Thursday, September 30, 2010


The decision making meeting was interesting. It's hard to go into great detail, so I will try and make this brief. First off, the most shocking news we recieved was that baby L's mom was found not guilty to a very serious charge she has been in jail for since March. She is getting out tomorrow. I am actually excited that she will get to see baby L soon. Since we have been writing her and sending pictures to her in jail, we have recieved letters back, and I know how much she loves and misses her.
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....

Psalm 68:6

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

M turns 9 yrs. old today. I can hardly believe she is this old already. She has had a whirlwind week of special visitors, trips to the county fair, and we will top it off with a little party at the soda fountain. M asked only for people to give dog toys, collars, food and treats for the animal rescue for her b-day this year. I am so proud of her. She spends her days reading, playing with her animals (and making crowns and clothes for them), playing with her sister and baby foster sisters. She is a joy and treasure, and I am so thankful to God for his amazing blessings! Happy birthday, sweet-pea, I love you!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Tomorrow is the decision making meeting for our little angel. It doesn't necesarily mean that a final decision will be made at that time, but everyone present will be able to state what they feel is in the best interest of baby L. After the meeting, the Dept. (the state that has dependency of baby L) may decide what permanant plan they would like for her. I have talked with the court appointed special advocate, and although I really don't know what her position is, she is the voice for this baby, and will be giving her input. There is so much riding on this. Her biological mother is supposed to be present, however, I have not heard that she is out of jail yet. It will be a very interesting meeting, and I hope it really does help to move this case forward. Please remember us in your prayers. I will update soon.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Why can't I be a fancy farmgirl?

Oh my goodness...I just came across this blog and I am ashamed to say...I am jealous. Just look at this woman. And her chicken coop...I am drooling. And the phots of her chickens...stunning. And the creative conference she attended, love it! And she met Mary Jane Butters, of Mary Jane's farm. And she is just the coolest farm chick I've ever seen. Now, my mind is spinning, how can I get my chicken coop to look like that? I am on a mission...and it's starts tomorrow, with the barn...and it's overdue paint job. Pictures to just wait fancy farmgirl, I will have a coop like that one day!!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A must read post...

Awhile ago I wrote about how it has been really hard for me to understand why christians feel the Twilight series is okay for them to read as well as their children. I came across this blog post today, and some of these people have explained so much better why this is so dangerous. Please go here!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Will you pray for baby L?

We urgently need prayers here. Today our SW called, stating that her supervisor decided a "decision making" meeting needs to be held next wed, Sept. 29th to decide on a permanant home for baby L, who we have now had in our care for 14 months. Even though moms termination trial won't be for months, they want her in her permanant place now. It sounds like her supervisor already has her mind made up that the relatives from another state will be the first choice. They have never met baby L, but will be at the meeting by phone. We have always been told that all parties will be weighed carefully, but that doesn't sound like it is actually the case. We will get to speak and share our feelings, but I am not sure it will do much good. That is why I am seeking as many prayers as we can get for this! We would appreciate it so very much! We also found out that her mom's trial is happening all this week. We should know the results by friday.
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!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Foster babies update...

Our two foster baby girls thankfully have the same social worker, and the same CASA/GAL (court appointed special advocate, guardian ad litem).
The SW comes once a month to see how the babies are doing, per law. She doesn't usually bring much information with her, but she is open to any questions we have and always welcomes emails if we forget to ask about something. Our foster babies don't have any court dates coming up any time soon. Baby L, who we have had for well over a year now will have a court date in Nov. to set a date to have the termination of parental rights trial. These trials are usually set 6 months out from then. So, baby L will more than likely be 2 yrs. old by the time this occurs. This is also when they will decide where she will go, or if she will stay. Alot also rides on what happens to her mom. Will she still be in jail? Will she be out, and complying with her treatment plan? The great-great uncle and aunt have been approved as a placement as well, but they are out of state. If termination of mom's parental rights does happen, it will come down to us or the relatives. Mom's wishes will be considered. The GAL will advocate for what she thinks is in baby L's best interest in will be an intense day...and one we all wish would be much sooner than later. So, we have a long wait, still. In the meantime, I am loving all this baby time we have with her, and I am also sad that her mom is missing it all. Foster parenting brings up so many emotions, and I think every case is different. I know baby L's mom wants her, as many of these parents do, but they just don't have the ability to make the changes that need to occur in many cases. In this case, we would love to do an open adoption. Please pray that this option will be fully looked at and considered in the coming months and that when this case gets closer to an end, all parties will agree. We would love for her mom to stay connected, if she is not able to parent. Please pray that the Lord's hand will continue to be upon this situation and that we will all trust in Him as this case plays out.
Baby C's parents haven't shown up for one visit yet this month. So sad, and hard to comprehend. Please pray her case will not be extended out as long as baby L's! Please pray for God's guidance and wisdom for everyone involved. We greatly appreciate it!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The big day...

So L started preschool last friday. She goes for 2 1/2 hours a day, three days per week. She loves it!!! She is so outgoing, she talks to everyone, enjoys every aspect of it, and loves staying busy with all they do there. They will be walking to an orchard/fruit stand for their first field trip, and she is excited about that. They will be picking out their favorite peice of fruit.
Tomorrow she gets to bring something for "sharing" day and she is looking forward to that far this was a great choice for her.
The social worker comes in the morning, so stay tuned for another "babies" update soon!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Birth parent search analysis

I recently found out about a birth parent search analysis you can order for your adopted child from China. I ordered one, and should get my analysis in a few weeks. It is an analysis of many factors surrounding your child's abandonment, location, number of other children found in the area, and orphanage. It is used to determine how fruitful a birthparent search may be for your child in their future.
I thought this was an important piece of information to gather. When our children from china are teens they may have many questions. They may want to search for birth parents just like many adoptees do here. More and more china adoptees are doing birthparent searches, and by the time L is at an age where she may choose to search, it might even be an easier task. I think having this information on hand will be important to have if she does ever come to us asking for help in searching. I also think it is important to do this now as the information gathered could get lost the longer we wait, or the service could possibly end.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

So many orphans...

Since the waiting child program in China has basically "exploded", every day, I am so aware of the vast amount of babies and children that are waiting in China. Our former China adoption agency currently has 70 children just on their website! These are mostly babies, with a large majority of them being baby boys with absolutely nothing else wrong but a cleft lip and/or palate. This is such an easy special need to manage in comparison to some. I so wish we were prepared to return to China to scoop up one of these adorable little guys!!! There is also a shared list that many agencies get from China, and I believe there are over 1,000 children on that, possibly more. It is mind blowing when you think and begin to comprehend how many orphans there are in China and how, daily, babies and older children continue to be abandoned in every city, and every town there. The amount of orphanages there are is staggering. There are so many little ones that are waiting for a family of their breaks my heart and I pray for them all.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Simple pleasures of fall...

I love fall, and look forward to it every year when mid-summer temps here are in the upper 90's and low 100's. I dream of crisp, chilly weather, picking pumpkins in the garden, and decorating my home with warm fall colors.

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

Photo editing

This is fun! I decided I need to try some unique, fun, and free photo editing that you can try all around the web. I like the vintage look this one ended up with. I printed out an 8x10. I think I'll frame it. Now...back to playin around!

Found, Called, Adopted

God didn't look at our frazzled lives and say, "I'll die for you when you deserve it."
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

Saying good-bye...

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.
A few blog posts down, I linked to M's blog, where she talked about losing her cat, Winter, pictured above. She was heartbroken. And it was heartwrenching watching her grieve the loss of her cat, who, at the time of her disappearance was still nursing a litter of 6 kittens. L is holding Frisco, our friendly orange kitten who just disappeared a week ago. This is just too much for M. We have now found homes for all of the kittens, except the two we are keeping, a little calico for L, and a white kitten with blue eyes for M, to remind her of Winter. We think we will keep these two inside most of the time, as there must be something lurking about outdoors, causing harm to our beloved pets. Saying good-bye is hard to do when you are animal lover like these two.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A little update...

Here is a picture of M when she was just a tiny baby, probably about a year old. She took this photo to church and recently won a "cutest baby picture" contest they were having.
Looking at that picture, makes me realize just how quickly babyhood flies by. And, I also look at my foster babies, and am so thankful and blessed to have been entrusted to care for them during such a precious time in their lives. I also get emotional when I think about baby L's mom, and how she really loves her, but is stuck in jail, and even if she were to get out, she may never have the tools and support that she needs to get well, so that she could ever parent. She was never given a chance in life, and was raised in an environment that got her where she is today. It is heartbreaking, and she is one of those people that we would all want to scoop up, and help, but you know that with her past experiences, she just may not be capable of accepting and embracing that help. We have a lot of compassion for her and we do pray for her.
I did put a call in to the SW and she called back today when I was out running errands. My Dh got to talk to her, and from what he explained, here is the latest news: There was a court hearing for baby L's bio dad, which he did not show up for, and so his parental rights are now terminated. So, she said he is out of the picture. Then there is the "fake" dad, who showed up there, and talked to the judge! He said he is doing everything to get custody of baby L. He even said he felt an "attachment" to her. He's never even met her. The SW said it is ridiculous, and is trying to get him out of the picture, but it may be tricky, since he's now listed on the birth certificate as her father. Apparently there is some form he can file, and if he does, there will be another court hearing where the judge will need to make a decision based on what he hears. Thankfully, the SW feels the same way we do now, and she was shocked when she heard about the medical card we got with this guys last name on it. So, this is the latest! When people told me to expect the unexpected when you do foster care, I had no idea what that meant, but now know it is very true. Stay tuned, who knows what will happen next week...