Monday, December 20, 2010
I immediately called DH to tell him, and to my surprise he was asking questions like, "Was it a boy or a girl?" and "How old?" I cannot believe he would even consider it, with how overwhelmed we are! I tell people all the time that this is our limit. I cannot imagine caring for 3 babies, plus the other two. This morning was a great example, there was one diaper change after another, one older child sick, and crying coming from every direction. It took both of us to get things under control. It was complete chaos for awhile, the kind where you need to stop and pray, because you realize you really need God's help in that moment.
But, of course, I still wonder, where will this baby end up? Who is this little one? Should I have considered it, prayed about it, instead of saying no right away? A baby for Christmas...I pray this precious one finds a wonderful family just in time.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Okay, I'll take this one...it's not really your typical smile, but you tried really hard for mommy, and you need to go out and play! And off she went to join her sister in the back yard for an afternoon of sledding.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
My first *serious* boyfriend used to pop back into my life every year on my b-day, after I broke up with him at the age of 14! It was crazy. In fact, the year I met my husband, I had forgotten that this ex-boyfriend of mine did this, and on my 19th b-day, I heard someone knock on the door, and I peeked out and saw the back of what I thought was my current boyfriends head. To my utter shock, when I opened the door, it was the blast from the past again....the guy who had showed up on my doorstep for the past 5 years, every birthday! Talk about awkward, as I knew my current boyfriend (now my husband) would be driving up any moment!
In 1997, I was completing my Occupational therapy degree. I wanted to do one of my 6 week internships at one of the big state mental hospitals...call me crazy, I know...and it was one of the most bizarre, outrageous experiences I have had to this day! I was a poor student, not knowing how I was going to find a place to live for 6 weeks, but somehow, I ended up being offered a room in a home of one of the employees that worked there. A single african american woman and her daughters. They were so kind, and supportive, especially after she informed me that the supervisor I was assigned to should actually be one of the patients there, and not an employee, lol! Needless to say...it was a horrific experience, but God had me right where I needed to be...and this christian family supported and loved me, a complete stranger, through it all!
Fast forward 12 years, and I got a call from this woman last year! This was the first time I had talked to her since that 6 week internship, and she said she had found my number somewhere and wanted to call and check up on me! Thankfully, I remembered her and we had a nice conversation, and I thought it was so sweet that she actually picked up the phone and called!
Now, my 10 year high school reunion was a different story. I remembered most of the people there, but at one point, I was standing there, and saw this guy coming toward me with a big smile on his face and his arms spread out to his sides saying "MICHELLE!" as he gave me a big hug. I was stunned, and caught off guard for a moment, and he must have noticed, because he then said, "Don't tell me you don't remember me". Now this was an attractive guy, someone I would think I would remember, but honestly, I had NO CLUE who this person was. I still don't remember what I said to him because at that point I felt so horrible for not remembering him, and I even tried looking him up in the yearbook later, and he wasn't in it. Crazy!
Facebook is the newest way we now connect with each other, and honestly, I don't have much time to spend there. I have a hard enough time trying to maintain and sustain real life relationships, and think these are so much more important, that if I spend time on facebook I really begin to feel like I am neglecting my family and friends. I am shocked every once in awhile when I open my email and find a friend request from someone from the past. Even more surprised when it's someone I haven't talked to since I was like, 13. Today I got that friend request. It was a friend I met at the summer camp I used to go to every year in the San Juan Islands. Even more surprising, I actually remember her! Once again, it just seems so crazy to me. Crazy.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
This means that I am getting fired from my job because I refuse to give into forced vaccines. WOW. I am speechless.
Of course, they worded it this way, "Your reason for not getting the flu shot has been denied, and you will be taken off the pay schedule". I said, "What you mean is I am getting fired for not complying with a forced vaccine, right?" She paused for a moment, and then said, "Well, yeah, I guess you can say that".
I asked if this is legal, and she said that they consulted with attorneys before updating their flu shot policy this year, so she thinks it's all legal.
Unfortunately, I am stuck. There is no organization that I know of to back me up. There are no resources to access, and no guidance as to what to do in this situation. The research I have done shows that in this state, hospitals across the board are all going for 100% compliance with the flu shot, for all employees, this includes back office staff that never come in contact with patients. The funny thing is, all patients that go to the hospital I work for have the right to refuse any medication offered to them, but employees don't.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Well, this year, even though the swine flu issue turned out to be much less than what was predicted, my hospital is cracking down and stating that we must all be in 100% compliance and get the flu vaccine which is seasonal and H1N1 all in one shot this year. This year they are saying that we will be taken off the payroll if we do not comply. That's their version of saying they will fire us if we don't give in to forced vaccines, I guess. I have let them know that I have not changed my mind from last year. Will I be fired? Stay tuned to find out!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Bento (弁当, bentō?) is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container. Containers range from disposable mass produced to hand crafted lacquerware. Although bento are readily available in many places throughout Japan, including convenience stores, bento shops (弁当屋, bentō-ya?), train stations, and department stores, it is still common for Japanese homemakers to spend time and energy for their spouse, child, or themselves producing a carefully prepared lunch box.
Bento can be very elaborately arranged in a style called kyaraben or "character bento". Kyaraben is typically decorated to look like popular Japanese cartoon characters (anime), characters from comic books (manga), or video game characters. Another popular bento style is "oekakiben" or "picture bento", which is decorated to look like people, animals, buildings and monuments, or items such as flowers and plants. Contests are often held where bento arrangers compete for the most aesthetically pleasing arrangements.
There are similar forms of boxed lunches in the Philippines (Baon), Korea (Dosirak), Taiwan (Biandang), and India (Tiffin). Also, Hawaiian culture has adopted localized versions of bento featuring local tastes after over a century of Japanese influence in the islands.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
The holidays are just around the corner, and my sweet friend over at Frugal Trenches, has a wonderful opportunity to give and help a child in China! There is a huge need in China for clothing for the babies and children in institutions to help them stay warm over the winter months. They are also greatly in need of toys. Could you send a few items, and bless an orphan this year? You will be so blessed!!! Go over to her blog and get more details...this is an exciting opportunity....
Monday, October 25, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Since the BIG meeting about baby L, and her mom getting out of jail, things have been going well with visitations. It had been 7 mos. since they had seen each other, so I wasn't sure what baby L would remember since she is now only 16 mos. old. I was able to go to the first visit. I wanted baby L to feel comfortable and I wanted to fill her mom in on things about baby L. It was great to see them together. She loves this baby so much! She was so excited to spend time with her. I was happy that with some reassurance from me, mellow little baby L was able to ease back into it. I showed her mom what makes her laugh, how to get her to talk, what foods she loves, etc. She brings presents to her at every visit now. She is getting another chance at regaining her rights to her, but the dept. states that it is very close, and may not be enough time for her. The dept. will be making their decision on who they feel the next option is, the relatives, or us, next week. A court date will then be set, and depending on what her mom does in the next few months, a permanant decision should be made at the hearing sometime in the new year.
Baby C's father continues to protest everything the dept. and the courts are doing. He is even contesting the adoption of a prior child of his that has already been adopted by a relative. Most of it is getting thrown out all the time, but apparently they have to hear him out. He was recently described to me as a legal nightmare. Since he is doing all this it is delaying her case further, while both parents work none of their plan. I guess they just like to fight the system but do nothing to really show they are doing what it will really take.
That's about it! More updates will come as I find out more!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I have been working with children with special health care needs since 1998. I have worked with a handful of children with Down syndrome over those years. They became my favorite kids to work with after awhile. They were always happy, smiling, and loving. They brightened my day, and I came to the realization that parents with children with Down syndrome are truly blessed.
It can be challenging raising a child with Down syndrome. They can have attentional challenges, learning difficulties, and will need more care than a typically developing child. Parents must look into the future and find supportive resources out there for their adult child with Down syndrome at some point. But the blessings far outweigh the challenges. What I love about Reece's Rainbow is the fact that they focus internationally. Many of these children in eastern europe get moved to a mental hospital at the age of 4 if they are not adopted. That is where they will remain. They will not know the love of a family they so deserve. They will experience deprivation, and neglect, and most possibly, abuse. It is sad to see that happening, when here, in the US, there are resources, therapies, and so many options out there to assist these very special kids.
I look at their site often. I am amazed at how many sweet little faces there are there. Take a peek for yourself, and maybe, just possibly, you might see a face you will call your own.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
In the next day or two I should have a babies update! I got to go to the first visitation that baby L had with her mom, after getting out of jail. It had been 7 months since they saw each other.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Then later on, when we were spending some time playing with her this evening, she looked at me and said, "Mama, you are my rainbow, daddy is my superhero, and I am your heart!" What more could you ask for to make your heart swell? The pure, sweet expressions from a little child are priceless. Thank you, Lord for the gift of her.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Good-bye dear Sophie. We miss you.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
The relatives of baby L that appeared at this meeting by phone live in another state and are the aunt and uncle of baby L's grandma. I believe they are in their 50's. They are definately fighting for her, as we heard everything they said during this meeting. They have grown children and many grandchildren of their own. They do not know baby L's mom, and said they have only met her twice before. Baby L's attorney informed everyone that her mother does not want baby L going with these people. Since she is getting out of jail now, she will get a chance to work anther plan, rehab, etc., however, she does not have much time, and will have to show huge progress within weeks. The dept. (all the employees at the dept. of children and family services) will be making a decision of who they want baby L with permanantly if her mother does not follow through and make huge strides. They will make their decision within the next few weeks.
Our state has very strict laws favoring relatives for permanancy, even very distant relatives like this. They said due to the uniqueness of this case, they will be having a conference with several other supervisors to try and make the best decision. They find this case unique for these reasons:
The bio mom wants her baby to remain with the foster family, when they don't usually see this as most moms choose family members for their children. (but since termination of parental rights have already been filed, they say her wishes don't hold a lot of weight, but they still want to consider them)
They also know that we would like them to consider an open adoption, and we have a positive relationship with the mom, which they also said is very rare. The moms attorney actually mentioned during this meeting that she has never heard of foster families writing to her clients while they are in jail, and she told us 3 times that it seems strange, but we are really are the only people that this mom trusts and has ever really felt support by, ever, in her life! She said that this has meant so much to baby L's mom, and everyone at the table was in agreement that this was a really good thing. Given her mom's background, I believe this is probably true. She was raised by a drug addict, and taught criminal behaviors. She never had a fair chance.
The bottom line for us is that we know how much she loves baby L, and we really hope that whatever the decision is, she will be allowed contact with her child. She was able to be part of the God Pod the entire time she was in jail. She has now heard, and claims she has a relationship with Jesus. She will taste freedom tomorrow, and I really hope she can draw on God's strength in the days to come.
I am seeing God's hand more and more in this case. It really appears that this jail time was a godsend for baby L's mom. It got her off the streets, off the drugs, and in a place where she studied God's word twice a day. It gave her hope, and allowed her head to clear, and she was able to get her priorities straight. She met Jesus. When I think back to the call we got about this baby, and how we finally decided to take a foster placement, it's amazing to me. Knowing nothing more than a baby needed a home and a family to grow in for awhile, I see that God had a plan from the very start. It's always great to look back as things unfold, and see clearly the Lord's design in it all. The next few weeks will definately be interesting, and we would appreciate continued prayers during this crucial time as the dept. makes their final decision they will present to the court.
God sets the lonely in families....
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
We know the Lord has His hand on this entire situation. We know she will be okay wherever she goes, but we also know we will miss her greatly if she has to leave. We all love her dearly. Please also pray for M, as she is taking the possibility of her leaving soon very hard.
Blessings to you all!!
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
It's here! The weather has cooled. I went out to pick some blackberries and tomatoes in our garden this morning. The sun is out, but the crispness in the air tells me it's my time of the year! Pure heaven!!!
I love walking through the pumpkin farms with my kids, hay rides, crunchy piles of leaves in the yard, and glowing pumpkin spice candles at home. I love fall craft shows, cozy fires, scarecrows, apple picking, and drinking pumpkin lattes with friends.
Fall brings many opportunities for making memories and creating traditions with your family. I am so looking forward to every single day of fall this year, and hope it isn't over too fast.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
No, despite our sin, in the face of our rebellion, he chose to adopt us. And for God, there's no going back. His grace is a come-as-you-are promise from a one-of-a-kind King. You've been found, called, and adopted; so trust your Father and claim this verse as your own: "God showed his love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners" Romans 5:8 And you never again have to wonder who your father is--you've been adopted by God and are therefore and heir of God through Christ. Gal. 4:7.
~In the Grip of Grace
Friday, September 3, 2010
Animals are a big part of our life here, and this is M and L at the beginning of the summer, with their favorite kitty cats.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
I guess I will call this post an update on our foster babies, but it will also probably turn into a rant.
A few weeks ago I got a call from the SW. She said that there was a really nice guy that came forward, stating he was the father of baby L. Now, keep in mind, the dna test was underway on guy #1 , the man that baby L's mom has always named as the father. The SW stated that she had to go along with this guy, and help him. They went and put his name on baby L's birth certificate! She said to be prepared, that baby L would start visitations with this guy soon. DH and I were shocked that there is nothing legal that has to be done first. Apparently, any random man can come forward, state they are the father, have their name legally placed on the child's birth certificate, and be granted visitations to the child. This is so unbelievable, and ridiculous, in my opinion. This guy is actually an ex-boyfriend of baby L's mom. From what we gather, her and this guy have been talking and devised this plan. Since she is still in jail, she would have this guy take custody of baby L, then move in with him when she gets out.
Within a week after this, the dna results were in. Guy #1 IS the father. Since then, I have heard nothing. The bio father hasn't even requested to meet his daughter yet. The fake father has not had visitations either, and I also heard that there is a chance that he may still have a chance at visitations just by showing interest. I also heard that they have to go through a major process to get him off of the birth certificate now. Then, what really surprised me was, yesterday I recieved a new state medical card in the mail for baby L. When DH and I ripped open the envelope, and saw what it was, our bottom lips hit the floor--It had the fake dads last name hyphenated with moms last name! Give me a break, this has gone way too far! Where has the common sense gone? I have no idea what will happen next with this case, I think I will put in a call to the SW this week.
Meanwhile, baby L continues to thrive, and laugh, and giggle and smile! She will be 15 mos. old in a couple days. Let's hope her case speeds up, and also becomes a little less full of drama. You just can't make these things up, like I said, I would never believe this if I wasn't in the middle of it!
Friday, August 27, 2010
" I am a princess" miss L likes to say. She just got this new dress from her aunt and uncle and it is adorable on her. Thanks D & A!
We have some exciting new plans for her...
She is getting ready to go to preschool soon-three days a week!
Although we are very commited to homeschooling, we know this is something L will thrive with, and it will keep her busy, as she is a very energetic, social, and outgoing child who loves to be occupied throughout the day.
We sent M to preschool when she was 5. We had already decided to homeschool by then, but M had huge separation anxiety issues even at that age. This was something we had noticed since babyhood. We had tried everything, and it didn't help. We thought preschool might help. The teachers saw her extreme separation anxiety, and assured me this was normal, and that it would disappear in a couple weeks. I smiled, and explained that although that would be ideal, they didn't know M, and they might be surprised. Four months later, her separation anxiety was not lessening, as I suspected. The teachers held a conference, and said they had never encountered a child like her, and they put her on their prayer list. We decided to continue with preschool even though her anxiety continued. Nearing the end of the school year, we saw a slight improvement, and we also noticed that she was enjoying herself, learning, and fully engaged in the class. To this day, she still has very fond memories of preschool.
Miss L is a very different child. There is no separation anxiety to deal with, and she thrives with lots of activities, music, and attention. She is a social butterfly. We decided to allow her to have a year of christian preschool just like M had. Then we will start up with homeschool Kindergarten next fall. I am sure it will be a year of sweet memories she will always remember.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
The guy below has a very good message, and it is A MUST WATCH:
Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
When monday morning arrived, my parents rushed me to a Seattle hospital to see a vision specialist. A very kind and compassionate older doctor examined my eyes. He told me that my retinas were burned from the sun. He said that when people look at an eclipse, this is exactly what he sees with their eyes. Except mine was worse, as I had stared at the sun for a longer period of time. He was so warm and kind, and he gave me some hope. He said to go home, and come back the next week, and he would know the extent of my damage. I went home, and I prayed. My grandmother prayed for me and told me that God could heal my eyes. I believed her. That week of blindness was a very humbling experience, and it was a turning point in my faith in God. I went back to the doctor, and I felt that I was seeing a bit better! He examined my eyes, and noted that my right eye had completely healed! Praise God. I wasn't really a christian then, but I think this was the beginning of my walk with God. The next time my eyes were examined, my right eye(retina) was still healed, and my left eye only had minimal scarring. The amazing thing was that my vision was completely restored! When both of my eyes are open, my right eye compensates for the blind spot that remains in my left eye, so that I don't see the blind spot at all! I was healed, and I thank God for that healing to this day!
So, as you can see, this was not a lie from my post below, it is a truth, and a wonderful testimony of God's mercy, grace, and healing!
My little fib was the one about adding Llamas and Alpacas to my farm...I am a little overwhelmed with all my little girls and goats, and can't imagine adding more critters to the farm.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
This piece of machinery is the first step in our new ADDITION!
We need more room for our sweet little foster babies, so we are building on an additional bedroom! Due to the location of the new room, it will be ours, (a master bedroom & bath) and the baby girls will get our current bedroom! This will be so nice, as we have been tripping over baby stuff for a year now.
I will keep you posted as the room begins to take shape. Also, stay tuned for another baby update soon!