Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Large Families

I am finding that there are some things that we do differently as our family size has grown. Gone are the days of buying trinkets at the zoo or extra items at events. They just get too costly and end up laying around anyways. Meal prep is different, shopping is different, even vacations.

I am going to write more in detail soon but first I wanted to know how large or small everyone's family make up is. What changes have you noticed as your family grew? At what point did adding new kids really make a big impact? If we are able to adopt little man we will be at 12, if we adopt newest kid we will be at 13, is there a big difference between 13 and 15?

Monday, June 17, 2019

Behaviors Going Public

Well, it is starting to happen. The behaviors that we have with little man are starting to show up outside of the home. For a long time folks at church thought we were crazy because they never saw his behaviors. They saw his anxiety and challenges with changes but not the biting and such. Since he is now 2 they have been transitioning him to the 2 year old class. It has been a struggle. He would tantrum when they put him with his same age peers so they would take him back to the nursery. Finally, I told them to just have him stay with his peers. He needed to adjust. Well, he did adjust. Now he is comfortable with his class and his behaviors are coming out. This last Sunday he bit a kid and was spitting when he was being defiant. I don't know why, but when he doesn't like what he is being told he spits.

They were shocked. I had told them all of his behaviors but they never surfaced until he was put with his peers. No longer are we crazy! Our church is looking to have a volunteer be with him one on one.

I have been seeing new studies on kids with meth exposure. The problems I have been reading are aggression, anxiety, ADHD and learning delays. YES to all of them! From what I read if they stay in the home then their outcomes are not too good. However, with interventions there is the real possibility that he can overcome his meth exposure. This has been a concern of ours. Benjamin refuses to room with him because he is afraid that he will hurt him in his sleep (he has in the past). He is currently a nomad, sleeping with us and the older boys. Sometimes with Sarah or Larissa too. Actually tonight many of the kids are sleeping in the play room. He has asked me to build him a loft bed that little man can't get into. Hmmmm..... plans are churning.

Right now the interventions we are receiving are Babynet, speech, 12 hours of personal care attendant and OT just qualified him for services based on his testing with sensory issues. His social worker has acknowledged that he would not last in a daycare and if he were moved he would have to go to a therapeutic home. However, in our home he is still a basic kid, I find it a bit odd. For adoptions we need to have all his behaviors well documented in case we need services later.

Since he has decided to expand his behaviors to outside the home, Michelle has done so too. Right now I have two friends who are not very pleased with how she has been disrespecting them. We are looking for therapy but it is a challenge around here.

What do you do with a compulsive, habitual liar? My research hasn't shown much hope unless she wants to change. I have been looking for a report from the social worker about their mother, she lied as well. She lied to the girls as well. She visited once the entire time we had them. On that visit she gave them necklaces and told them to wear them to every visit. I still have those necklaces, sadly they never had another visit with her. Is lying to that extreme genetic? I wonder.

It is hard when your child has behaviors that no one else sees. When they are always telling you how sweet your child is when at home that is not the case. Makes it hard to talk to anyone, makes you feel isolated. I had one mother whisper to me that her son was really giving her a hard time. I told her that I understood. She says that family and friends blame her parenting. She has 5 kids but only one with these behaviors. She feels that she cant talk to her own family because they judge her. She seemed to relieved when I didn't. I find it sad that we are so quick to judge each other because we don't see what they are talking about. Guess what, kids can play you, they can behave differently for different folks and situations. They can triangulate folks and manipulate and lie. If you know someone who confides in you a struggle and you normally trust their judgement, believe them and offer them an ear.

We parents who are raising challenges kids need to support each other. I don't know the answers, wish I did. But I do try and am always open to suggestions. If it something I haven't tried I may try it out!

Getting off my soapbox.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Court

Today I went to court for little man. It was a court date to determine how long the TPR trial will be, who will be called as a witness and how long ti will take so that they can schedule the TPR hearing. It has been scheduled for August and I will be a witness since I am one of the few people that the parents have spoken to in the last 2 years. I am glad that we are at this phase, I also am aware that many people who have gone for TPR hearings have had their hearings continued. This is the same county that our last baby was in. I find it sad that the inability of the courts to hear the cases is a reason for kids staying in care longer than they should. They used to have two court days a month but now only have one.

Little one has been with us so long without any visitations and such that he just feels like one of ours!

I still have a stack of paperwork to fill out for the adoption license so I guess that I need to get with it! I think I have three more physicals to get done and some other random paperwork to do.


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Family Time

I didn't do my timing very well, I got back from our trip in time to perp for a party.

We had to cancel our North Carolina trip for this year so we planned a pool party. Everyone was able to make it except for Joselin.

We ate a lot of food and had a sampling of different BBQ sauces. They do a mustard based sauce here I just can't get into. I haven't acquired a taste for boiled peanuts either.








Four of the grandkids... they sure are growing up fast! Next year we will be going to NC. 







The rain held off for us and everyone got to eat lots of food and swim. We really need to take more time to enjoy each others company! It seems like a huge undertaking to get everyone together.


Anyone have exciting summer plans?

Little Trip

My husband and I took ten kids to Great Wolf Lodge for a night. I love the indoor water park, especially for Benjamin. We had a good time, we brought 10 kids back home so that makes it a success.

I let the kids pack for themselves, well everyone except for the two year old. Only stipulation is they had to have a swimsuit. They all did well.



I am loving the new van, have I mentioned the new van? Anyone want to know about the new van?







We went to a Mexican Restaurant right next to the park. I didn't expect such a huge plate! It was a $10 meal. I shared!


These two have such a close relationship, such a blessing.




I don't have many pictures because I spent my time with the 2 year old in the kid area. I got some great pictures of him but I can't share!

Anyone else go to Great Wolf Lodge? It isn't cheap but I do reserve when I can get a great rate and don't stay on the weekend (we did Thursday night). We also don't buy all the extras, we go for the water park. We also eat off site. We got there early Thursday and stayed until the kids got hungry for lunch on Friday. It gives plenty of water time.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Ramblings

Lately it seems like I have been going in circles. I have no motivation to accomplish anything and I am stressing over our budget, my messy house, life in general. Has anyone noticed how high the cost of food has gotten? We used to spend $2000/month in groceries and home supplies and now it has risen. Then it just seems like when you are pinching pennies everything that can break down will.

My pool turned green quickly and I realized that my saltwater chlorinator went out. Our local pool company wanted $1200 to replace it. Amazon wanted a little over $600 for the part. It is easy to put in yourself. 



When I replaced the part I added a gallon of liquid chlorine to boost it, 24 hours later we had a almost blue pool.


We have offset the budget by deciding to drive to Dallas. After Larissa and I are finished in Dallas we are going to drive to Bryan to meet up with my brothers and place my moms ashes with her parents. We had thought about taking everyone but decided that it wouldn't be possible and some of the kids wouldn't care anyways.

Tomorrow we leave to go to Great Wolf Lodge. This is a trip we had planned back in February and had to cancel because Benjamin got sick. If we didn't reschedule by a certain date then we would have lost the money we had to put down. Thankfully this short trip is already paid for so it will be just a gas and food budget. Sadly Michelle and Emma are not going. I had planned on them going and when it became apparent that they couldn't we have added some friends to the trip.

Right now I am really struggling with Michelle. Her comments to everyone are mean and she is so mouthy. When I was telling all the kids that my mom had passed Larissa and Benjamin cried, Emma gave me a hug and Michelle said with much disdain, "you mean there is a dead body in the house?!". Yea, didn't go over too well. She seems to do everything possible to push people away but then doesn't understand why she doesn't have any relationship with any of her siblings. The newest foster kid gets along with everyone else and it is obvious that it bothers her. She says very mean things to him and told him that she hopes we don't adopt him. He has expressed his desire to be adopted to everyone so she knows it bothers him.

Anyone else dealing with a kid who is so mean spirited? I have tried talking with her about her relationships but she walks away and blames her lack of relationships on everyone else. She talks so mean to everyone and when she walks in the door she tries to get people fighting. On top of the mean and disrespectful talk her lying has really driven a wedge between us. When I say that she has lied to me every single day for the last 7 years, I am not exaggerating. Well, a little, she didn't lie to me the few days that John and I went on a little trip together. However, she was caught lying to the friend who cared for her. I have had her to a couple of different therapists and nothing has changed. I don't think anything will change until she sees a need for change. Right now she acts as though she doesn't need us and she plans on joining the army when she graduates. I do hope that she graduates and is able to join the army but I feel that she will always struggle with close relationships.

It is getting late here and I should go to bed, I haven't packed yet so goodnight everyone!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Packed


Our baby is all packed (we packed his Christmas gifts too as we never opened them because we have too many toys!) We are excited for his parents as the court is sending him home. As foster parents we have done our job. We have loved him and encouraged his parents. He is well attached so he will attach quickly to his family. Although we are happy for him, we are sad too. We loved that little one and he loved us back, just such a sweet baby.

This case has really bothered us. We really felt he should have never been in care in the first place. Dss didn’t even go to trial, they agreed to send him home because the charges were unfounded! Unfounded? That family missed most their child’s first year because they couldn’t get heard in court. It is just crazy to me. Our little man has a court hearing in that same courtroom later this month for TPR pretrial. I wonder if it will be heard. I wonder how long it will take to finish a case where the parents left the state almost 2 years ago and have never been back and rarely talked with DSS.  Our other foster son is in the same county.

It is strange tonight, no mom to change and give a bedtime snack, no baby to change and give a bedtime bottle. So much change this week and it will take some adjustment!

I am laying here in bed with Benjamin nearby thinking about a baby in another home and hoping that he is sleeping well.

Goodnight all