The Pumpkin Patch

We went to the Pumpkin Patch today.  It is a tradition.  We go every year.  We take hay rides, cut pumpkins off the vine and eat homemade farm goodies.  It’s the best!  

This year, as we walked through the petting zoo and as I watched the kids enter the corn maze, I reflected on years past.  Every year for the last three years we have taken different groups of kids to the Pumpkin Patch.  Every year we have made different memories, but the goal has been the same.  We go to spend time with each other.  We go to play and have fun.  We go to bond and reconnect.  And every year I love it!

I hate that dress!

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I’m throwing it out!  I HATE that dress!  It was something I bought right before court a year and a half ago.  I wore it the day I took my precious Little Man to be reunified with his birth family.  The family that had made absolutely NO effort to gain custody of him, but because “blood is best” as far as courts are concerned, he was gone.  My little boy!  My heart!  The one who clung to me and wouldn’t get out of my truck that morning.  My baby who called, “Mama, no go!  Mama, no go!”

Oh how I hate that dress!  I wore it that day.  The ugliest dress in my closet.  It has hung there for a year and a half just staring at me and making me sick.  I’ve kept it just in case these”feelings” went away and I could wear it again.  It cost money, was my rational.  It makes no sense to just throw it away.  I’m being silly.  The dress if fine, it is basically brand new.  I’m being wasteful.  BUT, TODAY I DON’T CARE!  I’m tossing it!  Not in the trash, but in the donation pile!  Someone else can wear that dress.  Someone who doesn’t know about the heartbreak.  Someone who doesn’t feel the pain.  Someone who doesn’t ache for the little boy who was mine.  Someone who didn’t see him in the distance getting into a stranger’s car at the courthouse with all of his earthly things, as I rode away.  Someone who didn’t sob and sob and sob as my friend drove me home.  Someone else can wear that dress.  I hate that dress!

 

 

T’s “firsts” with us!

We pulled off the main country road into a dirt parking lot.  My husband and I have been bringing our kids here for years.  It’s the local “Pumpkin Patch.”  They have a petting zoo, a corn maze, and a hay ride out to pick your pumpkins off the vine.  It was one of the first outings that we took T on after he came to stay with us.  The day was beautiful and the weather was perfect!  The kids enjoyed every single activity the small farm had to offer.  And then, we got in the truck to drive home.  The voice from the back seat was mixed with excitement and wonder as he proclaimed, “that was my first time at a pumpkin patch!”  My heart filled with joy!  “Can we carve our pumpkins when we get home,” he asked.  “Sure,” I said.

We searched the Internet for pumpkin designs.  We decided to draw our own after looking at examples.  T helped everyone scoop out the goo from their pumpkins.  It was quite possibly his favorite part.  The face was drawn, oval eyes and a drooling mouth.  He turned it around to admire his work and exclaimed, “I just carved my very first pumpkin!”  My heart skipped a beat!  

“When wuz you pregnant wit her?”

I’m a “pink” foster mama.  Baby Girl is our precious dark chocolate 2 year-old princess.  We have had her in our home since she was 6 months old and she hasn’t known anyone else, but us as “her family,” since that time.  We have encountered several people who have questions about the fact that we don’t “match” in color or who look at us with a questioning look when we’re out and about, but most of the time everyone just goes about their business and we go about our’s. When we go to the city park; however, we are kinda just asking for it.  The other night it was HOT!  So, I loaded the kids up in the truck and we visited the Splash Pad at our city’s park.  Tons of kiddos were running around jumping and splashing in the water that shoots from the ground!  Everyone was having a great time!

I see her out of the corner of my eye.  She is watching us.  She is taller than my youngest biological daughter, so I’m guessing she’s about 8 years old.  She makes a beeline for us.  She looks at me, looks at Baby Girl and blurts out, “When wuz you pregnant wit her?”  Okay, so I then realize she may be younger probably six, her height threw me off.  “I was never pregnant with her honey, she grew in another mama’s belly.”  The little girl looks at me like I’m crazy.  We keep playing and she goes up to Baby Girl to look at her more closely.  The little girl says to me, “I was standing over there thinking, when wuz you pregnant wit her?”  I smile.  This should be interesting.  “I wasn’t,” I say, “another mama carried her in her belly, but I’m the mama who takes care of her now.”  The girl looks at me again, she is NOT convinced this is “right.”  She runs up to my son who “matches” me.  “Is dat your sister,” she asks.  “Yep,” he says not missing a beat and running in the opposite direction.  I look around, I see who I think is her mama and she is laughing.  She is totally happy to let me handle this.  I smile and laugh to myself.  This precocious little girl just can’t figure this out and I really don’t know how much I’m wanting to or willing to share.  Then, the little girl spots my middle daughter who also “matches” me.  She runs to her and says, “Is dat your sister?”  My middle girl says, “Yes, she’s my sister,” and runs up to Baby Girl, picks her up and runs to play.  The little girl takes one more look at me and shrugs her shoulders.  She’s satisfied.  Once she had the same story from all three of us, apparently that was enough for her.  She went off to play and didn’t give us another look.

These things are going to happen.  We don’t “match.”  We look different, but I guarantee you that if that little girl had asked Baby Girl, “Where is your mama,” she would have run straight to me.  And, to me that is what counts.

It’s just us again. 

We had Daddy home for two weeks, Cousins and Auntie visited and Uncle came for a few days too.  Within the past three days everyone has left though.  It’s just “us” again, me and my kiddos.  

We had such an amazingly wonderful summer, full of sun, family, and fun!  It’s not even over yet either!  We still have three weeks left before it is “back-to-school.”  

This school year it will still be just me and the kids, but our Soldier Daddy will be back on weekends and extra special days and holidays!  It’s not exactly the way we want it to be yet, but at least he’s in the states!  

This week Baby Girl’s social worker comes for a visit too, so I’m hoping to find out what all has happened with her case this past month.  I found out her bio mom is in jail again, so I’m not sure how that will change things, if at all.  

So, here’s to life and all of its ups and downs!  Hope you and your family are enjoying summer!  

20 months ago today…

Twenty months ago today was one of the best days of my life!  It was the day that changed the course of my life forever!  It was the day we met Baby Girl and Little Man.  It was the day I officially became a “foster mama.”  

Today, I feel thankful.  We’ve been through a lot these past twenty months.  Lots of learning, lots of heartache, but mostly lots of love!  Lots and lots of love!  

So, happy happy 20 month-a-versary to us!!!

3 extra kids for the day

I have my friend’s three sweet girls with me today.  We became friends through our Foster Parent support group and she is kind of my hero.  She’s an awesome mom and foster mama!  Two of her girls were adopted from foster care.  All of her girls are wonderful and we just love having them around!  We ate pancakes this morning for breakfast with fresh fruit and whipped cream.  We swam in the pool for hours, jumped on the trampoline, and I made homemade slushies.  At lunch we ran out of bread and went through two packages of lunch meat.  It was great!  I love having a house full!  Seven kids at the house today and feeling blessed!  We are still waiting on our precious boy that we know God will send us when he needs us most.  We just don’t know when.  For now, I will enjoy today with extra giggles and fun!  Three extra kids for the day is awesome!  

Things that will always be his

I’ve been thinking a lot about Little Man and all of the things that were and still are “his.”  I want to share them with you.  I will never be able to look at, watch, enjoy, listen to, or eat any of these things again without thinking of our precious Little Man.  I love the memories.  They make me smile!

1. Wall-E

2. The Hulk

3. Chocolate milk

 4. Spider-Man 

5. Mickey Mouse

6. Play dough 

7. Ears

8.  The rear backseat in my truck (I still look in my rear view mirror expecting to see him sitting there.)

9.  Elevators

10.  His Sunday School classroom at church

11.  His bed

12.  Saying “nigh night!”

We love you our sweet boy!  You are missed so very very much!

Anything he wants 

Today is all about Little Man!  We ate what he wanted to eat.  We played what he wanted to play.  Instead of a nap, we did quiet time and I let him watch all of his favorite shows.  After we picked the big kids up from school we went to his favorite drive-thru and got his favorite milkshakes!!!  

I remember when he had been with us less than a month and we stopped to get milkshakes.  I’m not sure he had ever had one.  He simply loved it, but when he was only half done he threw it all onto the floor, milkshake everywhere!  Wow, that seems like a long time ago.  Today, he sipped through his straw and when he was down to the part he had to scoop out he said, “fork please,” and got down to get a “fork” (actually a spoon, but goodness he’s cute!)

From now until Tuesday, I plan to pretty much do whatever he wants!  This is his time!  These are memories to hold onto for forever!