Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Favorites: Outfits

Linking up to Momfessionals for Friday Favorites

For this week's Friday Favorites, I decided to post some of my favorite outfits that Elmer wears right now.  He spits up so often, requiring wardrobe changes, that it wasn't hard to get all of my favorites on him!  

This is always one of my FAVORITE bibs for my foster babies.

This is what Elmer was wearing the day of the football National
Championship.  Unfortunately, it didn't actually buy the team a victory. 
The outfit is still one of my FAVORITES.

Love this little outfit that was my nephew's. 

This is one of my FAVORITE shirts.  I love the little robot!

And even though all things mustache are NOT my FAVORITE,
 I do love this little shirt on him.  He's about to grow out of it!

Lastly (and definitely showing off the difference in picture quality
on my Canon vs. cell phone!), my FAVORITE soft fuzzy outfit he owns!

Happy Friday!!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

They Just Don't Know

Elmer's mom called JATH and asked for a visit with him.  She set it up for Friday.  Since I was off of work, I said that I would at least take him to the visit and meet the mom.  I debated whether I should go back into the visit or just wait in the lobby.  I asked a couple of foster mom friends who have taken kids to visits (Sunshine always picked up Evie from school and took her to the visits; I did take Tigger to the visit with his relatives, but just dropped him off.)  One said that she typically stays in the lobby and reads a book during the visit.  The other says if she takes the child, she goes back to the visit with them and tries to engage the parent, "because, you know, I have their kid."  I had decided that I would go back for at least 10 or 15 minutes and then I would see how it was going to decide if I would stay longer.  I printed out a few cute pictures of Elmer for his mom. 

And then she didn't show up. 

I'm so glad that Elmer had no clue that she had not come. 

JATH also told me today that the relative they were supposed to do the home study on was not interested in a home study.  From what I gather, the mom named this relative but the relative never consented to take Elmer.  She said she is not capable of caring for a baby (and for a legitimate reason). 

Even though I understand the relative's reasoning, she and Elmer's mom just have no idea what they are missing out on with this precious baby.

Friday, January 22, 2016

On the Night You Were Born

When I went to the Amaz*n site to get this thumbnail, it told me that I bought this book in July 2013, which was right after I started the foster care licensing process.  I had seen the book in a store and knew I just had to have it to read to my foster children.  The essence of the book is that all of the world celebrated the uniqueness of that child on the night he was born. 

On the night you were born, the moon smiled with such wonder that the stars peeked in to see you and the night wind whispered, "Life will never be the same."  Because there had never been anyone like you... ever in the world.

The message I take out of it for my foster kids is that no matter what the situation was when they were came into this world, no matter what abuse or neglect they endured... the world  - and God - was still celebrating that child's birth... even if possibly their parents weren't. 

I cried the other night reading this book to Elmer.  Because his mother couldn't have known what a gift she was bringing into this world that night.  Because despite that, I know that the world rejoiced at his presence.  And because I wish that I could have been there to celebrate him then, too. 

Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Relatives and Court

I had gotten a text a few weeks ago saying that Elmer's parents had named a relative that may take him. 

On Friday, January 8, I received a phone call from the guardian ad litem (GAL) asking how Elmer was doing.  I'm sure it was no coincidence that court was the following Monday. 

Side note: From what I have read on others' blogs, I believe in some states the GAL is a lawyer.  In this state, the GAL is a volunteer from the community who is supposed to talk to everyone and determine what is in the best interest of the child. 

She told me that the relative that was possibly going to take Elmer had backed out, and so she wasn't sure that court would even be held. 

I showed up anyway on Monday, January 11, and his mom was there.  In the list of things in the agreement, I noticed that it did not include the standard "will maintain stable housing, submit to random drug screens, attend parenting classes, etc".  I found out on Friday, January 15 when JATH visited our home that was because Elmer's parents were not going to have a treatment plan.  I was a little blown away by that, as it seems parents often get way too many chances, but I am not sure if the parents declined a treatment plan or if DSS would not offer one. 

In court, I also learned that a homestudy would be done on one of Elmer's relatives.  At first, I thought this was the same relative who was going to take him from the NICU and then changed their mind.  At JATH's visit, I learned that this is now a different relative.  Even so, all I can think is, "Where has this person been for the last almost three and a half months?!"  And I'm still not clear on if this is a different relative from the one the GAL thought had backed out, or if the GAL was just mistaken in thinking they had backed out. 

JATH told me on Friday that they are still trying to get in touch with the relative to set up the homestudy.  They did not call it an "expedited" homestudy, so I think DSS has 60 days to complete it?  So now we just wait and see what happens.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Favorites

I'm trying a link-up this week! 

First up, my Tigers!  I was so excited to see them go to the National Championship game!  My sister Red and I got a sitter and went to a friend's house to watch the game.  It was the perfect environment for game-watching - all Tiger fans, loud, 80-inch TV (among five other TV's), good food and good company.  I was hoping to "Party Like it's 1981" but those boys gave it their all and made it a great game to watch.  Nothing to be ashamed of in that performance.  And we'll be back.

Sleep!  I'm crossing my fingers that we have found the formula to getting Elmer to sleep all night.  I started giving him bigger bottles during the day, so I think he is more full to sleep at night.  (I had been hesitant to increase the bottle size with the amount that he spits up, but it doesn't seem to be any more now than with smaller bottles.)  This morning, it was glorious to see "Sleep Goal Met" (8 hours) on my F!tb!t.  Granted, it was a five-hour stretch and a three-hour stretch added up, but I can't remember the last time I slept a total of eight hours in a night! 

Meeting milestones!  Elmer rolled all the way from his back to his stomach one time this week for me, but had his arm under him and pushed himself right back over to his back.  But the daycare says he has been rolling over to his stomach a lot there.  Less than four months old for rolling is a SUPER age to meet that milestone.  Since he is high risk for developmental delay due to his history, I'm so glad that he is meeting milestones early. 

Belly laughs!  Elmer has started belly laughing, and there is no more precious sound than that.  You can't help but laugh along when it happens. 

Adoption Day!  TT got a date for Twin's adoption.  I'm so excited for the two of them!  

Monday, January 4, 2016

More Than Just Luck

I was talking to the daycare director the other day, and she was saying how happy Elmer was.  She said, "You got lucky with him." 

I do believe that some of it is luck.  He is such a good-natured, sweet baby.

But some of it is NOT luck.  There have been definite changes in Elmer from Day 1 until now, and I believe a lot of the reason for that is that I am doing many things right. 

Meeting sensory needs, and developmental activities, and snuggling, and swaddling, and smiling/laughing, and loving. 

I will concede that I lucked out with the first three children I had because they were all so good from the beginning.  But I have seen such changes in Elmer that I believe this is more than just luck.


The week of Christmas, I got a text from Elmer's caseworker (blog name JATH - Joined at the Hip, as she always comes to home visits with a specific one of the other caseworkers) asking if she could come pick him up the next day for a visit with his parents.  (Less than two weeks before, she told me that the parents had had no contact with DSS yet.)  I was working and couldn't go to the visit, so I asked her to touch base with me to let me know how the visit went and also what was going on with the parents; I did not hear back from her until today. 

Court is on Monday.  (My understanding is that it is a merits hearing; she keeps calling it a "trial."  So I don't know exactly what to expect.)  I plan to go - even with Sunshine (the most communicative caseworker we have had), I learned SO MUCH new information at court. 

JATH also told me today (via text) that the parents "have named a relative that may be willing to take Elmer in."  So we will see what happens with that. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016


To: Elmer
From: Resort Management Staff

Earlier this week, we sent out a memo that our sleeping schedule had changed to 9:00pm to 6:30am.  We assumed you received this memo as you were compliant for five nights in a row.  However, last night it appears we may have inadvertently sent out an additional memo to return to the schedule from when you first arrived of awaking every four hours.  If so, please disregard that memo and be advised that the correct sleeping schedule is 9:00pm to 6:30am.  Dining is no longer available between the hours of 10pm and 6am.  We appreciate your attention to this matter.