“Ma, I happy!”

“Ma, I happy!” Those three little words coming from “my” Little Man this week have got to be some of the best words that I have ever heard in my entire life! He’s happy and he’s expressing it verbally! Nine and a half months of love and nurturing, 7 months of speech therapy, countless hours spent holding, rocking, reading to, and singing to “my” Little Man and he’s finally happy! I’m not saying there haven’t been moments over the past 9 1/2 months where I have known that he is happy, I am just saying HE has NEVER expressed it verbally. He is finally able to use his words at 2 years 8 months to tell me how he is feeling. I love it! I too, am so happy!

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I would not change a thing.

My head hurts. I am worn out. Dance classes, dental appointments, basketball practice, mowing the lawn, feeding babies, changing babies, it all gets to be exhausting. But, you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way! I love going to bed tired each night knowing that it is because I am raising five beautiful blessings. They make me laugh, sometimes I cry, but most of all I smile because I know that I am the luckiest mama in all the world!

Preschool

Today was Little Man’s first day of preschool. Everyone in the entire house was excited for him! We had been pumping him up for the big day for weeks, buying a new back pack, back-to-school clothes, and getting a back-to-school haircut! We had taken him up to his new school to visit, showed him his classroom, and even played on the playground to get him comfortable with the environment. We attended Open House and took a balloon home that night all the while telling him how much fun “school” would be.

The night before his first day, I gave him a warm bath, massaged him with lavender and coconut oil, and played soft lullabies on the I-Pad to get him ready for a good night’s sleep. He went down on time and woke up 9 hours later a very happy camper! He ate a good breakfast, brushed his teeth, and smiled for all of his front porch “First day of school” photos.

We arrived at the school 30 minutes early, sat in the car and held hands while looking through and naming pictures. At 15 minutes til we walked in and got accustomed to where we were. At 5 minutes til the director of the preschool told all of us waiting that we could go on back to the rooms. Teachers lined the halls smiling and waving to all of the little ones as they walked by to find their classrooms. It was a perfect welcome!

We found Little Man’s classroom and his teachers greeted him by name. They showed him where to hang his backpack and had puzzles at the table to do while all of the children arrived. Little Man did great! He fussed for a second, but I leaned down and said, “I love you! I will see you in a little while when you are done with school!” I kissed his cheek and he gave me a big hug and sat down.

We left the school, just Baby Girl, my mother-in-law and me. It was a weird feeling not to have “my” Little Man with me! For 9 months and 6 days I have never ever left him for three hours anywhere! I mean, babysitters have come to the house, but it was always for short periods of time and to watch all of the kiddos or at least a few of them at one time. This was different! I knew he would have fun and I knew he needed this time apart, but it still just felt weird. So, we went to breakfast at a yummy restaurant and then headed to Walmart to print out the pictures I had just taken that morning. (Yes, I am one of those moms!). We walked into Walmart and got a cart. That is when I got the text! He needed me. Little Man lasted 60 minutes on his first day of school. I drove straight to the school! With a scream of, “Ma!” when he saw me, he was happy! Pretty darn good, I think for the first day!

A good social worker can change the world!

A good social worker can change the world (for a foster child)!

We’ve recently found out that not all social workers are created equal. Some are very organized, on time, and good communicators and some are not. Some take informative meticulous notes at visits and some do not. Some come out to the house each month to check on the kids and some do not.

We are so very very blessed that our foster children’s current case worker is amazing! She is professional, organized, on time, educated, and is really in this to protect and save the lives of children. Her job is incredibly hard and she gets little recognition or praise. She rarely hears thank you and often has to deal with very disgruntled people who think it is her job to do what they want.

For this reason, I end every email and every phone call with her with, “thank you for all that you do!” If she never hears it from anyone else, she will hear it from me. This person is fighting for truth and justice for “my” babies! This person could change their world!

One month down, nine to go…

Well, my soldier has been away for one month. We’re all still alive, happy, healthy, and the house is still standing. Success!!!

What we’ve done to keep ourselves busy while daddy is away…

* Swimming with friends
* A visit from auntie
* A visit from grandma
* The first day of school for the big kids
* Open house at preschool for Little Man
* Walks at the park
* Feeding the ducks
* A trip to the beach
* Baby Girl’s 15 month well-baby checkup
* Oldest girl had a slumber party with friends
* Play dates
* Pedicures with friends
* Watched a few new movies
* Basketball pictures for oldest girl
* First days of ballet, tap, and acrobatics for our little ballerina
* First day of Music and Missions at church
* Ate out twice (if you know us personally, this is a BIG deal!)

We get to talk to our daddy lots and the kids love to Skype with him and tell him about their days. We miss him like crazy, but we’re doing well!

I wish I could just chill!

I wish I could just chill! Anyone else out there freak out (mostly on the inside of course) about every little thing? I am starting to feel really guilty about this! Why can’t I just relax? Why can’t I unconditionally trust? Do I have a “faith problem?”

These are just my thoughts today… I just don’t know how to “keep calm” today!

9 months

This Wednesday it will be 9 months since “our” precious babies arrived. I still cannot believe that we still have them! So many times we have been told so many different things by DHR and by the bio family and yet not one of those things has come true. I sit and I wonder and I ask God, “what is YOUR plan?” I do not know, but these nine things I do know…

1. My heart can love 5 children! My heart just grew and grew and now holds them all!
2. Little ones are precious no matter how they enter this world! Whether they enter into a healthy loving family or one plagued by addictions and turmoil, the children are precious and loved equally by God just the same!
3. Don’t ever lose hope! When you think that the dreams you have are about to be crushed, don’t give up! Hope!
4. A little one you just met calling you mama, will break your heart and warm it at the same time!
5. Friends can be family when family can’t be there.
6. True friends are there to help even when you don’t think you need it or when you haven’t even asked. True friends just know!
7. Life is precious! Enjoy the moment!
8. Foster care is H.A.R.D.
9. The children in foster care are worth it! They are worth every stress, every tear, every emotional pain! They are worth it all!!!

Changing of the guard

My second born has always had his older sister at school with him. When he was in the 1st grade, she was in the 4th. She would walk him to class everyday and check in on him whenever she walked by his classroom. He has always had her to rely on, that is until this year. This year big sister moves up to 7th grade and because of this change, she goes to a new school. My son has been worried all summer. He didn’t want to be the “big one.” He had come to rely on his sister always being there to tell him what to do. Even last night before bed he was still worried. His younger sister will be a 1st grader this year and that makes my son the oldest at school. Being the oldest at school, to him, came with a lot of responsibility and he just wasn’t sure he was ready for it.

I prayed with the “big kids” as I drove down the streets of our town on their way to school today. I prayed for peace and for safety and that they would truly enjoy their time in school this year. As we pulled up to the elementary school and my youngest two “big kids” got out, I saw something that made this mama’s heart proud. My son, my worrier, my one who wasn’t sure he was ready for this, reached down and grabbed his little sister’s hand. He walked along the sidewalk sort of pulling her along, knowing the way to go and what to do. He was ready, he just didn’t know it yet.

He’s ready to be the “big one” at school. He is the one his little sister will ask for help from; he is the one who will know what to do and he is ready for that job! I am so proud of my son!