One Year Ago

It seems like a lifetime ago we were shedding tears over the Baby Girl that left our care to go live with her aunt and uncle.  In such a short time, she had stolen our hearts and we had to have a family meeting to decide if we wanted to continue doing foster care.

Since that time, two more foster kiddos left our care and we added four more.

One of the kiddos we added was another Baby Girl who happened to be born the day our first Baby Girl left us.

Another tiny little girl weighing about 6 lbs, with beautiful light brown skin and dark curly hair entered our lives.20180312_201017

Each week she would head off with a transporter to go visit her parents and siblings.  I would leave a couple of hours later to pick her up, having a little time to chat with her parents, sometimes getting to see her siblings before taking her back home.

The months went on and we wondered if it would be our last month with her.  After all, bio family first is the goal in the Texas foster care system and her case worker would come to visit some months telling us they were considering a family member who could take her.  The next month she would tell us it didn’t work out for one reason or another and then they would move on to another and another and another.  

But today we are celebrating this beautiful baby girl who is becoming more beautiful as she gets older.

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She is no longer that tiny baby that entered our home and our hearts almost one year ago.

Today she turns 1!

She is standing and cruising the furniture.

She is beginning to talk.

She loves her daddy, mommy,  and sisters, but is a mommy’s girl most of all.

She is not a crawler, but gets around quickly by scooting on her bottom all over the house.

She likes playing with her toys and getting into things she shouldn’t, like the dog’s water bowl.

She loves being on the go and is happiest when she is with us.

She has one of the worst cases of stranger danger I’ve ever seen in a baby, crying when anyone she doesn’t know or doesn’t see often even talks to her.  Heaven forbid they should touch her.  Fortunately, she is getting a little better as she gets older.

In December, the judge terminated her parent’s rights.  CPS changed the goal to non-relative adoption and if all continues as planned, in the next 4-5 months, she will legally become part of the World of Weeks and I can then share photos of her beautiful little face.

Until then, Happy Birthday A.N.!  Our beautiful little girl!!!!

 

 

 

Twenty-Three Years Later

I made it back to the Seattle area.

Lili, Naomi, Baby Girl and I flew to Seattle, via Missoula, for a girl’s weekend.  Hubby held down the fort with our other three and it was a much-needed and wonderful trip.

I can’t believe it took me so long to get back to the Pacific NW.  I suppose it was due to  the fact that we were taking trips elsewhere, doing foster care, making a move to Texas, doing foster care again, and living life.  I’m just glad I managed to get back up there for a visit and my girls LOVED it!!  At different times, they both said they wanted to live there.  Considering the fact that hubby works for a company based in that area, I suppose it’s possible that could happen one day.

Here are a few pictures from our quick trip.

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Waiting on our connecting flight at the Missoula airport.
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Day 1 – Space Needle You should all know that I’m very much afraid of heights.
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I was fine standing back and taking pictures. After all, the view was beautiful!
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Another beautiful view!!!
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Naptime at the top of the Space Needle.
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Before our trip, hubby was describing the hills in Seattle. When we crossed the street and they saw how steep our walk was going to be, both of them gasped. It was in that moment they understood what he was trying to tell them. Of course I reminded them that we had to walk back up this hill on our way back.

We didn’t have time to much, but the girls both loved the Market.  We went on Day 1 and Day 2.  I’m quite sure we would have gone again if we had more time.

Their favorite part of the market may have been the crepes, although Naomi wouldn’t leave the fish area until she got to see them throw a fish.  She was not disappointed.

Before we knew it, we were on our way back to Dallas, but not before the girls suggested we come back and bring daddy with us.

Good-bye Seattle, until next time!!!

 

Just Like That

Another year has come and gone.

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2018 has been a memorable year in the World of Weeks.

We said good-bye to our foster baby who had been with us 1 day shy of 4 months.

We welcomed our foster baby at 5 day of age, straight from the hospital.  She was born the day foster baby #1 left.

We said good-bye to two of our foster kiddos.  The sisters arrived shortly before Christmas, were with us about 3 months before moving on to be reunited with their older sister.

We welcomed back our first two foster kiddos.  They had left our care 7 months earlier and a few weeks prior to arriving back in our home, had gone back to live with their parents.  It was such a bitter-sweet call to receive, but we happily said yes.  9 1/2 months later, they are still with us.

We filled our last bed, welcoming foster kiddo #4.  She arrived the week before Christmas and has been slow to adjust.  It’s never “easy” though and we’ll work to help her as much as we can while she’s here.

Sadly, we witnessed the termination of parental rights on our foster baby and happily were told we can adopt her in six months.

We had friends and family come for a visit.

We took a trip back to Illinois to visit friends and family, then headed to Florida for a few days on the beach.

We spent time with family and friends.

We made new friends.

We welcomed new nieces/cousins to the family.

Sadly, we said good-bye to some friends and family this year as well.

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In a few hours, 2019 will arrive.  We anticipate many good things in the upcoming year and hope the New Year brings wonderful things your way too!

Happy New Year!!!!

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Celebrate

Okay, so maybe writing a post per day for a month, a blog novel so-to-speak, isn’t going to happen.  However, there is something to celebrate.

Yesterday, hubby and I celebrated 33 years of wedded bliss.

Celebrated probably isn’t the right word though.  I spent the morning and a little bit of the afternoon in a CPR/First Aid class, then we hubby picked up a dinner order from Red Robin.  With 5 kids, it’s a little hard to “celebrate” but we have made it 33 years!!!

As always, I must share the song that continues to say it all for our relationship.

NaNoWriMo

In an effort to get back on track writing blog posts, I’m going to try NaNoWriMo for the month.

It’s not that there aren’t things to write about, it’s more about a struggle with how much to share and there is certainly a novel floating around somewhere in my brain.

So here’s hoping I have a successful month of blog writing.

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Sometimes It’s More Bittersweet

Foster care is obviously a big part of our lives.  So much so, that I haven’t written a blog post in about six weeks.  With a newborn and a toddler in the house for the last few weeks, writing has been a little challenging 🙂

When I left you, I talked about the revolving door of foster care.  It has continued.

We still have the baby, but the two little girls we got right before Christmas left last week to go live with family.  We also agreed to help out another family with respite care (respite care = caring for a child to give foster parents a little break or caring for them because the foster parents are leaving town and can’t take the foster child with them).  So we’ve had a 1-month-old and a 7-month-old for the past week.  We’ve gotten a few calls but have had to turn them down because the State of Texas only allows two under the age of 18 months be placed in a foster home.  The calls have included infants and with two in the house already, we had to turn them down.

Then yesterday we got a surprise call.

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It was from a case worker we worked with previously.  My first thought was that she was the new case worker for the baby we have now, but instead she was calling to see if, by chance, we had beds available for the two little girls we had last summer.

These two little girls were our first placements after licensing.  We had them for three months and then they left to go live with a family member.  We had watched the oldest blossom and the baby had gone from having some developmental delays, to being not only being caught up, but being above age level in her development.  We all loved these girls dearly and were absolutely heart-broken when they left.  So when the case worker asked if we had openings, I felt excitement, sadness and fear.

The thought of these two coming back into our family was such an exciting feeling.  At the same time, I was so very sad to learn that they had been returned to mom and dad, only to be removed yet again.  Then the fear set in as I told the case worker that we could take the oldest, but with two infants in the house, we couldn’t take the youngest (who is now 15 months), until Thursday when our respite baby goes back to her foster parents.

Fortunately, the case worker very much wanted these girls to be with us, so after conversations between our agency and the case worker, these precious little girls will be returning to our home.

Foster care can be so bittersweet, but sometimes it’s more bittersweet than usual.

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This is one of those times.

As our door revolves yet again, we are hoping that these girls will be able to stay with us long-term this time.   We want the opportunity to help these little ones blossom and grow long-term instead of being uprooted once again.

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We don’t know if the judge will give mom and dad another chance or not.  We do know that CPS doesn’t want them with the family member they were with previously and we will likely be picking up the pieces of their broken hearts.  Yet, we’re so very happy to have them become part of our family once again and are hoping for the very best.

As Expected, Sadly

Yesterday I received a call from the CPS worker telling me that Baby Girl would be moving to her aunt’s home.  They would be picking her up the following morning.

The pick up happened this morning and although Baby Girl was giving out her beautiful gummy smile to all of us, we were a basket case of tears.

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We signed up for this heartbreak and each time I find myself asking why.

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Then I look in the mirror and have a talk with me.

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“There are other babies that need you.  Those babies need someone to love them, care for them, and meet their every need so they have an opportunity to grow to be happy, healthy and strong. ”

So yes, we have cried “A LOT” over the last 24 hours and there will likely continue to be tears as I look thru pictures, put away her outgrown clothes and wash her bedding in preparation for the next baby that comes our way.

And yes, I do mean baby.

Along this journey we have learned a lot and one thing we have learned is that having babies in the home just works best for us.

Lili has made no secret of the fact that she loves having babies here.  She loves watching them grow and change.  She loves helping care for them.  She loves talking to them and playing with them.  She could make Baby Girl laugh like no one else could.

Naomi, has shown us her mommy side.  While she seems to like older babies and toddlers more, she had a special bond with Baby Girl.  That bond played out in different ways, but one way in particular was very special.  When Baby Girl would get over-tired, she would get extremely fussy (understatement).  Other than me, Naomi was the only one in the house that was able to calm her down and get her to sleep.  She held her in her special way, would sing to her and soon Baby Girl was off to dreamland.

Dave, who admittedly is not a baby person, developed a special bond with Baby Girl as well.  She flashed that gummy smile and he was putty in her hands.  He might not admit it, but it showed on his face every time.  He would even change dirty diapers from time-to-time.

Throughout this process, we have discovered that for our family, babies work out the best.

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We can do schoolwork while they nap.  They hang out with us on field trips and errands.  Not that we haven’t enjoyed the older kids we’ve had (and still have), but we’ve found a rhythm that works well and would like to continue down the path of having babies in our house.

So now we wait for the call that another baby needs us.  I don’t know if that will be today, a week from now or a month from now, but we will be here and be ready for that call.

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