April 30, 2010

Ending on a Positive Note.

So all the posts this week have kinda been downers.  I promise to end this one on a positive note.  Maybe a picture of a cute kitten or something else smile inducing.

The truth is, this has been a rough week.  And I’m not here to make foster parenting look easy – I’m here to show that it’s hard and brings challenges, but that it is doable and completely worth it.  No one signs up to be a foster parent thinking it’s all going to be roses and I love you’s (although I’ve received both during our time as foster parents, so all hope is not lost!).  Someone I was talking to, or possibly reading the blog of {let’s hear it for modern communication} was telling me their thoughts on the difficulty of fostering.  I think it was my friend Katherine. 

It is hard.  And there are struggles.  And there are tears.

But doesn’t every child deserve to be loved enough and cared for enough that someone finds them worth tears?


And that’s also the example Christ gave us.  He loved us even though it hurt.  He found us worth tears, agony even.  He took us as His own when it wasn’t required of Him because he loves us.  And he is going to stick out the good times and the rough times with us until we find ourselves home.


So.  Given the opportunity to love these kids through the hurt, I will (try, and surely fail sometimes) to count it all joy, count it all joy, count it all joy.  (Any Adventure in Odyssey fans out there?)

I have been leaning so heavily on these verses this week:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be made mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

                           James 1:2-5

and of course this one:

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

                          James 1:19-20


And, on a positive note, I am SO thankful that:

  • The boys had a really great morning this morning.  No yelling, no smarting off, no throwing fits, no complete breakdowns in communication.
  • Brian and I had time yesterday to sit down and create a behavior chart for each of the boys, and I am so looking forward to see it’s fruit.
  • Sylvia is such a happy baby.  She brings me joy every time I look at her, hear her sweet voice, or have to comfort her.  Thank you Lord for my sweet baby girl.
  • The boys (finally!) have a visit with their mom tonight.  Here’s to hoping it goes well.  Here’s to naively hoping it might improve their behavior instead of degrade it. {I can hope, can’t I?}
  • And, drum roll please,      the caseworker finally called me!!!  For the first time in the three weeks the boys have been with us, I was able to ask questions, and get answers.  Amen! 

IMG_6381-1 Nothing much more smiling inducing than that!

(I mean, all biases aside.  But not really.)

April 29, 2010

Please Pray.

Please pray for X-man.  Please. Please. Pray.

His current foster mom got a phone call today telling her to have all of their stuff ready, he and his brothers are being picked up this afternoon and going home permanently.


I can’t even explain how I’m feeling.

He came to us at 15 months weighing 12 pounds.  She almost killed him.  His brothers, at 4 and 5 were not even verbal.  No colors.  No numbers.  No alphabet. 


She almost killed him.


Not to mention they are going from one hour supervised visits once a week to going home?!?!?!?  This is asinine.  Not only is it insane, but it’s not even fair to his mom – they are setting her up for failure.  Going from never taking care of any children, to taking care of three high needs kids by herself? 



All I can figure is that the caseworker must have royally screwed up in court representing the evidence.  Because there is no excuse for this.

She almost killed him.


It should have been an open and shut case.  It was BAD.  Really, really BAD.


I don’t even know what to say.  And should probably stop anyway before I regret my ranting.  Please pray for them.  Please.  All I can see in my mind is his thin, sick little body the night they dropped him off.  He didn’t even know how to cry.


Please pray.  It’s my sweet boy.  I know that God knows this situation through and through, and he loves that boy more than I ever could.  But it is so hard to trust.

April 28, 2010

Fix You.

Last night was rough.  The boys are missing their mother.  They don’t know how to deal with it.

They were having a lot of trouble listening and being civil with each other (i.e. not biting each other.).  Both had been in and out of ‘cool down time’.  As we were sitting down for dinner Jae was cooling off in his room for spewing his 587th smart aleck remark of the evening at Brian and I.  Things all came to a head when Zee accidentally poured half a bottle of BBQ sauce on his burger.  He just lost it.  BBQ sauce was obviously not the culprit of this emotional outcry.

We talked about him missing his mom.  I talked to him about what his favorite things are about her, what they did for fun, what his favorite memory is.  I’ve found talking through these things – being able to share – generally has helped the kids we’ve had cope with their heartache.  We talked about when they played volleyball and how he liked it when his mom let him help clean the house.  (I’d be thrilled to let him work through that with my vacuum cleaner.)  We talked about how they went camping, and how he just misses being with her.

I went up to their room and talked to Jae about his attitude.  I asked him if he thought he might be having a rough day because he is missing his mom.  He said no – he seems to have more of a wall up, he doesn’t want to discuss his mom, missing her, or even Zee missing her.


I left to go to book club. (Praise God!  I needed some time out.)  But these outbursts continued for Brian for the rest of the evening right into bedtime.

I got in the car and immediately Coldplay came through the speakers:



It’s just so hard.  I want to fix it.  I want to mend their broken hearts.  I want to have the answers.  I want to make it better.

I want my love to be enough.  I want my love to fix it.

But it won’t.

It can’t.

It never will be enough.


And that makes it so hard.

I just feel so much like I am at the very frontlines of what they are going through with my hands tied.  I can’t make it better.  As foster parents you get all of the hurt, right there, in your face.  And all you can do is stick it out with these kids and hope they learn something of love while they are with you.

So I guess that’s what we’ll do.  I guess that’s my answer.  We’ll stick it out with these boys through whatever this throws at us.  We’ll love them, and tell them about it everyday.  We’ll teach them about God’s love and how they are so precious to His heart.  And we’ll pray. 

April 27, 2010

Daddy's View: Episode I - The reluctant one

Hey, Brian here, also known as Daddy. Maggie (and various visitors) have requested that I share the Man's perspective on fostering, so I wanted to do a series of "guest" posts. I put "guests" in quotations because, while this is technically my family's blog, it's really Maggie's. I want to start from the beginning, before Jae and Zee, before X-man, before the girls, back when my life was "normal".

At the beginning of 2008, we were living a great, normal American life. We celebrated our first anniversary a week after closing on our first home. I was really enjoying my first job, and Maggie was winning employee of the month awards at her social work job. Life was easy, and I really liked that! About a month after we moved in to our house, we traveled to Dallas with a group of young adults from our church to the Passion conference. While we were there, a pastor named Francis Chan told a story during one of his talks about a woman in East Asia who had rescued over 100 children from brothels and taken them in, fed them and found them homes. Towards the end of the story, after talking about how many lives this woman had changed, he related it to the American dream (you know, owning a house, accumulating wealth, etc.) and asked "Would you rather wake up in twenty years to your big, beautifully decorated living room, or wake up knowing you've helped change the lives of dozens of children?"

Okay. Wow.

Now we had talked even before we got married about how we would "someday" foster or adopt. But to me "someday" meant a long time away. "Someday" was after we had kids of our own and they were older. "Someday" was something other than "right now". But all signs were pointing to the fact that we were clearly being called to foster "right now" God had taken away all of our excuses (Not enough space? We had just purchased a 4 BR home. Not old enough? 1 Timothy 4:12. Not enough money? Matthew 6:25.), and the Passion conference was just the kick in the butt we needed to get it in gear.

Okay, so by now I had realized that this is something that we're supposed to do. But I still didn't want to do it. To me, it was a scary thing: I had never been a father, what if I wasn't good at it? I had never met a foster child, what if I couldn't love them? I had heard about what some of these kids go through, what if I just wasn't cut out to deal with it? And on top of all of that I really liked the life I already had. Why go out of my way to make myself uncomfortable? I was thinking about all of these things during my first day back at work after the Passion conference, trying to convince myself that this was the right thing to do, and that we should just do it. But without me knowing beforehand, Maggie that same day had already signed us up for classes! Now wives, I don't recommend that you do this! Maggie knows me pretty well and figured I just needed that last nudge in the right direction.

So that's how we started the training, but what about all of those fears I had? I asked a few of my good friends to pray for my heart, that God would change my heart and prepare me for being a foster dad. And while I did begin to feel peace about it, most of my fears didn't go away before we started fostering (I'll talk more about their resolution in my next post). And I guess that's the point. We're called as believers to be obedient in whatever God has for us. And while some fears are legitimate and we're called to be discerning, I knew that fostering is what God was calling us to do, so my own misgivings shouldn't matter. If your family is feeling God's call to foster or adopt, I challenge you to be obedient: the God who gave this self-centered man a heart for foster children will be faithful to his promises!

In my next post I'll talk about some of the fears I had about being a foster dad, and how many of them disappeared when we got our first placement. Please email and let us know if there are any specific questions you would like to have answered from a Daddy perspective.

Ups and Downs.

The boys are starting to become comfortable and transitioned here.  The kind of comfortable where you run through the house in your underwear screaming like a banshee, run through the front door and out the back door without closing either one, and are vocal about the incredible dislike of the dinner I just spent 2 hours preparing.  (Could do without that last one.)  They’ve had a more difficult time adjusting than our other kids have in the past, but at least we seem to be settling into a routine. 

They’ve fully recovered from any honeymoon period (in fact, looking back I’d say it lasted somewhere around 24 hours.) and are testing us whenever they get the chance.  Jae is the more passive aggressive of the two.  He listens really well and is relatively calm, but then mutters mean things to his brother or to us under his breath.  All in all, if you met him you wouldn’t probably even know he was dealing with any of this.  It’s mostly at night that it all surfaces.  There are tears and questions. 

Such hard questions.

Why are we here?  When do we go home?  Why can’t I see my mom right now? 


Zee is dealing with this all in a completely different manner.  (Said ‘banshee’ is his preferred way of expressing himself.)  When we discipline him (‘cool down time’, time in his room, holding hands when he won’t listen in public, duck taping his mouth shut – i KID, i KID) he gets very angry.  He escalates quickly and yells at Brian and I.  He covers his ears and refuses to listen to what we have to say.  This is easier to deal with at home, but when we’re at the store or park and he starts yelling at us, it gets a little more difficult.  At the store this weekend he tried to run away from Brian when he tried to discuss his attitude with him. 


The major issues are a combination of all of the stuff they are going through right now, and the fact that when they lived at home they had absolutely no structure, no rules, no consequences, no authority figure.  none. at. all.  They did what they wanted, when they wanted.  So all of this is foreign to them.  Listening, choices, consequences – they are having to learn to think about their actions before doing them, and that’s gonna take some time.


The difficulty is in the feeling that I am walking on a very fine line.  Offering grace in knowing what they are going through, while also enforcing consequences so that they can learn to function in a healthy family.  This balance seems so difficult at times.

So we discipline.  And we are consistent.  But in our discipline we always are reminding them that no matter how they behave, no matter what they do, our love for them will not change.  We will love them no matter what.  Also reminding them that the reason for consequences is because we love them.  Even when Zee is covering his ears, I hope this gets through.  L.O.V.E.  unconditional.  consistent.  clear.  love.   Slowly we are watching their hearts unfurl.  Slowly they are trusting us.

In every bedtime prayer with them we pray that their family be restored, but in the meantime that they feel safe and secure here.  They pray every evening to get to see their mom (which STILL has not happened since they’ve moved – but all that for another post.). 

These boys are sweet.  We love them.  I hope they know that.

April 26, 2010

Horn Creek. Check it out.

If you are a foster or adoptive parent – this is super cool.

My husband’s family has gone to Horn Creek Family Camp every year for around 745 years. Just ask him. I’m going for the first time this summer. It’s in the middle of the mountains in Colorado with lots of hiking, outdoor stuff, campfires, food, and family time.


Anyway. Why is this relevant?

Because they just started a week of family camp just for adoptive and foster families. There is all the normal cool outdoorsy stuff, plus content aimed specifically for adoptive and foster families.

EVEN BETTER, any children in your family who were adopted and/or placed with you within the last year get to go to camp for free! Which makes it a much more affordable vacation with the whole fam.

Anyway, I think it’s really neat that they are making this available, and I just thought I’d let you know.

HERE is the link.

Update from Brian: My family started going in 1988 and went every single year through 2006 (so 745 is a typical Maggie exaggeration). Some of my best childhood and family memories come from there, and I think EVERY family would absolutely love it!

P.S. The food is AMAZING!

Project 365 – Week 11


The boys in action playing kickball after a picnic at the park.



Sylvia trying out some food.  Not a huge fan.



Brian giving the boys haircuts.  They thought this was pretty cool.





I picked up this ottoman during large item trash pick up day in another neighborhood!

What’s wrong with it?  There’s a tiny hole in one corner.  I think I’ll leave it this way, but it would be easy enough to recover!  I l.o.v.e. large item trash pick up day.



Buying honey stix at the Farmer’s Market.  The boys loved the market – as do I.



X-man got to come hang out with us on Saturday!  He was very into giving Sylvia high fives and hugs.  So sweet.  He is getting so big!



Reading with Daddy.  She’s already a bookworm like her Mommy.

April 23, 2010

Why Foster?


Good Info to Have:

Boundaries and Limits.


I’ve gotten questions about how specific you can be in defining what children you are able to take into your home when you foster. Most people I’ve talked to are relieved and/or surprised to hear the answer.

It sounds awful.  What children will you take?  Which children will you have to say no to?  But realistically, you have to know your limits, and know your family.  It’s important to consider the ages and sex of your bio kids.  It’s important to consider what behaviors you think you can handle.  This is for your own good and safety, as well as for the children who will come to your home.  It isn’t good for anyone involved to get in over your head, and for the child to have to move (again) from your home.  (Although this can still happen.  Sometimes it’s hard to know what to say yes to.  Sometimes behaviors pop up after the kids are placed that aren’t safe for your family.  Disruptions are hard, but are occasionally necessary.)


So, how specific can you be?

I could call my worker right now and tell her that we can only take white, female, 6 year olds.  That’s how specific.  Now if I did that, I probably wouldn’t get many calls for placement, but if that’s how it needs to be, then that is fine.

Also, while you are licensing you should be asked to go through a list of behaviors that you can or cannot accept.  This is helpful in giving you an idea of what you may see.  I will say, that the behaviors that they list are exactly what they describe.  I struggle with being pretty idealistic with what I can handle – but some of the behaviors are not things I would know how to help. 

It’s also important to note that at any time I could call my worker and have our profile turned off (so that we wouldn’t get any calls), or I could change our selected age group or other identifiers.  Also, you can distinguish between whether you would like to do only short term placements, emergency placements, long term placements, or any mix of the three.  Fostering is designed to be very flexible in this way for the foster parent.


Brian and I take kids 12 and under.  We decided that we would hold off on taking teenagers until we stop looking like teenagers ourselves.  We also cannot take children who have severe problems with physical aggression because we have Sylvia, and we have to be safe.  We are licensed for up to four kids.  We try to stay really open minded about placements, knowing that only God can know what we can really handle, and that He is involved in every step of the way.


I think what is most important is knowing your own family.  What would be safe?  What wouldn’t?  Are there any behaviors that you know you would not feel comfortable with?  And of course, you can always discuss these things with your worker to get an outside perspective as well. 


Hope this helps!  Let me know if you have questions, I’ll try to answer, or point you in the right direction toward someone who can! 

April 22, 2010

Back Patting.

I got a comment a few days ago, along with an e-mail, that has been on my mind a lot.  It hit a very personal nerve, but I figured that it could only be helpful to share openly here.

Both the comment and the e-mail referred to the blog as a place for foster parents to give themselves a little proverbial back pat.  A “good job, you’re doing a great thing.”


This is not at all my intention.  And if it comes off that way, I am really, very sorry.


I am just a normal person. (Actually ‘normal’ may be a little too flattering.)  I am not special.  I am, in fact, broken and sinful.  This ‘fostering’ thing that I do, it’s in an attempt to love.  I don’t profess to be great at it – in fact most of the time I feel like I’m flying by the seat of my pants (at times straight into a brick wall.).  In fact, Brian has said many times that he hopes that people look at us and think, “Well, if the Popps can do it, ANYONE can do it!” 

The truth is, is that if it weren’t for Jesus, His grace for me, His love,


I wouldn’t be a foster parent at all.


There have been several times in this journey that if it weren’t for Christ,


I would have quit.  Walked away.  Stopped caring.


It is in my nature to be selfish.  To want my life to be about me.  If it weren’t for God, that is what I would choose.  It doesn’t feel good to say that.  To be completely honest, I wish that fostering was something that I could brag about – but it’s not.


The purpose of this blog is not to make myself feel good.

My hopes for this blog are that it helps to make fostering less scary for people who are considering it.  I hope to show people a need that they don’t know is there.  I hope to encourage people to step out in love.  I hope to make fostering, and the lives of these kids real.  I hope to be an advocate for these kids.  I hope to be a place where current foster parents can find fellowship and encouragement.

But mostly, I hope to glorify my creator in all of this.  I hope to make Him shine.  I hope to show others His love.  If He uses me for this, I’ll count it a blessing.


So there is no back patting.  There is nothing to pat our backs about.  I am doing what He has asked of me – and sometimes I pout and stomp my feet along the way.  What I’m meaning to say is this is not about me.


It’s about Him.

It’s about kids who need love.

It’s about being God’s hands and feet on this earth.


There are no backs to pat here.

April 21, 2010

For her Grandparents entertainment…

Sylvia trying her first food.  Bananas.

Her verdict?  It’s not like Mama’s cookin.

April 20, 2010

Young ‘uns.

This morning while I was at the grocery store, the very sweet elderly woman at the cash register commented on how darling my little sister is.

I don’t have a little sister.

I have a daughter. (although I’m not going to argue with you over her being darling.)


I know, I get it.  Brian and I are young.  And I look like I’m quite a bit younger than I actually am.  But just give me the benefit of the doubt.  Please? 

When we go out to dinner, the wine glasses are automatically removed from the tables, “Coke? Lemonade?" we’re asked?  When we have children placed with us who are over the age of 2 it really throws people for a loop.  We went and got the boys registered for school last week and the art teacher came in to introduce herself.  (A very nice woman I might add.)  She asked the boys what grades they were in and who their teachers would be.  I’m filling out paperwork when I hear her ask someone if they’ll be registering at the middle school.  She asks again, and out of the corner of her eye I notice….no, there’s NO way, seriously?  She’s looking at ME.  I politely let her know that I am the boys foster mother, and while I’m not really old enough to have birthed them, I am NOT a middle schooler.


You should have seen it when X-man was first placed with us.  I was 9 (going on fifteen) months pregnant, carrying around a little boy on my hip who looked to be about 7 months old, and I look like I’m 15.  Add the fact that I was using WIC vouchers to buy his pediasure (before he was on any solids) and I got all kinds of nasty looks from the old women in the check out line.  Whispers.  Glares.  I could almost hear them thinking, “Teen mom, got herself pregnant again as soon as she popped out the first one, and I’M paying for her baby’s food.  Hmph.”  (Very rude old ladies.)


The one that took the cake was when Brian and I were leaving for our honeymoon.  Our HONEYMOON.  As we were boarding the plane Brian had his ticket scanned and boarded, but as I started to hand over my ticket, the sweet stewardess bends over to look me in the eye and in a very sugary tone asks, “Now honey, do you want someone to help you board the plane?”  no.  “Oh, well I was just checking, because normally we have someone accompany children 11 and under.”   !!!!!!!!!  11?  Ok, I can maybe understand 18.  11.  ugh.


They say I’ll appreciate this someday.  They say that I should soak it up now.  But really.

Maybe I’ll start wearing a shirt around that says, ‘If you don’t believe me, I’ll show you my stretch marks.’  That would get ‘em.

April 19, 2010

The Windy City.

On Thursday we left on quite the expedition.

Ten hours in the car with all three kids – road trippin’ to the grand city of Chicago.  Overall the car trip went really well, and the boys were very excited to get to see a big city.  We got to hang out with Brian’s whole family – celebrating the birth of a beautiful baby boy, and the second birthday of his big sister.


             Zee entertaining Sylvia in the car…












                                                                 Sylvia not being very entertained.


IMG_6263 Boys!  That’s enough!

(Probably the most repeated phrase of the weekend.)


Zee, give me the camera.  Now.



Finally there to see a sweet little boy, and a red headed beauty.



On the metra on the way into the city.  The boys were very excited, they had never been on a train before.  Sylvia was obviously thrilled.


IMG_6308 Sylvie in the city with her Aunt Jen.


IMG_6313better Gettin’ some Chicago style pizza.  mmmmm…





IMG_6319better Sylvie sitting in a tree.

(She has great balance.)


IMG_6321 Walking to Millennium Park.


IMG_6325 Sylvie and Uncle Daniel.


IMG_6329 Weird sculpture in Millennium Park.




The boys in front of The Bean.




The birthday girl!



This is my father in law climbing a tree to get a ball out.  My mother in law has warned me not to let him babysit.  (just joking Grandpa Richard :) )



The boys (by boys I mean the little ones and the big ones.) had a lot of fun playing outside.  It was a lot of fun getting to hang out with the family and just enjoy each other’s company.  It was also fun getting to travel with the boys (they had never left the state.) and getting to introduce them to so many new things.  Fun times were had by all in the windy city.

April 18, 2010

Project 365 – Week 10


Brian snuck and got some pictures of me and Sylvie sleeping just before he hit the sack.  Snugglin’ up with my baby girl at night is by far one of my favorite parts of my day.



Sylvie at the beginning of our 10 hour road trip to Chicago.

Fortunately she only did this for about 20 minutes of the whole trip.

(Road trip coverage to come.)



Waiting for the train to take us into the city.


IMG_6310Chicago style pizza.  Mmmmm.


IMG_6377  Our niece Ava’s birthday cake.  Adorable.


IMG_6380 Sylvia has started squinting up her eyes really little when she smiles.  Will she end up with her Mommy’s smile?  Whoever’s it is, it is cute.



Dirty toes = fabulous spring day.

April 16, 2010

How God Makes Us.

We were having a particularly hard evening.  The boys were wound up and were choosing not to listen to anything we said, no consequences seemed to phase them, and finally they got to the consequence that is the end of the world for young boys – an early bed time.
We had them get ready for bed and go lay down.  Zee was overly upset, making it obvious that the early bed time was not the only thing bothering him.  Unfortunately, as foster parents, we often get the brunt of the anger, frustration, and sadness that results from the crappy situation that they’ve been thrown into.
In anger Zee yelled, “I don’t even want to be a foster kid!  I don’t even WANT to be here!”
Also in anger Jae replied, “Well Zee, I guess that’s just how God made us.”

My boys,
   Let me clarify a few things.

You are not ‘foster kids.’  You are kids who just happen to be in foster care through no fault of your own.  Your foster experience does not define who you are.  Not in my eyes, and NOT in God’s eyes.
This world is broken.  Some really shady stuff goes down because we, us humans, are broken.  God did not make you to be ‘foster kids.’  It’s because we are broken that you are here.  And it sucks.
But don’t you think for one minute that God created you for this heartbreak.  God created you in his sweet image.  You are so precious in His sight, and he would give anything for you.  I can guarantee that it breaks His heart to see you hurt so bad.  He loves you more than anyone else in the world.
It is a lie that you were made to be a child in foster care.  He created you with beauty in mind.  With strength and love and glory in mind.  He created you to know Himself – the greatest joy we can know.
Don’t you believe anything less.  Don’t you believe that your time in foster care makes you any less loved, any less a child of God, or any less a beautiful creation.  God created you as His child, and He loves you as His child.
You will make it through this.  You will not always be a ‘foster kid.’  And I pray that if there is one thing you leave our home with, it is the knowledge of His love.  He will bring you through this.  And someday He will even use this if you let Him – but I’m getting ahead of myself.
You are loved with a love so fierce we cannot comprehend it.  He did not create you for this situation, and He will not abandon you in it.
He loves you.  I love you.
And you are not just a ‘foster kid.’

April 15, 2010

Why Foster?

Get Involved:

Reason #935.

There are approximately 143 million orphans around the world.

About 500,000 orphans live in the United States.

Of those in foster care, 150,000 children are waiting to be adopted into a loving home.

There are over 300,000 churches in the United States.


If {one} family in every two churches adopted a child from foster care – there would be no more waiting children.  Only waiting families.


There are over {fifty} verses in the bible that refer to orphans.  We are directed to do something meaningful, tangible to impact the lives of these children.  God doesn’t ask us if we want to.  He doesn’t ask us if they’ll fit, or if our bank accounts are full. (He is the provider, after all.)  He doesn’t ask us if we have time.  He doesn’t ask us if we feel equipped.  He doesn’t ask us if it will be inconvenient.


He tells us.

“Religion that I accept as pure and faultless is this:  to look after orphans and widows in their need and to keep yourself from being polluted by the world.”



That just. doesn’t. sound. like a request.

It sounds like God telling us what matters to Him, and telling us to make Him what matters.



{If you have any questions about fostering, the process, how it works, the kids, how to help outside of actually being a foster parent, or adoption through foster care – please let me know!   I’ll help as much as I can or point you in the right direction.  You can leave questions in the comments or e-mail me!}

April 13, 2010

A Celebration.

Monday was Zee’s 8th birthday.  It just broke my heart that in the midst of all of this change was his birthday.  Holidays and special occasions are hard enough for kids in foster care – but I knew the timing of this one would really take a toll on his little heart.

We wanted it to be special.  For him to know that we were really excited to be celebrating HIM.  That even though he misses his family, that we are there, and that we love him enough to make his birthday special.

Brian covertly figured out that the boys really like baseball.  They had not, however, ever been to a major league baseball game.  We can’t say much for our team here (really we are diehard St. Louis Cardinals fans.) but we picked up some tickets last minute.

When the boys figured out that we were going to a game they were so excited.  We got hotdogs and really had out the whole baseball game experience.

IMG_6198 We decided it wouldn’t hurt anything for us to cheer for the home team (they’re no threat to our Cardinals anyway…) but Zee decided that he wanted to cheer for the ‘Roston Bed Sox.’  I corrected him several times, but apparently those Boston guys like to wear socks to bed or somethin.


Yes.  Jae also has assorted kU apparel. 

You’re killin’ me smalls!


IMG_6193 Sylvia also enjoyed the game.  But only while representing the Red Birds!


Yesterday, (on his actual birthday) we also wanted to do something special.  While the boys were at school {after spending 3 hours getting them enrolled.  ugh.}  I went and picked up the supplies.

I told Zee he could have ANYTHING he wanted for dinner.  ANYTHING.  What is your very favorite meal?  It’s your birthday, you can have it.

Folks, we had hotdogs and mac ‘n’ cheese.

But I said anything.  During dinner Zee dropped a few hints about wishing he had a birthday cake – which I purposely let roll right past.  After dinner I snuck and got the cake out of the other room, while Brian snuck and got his birthday presents.  When we came around the corner you should have seen his face!  He was so excited!

So we had cake and opened presents.  Brian took them straight to the park to try out the new soccer ball, and to run off said cake.  I think overall he really enjoyed his birthday.


Later that night there was a little bit of a breakdown.  Through tears Zee told Brian, ‘I just really miss my mom.’  All we can do is be there for him.  There’s nothing we can say that can fix his situation.  We just have to let him know that we love him.  And that we are so excited and blessed to celebrate him.





April 12, 2010


That is, Sylvia and I are.  Three boys, and just us two girls.  After all the burping and farting that’s been going on the last two days (that apparently my 26 year old husband still thinks is funny) I feel like breaking out into a remix of ‘I Will Survive’.  Probably more like adapt, I’ll have to adapt to this new testosterone driven household.  It’s different.

{I’ll refer to the boys as Jae and Zee.  Not to be confused with JayZ the rapper.  Is he even producing music anymore?  Pitiful, I’m so not up on cool music.  Anyway.  Jae and Zee they are.}

Jae and Zee seem to be doing really pretty well given their circumstances.  Third (I think) foster home in nine months.  Third school in nine months.  Third life in nine months.  Third set of friends in nine months.  And through all of that, they seem to be adapting so well.  They get along really well, despite they have completely opposite personalities. 

Jae, 9,  is on the quiet side.  I can tell he is very sensitive.  We were enjoying a baseball game yesterday and when I was rooting for the batter to get struck out he looked at me very seriously and said, “I don’t think it’s very nice to root for him to do bad.  I think we should root for everyone.”  He’s super sweet, and the emotional impact of the transition has been more apparent with him. 

Zee, 8, is very, very not quiet.  That kid has enough energy for about 3 adults and 2 puppies.  Of course, he’s an 8 year old boy, so I would expect nothing else.  His last foster home had him tested for ADHD (these are actually the first boys we’ve EVER fostered that have not been on medication for ADHD – kinda makes you wonder – but all that for another post.) and the doctor said that he is a ‘high risk’ child for ADHD.  They were going to put him on meds.  I say we’re going to wait it out.  Kids in the system get a bad rap.  I say he has as much energy as an 8 year old boy should.  I can tell that Zee is going to test us a bit more than Jae will.  I also think that he is going to hide his emotions about all of this behind his perky personality.  All challenges we’ll work through together.


We’re still waiting to hear anything more about their case.  No word on visits with parents, therapy, or even about their case history – but hopefully we’ll be filled in soon. 


These kids are fabulous.  Albeit they’re obsessed with bodily functions, think it is totally weird that I nurse Sylvia, and are completely grossed out by girls {explaining to them that I am a girl did no good.}, I think I’ll get used to this boy thing.

April 11, 2010

Project 365 – Week 9

IMG_6116 One of my favorite things about the warm weather showing it’s face.  My baby girl is even cuter in the nude!  ha!



Sylvia’s first experience with a pickle.  She kept making faces, but she sucked it dry.


IMG_6129cropped Visiting Daddy at his office for lunch.  A surprise visit after coming home from Nana and Grandpa.


IMG_6132 IMG_6133 Sylvie kisses for Mommy.  Love these.





A fun day at the park – where else do you go with five kids??




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