Saturday, December 20, 2008

Foster Care stuff

I've really hesitated sharing much of what goes on with "The Girls" because I'm afraid somehow the wrong person will see this and All H-E-you know whats will break out. I've heard too many horror stories I guess. But, I did start this blog with the intention of being open and honest about our journey, no matter where it might take us. I also know that, personally, I have learned and been encouraged by others who have been there done that and not been afraid to share.



So, where do I begin. Maybe with a little summary of each Girl.



Mississippi: I have really struggled with what to even share about her because I am afraid it will just end up making me sound like "That Mean Old Foster Mom". The honest truth is that M is just really hard to live with. She's only 10 and has the worst chip on her shoulder. One morning last week I asked her if she was ready for school and her answer was, "YES! I'm ready!", full of nasty, How dare you ask me that question attitude. We haven't found a way that really deals best with this behavior quite yet. We usually make her say everything over to us until she can do it without attitude but it doesn't always work. At times we have just ignored the attitude to see if not giving her a reaction will solve the problem. It's kind of like picking your battles, at times it's worht it to make her keep repeating until she gets it right and other times it's best to let it go.

She also can not stand to be told to do anything. She's been told to change into something clean to go out in and has a fit over that. She doesn't even like to be told when to walk out to the bus stop in the mornings. She has no sense of what's appropriate. She has been known to yell at people down the block while standing at the bus stop, where the bus comes at 7 A.M.! Needless to say she now has to be completely silent at the bus stop.

Then on the other hand she can be sweet if she chooses and she actually has a strong sense of justice. Mostly it's used to determine that she has been wronged but I have seen her get upset because she feels someone else is being mistreated. She's also befriended a girl her sister decided was too weird to be friends with because she felt bad for her. She loves animals and likes giving gifts. She does have a good heart, but she needs to work on some issues. Just like we all do.

Skippy:She's a little harder to figure out at times because she is not as vocal about things that bother her as M is. She tends to be the type of kid who will say she will do something and then not do it. One of her biggest issues is lying and not following through. We're pretty sure she can be sneaky as well. A lot of times we think conflicts that erupt between S and M are M's fault because she is the loud one so the attention gets focused on her and she looks like the bad guy. We are starting to figure out though that that seems to be a strategy that S has developed and plays well. She may actually instigate a lot of it because she likes.....well, we're not sure what satisfaction she really gets from it yet, but we're working on that. Another issue is schoolwork, and this goes along with her acting as if she's doing what's required but not really. When we get interims she's always missing homework or notes. She is required to study and do homework every night so we don't know what happens between home and school. She tells us she wants to go to college and have a nice career but her actions don't reflect that.

S is very funny and very bright. She can make up a rhyme about someone very easily and she and Noah love doing this. She can get along with most anyone and is pretty easygoing.

There are other issues for both like hygiene, visits with parents, behaviors at school. We are just going to keep walking it out for as long as they are with us. And hopefully blogging to have a record and memories for when they move on.



Friday, December 19, 2008

Music and Life-Father of the Fatherless

This song brings tears to my eyes EVERY. TIME. It is one of the few newer Christmas songs that i really like listening to. It's the message in it that makes it so worth hearing. I heard it in Wal*Mart the other day, and just pray maybe someone who never considered adoption or the fact that there are orphans in this world, was really listening.

Shelley made this slideshow with pictures of Reece's Rainbow's Older Angels and Other Angel's. Maybe you've noticed that I seem to be stuck on these kids. I am. My heart's desire for this season is to see them find families.

These are the Faces of the Fatherless.



Sunday, December 14, 2008

One More Day For Ornaments

Yes, I shamelessly stole the below post from Shelley but I got the idea from Meredith. Please go and sponsor one of these angels. Help them get adopted. I'll even tell you which one I am praying for Jesus to make a part of our family. Her name is Liza and she is a beautiful platinum blonde with the most captivating bluish-greenish eyes. There are a couple others who have a soft spot in my heart but she is the one I keep going back to the most. Before it was Victoria but her family has found her and I am so happy for all of them. She is going to be so blessed to join her new family as I know they are going to be blessed by her.

And here's another good reason to sponsor one or two or a few: My birthday is in 12 days. In lieu of a present you can just sponsor an angel and we'll call it even :) Seriously though, these kids need families and receiving this sponsor money makes that more a reality for so many of them. If you can't, pass this info on to someone who maybe can.

The Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree project is in full swing. But there's only one more day left to donate and receive an ornament of the waiting angel for your tree! If you'd like to receive a 2008 RR Angel Tree ornament with the photo of a waiting child, go to this link and choose a child to sponsor. A donation of $35 or more and you will receive a beautiful ornament for your tree. I assure you, the ornaments are beautiful(I've spent a lot of quality time with 300 of them, so I should know!). But, more important than the ornament, 100% of the money you donate will go to help the child you choose to find a forever family.
The Angel Tree fundraiser has already raised over $20,000 in grant money for children with Down syndrome all over the world and there's still 15 days left (400 ornaments will have been mailed by tomorrow with a projected 100 more going out next week!). If you want an ornament, you have to donate by midnight on the 15th (tomorrow!).
Also, make sure you scroll to the bottom of the page and look at how many children have already found their forever families since the Angel Tree began on November 1st.
So, what are you waiting on? Click the tree....and give the gift of a forever family this Christmas season!


You know you want to go check out Liza! Click the tree below, please....(with puppy eyes face)

Updated to add the button. Thanks toMeredith for the code.
Angel Tree
Grab This Button


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Music and Life-My Fave Christmas song?

I am not a huge fan of Christmas music. There are some songs that I really like and some I just can't stand. I think some are too overdone. Every artist who wants to make some money off a Christmas album has to try their hand at this one or that one. Maybe I'm just a scrooge, but I just don't want to listen to the same song 20 times a day by 20different artists.

Tonight however, I had the opportunity to hear one of my favorite Christmas songs. It never fails to bring a smile to my face and I don't believe any other artist has attempted to cover it.



Ok, yes, it's Jeff Foxworthy and not a "real" Christmas song. But, it makes me laugh and it's one I don't mind hearing every year. I'll try to post some of my real favorites later on. Hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Things I Ponder-12-2-08

I think this is going to become a regular feature. I've always been a ponderer (is that a word?) by nature. There's always something on my mind, something I'm working out or trying to understand better. Sometimes it's deep and meaningful and sometimes it's just silly.

It's amazing how kids can give you something to ponder every day. Sometimes a few times a day.

I'm pondering this:
Why is that putting away schoolbooks or doing homework becomes soooo important when you're asked to help someone else do a chore?

Monday, December 1, 2008

I Miss Summer Already



This is one of the last family outings we had this summer. The annual Labor day picnic. I know they're not the greatest pics but I've been nervous about sharing any that have The Girls in them. So this is the best it's gonna get.

Um, and yeah, this one. My Knucklehead kid (aka Noah) took this one upside-down on purpose. I haven't had the heart to turn it right side up and it makes me laugh. He's pretty goofy :)



Sunday, November 30, 2008

Kids Are Fun

Four kids and a husband who works nights in a smallish house are not a good combination. Especially when a couple of the kids aren't used to being quiet, everyone loves to talk and laugh at the dinner table, and the master bedroom is right next to the dining room. Not good planning on my part when we first looked at this house. I just knew I loved the beams, the big kitchen, and the front porch. Hindsight.....

Anyway, last night we were having dinner and the new rule is when Dad's sleeping we all have to be quiet. So, the kids are gesturing to each other to pass things and that alone made for some interesting moments. But, then Skippy starts gesturing to Mississippi and everyone else just minds their own business...at first. Then she begins gesturing a little more flamboyantly so I looked over thinking I could help figure out what she needed. She could have whispered it but she was having too much fun with this. Finally, after everyone's looking and we've offered her the ketchup, hot sauce, salt & pepper, and napkins, none of which were what she needed.

So, I asked her: "What are you trying to say?"

And she says, with a goofy grin: "I was telling Mississippi, 'It's really quiet'!"

LOL, crazy kid! Maybe you had to be there but we thought it was hilarious.
Um, Ricky was not amused though........ :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Found a Giveaway.....

And it's for an adoption fundraiser!


The Jones', http://joneseeadoption.blogspot.com/, are adopting a little boy with Down Syndrome from Eastern Europe. They are giving away a $100 Toys R Us giftcard and a $200 Visa giftcard. For a $5 donation you get entered into both drawings. You can't beat that and I figured if I shared with everyone who pops in here I get to help them out and possibly you too. You'll be thanking me if you win, or at least I hope you will.

And the Dickinson's, http://www.thenewdickinsonfamily.com/, are giving away a Wii. Same concept. You donate $5 and your name goes into the drawing to help them bring home their little boy.

*For those of you reading me on google reader, I apologize if this posted three times due to me screwing up this post......THREE times! lol

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Fallen For An Angel

A Reece's Rainbow Christmas Angel, that is. There are so many of them that just tug at my heart strings and I wish I was a millionaire who could just adopt 10, 20, or more if that's what I wanted to do. Someday, I'm going to work in an orphanage or in some type of orphan ministry.

Have I mentioned before that I really feel that we are supposed to adopt a child with Down Syndrome? Ah yes, I have: See number 8 here? I thought there were other times but I guess I've been hesitant to put it out there . You know, that fear: "what if I'm wrong?" Especially after our experience getting our hopes up for LB. And on top of that because of how it ended up we don't even have an adoption homestudy and never got any of the money back that we paid for it. I still struggle with anger over that one. So, yeah, I guess that's why I'm hesitant to share any more what's on my heart in terms of our adoption hopes.

Now, with all that said......I think I have lost my mind. I have fallen for one of Reece's Rainbow's Christmas Angels. Her name is Victoria and she looks like she loves to talk on the telephone. I had a dream one night of two children, a little girl between 1 and 3 and an infant that I think was a boy. I was walking across a bridge and carrying both of them. Then Rick came alongside me and took the little girl from my arms to lighten my load. As he walked a little ahead of me she looked over his shoulder and smiled at me as a little girl would smile at her mommy. This little girl had Down syndrome and an Eastern European name. I've been asking myself if I dreamed of my child or did I just dream this because I have been reading the blog of a family who adopted a little girl recently from an Eastern European country with the same name as the one in my dream. I only know that I woke up with a peace in my heart and really felt that God had shown me my child. But, that fear is still there: "what if I'm wrong?"

My prayers the past few days have been that God will make His will clear and, if this is really something He wants, He will show Rick without a doubt that He is in it and we can do it. You see, my husband is afraid of the financial aspect of it. That is the only thing that holds him back. I honestly believe if someone said they would cover the entire cost of the adoption Rick would not have anything holding him back. And that makes me so sad. I hate it that the only thing keeping children from being placed in loving homes is money. I hate it that the people who have the love and desire to adopt these kids so often don't have the money to do it so they never try.

All I can do is continue to pray, right? Then, I guess that's what I'll do.



Sunday, November 16, 2008

I'm Not Sc-Sc-Sc-Sc-Scared.....

I got tagged again by the lovely Brandi. I have to post 15 things that I'm not afraid to admit. But, honestly as I've been sitting here thinking alot of them are things I am scared to admit. You know how we all think that everybody's got it goin' on so much better than us and we don't want anyone to see those things we don't want to admit cause the whole world will know we ain't got it goin' on like them?(whew, can we say "run on sentence"?) Anyway, I probably have to make that my number one thing I'm not afraid to admit, maybe then I can begin to "get over it", just like I tell my kids frequently.

So, here goes nothin':

  1. See the extra humongo run on sentence above, I struggle with that but I'm not afraid to admit...I'm working on it :)


  2. I was probably a borderline nerd in school. I'm pretty sure everyone liked me ok, but I wasn't really cool. Still not, but I don't care as much.


  3. I think adoption is amazing and is a visual representation here on Earth of what God the Father has done for us. I get really upset by those who do not agree and say mean and hateful things about those who have adopted or plan to adopt.


  4. I may be afraid to admit but will do it anyway....sometimes I just feel down in the dumps, lonely and have to give myself a good talking to to snap out of it. See this post.

  5. My kids seriously crack me up sometimes. They are so hilarious but in totally different ways. And just to toot my own horn, sometimes I crack myself up :) I'm probably too easily entertained.
  6. I am an internet addict. I have way too many blogs saved in my google reader and keep adding more. Is there a 12 step program for this?
  7. Oh yeah, I've become a FaceBook addict too. What is it with entering the 30's and reconnecting with folks from high school? I know it's not just me cause they're all there too!
  8. I hope to adopt a child with Down Syndrome someday. Actually feel pretty sure that someday will be a reality.
  9. I actually hope that once we adopt once I can convince Rickydoodle we should do it a few more times!
  10. I am very pro-life and do not feel any less a strong woman for that stand. Maybe I even feel stronger.
  11. I hate rejection and am not even sure where it stems from. My stint in foster care as a kid? Something before/after that? I'm sure that's why even a job rejection ( see #4) bugs me. I know it's not personal but it still messes me up a little bit. Guess I need to take that to my Abba.
  12. I am scared to death of camel crickets and hate them with a passion. See #5 of this post and the picture. You would be scared of them too!
  13. Jem was one of my favorite cartoons, along with She-Ra. I LOVED them! And probably watched them when I was "too old".
  14. I hate the movie Titanic. Never want to see it again! I know that really happened to real people and I just can't handle it.
  15. I'm turning 32 this year and I'm ok with it so far. I'm calling it my Sweet Sixteen X's 2. I even told Ricky he had to throw me a party, but I think he dropped the ball on that one. Either that or he's a really good faker!

All right I'm done! I'm not going to tag anybody this time cause I don't know who to tag and it's late. I should be in bed. If you want to play, please do and leave me comment so I can read yours.




Friday, November 14, 2008

I Lost the Job*

*(I just don't feel like doing the linky thing tonight but the job referenced is mentioned in the post before this one. And Brandi, I am working on that tag, promise :) Can I have a few more hours?)

Actually it was not mine to begin with but I was praying and thought that it would be so wonderful for me. I would love all the people I worked with and the work that I would do. And the best part were the hours that would allow me to be at home at critical times of the day so that I didn't feel like I was slacking on my family.

When I got the call tonight that I wasn't the one, I have to admit it upset me. I was really disappointed even though I have been praying for God's will. I know that the ones who were doing the hiring were praying as well and that all things happen for a reason. I think this was just the straw that broke the camel's back for me tonight. We really need for me to go to work but I just don't want to have a job that requires me to be out of the house more of the day than I'm at home. Especially with "The Girls" added to the mix right now. Some friends of mine have suggested that maybe the reason I've had so many interviews and just as many rejections is that perhaps God wants me at home right now. The thing is, God knows our financial situation and how tough things have been and how stressed my husband can get, and I can't help but wonder why if that's what He wants He hasn't given Rick that memo. Our friends don't know this though. We've been pretty quiet about how our financial situation has looked, but it's not pretty. I don't want to go to work to have extra money to blow. I need to go to work so that we can climb out of this pit. I hate it, but it is the sad reality.

I know this is the pity-partiest post I have ever put out here but I have been down in the dumps all night. Waffling back and forth about posting this or not and I just had to get it off my chest. I'm praying and crying out for answers but just getting it out here helps a little too. Anybody know of a great part-time job for a mom who's passionate about orphans and adoption?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Of Internet Addictions and Broken Computers

Remember this little guy?













He caused my computer, which allows me to daily satisfy my Internet addiction, to die. He thinks the power cord to my laptop is his own personal chew toy and when no one's watching he sinks his sharp little teeth right in. So, I went a few days recently with no Internet access when the power cord gave up it's fight and the battery on the laptop died. Luckily for him, or me depending how you look at it, the cord miraculously started working again sometime last night. Go figure. This was after we ordered one through B*st B*y.

Ricky's right, I am an addict.

This is what I found when I logged on today.


  • 338 blog posts in my Google Reader
  • 300+ email before the ladies in the church office took pity on me and let me use their computer yesterday
  • 3 L'il Greenpatch Requests, 1 message, 1 invitation, and tons of updates on FaceBook

I have posts rolling around in my head, but right now I just don't feel like doing anything but catching up on what everyone else has been up to. But, here's a small taste:

  • Mississippi learned that it's a bad idea to sharpen pencils with a knife/thumbs are more pliable than wood against a sharp blade (We have tons of sharpeners and she knows this. It's a mystery!)
  • I'm not happy about how the election turned out but we're teaching respect for the President no matter who he is and whether or not we agree with his policies.
  • "The Girls" had a visit scheduled with their dad, which he did not bother to show up for.
  • We learned that even if a complaint is logged, investigated and found to "be founded" against a parent, they still have a chance at getting custody. We're still a little shocked at that one.
  • I interviewed for a position in our church's office and hope they will offer me the job!

My unofficial hiatus is officially over and I am woman enough to admit that, yes, I am addicted to the Internet. And if Mojo comes near my computer again, he'll probably wind up toothless.

Just sayin'.....



Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm Going To Work!

YAY!
Honestly, My dream and hope is to eventually be able to stay home with my kids (hopefully there will be small ones again) and just be there for my family. But, right now I need to work and I haven't been working for about four weeks. That can cause some stress! I haven't mentioned it because I didn't want to be a complainer. Remember?

The real reason it makes me so excited is that yesterday during worship I felt the Lord say to me that the weeping had endured for the night, but the morning had finally come.
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Psalm 30:5b


The night before I had been crying out to him and asking why he did not seem to hear or care. This was His way of telling me that He has heard and He does care.

My Daddy does love me!



So, today I get to go back to work as a Substitute in the classroom at Noah's school, which is something I've been praying for for the past three years. I think that's just the beginning and it made me give a shout of joy this morning.

Can't wait to see what comes next :)

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dale Tucker

Dale Tucker was a friend of my Godfamily. They all went to church together and he loved my Godsisters, especially Kelly and Cheryl. I remember the first Sunday that I met Dale, I was going to church with them for the first time and I guess Cheryl and I were both around 11 or 12. She told me on the way there that he would come over to us, probably give her a hug, and would want to know who I was. She told me that he was different and that he was actually alot older than us but not to be afraid of him he was really a sweet guy. I didn't have any clue what she was talking about and had to wonder about this guy. It turned out that Dale was a friendly guy, who loved his church family and the Lord, and who also happened to have been born with Down Syndrome.

I don't remember much about him, but I do remember that I liked him. It was kind of hard not to. You just can't not like someone who knows instinctively how to make you feel welcome. He was a part of the youth group at in his early 30's and of course I knew then it was because he was more on our level, but I didn't realize how great that was for a Southern Baptist church in Georgia in the late 80's early 90's. In fact, I guess it's pretty impressive that his parents raised him at home at all. In the day and age he was born it was still common for babies like him to be sent away. How sad! We may have never gotten the chance to know Dale? He broadened our horizons, helped us to be more accepting of people who were different than us. I know he took away misconceptions that we may have developed if we had never had the chance to know him.

I, for one, am thankful that I was blessed to know Dale Tucker.

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tag, I'm it!

Tami tagged me the other day and I was so excited because I have wanted to be tagged for this post. Of course, ever since then my mind has been blank. That's the way it goes in my world.

But, I am going to just get it out here. My kids will tell you, I'm a little different. I like me that way, though.
So, here goes.



1. I was technically a single mom for about 8 years. I stood by a man who was in and out of jail and treated me like crap. It wasn't until I realized that I didn't want my kids to grow up to be like him that I finally left. One of the smartest moves I've ever made.

2.I have always loved to sing and there are so many songs that are truly like a soundtrack to my life. I actually had a chance to join a local country band at 18 and declined because I wanted to move back home to Georgia. What might've been....? Nah, I think about what might not have been and that's enough to know I made the right choice. And, I'm still young, right? Maybe my big break is right around the corner....um, yeah-break my leg maybe :)

3.As E was saying the other day, I frequently burst into song. All it takes is one word. Any word, really. And there I go. My kids think it's a sure sign that I'm nuts............ "I'm a nut. In a hut. Stole an apple off the tree. So what?!" And there I go.......

4.As a little girl I used to say I wanted to have LOTS of kids, bio and adopted. My family told me that would change as I grew up. I guess some things never do change :) I also used to keep every one of my baby dolls in my bed at night. I didn't want any of them to feel left out. Yes, even my mother thought I was strange!

5.I am terrified of camel crickets* and used to call them "demon bugs". I swear they try to attack me every time they see me and a couple have even crawled up my pants legs! EWWWW!! (see pic below)Oh yeah, and chased me screaming out of my own bathroom. TWICE!

6.I was a foster child in the state of Florida about 30 years ago. I always wonder who my foster parents were and how they may have shaped my life and I just don't realize it. My brother and I were eventually returned home to our mom.

7.I have been to Jamaica twice, but don't think I could go back for a vacation. I went both times on missions trips and loved the island and the people. If I go back it would have to be to be among the real people of Jamaica, not in a resort. It just wouldn't be the same.

Now to tag back:

1.Faith
2.Lauren
3.Melissa
4.Wendy
5.Minnie
6.Whitney
7.Melissa B-Love her, but she's private for now :)
*I found this pic online, but the ones I find in my house look just like this. Maybe bigger.....especially when they're trying to jump on my face, they look much bigger....just sayin'.



Get It Down; 31 for 21

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dear Little Baby Snake,

Just because you are only about 4 inches long does not mean that it's ok for you to crawl across my foot. Sheesh, I can STILL feel your cold, weird flesh.....eeehwyeh..... on my poor toes. They along with the rest of me are traumatized and now the yard will be taken over completely by weeds! I know I should've been wearing real shoes to work in the garden but I'm too lazy to put them on once I decide I need to get outside. Plus, I like to be barefoot. Can't you respect that?

I'm just sayin', next time you see me out there please turn and wriggle the other way, and I'll try not to scream. Then my boys won't come runnin' outta the house like Rambo trying to take down a warlord. And the few flowers I have left will live to come back next year.

Thanks mucho,
Melissa
AKA Barefoot Weed Puller and Expert Screamer and Hyperventilatorer

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Monday, October 13, 2008

High School Can Be.....

...a lot of things. For some it was tough, for others it was some of the best years of their lives. I was really amazed tonight to find a story about a bunch of high school seniors that brought tears to my eyes and made my heart sing.

You have to read their story. I can't help but think of what a different perspective these kids have when it comes to people's differences or challenges. Actually, I think that is the difference, they didn't see her "differences". They saw past them to the unique friend that she' been to them all.

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Friday, October 10, 2008

Coveting More Prayers

My dear hubby just found out yesterday that he has Rheumatoid Arthritis. He is trying really hard to be strong, but it is very obvious to me that it is really bothering him A LOT. I know he is worried about what it will do to his body and how he will be able to continue to care for his family. I am just trying to stay positive and hope that with treatment he will be able to enjoy doing all the things he's become used to doing.

If you want to pray for us we would so appreciate it right now. I believe that God can even work this for good in the end and am holding on to that. Besides that, He could also choose to heal him totally. We really just need peace, I know that Rick is stressed and I hate to think of him being anxious over this issue.

Thanks to everyone who prayed for me and my anxiety issues-I truly did feel a huge difference and I know that prayer can open doors and move mountains.

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

600x4 = One Crazy Kid

Get It Down; 31 for 21

This kid was honored last night for receiving perfect scores on ALL four of his SOL's (AKA Standards of Learning tests). We're super proud of him and had plans to take his picture up in front at the school board meeting, but wouldn't ya know it? My camera battery was dead!







These pics are more true to the Noah we live with every day, so it's all good in the end. I forced him to put on clean jeans and a polo, but if he'd had his way he'd have gone in font of everyone last night in a pair of dirty shorts and a t-shirt. What can I say, he marches to his very own drummer.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What is the DEAL?

Yesterday I alluded to having had a bad day, but I still wasn't sure at the time what caused it so I left it alone. Plus, I don't like to be a complainer and lately I feel like that's all I've been doing. Uggh, makes me wanna slap myself!

Well, I still don't feel like myself and I've decided if I complain just enough to ask you all to pray that's ok. Right? I have been having some anxiety problems and maybe a little depression thrown in too. Sunday was really bad because I was dealing with behaviors from "The Girls" all weekend it felt like. To be honest, on Sunday and most of Monday I was really blaming them for how I was feeling. Which, of course, just made it worse because I have this guilt complex too. I've started to think that maybe it's not so much them but just something I'm going through. I've even thought maybe it is some kind of spiritual attack. There has been a passion burning in my heart to start an orphan/adoption ministry in our church and just when I get to the place to really begin to get the ball rolling this happens. Also, we felt that this was God's Will for the girls to be here with us and now this issue is making me doubt that.

So, if anyone is reading this please pray for me and "the Girls" and our family as a whole. All the changes have been tough on every one and I know there have been times when the boys, Austin especially, have been very frustrated with things that "the Girls" have done that effect them in a negative way. Temper tantrums and little girl attitudes are really hard to take when you're used to nothing but frogs and snails and puppy dogs' tails. That Sugar and spice stuff? Who wrote that? Or maybe I'm just seeing nothing but spice right now and the sugar will come later. Yeah, that's probably it.

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Monday, October 6, 2008

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! ( I hope)

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Crazy title.... I know, I'm a geek, and I can't even remember the name of that movie.
Oh wait..... it was 21

Renee over at Life With My Special K's is having her Blogaversary today! Congratulations to Renee! On top of that, she's given me the perfect post to make up for not posting yesterday and breaking the 31 for 21 challenge I thought I was going to do so well with.

Yesterday was a day like I haven't had in a while and hope not to have again. We'll have to go there later.

Back to Renee: she's giving away four awesome gift baskets filled with all kinds of pampering goodies that ladies enjoy. Head on over and check it out. All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment.

You know you want to!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Carissa



Carissa is a woman my age that I went to high school in Virginia with. She's one of the only people from that high school that I actually don't mind running into. Don't know if I mentioned it before, but the high school I moved to in 11th grade was awful, I hated it and felt most of the kids there were hateful. But, that's another post for another time. Today is Carissa's day.

If I'm being honest, I have to say I don't really remember Carissa much from school. But, she remembered me. I remember her from W*l-m*rt. I was working there about 3 years after high school and one evening Carissa came in with her mom to shop. She made her way over to me and reminded me that we went to school together. Then she asked me tons of questions about myself. When she found out that I had two children she wanted to know all about them as well. I had a great time that evening chatting with Carissa while I was working. I had forgotten how sweet and genuinely caring she was. She didn't ask me all those questions because she was nosy and she wanted to run off and gossip about me to all her girlfriends, she asked because she really cared. She hung out with me because she enjoyed my company, and I enjoyed hers. It got to where I hoped that Carissa and her mom would come to the store on evenings that I worked. I loved listening to her talk and her laugh makes me smile now just to think about it.

I haven't seen Carissa in a while now. I stopped working at W*l-M*rt years ago, and since we moved we rarely even go to that town anymore. I know, however, that if I were to run into Carissa tomorrow she would call me by my name and she would say hello to my boys as if she's watched them grow up through these years. She may just be one of the best friends I've ever been blessed to have in my life.

Oh, did I forget to mention? Carissa was born with Down Syndrome.

Friday, October 3, 2008

No Child Left Behind.....hmm?

Get It Down; 31 for 21

I don't really understand a whole lot about the whole NCLB (No Child Left Behind) concept. I know it's supposed to put policies in place that ensure that all our kids are learning what they need to succeed, but from what I see something has gone awry in the plan.

Here's the deal: My kids are pretty smart, I'm not trying to brag on them or be that annoying mom, I'm just telling it like it is. Austin is in high level classes in 7th grade. He's always been good at math and this year is taking Algebra-which is considered a 9th grade course. Noah is also doing very well academically and is in the gifted reading and math programs at the elementary school. I've just been happy the past few years that they have had these options and are being encouraged to perform at the highest level they can achieve. Not having kids who were just considered "average", I never really thought there was any difference in the way all the kids were being educated. Turns out I was wrong.

"The Girls" are both intelligent and have the potential to do very well, but they need to be pushed to achieve. This is what you get when you have two kids who have gone to at least SEVEN, maybe more, different schools in their entire school career. Add that to the fact that parents who have their own issues going on aren't always so involved with how their kids are doing in school. Anyone will tell you that parental involvement makes a BIG difference in how kids perform. This means that though they both could do very well, they both are just barely getting by. This doesn't bother us because we figure we will work with the teachers and make sure they are doing their homework, projects, etc. Giving them a little push when they need it, encouragement when they hit a rough patch, and just general help wherever it's needed. Just like we do with our kids. Eventually they will improve and soon be working to their full potential. Right?

Um...not so much! See, we had the pleasure recently of meeting the teachers. The most surprising thing we heard was from Skippy's Language Arts teacher, I'll paraphrase: "I have kids and after football and dance, etc there's no time for homework. So, I don't give a lot." We shared this with her caseworker and her reaction was the same as ours, "and she's a teacher?!" On top of that when she does bring work home it's very simple. It's almost as if they don't want to challenge them. As for Mississippi's teachers most of what we've heard from them is how well she's doing and what a great start she's made. This would make us feel wonderful if her grades and her work reflected that, but she CANNOT spell and when she first came to us getting her to read anything other than a picture book resulted in a meltdown. It's almost as if because her teachers know she is a foster child they are being extra nice to her. Yeah, she's been through a lot and it's sad. But, she doesn't need someone to hold her hand and feel sorry for her, she needs people to push her to rise above the obstacles in her life. She's never going to learn to do that if they just pity her because of where she's come from.

So, this is the conclusion that I have come up with, and I wonder if it's just my county or if it's like this all over. I think that the schools lose funding if the kids don't test well. They've figured out that there are some kids who can be challenged and do really well and there are others that they can't be sure will be able to test and pass if they don't just give them an easy ride. It sounds to me like all the kids who don't get the chance to prove they can handle being challenged are being left behind. They're being sacrificed so that the school doesn't look bad. So much for No Child Left Behind!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Procrastination

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Why is it as soon as you commit to doing something that something becomes the LAST thing you think about doing? Or is that just me? I'm determined to stick it out in this 31 for 21 challenge and I'm going to. I am going to share my story, a few actually, about some folks with Down Syndrome who have touched my life. But, not tonight. Maybe tomorrow, but I'm not gonna commit to that :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Down Syndrome Awareness Month - 31:21

Get It Down; 31 for 21

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and to help raise awareness I decided to take part in the 31 for 21 Challenge. See the cool button at the top? The challenge goes like this. I blog for the whole 31 days of October about anything my little heart desires and do it all to raise awareness of Down Syndrome or, Trisomy 21. Hence the "31 for 21".

I'll get into my reasons for deciding to take this challenge, why Down Syndrome is something I want to raise awareness of and all that, later. I would like to ask for help though. Ask me something. Anything. And I'll use those questions as blog posts to make sure I'm up to the challenge for this WHOLE month. Don't worry it's not cheating, other folks are doing it too. Actually, I stole the idea from another blogging Mama who's taking the challenge as well.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Music and Life-Austin

Today is my oldest son's birthday, That baby boy that taught me how strong a mother's love really is. The one who helped show me just what a miracle life is and how strong the Father's love for us is; after all, doesn't He love us more than I love my son? Wow!

I remember taking Austin to church for the first time after he was born. A beautiful Jamaican lady, who attended there as long as I can remember and had known me since I was small, was one of the first to sidle over to take a look at my beautiful baby. She asked what his name was, but when I told her she misunderstood and thought I said Awesome. So, she proceeded to tell lots of folks that his name was Awesome :) hehe

Maybe she spoke that into his life that Sunday morning, because he is awesome. He's loving, protective of his Mama, helpful, looks out for his little brother, and he has a way with younger kids that just amazes me. He's a super funny kid who says the craziest things that you don't expect and he's super smart, I have to get him to help me with math when I'm cooking. How sad is that? lol


Austin loves Johnny Cash, especially his song "A Boy Named Sue".


Happy Birthday Austin! Love you!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Music and Life-Robbie

This song always makes me think of my younger brother, Robbie. I don't remember if it was a favorite of his or not but the story of the young boy and his great-grandfather calls to my mind the relationship between my brother and our great-grandaddy, Grandaddy Marsh. I don't even have specific vivid memories, more like impressions of memories. But I do know that there was a special relationship there. Grandaddy enjoyed having Robbie around. Robbie was special to him, especially being the first great-grandson. I'm glad that they had that, because Robbie didn't always have alot of folks in his life that he really felt that he was special to and we all need that. Grandaddy Marsh has been gone a long time now, and I hope that my brother has these memories of him like I do.



Happy Birthday Bro!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Joys of Foster Care (the sarcastic version)

On Friday I got a call from "The Girls" caseworker. Their dad is out of jail and is determined to get them back. Yay! That's great news for a few reasons. The most important being that they will be happy to be with their own family and know that they are safe, and because unfortunately if their plan is not reunification then things look bleak. I hate having to say that but, honestly, once kids get to be as old as they are and have been thru as much as they have, their chances of being adopted out of foster care grow slimmer. It is a sad reality. What's sadder is that these girls had a great chance to be placed with a strong, secure, loving family the first time they were in care but they were sent home. And from some stories we've heard it sounds like Mom and Dad just did a great job of playing the System and hiding things the first time around. That's even more scary.

Now, back to Dad being out of jail. They were scheduled to have a visit with him this week and we thought, "just in case any thing happens we'll hold off on telling them". Thank God for His divine wisdom! It turns out that some things had happened in the past that need to be investigated and they may have no chance of ever going back to dad. Our trainers had told us to expect that things will come out after they had been with us a while, but I don't think you ever really prepare yourelf to deal with some of the things that have gone on with these kids.

Why does this world have to be this way?! We need for more of this evil that goes on in the dark to be brought into the light. IN JESUS NAME!

I am so sad for these girls. They have no appropriate family that anyone's been able to identify thus far. I just shudder to think what their future might be. I'm going to begin to pray that the perfect family be raised up to take them on. Pray with me?

YAY! Aww, Thanks......



Brandi awarded me a couple days ago and I have to say how truly good that makes me feel. I absolutely LOVE reading her blog, she has so much passion for "The Least of These" and inspires me when I get to feeling the "What can I do?" blues. She also has a blog, KidsLake, dedicated to making others aware of different causes that help orphans and training children in missions service to others. I love it as well, and have even passed it on to our children's and youth ministers. If you've never read her blog, shame on you, cause I link her all the time! :-) Seriously, you need to check her out.


Ok, now for the hard part. All of the blogs that I read are awesome and they all deserve to receive some type of recognition. Luckily, for me, lots of them already have received these awards. So, here goes:

1. Adopting Again Rebecca is a foster/adopt Mama who's journey has been windy and sometimes difficult, but obviously worth it. I have always admired how she gives Glory where it is due throughout it all.

2. My Minivan Rocks First of all, I love the name of Tracy's blog :) And second, I love her honesty and how real and funny she always is.

3. Stepping Out of the Boat I admire Laura's faith and the way she stands strong for what she believes in. She loves her family and it shines through when you read her blog.

4. Tami's I have so enjoyed following along on Tami's journey to her Noah. She waited so long for him, and her faith and perseverance in everything she did to get to him has inspired me over and over again.

5. Big Mama Hollers I Love Cindy's blog for so many reasons! She has a strong faith and KNOWS where her strength comes from. I feel I have learned so much just from her sharing her struggles with her kids, plus she gives great gardening and frugal living tips from time to time. And she lives so close to where I grew up, every time I read her blog it's like taking a slight trip back home. If you are even considering fostering or foster/adopt you HAVE to read her blog. Heck, you should stop by if you are considering adoption period. You won't regret it.

6. And just cause I'm a rule breaker, but also cause I love her blog as well: My Ebenezer. Cindy always makes me laugh and her passion for the children in foster care is evident. Blogs like hers and so many others give me hope for the future of these kids if we all just speak out loud and long enough.


Characteristics for the Smile Award:
1. Must display a cheerful attitude.
2. Must love one another.
3. Must make mistakes. (I think we can all relate to that!)
4. Must learn from others.
5. Must be a positive contributor to blog world.
6. Must love life.
7. Must love kids.

Rules for The Smile Award:
1. The recipient must link back the the award's creator, Mere
2. You must post these rules if you receive the award.
3. You must chose 5 people to receive the award after receiving it yourself.
4. You must fit the characteristics of the recipient of the award, as posted.
5. You must post the characteristics of a recipient.
6. You must create a post sharing your win with others.
7. You must thank your giver.

I wish I knew where the "I love your blog" award originated from, but I don't. Anyone else know?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Who's caring for the poor?

Please check out Brandi's post on the truth of who really does care for the poor. Ever heard the expression "Put your money where your mouth is"? I'm thinking Obama and Biden have not.

I am a truthseeker. I like to know and see what the truth really is. Even if it hurts and I don't want to hear it. I have a hard time lying to people and don't like to be lied to myself. So, when I run across things like this I want the world to know, to see what the truth is. If there's more to this story I'd love to hear it, because after all, Don't we want the whole truth? I have a feeling, though, that this is what it is.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Adjustments

Boy howdy the adjusting taking place in this household lately! I knew to expect it, they talk about it alot in the training, but that doesn't make it any easier when the actual adjusting is taking place. How many fits in one day can one little girl have? Gah!!!

Poor A (or Mississippi) is having a really hard time adjusting to having consistent rules.
-She does not like having to sit at the table and do homework.
-She does not like having a chore to do every night.
-She DETESTS having to read actual books for 20-30 minutes every night.
-And EVERYTHING her sister does pushes her over the edge.
I think her real problem is that she gets frustrated very easily and it escalates to the point that she just can not control her emotions any longer. Usually when she gets like this her feet and hands start twisting and she can't walk or write. We haven't figured out yet if this is just something she's developed to take the focus off of whatever has frustrated her or if it really is a symptom of something else. There definitely seems to be a lot of anxiety there and we will be working on that. At the time when she is having one of her fits I get frustrated with her and wish she would just stop, but later when I think about all she's been through I feel sorry for her. I'm surprised that there aren't more issues.

As for C (or Skippy), she seems to have the opposite going on. She still has some issues that we have to watch out for but they aren't as obvious as Mississippi's. One of her things is she'll tell us she will do something and then just not do it. Or when we went shopping for clothes she told us she liked things and now says that she doesn't and doesn't want to wear them. ARGH! Tonight Rickydoodle asked her if she had gotten a test back from one of her teachers and she said they hadn't taken a test. When he said he had spoken to the teacher and knew they had taken the test the day before she all of a sudden "maybe remembered taking a test", but they haven't gotten it back. We just had to laugh, under our breath of course. Sarcasm is a big defense mechanism with her. In one way it's not a big deal because you expect it from a kid her age, but in another she has never learned proper times for being sarcastic and being serious. There have been times we've introduced her to friends and she has shown a little sarcasm in her greeting, it's awkward, but I honestly think it's done to protect herself. Kind of, "I don't know you or if you're OK for me to get to know so I'm gonna use this to put you off." She also uses it with Rick and I at times and neither of us like a child to be disrespectful, so that has been awkward as well. All in all though, she's really a good kid with a good heart. Unfortunately, she's not had steady guidance most of her life.

Another issue we are dealing with from both of them is Parentification. Luckily for me I've been reading Cindy's and Yolies blogs and found lots of been there done that advice. I am by no means an expert but it's nice when you sort of know what to expect. The only trouble with this case is I didn't expect them BOTH to be parentified, but they are. We first noticed it in Mississippi and thought that was strange because we expected it to be Skippy since she's the oldest. Then when Skippy was a little more comfortable we noticed signs of parentified behavior in her too. Honestly Skippy probably is more parentified but they definitely both show signs. And maybe that's where some of Mississippi's issues with Skippy come from. It's like having two positives to a magnet too close to each other, right? We finally had to tell them the other day that they are not each other's parent and we will be the ones that tell them what they need to do and all the other things that parents do. I don't want them to stop looking out for each other but I would like to take some of the pressure off of both of them.

Austin, Noah, Ricky, and I are just adjusting slowly. Taking all this one day at a time. I've come to realize if your family is not very flexible you probably won't like foster parenting. You have to be able to roll with the flow.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Music and Life: 9-11-01



I was at work, about 45 miles from the Pentagon. My office manager got a call from her daughter and we turned on the television and watched the footage of the most unbelievable events I've witnessed in my life. After we heard that the Pentagon had also been hit we walked outside and I swear we saw small bits of ash falling from the sky. I never in all my life thought something like this would happen in America, I guess I just took for granted that we were safe. It brought home to me how things can change in a moment and how life has to be lived right now while we have the chance.

I don't like watching clips of footage like what is seen in this video but I know I need to be visually reminded sometimes. We should not allow ourselves to forget what happened to us. Our entire NATION was violated that day. Can you imagine the horror that those who knew they would not escape the Towers faced in those last few moments? I don't think our President is perfect and I am not sure where I stand on how the war has gone, but I do think that he took us into this with every intention of making sure that something like what happened seven years ago yesterday morning is not allowed to happen again.

Wher we were you? Do you remember?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

"The Girls"

All my life it seems it has been "Melissa and The Boys". As a kid I was older sister and ONLY sister to two boys, so, naturally whenever anyone spoke of my parents' kids it was "Melissa and The Boys". Then I grew up and found myself as a single mom to two little boys, and it was once again "Melissa and The Boys". Gotta love God's sense of humor, huh?

My brothers and my sons may need counseling someday for identity issues, but that's another post. This one is about "The Girls".

I know I can't share their names here and haven't really decided on code names for them. For now I'll call them C and A, or "The Girls". C is the oldest and she is 12 years old. She has super curly auburn hair and is tall, I think, for a 12 year old. But, then, I'm short so maybe she's just right. She's taller than me, anyway. A is 10 and has long blond hair and is not taller than me :) They both have beautiful crystal blue eyes and are really good girls at heart.

There has been the usual adjustment: a little attitude here and there and some tears. I know it has to be hard for them to be away from their family, especially since it's not the first time and everybody thought last time was a reunification "success story". At least that's what the social workers told us. Their former foster parents and others have said that they had their doubts even then. It really is sad. It's almost like playing Russian Roulette with kids' lives and hoping for the right outcome. I keep wondering where these girls might be right now if they hadn't been placed back home last time, if they had given Mom/Dad a little more time to make sure they were really ready, or maybe if someone had known what would happen and they had just stayed with Mr. and Mrs. T. They tell us these stories that make us cringe. Stories of before they were in foster care the first time and after they went back home. No child should have to live like that and their story isn't nearly as bad as some others' who are in foster care right now.

I have been impressed with their maturity in some areas. They know that it is best for them to be where they are. They understand that they weren't in a safe environment with Mom and Dad and that both Mom and Dad need to get help to overcome the obstacles that keep them from being the parents to them that they ought to be. So far in all this I have still been able to pray for their parents and hope that maybe this time they will be able to gt it right. To turn it around and be what their girls need. I'm surprised by this because I thought that I would have to fight to overcome a grudge at the way they have mistreated their kids and it would be hard to even pray for them. I guess it's God's grace, and some of the stories from those in our congregation that met Dad and say that at one time he was really trying, even bringing them to church once he got them back. I hope it's not too late.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

It Was Bound To Happen and One Night It Did....

30 points to the first commenter to guess the song the title came from. It's probably way to easy, but it was perfect. I couldn't resist.



They do say, "Expect the unexpected", don't they?
On Thursday night we got our first call for a placement. It was kind of an emergency thing and they were looking for someone to take two sisters. Possibly just for the weekend or maybe as a more long-term foster care placement. So, that was the expected part. The unexpected part was that they are out of our age range, they're 10 & 12. We thought what would be best for our family was somewhere between infant and six, maybe up to nine. But, don't you know, God knows what's best for everyone involved all the time.

Check this out: Apparently, as we learned a little more, these girls had been in care before. We were told that they were very sweet and the family they were with before just adored them and they adored this family back. Unfortunately this family had moved to North Carolina. After the girls came to our house and were settled in some we were talking about things we do as a family and who they'll get to know when they go to church with us. At the mention of one of those names the oldest sister asks, "What does she look like?" Then she proceeded to describe our Children's Pastor to us and asked what church we went to. God never ceases to amaze me. The little tricks he plays on us! These girls are the ones we had heard so much about from so many in our Care Group. When they were in care before they were with a couple who attended our church, lived in this area, and went to the same church Care Group that we have been a part of for almost three years. Just days before they came someone was mentioning how they hadn't heard from them in a while and Mrs. T (their former foster mom) had lost touch with them. It really helped them to find out that there was that connection to their former foster parents who they really loved.

What an awesome God we serve. I know that's more song lyrics but I really mean those. He even cares enough for these kids to be sure they go somewhere that would help them to feel a little more comfortable in this second time around. I wish it had worked for them the first time, but we are hoping that soon we will see visible evidence of God working all things for good.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Hero Of The Day

Carolyn is my hero of the night. I was supposed to shut it down and go to sleep a while back but found myself at her blog, thanks to Kim :), and was blown away. It was totally worth the sleep I'm gonna be missing in the morning!

Go check it out! Come on don't be chicken, you know you want to.....

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Multiracial

Tracy, whose Minivan Rocks, posted on this a while back and I liked it, wanted to blog about it too, but chickened out and saved it instead: Multiracial in America

Being raised by a Mexican step-father I feel like I can relate a little to this. Not a lot, cause when people look at me they see I am white, but I do have that different point of view that comes from being raised in a different culture. Sometimes I have felt like I wasn't sure where to fit, growing up I remember strange looks cause there was this obvious Hispanic man walking around with these very white looking children, but on the other hand other Hispanic folks look at me like I'm the "little white girl". I've had to learn not to let my feelings be hurt because I tend to identify and feel more comfortable with the minority but yet they don't always feel comfortable with me. Does that make sense to anybody but me? One time I even had a woman call me a derogatory name in Spanish and just walk off. I had to laugh cause I know she would have peed herself if she'd known I knew what she said. And I didn't even do anything but have the audacity to be the "white girl" in line behind her! I also tend to be really quick to make sure folks know when I say my dad is Mexican that he is my step-dad, but it's for them, cause they think I'm lying by looking at me. I don't think of him as my step-dad, he's been my dad since I was two. That makes me wonder if my future transracially adopted kids would be quick to explain I'm their adopted mom? I hope that they will be able to identify with the culture they are born into as well as the one they are adopted into.

So, that's my perspective. I think as I am growing and becoming more comfortable with who I am I don't worry so much what folks think on other side of my spectrum. I also would have to say that I think my mom could have been more aware and allowed my dad to share more with us, but the area we lived in and the age she grew up in just didn't really prepare her for that. Things have changed a lot just in the past twenty-some years and that is beneficial for kids growing up now in Multicultural families.

The video below gives the perspectives of multiracial young men and women from Rutgers University. I think videos and perspectives such as these are important, especially for those who have adopted or plan to adopt across racial lines. We need to be ready for what our children may someday feel, or even learn now how to help them be most secure in their skin, their race, and their family. I honestly believe that Multiculturalism can someday break the bonds of racism. It won't happen overnight, but I think it's already begun to happen. How many of us can say we DON"T know a multiracial person or couple? How many Don't have one or the other in their family? Do you turn your back n them and refuse to accept it? I think most have accepted and it has changed their perspective.




Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Total Randomness

Tomorrow my kids go back to school. They say they are excited and looking forward to it. Even Austin after being told by us and his new teachers that this is the year "Real Middle School" begins, AKA-7th grade. I thought he'd be scared off by all this new "toughness" he's going to face but either he's ready for it or he just doesn't believe us yet. I won't say which idea I'm leaning towards, can you guess?

Noah is supposedly so excited he can't sleep. This was what he told me when he came out of his room thirty minutes after I sent him to bed with that cute little grin he thinks is gonna make me believe him. UMMHMMM, nope. It did earn him a hug though and a pat on the back as he was sent back to bed. He'll be in 4th grade this year. I am having a hard time realizing my "babies" are so grown up.

And for one more totally random thought for the night: What was I thinking when I helped Lovely Stepdaughter hang that Hannah Montana door size poster on the OUTSIDE of her bedroom door? Every time I head down that hallway and see it from the corner of my eye it scares the mess out of me. Tonight I had the unfortunate pleasure of being in front of a mirror when it happened and I got to witness the face that I made. If it had been the real Miley that would have scared the mess out of her!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Questioning Along the Journey

Hmmm... How to put down what's been on my heart since we finished PRIDE training? I have gone back and forth with myself a million times about this post because I'm not sure I can convey what I'm really feeling, but it won't get out of my head. I do think that others in similar situations, whether adopting from foster care or perhaps even a poverty stricken nation, have felt the same. I believe we need to share with each other so we don't feel alone, I know it wouldn't hurt for me to know I'm not the only one.

This is my ordeal lately. I want to parent more children. Desperately. I have always wanted to be a mom and wanted to be a mom to many. No big deal, right? We're adopting, it will happen eventually.

The thing is the route we have chosen to lead us to our children means that our children will possibly be coming out of horrible circumstances, which will lead to them being taken from their families. Not relinquished by a mother who wants a better life for them or is unable to parent, but taken by the foster care system for the children's own welfare. We're going into this knowing that we may only be meant to be a family for some kids for a time and someday maybe our promised child will come to us through a foster/adopt situation.

It's this maybe that's got me thinking so much lately, and feeling guilty at times too. I have been praying for a long time for this promised baby girl and now that we are finished with PRIDE and actually have a home study I find myself praying even more. Especially on days like today when it seems I am surrounded by others with beautiful little blessings in their arms and I'm reminded of what I want so much but am still waiting for. I pray, and ask God why. "Why did you promise me a baby, Lord, and here I am still waiting?", "Please, Lord, please let them call soon." And usually as soon as this one flies from my lips I am hit with the guilt. I start thinking, "Wait, in order for them to call that will have to mean that they've had to remove a child." That possibly this child has been abused. Does this mean that I am praying for something like this to happen? That's not what I want. I don't want some parents to harm their child so that I can gain. But, yet, I know that it does occur, everyday. Even right here in our small little corner of Virginia. People hurt their kids, they allow them to be put in dangerous situations, and they abandon and neglect them. I have even seen it first-hand when I taught preschool.

So, I'm not trying to say that I want to benefit from this happening but I do know that things like this go on. I am saying that I am glad my family is ready, willing, and able to step to the plate for kids who have been hurt, in one way or another. I think after all the roadblocks that we've hit and how smoothly the training for PRIDE went, and we have such a peace now about working with this team, I think this is the path we were supposed to take all along. We just thought that we could do it our own way for a while and God would just follow along. When He was just waiting for us to take off the blinders and follow him.

So, where does my guilt fall in with all this? If this is the road God wants us on and He has promised us this child we have been praying for then this is how she will be joining our family. I have a lot of questions and not so many answers right now. But, hey, that's the way it often goes! AM I the only one who has ever felt this way?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Music and Life-"I Wonder"

DISCLAIMER: I cried writing this post, but still felt it needed to come out and be shared. We all have experienced something that can help others who are hurting. I hope ya'll don't mind me being real :)


This song made me cry today. It chokes me up every time I hear it, but today it was a little closer to home. See, my ex, and my boys' bio dad, has been released from prison and has been trying to contact me. I heard through the grapevine that what he wants is to give up his rights to the boys so that he's not obligated to pay child support. Can't say I didn't see that one coming, as sad as it is.

I wonder a lot of times how my boys will feel about their bio dad as they get older. Will they forgive him for not choosing to be a part of their lives? For choosing drugs, alcohol, and partying over them? And I try to reconcile that with how I feel about my own bio dad, who has been an alcoholic all my life and most of his own. I do know that even after all these years, and especially now that I am a parent myself, it's so hard to understand how a mother or father cannot summon the courage and will to change in order not to lose their child/children. Wouldn't I do anything I needed in order to keep my children with me or at least have the privilege to have them in my life? That's the type of question I avoided as a kid because the answers were too painful for me then. Now, I know that it's not about what I was or wasn't but about what my dad was incapable of doing and the blame falls squarely on his shoulders.

It also makes me think of any children who will come into our home through foster care. Separated from their parents by choices that those parents have made. Especially if the choices the parents made lead to the kids not being able to return home. How is that going to leave those children feeling? How will that effect the relationships that we will hope to build with them?

Honestly, I'm thankful that I have my own experiences to fall back on now. I know what it's like to wonder why my parent couldn't change for me. To wish that things could be different. I hope to be able to share that with my own boys and our foster/adoptive children as needed. I'm thankful for a Father God who showed me many years ago that He was always there, always the Father that I thought I was missing out on. I'm also thankful for a stepfather who was there and loved me in his quiet way, even when I didn't want to accept that love. I hope that I'll be able to do the same for all the hurting ones that God sees fit to send my way.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Still Waiting....

Nothing going on in foster-land around here. It looks like we're still going to be waiting a little while.

Can I tell you what I have to say to that?


Obviously, that is not me. But, that kid is speaking what's on my mind! Dern! I'm tired of being patient, can't we be done with that part now?


Friday, August 1, 2008

Fasten Your Seatbelts Everybody!

It looks like the ride may be ready to begin!

I got a call the other day from the wonderful ladies who are conducting our foster care training and they are coming out on Monday to go ahead and get us emergency certified. YAY!!

Apparently, at this time they are at a critical shortage of foster families, they keep having children come into care, and they are scrambling to place them. Since we have all of our background stuff already done, fingerprints done, and are one class away from being done with our training they have asked us to be ready early in case the have another case like this past week where they had 8 children, two sibling sets, come into care and had the hardest time finding placements for them.

We are pretty excited and ready to see what God is going to bring our way and at the same time it's bittersweet. I have to admit though that sometimes I think about the situations that would bring a child into our home through foster care and it makes me sad. I wish that children weren't being hurt by the ones who are supposed to protect them.

Friday, July 25, 2008

How 'Bout a Cold One?

So, I have this Brita Pitcher-that I LOVE-because our water always tastes like bleach to me. I like knowing my water is clean but bleach in my water is a little too much, thank you.

Anyway, the other day I poured myself a glass of my bleach free water. But, before I could enjoy it I noticed that the bottom of the pitcher looked a little green. No big deal, I just figured there was a stain on my horrid counter top. Nope! I moved the pitcher and the green moved with it. Uh Oh! Turns out that since I don't like to run out of my nice clean, bleach free water and I kept refilling every time it would get a little low, a little film developed on the bottom of my pitcher. YUCK!!!

Now, I struggled with sharing this, cause I tend to worry TOO much what others will think of me. But, it just kept coming back to me and along with it thoughts of them



and the fact that this water is the only choice they have. They don't have the option of a filter to filter out the bleach taste. They don't even have the option of the water WITH the bleach taste. What you see is it. That's what they have every day, and apparently they don't even always have that.

If it takes a little green film on the bottom of my water pitcher to bring the plight of these children back to my mind, or someone thinking I don't keep my stuff clean to bring them to their mind, then I say- " Thank you Jesus for green stuff in my water!" Cause you see, I took that pitcher and I cleaned it out real good and filled it up again with fresh clean water. Those kids can't clean theirs that easily.

Don't you wanna help?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

You Won't Believe What Tom Said

I am just loving Tom Davis. He is not afraid to say what needs to be said and he doesn't sugarcoat it. He speaks the truth without worrying whose toes he's stepping on. Not speaking words to make himself look good or hurting folks cause he can, but telling us what's wrong and how we can hope to fix it. Isn't that what Jesus did?

This latest article that I just read may offend some. I don't want to hear it myself, but I know I need to. We are not doing enough, there is so much more that could be done. I hate the thought of the people who suffer while we do nothing and I also hate the thought that Jesus is disappointed with us.

Let's live the Red Letters.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Warren and Caiden


The Boys right before they left the hospital.


Uncle Noah holding Warren.


Uncle Austin holding Caiden.


Opi with Caiden. Don't let the tough look fool ya, he is loving being a grandpa. Old Softie! :)


Opi with Warren.

Aren't they CUTE?!

Friday, July 11, 2008

OY VEY!

Gracious Goodness! How the heck do you explain "4 centimeters dilated" to two boys aged 9 and 11 with out going into all the icky details?

Today (or maybe tomorrow) Rickydoodle and I are going to become an Opi and (step)Omi. Twin boys are officially on their way and everyone is sitting around waiting to hear the news. The latest is that she is at four centimeters and this is what prompted the questions from excited soon-to-be uncles.

I am just not ready to have a birds and bees conversation with them. Isn't that why I married Rickydoodle? You can call me "Chicken" if you want to, I'm perfectly fine with that.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Music and Life-When I Wasn't Cool

Okay, so by posting this everyone knows I am officially uncool :)

I remember being in about 5th grade and everyone's talking about what music they listen to. They all insisted they listened to whatever was popular then, I can't remember what. What I do remember is that they emphatically denied listening to country, whatever this horrid country was they hated it and if you listened to it you were NOT cool. So, I said, "I don't listen to country (I knew the stuff I loved was awesome so it couldn't be this country they were talking about) Then, my friend says, "What station do you listen to?" My reply, "Y106" Her reply, "Melissa, that is country"

That's the day I found out country wasn't cool. Oh Well!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Living the Red Letters

So, last night I said I was going to post about Tom Davis' book "Red Letters" and I am determined that's what I am going to do. So, then, why do I find myself reading everyone's blog that I haven't checked lately and googling silly unimportant stuff? It's not because I don't want to or because I didn't enjoy reading it, I do and I did. I'm pretty sure it's for the same reason that sometimes when I knew I had time to read I would find something else to do or read some silly story that just entertained me for a minute. The enemy knew that there was Truth in that book and he didn't want me to find it, that's why. He wants to keep us distracted from the work that our Father wants us to do. And He does want all of us to be a part of helping those who are in need, I truly believe this. There aren't only a few who are called to go and to serve and that's it. It's left to them. We are ALL called to serve our Brothers and Sisters in need in some form.

Once I would throw off all the distractions and sit down with this book I devoured it. I love how Tom puts real stories of real people in his books. It's so much easier to empathize with a person than to apply emotion to statistics. The stories are all sad and they're all true. There are people hurting all over this world and we are the answer. It sounds so simple but if everyone who calls themselves a Christ-lover would show themselves to be people-lovers a HUGE difference could be made. People's lives could be changed, justice could be served. Little girls should not have to prostitute themselves to feed younger brothers and sisters.

I don't really know what else to say. It's an amazing book with truth that every Christian needs to read, but not just so you can say you've read it. Let it ignite a fire in you, read the stories and imagine if that was your son or daughter. The only reason it's them in the story and not you and your family is just where they happened to be born, the circumstances they happened to have been born into. It could easily have been us or could easily become us.

If you're like me and you want to help but don't know how to get started there are lots of resources in Chapter 10 of "Red Letters" and also on Tom's blog. You could even begin by just helping to provide clean drinking water. I know there is so much more I wish that I could do, but I just keep reminding myself that doing a little bit of something is better than doing nothing at all.