October 27, 2011

Why Foster? Yes and Amen.

Saw this video over at J’s blog and had to repost. 

Can I get an amen?

What if when you were 10 you were labeled ‘unadoptable’ and so you



had a family?


And probably, it was just because you were ten.

too old, you see.


October 25, 2011

Clip, clip.

Ever since Bella came to live with us (almost 4 months ago now!) we have had frequent conversations about when her hair grows back.  It never seems to bother her much that it’s gone, but she is very excited for when it’s back.

One of the things that she’s been most excited for is when it got long enough to put clips in it.  I promised her we’d go find some Dora clips and Princess clips (her choices.).


So the day has finally arrived!


Drum roll please!







We got it to stay (for at least five minutes).

She was so excited!

And now, off to the store to find Dora clips.

October 24, 2011

Seizure, shmeizure.

This week has been crazy.

And since blogging is somewhere around 46th on my priority list, I’ve gotten a little (a lot) behind. 

  Things move so quickly around here, and I don’t want to miss a beat – I want to have it all here so that I can go back and reminisce when Bella leaves and I’m missing her,  and again when Sylvia is turning 25.  

Sentimental?  Er, I prefer to just say that I hold life close to my heart.


Today end six days of Sylvia having a fever.  I say this tentatively and with my fingers crossed – as I’m sure it could return.  She also hasn’t been eating, has barely been drinking, hasn’t been sleeping, and has been on my lap all week.

On Wednesday night we ended up in the emergency room because her fever spiked and she had a febrile seizure.  (Ok, when I think seizure, I think, holy. cow. let’s get to the E.R.)  When we got to the E.R. her temperature was 105.  They drew some blood (much easier said than done with a two year old) and ran some tests.  They weren’t sure what was going on, so we were told it was a virus.




Can I interject here to say that they acted like the seizure was no big deal?  If these things are so common, then why don’t us Mom’s know more about them??  Oh, your child seized, their eyes rolled back in their head, they wouldn’t focus their eyes or respond to you, and then they couldn’t form words when they tried?  No big deal.

Anyway, the next day we followed up with our physician who told us the same thing.  Two days later, she still had a high fever (upwards of 103 without medication) so I decided to do a little research myself before I worried myself mad.




After 30 minutes on the internet, I made a hypothesis that she had contracted Herpes type 1 (essentially cold sores, but can come with a lot worse reaction for little ones.  Sounds gross, but over 70% of the general population has it.) and that it had combined with some other virus that she picked up that also seemed to be reeking havoc on her mouth, gums, and body temp.


So today Brian took her to the urgent care (doctor number three) and sure enough, they thought she had contracted Herpes type 1 and that it was in conjunction with hand, foot, and mouth disease.


This was not helpful for the peace of mind of someone who is already pretty cynical regarding the medical field. (If you are a doctor, I have no beef with you.  I could spend about 10 posts on this.)


Luckily they said she seems to be nearing the end of it, and it will wrap up soon.


Nothing scarier than your baby girl having high fevers for 6 days with no explanation.  Except when one of your other baby girls has a suppressed immune system.  And the other one is only 6 months old.

Neither of the other girls have caught anything though.  We assume that Bella has already had HFM, and it’s likely that she is where Sylvia got the herpes from.  Naomi has my immunities since she is breastfed.


But holy. cow.  It’s been one heck of a week.


P.S.  I woke up with a fever this morning. blegh.

October 23, 2011

6 Months.


Jiggle, jiggle, jiggle, jiggle,
Tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle,
Little sack of sugar
I could eat you up.




Hey, hey, hey,
My little sack of sugar
Ho! Ho! Ho!
You’re my little sack of sweet.

Hee, hee, hee,
My pretty little angel.
So pretty, pretty, pretty
I could eat your feet




Hey, hey, hey,
Little honey-bunny
Ho! Ho! Ho!
Little turtle dove.

Hee, hee, hee,
Little sack of 'taters.
So pretty, pretty, pretty
I could eat your toes



Hey, hey, hey,
My tootsie wootsie.
Rangle,tangle, dangle,
And a honey and a tree.

Ho! Ho! Ho!
My butterfly-flitters,
So pretty, pretty, pretty
I could eat your nose.


vb bbb0++


Goo goo google
and a coo and a cuddle
Kick your foot like a bicycle pedal
Pretty little hoe down
And a one eyed frog
So pretty pretty pretty
I could gobble you whole




Jiggle, jiggle, jiggle, jiggle,
Tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle.
Little sack of sugar
I could eat you up.


- Woody Guthrie

(And your Mama.  I love you.)


October 11, 2011

Celebrating Two.

  I was so excited to celebrate Sylvia’s second birthday.  And we did.  It was  exciting and completely filled me with joy to watch her soak up her birthday fun.  We didn’t do any huge, themed party with coordinating everything (gasp!) but we had a lot of fun and spent a lot of time together.



We filled the hallway outside of her door with balloons so that they’d flood through her door when she opened it!





Bella, Naomi, Sylvia, and I made brownies together in the morning to have after dinner that night.  Then we went to the park and had a special lunch.  Unfortunately, Bella had her visit that afternoon, so she was gone from 1 until after 6:30 – but it did give us a little bit of time to give Sylvie some one on one lovin’.  (Of course, Naomi was there, but she’s really pretty easy!) 


Brian came home from work a little early to celebrate.



We went to Deanna Rose (a children’s farmstead with lots of playgrounds) for the afternoon.




  Then we headed downtown to go to Fritz’s for dinner (the choo-choo resteraunt).









That night, after Bella got home, we had cake, brownies, and ice cream.  Of course, this was the girls’ favorite part of the day.







Happy birthday, babe.  We love you.

October 10, 2011

Camping love.

  We went camping last weekend with our good friends.  Sylvie and their daughter, Elliana, have been good buds since they made their debuts into this world, and I’m sure it won’t be long before Mayah and Naomi are getting into mischief of their own.  Bella had a great time – and as always, it’s so much fun to watch her experience things she’s never gotten to do before.


  On Friday I was getting everything ready to go camping when we got a call from the hospital.  They said that Bella’s levels had come back unusually low that week (the home nurse had been out on Wednesday) and that they were concerned.  They felt that to be on the safe side they needed to do a blood transfusion.  Bella was acting completely normal, so I wasn’t too concerned, but I was feeling bummed because this would probably mean we wouldn’t get to leave until Saturday, shortening the trip considerably.  Including labs and everything else, a transfusion means at least 6 hours at the hospital.

  I tried to stay positive so that she wouldn’t get upset, and we drove up to the hospital with all three kids in tow – this was looking to be a long day.  But….we got there and they did the labs and her levels came out super high!  They said that the low numbers must have been some mistake in the labs!  We were so excited!

  We headed home, packed up, and we were off…



Sylvie ‘helping’ Elliana on the big girl potty.  We have pictures of Elliana ‘helping’ Sylvie as well.  Nothing like a good friend to help you through potty training, eh?



It didn’t take long before it became something of a spectator sport.  Elliana decided she wanted her daddy to sit next to her, and then Bella thought she’d pull up a chair for she and Sylvia too. 



Me and my girls.



Throwing rocks in the lake.  That’s what best friends do.






Ugh.  I hate that I have to pixelate her beautiful face.  But it’s for her best interest.

The kids got to go out one at a time with a grown up in the kayak.  Bella thought this was so cool.  Anytime we weren’t in the boat, she was asking to be in the boat.  (Approximately every 45 seconds.)

She was so excited because ‘she even got to paddle!’



Cute girls.

Note: You can see Bella’s smile even through the pixelation.  Bella and Sylvia are fighting over a toy (story of our lives.)  And check out how dirty these girls are – definite sign of some fun.



Sylvia being very serious about her smore eating.  I wish I could post the picture of Bella’s face after her smore.  It looks like she rubbed it from ear to ear while she ate it because it was just that good.  Smores were new for both the girls, and I think it’s fair to say they LOVED them.

P.S.  That coke is most definitely not Sylvia’s.





We took cupcakes with us to celebrate Sylvia’s birthday.  Unfortunately we did not have anything to ice them with, so I had to use my fingers.  (I say unfortunately, what I really mean is, score! I got to lick my fingers at the end!)



I’m not sure that after two days in the car they tasted any better than they looked, but Sylvia was very excited.



Check out the dirt on that face.





Have I mentioned I hate pixelating her face?  She is a part of our family.  I want her in family photos!  ….I digress.

Beautiful families, beautiful friends, beautiful weather….so blessed!



We told them to say ‘ice cream’ to take the picture, and Sylvia got very excited.



So much fun.  So many good memories.  I love camping because there is nothing to do but to be together – and there is no one I’d rather be with than my family and friends!

October 6, 2011

You are two.

That’s crazy.



Me: Sylvie, what do you want for your birthday?

You: Ummm, cake.

Me: Alright, we can have cake.  Do you want anything else for your birthday?

You:  Yes.  Ummm…   fire.

Me: ?

You:  I’ll blow it out, Maggie. 

Me: ooohh, you want candles?

You: yes. candles.  I want fire.

Me: Ok, so you want cake and fire, do you want any friends at your birthday?

You: Yes.  Cake friends.

Me:  Got it.


When you woke up this morning, you walked out of your room into a hallway filled with balloons, and while still only halfway awake you excitedly whispered, “It’s my burphday!”.  You’ve been singing happy birthday to yourself all week.

I have been anticipating this day for weeks.  I’ve been anticipating the look of pure joy on your face as we celebrate you – just the fact that we have you, and you are here with us, and that God made you to be just who you are!

God uses you in my life every day.  This sounds so cliché, but I really, truly don’t know where I would be, how my life would work without you.




You are so full of joy, it seeps out of every pore.  Sometimes when you get excited, it seems like you can’t quite figure out how to get your smile to be big enough.  Now when you want to show me you are excited, you just drop whatever you are holding, smile as big as you can, start shaking your arms and jumping up and down, until a huge high pitched squeal comes escaping from your mouth from way down deep.

Don’t lose that.  I hope that on your graduation and when you see your first baby and on your 90th birthday that you still exude such joy.




I am floored by the way you are talking.  Every day you say something that I didn’t know you knew how to express.  You’re speaking in full sentences and can carry on a full conversation.  Yesterday you talked to your Nana on the phone for at least a full 5 minutes with absolutely no prompting from me. 

You can sing the entire ABC’s along with a myriad of other songs.  You’re quite the singer.  At night you always want your Daddy to sing to you, but you always have to songs picked out ahead of time, and you are very clear as to which songs he is to sing or not to sing.  (strong willed?  um, yes.)  In fact, you always know exactly what you want.  And you always let us know.

You’ve moved completely into your big girl bed now, which breaks my heart just a little.  You even look big when you sleep now.

I know it’s too early yet to know what your talents will be, but I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that you are going to be a lot like your Daddy.  Why?  Well, you can count to 25 on your own and you know all of your shapes down to a crescent and an octagon.  You love to put together puzzles on the iPad, and you do it very well.  But colors?  Colors don’t seem to even cross your radar.  I don’t think they interest you in the least. 




You are still over the top active with no signs of slowing down.  We go to the park pretty much every day so you can run some of that off!  You love, love, love to swing.  Whenever I pull you back and let you go you usually give a little giggle and say, “Wow Maggie, this is fun!”

Which reminds me – you call me Maggie now.  All the time.  For a while I tried to get you to call me Mommy, but you hear Bella call me Maggie all the time and I think it’s stuck.  It’s really not as endearing as Mommy or Mama, but it will have to do.


I love being with you.  I love watching you grow and learn and try new things.  I love your snuggles and your kisses.  I love watching you play with your sisters.  And even when I think I might go crazy and go out by myself for an evening, I miss you and look forward to seeing you as soon as I get home.

You are a gift.


I pray for you always.  I pray for your character and that God will work in you to produce a woman that is generous, caring, gentle, and compassionate.  (Common theme there – sharing isn’t your forte these days.)  I pray he will use me to teach you about selfless, undying, unconditional love – the love He has for you.  I pray He will give me the strength to live the gospel out in front of you.


Thank you in advance for the grace I will require as your mother.  Know that I love you always.  More.


Happy second birthday Sylvie Sue.

Love you, love you, love you,


October 5, 2011

Please ask!

  I was reading this post this morning (love her blog) and it helped me a little bit to define something I’ve been trying to feel out lately.


  There is sometimes this awkwardness in fostering.  (Ok, there is a lot of awkwardness in fostering – but I trying to specify one kind of fostering awkwardness.)  Like yesterday when I took Bella and Sylvia to the dentist. 

  I sign them both in, and wait.  I fully expect, as I wait for her to call my name, that there will be quite the scene in trying to clarify this whole situation.  The receptionist starts in:


So, she’s on your insurance, but she is on Medicaid?


And you only have a photo copy of her Medicaid card, why?


You stated here that you think she has a history of dental work but you’re not sure?  (Um, yes.  I’m going to go ahead and say I can assume that one, considering all of her front top teeth are gone and all her bottom ones are capped.  Does that seem like such a stretch to you?)


In order to run her Medicaid, I need her full legal name.  You don’t know it???


And then they proceed to call Sylvia and Bella into different rooms – I guess because they have different last names?  And I have to clarify, from across the room that they are both with me. 


We get into the exam room and the nurse starts asking lots of questions.  How long has Bella been with you?  Will it be hard to say goodbye?  Is fostering really hard? (umm…she’s sitting right there?)


Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying any of this because it is offensive to me.  It isn’t.  I’ll just go ahead and say that in general I think most of us foster and adoptive parents are too easily offended when it comes to our children. 

I think I’m just not sure what to do with this.

Everyone doesn’t need to know that Bella is my daughter through foster care.  I don’t think I should be obligated to tell anyone that.  What difference does it make?  But I also realize that in general, our family doesn’t fit into the box that most people have in their brain labeled ‘family,’ and that there are bound to be questions.


I just don’t want her, in anyone’s mind, to be defined by the fact that she is in foster care.  “Foster Kid” does not define anyone.  It is a label.  A label that sucks.


  So, where does that leave us?  You naturally have questions about the makeup of our family – that’s cool, not a problem.  In fact, I’m really happy to answer them.  Education about all this is the only way that it will improve and any labels can be taken care of.  Our families are different, which only makes them interesting – noticing that they are different is not wrong, unless it creates labels.

  I won’t even be offended as you bumble about trying to come up with how to ask which ones are our ‘real kids’ – because lets all be honest, it’s hard to ask questions about foster and adoptive families.  It’s even harder when foster and adoptive families get offended by any way you ask. 

  But Bella is at risk of feeling defined by the fact that she’s in foster care because of all the questions – we don’t fit in the box.


  I guess what I am saying is:

We foster and adoptive parents should chill out and not get offended at every question that suggests that our families are built differently than most (gasp!) – and we need to have grace when other’s have not mastered the art of adoption talk.




If you want to ask questions, just do it discreetly until you know how open and ok it is to discuss these issues, well, out in the open.


Does this make sense?  Thoughts?


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