Maintaining relationships

I’m not good with maintaining relationships, its hard. It’s nearly impossible for me to be a present friend. I’m typically busy with kid stuff and directly after kid stuff is spouse stuff. I find it very hard to fit anything else in; I also feel guilty when I do take the time to do something outside my family. On top of all of that…finding quality people to spend time with is another feat. But wait, after finding quality people you’ve now got to sort through scheduling and see if something works. THEN you’ve got to be prepared for unexpected things like a sick kid or flat tire. Having friends is hard, maintaining them is harder.

It’s sorta funny, when I first moved away from my best friend all I could think about was finding friends and maintaining healthy relationships; I was lonely. My spouse couldn’t be my best friend and husband…he just couldn’t. I wanted to escape my life, have coffee with a girlfriend, go on trips, etc. Now, I prefer my spouse over anyone else. Was it always supposed to be that way? I don’t know. What I can tell you is…I’m a crappy friend.

I really, REALLY, need to figure out a way to connect with friends and pull some me time. Life is hard.

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Full speed ahead

Aaah. Blue’s bio mom decided to appeal the severance. This is an adoption setback. Seeing as both of her bio parents showed up to the severance trial, spoke to their lawyers, then left the court house without attending the trial…I thought an appeal was out of the question. I guess I was wrong. I think they’re just dragging things out. The bio parents had done only one thing required in their case plan when it was a reunification case. Severance was ordered after 1 year of Blue being in our care. Bio parents STILL requested a trial even though their participation was minimal. Then, as stated above, flaked on the trial. And now bio mom wants to appeal the decision?! This makes no sense at all; it’s bizarre. And for whatever reason bio mom is, presumably, lying about her whereabouts to Blue and boy does that make her angry. This is foster care.

Flower is doing well. At the end of this month the publication will be complete and she will be legally free for adoption. Luckily, I’ve got a rad lawyer in Phoenix and he is familiar with all of this foster care/adoption stuff. Let me know if you need a referral and I’ll hook you up with him, he comes to Mohave County regularly.

Pretty is well, she’s starting a new job next week and she’s confident. Financially she struggles and it terrifies me to send her off to college at the end of the summer. I know she is a survivor, I’ll pray for her. She’s also moving out in March, get it girl!

Biscuit is great, she’s doing her regular classes in high school and she’s also taking 2 classes online. She is on two cheer teams and doing a special performance with one team at a community event in a couple of weeks.

Boychild is well, he qualified for spelling bee at his school. He was very proud of himself, he ended up bombing it on the word ‘pesky.’ He said he added an extra ‘e’ after ‘k.’ Boychild has been playing basketball and football quite a bit. He had excellent grades this last quarter too. He spends his time playing the Switch, making remixes, and riding his dirtbike.

Bunny has expressed interest in football and volleyball. Unfortunately, gender roles are preventing her from trying out for football. Her friends think it’s a ‘boy sport’ and it’s definitely put Bunny on the fence about it. Bunny has exceptional grades and is ridiculously funny.

Lemon will be 5 at the end of the month, wow. The only thing that she talks about is being able to cheer again. She is an excellent reader, she enjoys make up, and is loud. Really, really, loud. All. The. Time. Singing, talking, playing, etc…she’s always at maximum volume.

Lemon’s reading skills.

We are silly.

Boychild’s jam station.

Husband recently had a procedure done, he’s had 6 inches by 1.5 inches of skin removed from his back per the dermatologists findings. Life is scary, just roll with the punches. He is still cute as hell and I love him more than I love air.

I’ve made a decision; I am doing the challenge. I’ve got an application and written the essay of sorts. Now, I’ll be making a video. I’ll post more about the challenge in the next few days. I’m a little apprehensive but I know, deep down, I need to make time for myself. This could be the push I need for a healthier lifestyle and help me get a handle on this self love journey.

Marshmello

Boychild LOVES Marshmello, he’s a DJ. Boychild is really into EDC (electronic dance music) and makes his own mixes on his turntable and laptop. I’m into it too, and when Boychild makes his songs I feel proud and I enjoy it. Boychild wanted to see Marshmello live… I found one show with a 16+ admission age. Everything else was 21+, he was definitely bummed out. Last night Husband and went to see Marshmello in Las Vegas and live streamed it for my boy. I love Marshmello too, I had a great time!

A short video clip of Marshmello.

Husband and I had a great weekend away.

Marshmello 😍

Never happier, I love spending time with this guy.

Boychild is happy, he got to see Marshmello live… well as live as a 10 year old can. I definitely enjoyed myself and can’t wait until he is older so we can go together. In the meantime I’ll take him to Supercross and other age appropriate concerts, we are thinking of seeing Demi Lovato and Khaled in a few weeks with all of the kids.

Caught up!

With 7 kids life can get busy! I’m happy to report that we only have 7 kids at the moment. Pretty is now a permanent member of our family. Blue is in the process of being adopted, we filled out heaps of paper work. Flower is almost legally free for adoption; then we will move forward and adopt. Flower’s bio dad is nowhere to be found and DCYS has published some form of ‘Hello, are you out there?’ and after a few months if there is no word then we can do heaps of paperwork and finalize Flower as a permanent member of our family. We currently have one bed open and after the last placement fiasco we are going to be extremely picky about who joins us in our home.

We have do so much in the last 8 weeks, I’ll add these pictures…after all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

I have so many beautiful pictures of Flower and Blue that I wish I could share! I’m sure I’ll be able to share soon enough.

Things are going great with Husband and I, we continue our weekly date night and enjoy one another.

Boy, adoption sure is great. God is good. My heart is full and my mind is cluttered, haha!

Locally there is a contest going on, a 90 day challenge, and I’m seriously considering it. The grand prize is coolsculpting, botox, massages, pedicures, etc. I do need to commit more time to myself and this could be the push I need in 2018. I mean, I could totally afford to loose 20lbs and being held accountable by an entire team of professionals and my community…I’m sure I could conquer.

Farewell friends! My resolution for this year is to push a little harder, love more children in my community and home, and blog more regularly.

Case plan changes

Blue’s case plan was changed a few weeks back to Severance and Adoption, it is no longer a reunification case plan. I don’t know what I expected to happen after the case plan change…but I was waiting. Blue recently had another court date, which I missed due to a miscommunication with her DCYS worker. Apparently during the court hearing they arranged a pre trial. Wait. Reverse. Trial for what? I still wasn’t clear on the whole thing; I reached out to my DCYS worker–she was unavailable until later this week, luckily I was able to speak to her supervisor. Apparently a TPR is happening.

A TPR (termination of parental rights) is one of the last legs of being ‘legally free.” Once a child is legally free they can be adopted. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, first we have a pre trial. My understanding is that during the pre trial the teams get all their information squared away and prepare for the trial THEN you go to trial on a separate court date. I now have 2 court dates set and maybe by Christmas the trial and appeal will be completed. Yes, bio parents will have the right to appeal whatever is decided during the trial and I’m sure they will as they’ve made the case very difficult by taking every opportunity to drag the case out. In addition; they’ve not been complying with a majority of their requirements to reunify their family.

During the trial the judge typically powers through a number of things, first it’s pretty much facts about the case. What’s been done vs. what’s not been done in regards to the bio parents. Then lawyers will chatter on about what’s in the best interest of the child or children. Sometimes the judge will deem adoptive families during the trial, if you are deemed an adoptive home then the child or children will not, cannot, be removed from your home as your intent to adopt has been discussed during the trial. This can also happen at a later date.

Do I know if the TPR will be successful? Nope. I’ve learned to never get my hopes up for anything or anyone in regards to foster care. I know what Blue wants, I’ve encouraged her to speak to her attorney about it and he can help her get everything she desires. I want her to be happy even if it hurts me. I will support any choice she makes, to stay here with us, to move to another adoptive home, to live with relatives, or even to go home. I love her, I’ll fight for her.

Shift

Things are constantly changing. Freedom is having a hard time adjusting, she is stressed out quite a bit. Freedom will be leaving our home soon, it’s for the best. She’s not disruptive or mean; she’s a sweet girl with a fun attitude. However she needs a higher level of care, I cannot give her the time or level of care she needs. We have a large household and and I’ve only got so many hours in the day…when I’m using all of my time and resources on a single person it’s a problem. It’s not fair to my other children or husband. It’s not fair to Freedom. It makes me sad to know she’s leaving due to the circumstances but with this shift there will be serenity; she will get the help she needs and my household will go back into it’s normal orbit.

Pretty is having a tough time adjusting to her new schedule. Work, school, life… apparently it’s hard. She fails to have meaningful relationships with her peers and she’s been really disrespectful to me lately. She’s pushing, trying to get me to give her a reaction. I’m still going to love her no matter what…keep pushing kid, I’m not giving up on you.

Blue is hanging in there, her case is getting sloppy. She stood up for herself to her bio parents about what she wants and needs, I believe she feels proud of herself. Sometimes she has emotional days, as she should, and sometimes she has fantastic days.

Flower is screwing off at school. I’m disappointed. She had a presentation due today that she failed to finish, I’m hoping she’s completing it now. She is repaying debt and trying her best to move forward.

Biscuit is moody and happy. She’s still hot and cold. She’s struggling to be organized and balance extracurricular activities and school.

Boychild is well, he’s back on the responsibility train. His chores are done, his school work is solid, he’s doing great.

Bunny is well too. She’s an exceptional student and a super emotional kid. She knows she gets attention from people if she fusses, unfortunately between home and they gym…we’re onto her. It’s people like distant relatives, school personal, etc that she capitalizes on. Suckers!

Lemon is also well! Kindergarten is fun for her, she enjoys gymnastics, and she loves being with her BFF.

Everything isn’t always rainbows and butterflies around here, there are trials and tribulation. One thing that always remains is love, we’ve always got that.

Vacation!

Party of 10 for Knott’s Berry Farm! Husband and I are taking the kids on vacation, yay! The older girls and Husband will be going to Knott’s Scary Farm too… I’m not into that creepy stuff! The girls are excited to be going on Friday the 13th, apparently it’s ultra spooky. After the wild theme park shenanigans we will spend a few days at the beach and then come home. Which beach we will go to is still up in the air; the girls want Laguna Beach and I’m keen on Huntington Beach. I’m currently looking for a beach house as it seems fiscally responsible, getting two hotel rooms at a ocean front resort or even near the ocean is more expensive per night than renting a beach house per night. Big family problems. 😕

The kids all recieved their progress reports, the majority if the kids are doing well. Freedom is failing two classes, Flower has a D, and Boychild has a C. Everything else is all A’s, baby! Freedom needed an IEP when she arrived at our house but the local high school refused until after the first grading period ‘just to make sure.’ Give me a break, we knew she would struggle as she was home schooled for most of her school career. It’s frustrating but I’ll help her get on track and get her grades up. Flower is just being lazy, the D is unacceptable. Flower is a VERY smart girl, by the time actual report cards come out I am certain she will have brought up that D.

Blue is having a tough time with her bio parents. It breaks my heart, I’ll fight for what’s in her best interest forever if I have to.

Pretty turned 18, she’s an adult! She’s taking college courses, working, and being her typical bubbly self. Pretty is very independent and I know she is going to rock this adult thing.

Boychild is excited that it’s cooling down, he went on a pretty long ride the other day with us and only crashed a few times. He needs to build up strength and stamina as during the summer months he was lazy. He has also outgrown his dirtbike, he needs something bigger.

Biscuit is Biscuit. She’s emotionally charged, she’s hot one minute and cold the next. Biscuit is mean, it’s part of her personality. She is Type A, she loves power and takes control of every aspect of her life. She’s my Bossy Mcbosserson and I love her.

Bunny is going through an odd stage, she’s recognizing that hanging out with friends are jerks often rub off on your personality. I’ve noticed her choice of friends have fluctuated lately, I like it. Obviously her BFF is still her soul sister and we all adore her.

Lemon, she’s independent. She loves kindergarten, she loves sports, she loves playing outside with chalk. She misses her BFF as they’re no longer in the same class.

It’s a full house.

A few weeks ago Freedom, a 15 year old girl was placed with us. She’s a sweet girl with a lot of things to work through. And yesterday we had Flower placed with us, she’s 17. Let’s recap:

Pretty 17, Flower 17, Freedom 15, Biscuit 13, Blue 13, Boychild 10, Bunny 7, Lemon 4.

I’ve got 8 kids! Aaaah. It seems like a lot, I know. What people see versus what’s really happening in our home is pretty insane. We have a structured home and things work pretty well around here, it’s not a bunch of kids running around screaming with no rules and doing whatever they want. There is a pretty good chance if you ever popped over to my house unexpectedly you would never guess that we had 10 people living in our home. You would probably see 3 kids in our living room watching TV, maybe even 2 kids. The house would be presentable and tidy with the exception of a pile of backpacks on the floor in the foyer…that I’ve told the kids a 100 times not to do but they do it anyway. Their rooms on the other hand, well they’re fair a best.

Are you wondering where everyone sleeps? People always seem to want to know how it works but they seem reluctant to ask because I’m pretty protective over my kids and their privacy. But, it’s your lucky day! In room #1 there is Bunny and Lemon, room #2 Flower and Freedom, #3 Boychild, #4 Biscuit, Blue, and Pretty, # 5 Me and Husband. Our house isn’t huge but we can fit everyone. It’s hard for me to turn down a child who needs help, in fact with Flower I had to get an amendment to my license. I’m technically ‘over capacity’ right now, I’m licensed for 3 placements and I’ve currently got 4.

In other news, teenagers are hard. For some reason my heart keeps telling me I need to be the one who helps the older kids in foster care, there aren’t a lot of homes who want to help teenagers. A majority of teenagers end up in group homes (which I’m not keen on.) I’m stretched thin; I’m incredibly busy and trying to do everything I can. I keep reminding myself that I can change lives, I can and will push forward. Luckily Husband is rad, supportive, and has a cute butt. I’m nothing without his love and support, we are a team.

Picture dump.

Woof.

Bunny and Lemon were in the play Aladdin. We played at the lake a lot. Jessa did a backflip into the pool and had to get stitches. Cheer stuff. Spending time with friends. Blue and Biscuit went to Telluride.