of her little girl sounds.
She can hold her head up by herself when you are holding her and during tummy time.
She smiles and coos when you talk to her, but especially when I do.
She makes great eye contact and knows how to keep someone’s attention.
She can entertain/play by herself.
Best of all, she also sleeps through the night! I know I am very spoiled.
I need to get Bits 6 months pictures taken and would love to get a professional picture of potato. I have matching outfits from the G.ap and really just need to make an appointment. I really just need to do a million things, but it will have to wait until I am done teaching.
1 ½ weeks left of school and I will officially be a stay at home mom again. I can’t wait! When I am home our whole family is just so much more relaxed.
There is a Foster/Adopt dinner this Thursday put on by OCS. They offer free babysitting and it should be fun. My husband and I are hoping to run into some people we took our foster class with last summer.
As for the status of our babies:
Bit’s mother is still in a mental institution and still states that she wants us to adopt him. I’m not even sure when the next court date will be.
Potato’s parents are still MIA and I have been instructed by the judge to not come to court until they either appear or they decide to TPR.
My oldest child, William, won the brotherhood/sisterhood award at school. The qualifications included showing compassion, empathy and kindness to others. I am beyond proud!
Monday, April 21, 2008
I read through the dependent rules again and I think I know why that person(s) thinks a foster child has to live with you for 6 months before you can claim him as a dependent.
One of the rules for a ‘qualifying’ child (who can be your birth child, or adopted, or foster, or grandchild etc…) is that he/she has to have lived with you for at least 6 months of the year. For example, say a grandchild lives with one set of grandparents for 5 ½ months and the other grandparents for 6 ½ months. He can be claimed as a dependent only by one set of grandparents, the ones who had him more than 6 months. The rule prevents more than one person claiming the same child for the same year.
BUT, there are several exceptions to the 6 month rule for qualifying children, and the exception that applies here is for a child born or died during the year. He is treated as being with you for the whole year, even if he was born on Dec. 31. I think the person who did all the research didn’t read about the exceptions. There is no place in the tax rules that says differently than what I just explained. Now, if the foster child is 5 years old and he came to live with you in Aug., THEN he wouldn’t have been with you for 6 months and you couldn’t claim him as a dependent until the following year.
Little Bit is your dependent for 2007.
Tell your friends about the exception – they can amend their tax returns!!
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Anyway, we went to Florida for spring break and met my parent and my brother and his family. My parents rented a house, it was very nice. We had our own pool and hot tub. There were no major fights or arguments. However, it wasn’t as fun as it could have been. My brother is a manic depressive and he is either manic or depressive. Therefore, while he is manic he talks too much and cleans all the time. When he is depressive he is just a grumpy old ass; he is also sometimes mean to my nephew which is hard for me to watch. He tried; I give him credit for that much. I don’t necessarily think that any one person in my family is really all that annoying, you just can’t put us all together LOL!
I’m sure a lot of people could say that about their families. However, my family has a deep, dark, history that I never really discuss. Most people probably think it is out of embarrassment, but really it is out of loyalty. Or maybe it is because I don’t know where to begin, or when I do start talking about it I can’t seem to stop; not to mention that it is almost unbelievable. One day I am sure I will post it on my site if only to try to learn from it.
No news on the foster front. We are meeting with Little Bits worker tomorrow, I’m sure it is just a regular visit, but maybe we will find out if he has a court date set up. He has been with us for almost 6 months! He is the happiest baby I have ever seen. He smiles at everyone and it is so contagious: )
Our baby girl is a month old and is becoming more and more alert. She looks like a doll and is just a sweet little girl. She sleeps and eats well. She sometimes smiles in her sleep and we just melt. Her mother has made no contact with OCS and they do not have any contact information on her.
We have 8 more weeks of school left. My co-teacher and I have not been getting along. She wants to be/thinks she is my boss and she is not. She is acting very unprofessional and inappropriate around our students. Today she was telling a student that he could not keep a water bottle in class with him. I would agree usually except that the assistant principal had already said they could if they were on the track team to keep hydrated. So she sent this student to me to tell me she didn’t believe this to be true!!!! She should have gone to the assistant principal if she needs clarification, not to me. She is picking on the track runners because I am their coach and that is not fair to them. She also called me a liar in her class to our students. She is out of control. I know she has a lot going on personally, but get a grip lady!!!!!!
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
It seems promising at this point that we will be able to adopt her. In fact, if they don't come back we may end up adopting her before Little Bit. We will pray that 4 months goes quickly and that her “parents” stay away. I know that sounds horrible, but her mother had expressed on more than one occasion that she wanted us to have her baby. Maybe this is her way of doing so. Only time will tell; until then, we will love and take care of this baby.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Sunday, March 09, 2008
We meet her mom last Tuesday at court. She has had five children before this baby and all of them have been taken away. She was a little defensive at first, but then warmed up to us. She really does not like the case workers, and won’t tell them anything, or be truthful with information. She did state that she was keeping this baby since she has a man this time.
Of course court was continued because the father named on the birth certificate was not there. Yes, you read that correctly, he is the father on the birth certificate, but not he biological dad. The hospital workers think that he is an illegal so we don’t expect him to show up to court.
The first visit was Thursday at the OCS office. My husband took the baby since I couldn’t take off to be there. They are making us transport her twice a week. At this visit the mom confessed to my husband that her husband is drinking again and wants to leave her. She said that she will try to pull things together to get her baby back, but if she can’t she really wants us to adopt her…..
We have a visit this Tuesday and another court date on Thursday. I am really hoping that the mom makes the right decision and gives her baby to us. She seems to know that she can’t provide or care for this child and wants the best for her.
In other news Little Bit had his hernia surgery and circumcision. He was such a champ he smiled as we left the hospital. At one point I was in the recovery room with both of my babies and I was just overwhelmed with pride and love. I am so lucky.
Oh, and to show how William, the big brother, is adjusting to all of these changes he cut his hair this past weekend. He now has a cute crew cut! He is an incredible child and is so great with the babies.
Lastly, I just want to say how much fun I am having picking out girl clothes!
Friday, February 29, 2008
Of course we have a lot of people telling us that we shouldn't take her, but we just can't think of any reason not to. We wanted a daughter, we wanted a large family, and we wanted to do it through foster care. I could care less that they are 4 1/2 months apart. It would be like having twins, and maybe even easier since Little Bit is sleeping really well and is always so happy!! I only have 10 weeks of school left and spring break in three weeks.
Now the only thing left is the daunting task of finding someone to watch the baby until she can go to daycare….
I can’t wait to meet her!!!
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I guess my actual dream would be to win the Olympics and sing the National Anthem, then start a singing career. I mean I ran a 5:15 mile in high school and I used to sing before all of my races and basketball games. If I could get my mile time down to 5 minutes and run a 16:30 5k I would be well on my way. My goal for this year is to run a 5:00minute mile by July 4th. I have 4 more months to train.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
We had our first home visit since we got Little Bit back in October. Our worker pretty much just came to our house and played with the baby. We discussed how mom is not ready for visits; in fact, she might not be able to stay at the facility she is at since has not transitioned well. Sometimes I wonder if we will ever see his mother or father again……beside court dates that is…..
Doctor visits: Little bit had three doctor visits last week.
The first one was with the urologist for his double hernia. The doctor said that he will be able to fix it as well as bring down his right testicle and circumcise him. His operation will be on March 7th.
We then had to go to the cardiologist for surgery clearance since he was diagnosed previously with a murmur. The cardiologist is actually one of my students’ father. He diagnosed Little Bit with a mild pulmonary stenosis, which means that the value from his heart to his lung is thicker than it should be. Nothing that is immediately serious, but is something that needs to be watched. This means he has to go back in 6 moths for a check-up. The good news is that he most likely will grow out of it; 85% of children do.
Lastly, Little Bit had his 4 month visit. He is 15 pounds, 4ounces and 24 inches long. He is now cleared to eat rice cereal so we tried it this morning and he loved it! He received his 4 month shots and they made him so sleepy. I know I sound paranoid but after every vaccination I check to make sure that he is responsive and maintains eye contact. So far, so good. Autism is so prevalent, especially in boys, that I feel like it would be irresponsible not to check up on him.
Last weekend we went to the zoo with Dream Mommy and her family. We had such a good time! We are all going to Florida over spring break. I can’t wait!!! Still working out all of the details, but I know we will go to a couple of theme parks and water parks. Did I say I can’t wait?
Track season starts tomorrow. I think I will have close to 60 runners this year. I hope the weather stays nice. I love being around other people, even if they are children, who love running as much as I do.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
I love watching my husband father this child. Yes, we have an older child, but P wasn’t in the picture until W was 15 months old, this is his first baby. Not that I’m surprised in the least. He has always been a wonderful man; it is just fun to watch.
We haven’t been on a visit to see Little Bits mother since before the holidays. Ever since she moved to the new facility she has not been well enough for visits. I hope she being treated well and is getting the help she needs.
My grandmother had a fall a couple of weeks before Christmas and is back in the hospital because they found blood on her brain. She had brain surgery to stop the bleeding and is recovering. They also said that she might have had a minor stroke. She should get out of the hospital in a couple of weeks. She is resisting rehab, but needs it to recover. I can’t imagine how hard this is for her since she has always been so independent. She will be again; she just needs to do the work. She will be 81 this July, and my grandparents will be married for 60 years. She is my most favorite person in the whole world. I am so glad that she was able to visit me last spring and that we have always had such a great relationship.
My grandmother is also a breast cancer survivor and for her surgery they had to shave her head. It kills me that she has to go through that experience again!!! So this past weekend I got 12 inches cut off my hair and am sending it to locks of love. It is such a worthy cause and really it’s just hair. This is the 3rd time I have done this and plan on doing it for the rest of my life. I hope anyone else who can, will join me in this cause.