September 28, 2012

Our Littlest.

We have lots of littles around here.  Lots of very cute littles. 

But I thought it was about time that I post about the very, very littlest of our Popp clan.

Ya know,



the one inside there???


We’ve actually known for some time whether our newest little one would leave Brian feeling a little less lonely in our family – I’ve just not posted.  Insert sheepish look (I guess some of what they say about those later siblings maaayyy be true.).


But, we are very excited that we will be having a little baby girl come January!

Which will leave us with no fewer than 5 girls ages 5 and under – making for a very giggly household, and a very interesting high school experience for Mom and Dad.  (interesting….or completely terrifying.)


We’re keeping PoppSecret#3’s name under wraps until we meet her face to face, as has become our tradition.

My pregnancy is going very well.  This little one already makes herself known through her crazy movement.  I think she must be brushing up on her kick boxing skills in there – because there are no gentle movements for this little lady.  Half the day I feel a little like I’m in a car on a bumpy road, halfway expecting that the next kick my actually knock me off my balance.  She’s feisty already.  She’ll have to be around here.


Bella absolutely loves feeling her move in my belly and feeling the little poky parts she juts out.  She gives my belly kisses and talks to the baby.

Sylvia isn’t quite as patient to wait for movements, but she talks to the baby a lot.  She calls her baby Loo-loo – which is entirely too cute for words.

At night when we say our prayers one of the girls always chooses to pray for baby loo-loo and it makes my heart explode every time.  She will be one loved little baby – even if the kisses and hugs don’t feel so loving.


I am 26 weeks this week – which is entirely too close to 40 if you ask me.  Pretty soon we’ll be welcoming little baby Loo-loo to this crazy family, and we will love her more than she’ll know what to do with.

We’re going the home birth route this time.  Which reminds me, have you seen Jim Gaffigan’s latest comedy routine on home birth?  I could only find a link to his appearance on Letterman, but seriously, if you do the ‘earthy birthy’ thing, it is hilarious. 

I am super looking forward to our home birth, though, and afterward will probably give you more details than you really want.  Because that’s what post-natal hormonal mothers do. 


We can’t wait to meet baby Loo-loo.  I am already in love with her.  It’s her that’s going to have the real adjustment getting used to this crazy bunch!

September 26, 2012

Searching for the Light.


  After a few days of processing the status of the girls’ case,  this is what I have decided:


There is nothing I can do to change what the court has already ordered.

Jesus has a plan in this, and he will use it to glorify Himself and bring redemption if we make ourselves available – that is, if we choose to be obedient.


So, I am trying to remain open to opportunities that this may create that otherwise would not have been.


This will absolutely give us more opportunities to love on our girls, and to show them that we are here for them and are supporting them regardless of the chaos of their world.  It will possibly give opportunities for processing some difficult stuff before we have to discuss the big ‘A’* word with little souls that will struggle to understand.  (*adoption.)


It is possible that this could re-open doors for us to build a relationship with their mother – to learn her hurt, to know her needs, to show her love while we have the opportunity to.  But not to judge her or show anger toward her – although this is SO tempting.


Maybe this could end up providing the girls with some closure that they otherwise would not have had?  Maybe?


And *maybe* this will give us some time to feel out what kind of open adoption routes are actually feasible and healthy in the future.



And I am praying that God will work in ways through these challenges that I am not even able to foresee – ways that I can’t imagine – and that through all of this He will protect my girls’ hearts, minds, self-worth, innocence, purpose, and their willingness to be vulnerable.


He used what Jesus’ friends and followers saw as the end as the very beginning and to create hope that will never cease.  I believe He can use this in the same way.

September 21, 2012

Even Hope in the Ashes.

We finally just got a call from the caseworker regarding yesterday’s hearing.


The conversation started like this:

Caseworker: Well, I have to call and tell you this, but you aren’t going to like it.


If that’s not a stellar set up, then I don’t know what is.

Essentially, this is what happened -


I guess in our state, the state has to file a “motion to sever parental rights” before the goal can officially be changed to adoption, or a TPR hearing can be set.  (Different than the state I worked in.)

This motion was not filed prior to the hearing yesterday.  I’m really trying not to feel frustrated (read: irate) about this, because I don’t even know who to be upset at.  I’m not certain who’s responsibility it was to file it.


So the state is going to file the motion sometime in the next two weeks, with a new hearing set for October 18th.  Prior to the hearing they will have a conference to determine whether or not enough “progress” has been made to keep them from setting a TPR hearing.  (How could that be possible?  What, so, in the next three weeks we’re going to obtain housing, clean UA’s, a job, therapy, etc.?  I can’t imagine what “enough” is at this point.)  If they can’t find valid progress, on October 18th they will set it out for a TPR hearing.


But here’s the kicker.  The judge, in all his wisdom, after reading the court report at the start of the hearing, ordered that between now and October 18th that the girls have visits with Mom.


Did you miss that part about Bella throwing up 4 times a week while having visits?

And also did you miss that she has a potentially terminal illness that could be effected by that kind of stress on her body?

And that part that talked about how since visits have stopped completely that the girls’ health, behavior, stress and anxiety levels, and food issues have all vastly improved?  What about that?

And I can’t figure out what in the world makes anyone think that Mom is going to be stable and actually stick around for long enough to accomplish anything.  Did we forget that she just showed up out of nowhere after going missing for 6 months?


I know what this sounds like – and I am not that foster parent.  Brian and I bent over backward for the better part of this case to support reunification – we were Mom and Dad’s biggest advocates, strongest cheerleaders.


But now you’re going to go and screw with my girls – further traumatize them – when it’s clear this case is going nowhere?


It’s not a good idea to piss a Mama off like that.





So for now, I will do the only thing that I can do, and that is to take it to Jesus.  I know that in the end, he can work out all things for the good of those that love Him – and I am trusting, that eventually, in time, He will do the same here.

I will pray for my girls.

I will pray for the case.

I will continue to pray for their parents.  For redemption in their lives and healing for their brokenness – just not while they are simultaneously further traumatizing their children.  My children.

Lord, bring beauty from these ashes.  Be glorified.  Show us how to love well when it is so difficult to forgive and let go.  You are here even when it all seems so broken – remind me of my brokenness so that I can love instead of judge, and forgive instead of harbor anger.

You are the loving redeemer.  Redeem this, Lord.  Redeem this.

September 19, 2012

Tootaw’s Birthday.

Tootaw turned the big 0-3 on the 7th!  This extends the streak of our kids having birthdays within a week of moving in with us.  That always makes it difficult to feel like we have a well thought out celebration, or to figure out what it is that would make them feel super special.

I knew that Tootaw really enjoyed bowling at Horn Creek (she talked about it more than anything else we did.) so I thought it would be fun for us all to go bowling together.




Of course, most of the game of bowling was spent anticipating opening the presents…

Earlier in the day we went to the grocery store, and I asked Tootaw if she’d like to pick out what kind of cake we could make together for her birthday.  She said “No!” indignantly, as if it were the worst idea ever.  Puzzled, I asked why not.  “Because I want tuptakes!”


I wish I could post more pictures, but most of them have the girls’ faces in them!

Our friends, the Ketters, joined us to celebrate – which made for lots of little girls enjoying cupcakes!

Happy Birthday, sweet girl.  We love you, and are so blessed to have gotten to help you celebrate your third birthday.  I hope you know how much you are loved, and that you are a cherished part of our family.  I hope you loved the “bowding” and the “tuptakes”.  I pray for you everyday, that God would capture your heart and lead you into the little girl, and someday big girl, and someday woman, that he created you to be. 

Love you, love you, love you,
  Mama Maggie

September 18, 2012

Apple Picking.


I always went apple picking growing up.  Then we’d come home and make apple pies and cinnamon rolls with the leftover pie crust.  I love it, and it seems like great kick off to fall – and one of my favorite parts of having a family is building our own traditions and memories.

After the drought this year, there weren’t tons of apples, but we went and picked our peck.




A belly pic, since I have been so painfully negligent at documenting this pregnancy.  25 weeks this week!



This is the part during apple picking where the girls were so ridiculously cute with this cat that I instantly became sure that our family was in need of another feline.

This is why it’s good that these are the kinds of decisions that we let sit for a while.



The girls looooved the chickens (although I didn’t walk away thinking we needed a chicken.)  Especially Tootaw.  She said the chickens were her favorite part of apple picking.










So proud that she picked her own apple!





Sylvia: These apples are so heavy!  Let’s do teamwork!






In our family, no trip anywhere would be complete without doing some swinging.



My (very small) daredevil.



Our loot.  Which turned into a very tasty pie.

September 17, 2012

Update, waiting, trusting.



I couldn’t possibly update you on everything that’s been happening, because even just the past week has been insane – lots of scary unknown illness, lots of case plan craziness, lots of drama that I don’t even like to think about in my own head – so I won’t share it with yours.


So anyway,  things that are pertinent and need prayer.


Bella and Tootaw have a hearing this Thursday. 


Brake.  Rewind.  I don’t think I’ve let you in on the fact that Dad has been MIA for the last 8 weeks.  Don’t know where he is, can’t get a hold of him, no contact with the agency – poof.


So, like I said, a hearing this Thursday, and although I think it’s where we’d be anyway, due to Mom and Dad’s disappearances and other shenanigans as of late, she is definitely recommending that the case goal be changed to adoption.


This means lots of pain and processing for my girls.  This means that we may become forever sooner than later.  This means that my daughters will finally be able to work toward some healing.  This means that my four girls would officially and legally be sisters (ya know, after like, three more court hearings.)




Overall I think that at this point this is what is best for the girls – but it is still heartbreaking.  I get easily overwhelmed at the thought of all that they will have to process, the hurdles they must cross, and the hurt they will encounter.  But, God is good, and he will walk us through this marathon one step at a time until we reach the end.  I do pray that at this point they go ahead and change the goal.  For the goal to remain reunification seems an act of futility with the direction the case has taken in the last 6-8 months.


If you could pray for the hearing, I would be so grateful.  It seems like we are waiting anxiously for something so momentous, but equally as devastating.




And, of course, foster care could not be so obliging as to make for an easy decision…

So two weeks before the hearing, who shows up out of nowhere? 


Requesting a visit.

After 6 months of being MIA.

This post would quickly be much too long if I went into how infuriating that is to me.  BUT, praise God, the caseworker sees things the same way that we do and acknowledges how traumatic it would be for the girls to have a visit at this point.  She has decided no visit prior to the hearing, and only afterward if it is court ordered.  That was a blessing for us, for the girls, and for Bella’s health.




So, that is a (very) quick recap of where we are in the girls’ case right now.  Thursday couldn’t be over fast enough.  We will see what happens, for now, just trying to trust.

September 6, 2012



We knew that a few would rear their heads sooner or later.  It’s taken from the book, “When You Add a Fourth Child to Your Family Through Foster Care.”

That’s a book.  You haven’t read it?  Arg.  Me either.  You should write it.  It would be helpful.





Tootaw is really doing well transition-wise.  No huge behaviors, no vomit (praise the good Lord.), not really even any hysterics.  This leaves a lot to be thankful for.

The challenges thus far have surfaced in other ways, though. 

I’m getting a hold of our Infant Toddler Services program today to have some assessments done.  There are more than a handful of things that I have noticed since she’s been with us that make me think that we might have some issues to hurdle.

Developmental?  Sensory Processing?  Drug exposure related? 

I’m not sure.  But I sure as heck am not comfortable pretending like it’s nothing.


I couldn’t list all the things I’ve noticed.  It would probably look more like a pamphlet than a blog post.  Examples?


Tootaw turns three tomorrow.  She doesn’t know her colors, her shapes, ANIMALS, animal noises, how to dress herself, and her speech is almost impossible to decipher most of the time.  This wouldn’t concern me as much if she were moving here straight from home – then I would just chock it up to being behind, lack of exposure – but she’s been in a foster home for over a year and hasn’t caught up.




Recall seems to be very challenging.  Today we did a big art project centered around the color yellow – yellow paint, yellow puff balls, yellow popsicle sticks, yellow balloons, etc. – everything was yellow.  We talked about different things that are yellow (although she couldn’t come up with any) and, in general, obsessed over the color yellow.

Two minutes later (literally) we were in the living room and I held up a yellow hair bow and said, “Tootaw, what color is this!?!?!” 

Blank stare.  No recollection.  She really. didn’t. know.




We read through a book of animals approximately 500 times a day (probably not really.) because animals and their noises are what Naomi (at 16 months) is learning right now. 

I can point to a horse and ask Tootaw what it is, and she doesn’t know.  So we talk about it being a horse, how she rode one at Horn Creek, and what sound it makes.

Two pages later, I can turn back in the book and ask her what the horse is or what sound it makes – blank stare.  She doesn’t know. 




Hard to say what the culprit is.  Drug exposure is a possibility.  She’s also experienced a lot of trauma in the last year and half, which has had unknown effects on her brain.  Also, clearly no one in her last foster home was paying enough attention to notice that she is seriously behind developmentally.  Lots of factors.




I’m hoping to get some assessments for services started sooner than later.  It will help me know how to help her, and it will help me to have more patience with it all.  Cause you know, life wasn’t already insane.


Thoughts from anyone who has experienced this?


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