Thursday, October 31, 2013

Doors are Being Opened!

Dean spoke with Luna's GAL this afternoon. She does not feel Luna needs to be moved and is looking into everything that was discussed at our previous meeting in hopes of settling out of court. Luna's CW requested a meeting with Laura Miller the therapist Braden went to when he was at home. We have asked to have other people attend the meeting such as the Fullers (TAP) and the therapist Braden is currently seeing. God is opening doors and answering prayers! Keep praying!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Waiting

We had a very relaxing weekend. Went to church and spent the rest of the time at home. Sunday evening Dean lit a fire in the wood stove and we toasted marshmallows and made s'mores. The fire was too hot so the marshmallows were black on the outside but they were still good.




We still haven't heard anything from Luna's GAL. My stress level is rising as I know we will soon know what she decided. She is thoroughly investigating Luna's case for which I am thankful. Keep praying for us, the stress is beginning to wear us/me down. I felt very optimistic last week but this week I find the doubts creeping in. I know we will be either devastated or rejoicing in the coming days and there is no way to prepare myself for the outcome so I go back to waiting and praying.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Prayers and A Visit To Braden

Sometimes when I look back on the past month it feels like I am peeking into someone else's life. I wonder how I would react to such circumstances and then I get this jolt and remember it is my life. It feels as if there is a shield protecting me from the "real world" out there and all the pain and turmoil can only get so close before it needs to retreat. Someone told me it is the prayers being lifted on our behalf that are carrying us along and that is exactly what it feels like. Sure, there are times the what if thoughts get the better of me and I almost panic but God kindly reminds me that He is in control. Not us. I cannot imagine how someone would be able to go through trials without Christ to guide them.

So many people came to me and said, "I wish I could do something but since I can't, be assured we are praying." That means so much. We didn't tell Kiana and Joseph all that has been going on because we felt they have had enough emotional upheavals in their short lives. We sat Tristan down and gave him a brief version of the story because he was getting very concerned about us. I expected him to be all upset, instead he was amazed that people are praying for us. There are people across the country praying for our family and it is so humbling it makes us cry and stand in awe of our almighty God.

Yesterday we were down to see Braden. He made a book for us. There was a page for each member of the family where he wrote down all the things he misses about that person. My page included my strawberry pie and having me tuck him into bed. Dean's page had going to PaulB and playing together, among other things. He sent the book along home and each of the children is supposed to draw a picture to go with their page. We will take it along on our next visit. It made the children feel good but also stirred up memories and made them miss him anew. So you can imagine how this morning went! I sat down with Kiana and Joseph separately and we talked about why Braden went to Miss Sharon, what he is working on and how he is doing so much better. They seemed to feel better after that. We had the opportunity to interact with Braden a bit more on this visit. We went out to the horses and he showed us how to feed them carrots.


Poor boy was feeling a little nervous. I told him I had butterflies as well and he thought that was funny.


It tugged at my heart to leave him there. We are hoping he can come home for his first visit over Thanksgiving. 

We haven't heard anything from Luna's GAL regarding her decision as to whether Luna should be moved. I had hoped she would call sometime this afternoon but it looks as if we will need to be patient.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIANA

The long awaited day has finally arrived! Kiana didn't remember it was her birthday, so I whispered, "happy birthday" in her ear. She was beyond excited!!


Yesterday morning I suddenly remembered Kiana's birthday. I didn't have anything prepared, thankfully pink icing and sprinkles were enough to make her happy.




Mrs. Risser gave a craft set for Kiana's birthday gift. Dean helped her paint the wooden flowers this afternoon.




With all that has happened this past week, I didn't get time to go shopping for a gift. I keep some small gifts in a tote and found a few things to give Kiana.


A sticker/story book and photo album for the pictures of her school friends.
Sometime this week I hope to take her to Park City and visit the Dolly & Me Store. Kiana loves shopping and it will be special to spend some one on one time with her.


KIANA:
Giggles & smiles
Loves to play doll
enjoys school
Takes good care of Luna
Loves to sing
Likes going on 4 wheeler rides with Tristan
Is learning her letters & sounds
Makes us laugh many times a day
Is a very good helper
Likes lotion and bubble bath
Loves spicy food

WE LOVE YOU KIANA!

Please keep praying for our situation. Your prayers are what keep us going. I cannot imagine how people go through something like this without prayer support and Gods help.








Thursday, October 17, 2013

Keep praying

CYS wants Luna moved asap. GAL wants to look into the case before giving her recommendation. The case will then go before the judge. It doesn't look good for us to be able to keep her. Keep praying.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Prayers Please

Tomorrow we are meeting with CYS to discuss Luna's case. Please pray for us. That we could accept God's will and act in a way that is pleasing to Him. A solicitor for the GAL was out this afternoon to evaluate Luna's bond with us. She is going to be giving her report to the GAL before the meeting. Our appointment is at 11:00, I will be so glad when this is resolved.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Adoption Blog Carnival

We had a very relaxing week end at the cabin with Deans family. Enjoyed delicious food, walks, caught up with what is happening in each others lives and spent a lot of time outside basking in the sunshine. Monday morning it was time to face the real world again. Tristan had a 9:15 dentist appointment to get two teeth pulled. I didn't tell him about his appointment until Sunday evening as I knew it would ruin his week end. I kept him home from school as he had quite a bit of bleeding and was very numb. After a nap he felt more like himself. Last night I went to my second app. at Crossroads Counseling Center in Leola. The more I learn about why we do the things we do in relation to the experiences we face in life, the greater the awe I feel of how intricately we are created. Each and every happening in our lives leaves it's mark and will in some large or small way influence the decisions we make in the future.

 

I was honored to have one of my blog posts featured on the Adoption Blog Carnival. Here is the link to their site: http://www.thecorkums.com/2013/10/12/adoption-blog-carnival-6th-edition/  They feature some very interesting blogs on this site.

Our meeting with the county is scheduled for Thursday at 11:00. We covet your prayers. I am not sure if the final decision regarding Luna's future will be decided at that time or not.  Some days it loom's like a dark cloud on the horizon and other days I can say, "Not my will but Thine."

I emailed Miss Sharon to see how Braden reacted to our visit. She had a very positive report! Typically a child regresses a bit when stressed or when he see's mom n dad again but thus far Braden hasn't. It certainly will not be smooth sailing from here on out but we are encouraged with every bit of progress we see. Miss Sharon is going to be setting up a schedule for us to come see him. We will also soon begin taking one sibling along for each visit in order to begin the reintegration process. 



Friday, October 11, 2013

Enjoy Today

I was browsing through the pictures and couldn't help but feel a little sad. Our children "grew up" so fast! These pictures were a good reminder to cherish today. So often I feel frustrated and discouraged with the things we are currently dealing with and forget to give hugs n kisses, read stories and just spend time with my children. They are little for such a short time and that time is quickly passing by. Enjoy the blessing of today!

Tristan enjoying some of Daddy's watermelon


Where has time gone????


Chubby Kiana


This picture was taken the day after the boys were placed with us



Our "twins"


Sometimes I wonder how we made it through those first two years!


Braden, Joseph and their brother Jacob on their adoption day


Joseph n Kiana











Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Visit To See Braden!

We were down at TAP to see Braden yesterday. He grew! I didn't even recognize him at first. That may have had something to do with the fact that he hasn't had a hair cut since he went down in June. We were very impressed with how he has changed. When I hugged him he was soft rather than stiff, he wrapped his arms around my neck and participated in the hug instead of enduring it. Braden showed us the papers he is doing in school, told us he is working on relationships, showed us his bedroom and gave cards he made for us. He made good eye contact, wasn't constantly trying to control the conversation and told us what he is working on with Miss Kate , his therapist. I was amazed at the difference in him! He still has a long way to go but we are thankful he is finally beginning to "get" the concept of relationships. When he first began seeing Miss Kate she asked what he misses most about our family and he said, "The neighbors." The only time he mentioned us was when he wondered what he might be missing out on. He valued things far more than he valued people, which is a scary thought! I took a small bag of snacks along for him and he exclaimed, "You were thinking about ME!" I sure was buddy!


This is Braden's school binder. He showed us all he has been learning in school


Miss Sharon and Braden talking about what he is working on in therapy.


My mom kept Luna and Deans mom picked the school children up at school and kept them at their place till we got home. We got back to our house around 7:30 - almost 12 hours after we left! Tristan, Kiana and Joseph all needed some mom and dad time. We hadn't told K n J that we were going to see Braden because we knew they wouldn't be able to concentrate at school if they knew our plans. They had some big feelings to overcome when they found out where we were. Kiana actually cried about the whole "Braden issue" something she has seldom if ever, done. Joseph said he feels happy, mad and sad that we went. So we broke it down into three parts and figured out why he felt each feeling. He is happy because Braden is getting better, sad that he couldn't see him and mad that he was so mean to us while he lived at home. Tristan insisted he doesn't feel anything at all concerning Braden but his smart mouth told us other wise! He finally admitted that yes, it has been tough and he has mixed feelings about Braden. 

   Luna and Joseph are still sleeping and Kiana is quietly playing in the basement. This is going to be one of those sofa days. A day where I do no more than I absolutely have to. We are going to the cabin with Deans family this weekend and I have yet to plan what I am taking for my meal. I got the easiest meal of the week end, Sunday breakfast. Was feeling a little guilty but that was before all the drama of the past week took place. Now I know God had a hand in giving me that meal! :) Someday I hope to be able to handle stress better. I told Dean I am trying to get better by not doing to much but God is continually allowing things to come into our lives that derail the whole Adrenal healing process. Maybe I am still relying to much on my own strength and he is trying to teach me to lean more upon Him. 

Thanks for all the prayers this past week. I am not dwelling on the "what if's" with Luna's case and I know that is only because people are praying. We won't know much more until we meet with BCCYS. We do not have a date set for the meeting but were told BCCYS wants to have it as soon as possible. It will be a tad difficult to co ordinate 8 plus different schedules, so it might go a few weeks yet.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Overwhelmed!

Thank you for all the prayers that were lifted on our behalf these past few days. We feel humbled when we are told time and again, "We are praying for you!" What a blessing to be part of the family of God! These past few days have been beyond stressful and if it weren't for your prayers, I am not sure what my emotional state would look like by now. As it is, we are doing ok. I will try to explain a little bit about what has been going on. Forgive me if it doesn't make sense. I made so many phone calls and sent so many emails telling our story that I tend to leave gaps, thinking I already told people something when in reality, I had told someone else.
  In June BCCYS had raised concerns about having us adopt Luna because we placed Braden out of our home. We had a very emotional meeting with them, think me sobbing and not able to talk cause I couldn't catch my breath, and felt that everything was taken care of. We asked Luna's CW about it from time to time and she assured us that she had't heard anything from her supervisor so all is well. On Thursday Sheryl from COBYS, the agency who is putting together our family profile for Luna's adoption was coming out for a visit. She was very insistent that Dean be here and we were a tad frustrated because she usually asks a few simple questions then we chat as she watches us interact with the other children. Dean is very busy at work right now and it just wasn't convenient but thankfully he did take off and was home when Sheryl came. She explained that BCCYS is concerned about Luna being with us because we "left" Braden at TAP and have had no physical contact in almost 5 months. They feel we are "getting rid of him." This was a previous complaint and we thought we had settled all that. Sheryl advised us to get up to date on our rights as foster parents. Beings Luna was with us for over a year we have more rights than if she would have only been here a few months. I asked if we should look into an attorney and she said that is up to us. Sheryl was very surprised that we had no idea BCCYS was so concerned. Sheryl offered to get a meeting set up with the BCCYS staff involved in Luna's case, she would also attend along with her supervisor. Then we could all talk this over together. I emailed the CW asking for an explanation but she didn't give me much of an answer. I also emailed Luna's GAL because we were told she wants Luna moved. When the GAL wants a child moved there isn't much you can do.
  Friday Joseph had his first therapy session with Miss Megan. I am not sure what to think. I really liked her, she seemed to understand why Joseph struggles and had good advice. However I was not allowed to sit in on his session and when she brought him back to the waiting room I asked if he had a good time and what he did. As he was telling me, Miss Megan interrupted him and said, "Remember Joseph, this therapy is your special play time with me you may tell mom everything or nothing, whatever you choose." I am not sure if my mouth dropped open or not. :( You NEVER tell a child with attachment problems that they don't need to tell mom something. It seemed to go over Josephs head though and he did well the rest of the day. Maybe I was so disregulated he didn't feel the need to create a fuss in order for his environment to feel as chaotic as he did on the inside.
  On Friday I called Angie who is our representative in this case and asked her what she thinks. She thinks we have a lot on our plate and perhaps we could care for our other children better if she was in a better home. That didn't make me feel very good! I called Donna, Carols supervisor and all she would say is she doesn't want to discuss it over the phone. I also placed a call to the GAL and asked her opinion. She said she had only heard BCCYS side of the story and no, she did not plan to move Luna at this point. She felt BCCYS has a logical concern and if we cannot come up with a rational answer to their concerns they will begin having Luna have visits with an adoptive family. I also sent emails to Miss Sharon, Kate Oliver and Miss Laura. Laura was able to give us the name of an attorney COBYS families use. We are hoping if we have legal aid, the county will back down. Miss Sharon thought perhaps we could Skype rather than having her attend the meeting in person. We are hoping Kate Oliver, his current therapist will be able to do likewise. We also made plans to go see Braden on Tuesday. County is concerned that he is being abused and we won't know it because we haven't seen him at all. I wish I would have thought to tell them that he see's a licensed therapist weekly and she would report any signs of abuse. Sheryl the lady from COBYS doesn't think the county has much of a case against us beings they have no say over where we place Braden. However they do have a say in where Luna lives and obviously feel we are not a good placement for her.

Somewhere in the midst of all the drama I had a birthday. Dean brought pizza n wings home for supper. I was way to stressed physically and emotionally to try to think of going anywhere, so that suited me just right! He also sent me these beautiful flowers


My friend Sharon and her son Moses, stopped by with a card and some more flowers. Moses even picked the one bouquet for me!


Another friend, Melissa stopped by with these whoopie pies and a huge hug. So thankful for people who care!


We also had a birthday party for Kiana and Joseph's Kindergarden teacher, Mrs. Risser. We celebrated by going to Akron park for the afternoon. She has one lively group of children!

Her birthday cake was a butterfly made out of cupcakes


Admiring the cake....


Mrs. Risser and her 11 little charges!


I am reading the book, Wrestling With An Angel. The author mentioned how people will often say God will not give you more than you can bear. His view is that God does give you more than you an bear, so much so that you are crushed and broken under the load but then God will lift you up and help you bear the burden so you will know it is only through him that you can go on. That is exactly how we have felt these past few days.  God is carrying the load for us. Please continue to pray!





Thursday, October 3, 2013

Prayer Request

Please surround our family with prayer as we are facing a crisis of sorts with Luna's case and the county. If you want more info email me and I will go into more detail.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

New Therapists

I.Am. Exhausted. Which can be a good thing because that means I was doing some emotional work or it can be a bad thing because we have church tonight and I really want to go. Yesterday I met with Joseph's new therapist at Pressley Ridge to do his intake. Guess what? They will begin seeing him immediately, as in this Friday! We went over his history, what causes him to tantrum, how we handle the tantrums, what is his bio family's mental health history, does he have asthma, threaten to harm himself or others and for every answer I gave I had to explain why I felt he did this or the other thing. Going over his history was exhausting but it was good to refresh my mind and remember why my little guy struggles so much. I really liked his therapist, she is a mom which gives her a higher rating in my opinion. Her office had lots of cute drawings, pictures and gobs of fun looking toys. I almost wanted to play myself! Our next step is to get Joseph evaluated for OT, get him tested for learning disabilities and have a neuro/psych done. Feels good to be getting a plan in place.
   This morning I met with my new therapist to do my intake at Crossroads. I was very impressed with the lady who did my intake. She said she will write up a summary of our talk then in the morning they will make it a matter of prayer as to which therapist would be best for my situation. She asked me all kinds of questions I didn't have answers for such as, what are your strengths, How do you view yourself, how do you think God views you? She encouraged me to write down how I view myself then go through the Bible and find verses that tell how God views me.
   My mom came and stayed with the children this morning while I was at Crossroads. Joseph was having a good morning then suddenly everything went down hill. I sat him down for a talk and it turns out that he saw me put my shoes on and panicked because he didn't know where I was going. I hadn't told the children of my plans because they would  have had a hard time containing their excitement and would be bouncing off the walls! Slowly but surely God is revealing Joseph's triggers and we are learning how to defuse a situation before it turns into an all out war. I am feeling a bit over whelmed at the thought of adding 2-3 or more therapy appointments to each week. This too shall pass and if this is what we need to do to obtain emotional health, we will just be thankful there is help for us!


We have four of these guys scheduled to go to the butcher in a few weeks. We bought a second freezer so we will have room for our pork. No, we aren't keeping all four for ourselves! I am looking forward to fresh sausage, bacon and ham steaks. I currently have a few packs of ground beef and pork chops in my freezer. It will be nice to have some variety again.