Saturday, December 19, 2015

Friday, November 27, 2015

Seasons

Big adjustment in our new state has been seasons. It's one of the reasons we chose this area to move to. The girls have seen snow before. We would drive to the mountains to play in the snow each year. But this week they got to wake up to snow in their backyard. They had a great time playing.





And a little then and now of our whip cream loving Flower. 2013 & 2015.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Ice Skating

These two are loving ice skating.

We found an affordable class for Flower to take with D for a few weeks and get a few free passes with it. Tinkerbell took to it so well this time. It was actually her 3rd time on skates.




Monday, November 16, 2015

Job Details

So I work as a transporter and visit supervisor for a local agency that works for CPS.

I drive endless hours going to foster parents homes to pick up children and then drive endless hours to get them to their visit with their bio parents. I then supervise the visits taking notes as I do. So basically what I did before with M&L and their Papa and with Mama Sun and Flower. I just never took notes before.

When I saw the job posting my jaw literally dropped. I knew that was exactly what I would want to do. And I was right. Other then the hours at the moment I love the job. It is so nice going to a job that I love. And like I said in a previous post I get the privilege of praying for everyone I work with, bio parents, foster parents and the kids. Especially the kids. So all the miles I'm driving and hours I'm working are worth it.

 I even get to do some visits in the home of the bio parents which is very cool. I was nervous at first, just like I was nervous for the first visit with M&L and their Papa 4 years ago. But I love doing in home visits. I get to see a different side of the parents in these visits. Probably because they are comfortable in their own home but also because they are filled with a hope of reunification. And that brings me so much joy.

The struggles are there though. I knew I'd have unhappy bio parents, I never expected the unhappy foster parents. I'm used to foster parents that enjoy what they do and even though they might not agree they do their best to remain professional and remember the child and make things as easy as they can for the child. I forget that not all foster parents are like that.

That's pretty much it. Curious about something else, just ask. I'm as open as I can be on here. That is when I actually blog. :-)


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Blessings & Prayers

My new job is such an amazing blessing for many reasons. It has given me a new view of foster care.

Of course confidentiality is a big part of my job. But I wanted to share tiny bits as I can that encourage me.

I get to meet foster parents and bio family members from all different walks of life with all different stories.

This job reminds me to pray before you judge because you never know someone's story.

I had a visit with a parent who told me they were thinking about how hard this job must be. I told this parent it had it's moments but that I got the unique privilege of being able to pray for every parent and child I got to work with and for me that is totally worth it. This parent totally understood as this parent had been praying for their child leading up to the visit that day.

It's exhausting and so much fun. And as an added bonus I get my little kid and baby fix which D appreciates.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

New Job

I have a new job in this new state of ours. It's taking up way too much of my time at the moment. Little time left is left for family. I'm so far behind on anything online including facebook. But I'm keeping up with my family which is of course so much more important then my online world. :-)

My new job is perfect for me. I am working with foster children and their families. I transport for visits and supervise visits. So it's exactly what I've done with M&L and with Flower for years. And I'm loving it. Meeting so many wonderful parents, foster and bio. Celebrating good news in the best interest of children.

Other than my job we are enjoying our first real fall as a family.









Friday, September 25, 2015

Two Mothers

Tinkerbell struggles sometimes with wanting to be with her birth mom. I pulled out a scrapbook I made of our adoption journey which included the  poem below and a letter both read and given to us the day Tinkerbell was placed in our arms by M. The letter really meant a lot to Tinkerbell. Hearing the words that her M said to us. About how she knew she was going to grow up with a great life with D and I. So glad I have these things to share with her on hard days. And also so glad we have a relationship with M and that some day maybe when Tink is old enough she can go spend a few days with her on her own.

I had the opportunity to speak to a couple that are considering adoption recently and I told them how happy it made me that Tink is proud of the fact that she has two mothers. It might confuse people if she tells them but I love that she is confident in both her mothers love.


Read this poem with Tinkerbell this morning:

Once there were two women
Who never knew each other.
One you will always know and love,
The other you call mother.

Two different lives
Shaped to make yours one.
One became your guiding star,
The other became your sun.

The first gave you life
And the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love
And the second was there to give it.

One gave you a nationality,
The other gave you a name.
One gave you a seed of talent,
The other gave you an aim.

One gave you emotions,
The other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile,
The other dried your tears.

One placed you in the others arms.
It was all that she could do.
The other prayed for a child
And God led her straight to you.

And now you ask me
Through your tears,
The age-old question
Through the years:
Heredity or environment
Which are you the product of?
Neither, my darling -- neither,
Just two different kinds of love.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Then and Now

I love seeing Flower in Tinkerbell's old things. This was a favorite of mine so Flower is wearing it today on the first day of fall. Tinkerbell was 2 1/2 and Flower is 3.

Friday, September 18, 2015

New House - Slow Internet

Hopefully we'll have proper internet up next week.
We are loving our new rental house. The kids love the stairs. The backyard needs work and the owner said they will help after our first winter here. I love the fact that we'll be able to grow some things in the garden. Right now Flower's favorite thing to do is try to lock the dog in the garden.

This is the main bathroom which the girls will share. Love that it was already painted green.

We are loving it here in WA. We have explored a lot within a short drive from home. This will be the first time D has ever lived somewhere with actual seasons and he's enjoying the start of fall very much.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Goodbye Visit

Goodbye visit with Mama Sun yesterday. It was emotional, good and draining. It was a roller coaster. Mama Sun says she wants to come see us and we'll gladly welcome a visit if she does. The thought of her moving out there (if she chooses that) does worry me some, not because I don't want Flower to have that connection but because Tinkerbell needs a break from the anxiety and fear it causes her.

Yesterday as we prepared for the visit and took Tinkerbell to a friends house (we leave the choice up to her to come to a visit or not) she expressed her fear. She was afraid that Flower would not return with us. Afraid that Mama Sun would not allow Flower to move with us and she would keep her. I of course reassured her but I know it didn't help much until we got home and they were together again. Had I realized her fear I probably wouldn't have let her stay with a friend and go through that anxiety on her own. But she had a great time and so did Flower.

Flower does great in pretty much any situation. She is outgoing and just a people person. We started our visit at her aunt's home (the one that briefly had custody) and was a little quiet at first. But she got over that quickly. And at the park she was running around playing and having fun being her independent adventurous self.

She loves her Mama Sun. She gives her hugs and kisses and talks with her constantly. On the drive over (1 hour drive) she said that Mama Sun was going to miss her and be sad. So I know she's starting to realize that we are moving and not going to see her. It's hard knowing what she truly understands at 3 but she is a very smart girl.





Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Leaving Bio Family

So we're moving and that of course means leaving Flower's bio family. It wasn't easy telling Sun. She asked if she could follow us. Wasn't sure what to say to that one. Then her sister called and informed me that we can't take her away. She also said she would follow us.

We don't like moving away from bio family but we've had to do it before. We always have to do what we feel is best for our family.

We will do our part of keeping them involved in her life even from afar. But it's not the same.

I don't really think any of them are serious about following us. But we will see if they say anything else about it. We will have our final visit with them today.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Adventure Awaits

Adventure awaits our family. We are moving from one end of the west cost to the other soon. This is going to be a very big change for us. We'll be able to drink hot chocolate to warm up instead of just because we like it.
 We will wear long sleeves and closed toed shoes for more than 2 weeks out of the year.
 We'll have GRASS! That is the first thing our girls request when we started talking about moving. 

 And trees other than palm trees.
 And we will be able to take walks and see nature. And maybe even a caribou or bear.
We are on an adventure and we are excited and nervous. We are scared but excited. New opportunities await our family and I am excited to see all God has done for us and all He will continue doing for us.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Adoption Conversations

Adoption conversations always happen in the car for us (and many of my friends). They feel safe there. They know you can't sit eye to eye with them and answer. They also have your attention.

Tinkerbell is 7 now and asked about her birth dad the first time when she was about 4 1/2. We only know a limited amount of details about him. And she only asks about him a few times a year. When she does we remind her of what we know and it's enough for the time.

The most recent conversation, as always I answered the best I could, but we were both left with some unanswered questions. I have a feeling she would really like to see a connection to her skin color in someone so we talked about the fact that they share that in common. I asked her if a picture might help her and have been able to get one so we will be sharing that with her soon.

Having pictures of her biological family available to her (and Flower) to see when she wants is important to us. Both our girls have pictures of them with their bio mom in their rooms.

Friday, August 7, 2015

 Enjoying summer here but school is about to start. 2nd grade. I'm still in denial.

 This little one is fearless in so many things it's surprising when she meets something she is afraid of. Her newest fear was picking raspberries. Not sure it if was the tiny thorns or the bees that were close. But she got over her fear thanks to her love of fruit.




 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Word of the Year

Each year since 2012 I've held on to a word through the year. And I just found this years today so I thought I'd share.

2012 was HOPE
M&L were with us and we waited, prayed and HOPEd that the state would do the right thing. And they did. Then we waited with HOPE for our next placement. And then Flower came home.

2013 was BELIEVE 
Flower left us and everyone around me told me that she'd be back but I couldn't pray that since it meant someone would fail her for her to come back. Then she came back. And we started visits again and life got crazy and scary at times and hard. 2013 ended in exhaustion. But I learned to BELIEVE that God was in control of it all.

2014 was JOY (and still is!) 
As we waited for news of adoption I learned that I needed to cling to JOY. That with JOY fear can not live. This was a complete life change for me. Choosing to live in JOY instead of fear was an unexpected journey of self reflection for me. I am so glad that JOY was able to be the focus of the year we adopted Flower. We ended 2014 with JOY and expectation for the next year.

2015 is ANCHOR 
I am on a 100 day journey of prayer thanks to THIS book. It's been amazing. It's been hard. I have missed days and seen how different those days are then the days I don't miss. Through the 100 day journey I'm focusing my prayers on one specific thing for our family. Many other things come up but this book helps me stay focused and reminds me that continually bringing our request to God is what He wants us to do. But I am in a weary spot. Weary of praying and not receiving an answer yet. I know it will come. I trust that God will answer in His time. But I am human and I am weary. And this morning I read a post on facebook by a prayer warrior friend and in there she said one thing that brought this word to me for this year. This year of faith and waiting.

Prayer anchors us in Gods strength for our battles.

And that is what I need right now. I need God's strength to help continue fighting through this battle we are in of waiting for God's answer. So I will continue praying through my 100 day journey and beyond. And at some point, in His time God will answer.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

This is Tinkerbell's last week of school and today was award day. I was so excited when she brought home a note saying she would be receiving an award and couldn't be more proud of our 1st grader. She really has come a very long way this year with her reading and it has been all her hard work that got her there.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tinkerbell

This little pumpkin continues to amaze me as she grows. She is so full of life and love. She is curious but holds back so much so when I see her do things like climb a tree I'm a little caught off guard because she would never have done that a year ago. But now she's a little more daring and excited to try new things.
She is the best big sister ever. She loves Flower so much and takes care of her. She looks out for her and will defend her almost all the time when they are with friends. They of course fight like sisters too and now how to drive their mama crazy.

She also loves her birth mama so very much. I explained what a bond or connection was to her the other day as I was telling her that they have a special bond that no one can ever break. I told her how I would never try to break the bond that she and her birth mama have together. Wouldn't dream of it. Seeing Flower's bio mom once a month is hard on Tinkerbell. She has started opening up more and sharing her emotions with me more about this recently. It's both exciting and emotional as she grows and understands more and expresses more.

I'm glad that I have had 7 years of loving her and loving her birth mom before these new emotions are coming out. I can see how easily it would be to just want to shut that part of her story out if I weren't secure in not being her only mom. But I'm glad I get to share her. I wish we were closer to be able to share more. And I look forward to the day when Tinkerbell is old enough to spend some time with her over summer vacation without us. Not anytime soon, but someday, when they are both ready.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Birthday Party Take 2

Mama Sun wanted to have a birthday party for Flower. We set aside the Saturday of her actual birthday and waited for more information. She wanted to do it at Chuck E Cheese.

I was as nervous as I normally am with visits. The anxiety leading up to it is far worse then the visits ever are because the visits are normally fine.

We got there and I was glad I recognized a few of the kids hollering Flower's name. Sun's sisters were there and a few family friends and a bunch of kids. They spoiled our girl real good. She loved her special party. 
Playing games with her cousin.
A Frozen themed cake for the birthday girl. She got a cape, crown and bracelet from Chuck E Cheese. They went all out.

She loved the cake so much she wouldn't stop for more pictures with all the kids.

It was stressful but it was so worth it for all the memories of Flower and Sun to have this day together.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Birthday Girl

This little girl is fierce and bold. She is amazing in everything she does even when it's getting in trouble. It's taken me awhile to see her mischievous ways as anything but hard to handle. But lately I've been finding so much joy in who she is. In exactly who she is the way God made her. Gum picking off the bottom of tables and all. I love this little crazy monster (She loves Monsters Inc).

She loves everything! Especially Paddington and Olaf right now. Today was her first ever birthday party with friends. We've celebrated her each year in different ways. But today she had cupcakes and was sung Happy Birthday too. That's all she wanted. The presents were just an extra bonus to her. Love this kid! Happy Birthday Sweet Flower.



My kids favorite part of any party is the cake or cupcakes.
We choose a beautiful nature preserve to do her party at. Has trout ponds and a wading pool for the kids. It is one of new favorite places and so close to home. We love it.



Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Sisters

Top was today. Bottom is July 2011 when Tinkerbell was only a few months older than Flower is now.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Flower

Can't believe it's really been almost 3 years since I have been her mom and known this young lady. It has been the wildest of rides I could never have imagined. I wanted to give up so many times but I kept at it because of this sweet little one that calls me mommy.
We met today to take some pictures for Flower's 3rd birthday next month. Took a bunch of Flower and then Sun arrived and took a few with her.
After the first pictures were taken together Flower walked towards me and said she needed her mommy. She told me she wanted to go home. I gave her a good hug and cuddle and she was ready for a couple more pictures making eye contact with me between smiles.
Open adoption can be such a blessing even when it's scary. (we have one easy one and one tough one) Flower will always know who her mommy is but she is blessed to get to know who cared for her before she was born. Who did her best to try for her and when she couldn't she admitted she couldn't and didn't fight adoption. She is working very hard at earning our trust and getting to know us. She might have made plenty of bad choices but she is a part of our family to the end no matter what.



 She loves Paddington so we did a little Paddington set.

 And we always manage to get a picture with flowers which is why I always end up buying the cd.
 Snuck this one in at the last moment. The photographer had just done a similar one with Sun and I knew exactly what I wanted to do as soon as I saw it.

Flower now has a frame in her room with a big picture with both her mamas. It's perfect.
 And we'll be getting one with Tinkerbell and her other mama next time we see her. Wasn't able to do it last time but I did try to find a place.