Insert expletive deletive

Here we go. We’re strapping in for a rollercoasters ride, things are changing…again. Naturally, you’d expect things to change when you’re a foster care provider…except when you’re pretty sure things are going to go one way and they go the complete opposite.

Building a house? Definitely on hold. If we go through too many changes, and hope to adopt our foster children, big changes can hold us up and potentially disrupt a placement and/or adoption. That. Sucks. So. Much. But, my heart says to hang tight and make different choices.

News on our current foster care placement has finally come through, unfortunately I didn’t get news from my DCS worker or an attorney, I was called by a transportation company and relayed news of visitation starting in a couple weeks. With that being said it seems pretty obvious what the judges ruling was. I’m really irked that no one called to let us know, the kids have been asking and we’ve all been dying to know what was going on.

Everything is in limbo. We are stuck playing a waiting game. I hope and pray that bio parents get it together and can parent Bells and Shy in a healthy way, I always want what’s best for my foster babies and I preach reunification relentlessly. If it were my choice I know my own selfishness would get the best of me. I love these kids, I’m proud of these kids, these are some exceptional kids and my heart aches with them. I want so badly for them to have normal lives and deep down I want to snatch them up and keep them forever. Obviously that’s the wrong way to look at things, you can’t take what’s not yours. I’m emotionally invested and as much as I would love to keep them forever but I could NEVER steal an opportunity from a bio parent who is actively trying to better themselves.

So. Many. Mixed. Emotions.

In other news; Biscuits cheer team received a bid to the Summit. That’s a big deal, it’s like the superbowl for cheerleaders. I’m proud of her and her team…now we fundraise relentlessly to afford the trip. I just had a sea of birthdays in our house and we are gearing up for parties. After many fights regarding Bunny’s hair we finally cut it short, there have been less fights since. Boychild hit a growth spurt and he is looking a lot less boyish. Bells is happy in gymnastics. Shy expressed an interest in playing football. Lemon is working on her tumbling in hopes of making it on a cheer team next year.

Husband makes my heart feel happy, he’s working different angles to help with moving, buying a house, and building a house. That man would move mountains for us; he loves our family. I’m lucky to have him, crazy lucky. He understands my passion for children, our community, and he pushes me to do more, do better, and do what pleases me.

Until next time…we wait.

March second is going to be cool

There is this resident badass in Lake Havasu, he’s a writer for Today’s News-Herald locally. His name is Buck, Buck Dopp. Google him, he’s rad (he’s a published writer, y’all.) Buck is doing a foster care story and guess what? I’m going to be a part of that. AWESOME.

Buy a paper on March 2nd, 2016. Between Buck’s awesome writing and my epic quotes…it’s going to be great. Mark your calendars people!

Well, that was unexpected.

On our car ride to court today, 60 miles away, I discussed with my foster kids what we were doing in court today. I reminded them to speak their minds, tell their attorney what they wanted to do, and where they wanted live if they weren’t allowed to live with bio parents.

Bells had ideas of family members who she hadn’t seen in several years, and if they couldn’t be located or take care of her she expressed that she would like to stay with Husband and I. Shy had told me in the car that he maybe wanted to stay with bio dad, but once we started to talk to the attorney he changed his tune. He told his attorney that he’d like to stay with us! I didn’t see that one coming.

Unfortunately, there were several instances where the biofamily interrupted the judge, spoke out of turn, and made a fuss about things that weren’t relevant to the current hearing. It was crazy, I’ve never experienced anything like that. I was sweating uncontrollably, I was anxious, and things were out of order. I felt out of control as legal terms were thrown around, the judge raised his voice, I felt like a child in the principles office. I can’t imagine what was going through my foster kids minds…I could barely wrap my mind around it and I’m a grown adult.

In the end the judge didn’t make a ruling, he said he needed to review the entire case before making a decision. The attorney broke all the legal terms down and explained to the kids what happened on the courtroom. I spoke with the attorney alone, without the kids, and the attorney was candid and filled in a lot of what really was going on. Oh, boy.

Here we are, in limbo. We are awaiting a phone call from the attorney letting us know what the judged ruled. I’m guessing sometime next week we will get the call. Until then…we wait.

Ch-ch-changes.

Today marks a day of change, I’m unsure of what the future holds. Bells and Shy have court this morning, it’s a permanency hearing. What does that mean? Well, it means that the courts are trying to figure out what is best in the long haul for these kids. Is reunification still an option? Will parental rights be severed? Will they find family members willing to adopt them? Will we adopt them? It’s a big day.

Obviously they will take into account what the kids want, and it’s probably not staying here. Why? They haven’t fully comprehended that all foster homes aren’t like ours, in fact they think every foster home is like ours.  They think they’ll have their own rooms, a pool, a trampoline, pets…in short they told me all foster families are rich. (We sure aren’t rich but based on the living conditions that the kids were in before,  I get it. We’re only rich in love!) Bells and Shy have issues with trusting people and they’re ready for the next step in their adventure. They will undoubtedly bounce from home to home until they age out of foster care or move into a group home.

I wish I could persuade them into staying…that is unethical. I’ve told them that we are going to court today to figure out a long term plan for them and where they will live. They’ve come to ask me a series of questions:

‘Can I have my birthday party before we leave?’

‘Will we still get to keep our stuff?’

‘If I keep picking at this blackhead on my nose do I still have to go to court?’

‘Do we have to stay together or can we be seperated?’

I’ve tried answering them to the best of my ability, but I don’t have the answers to some of the questions.

Husband and I had talked about the possibility of adopting the both of them, if they decided they wanted to stay, Husband just said ‘Looks like I’ll have to buy Shy his own dirtbike.’ The truth is; this is new for all of us. We have no idea what we are doing. We are like that little bunny hopping through the forest, except we are hopping through foster care system.

Wish us luck this morning, pray for us, anything would be great. I have no idea what’s going to happen, all I know is Bells and Shy have been with us for 10 months and during those months they’ve become our family. Whether the stay or go…nothing will change that.

I have a cheer hangover.

The girls attended Duel in the Desert in Palm Springs, California this passed weekend. Picture this; nonstop techno/hip-hop music, screaming fans, and 350 cheer teams trying to be number one. We are up at 5am getting ready and we finish up around 4pm. My girls go on and I shout, woo, and throw my hands in the air. I look stupid; manic actually. It’s almost like I’m reliving my early 20’s at a techno rave. Our other teams go on throughout the day and we all get rowdy for the teammates, our gym has seven teams; Love, Dream, Inspire, Believe, Moxie, Obsession, and Oddessey. That’s  seven opportunities to show our support, and…lose our voices.

‘Duel in the Desert Final Placements:
Love-5th out of 7 Teams
Dream-4th
Inspire-3rd
Believe-2nd
Moxie-2nd
Obsession-2nd
Odyssey-1st

MORE AMAZING ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
Super PROUD to announce that Sunday we had 6 out of 7 NO DEDUCTION routines! (meaning no fall, HIT routines)

MORE SPECIAL AWARDS:
Believe: Small Gym Champions!
Obsession: Small Gym Champions
Odyssey Small Gym Champions!

Odyssey-National Champions! Level 5 At Large Summit Bid Winners!

(96 programs, 350 Teams and only 10 at Large Bids were awarded to the Summit in Orlando Florida)’

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That Biscuit, she’s fierce. She takes cheer very seriously. Her facials are AMAZING.

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That’s Bunny, she’s too cute. She’s a happy go lucky cheer kid, sometimes serious.

After the busy weekend, I sometimes fall flat the following week. That is my cheer hangover.

Things that are hard #1

It’s hard to talk to your foster care kids about what’s going on in their case or what could happen. It’s a lifetime full of carefully orchestrated blows to the gut.

“You’re not allowed to see your bio parents…”

“Your family members missed their visit again…”

“Court is next week, they’re terminating your parents rights…”

“Your attorney said…”

“The DCS worker wanted me to let you know…”

“Your therapist recommended…”

“They’re seeking out other family members who may want guardianship.”

“I can’t post these pictures of you on Facebook or Instagram because it’s a violation of your rights.”

“We have to push through paperwork to take you out of state and there isn’t enough time…”

“I don’t know how long you will be here.”

“No, you cannot have your picture printed in the newspaper even though you did a great deed in the community.”

These are my words, my pain, my shame. It’s absolutely awful to explain to a child any of these things. Children should never have these consequences because a parent(s) their epic failure. It breaks my heart everytime I have to let my foster babies down, when I don’t know the answers. Because, in real life, I don’t have the answers. Apparently a judge does.

My foster kids have a team of people trying to figure out what is best for them. Sometimes it’s a pain in the ass but I know they’re all focused on the best interest of the kids. It seems like so much for kids to navigate through, it’s painful for me that they know that foster kids have all of these services and they know how to navigate the system. It’s very odd to hear childten talk about services offered by the state for foster children. They often educate me!

This Friday is a big day for us,  I’m not sure what’s in store but I know big things are happening in Bells’ and Shy’s lives.  I’ll be taking all of the kids out of school for this event; I’m hoping things that are uncertain will become clear after it is all said and done.

Every painful memory, every painful conversation, every bad day is nothing compared to the loss and suffering these kids experience. I often feel guilty venting about my feelings…but, it’s raw and real. This is foster care. I can easily sort through my emotions and be objective; children can’t afford those types of luxuries.

For every bad thing there are 50 good things, it’s not all bad. It feels nice to be loved and trusted by children who have been mistreated or abandoned. To be hugged, to share joyful accomplishments, and watch them grown. I love what I do, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I it is absolutely amazing to see positive changes in little humans lives and to know I’m shaping our societies future in a positive way.