August 29, 2012

Positive Transition?

In our time in foster care, I had come to believe that the term ‘positive transition’ was a bit of an oxymoron.  ….But maybe not always?


Tootaw has been with us since Saturday.

And so far so good!

Although those who say that adding children to your family after you have three is of no consequence?  I say ppppssshhhhh, you are full of it!  Of course, I guess most people who add a fourth child, add a very little baby whose siblings are probably more than three years different in age.  But still.




Instantly having two year old twins, along with a five year old and a one year old, definitely makes you reconsider what kind of outings are actually in the realm of possibility.  That, or it just makes you completely reconsider your expectations for said outings. 

Although I’ve already been to two doctors appointments with all the children, and they weren’t the most chaotic experiences of my life, just close.





Mostly, so far, I am filled with joy through this transition.  It feels completely like where our family needs to be, and I love it. 

I have rarely experienced greater joy than I do watching my daughters playing well together, caring for each other, and looking out for each other.

Tootaw and Sylvia seem to be naturals at this sister thing, and they are doing so well together.  It is such a blessing, as I am fully aware that it could have been completely different.  Naomi is figuring out what playing with her sisters is all about, and for the most part her older sisters are obliging.






I can’t describe it, really, only to say that adding Tootaw to our family seems almost to have evened us out or changed the dynamic here in a totally unexpected way.  I’m sure in large part this is Bella being more at peace with her sister here, and also Sylvia having a perfect playmate all the time.

I’m also sure that we will run into more bumps along the way.

But for now it’s going really well.  You know, outside of that whole adjusting to having 4 under 5 thing…

August 23, 2012

3.5 + 1 = 4.5

= Chaos!!!


Tootaw is officially moving in with us on Saturday.  Our foster agency has a retreat all day Saturday for it’s foster parents, and so we will pick her up from there (which doesn’t seem like the best possible transition plan, but hey, no one asked me.).


We spent most of last weekend getting Bella’s room ready to share with Tootaw – read: we ended up completely redoing her room.  It looks very cute, and we are excited for the girls to have a room that actually looks put together. 

I’ve been cleaning and organizing in the 5 minutes I have each day in my body’s effort to nest before this transition.



I’ve also been soaking up this week with just Sylvie and Naomi home, since Bella started Kindergarten last week.  We’ve gone to the Children’s Farmstead, the nature center, the park, a kids concert, the children’s museum, read lots of books, played lots of make-believe, and had lots of snuggle time.  I have absolutely loved having a little bit of special time to spend really taking in my two youngest baby girls.

Sylvia, on the other hand, will be very excited and ready for Tootaw to get here.  Not that she hasn’t had fun with Mommy this week – she has – but she’s used to having a playmate home with her, and she has missed Bella while she’s at school.  I think she’ll be happy to have another sister to play with all day.


So, all that to say, I’m not really sure how to be “ready” to add another daughter to your household, magically turning your two year old into twins.  Of course, that is the story of fostering.  But, God has always provided for us in our obedience to Him, and he will continue to do so, I can say with confidence. 


…..Here we go!  (prayers appreciated.)

August 22, 2012

First Day of Kindergarten.


Bella started Kindergarten last Wednesday.  We didn’t get any fabulous (read: posed.) pictures of the day.  Mostly because in an effort to cover up her shyness, Bella was trying to convince us that she didn’t really feel the need for us to be there, let alone acting as the paparazzi. 


I kind of wanted her to not want me to leave.



But, all in all it was very good that she felt so comfortable.  Her teacher is great and everyone I talk to who has had her has loved her.  She wasn’t even fazed when I had the conversation with her explaining that Bella is in foster care (red flag for a teacher!) and that she is in the midst of very serious medical treatment which requires some knowledge on her part – so, she scored points in my book!



Brian went into work late so that he could walk her into school with me.  We woke up early, got ready, and we all went out for a special first day of school breakfast.



At our special first day breakfast.


We took her in, found her cubby for her backpack and walked her to her seat – upon which she started coloring and was not fazed in the least that we walked out of the room.





At the “Rose Ceremony” where they pair each of the Kindergarteners up with a  6th grader to be their mentor.

The next day when she had to go back, she looked a little puzzled.

Oh, you mean that I forgot to explain the insignificant detail that you will be going to kindergarten every day?  oooops.  She was mostly ok with that.  It seems strange to me too, that she won’t ever just be home all the time again.


Anyway, she is doing beautifully at school, which I am so thankful for. 

16 Months.

My Naomi-Roo, you are 16 months old.

It hurts my heart a little bit, because already when I try to think back on when you were really little bitty, (although you are still pretty little bitty) it is hard to remember.  I’d be even more sad if you weren’t such a wonderful toddler, but you are.




It’s actually difficult for me to think of you as a toddler just yet, even though you are, because you are still so little.  You are itty bitty and petite.  People marvel all the time at the fact that you walk, because they assume you are less than a year old!  You definitely take after me, little one.

That’s ok, what you lack in size, you definitely make up in VOLUME.  As in, you are LOUD.  I think that part of it is being the third youngest, soon to be the fourth – you want to make sure you are heard.  And let me reassure you child, you are heard.

You also have absolutely no shortage of passion.  Everything you do, you do passionately.  When you are happy, you are exuberant.  When you are mad, you are furious.  When you are sad, you are so pitiful. 




And when you are dramatic, oh my, you could rival any drama queen I’ve ever known.  You have got the drama down.  Again, I think that some of it is survival instinct.  You’ve got to hold your own in a house full of girls – but you can go from giggling to bawling and back to happy like turning on and off a light switch.  You’ve actually got me a little worried about ages 2 and 3 – but I’m sure your just getting it all out now…….right?

Most of the time you are joyful.  So, so joyful.




You’ve started talking some, which I love.  You can say Mama, Daddy, Hi, Yeah, No, ippy-pup (sippy cup), owwww, and a few others that I’m sure I’m forgetting.  You understand everything we say now.  And one thing is for sure, it is always abundantly clear exactly what you want, and that you want it right now.


You’re still nursing, and you seem to be hanging on a little more than your sister did.  I think that you are more jealous of me that your sister ever was – which could make for an interesting transition when PoppSecret #3 gets here.  I’m not sure you’ll embrace being a big sister right away – but hopefully eventually you’ll be friends.




What do you love right now?


You’ve started playing with baby dolls.  You carry them around giving them hugs and kisses.  Very cute.  Although more often, you are being the baby doll for your eldest sister – which is also very cute.


You like to sit and look at books with me.  I soak it up.  It’s hard to find a quiet moment around here – but I love spending them reading books with you.






You love your Mama.  You are quite the Mommy’s girl.  You want me to hold you, well, pretty much all the time, and if I’m there you don’t usually want anyone else.  Although you do love your Daddy a lot, too.  Every day when he gets home from work you run to him yelling and give him a big squeeze.  You’re a snuggler for sure.  You love to snuggle.


What I find you doing most often is sorting things and/or stacking them.  Yup, I think you may have inherited your Daddy’s brain too.  You also love anything that resembles a bag, and you walk around putting things in your bag and taking them out.  It is obvious by watching you that there is some method to your madness, but I’ve yet to figure it out.


You love your sisters.  I think.  Sometimes at least.  But sometimes it’s hard being the little one putting up with your sisters antics.  Bella watches out for you.  She loves you so much.  And just recently you and Sylvia have started holding hands everywhere we go.  It is precious and makes my heart want to explode.







I wish I could keep going.  It just seems like there is so much personality pouring out of you right now, and I don’t want to forget.  Unfortunately right now you are yelling “Mama!” at me and holding up a princess shoe, because you want to wear them just like your sisters.


I love you sweet baby.  You bring me so much joy and I am so happy that God has trusted me to be your Mama.  I pray for you every day, and I pray to be the kind of Mama that God wants me to be.  I am sure I will fail sometimes.  I am sure I will require grace.  But I am also sure that I will love you forever, and that you will always be my little Roo.


Love you, love you, love you,


August 14, 2012

Horn Creek 2012

  We just got back from Horn Creek on Saturday and have been slowly adjusting back to normal non-vacation life.  We had such a great time at Horn Creek.  I wouldn’t describe it as relaxing, but it’s pretty doubtful we’ll be describing anything as relaxing in the next several years.  We met lots of new families, and since it was foster and adoptive week we (for once!) didn’t feel like the weird ones.  We didn’t even seem like we had a large family in this group – it was great!  We even got to meet a family who, prior to camp, we had only had contact through the blog!

  Tootaw did great the whole week, and I’m pretty convinced that she will be our easiest child.  She’s pretty quiet, and actually listens when I ask her to do something!  (Who knew children like that existed???)  It was a great bonding time for her with us and Bella absolutely loved having her there.

  One of my greatest concerns in having Tootaw move in has been Sylvia – because they are the same age and Sylvia will have to share Bella with someone who she is, by default, more attached to than to Sylvia. About halfway through the week Brian had a conversation with Sylvia about having Tootaw with us and gave her the opportunity to share if she didn’t like the dynamic of her being there.  Sylvia thought about it for a moment and then said, “Nope, I just like having another stister.”  That gave this Mama a little sigh of relief.  I love that girl and her big heart.


  We managed to come home with nothing short of one concussion, one broken arm, three cases of pink eye, one child with a fever, and one child with a bad rash all over her face.  Let’s hear it for vacation!



Naomi LOVED playing in the rocks and dirt.  She could have done that all day everyday and been happy.






Sylvia and Tootaw on the hanging log.  (They hang a log from the ceiling and you and a partner have to straddle it and try to knock each other off with pillows.) 



Bowling, which I’m pretty sure was Tootaw’s favorite part of the whole camp.  Although it was hard to tell.  Approximately 10 times per day she’d look up at me and say, “This is fun!”






Teeter tottering on half a log at the playground.






Catching pancakes for breakfast one morning!









Painting rocks to take home as souvenirs.












Swinging, which comprised about 3/4 of our week.



The swing that Sylvia fell off of and broke her arm.



Cousins.  Sylvia was saying, “It’s ok, Timmy will be safe because he is holding my hand.”



We drove into Colorado Springs one day and went to Garden of the Gods and Whit’s End.









Ice cream at Whit’s End.






Horseback riding at Western Night!  Sylvia and Tootaw both loved it – but after last year, we made sure that Bella stayed VERY far away from the horses!






Sisters at Western Night.



Square dancing.



The part of the week where everything starts to run together.  Sylvia fell off of the swing at the playground and got a concussion and broke her arm.  No. Fun.  I felt so bad for her, but she was so brave!  We took her straight to the clinic where they did x-rays and wrapped her up.






On a nature hike.



We had another fun year at Horn Creek.  For the returning families, it’s fun to watch everyone’s families grow and change.  We feel so blessed to get to have such a wonderful vacation tradition with our girls.


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