Sunday, June 25, 2006

First Unsupervised Visit

Today was my foster sibling group's first unsupervised visit with their great grandparents. For the first time in over a year they were allowed to return to their great grandparents home to play with family and friends.

I have to tell you that we were very excited that the date had finally arrived. We truely believe the great grandparents have had the children's best interests at heart. Not to mention the fact that the kids were extremely excited about the chance to go on this visit. So at 9:00 am the kids left our care for an all day visit.

Fast forward to 8:30 pm. We have picked the kids up from their great grandparents visit. They are happy, exhausted, and very excited to see us and tell us all the fun things they did on their visit. Imagine our surprise when the middle child informed us that they got to talk to their mommy on the phone.

Now this is bad because mommy is in jail, and the judge has court ordered no contact between the children and the mother. So anyways the mommy calls the great grandparents and finds out her kids are visiting. She asks repeatedly to be allowed to talk to them. Great grandma tries to tell her no, but eventually gives in and hands the phone over to the oldest child.

No one cries while talking to their mommy and this makes the great grandparents feel like everything is going to be ok. But then they realized what they had just done and informed the oldest that if anyone found out they had talked to mommy that they might not be allowed to go back for visits.

So of course the oldest starts making up a lie and saying that they talked to their aunt and not their mommy. She somehow convinces the five and four year old to tell the same lie. But the five year old had slipped and now we knew they had had contact. But still the oldest tries to lie her way out of it and continued saying it was just the aunt they had talked too.

Grr... So being foster parents we are required to report this kind of thing. It's extremely hard when you know that the kids love the great grandparents and you don't want to get them in trouble, but at the same time we have to protect the kids at all costs.

The caseworker was not happy about this, but agrees with me that we need to give the great grandparents one more chance. So she is going to recommend that they continue to have unsupervised visits, but they are to be placed on probation. And they are to be told in no uncertain terms exactly who the kids are and are not allowed to be in contact with on these visits.

Needless to say we had some very emotional foster kids on our hands this evening. We had to reassure them that we loved them and that we'd fight to keep them having grandparent visits, but that grandparents just needed to realize the rules and follow them more closely.

We have two weeks until the next visit. Let's all pray that it goes smoothly and involves no lying.

Friday, June 23, 2006

So Frustrating

Sometimes being a foster mommy is so frustrating. Especially when you allow yourself to get super attached and then have to stand back and watch the parents failing once again and messing with the children's minds.

That's kind of the situation I'm finding myself in. C's birth mom chose to put him back in foster care. She told her lawyer, me, and my caseworker that she was going to terminate her rights so we could adopt him. So of course, that makes me attach myself even more to this sweet little boy.

Well then we have visit days. C visits with his mom (when she shows up) for five hours one day a week. C cries when it's time for these visits to occur. He doesn't want to leave my house. But we calm him down and he goes. While there his mom allows him to do whatever he wants. He doesn't have to listen, and he eats candy and junk food non-stop. When visit time ends a social worker brings him back to my home.

Apparently the last two times after his visits he has cried for half the way home wanting "MY (mom's first name). He doesn't call her mom - just My (first name). Then when he gets home he is very defiant, out of control, and very aggressive towards the other kids. Oh and did I mention that he is fussy and cries at the drop of a hat. Going from no rules, to major structure is very difficult for this little boy.

So my frustration is this... WHY does she play with his mind and get him to really like being at her home when she knows she isn't going to keep him?

We go to court on Monday at 3:30 for the dispositional hearing. I'm praying that the birth mom will tell the judge she is terminating her rights. This little boy needs to be a part of my family forever...

Monday, June 19, 2006

Vacation Anyone?

I need a vacation. And thankfully my husband agrees with me. So I went online and just booked us a family vacation. Wanna know where? We're staying at an Ohio campground and taking the kids canoeing. Then we're surprising them with a two day trip to Kings Island!! I am SO excited!! We aren't going until July though, but that gives us time to save our money and prepare for the trip.

We aren't taking all the children. We've decided to leave the two two year olds and the four year old (who acts like a three year old) in a respite foster home. We just don't see how we can go canoeing with little ones, or how we would survive two days of Kings Island with the littlest two.

I sort of feel guilty for not taking them, but not enough to change my plans. We are only going to be gone three nights so it won't be super hard on them. And I'm hoping to keep all three in the same respite home.

Anyways, I'm off to figure out what we're going to need to buy to go camping in a few weeks!!!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Quick Update

Just thought I would get on here and post a quick update on my life. It's been extremely hectic! *lol* But I like it this way...for the most part.

Swimming lessons are officially over!! For two weeks straight three of my seven children (the 4, 5, and 6 year old) have swam for an hour while my youngest and I watched from the window. Let me tell you, entertaining a two year old for an hour while trying to watch and make sure the other children aren't drowning because they aren't paying attention is hard work! But the kids had a blast.

What else? Well M, my 9 year old foster daughter went away to church camp for a week! She went down to southern Indiana and stayed in a cabin in the hills. She had a great time and came home in a wonderful mood. It was GREAT to have one less child to worry about for a week as well!! Especially since I knew she was enjoying herself and safe!

While M was gone, my daughter Jenna decided to have her "own" camp experience away from home. She stayed with my parents for two nights in a row, then managed to talk my Aunt into keeping her for the next two nights. I didn't see her for five entire days!! But she got the chance to swim, play with all my mom's kids, and help plant more flowers than I've ever seen in one yard!

Today is Conner and D's very last t-ball game!!! I am SO ready for that to end as well. They have really enjoyed playing, but it's so boring to watch t-ball!! They have gotten better and can actually hit the ball most of the time now!

What else? Today I have to pack Jenna up for gymnastics camp. She is going to be gone for four nights. *sniff* staying in a hotel with her friends (and one mother), and flipping around the gym from 8:30-4:00. I'm more worried about Jenna going to camp than I was about M going... I think it's because Jenna hasn't really ever spent much time without me, and she has anxiety disorder... But then again, it could be just because she is MY baby... you know?

Anyways, that's my update... I have to get off of here and get these kids ready for the day...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Wow!! What a Day!

Well let me just start by apologizing for not posting yesterday about court. It was a GOOD court day all around. Here are the highlights.

At the sibling group court hearing (B, D, and M). Judge ordered them to remain in my care until at least August, but the criminal court trial won't begin against their mother until sometime in September; so we aren't expecting any major changes to occur in their case until after that time. We DID get overnight visits for the great grandparents every other weekend!! I count this as a positive because they really love these kids and these kids need to have them in their lives!

Now on to my foster son C. His birth mother surprised me yet again. She actually told me, her lawyer, and my case worker that she wants to terminate her rights, and she wants MY family to adopt C. She said she only asks that we allow her to continue to be a part of his life in some way and let him grow up knowing his brothers and sisters!!!!!!! Talk about a shocker! Now this IS the birth mother we're talking about, so at any time her mood could change and she could not follow through. But my caseworker thinks she really is going to allow us to adopt him.

Here is my concern though. I don't want her to have him WITHOUT me around once he is adopted. I don't want him to visit her every single week like he is now. I'd rather just see her once every few months, or send pictures or something. I think it will completely confuse him to continue to see his birth mother flitter in and out of his life. You know what I mean?

So we have to go back to court for C in two weeks (on a Monday). At that time we're expecting the birth mom to tell the judge that she wants to terminate her rights. She'll sign the paperwork and then we'll contact our lawyer and start the adoption process.

PLEASE pray that she follows through and allows us to adopt him. He's ALWAYS been our little boy, even that year when he was living with his birth mom (and all her friends and aquaintances)

So that's the update!!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Court Tomorrow

Well tomorrow is the big day. I have court for two different foster care cases. One is at one o'clock and the other is at two. I'm hoping my mother will watch my littlest and my oldest so that I can attend...

The first will be for my sibling group of three (B, D, and M). I doubt very seriously that anything major happens at this court hearing. The mother is still in jail awaiting trial and so they can't be terminated or reunited until after that time. I am hoping that the judge allows the great grandparents to start unsupervised all day visits with the kids on the weekend; but again, not sure what the judge will do. These grandparents are great and deserve to have more time with the kids. They already understand that they can't have them forever, but I see nothing wrong with the kids knowing them.

The second one is for my youngest foster son C. I really hope his mother steps up and relinquishes her rights, but I fear that she is going to be selfish and keep him in foster care long term; either that or try to take him back. But she voluntarily placed him in foster care, and specifically asked for my family, so we have a little hope!

Anyways, just wanted to give you the scoop. I'll post an update as soon as I have one.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Lowering Cholesterol

Ok, ok, I'll admit it. I have high cholesterol. It's not THAT high though, only 238 (doctor wanted it below 200) and my bad cholesterol is only 166 (doctor wanted it below 100). Well he informed me that I have to get it under control, so off to a low fat diet I go. (yeah right).

But really, I am trying to do better. I've decided to give this eating healthy thing a shot. I mean, it is SO not me; but if it keeps me from having to have heart surgery down the road, then I guess it might be worth it.

I'm starting slowly though. I joined a great website (, and have been tracking my eating stuff on there. I haven't tried any of their dieting meal plans (blah) because I'm too picky and they sound NASTY. But there is a way to add the foods that I DO eat. And if they don't have a certain food, as long as I have the nutrition info off the package, I can add it myself.

So I've really been trying to NOT eat the sour cream potato chips, and not eating as much chocolate or french fries, and trying to eat more apples, and (gasp) green beans. Yes I'll admit it. I ate green beans for two days in a row and they didn't kill me. In fact, I kind of liked them... KIND of...

But I've only been "really" eating healthy for two days now. I don't know if I'll be able to keep it up, but I figure anything I do to eat healthier is better than not eating healthy at all. Right? And like I said, I'm taking it slow. If I really want a Take Five candy bar, by gosh by golly I'm gonna eat it. I figure if I'm suffering through apples and greens then I should get rewarded with a sweet once in a while... (typing as I eye the candy bar on the computer desk... it's calling my name... but alas, I'll pass. I've had all the carbs and calaries I should have for the day.

No I'm not on this diet thing to lose weight. If I lose a few pounds I'll be happy, but I'd rather just feel less tired and less irritable. I read on that website that a high carb lifestyle leads to horrible mood swings, and stuff. And it's true of me. I'll let you know how it goes...

Wish me luck, I'm gonna need it - especially when Aunt Flo decides to come for a visit and I attempt to deny her the sour cream chips, garlic french fries, and take five candy bars she is craving... Who will win the battle? Me thinks it'll be old Auntie. ;)