May 31, 2010


Today Sylvia said Mama.
And then my heart melted.

I love being a Mommy.
That is all. 

May 30, 2010

Project 365 - Week 15

Playin' with my brother.

The boys all ready for their first baseball game!  Very handsome.
....or pretty....

Lovin' on my Aunt Mandee
"The tiger says 'rawr'!"

Can you tell we're related?  nah.
(guest appearance by the next baby boy!)

Buddies.  All sweaty after fun at the Bonifest.

First time in the swimming pool!  She's a water baby.

Trying ice cream for the first time....
and it gets applause

May 28, 2010

Flying pigs and all that Jazz

Ahhhh, updates.  They always seem so lame, but necessary.  Half of our family would think we had 10 kids if I didn't post about kids leaving every once in a while - and since I will most likely also have this printed for our bookshelf, staying current has its pros.

The girls ended up leaving on Wednesday night.  Court was Wednesday afternoon and they 'officially' came into the custody of the state.  They are from a town a couple of hours away from us, and the state wanted to find a long term foster home closer to their parents.  However, after three hours of looking for a home to no avail, they called us back and asked if we'd like to take them long term.  And, get. this. 
I said no.
What is that?  Applause I hear?  Yes, I know, I am very proud of myself too.  (Actually, Brian said no.  But I was standing there when he did it.  So it counts.)
They are just not a good fit with the boys.  Those girls are going to need a LOT of one on one care, and I couldn't give them what they need, while also giving the boys what they need, and Sylvia what she needs. 
It was heartbreaking, those two days they were here.  I could feel their fear, their heartache.  It really is a physical hurt to see that kind of suffering.  They were just hurting so badly.  That's when you wish you just had a magic wand to make it all better.  But all you can do is hold them and rock them.  Their reason for coming into care was drug use, but while they were here I saw more signs of sexual abuse than I needed to, which puts fury in my soul.  I pray those girls are in a loving foster home, and that God comforts their broken little hearts.

In other news, yesterday was the last day of school for the boys.  It was a half day, and I picked them up and took them to have a special lunch with Brian.  We went to chick-fil-a.  (I may or may not have made that suggestion).  We had a fun filled afternoon of appointments with their caseworker and therapist. 
Yes.  You heard me correctly, their caseworker actually came to our home to visit.  {And while she was here I could vaguely make out a small pink pig flying across the sky above my neighbor's house.}  Surprisingly enough, her visit was not at all informative, except to ask me if I thought there might be a couple of weekends open this summer for their siblings to visit. 
I'm actually really looking forward to this summer.  I'm looking forward to getting to spend more time with the boys.  I'm looking forward to getting to do fun summer activities with them and spending afternoons at the pool with Sylvie.  And I'm looking forward to not being boxed in by a schedule of pick ups, drop offs, homeworks, and bedtimes.  I've got some really fun stuff planned for the boys this summer too, and it will be fun to get to watch them experience what a childhood summer should look like.

Of course, you'll have to ask me two weeks from now if I'm still looking forward to the rest of the 2 1/2 months.  We shall see.

May 26, 2010

The ‘n’ word.

As in ‘no’. 

Have I mentioned I’m no good at that word?  That I’m not sure of the last time that I willingly said that word?  (With exception to saying it to the children.  But that was a given.)  That any time I have to say that word I get this guilty knot in the pit of my stomach, and immediately change it to the much more loved, easy to say, non-confrontative, smile inducing ‘y’ word?

Well, I’m here to admit it.  I suck at saying no.  (I get it from my mom.  Even though when she reads this she might deny it.  But she sucks at saying no too.  It’s genetic.)


Last night Brian and I had a long conversation about the dreaded word.  And we agreed that we do, in fact, need to become more proficient at it’s use.

More specifically we talked about our boundaries and limits as foster parents.  Up until now, we have essentially taken any placement that they called us with, short of severe physical aggression.  Here are the new boundaries (still in the revision stage) and why:


  • We won’t take any more respite placements as long as we have a long term placement.  (with VERY few exceptions to kids we’ve already done respite for.)  In this case with the boys, and any other kids we have in the future, I think that the stability of not having kids in and out will be very helpful, and that we have made a commitment to them to provide them the best environment for their healing.
  • We won’t take any more emergency placements.  For two reasons.  The same as above – for stability for long term placements.  Also for stability for Sylvia and any other kids down the line – emergency placements are very disruptive and confusing, and I think that for our family that might be too much.  Also, there is the unknown.  For example is no way to know about physical aggression, which is not something we can risk with very young children in the home.
  • We also feel like we need to be more selective as to what placements are good matches for our family.  I feel like the boys we have right now are a great match.  The girls we have for emergency, however are not.  I don’t feel like I can give them what they need with this many children in the home, and that is not fair to them, the other kids, or me.
  • I can’t think of the others, but this is the gist.


The honest truth is that I feel so relieved to have discussed these boundaries.  It’s like I have permission to say no, and know that it can be a good thing!  It sounds silly, but I have found myself feeling guilty when I want to turn down a placement because it seems best for Sylvie, or when I want to turn down respite because it would be best for the other kids placed with us.  I know it’s not God giving me guilt.  Sometimes it’s like, if I don’t feel like I am completely maxed out, I don’t feel like I’m doing enough.  Like I’m giving enough.  I think it’s a mixture of symptoms I’ve picked up from broad society, church, and my own personality – and it’s no good.  It’s not godly. 

God gives me responsibilities.  He has given me my husband, Sylvia, and different children who have been with us for different amounts of time.  When he blesses me with one of these responsibilities, I need to be able to say no to other things, so that I can say yes to what he has placed in front of me.

So, changes. 

I’m not sure that this post makes a ton of sense to someone not inside my brain.  I’m not sharing just to share, or to vent, or anything else.  Mostly I’m sharing this in hopes that someone who struggles with the same ‘if I’m not losing my mind I’m not doing enough to help others’ mentality might identify, see that we’re all crazy, maybe create some boundaries of their own.  Because I’ve realized that without boundaries and limits – I’m no help to anyone!

I hope this post doesn’t discourage others from fostering.  Maybe just that it encourages honest evaluation of what God is asking.  Hope this made sense.  The end.

May 25, 2010

The Saga…

Well, we’re back up to five again.  Although I suppose I haven’t really posted since Abby and Carter left last Friday. 

We got a phone call last night at about 9:30 asking us if we could take two little girls, ages 1 and 3.  They gave us names and told us that they were Caucasian (which is more than intake can usually do!).  We asked if we could call them back, and after much deliberation and prayer, we decided to say yes.  Right now this is an emergency placement, which means they can be here for up to 72 hours.  They asked us last night if we could keep them long term, and we told them that we weren’t in a place to be able to decide that at the moment.  I’m sure they’ll ask us again on Thursday.  Praying for God’s peace one way or the other.

They got to our house at 12:15 a.m.  They were very scared and very confused.  Understandably – they had just been taken away from their parents in the middle of the night. 

We took them back to their bedroom – the one year old went to sleep almost immediately, but the three year old was very upset.  She cried and cried, she yelled for her mommy, she kicked and hit.  I sat there and comforted her the best I could.  Eventually she calmed down some and I was able to introduce myself and let her know that she is safe here and that we love her.  She perked up a little bit and asked where her pants were, then she went over and got her shoes.

“We go bye-bye and get Mommy!?”  She asked.

I explained that she’d be staying here tonight, and that her Mommy was somewhere else, but that I was sure she was missing her, and happy she was safe.  She got upset again, and I asked her if she likes to snuggle.  She perked up, “Snuggle?!”. 

So I laid down with her in her bed and snuggled her until she fell asleep sniffling. 



They are adorable.  And today has really gone well – but the boys have been at school all day – nothing conclusive until they are home.  As for now everything is ‘normal’ – aka: insanely chaotic.   ahhhhh.

May 23, 2010

Project 365 – Week 14

Too many pics this week – but it was a good week for pictures!  Fun being out of town, and lots of family time down on Brian’s parent’s farm celebrating Grandma Bonnie and Grandpa Roy’s 60th wedding anniversary.

IMG_6887 Waiting longingly for the day she’s old enough to go outside and play with her brothers!


They like her a little bit too…



The lovely bouquet of purple clover (?) I got from my boys.  It’s the thought that counts, right?



Sylvie and her Aunt Jennifer out for Sylvia’s first fancy dinner.  Two beautiful girls!



Showin’ off her beautiful smile, and her first two teeth!


…and lovin’ on my Mommy.



Sylvie and Aunt Amy


Timmy and Grandma Bonnie




























All the boys playing ‘roof ball.’



A great family picture!


…..and…our best attempt at a family picture.



ahhh…snugglin’ my Daddy.

May 21, 2010

Why Foster?

Good Info To Have



  I think that a lot of people (who have never been to our house) hear that we have five kids at a time and assume we live in some mansion.  But that’s not the case.  Although, when we do have five kids running around, sometimes I wish we did.

  There are some really pretty specific space guidelines for fostering that outline how many kids your house can hold.  {I’m sure these vary some from state to state – so check with your local agency!}  Where we live, this is the breakdown:

  •    Minimum of 75 square feet to count a room as a bedroom.
  •    After that, it is 90 square feet for two in a bedroom, 135 square feet for three,   etc.
  •    Basically 45 square feet per child.



  •    - Every bedroom used for fostering has to have separate storage space (dresser and or closet) for each child in the room.  (As long as the kids have space to put their stuff, you’re good.)
  • Children six and older can only stay in the same room as children of the same sex, regardless of sibling status.
  • Only children over six can stay in the top bunk of bunk beds.


Brian and I live in a three bedroom house, that also has a small office (no closet).  Recently, in order to make more space, we moved our room into the small office room.  It’s tight, but we don’t spend a lot of time in our room – what’s the old adage?  Less is more?  Something like that.

One of the bedrooms is very small – that’s Sylvie’s room.

The room that is supposed to be the master bedroom is where the boys currently stay, and if their siblings move in, is also where their brother would stay.

The third bedroom is large enough for two children, and has a set of bunk beds in it.

I’m pretty sure the way we have it now, we could take four foster kids regardless of age and sex. 


So, we don’t live in a mansion.  We just like to be close.  And if you have any inkling at all that you’d like to foster, I bet if you take a close look at your floor plan, you might just be able to figure out the space predicament!


{If you have any questions, please let me know!  I’ll do my best to answer them, or point you in the direction of someone who can.  You can leave questions in the question box in the right of the blog, in the comments, or you can e-mail me!  You should foster, you’d be great at it.}

May 20, 2010

Glutinous, Green, Huge.

I don’t make it a real habit to meet new people at the gym.  In fact, I find that most of the time I try to avoid it.  I want to get in, get out, and get to everything else I have to do (such as the laundry of 5 small children.  which is a lot of laundry.).

This morning I was sitting on one of the machines taking a short break between reps when I noticed this older gentleman looking my way.  There are a lot of older people who exercise at the same time as me, and I rather like listening to their banter – but this guy, was he? Oh no.  He was making eye contact. The kind of eye contact that says, “I think I’ll start a conversation with that random person over there working on toning her inner thighs.” (But not in a perverted way, because that is definitely how that sounded.)

He walks over, and I smile, because 80 year old men automatically prompt smiles (why is that?).  He points at the stickers on my shirt that the daycare gives you so that they don’t give your children to someone else.  On this particular morning, there were three of them.

Now I have a little bit of a personal question, ma’am.  Because you’re a pretty little thing, but you don’t look any older than 12.”

Oh, I know sir, I get that a lot.  (And still don’t appreciate it, when is that supposed to kick in?) I’m actually almost 25.”

Well, I know that you just had a baby, but I was just noticing that you have several child care stickers on your shirt, and because you are so young, I just didn’t know how it was possible?”

(Do I really have to explain to an 80 year old man how that’s possible?  Because by the time you’re 80, buddy, you should know.)

I explained how we’re foster parents, and how at the moment we have five children, but that we don’t always have that many kids.

Oh, well, I was just wondering, being from Southern California and all, with all you religious freaks out here with all these kids – I just thought I’d ask.”

Ummmmm.  Seriously?  Seriously.  Who says something like that?  w.o.w.

I kind of wanted to point him toward this post.  But instead I just smiled.  I think there’s also something about being 80 years old that gives you some unmentioned permission to say whatever you want.

So we leave the gym.  I load the kids into the car, we start home.

I’m on the phone when I turn around to see that Carter has this MASSIVE glob of glutinous, green, disgustingness hanging from his nose to his lip.  The kind that makes you think, “Wow, he really must have an oversized sinus cavity.  Or maybe his entire head is one big sinus cavity.”  That big.

So I look around in a frenzy for the tissues and can’t find them.  I explain to him that I can’t find them, but that he should just sit there very still until we get home and I’d wipe it off as soon as I could. 

So we continue home, and I finish up my phone conversation.  We pull into the driveway and I go around to get him out of the car.

oh no.

where did they go?

where are the boogers?  The MASSIVE amount of boogers?

I start looking around the van for them, on his clothes, on his booster, the arm of the chair.  I can’t find them.

Carter, what happened to all of the boogers?

He looked at me as innocently as can be, pointed to his face, and opened his mouth.


Guess we can skip lunch.  Because wow, that many boogers must be proportionate to a three course meal.

May 19, 2010

An Open Book.

Well, probably not really.

But…thanks to Adoptive Mamma Of Two, I found this great service called formspring.  On the right there is a box where you can type in any questions that you have, and it sends them to me.  I’ll answer the best I can or point you in the direction of someone who can!  You can ask anonymously, or with an ID.  It’s possible I might use some of the questions for Why Foster? blog posts, but I’ll always ask you first!  (You can still just use my e-mail if you’d like.)


So, send your fostering/adoption through foster care questions my way, and hopefully this makes it easier for you to ask questions with less hassle!

May 18, 2010

Respite Support.

Which sometimes feels a bit like life support when your really in need of some good respite.

Tonight ‘Abby’ and ‘Carter’ will be coming to stay with us again.  We did respite for them the weekend that the boys came to us.  They’ll be with us until the end of the week.  Their foster mom is super overwhelmed.  Like really, really overwhelmed. 

Maybe the kids should move to a new home?  I’m not sure.  Disruptions are hard – much harder than just saying goodbye.

We’ve not ever asked a child to leave – but with X-man we were darn close.  I had just had Sylvia, my hormones were somewhere between euphoric bliss and crushing discouragement at any given moment, I was having a very difficult recovery from child birth, and X-man was 17 months old and still not eating food or walking.  Developmentally they were about nine months apart, and there were a lot of things that X-man still needed one on one care for in order to get caught up.  Overwhelmed doesn’t quite describe the first few weeks after she was born.

Long story short, we almost asked to have him moved.  However, our worker is incredible and gave us the support we needed to get through my recovery so that we could maintain placement.  The decision to maybe have him moved was one of the most heart wrenching decisions I’ve ever made (post-partum hormones aside). 


Initially I would say it’s mostly pride that makes you not want to throw in the towel.  But really, I don’t think that’s it most of the time.  It’s just that you want to be there for those kids.  You want to tough it out with them.  You want them to know that you love them.  You don’t want to cause more hurt.

With that said, sometimes disruptions are necessary.  There are a handful of times that the best thing for the kids is for them to move.  They need to be somewhere where their needs and emotions can be cradled and nurtured.

I don’t know if Abby and Carter need to move.  Not my call.  We’ll just do our best to support them and their foster mom for the time being.  We’ll see how it goes!  Back up to seven in the Popp home!

May 17, 2010

reasons, not excuses

We went to our monthly foster parent support meeting early this week.  They are put on by our agency, and it’s a great way to meet other foster parents.  Since it is Foster Care Awareness Month, they put on a little open house dinner-ish thing for the foster parents.  It was very nice of them.  I really enjoyed it.

A couple of our closer foster parent friends were there – (they are the ones that had X-man’s brothers, and they are who he moved in with when he left our house.).  They had a couple of little boys with them who had been placed with them the night before.  Intake had actually called us with these boys the night before, and we had to say no because we currently only have one twin bed open.  (Anyone know where I can get some bunk beds real cheap?)  We sat down for dinner with them and Zee piped up, “Those are my cousins!”  I really was thinking he probably had them confused, but then one of the other boys said, “Hey look!  That’s Zee!” 

What are the chances?  We are two hours away from where they are from, and their cousins just happen to be placed with a couple in our agency who we know well?  CRAZY! Their cousins also have two siblings in care (about ten minutes from where we live).  So if Jae and Zee’s brother and sister end up moving in with us, there will be 8 kids from the same family in foster care in the same town.


If that’s not an example of the cycle of poverty doin’ it’s thing, I don’t know what is.  (By the way this is a great book about the cycle of poverty, and is very helpful in understanding where a lot of these kids come from.)


Imagine that you grow up in a small town, or a big city for that matter, and your family is poor.  Not by any choice of your own – maybe both your parents work as hard as they can, but can’t make ends meat, maybe your dad is into drugs, maybe your mom is really depressed, maybe they are both gone all the time, and you’re really not sure what is going on.

And then there’s the abuse.  Everybody is stressed out and no one knows what to do.  Maybe sometimes your mom hits you, maybe sometimes your dad touches you, maybe there is never anyone there to get you ready for school, maybe all three.  There’s no food in the house, and you’ve pretty much had to figure out how this world works all on your own.

You’ve never left the town you were born in.  You live in a poor neighborhood, and most of the people around you are in about the same situation.  You don’t really have any role models, no one to look up to that seems to have it together.  Since you’re in a poor neighborhood the schools are no good – most of your classes don’t even have textbooks, and most of your teachers don’t have college degrees.

So what is it that tells you life should be different than this?  Who is it that helps you to change?  What will motivate you to live a different life?  How do you know that any of this is wrong?


These aren’t excuses.  But they are reasons.  This is the cycle of poverty.

It doesn’t keep me from ever getting angry at bio parents whose children are hurting on account of their decisions.  It doesn’t keep me from venting, or wanting to point fingers.  But it does help to realize that when it comes to their kids, 99% of people do the best they can with what they know.  I don’t want to act like I am responsible for being where I am.  I don’t want to feel entitled enough to act like that person I described couldn’t have easily been me.  I feel so blessed that it isn’t. 

I don’t know where Jae and Zee’s mom came from.  I don’t know what she’s been through.  I don’t know if she had anyone growing up to tell her that there was more to life than what she was experiencing. 

The truth is, I was in the middle of a post venting about their mom’s lack of effort.  And sometimes, I really feel like I need to just because it is so difficult dealing with the aftermath and these boys’ broken hearts.  Instead I should pray for her though.  And love her.  I’m challenging myself, while being realistic, not to judge their mom and to do my best to support her. 

Project 365 – Week 13

I wasn’t great about taking pictures this week.  Oh well.


IMG_6852 Zee was student of the week, so he got to bring home Marvin the Monkey.



Sylvia really started pulling up on stuff the beginning of this week.  Now she’s a pro.  Nothing is safe anymore.





IMG_6883 Sylvia also decided that she was going to completely skip baby food and go straight to solids.  Here she is modeling her guacamole fu manchu.

May 14, 2010

Update. But not from the caseworker.

Our family worker came to visit this week. (Not to be confused with the kids’ caseworker, whom I have never met, have only spoken to once on the phone for approximately 4 minutes, have left numerous messages for, and who has not visited the boys since they were placed with us a month and a half ago.  ahem.  that is all.)

Maybe I should start over.  sans rant.  I promise.

Our family worker came to visit this week.  She doesn’t have a ton more info than I do.  She did offer a couple of updates though:

~Mom has made no progress.  period.  since the case started.  Chances of going home?  Somewhere between zero and nil – of course that’s what they said with    X-man too.  So I’m not going to hold my breath, but we’ll see.

~She was very happy to hear that we have found a couple methods of discipline that seem to be effective.  Hallelujah! {More on that later?}  Not to say things around here aren’t still crazy – but even baby steps feel sooo good.

~The caseworker would like to know if we would be interested in doing some pre-placement visits with the boys’ siblings (5 and 10 years old).  Their sister is having the same behavioral issues that the boys are.  Their brother has some delays in speech, but doesn’t seem to display many behaviors. 

We told her that we’d be happy to do some pre-placement visits to see how things go.  It would obviously be in the best interest of the boys to be with their siblings.  This is not to say that if the visits end in me feeling like my house is imploding, we won’t decide that it is not a good idea.  It’s a big, fat we’ll see.

So, if the caseworker ever ends up calling me (no rants.  I promised.) then we’ll be back at five kids, if only temporarily.  I should start praying now.  In fact, that’s the best idea I’ve had all day.

May 13, 2010

Why Foster?

Foster Care Awareness Month

May is Foster Care Awareness Month.  I got this video off of another foster parent’s blog – she put it together with some friends of hers.  I love the video – it’s really well done, and it only serves to make me more passionate about fostering and loving these kids. (You didn’t think that was possible, did you?)  I pray that it moves hearts.

My posts the last couple of weeks have been honest.  The majority of the last two weeks have been rough.  But I don’t want to make you think for a second that this is not a blessing.  It is a blessing, and a privilege to get to be a part of these kids’ lives.  Even during the rough times, I would not hesitate to recommend fostering.  It will change your life, and will forever impact the kids you come to love.



The video lists some ways of helping other than licensing to foster, like:

  • Becoming a CASA advocate.  As a CASA advocate you are assigned to kids in the system and help to advocate for them in the court system.  GREAT program.
  • Becoming a respite provider in order to give foster parents needed breaks.  To be a licensed respite provider you take the same classes as a foster parent, but kids only come to stay with you for a few days at a time.  In some states you can babysit for foster parents simply by having a background check done.  To learn more, contact your local state agency.
  • If you’re a Harley fan, you can join BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse).  The kids LOVE it when a bunch of bikers show up for their court hearings.  It also serves to make them feel safe if the perp is at the hearing.  This program was great – the kids on my caseload loved it.
  • Donate clothes, bikes, stuffed animals, hygiene supplies, journals, schools supplies, or new toys to your local fostering agency.
  • Adopt!
  • Tutor a child, or sponsor a child through Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America.
  • There are so many ways to help these kids!  What’s your gift?


{ If you have any questions about fostering, or the other programs that are listed, please let me know!  You can leave questions in the comments, or e-mail me.  I will do my best to answer or point you in the direction of someone who can!}

May 12, 2010

Beauty out of Ashes.

I just found this new blog, Profoundly Seth.  I love reading her thoughts, and her kids are stinkin’ cute!  The writer’s name is Ellyn, and she recently posted on God using challenges to refine us.  She is facing challenges that I cannot imagine.  It just got me thinking.


Goodness knows that God is using these boys in my life.  Through them he is teaching me the art of patience faster than I ever really wanted to.  I’ve always prayed for God to teach me patience – momentarily forgetting the mode in which he does so – and really, although I’m sure that I will appreciate it at some point, I think in retrospect I would have asked to learn a different fruit of the spirit.

However, you’d be shocked at how quickly I can de-escalate my fuming, anger stricken, if-you-roll-your-eyes-at-me-one-more-time-I’ll-tape-your-eyelids-shut self these days.  These boys are doing wonders for my self talk.  ha!

The point being, he is absolutely refining me.  He is using these boys to help me know Him better, be who He created me to be, and realize that if I don’t want my buttons to be pushed, I should just lose the buttons {go touch-screen if you will}. 

In fact, maybe He even chuckled a little when he heard Jae utter that terrible word that starts with a ‘B’ in my direction. (That one that makes my blood turn to fire….yeah, that one.)  He says, “Oh Maggie, loosen up.  Do you know how many times you’ve said things that I could get bent out of shape over, and look here – I still love you.”


This quote came up on another blog I was reading today:

If Jesus gives us a task or assigns us to a difficult season, every ounce of our experience is meant for our instruction and completion if only we’ll let Him finish the work. I fear, however, that we are so attention-deficit that we settle for bearable when beauty is just around the corner.

              Beth Moore


So we’re stickin’ this one out guys.  Let’s see what God has in store.


In her blog post, Ellyn also talked about how she doesn’t think everything happens for a reason, but that God can bring amazing things from the ashes.  (Not sure I agree that everything doesn’t happen for a reason.  God allows things to happen, and uses them for His glory.  But he already knew what would happen ahead of time – so no sure where that leaves us.  My mind just exploded.)

Anyway, that led me to think about the situation that the boys are in the middle of.  Their small hearts are so full of ashes left over from the fire that ripped through their world.  They don’t even know what to do with all of their hurt.

But God is bringing beauty out of those ashes. 

I see it in small things.  Like when Zee asks me if God is listening to his prayers.  Or when Jae finally breaks down and cries with me.  Or when we have short moments when I can tell that the boys trust us, and know we love them.  Beauty.  Straight from ashes. 

God is incredible.

May 11, 2010

We are Family.

In June of 2009 our membership to our community recreation center expired.  No big thing.  At the time I was going every day anyway (this was prior to giving birth to a child.  Now…not so much:  a.they don’t take kids under 6 months old at the childcare center.  b. I’m pretty sure my stomach muscles still don’t even connect in the center.  But I’ve started back…slowly).  So during one of my trips, I stopped by the front desk to renew the membership. 

I was making small talk with the man at the desk while he clicked away on his computer, occasionally asking me a question regarding our membership renewal, and our faithful attendance to the rec center every dayIn the shuffle, he asked me how many children we would be adding to the membership.  “None right now,” I said, “but we’re foster parents, so our kid status varies.”  From the look on his face you would think I had just said that I’d be bringing my two cats in to take dips in the pool every so often, but not to worry, they’ve never pooped anywhere but the cat box.  He looked at me like I was crazy

He asked me to wait a minute, and turned around to whisper on the phone like I had just caused a code red.  When he came back, he told me very politely, that my foster children would not be welcome at the rec center on our family membership, and that if I ever wanted to bring one of these foster children with me, I’d have to pay the $8 they charge non-members.  I was confused.  I’m paying for a family membership, I explained.  “Yes, I’m aware,” he replied, “but your foster children,

they don’t fit our definition of “family.”

Cue livid, boiling anger rising.  Steam out of the ears.  Seeing spots kind of angry.

I kindly told him that I’d be looking for another place to exercise, and that I’d let all of my friends know not to go there in case they didn’t “fit their definition of family.”  (After cooling off I wrote a very pointed e-mail to the head of recreation for our city.  I suggested that they change their definition.  He let me know that we could attend the rec without issue, but that their definition of family suited them just fine.)


All that to say – this kind of thing happens a lot as foster parents.  Projects at school that are about family get a lot more difficult.  People (well-meaning people) say things that make it sound like your foster kids don’t count.  When introducing your family, people make distinctions between your foster kids and your biological kids.  Before Sylvie was born people would tell us about parenthood like we had never been parents before.  When we have our second child, I’d place bets that we get comments like, “Just watch out, two is a different ballgame.”  It’s frustrating.  I don’t fault the individual though, I think it’s our society.  Why do we define family so narrowly?  Adoptive Mama Of Two posted on this a while back, and she quoted,

"Losing ones family obliges us to find ones family. Not always the family that is our blood but the family that can become our blood." - Sean Connery in Finding Forester


Some people have to find their family.  Our family grows by the year unlike most.  But these kids are my kids.  And we are family.

May 10, 2010

The Rules.

{First I’d really just like to say a humongous thank you for all of the ideas and encouragement sent via comments and e-mails.  They have been so helpful, and above all they have lifted my spirit, given me hope, and helped me to keep my gaze on the eternal rather than the temporal.  Thanks so much.  It really has meant so much.}


Helping Jae and Zee through this transition has definitely had it’s challenges.  But not without a few laughs as well.  (I mean other than the incessant laughter about the most recent fart.)

Zee randomly makes up these ‘rules’.  Just rules of life I suppose, but some of them are pretty comical.  I thought I’d share a few of these, just in case you might be breaking some of them.


“That’s the rule.  You should never feed a baby too much, or it will blow.  Isn’t that the rule Maggie?”


“That’s just the rule, if you fart in public, you shouldn’t wave it around.  Besides, if you do that, they’ll know it was you.”


“I guess that’s just the rule.  Mom’s get to eat chocolate and pop.  Kids don’t.”  

{I like this rule.  Of course it was followed by lots of whining about how it’s not fair.  But as long as I have the chocolate, I can deal.}


“That’s the rule.  Don’t go into a public bathroom without shoes and socks.  You’ll get nasty yellow grime on your feet.  That’s from all the pee.  And it GROWS.”


“Maggie, what are you doing?!?  That’s the rule!  You can’t feed Sylvia outside!  Someone might see your nursers!”


And my favorite:

“So that’s just the rule.  God loves me and forgives me even when I yell at you.  It’s just the rule.”

{Zee has initiated several conversations about God.  I have loved so much telling him how much God loves him.  Those conversations have been the sweetest refreshment in the midst of all their anger.}

Project 365 – Week 12



At the zoo with all the cousins.

Zee would be the one to try to wrangle the snake.  Even if it weren’t fake.



Love my Nana!



Love this.  Especially that cute little hiney on the end.



All lookin’ like my Daddy.


IMG_6829 Hangin’ with my cuz.



Two of my very favorite girls.


IMG_6855 Zee helping Brian mow the grass and loving every minute of it.

May 9, 2010

A Message for Maggie

From Mena...
 From Cassandra...
From X-man...
From Abby...
From Jae and Zee...
From Sylvia...

And from 'Popcorn', Jacob, Jason, Jose, Alondra, Carter, 'A-Rod', and Alan: Happy Mother's Day Maggie!  You were our Mommy when we couldn't be with our own.  You loved us as your own even though you didn't have to.  Even though some of us won't ever remember you by name, our lives will be forever changed by the time we spent with you being our Mommy.  We love you!


Related Posts with Thumbnails