Saturday, September 12, 2015

The truth behind parenthood

I have struggled with infertility for 13 years.  Been through all kinds of medications, shots, ultrasounds, even major surgeries with no success of getting pregnant.

Fostercare was always something we considered and earlier this year we decided to finally move forward with it.  We went through the clearances, classes, evaluations, etc and we were approved and had our first placement on July 1st.  My husband and I thought "Finally!  We have our little family!  Just what we always wanted!"  And I personally thought "Yay!  I'll be this wonderful mom I always wanted to be!  I have no doubt we'll bond with any child and can handle anything thrown to us.  I'll always make time to play with him and give him one on one time, I'll plan special fun things like picnics in the living room on rainy days, make chocolate chip pancakes, go strawberry picking, do arts and crafts, go to the playground and the pool" etc etc etc.

See, I wanted to be a mom (or better a stay-at-home mom) for as long as I can remember.  I'm a "natural" caregiver to friends, family and even as my career.  I wanted all of those things I see everyone else have, school things, sports things, clubs, scouts, Christmas mornings....  I had it so built up in my head of how wonderful motherhood will be, how things will go so smoothly.  And then July 3rd happened.

Like I said, we got our placement on July 1st.  After 3 days I realized this was NOT what I signed up for and was NOT what I expected or built myself up for over the last 36 years.  (Due to legalities and privacy, I can't discuss details.)

What I discovered over the last two months is that parenthood is not peaches and cream all of the time.  From the many parents I've spoken to recently, it's not even peaches and cream 75% of the time.  More like 5-10%.  What is put out there from everyone (in public, on social media, etc) is the small wonderful percent.  What ISN'T put out there is the majority of the time, horrible, stressful, exhausting, boring or chaotic 90-95%.  I had a very sad, depressing and stressful 6 weeks or so and to be honest, I felt like a complete failure. I felt resentful, not specifically toward this little person in my home, but of the whole situation.  (I tried very hard not to take it out on him.)  Everything I had known about myself for 36 years feels like it's been all wrong and I'm not the person I thought I was.  If this huge part of me is completely wrong and apparently not the caregiver, maternal person I thought, then who the hell am I?

Expectations versus Reality.  Obviously, what I expected was not at all the reality.  Luckily, I've had an amazing support system of family, friends and even the foster agency we work with.  Everyone (specifically mothers) have helped me to know that generally most people have this Expectations versus Reality syndrome happen whether biological, adoption or foster.  It's normal and natural and most days are just about survival.  Making sure the child is fed something for breakfast, even if a piece of toast or leftover macaroni and cheese, is survival and those rare moments of actually having the time and making the effort to make chocolate chip pancakes is a rare occurrence.  People are not going to post a picture of toast, but they'll post a picture of chocolate chip pancakes.

As for bonding, I bond with everyone.  I bond with kids in line at the supermarket even.  Why would I have any problem bonding with a child in my home?  Well, because I get to see the naughty, resentful, challenging, lying, snotty, poopy, whiny, crabby, and sometimes downright EVIL side of this little person for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  I'm a great aunt!  I love my nieces to pieces and they're the most perfect little people in the world!  BUT I don't have to deal with the bad stuff.  I get the fun stuff and then send them home!  Seems like common sense, right?  I thought so too, but still, my brain apparently didn't believe it.  So 6 or 7 weeks after having this little person in my home, I'm FINALLY only STARTING to feel a bond toward him....and that's only sometimes!  lol

My point to this whole post is just to put the real, honest, down and dirty truth out there, especially to so many PCOSers who so desperately want a family and little feet running around (and they do run...pretty much from the moment they wake up until they finally shut their mouths and fall asleep.)  It's exhausting and frustrating and, most of the time, not so fun.  I am hoping that I come to a place with this that I say "it's still all worth it", but I'm not sure that I will anymore.  I might, there's time.  I'm not going to shut this whole thing down without giving it a really really good effort, but I'm starting to accept that perhaps motherhood is not meant for me, despite what I've always thought and what everyone in my life says and thinks.  I need to be honest with myself and my feelings are not wrong, even if they are much different than I thought they'd be.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Expectations versus Reality

Today is 2 weeks into our first placement.  There are a LOT of things I have learned already.  Expectations versus reality.

I expected to fall madly in love with this child right away.   While I did care for this child, I didn't have that unconditional love, I still don't.  I do care for him and feel like I can say I love him now, but it just hasn't been as quick or as strong as I thought.

I expected to be able to handle any bad behaviors or problems with little difficulty.   I thought we'd be able to handle anything we got thrown that we had check-marked on our ok list.  (The agency had us choose "will accept", "might accept", or "will not accept" for all kinds of different issues, like aggression, suicidal thoughts/behaviors, sexual abuse, different medical issues, etc.)  We both have a lot of experience with children of all ages and some experience with intellectual disabilities and bad behavior problems like aggression.  I didn't expect to struggle so much with what the right way is of handling certain behaviors and circumstances.  I realized I'm not all that and a bag of chips.  I don't know it all, I need help and it's ok to say I don't know it all and I need help.  It's been a very humbling experience.

I expected to have lots of bonding moments and fun times, baking together, crafts, summertime festivals, etc.  I guess I was thinking about the relationship we have with our nieces.  We have those fun times together, but what I wasn't really considering is that I don't see the tantrums, boredom, exhaustion, etc that mom and dad deal with.  We play with them and send them home.  This little one is here 24/7 through good times and bad.  The first week we were mostly focused on survival.  The second week has gotten much better and we're actually able to try some of those fun bonding times.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Expect the unexpected!

I don't know if anyone even follows this blog, but in case someone does, I apologize for not updating sooner.
We knew when the meeting to review our file was last week and we knew we should have a phone call the next day telling us the outcome. We were on pins and needles all day! (Well, probably only me since DH is so laid back.)  Finally around 4pm I get a call from someone else in the office.  I panicked initially thinking something was wrong, why wouldn't our normal case worker be calling?  She asked if we would be willing to take a placement!  I said, "uh...we're not approved yet", she said, "oh, yes you are, your cw just didn't get a chance to call you yet."  I'm like, seriously?  Maybe that should be the first call and THEN ask if we want a placement!  LOL

So, of course I can't go into any details about the situation and while I might be allowed to give generics, I'm very hesitant, soooo...I'm not really sure where this blog will go from here.  I'm afraid of posting anything "out there in internet world" even if it is generic.

Let me just say, there's a lot happening, it's been a very humbling experience so far, there were some very difficult moments (and days) where I seriously reconsidered the whole foster care experience completely!  It was a very difficult for me to suddenly have everything I knew for my whole life (wanting to be a mom) explode in my face and suddenly I didn't know if I even wanted it.

Things have settled a little and things are getting better.  However, this whole thing is so much more physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting than I expected it to be.  And I have NO free time it seems!  Which is why I haven't updated sooner.

I'll probably blog (hopefully soon) about my feelings through this process and just avoid child/case info.  Lots of learning happening here for me, much more than I expected.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Another delay, but will use this time to accomplish my to-do lists.

Due to office changes or some such baloney, they're holding off approvals until the NEXT committee meeting.  If you read a previous blog, you'll see we already have been put in front of the committee last month, but I guess since clearances and classes continued into this month, we have to be reviewed AGAIN.  This is so stressful.  So I have to busy myself for 2 more weeks with stress and worry that for some reason they won't like us or something in our past, our home, our jobs, our schedule, our relationship, our dog, our religion, our lifestyle, ANYTHING could just make them deny us.

Inside it's very painful for me and I'm so super emotional right now.  I want to yell from the rooftops to friends and family that we're going to have a family, but I'm afraid of telling anyone that doesn't already know.  Part of it is superstition....silly, I know, but what if we are denied, then we have to be embarrassed by telling all those people-nevermind, we're not good enough and we weren't approved.

So, I need to keep myself busy for the next two weeks (well, one and a half weeks now.  We were told this a few days ago, but I was too sad to blog about it, but I decided to blog anyway because I wanted accurate and honest records of this process.)  So here are my lists of to-do's to help keep me busy, get things accomplished and keep me from losing my sanity.


-Back porch (mostly all for hubby to deal with, not much I can do.)  *DONE
-Clean out spare bedroom closet  *DONE
-Deep clean spare bedroom  *DONE
-Remove ceiling fan and replace with ceiling light (in case we have bunkbeds) *DONE
-Bunkbed planning (we're considering building our own so we can customize it)
        This includes discussing details of what we want,
        measure, price wood, price mattresses and price
        actual bunkbeds in case it'll be cheaper/easier to
        just buy one.
-Organize binder with forms we'll need, there are several websites that give good tips for this, I listed them in my blog here.  *DONE


-Fix kitchen chair (the legs are loose, they need to be re-glued.  *DONE
-Get rid of broken garbage disposal and replace pipe *DONE
-Replace kitchen ceiling light (was a ceiling fan with light, but the fan doesn't work right) *purchased light, didn't replace yet.
-Clean and clean out both vehicles
-Tear down old shed (we have a new shed out back, but there's an old one that basically needs to be just torn down, nothing important is inside and the roof is falling apart on it.  My "plan" is to tear it down and have a nice patio sitting area in that space.  According to dh, he said it's a "weekend  job", he'll get a few friends and they can do it quickly.  The jury's out on whether I believe it's that quick of a job, but this job will wait until everything on priority 1 list is done at least.
-Make freezer meals to have quick meals on hand *Ongoing
-Defrost chest freezer.  I'm not sure how/when we can do this.  The freezer's pretty full and I don't know where we'd go with the stuff in it.  This might get demoted to a lower priority list just because it'll be a while until it's empty enough to do.


-Scrapbook (I'm over a year behind!  ugh!)
-Organize the upstairs offices *Ongoing  I have accepted we'll NEVER have the upstairs offices clean/organized enough for  My office, maybe, but my husband's will never meet my expectations.

So I have lots to keep me busy I guess, but it doesn't seem to be taking away any worry........

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Room layout

We're close enough to the end of the process that I feel comfortable doing a little bit of "prep" work, like actually getting the bedroom ready.  That means removing all of our scrapbooking stuff, treadmill, books, vacuum cleaner, etc.  Now to find a new home for all of that stuff...hmmm....

So, I'm looking around the room trying to figure out how to place the furniture that will give the kid room to play, while keeping at least one window accessible (per state requirement.)  It's a small room with 2 windows and the 2 pieces of furniture we have are a large dresser and a cabinet of sorts with a door and  mirror.  They are both extremely heavy!  So I don't want to move them around more than necessary!  lol  I found this gem of a website! (Click Here) You enter in measurements and you can move things around to get an idea of what fits where and how it'll look.  I love it!  Here are a few options we came up with.   I think we're leaning towards the last picture.  We can always change it around if the kid wants something different too, but we need some game plan to start.

Hopefully we'll be hearing from our agency today or tomorrow with the A-OK!  I'm trying to keep myself busy and not to stress.....I'm trying.....  

Monday, June 15, 2015

Foster Care Home Study Day!

You'd think I'd be nervous, right?  I wasn't, not really.  I actually thought it would be last week but I was mistaken, so I was prepared and nervous last week.  I worked 40 hours over the weekend, so when the appointment was for 9:30 am this morning (Monday) I was too exhausted to be

It was pretty simple and she had already given us a list of what she'd check (water temp 125 or below, outlet covers, medications and cleaners locked up, corded phone accessible with emergency contact list, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, emergency evacuation plan posted) so I felt confident (kinda) that we'd be ok.  And we were...almost...

The back porch is my husband's "workshop".  Actually it's just a mess of tools and "guy stuff" and I avoid going back there.  lol  However, I didn't realize she'd need to go back there (we did a walk through before and she didn't ask to see the back yard) so I was surprised and nervous when she asked to see it today.  Uh oh.....

Now, we have a pretty big yard, I mean not huge, but plenty of space for running and playing, sandbox, swingset, etc.  I figured with the ages we're looking at (0-10) they wouldn't be outside by themselves anyway, so I wasn't overly worried about his tools and randomness too much because they wouldn't be alone outside and there was plenty of space for them to play.  Don't get me wrong, getting it more organized and safe is definitely on the to-do list, but since it wasn't on the home study list and we didn't go over that in the initial walk through, I didn't make it a top priority for right now.

Well, she said it *shouldn't* stop the process, but getting the back porch "child friendly" needs to be a big priority right now.  That's fine and we'll get that situated this week (weather and husband pending...grrrr...) but it just makes me nervous and tense now.  I feel like I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop and something to complicate our getting approved and now I'm worried.  Worry worry's all I do.

Ok, so hoping that she's right and it won't stop the process, the next step is for her manager to sign off on our file, which she said the manager will be in the office Wednesday or Thursday, at that point, if all goes well, we can make an appointment to sign contracts and be official and waiting for placement.  Oh I can't can't can't wait!  I'm on pins and needles now waiting for Wednesday or Thursday.  I made sure to tell her that I'll be staring at the phone over that time so she needs to update me asap!  lol  By now, she gets that about me I think, so she said she'd let me know as soon as she could.

Not actually our house, but you get the  Really, who needs this many tools?!  Apparently my hubby.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What is Love?

And how many of you, after reading the title, are thinking in your head "Baby, don't hurt me"?  LOL  Sorry, didn't mean to get that song stuck in your head.  I tried coming up with a different title, but that one was just the right one.

The idea for this blog came to me when I was watching a reality tv show.  "Couples Therapy" I think it was.  First time watching it and, honestly, I don't think I recognized any of the "reality stars" on it.  Anyway, one couple in particular was having issues because the man didn't say "I love you" yet, he blamed it on a cultural difference or whatever.  I don't know them, don't know their situation and don't really care, but it made me think.  While those words "I love you" are so very powerful, they are really only words.  My husband (and our families) are very vocal about saying "I love you" and are all pretty affectionate, but I started thinking about what "I love you" means.  If you didn't say those words, how could you show it?  So, I came up with a list.  Feel free to comment any other good ways to say "I love you" as well.

I LOVE YOU means:

Deleting your favorite show on the dvr before you got a chance to watch it because the dvr is full and you know the other person's favorite show is coming up to record soon.

Letting the other person have the last slice of pizza.

Getting up at 3am to let the dog out so the other person doesn't have to.

Doing a "chore" on the other person's chore list.

Saying thank you to that person for doing your chore and not telling them that they did it wrong and you'll have to redo it anyway.  lol

Going out of your way even when you're tired, to get something from a store the other person asks you to get.

Taking care of the other person when they're sick and potentially having to do very gross things to help them.

A foot rub or shoulder rub out of no where (and that isn't meant to lead to

Filling up the other person's gas tank.

Making the other person's favorite dinner even when you don't like it.

Respecting and acknowledging the other person's opinions and feelings even if you don't agree with them.

Swallowing your pride when you're wrong and apologizing.

Not holding grudges or constantly bringing up past mistakes.

I'm sure there are a million more ways!  Please comment with any you experience or can think of! <3

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Warning: Insane woman ahead

I may be losing my mind.  I feel like I have so much internal energy going on that I'm going to make random things spontaneously combust. I'm restless, I can't focus, I can't sleep, I can't turn my brain off, I'm eating constantly,!!!!!

Yesterday was the committee meeting day where my agency meets and discusses potential foster parents and approves or doesn't approve them.  We weren't involved in the meeting, we just had to hope our case worker that we've dealt with, had classes and interviews with, likes us enough to really vouch for us.  I don't know what time the meeting was yesterday, but all day I had this restless energy waiting, waiting, waiting for a call and never got one.  I know those meetings are farther away and encompass several agency offices, so I was possibly expecting her to not have time to call yesterday, but TODAY, however!  I fully expect a call any second, but even that I don't know for sure.  I never officially confirmed with her that she'd call to report the results of the meeting to us, but I just assumed she would.  I mean, why wouldn't she, right?

A minute ago the phone rang with a number I didn't recognize, I grabbed the phone, ran to the other room to hubby with my eyes open really wide and flailing my arms like a mad woman, quickly answered it and put it on speakerphone fully expecting it to be the social worker  Doctor's office confirming an appointment.  (I have the CW's office number saved, but I don't have her cell phone number saved, so I thought she might be calling from that.)

So my heart is trying to return to normal, though it hasn't been "normal" for over 24 hours now.  Please, please, PLEASE call sooooon!  I can't stand this!

**Update, she did call around noon but not about the meeting.  She called to change the time of our next class because of a conflict came up.  After we rescheduled the time I said "So, did everything work out ok yesterday?"  She said "oh, yeah, everything's fine."  Inside my head I'm going "AAAAAND????"  LOL  Basically, they're still waiting for one clearance to come back and everything should be ok and approved but I guess they can't use the word "approved" until everything is finalized.  How frustrating!  So, everything is looking good and moving forward and I just have to keep being patient..........

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

All the good stuff in one spot

For months I've been scouring blogs and pinterest to find tips, hear stories, anything to help me plan for this journey.  It's also helped me kill time when I feel the need to DO something while I wait for the next appointment or class.  So, I have a whole bunch of websites I bookmarked on my computer and have them somewhat organized.  I figured I'd share what I found with you all (all 2 people who read my


-Info for extended family-


-Questions to ask when you get "The Call"-

-Making them feel welcome-
     -Welcome Boxes-
     -Welcome Book-
     -General welcoming tips-

-The First Night-

-Other foster tips/info-
A-Z tips --
New kid timeline --
When a child leaves --

This person's blog has been a gem to find.  It's from a former foster kid and she tells it like it is and I love hearing about experiences from the foster kid point of view.

And in case I didn't list enough websites for you to visit, here's a whole list of foster care blogs!  I haven't even made a dent in these!  lol

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

My foster care binder makeover

My binder for the licensing process so far is boring.  It's gray.  It was one I happened to have so I just started using it, but it seems so drab, especially when we're talking about dealing with kids.  It needs some life!  Soooo...I decide to be brave and try decoupage for the first time.   Here we go!


First, I needed to find WHAT I wanted to decorate it with.  I had a very worn (and scribbled on) kids' book that had cute pictures, so I decided to use that, but then I needed a background color.  Luckily, my mother-in-law got me addicted to scrapbooking, so I have every scrapbook paper/color known to man.  I found 2 of the same yellow sheet that matched nicely with my cute pictures, but I also needed an accent color for the spine because the yellow sheets weren't big enough, so I grabbed a red.

I also had Mod Podge from a while ago that I bought but never actually was brave enough to try, so I had that already on hand.  Also needed sponges to spread the Mod Podge, scissors to cut out my cute pictures, paper trimmer to measure and cut the correct size and wax paper to try to keep from making a huge mess on the
My supplies.   

I emptied my binder (which might be a pain to put all the stuff back in then but I didn't want to risk getting the papers messy.)  I did the spine first.  According to what I've read on how to do this, I spread the Mod Podge on the binder AND on the back of the paper.  Placed the paper where I wanted it, creased the corners and then spread more all over it again, especially the edges.  I used a baking scraper (seen in a picture farther down) to help get rid of air bubbles and make it smooth. I was a big old mess after this initial attempt.  It looks all nice and neat in the photo, but it took me a while to get it just right, get it creased without shifting (and the paper was somewhat stiff as well, so that didn't help.  Though in another how-to blog I read, they suggested dampening the paper if it's thick or stiff to help it be more pliable, but I didn't do that.)  So, got the red on finally and somewhat happy with the results, then I was stuck with how on earth I sit this to dry?  lol  If I laid it open the creases got funky and I wanted them to dry in a nice position, so I balanced it carefully (after it falling on the floor once and the glue picking up dust and dog hair, yay) on the back of the chair to dry (or mostly dry.)

I used this drying time to start cutting out my cute little pictures.  Once the red was mostly dry, I attached the front side of the yellow.  Again, made a huge mess, but got it on there.  Put Mod Podge all over the binder, then all over the back of the yellow sheet, then after placing it, attached more all over the whole front and especially around the edges and corners to make sure they stayed sealed down.  I've seen people fold the paper over to the inside, but the inside had a pocket and I didn't want to mess with that, so I just cut it right to the edge and hoped it'd stay down.  Then I let that dry again.

The front getting ready for the cute pictures.  Notice my baking scraper thing, it worked fantastic to help get rid of air bubbles and scraping off excess.

Once that was mostly dry it was time for the fun part!  Adding all my cute little pictures.  I did lay them out on the other yellow sheet, kind of as a guide so I knew where I wanted them.  There was a lot of picking up and laying back down, but I got them on.  Again, I Mod Podged the base (the yellow sheet) AND the back of the picture AND over top of all of it once it was all down.  Once that all dried, I did another coat AGAIN, just to seal it well and make sure (and the edges again just to make sure.)

 After that was really dry, I turned it over and just placed a yellow piece on the back, no special pictures or anything.

The final result.  I had a hard time getting a good angle shot showing the spine as well, but you get the picture.

I let it all dry well overnight and this morning I put all my papers back in.  It looks to be holding up really well, no issues with anything peeling up at all.  I'm pretty pleased with it, especially as my first attempt at Mod Podge.  Next I'm going to decorate up an empty oatmeal container and use it for my headbands.  ;)  lol

Thursday, May 14, 2015


I often will talk to myself...yes, I admit it.  Usually when I'm in the car by  myself.  It kind of ends up being a deep thoughts kind of time for me.  I've been doing it a lot lately with all the foster care stuff going on. 

You may need a little back story to fully appreciate my epiphany, see my Religion versus Spiritualism blog post. 

There are three specific moments that tie into my epiphany. 

1.  We were at a holistic center of some sort years ago, I don't remember exactly what was happening, it may have been a class or maybe a short ritual to welcome the new year or something like that. The specific point relevant to this story is that one woman sitting in front of us, whom I didn't even know, turned around at some point and said to me that I was a healer.  It was a little surprising, I didn't really know why I would be considered a healer.  I don't have a gift with reiki (my husband does though), I don't work in the healthcare field, I didn't really know how "healing energy" connected with me.  (You have to understand, a lot of our beliefs revolve around intuition, reading auras, gut feelings, that kind of thing, so the fact that a random person made a comment about what she "felt" around me wasn't surprising.)  I didn't think much of it after that.

2.  I was at a holistic or spiritual festival, again, years ago, and was just wandering around.  There was a workshop at the side of the huge conference room with a woman talking about auras.  I missed most of it, but happened to be standing behind everyone sitting there when she offered to read some auras.  She started talking to the woman sitting in front of me and after a moment had to stop.  She looked at me and said, sorry, but could I move over?  My aura was distracting her.  LOL  Such an odd thing to hear.  Not something you hear every day.  I moved to the side, about 25 feet away and she kept going.  After another moment she stopped again and apologized to me again but said my energy is so high and my aura is so strong, she's still distracted by it.  I apologized and moved to behind HER so she couldn't see me even out of her peripheral  I do think this ties into my story...bear with me!

3.  We do belong to a small Native American type group (known as a tribe) locally.  Without going into a lot of details and explaining, which would take a while, you just need to know that when someone is asked to join and welcomed in, they get a tribal name, a gift and given a "job" (teacher, warrior, healer, etc), well, I was given "Healer".  Again, this healer thing comes up.  I still don't understand why *I* am a healer, but I'll go with it.  There are a lot of things in this world and in my life I don't understand and just assume that there's a Higher Power that knows best.  

Other things you should know about me to relate to this epiphany:
I have experienced having high "energy" fields before (I mean besides the distracting aura Growing up, my mom often would ask me to rub her head and said I had "healing fingers" (there's that "healing" again), I've had more than one person tell me that my energy is so strong that they feel my emotions, for example, I was annoyed with a lot of crap at work, having a rough and annoying day, was talking to my mom on the phone and she physically started shaking because my emotions and energy was so strong that day.  (I think my mom is very sensitive and empathic, so that could have some to do with her reactions to me as well.)  And, lastly, I break electronics.  No, seriously...I break them.  I don't know how, I don't do it on purpose, it just happens.  I honest-to-goodness think there's some sort of actual energy field in me that screws things up.  I've broken countless computers, cell phones often go screwy with me, I've even broken an EKG machine.  I don't DO anything to them, they just go wonky.

So, in the car, I'm just kind of chatting, daydreaming, thinking about fostercare, etc and out of no where, seriously like a light bulb went off, I feel like I have answers.

I am a healer, I've been told this many times, just don't know what or how I'm healing.  
What if I'm meant to be a "healer" for these foster kids?  What if I'm storing up all of this energy because I don't have any foster kids right now to "heal" so I'm kind of getting overcharged with healing energy with no where to release it yet?!  It sounds so simple to say.  Maybe no one else will really understand the sudden realization that I had and how strongly it felt "right".  I don't care.  (lol...that sounded rude, sorry.)  I just mean, it means something to ME and I feel how "right" it is, so that's most important.  It's ok if no one else gets it, it wasn't meant for them, it was meant for me and I get it.

I seriously cannot wait to finally get approved and get some kiddos in here!  Our CW said, you either love it or you hate it and you'll never know until you experience it.  Maybe I'll be shocked and absolutely hate it (I can't even imagine...and I think I'll be heartbroken since this may be our only option to have children in our lives.)  But I have to continue to think that we'll get approved (still have that stupid lingering doubt of what if!!!)  and we'll get a kiddo (or two) and we'll love them and love the fostercare process and will continue to help these children heal.  It may or may not work out that way, but until I know otherwise, that's what I'm hoping for....and I can't wait!

It sounds like I expect it to be all peaches and don't.  I definitely don't.  But I do expect it to be extremely rewarding and make those non-peaches-and-cream moments worth it.

Religion versus Spiritualism

Another blog post about an epiphany that I had will touch on our religious beliefs, so I'll sum that up here first, then feel free to read my "Epiphany" blog.

I'm a very spiritual person.  Not very religious, but very spiritual.  Some people don't understand what the difference is.  For me, personally, religion is very structured and has specific rules and usually involves other people, sometimes a lot of other people (ie-church service), being spiritual means I have a personal (and private) connection with a Higher Power, God or whatever you want to call Him.  (I don't think He/She/It cares what you call Him, otherwise that means He has an Ego and He doesn't, right?  Sorry, don't want to get too deep here and don't want to cause any kind of religious debate, just voicing my opinion.)

Anyway, I prefer not to have a title when it comes to religion.  I don't go to church or practice any specific path or faith.  I just don't think it's necessary and I haven't found one that I completely 100% agree with.  I believe what I believe and I think "God" wants us to be good people and do the right thing.  I think it really can be as simple as that.  However, the closest "path" I've found would be a form of Native American or some sort of earth based religion.  I do my own, private, spiritual things, my own version of prayer, meditation, candles, incense, smudging, etc.  My husband feels similar, he's very private, but he mostly considers himself pagan.  (For a great website debunking the stereotype of paganism click here.  Pagans do not worship the devil or sacrifice babies, that's so ridiculous.)

So, how were we raised in regards to religion and what do our families think of our choices?  (We get asked this a lot.)  I was raised in a Christian home, most of my family still practice Christianity, but all of my family supports the choices I make regarding religion/spiritualism.  My husband was raised Catholic and also has respect and support from his family regarding his choices..  We're very lucky that we have families that are open minded and supportive regardless of race, religion, sexual preference, hair color, weird piercings or tattoos, pretty much whatever, as long as we're good people.

It's a shame, but our religious/spiritual beliefs partially caused us to delay in approaching foster care.  Bottom line, there's a lot of negative stereotype in regards to paganism (and several agencies locally are Christian based.)  Luckily, our case worker (and agency) are completely ok with it (as they should be) as long as we're willing to allow the children to practice whatever religion they are used to, comfortable with, prefer, etc.  Of course we are and actually look forward to maybe learning about other customs or practices.

I know I don't have a lot of followers yet (I think maybe, but regardless, I will welcome any questions or comments regarding our beliefs as long as they're respectful.  It's sad that I even have to say that, but from experience, I know I have to.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day and conflicting emotions

DH and I have been "trying" for 13 years with no success.  Mother's Day has been pretty painful for me every year as a constant reminder of my desperate internal need to be a mother and my body's failure to successfully get pregnant.  I struggle every year with dealing with those emotions, but at the same time trying to enjoy and appreciate the time spent with my own mother, mother in law and grandmothers.

This year, like many others, I feel saddened because, yet again, I'm not pregnant and have no children, but I have the little bit of hope that things will change due to foster care and while I might not be the bio mom, I'll be another version of "mom" and while I hope to have the permanent "mom" position eventually, I'll cherish the temporary mom role while I have it.  But, again, I don't have it yet.  (And that stupid little niggling doubt in my head that we might not be approved is always there.)  This year I also have to deal with the recent loss of my grandmother, whom I was very close to and miss very much.

I do wish everyone a Happy Mother's Day and I hope those who have pain around this holiday, for whatever reason, find peace in the day somehow.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Sometimes my timing is so gosh darn amazing...

Amazing timing can be a good thing or a bad thing.  In this case, it had the potential for very bad.

My lovely grandmother passed away last week. It was heart breaking as she was like a mother to me and we were terribly close.  It was expected and due to her seriously poor health at the end, it was a true blessing for her, but still sucks for me (and those she left behind.)

Her funeral was Monday.  I had another foster care class on Tuesday (which they absolutely would have rescheduled, but I knew Nanny wouldn't want it postponed.  Any reason to hurry the process so she could have another great-grandchild in the family, she'd  I really was ok with having the class the next day, it did help me to get back to normal life.  I had been mourning the loss of "my Nanny" for years due to her health and like I said, it wasn't unexpected.  Anyway, the class was the next day and the topic.....grief and loss.  Are you kidding me?  Couldn't it be ANYTHING else today?  (And again, if I asked, she probably would have done something else, but I figured, maybe it's meant to be to have that class today.  "Everything happens for a reason" and blah blah blah, right?)

Well, it wasn't so much about death as it was about the loss the child feels about their bio parents, their toys, their routines, their lives as they knew them before, good or bad.  The stages, denial, anger, etc, and how they process them, how we help them cope, how the bios deal with it themselves and with their kids, etc.  Luckily, it didn't really trigger or relate to our recent loss.

I noticed when she left, I was back into foster-care-obsession-mode.  I realized that last week, after Nanny died (and I have to say, with my allergies going NUTS all week too) I was very distracted and had lost the obsession over it, but obviously just temporarily because it was totally back after she

So, I'm back to making my lists of to-do's, back to my constant daydreams of having a child there with every single thing I do, making dinner, running to the store, watching tv.  Going through scenarios of what I'd do with a child who was crying, who got in trouble, who asked questions, who met the family for the first time.....and on and on...  It's never-ending what my mind comes up with.  I think my brain is totally glad it had a break last week and wasn't uber-focused on it for a short time.  Well, sorry, brain.  Uber-focus is back.  I promise to try not to be neurotic about it, but I'm not holding out much hope.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Foster Care Classes

I looked for other blogs regarding what the classes or courses are like for foster care licensing and couldn't really find a list or any descriptions of what you actually learn in these things.  Today was our first "class" finally, so we got a list of what we'll be learning about and I'll post that below in case anyone else is interested.

So in a previous blog I mentioned that I had no idea if this person (I called her "Harriet" before, I'll just stick with, so I had no idea if Harriet was a case worker or social worker or something else.  I didn't know the difference between case or social worker, so I asked her.  She told me that she's actually called a "Family Resource Specialist" but did say that basically case worker, social worker, "Family Resource Specialist" are potentially all the same thing, so it didn't matter what I called her.  lol  So, at least for my agency, the names are somewhat interchangeable.  Probably not the case in all though.  She also gave me a list of definitions for a lot of fancy shmancy words that we'll hear throughout the course of training and during foster care, which will be nice to have handy.

I'm really excited because it finally seems like we're actually IN the process, not just starting it.  We met with Harriet 3 times so far, but each time just seemed like applications to fill out, q&a, clearance forms, etc.  I just didn't feel like we were making any movement FORWARD and, honestly, was making me feel insecure about the process.  I mean, if I don't feel like we're moving forward, is there a reason we're not?  Are we not going to be approved?  Is there something she doesn't like about us?  Intellectually, I know that I'm most likely being paranoid and neurotic about all of this, but could not stop my brain from thinking that way.  And my husband is the most patient man in the

So, YAY! "Class" started today AND she told me that I should have an email this afternoon for us to get our fingerprints done.  If you read my last blog, she told me that she needed to review with her supervisor before clearances start, SO it sounds like that's all been done and clearances are ready to go!  So, I'm feeling much more secure.  Still on edge, but I think I will be until we have license in  hand.  Well, then I'll still probably be on edge, but about something getting a placement...  I guess I'll be "on edge" the rest of my life.  Guess I (and hubby) better get used to it! ;)

So, here's the general list of training requirements we're going to be doing in class or on our own over the next few weeks.

Child Welfare System and History
Policies and Procedures
Cultural Diversity
First Aid
Breathing Difficulties
Child Development
Grief and Loss
Abuse and Neglect
Suicide Prevention
Medication Administration
Mandated Reporting

* Less than 1/2 hour after posting this, I received the email for our fingerprinting, which they said they have already "taken care of the cost incurred" so now they have officially put out money for us and this process, which just makes me feel more secure in them wanting to approve us.  Just puts my mind at ease a little more.  I've never been more excited to get ink all over my fingers!  Woo hoo!  lol

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Something is missing from my breakfast.

So, it's a lovely (albeit chilly) Saturday in April.  After sleeping in a little, dh and I start making breakfast together.  What's a better breakfast on a Saturday morning than french toast and sausage?  He's mixing up the "custard"  (I was corrected, it's not just egg once you add ingredients and mix...ok, ok,, so, he's mixing the custard (and making a mess, I might add) I'm getting the bread ready, heating the pan, getting the sausage out, etc, and I think, you know, I feel like something's missing.  Then I realize how much I desperately want kids there to do that with us.

I want a little toddler running in and grabbing our pant legs, or a 6 year old helping to crack eggs and making even more of a mess all over the counter.  I want that so desperately.  I've always wanted that and here and there I would think of those things, but because we're in the middle of this foster care process, I think about it all...of...the...time....  Every little thing I do, everywhere I go, I imagine having a kid or two with me, how it would be different (better and worse depending.  No 6 year old wants to run errands to go to the bank or grocery store, heck, I don't want to do that either.)  It's since starting this process that it's been made even more obvious to me that my life feels so empty without any little ones.  I feel like I'm getting so attached to these imaginary kids, it'll tear me apart if we're denied.  But how do I stop myself from imagining these things and preparing for it?

I believe I'm making myself and dh nuts during this process.  I question every little thing the agency worker says, does or doesn't say or doesn't do.  I don't question her directly, just in my own mind (and out loud to dh), why didn't she say anything about what we need to fix in the bedroom?  Why didn't she ask to see the back yard?  Is it because she already thinks they won't approve us so it doesn't matter?  Why did she suggest my office would be a good playroom?  Does she think we aren't giving the child enough space in the home?

I know I'm probably reading too much into these things, but it's how my mind works...welcome to the insanity that is my mind.  I'm the queen of "What-if".

Our classes start next week.  (The "classes" are really just her coming to us once a week or so and doing the training one-on-one.  I've heard others actually go to a classroom setting with other couples, but I think because the agency is small, they don't have enough couples to create actual classes.)  Anyway, next week is our first, I'm excited but constantly on edge that there will be some reason that she won't like us and there goes our chances.  It comes down to a decision by the board once all the paperwork, clearances, classes are done and really her thoughts hold a lot of weight in their decision, so if she just doesn't like us she could push their decision to deny us.  It's a very subjective thing.  It's not a simple, cut and dry test we take.  It really comes down to if they like us and think we'll be good parents.  No one likes to be rejected and this would be a serious rejection!  Normally, I don't care all that much about what other people think of me, but this is just so different.  She potentially holds our lives in her hands and that's super scary.

She also said she still hasn't sent in our clearances because she goes over our interviews with her supervisor first (which we just finished last week.)  I thought those were sent 2 weeks ago.  They pay for them (which is nice) but since I thought they were already sent, I thought they started "putting out money" on us therefore we were on the right track.  I mean, why would they waste the money if she didn't think we'd be approved.  Now knowing they haven't done that yet, makes me wonder if they just don't want to waste the money if they won't approve us.

Check and double-check everything! Even doctors make mistakes!

Along with a million forms to fill out, home studies and clearances, we also need a "medical appraisal."  So our doctor appointment was this morning.  What should have been 30 minutes for both me and hubby, ended up being an hour and 15 minutes.  Why?  Because my hubby and the doctor are both chatterboxes!  LOL

Then as we're checking out (and hubby and doc are still chatting in the hall now), luckily I thought to review the forms the doctor filled out.  Well, I noticed he missed a question completely.  So I handed it back to him to answer it.  He gave it back and I'm glad I reviewed it again because I then noticed he answered a question wrong.  It says "General impression of current health status" and the doctor wrote "yes", doc?  It's not a yes or no  At this point the nurse and receptionist were laughing at the doctor and said, "Stop talking and pay attention!"  LOL

So, good lesson to learn.  Check and double-check everything!!!  LOL  (I also made extra photocopies of the forms he needed to fill out, just in case.)  I was also told by several people to make copies of everything handed in to anyone as well, because apparently, lots of paperwork gets lost in the shuffle of case workers, agencies, court, judges, etc.

Oh the things we do to become parents!

I just about had 4 heart attacks...This may be a long story, I could sum it up, but you need to get the full effect.

DH has a big plastic toolbox that's been out on the back porch a while. We want to bring it in to store the medications, vitamins, etc and he put it in the bathtub for me to clean off. No biggie.

I get ready to clean it and see a little white spidery thing and right away said, heck no, you gotta get rid of those spider things! So while he poked at a white webby looking thing, 2 big huge black hairy evil spiders come running out. Heart Attack #1.

He takes it outside to remove any other spider homes (good idea hubby!) He brings it back in and assures me no more spiders. So I proceed with cleaning it with the removable shower head. And here comes Heart Attack #2. The shower head slipped from my hand and faced right at me, sprayed me full forced direct hit for several seconds (felt like minutes) until I got ahold of it again, all the while I'm screaming. (Granted, not a major heart attack, more of a little shock to the system.)

I gain control of the shower head and continue cleaning and spraying it down, I see a little white thing again and spray at it full force thinking whatever's in there will come out or drown, nothing happens except it gets flattened and smushed in the corner. I'm no fool...I ain't putting my fingers or something in there to get it out. I call DH. I hold the sprayer, he starts scraping it out with his pocket knife and another evil big hairy monster spider comes FLYING out! I shriek or something, ran from the room, started hyperventilating with my heart beating out of my chest. Heart Attack #3.

After a while DH tells me all of them are gone, he's SURE. He's in the bathroom spraying it down more all over, I'm sitting on the (closed) toilet watching and trying to get my breathing under control and ANOTHER spider starts crawling around. And Heart Attack #4. This one's actually tiny, but at this point I'm so worked up it doesn't matter what size it is. He tries to squish it TWICE and it wouldn't die. At this point I just leave and refuse to come back in the bathroom. I might not shower or use the toilet for days...

Meeting #2, basically going over the bazillion forms we already filled out.

Ok, so read the title of this blog.  Yep, that's the meeting.  End of blog.

Just kidding.  Well, not really.  We really did just review and expanded just a tad on the questionnaire and applications.  Spent an hour or two talking a little about us, what we're concerned about, and what we're looking for (ages/gender/etc, which btw, at this point we're accepting newborn to 10 years old, any race, any gender.  We'll consider siblings, but we only have one spare room, so depending on the age, they should be the same sex and we'd prefer our first placement to just be one child to kind of break us in a little.)

We scheduled the next appointment for next week, she gave us homework - lots more forms to fill out (yippee), we need physicals, need paperwork for the dog (shots, etc), license, registration copies, etc.  Boring kind of stuff like that.

Ok, next potential problem and stress causing topic for me---the physical.  Now, we both had a physical recently, we need them regularly for work.  I'm not worried about me, but I'm concerned about hubby's.  He has a surgical implant in his back and because of that, he has a lifting limit.  She was slightly concerned about it, basically said that the board has to give final approval and they may question that.  How can he care for a child if he can't lift them.  Well, he can up to 20 pounds without issues, beyond that, honestly, he'll do what he needs to do.  It's not that he CAN'T lift more, he shouldn't because it'll cause some potential damage or interfere with the implant.  If that should happen, it can be fixed with an out-patient procedure, so I'm not concerned about his ability to care for any child, but what if they have a problem with it?   Now this sucks because I won't even know until the very end of this entire process if they will deny us for that.  We would have gone through all the clearances, classes, training, paperwork, etc and at the last minute something like that could stop us.

I guess worrying about it won't do any good.  We just do what we can/what we need to and let the chips fall where they may. :/

My lesson in patience.....

Getting my friends to send back reference letters should be the easy part of this journey, right?  Well, it was...kinda.  Getting them to fill them out and send them back was easy.  Waiting for the snail mail to deliver them was the hard part.

Confirmation from person "A" that it was mailed 3/28.  Person "B" said it was mailed 3/30.  Person "C" mailed it on 4/2 and person "D" was out of town (which I didn't realize) so I expected that to be delayed. The social worker (or is it case worker?  I guess she's the case worker, not social worker...or are they basically the same thing?  I don't even know.  How sad is that?  lol)  Anyway, we'll call her Harriet...Harriet said they only needed 3 of the 4 returned to move on to the next step.  I figured, no worries, 3 of them were mailed between 3/28 and 4/2 so they should arrive a few days after that, right?  Um, that's a big "N-O!"

I emailed her on 4/6 just letting her know that 3 of them were mailed and she should have them any day.  I was stressing over emailing her at all.  I don't want to appear too anxious and annoy her.  Or will it look like I'm on top of things?  Stressful!!!  lol  Anyway, she replied and said she only had one so far.  I wasn't overly concerned, I figured the others should arrive any day.  Well, day after day went by and I heard nothing.  NOW my mind goes crazy with "maybe she doesn't like us" or "maybe she doesn't think we'll be good parents and she's avoiding calling us" or even "maybe my friends don't like us as much as we thought and we got bad referrals!"  LOL  I sometimes think I'm insane!

Finally, finally, finally she got at least 3 of the letters and she called me on 4/13 to schedule the next appointment for 4/15.  And there we come to the next blog.  To be continued....  ;)

(I couldn't decide between the two photos for this  So we just use them both!  Shout out to Princess Bride!)

Our First Appointment! Yikes!

So, we just happened to come across a social worker for a local foster care agency at a fundraiser and after chatting decided to make an appointment for 3 days later.  That was all well and good until she asked for our address.

What went on in my head:
"My address???  Why do you need my address?  We're meeting at MY house????  But it's not ready at all for a social worker to come in!  It's a disaster!  How many dishes are in my sink?  How much laundry is piles in front of the dryer?  How many dog hair dust bunnies are scattered everywhere?  The snow just melted, there's 5 months of frozen dog poop in the yard!  This can't possibly happen in 3 days!"

What I said out loud to her in a completely calm voice:
"Oh, the meeting's at our house, ok, no problem."

Good thing I've had years of acting experience at the local community theaters!

Obviously, once we got home, I went into freaking out, cleaning nazi mode and scared dh (darling hubby) and the poor  So, fast forward through 3 days of attempting to make it what I deemed "clean enough" (which, I don't think it ever will be in my mind) and enter social worker in the front door.

This first meeting was very low key, she just answered any questions we had (I had printed 2 pages of them) and gave us applications and a bazillion forms to fill out.  She didn't even leave the living room and kitchen areas.  So much for my chaotic cleaning

The next step is for us to fill out these bazillion forms and drop them off at the agency.  At that point she'll send referral letters to 4 friends.  (I never understood the point of referrals.  Who on earth gives out a name and number of someone who will give a bad referral?)   Once those come back, we can schedule the next appointment and start on the fbi clearances, etc etc.

Not overly exciting, I must say, but this now triggers my obsession over reading every single foster care blog I can find and joining every facebook fostering support group in existence.  Obsession may be an understatement....


I'm new to the blogging experience, so be patient with me!  lol  We're in the process to get licensed to be foster parents and I wanted to create a blog to help us record our experiences with it, post ideas we want to try, things we've done that worked or didn't work, or even juts a place to vent or yell exciting news from the rooftop.  At this point, it's mostly just for us (or me) as a journal of sorts, but if others can get ideas from us or share ideas with us, all the better!

I'll give you a summed up version of us. :)  My name is Mindy.  DH (Darling Husband) and I have been happily married for 12 years.  We've been struggling with infertility, due to PCOS, the entire time.  We've gone through numerous fertility treatments with different doctors, tried homeopathic medicine, and anything we could think of (and afford) to get pregnant.  Unfortunately, nothing worked for us.  We always considered fostering and adopting.  It was something we wanted to pursue whether we got pregnant or not.

One rainy day in March 2015, we ended up in the right place at the right time, planets were aligned, cosmos had a plan, whatever you want to call it, and we happened to meet a social worker for a local agency.  After chatting a bit, we made an appointment with now we're in the beginning stages of this long, stressful, but potentially amazingly rewarding journey.