June 30, 2013

6 Months.



You are loved.  Obsessively.  Rarely do you have a moment when you aren’t being smothered in love and attention. 

The life of a fifth child in a house full of mommies.




Sometimes I wonder what all this overstimulation is doing to your little brain.  But you seem happy enough – I think you’ll survive.  I think.


This month has brought all kinds of change for you.  All of a sudden you’ve figured out that you can move.  If there is something you want, you roll to it.  If you can’t roll to it, you squirm to it.  And, as the most recent development, if you can’t squirm to it, you army crawl to it. 


First time in the swing!  Sharing with your sister of course.

Five and a half months and you learned to army crawl.  It’s like you have four sisters to keep up with or something.  You also get up on your elbows and knees and rock, so I don’t think it will be any time at all until you are legit crawling.  Let’s repeat this together, ‘stationary is good. stationary is good.  stationary is good.’.


You’ve also started babbling this month!  It’s adorable.  No bias.  Much to your Daddy’s chagrin, your first babble was not ‘Dadadada’ like it was with your sisters.  It’s an unintelligible ‘Lablablabla’.  Definitely not Mama, but it’s not Dada either. Ha!


One morning when I went in to get you, this is what I found.  I think they love you.


You still do your awesome giggle.  Anytime you get remotely excited about anything you start to chuckle.  Huuuhhuuuhhhuuuhh.  I love it.  You’re a happy girl.


Essentially, as long as you are being held, you are happy.  You’ll do a few minutes in your exersaucer every once in a while.  But mostly you just like to be with Mommy, always facing out so you can see what’s going on.  Maybe you’ve just figured out that it’s a safer vantage point than on the floor with your sisters – but if your being held you’re happy. 


You love your sisters.  You giggle at them at the drop of a hat, and (most of the time) you love it when they hold you or make some silly attempt at entertaining you.  They love you too.  So much.  They are constantly singing to you, kissing you, hugging you, begging to hold you, and bringing you toys.  If you are upset, there is immediately at least one little mama there to try to make it better.  This morning when Naomi woke up, she crawled in bed with us and said, “Oh, I love you Vi-Vi.  Sissy’s here.”, and gave you about 200 kisses.  It’s adorable.  Sylvia is always singing to you and entertaining you with silly dances and sounds.  You think she’s hilarious.  She loves that you think she’s hilarious.  It works out well.  Tootaw is so sensitive to your needs.  She’s always telling me what you want when you’re upset.  Bella loves to hold you.  She looks out for you too, and is quick to reprimand anyone who isn’t treating you like a princess.

Oh, there’s that too.  This month we found out that Bella and Tootaw will be your sisters forever.  They were there the day you were born, and they’ll be there for your first birthday and every birthday after.  You can’t talk, but I know you’re rejoicing.



Bella snuggled up reading to you.


I’ve not given you any food yet.  I think we’ll wait a little bit.  Although, holy cow, you’ve gotten grabby.  I can hardly hold you when I’m eating because you pull anything off the table you can.  I think you may start exploring food all on your own by stealing mine.  Like last night when you stuck your hand in your sisters ice-cream cone and then put it in your mouth.  You approved.


You’ve gotten a little picky about who is holding you.  Right now you mostly like Mama and Daddy, which is just fine with me.  Daddy and I are learning a lot about attachment right now, and I’m just fine with you being securely attached to us.  I wouldn’t want it any other way.  I’ll hold you all you want.  We tried to leave you with our friends for the first time so that Daddy and I could go on a date, and we ended up picking you up about an hour into the date because you weren’t as gung-ho about the plan as we were.  That’s ok,  we’ll have plenty of time to go on dates without you.  For now we’ll just soak up that you want to be with us.



We’ve started putting you in your crib at the beginning of the night and bringing you in with us when you wake up.  You usually make it until about 1:00…which is almost too long for me.  I love snuggling you, so don’t get too used to that crib!  …mostly kidding, I don’t think you aim to stay in your crib all night for a while yet.




Your smile is contagious, as is your laugh.  I can honestly say that you bring joy to each and every member of our family.  We are so thankful that God gave you to us.  Anyone who might think that a fifth+ child might get less love and attention has never seen the adoration that you get.  We love you little lady.  So. So. Much.


Love you, love you, love you,


June 24, 2013

Goodbye and forever.


Last Wednesday the girls had their ‘goodbye visit’ with their mother.  Ever since the hearing we’ve been debating how to go about all of this.  Do we prepare them ahead of time?  Do we wait until after the visit so that we can be the comforters vs. the bearers of bad news?  How do we talk about something so traumatic?

Well, it turned out we didn’t have much say in the matter, because they called us Tuesday night to let us know the visit was on Wednesday.  Well then.  So much for preparation. 

Brian took the girls to the visit (an hour and a half away) so that one of us could be there for them afterward.  Also, I had recently e-mailed their birth mom a bunch of pictures from Disney and never heard back, so I wanted him to ask and make sure I had the right e-mail. 


The visit actually went relatively well.  Mom didn’t even discuss it being the final visit, but did give the girls some pictures of the family before leaving.  I have a lot of respect for her ability to not make it an emotional blood bath – because, really?  I can’t even imagine.  The only thing that could have gone better is if Mom would have taken some time to verbally give the girls permission for us to be their family, for them to love us and move on.  But, having been in this field for a while, none of us were really expecting that.



When they got home from the visit, we went ahead with bedtime.  Bella was clearly contemplative and a little quiet.  Then she asked it,

“Was that my very last visit with my Mom ever?”

I’ve been thinking about, praying about, preparing for this conversation for so long, and still it was like a punch in the gut.

“Yes sweetheart.  Yes, it was.”

Knowing that if at any point it is appropriate for the girls to have contact with their mom that we would be all for it – it was difficult not to want to comfort her with that.  But, from what we’ve learned (purvis, purvis, purvis) it is better to be straightforward and not give hope for what might not happen, at the risk of implanting a hope in a child that they could hang on to for years without any resolution.

She went on to ask all the questions.  Why?  How long is forever?  What is adoption?  Will I ever see them again?  Are they dead? 

Tootaw doesn’t understand what is happening at all.  Not at all.

Lots and lots of questions.  Lots of tears.  Some obvious relief for having some concrete answers.  Some relief that she does not have to say goodbye to us.  Lots of heartbreak. 



Since then we’ve seen a huge resurgence of trauma behaviors.  Trauma tantrums with hitting, kicking, spitting, biting.  The difference between a year and a half ago and now is that she trusts us, so with lots of help from Empowered to Connect, we are able to work through it.  We are able to provide comfort.  We can love her through it and connect through the pain.

But jeez, what I wouldn’t give to not have to go through all this trauma again.  We had worked through so much.  So. Much.  And now here we go again.  But this time around we are investing in forever. 


Thank you Lord.


Prayers for the hearts of our sweet girls are coveted.  Healing will come.  It will.

June 7, 2013

Popps in 2013.


Yesterday was the permanency hearing for the girls, to follow up the termination hearing we had in May.  I wasn’t really expecting to get any news from this hearing – the purpose was just to legally change the goal of the case from reunification to adoption. (!!!)




I got an e-mail from the caseworker today letting me know that the judge actually set a hearing date to finalize the adoption, saying that it should give the agency plenty of time to complete the adoption. (When I imagine it, the judge has a whip in his hand and snaps it as he gives the order.)

And so it’s set.  We will legally become a forever family on

                    December 5, 2013.


It seems like we’ve been waiting for so long.  Waiting for some kind of light at the end of the tunnel.  Some kind of permanency.

Not only for the last two years, but for our entire fostering journey our mindset has always been, has had to be,

we’ll see what happens.

who knows what will happen.

we’re just not sure where things are headed.

we can’t be sure until it’s over.

It’s kind of just become a way of life for us, and now, all of a sudden, we know what is going to happen.  We know what is going to happen, and it is adoption.

It seems so surreal.  I don’t think we ever really thought we’d get here.  We’ve been foster for 5 years and have never been in this place.

We’re adopting.

They will be ours.  Our daughters.  Forever.


December 5, 2013.

And you better believe that as of then, I will be posting their beautiful names, and posting hundreds of pictures of their beautiful faces.  Faces whose names will end in Popp.

They’ll be Popps.




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