Skip to main content

How we got here. - Readers Digest Version

My husband and I have been together 16 years, married for 11. Nine years ago I was diagnosed with Neurosarcoidosis. Due to the types of medication I was on, we weren't sure if we would be able to have a pregnancy. We felt we were ready to be parents. We looked at our options and ultimately decided foster parenting with the goal of adoption was the way to go.

Our fist case was a group of 4 siblings "The Fab Four".  They came in waves with the two youngest moving in in January 2011 and the two oldest moving in in April 2011. We were their 4th and 3rd foster homes, respectively.  They had suffered a number of abuses, from a myriad of adults and had a very high level of need because of their trauma history. In April 2013, after 2 years with us, they were able to return home to their Mom's house. We have supported them post reunification as much as possible and now consider their Mom part of our family.

The Fab Four
Little Mama (LM)- 12* full of Sassy
Gabby - 10* my Drama Queen
Jelly Bean (JB) - 9* every day is a surprise with her
Mr. Mohawk (MM) - 5* and full of little boy questions and energy
Maria - Mom to the Fab Four. AKA Mom and Bio Mom
Willow - Case Worker

In the fall of 2013 we were contacted about taking on another sibling set of 4 (3 girls and a boy). Same number of moves as the Fab Four and the same case worker (Willow). We transitioned them from two separate foster homes and were asked to take the case as an adoptive resource should the goal change from return home to termination. I had dubbed this group of kids "The Quartet". They officially moved in the week of Christmas 2013.  We finalized their adoption in June of 2016 and are now "The Final Four".

The Quartet/Final Four
Stella - 12 Always dreaming up new questions.
Sarah - 11 My other Drama Queen.
Simon - 9 Studious and smart
Smiley - 8 budding fashionista!
Sheila - Bio Mom AKA Mom AKA Mommy

In December 2015 we took placement of the Final Four's infant sister.  We were her 2nd placement after initially saying no when she was born.  At the time, we were in the process of TPR and had just moved and we couldn't imagine adding an infant and return home goal to the chaos we were experiencing. But the fictive kinship placement she had been in disrupted and we didn't want her bouncing around foster care. In May 2017 she returned home to her Dad who has since become part of our family.

Solana - 2 The missing piece to our puzzle and a great source of joy.
Solana's Dad or "SD" - Her 23 year old father who supports her relationship with her siblings.

I began writing this blog as a way to document my feelings and experiences on the way to motherhood.  What I hope, is that our experiences help other families going through this journey as well. Thank you for taking the time to stop by.

*Ages are the age when they last lived with us.

Popular posts from this blog

She Never Cried

Sheila called to wish Sarah Happy Birthday and she shared a story with her that as a baby she never cried. Not when she was hungry, not when she was tired, never. She never cried.
A little later Sarah said to me:
"Mom, my Mom said I never cried. I don't really believe that. That can't be true can it? Don't all babies cry sometimes?"
Oh my sweet girl. The red flag went up for her too. As I listened to Sheila share this story fondly, I felt sad. That was a sign of her RAD. That was because she couldn't count on adults. That was because she cried and no one came so she learned not to cry.
"It doesn't sound right to you, does it?"
"I know your Mom shared that story because she thinks it's cute you never cried. It made me sad. You are right babies cry so adults take care of them. You know how you had a lot of different adults that were supposed to take care of you as a baby?"
"Yeah, like 10 foster parents."
"Well …

Minimum Parenting Standards - Monday's Post

I can't figure out Blogger's time zone and I may not have time to write Monday evening so here is Monday's post.

This week we are having another "team" meeting. This time to discuss the "minimum parenting standards" that the kid's Mom has to meet in order to be "good enough" to parent them.

Now I have all kids of issues with this entire exercise. The first being that these kids deserve better than the minimum. The second, that good enough isn't going to cut it with their issues. The hardest part though is being asked to write down a guide to being their parent FOR their parent. Putting my commitment to first reunify a family to the test. It is one thing to suggest ways in which she can be a better parent and to support the goal by not bad mouthing her and encouraging the kids to share their true feelings. It is an entirely different thing to sit down and write a guide for a woman who has yet to grasp the basics after two years.

It wa…

Reader Question: Did You change their names?

Yes we did. We actually started using their new names shortly after their good bye visit with Sheila last August. So the only name that really changed this week was their last name (kind of, one of them actually had our last name). We had started using them so we wouldn't have to try to do a name change mid-school year. Plus the kids had only been in the school the last 1/2 of the year so they didn't know everyone yet. The school was great about going with the new first names.
At some point Simon spontaneously asked his teacher if he could change his name tag on his desk to our last name. He was tired of waiting on the legal stuff. He started to write Simon Almost Last Name on his papers. So we asked all the kids and they asked for the same update. Their report cards and benchmarks still had their legal names. 
The name change was a bit cumbersome at first. We sounded like owls because someone would ask for a person by their birth name and we would all answer "Who?". W…


I had some questions asked of me recently that I thought I would answer here:

1) How do you keep doing this after so much crap?
I actually had two different foster moms ask me this. One dealing with a false allegation and one in a kinship case with a pregnant, unstable bio mom.

I'm not sure I have an eloquent answer to this question. I think I've reached a point where I see the bigger picture - the kids.  That's not to say this stuff doesn't drive me nuts or make me emotional. I would be spitting fire if we had to deal with a false allegation. I'm really upset about the potential of having to make a decision about another baby. But if not me, who? We are good at this. There are kids that need me. And I probably need them. I am a caretaker by nature.  What would I be doing with myself if I didn't have 15 different obligations all at once? I have no idea because I've always been this way. And right now all of the current drama is related to my children. I s…

It is a process

It's a physical ache. A pain in the middle of my chest.  And it causes hot tears, the kind that sting my eyes.  It settled over me today and I couldn't shake it.

It started with news that more people in our lives are expecting and today, I just couldn't muster the happiness.  I heard complaints of not feeling well and my ability to plaster the smile on my face just vanished from my body. I left the house to "run an errand" but really I just needed an escape.

All week I've been able to communicate and tell people about Solana leaving without any trouble.  I probably sounded like a PSA for "How to be the role model foster parent".

People were asking:

So will you get to adopt the little one? Is she staying?

Well no, actually.  She is going home in a few weeks. That's the goal of foster care. We are really happy for her dad. He really gets it. We've built a relationship. I'm so glad she doesn't have to go through the pain of adoption or …