11 Years Ago

I a town near Guatemala City, a baby was born.

Today, that baby girl turns 11!!!!!

How is this possible.

Liliana, you have turned our world upside down in so many different ways.

You are creative, artistic, smart, witty, loving, caring, challenging and so much more.

You are loved beyond words and we wish you the Happiest of Birthdays.



A Different Perspective

Big Sister and Little Sister spent 3 months with us last summer (May – August).  When they left to live with a family member, we were broken-hearted and at the same time we were happy for them.  They had been separated from their 3 older siblings during those three months and we had always hoped they were doing well.

When their case worker called to give us an update a couple of weeks ago, we discovered that they weren’t doing as well as we had hoped.

Their time away wasn’t the best.  Then the judge granted a monitored return to mom and dad.  This meant that for six months, CPS would continue to monitor how mom, dad and kids were doing.  Five weeks later, they were removed again and young hearts who had hoped their family would be back together permanently, were once again torn apart.  Sadly, this is a normal part of foster care and I hate it!

We do feel fortunate that we could say yes when we got the call asking if we could take them and now we have a different perspective.

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In the past, all the children who had come into our home were either new to the foster care system or were back in the system, but new to our home and family.  This means there is an adjustment period and it can, and typically does take months for everyone to find their comfort level.  In this case, there is still an adjustment period, but it is shortened due to the fact that we are familiar.  We were their family for 3 months and that makes things easier.  Not that there aren’t challenges, but the familiar certainly helps.

While I’m happy things are easier because of the familiar, it doesn’t mean that I’m not angry.

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I’m angry that the judge ruled against the recommendation of the case worker, CASA and Guardian ad litem and ruled that they be moved to a family member that was not in a position to adequately care for the children.

I’m angry that there is so much emphasis put on biology and as such,  what’s best for the children is pushed aside to place them with biological family.

I’m angry that each move, whether with biological family or not, makes it more difficult for children to feel safe and trust their caregivers.

Most of all, I’m angry at the parents and the reasons are too many to list right now.

So we start all over again and go thru the steps with the primary goal being reunification.  It doesn’t matter that this is mom and dad’s 4th time having their children removed, reunification remains the goal.

Then we wait to see if there are other family members who will take the kids while parents work their services.  In other words, we wait to see if we say good-bye yet again.

Then we wait to see if the courts will return them to mom and dad or terminate their rights.

We wait to see if the decision will be in the hands of a judge or jury.

We wait to see what happens if they do go back to mom and dad.  Will they get it right next time or will the kids are removed a 5th time?

In a nutshell,  I’m angry with the system and with the parents.  How many times do these children have to be tossed around in the name of reunification?

Having a different perspective hasn’t changed my feelings, but it has certainly caused some of those feeling to become more intense.

We love these little girls and only want what is best for them, but how can this possibly be good for them?

How can it be good for any child to spend half of their life in the foster care system?  Yes, Big Sister has spent that much time in the system.  Little Sister has spent over half of her life in the system.  Now there is a new baby on the way who will enter this world into the system.  How can it be good for them that this is normal?

At the same time, this is what we signed up for.  We willingly stepped into this world of foster care and we have to be on board with the decisions made.  It doesn’t mean we have to like them and we don’t.

For now, we are their family unit and it is our responsibility to do everything we can to make sure they live in a safe, loving, nurturing and normal family environment.  We’re doing the best we can and sometimes our best doesn’t feel like enough.  We just have to hope it is and that no matter how much longer they are with us, they walk away with a different perspective for their lives.  A happier and more positive perspective for their futures.





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 the Door Revolves

In May, 2017, a 5 month old and her 5 yr old sister were placed with us.  They left 3 months later.

It took a few weeks, but we got another placement, a 2-yr-old little boy.  We were told his premie newborn baby brother would come to us when released from the hospital Two and a half weeks later, the little guy went to live with his grandmother and the baby was released into their care as well.

We again had to wait a couple of weeks when Baby Girl was placed with us.  Then several weeks went by and we received the placement of another 2-yr-old little boy, who turned 3 the next day.  He was with us for exactly 1 month before going to live with his mom’s cousin.

About 1/2 hour after he left, we got a call about a 1-yr-old and her 4-yr-old sister.  They arrived on our doorstep a couple of hours later.

Then last Friday Baby girl left us.  We were just 1 day shy of having her 4 months.  Little did we know that another baby girl was born last Friday and last night that baby girl was placed in our care.

In 8 months, we have had 8 children come into our care.  We seem to have a revolving door for foster children and while each of them have touched our lives in different ways, it’s not easy having them come and go so quickly.

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At this moment, we have no idea how long the sisters or our newest baby girl will be with us.  The State of Texas pushes CPS workers to find acceptable family members (kinship) or family friends (fictive kin) that will take these children.  So the chances of us keeping any child long-term feels like an improbability at the moment.  Still, we will keep the door spinning and accepting children into our home and our lives.



Baby Girl left on Friday and although we’ve had a tearful weekend, we’re doing okay.  It helps that her CASA worker reached out to me and said he would keep me updated on how she is doing.  I’m sure she’s fine and I want her to be doing well, although there is that tiny piece that hopes she misses us so terribly that she’s making everyone’s life miserable and they want to send her back.  That’s the selfish part of me.

But this post isn’t going to be all about Baby Girl or even about foster care.  This post is going to be about another love of mine . . . . .



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We really do enjoy traveling, although foster care is making travel a bit challenging.

Our main travel the last few years has consisted of cruises and travel between Texas and Illinois.  The girls and I hit the road a few years ago and went to California, but that’s pretty much it.

Between hubby and I, we’ve seen almost all 50 states.  While in the Army, hubby spent two years in Germany, but didn’t take the opportunity to see other parts of Europe.  Other than Guatemala, Ethiopia and cruise ports, I’ve never visited many places outside of the U.S. and think I would very much enjoy seeing Europe.  I think the girls would enjoy it as well, plus, what a great opportunity for some road schooling.

We currently have a deposit down on a cruise for next year, but are discussing the possibility of canceling the cruise and planning a European vacation.

At one time, we had a European cruise scheduled, but we switched that to a Caribbean cruise because hubby really doesn’t want to waste time on a ship when we could be traveling around Europe.

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Tonight, he asked me where in Europe I would like to go and I didn’t have an answer for him.  There are so many choices!!!!!

Do we visit Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Great Britain, Italy, France, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Spain . . . . the list goes on.

It’s not like we’ll be able to spend a month traveling around Europe, although that would be awesome.  Financially, we just can’t do that, so if we can make it happen, we’ll likely only have 2 weeks.

So here is my question to you.

If you had two weeks to travel around Europe, which countries would you visit and why?




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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Questions I’m Pondering – Deep Thoughts

I have deep thoughts and those thoughts cause me to ask many questions.

In my blogs over the last several months, I have primarily discussed foster care, so it may shock some do discover that my thoughts and questions are not only about foster care.  I have many thoughts about many different topics and quite honestly, I’m sometimes fearful to write about those things that are more controversial.

Since my blog was meant to chronicle the World of Weeks, if I don’t write about all my many question or deep thoughts, than I’m not really providing an accurate chronicle of life in the World of Weeks.  After all, our life is not just about foster care, adoption and homeschooling.  It is so much more, so let me share something I’ve been pondering.

Recently, I’ve been thinking of all the people from different countries who fled because they weren’t safe in their country.

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They fled for their freedom.  They fled for opportunity.  They fled for their lives.

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How many who didn’t flee, stayed because they didn’t think things were all that bad?

How many who didn’t flee, stayed because they thought they could fight back?

How many who didn’t flee, stayed because they thought things would improve?

How many who didn’t flee, stayed out of fear of fleeing?

All of my childhood and most of my adulthood, I’ve not been able to even imagine the thoughts going thru these people’s minds.  I’ve never had to live my life with any real concerns for my safety of the safety of my family because of my government.

Sadly, for the first time in my life, I feel concern.  I feel fear.

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I question how safe it is to live in the U.S. today.

I now have a small glimpse into the life of the millions before me who found themselves in a situation they didn’t dream possible.

I feel a sadness, like I’ve never felt before, for all those before me who have found themselves living in fear and struggling to find a way out.

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Does this mean we should all flee the U.S. for a safer place?

Not necessarily.  After all, our government has been set up to provide checks and balances in an effort to prevent any one person from being in complete power, right?!

Still,  I never imagined that I would see a U.S. president that is so clearly pouring fuel on so many fires and that by doing so, puts American citizens at risk.

I never imagined that I would see a U.S. president that is so clearly racist.

I never imagined that I would see a U.S. president so unqualified for the job.

I never imagined that I would see a U.S. president who is so similar to Hitler in what he says and tries to do.

I never imagined that I would see a U.S. president that would cause this great country to slide so quickly backwards.

So I find myself asking . . .

How many before me found themselves in similar circumstances and at what point they decided it was time to flee?

How many before me found themselves feeling that things would get better?

How many before me waited until it was too late to do anything?

How many before me had friends and family who thought they were crazy for even suggesting it was time to flee, let alone actually following thru?

Are we safer simply because it’s the U.S.?  Are we safer because of our government?  Are we safer because of history?

I know there are many who are in complete support of our current leadership and completely disagree with my assessment of our current president.

I know there are many who trust our elected officials to keep us safe.

I know there are many who think that even suggesting we should be concerned is crazy.

So I am not in agreement with everyone as they are not in agreement with me.  That doesn’t dismiss the fact that I just can’t shake this feeling that we are not really all that different from the many before us who found themselves in similar circumstances, with similar questions, who decided to stay and then regretted it.

I don’t know the answers to all the questions floating thru my brain these days, but I will continue to ponder the questions and pay attention while hoping that things get better.