Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Well once again, this is long past due...and most people probably already know...but I did want to make it official.  We are back on the list, but it's a different sort of list.  It's a list where you are only open for former foster children and their mother.  Our agency will not let us go back on
"the" list because of that (for good reasons, I understand), so I'm making my own list and putting us on there!  If all goes as planned, which what ever does, we'll be getting a "placement" next Monday, the 15th.  I also have a gut feeling that our placement will include a 3 year old, 4 year old, and 20 year old....and I also have a feeling I already know their names.

So...I'll answer the questions that we typically get and that you may, or may not, be thinking.

Q - Is this normal?
A - For us yes, since this is/was our first placement :)  But no, I don't think typically this is normal, which is really disappointing to us the more we think about it and the more we realize how easy it has been to develop a relationship with the kids' mom and let her know that we don't just love her kids, we love her too, and the whole family as a matter of fact.  And I'm not saying AT ALL that people aren't doing it "right" (I use that term very loosely, as by no means do I think we are doing things "right" most of the time) when they don't reach out to the birth family, because I understand there are certainly cases where that is not safe, or whatever.  And I also understand that not all birth mothers/families/etc are as open to help and a relationship with their kids' foster parents as this mom is, but I do think that there is a problem when no one has heard of this...and these are people whose JOB it is to deal with these cases.  I'm also not saying that in order to help them, or love them, you have to offer your house to them...but I wonder how many cases where the foster family stays in their lives, at all...I'm guessing that is also rare.  Anyways, to answer the question more directly...all the people involved in "okay-ing" this situation (caseworkers, attorneys, judges, etc) have never heard of this happening.  And having said all of that, it just makes it that much more evident that God is totally at work here, making the impossible possible...I mean really, just sit for a second and put yourself in her shoes....would you do it? 

Q - Why are you doing this?
A - Because we are having such a hard time letting go of the kids, and we just want more time with them - is so not the answer.  Not that we don't love these kids and sure it was hard letting them go, but that is not WHY we are doing this.  First of all, we are doing this because God has clearly opened doors for this to happen and honestly we are just walking through them, trying to be obedient to what we think God's plan is for this family.  We feel like God has made it clear that we are not done serving Him through this family and so we are just taking what we feel is the next step in loving them.  I don't know that there is a "second of all," but we are doing this to help her make a better life for herself.  We feel like she wants to and has good intentions of doing that, but just needs help and love and opportunities to succeed, which we can give her.

Q - Are you giving her a timeline?
A - Not exactly.  This is obviously not a forever of our many goals for her is that she would learn to live independently with her children.  So when we feel like she is able to do that, then we'll kick them out, so to speak.  Or maybe she'll be running out the door with them :)  There are definitely things she needs to accomplish before that happens, but it's hard to say how long those things will take and when exactly she'll be ready to be on her own....something she has never done before.  Probably in both of our heads, it looks like it will be about a year, but we aren't giving her a move out date of July 15, 2014.

Q - Are you giving her rules?
A - We are setting some expectations for her, yes.  The biggest one that sort of includes all of the little things, is that we want her to be moving forward with her life.  So if we see that is not happening, then we don't see a point to them being here.  So what does that look like?  To me it would look like parenting her children, doing school, working, going to church, etc. 

Q - Is it going to be awkward with the kids and figuring out who parents them?
A - Absolutely.  But we'll figure it out and ultimately she is their parent.  One of our expectations is that she is fully responsible for them.  As evidence of her choice of where to live, she definitely wants help, and I don't mind helping her.  But again, the goal is that she learns to parent them independently.
The great thing is that the kids have 3 adults-ish who they live with who love them and want what's best for them.  Maybe it will be awkward for a bit, or the whole time, but it will be worth it.

Q - So when can you take more kids?
A - When they move out.  Our agency will not let us take in more kids while they are living with us.  So...that is the most difficult part about this, for me at least.  I still desire to have a baby, and forever kids, and I feel like this is just once again putting that desire on hold.  All of the feelings that I felt when we couldn't get pregnant are back.  Why?  Why would God not want to give us that?  I think He forgot the plan.  See the plan was that we would invest 11 months of our lives into these kids and then He would send us our baby, right?  That was the plan, right?  That seems fair.  I mean, we do have a beautiful white crib (that was, by the way, still set up the entire 11 months they were here...that whole "if you build it, they will come" thing totally doesn't work) and a white rocking chair, a super cute white tree painted on the grey nursery walls, the perfect grey and yellow sheets to match, and even a yellow lamp.  Come on people, it was the perfect plan.  Nope, God has something EVEN more perfect in mind...I just need to trust Him.  I think He's saying something like "remember when you told people that you weren't in this to build your family, that you were in this to serve Me?  well, here we's not about you Kristy, or your silly nursery, or your silly's about Me, and you laying down your life for Me....putting aside your plans, and your expectations, and just following Me."  And how can you argue with that?  So I'm working on it.  Actually, I did it...I took down the crib.  And we set up this, and I had a TON of fun doing it:

All that to say, I really am super excited to have her, and the kids, in our house.  I'm sure it's going to be crazy, hard, fun, awkward, exciting, and and rewarding.  And the great thing is we have a community of people that love us and can help us love her, and the kids.  Thanks so much for asking questions and praying and just wanting to help.  We really appreciate it and love you guys!

Oh also - this little/big move means we FINALLY got a king size bed.  No more waking up in the middle of the night curled up in the fetal position because Clark has somehow managed to push me all the way to the edge of the bed....or at least I'm hoping that will solve that problem, because you know, I can't think of any other solution, like say not letting him on the bed....come on!  He's so cute!

And since I finally got my king size bed, it ALSO meant that Dave got his big TV that he's been wanting and he set up this sweet little gaming and movie watching spot for the kids with our old TV, specifically for little brother so he can play the racing game when Dave wants to watch sports:
super fun, right?

So I know this might sound stupid because we are talking about new TV's and beds and whatnot, but God has given me joy in making our home their home....something I really didn't expect to have when taking down the crib, or setting up her room.  Our God is so good, people.  He really is.  I know this next part of our lives will be hard, but I love that I get to hold on to these truths - 1. God is good, all the time 2.  God builds families, and He isn't confined to a set of rules that an agency would have  3.  His plan is absolutely perfect...which is way better than any plan I could come up with.


Thursday, May 23, 2013


11 - the number of months the kids have been with us as of this past Monday

8 - the number of days we have left with the kids....yes they are going home...we got THE call on Monday....they will leave our house May 31....yes it will be the hardest thing I've ever done to pack them up and let them go....yes we will do it again....yes we are taking a break...yes we have high hopes of keeping a relationship with them and their family

4 - the hour on Saturday that we will drop them off with their family for an overnight visit

10:35 - the time of the church service their mom (and maybe Grandma) is coming to, to drop them back off with us after their overnight....YES she is COMING to CHURCH with US....praise Jesus...please pray that it would go well and she will feel welcomed and know that there is a community that loves her, and their precious kids, at our church...if you go to Northwest and know us and have supported us, please come find us and introduce yourselves...we would love for you to meet her

7,384 - the number of times they've made me laugh

7,385 - the number of times they've made me cry (joking...they are wonderful)

43ish - the number of times I did little mama's hair

2 - the number of ER visits in 11 months (big brother - asthma, little mama - staples in the head)

2 - the number of dental surgeries

32ish - the number of "Foster Fridays" we've had since they came...with super amazing friends who have helped us TREMENDOUSLY and walked through this first placement with love love you guys...a million thanks

300ish - the number of times we read a book on the couch before bed

1 - the number of times someone fell in the pool...oops

1 billion - the number of times I've heard "Kiki" in the past 11 months (although I'm now also referred to as "Kiks" thanks to Dave)

2 - the number of pee-wee sport seasons we played

37 - the number of times big brother spilled his drink at the dinner table...just could be accurate

640ish - the number of times I applied lotion to their stinking cute bodies

probably not enough - the number of times I gave them baths

probably too much - the number of times we had frozen corn dogs for dinner (no we did not eat them frozen)

6 - the number of times I've made the wrong decision of whether or not to send them to daycare or pick them up when daycare calls because they are sick/hurt....I sure hope I figure this "mother" thing out for our next kids' sake

13 - the number of bags little mamma can put on when playing dress-up

2 - the number of princess dresses little mamma can put on when playing dress-up...oh yes, both at the same time + the bags and probably Kiki's high heals and 1 or 2 scarves

9 - the number of spider-mans big brother has...maybe a few with missing limbs that may or may not have been found in dog poops in our backyard

500+ - the number of times we hope to still see them and their family...we love them so much and pray that we will continue to do our part of ministering not only to them, but to their family

We've truly had a blast parenting these kids for the past 11 months.  Not that it's always been easy, pretty sure any parent would say that, but it just has been sooooo GOOD.  The thing I've heard the most lately (either from Mother's Day or their going home-ness) is "you guys have been such a blessing to these kids."  But honestly friends, it's the other way around.  They have blessed us more than I will probably ever know.  God has used them to change me and to reveal my sin and to draw me closer to Him and to show me how to be more like Christ.  I am so thankful to have had this opportunity and I pray that God blesses us with a long-term relationship with the family. 

Like I said, we will be taking about a month or so break (Dave's answer might be different), but we are focusing on finishing well with these kids first.  I think we have a vacation in the works, most likely Vegas, and I should have plenty of time to do things like, oh I don't know, blog more than once every 4 months?  Oh also, 1 more number...

9 - the number of years I taught...I will not be coming back next year....that decision was made on Wednesday....this week has sort of been a roller coaster :/

Love you guys!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What's goin' on...?

Well again it’s been forever since I last posted, but I’m going to stop apologizing for that because apparently I’m not that sorry J  Honestly I get a little intimidated because I follow so many great blogs that I know that I could never measure up to their postings.  But that’s okay too.
So, this isn’t going to be too long because I’ll probably mostly likely not have more to update you with tomorrow.  But my main reason to blog today is to ask for prayers.  The kids have a court hearing tomorrow at 8:30AM.  This is another one of those permanency hearings, which is normal (I think?) since it will be 9 months exactly since they have been in care.  We were informed today that there will be a meeting before court tomorrow morning where all important people involved (CPS caseworker, CPS caseworker’s supervisor, the kids’ guardian ad litem, and I’m not sure who else….no, not us of course!  we are just the babysitters here people) are going to try to reach an agreement, that we don’t agree with J  I know, I know - welcome to foster care.  But it doesn’t mean we can’t pray and ask God to give those people wisdom and that the kids would receive justice in His eyes.  So…please pray for the meeting and court tomorrow.  I am nervous and anxious and sad for what we expect to hear tomorrow - we’ve been told that they will probably propose another transition schedule to be put into place.  Yes, another…did I tell you all about the first one?  I can’t remember.  It’s been a little bit of a rollercoaster as far as their case goes.  They had a return date set for Feb. 15th, and we were given that date early-ish January.  Their caseworker gave us a transition schedule where they start with longer visits, then do an overnight, then do a weekend, then a return.  All of that was going to take 3-4 weeks if I remember correctly.  So then “something came up” and that transition got put on hold.  Then “it got resolved,” so we have just been waiting, in limbo sort of, to hear if the transition is back on.  Which leads me back to what we expect to hear tomorrow.  We aren’t sure if it will be another month long transition (I’ve heard that was a pretty long transition schedule), or a few days, or a few weeks, or maybe we won’t even know anything tomorrow.  Again - all we know is that we know NOTHING J    
The kids are doing great.  We are constantly shocked by how far they have come since coming into care.  It’s truly amazing.  Whenever we are going through a tough time or dealing with a tough behavior we can ALWAYS say “yeah but think about what it was like when they first came.”  Here are some of their favorites (isn’t this what parents do??):
Big Brother

·       racing game (Mario Kart Wii)
·       playing ipad games, mostly a motorcycle and “bear game”
·       anything that has to do with technology
·       pee wee sports (we finished up his first basketball season in February…he was an all star if I do say so myself)
·       chocolate milk
·       chocolate ice cream
·       climbing on things
·       being overly dramatic (so much emotion for such a little body…seriously)
·       donuts with dinosaur sprinkles
·       spiderman
·       telling stories
·       reading stories (he is super sad when he can’t read his book in his bed before sleep time)
·       hugs and tisses
·       bananas for school

Little Mama
·       her hair with yarn extensions that are twirl-able
·       watching finding nemo on the ipad (every. single. time. and yes we do get a lot of ipad time on hair days)
·       talking about monsters, but also she hates them
·       not pee wee sports (she did basketball this time since she was old enough and she did much better by the end, but I’m not sure I see her playing sports…but she’s also 3)
·       attention
·       pink
·       trying on shoes 
·       dress up (especially in kiki's shoes and scarves)
·       babies
·       corn dogs
·       edamame
·       helping (or running things, whatever you wanna call it)
·       when Dave pats her back at bedtime after she’s had a “good day at school”
·       hugs and kisses
·       bananas for school
 We love them so incredibly much.  I don’t know how to do the next part.  Right now my plan is just not to think about it.  Which is probably a good thing for everyone right now, but I know I’ll have to face it at some point.  Luckily our backyard is being demolished (again) so maybe there will be some projects in our future to distract us from the next part too. 
 Love you guys and thanks for the prayers!