Tuesday, October 30, 2007

This Could Have Been My Girls...

This could have easily been my girls in this situation:

Why some are spared and some are not remains one of the greatest mysteries to me. I can only pray that these children will be adopted, too.

My girls' birthparents are all cocaine addicts. My girls will never, ever have to experience a life like these children have. I wish I could save them all. I wish I could do more. I pray this encourages more families to foster and adopt. Here's 8 kids who desperately need families.

God, I don't understand why my girls were able to avoid this kind of existence while other children suffer. I am grateful, but humbled. Please keep these children safe. Please send them to permanent families that will never, ever abuse or neglect them ever again. Please show me ways I can do more.

Friday, October 26, 2007


The best news so far:

This week there was a court hearing for Honey Bun in which the new social worker petitioned for Honey Bun's goal to be changed from "return to parents" to "ADOPTION". And it was granted!

At the same time, she petitioned to deny services to incarcerated biomom, and that was GRANTED! Biomom isn't eligible for parole until May 08, and it isn't expected to be awarded then.

The social worker hasn't talked to alleged biodad, but he may have already gone for his DNA testing. I will be taking Honey Bun in on Thursday at 8:30 am for her part. At that point they will tell me if alleged biodad has done his part as well.

The next court date is November 26th. At that point, the social worker will appear before the judge and they will make sure all is in order for the TPR petition. Then, she will get a court date for TPR! They are wasting no time.

Even if alleged biodad turns up a positive match, they will petition to deny services and TPR on him. He's a vastly inappropriate placement. He would also have to pay child support to the state. If he makes contact, SW will counsel him to relinquish his rights voluntarily. Social worker says it would be best to get a positive DNA test as the legal paperwork would be faster and "tidier". If that's what she says, then that's what I'll pray for.

So, at best we will get at TPR date around the end of this year/beginning of next year. At worst, the DNA test will be negative and it will take an extra few months to do the legal work on legal husband as father and terminate his rights.

At any rate, I got all the answers I needed. I asked if there was any serious risk of Honey Bun leaving. I got a confident "No." I told the social worker how scared I was. She totally understood, and was very kind. She has 25 cases right now, and she's anxious to turn this one over to an adoption worker as soon as humanly possible. She's familiar enough with the case to know that TPR will be a major celebration.

This is indeed the best news we could have gotten at this point.

We celebrated with Chinese takeout. It was delicious. We are relieved.

Please leave Honey Bun your congratulations in the comments! She's one step closer to permanency! I'll put your comments in her lifebook. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The New Social Worker DOES Exist!

...and she actually returned my call. She seemed extremely busy/preoccupied and just called to set the appointment with us for this month's home visit. We are supposed to meet tomorrow (Friday) at 4. I don't know how much she will know at that point. If she was just handed the case, it may very well be that WE will do more telling HER what the family history is. At any rate, we have a worker who has scheduled a visit. If she shows up as promised, those of you who took voted it would be before November 1st would have been correct. Of course, I may have helped out the cause by actually calling them...again.

Things I want to ask her tomorrow:
Have you talked with the alleged biodad? If so, what are his intentions?
How much do we know about this alleged biodad and his criminal background? Have you run the CBC on him yet?
How long does he have to go get the DNA testing done? Do we have to take Honey Bun in too?
When will you act for TPR on her birthmom who is incarcerated?
If alleged biodad does not prove to be the biological father, then what happens?
If he does prove to be the biodad, will Honey Bun have to go to visits?
Could Honey Bun go to him or his family? If that were to happen, how would you assure Honey Bun would be protected from biomom when she gets out of jail?
When will the next court date be, and what will happen at that next court session?

What I really want to know, but won't ask:
Who's really looking out for Honey Bun's best interest? Does the law actually take HER into account, or just the abusive drug addict felons - one with 3 prior involuntary TPRs against her?
Who's looking out for the best interest of MY DAUGHTER and the fact that you have placed HER SISTER with her to be raised as HER SISTER, and yet the goal remains "return to parents".
Who is looking out for Cookie, and how she feels in all this (besides us)?
Who is looking out for Michael and I in all this? Who is looking out for the best interest of OUR family? How are you going to ensure that is considered as well?

Let me assure you, no matter what happens with the state, we are prepared to fight. Michael assured me that we will do ALL we can to make sure Honey Bun does not leave. I will work round the clock scraping road kill if I have to. On next week, my baby girl will be 3 months old. We are the only mommy and daddy she has ever known (except Ms. Ann who did respite care for her first week home from the hospital - God Bless Ms. Ann). We are her parents. We were given 2 minutes to decide if we wanted to take her and come back from Florida. Yet this alleged biodad has had MONTHS to get off his butt and decide to do something. That's not fair. He should have had 2 minutes as well.

I will be play nice tomorrow. But Ms. New Social Worker will not be leaving until I am satisfied that she has answered my questions. She'll be on my turf, and it's my turn to get some answers. I've waited long enough for a visit and conversation - that's the least we deserve.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Oh, Great

Honey Bun's alleged biodad had contacted the county attorney's office to get set up to prove paternity. If he is the biological father, it will open up all kinds of potential for Honey Bun to be placed with any member of his family - even if he isn't a fit parent. My heart just stopped beating for a while.

She's been assigned her new worker - but I only learned THAT and the news above because I CALLED the supervisor. I hate that. I just hate it.

Update: It's midnight Tuesday night/Wed. morning. I can't sleep. I came home from teaching today and spilled my heart to Michael, who listened patiently while the girls were asleep. I cried. This is the first time I have cried in fear of loosing this child. I cried with Cookie's case, but there was a lot then that I didn't know. I feel wiser now, and more jaded. Michael feels very confident that Honey Bun isn't going anywhere - ever. I wish I felt that confident and calm.

When Honey Bun woke up at 10 tonight I fed her a fresh warm bottle, and she never took those huge grey-blue eyes off my face. She feels as if she came from my body in the same way Cookie feels that way to me.

Each morning Cookie runs into the nursery and sticks her hand through the bars of the crib to grab her sister's tiny hand. She usually cheerfully (and loudly) announces "Hi Sissy!" and grins the biggest grin. I can't imagine that not being there.

This is the hardest job I have ever had. Yet, ironically, it is the best as well.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

2nd Time Around Observations

Observations of the day:
1 - With our second child, there is much less angst and guilt involved in simply putting a wailing baby (who is obviously well, fed and changed, etc.) down in her crib and closing the door, and going about your business for a few minutes.

That used to freak me out to the point I would cry.

Now, I'm blogging for a moment while Honey Bun "cries it out" in the next room. She's fine. She's just extremely cranky today, and I refuse to let that rain on my Kentucky vs. Florida parade.

2 - It is much easier to put the baby to bed awake and even let her "fuss it out" if she's been fed and changed and held for a while beforehand.

It used to be so hard to even think about putting Cookie down. Now, bedtime is fantastic. Some days it can't come soon enough. I bring Honey Bun into bed on occasion when I'm really exhausted and she won't settle down. But those are much fewer the 2nd time around.

3 - I don't think near as many things are "my fault". If my baby isn't happy and smiling, it likely has little to do with me. There, I said it. :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Student Question of the Year

When passing out the midterm exam in my 400-level, Persuasion class (in the major!), a student looks up and asks, "Is this a test??"

I reply, "It's the midterm exam" and calmly proceed to pass out the rest of the copies to the class.

I do not know how I kept from either cussing him out, smacking him upside his fool head, or laughing so hard I wet my pants. All of the above entered my mind.

(And, yes, I know what you are wondering. He did fail the exam.)

Monday, October 15, 2007

At Age 36...

...I am now the proud owner of my first BRAND NEW car ever. We bought a Saturn VUE over the weekend, and it feels downright luxurious. I highly recommend the heated leather seats, XM radio, and OnStar complete with your own phone number that rings right into your car and allows you to make calls with the push of a button and just talk as you drive. I swear, I think I'm having an affair with my car. Every time I look in the garage, I can't believe it. No more car shopping! Woo hoo!!

And I must say, the experience at Saturn was great. It was downright humane. We were treated like people, respected, and never pressured to do a thing. Every move was ours. And I walked away knowing that I would refer anyone to that dealership any time. Now that is one good experience. Imagine actually recommending a car dealership? And no, this isn't one of those blog-ads either. I really, really enjoyed picking out the car and buying it. it was a breeze once we got there.

Oh, and it's dark blue with tan leather interior. Delicious! Michael says I look good in it. :)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Heard At Our House Today...

Setting: 7:30 am - a baby can be heard wailing from the nursery

Cookie: (jumping up out of bed) Baby cry! (Cookie runs into nursery)
Cookie: (standing by the crib of said wailing baby) Don't cry baby!

Setting: the scene opens as Cookie runs into the closet and hides behind the clothes for the 2,347th game of "Where's Cookie?"

Mommy: Where's Cookie? Where did she go?
(giggling can be heard from behind the clothes)
Mommy: Is Cookie in the closet?
Faint Voice: Nooooo.
Mommy: She's not?
Faint Voice: No, NOT!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Today's Devotion

I tell you, I think I am one of the most blessed people on the face of the earth.

Jeremiah 33:3
"Call upon me, and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."

Indeed, I had no idea that when I called upon the Lord to bring me a child, that this is where I would be today.

"Give thanks to the Lord Almighty, for the Lord is good; his love endure forever."

As Jeremiah 33 shows us, the Lord will first judge his people, and then restore them in ways that they could never have imagined.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Honey Bun

This was taken a few weeks ago, but it took a while to get them back, and for us to get around to scanning and posting. Check out the hair on the kid!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A Closed Door Opens

The family that adopted Cookie's 2 older siblings a year before she was born had previously had a closed adoption (even closed from us). They just contacted the cabinet office, and asked to be able to get in touch with us. The two children have had liver and heart problems, so they are coming out of their private state to be able to share medical information with us. They live in another county, and I have no idea how the conversation will go over the phone. I thrilled, and scared at the same time. The two kids went through hell on earth. My kids didn't. My heart breaks for them. I am so grateful they are now willing to let themselves be known to us, and share whatever information they have. What a miracle!

My latest struggles - Cookie biting other kids at daycare on occasion & having horrendous night terrors (google it - they are NOT nightmares, and will scare the ish outta you - you will think your kid is possessed and/or having a seizure).

My latest praises - Cookie now pee-pees and poopies in her potty just about every day. She's still in diapers, but she loves sitting on her potty while mommy sits on her potty (we do our business together - it's both weird and cool). She also loves dumping her pee-pee and poopie in the big potty and then flusing it, waving to the waste and shouting "Bye bye pee pee!! Bye bye poo poo!!" What a ham.
Honey Bun is down to 2 wake-ups in the night (around 1 or 2 and then at 4 0r 5). She slept in the big crib in the other room last night for the first time, and Michael put on the new Bruce Hornsby jazz CD, which apparently is good for baby sleep.

Off to finish writing a midterm exam review guide for my students...ciao.