October Recap

Yes, shop I know that October isn’t over yet, viagra order but it’s been a busy month already.

We started the month off in Florida — a glorious week of relaxation on the beach. IMG_1692I rode the post-vacation high for a week or so.

Anthony and I took advantaIMG_1874ge of me having a day off for Columbus Day and free entrance to the Arkansas State Fair during lunch hours to enjoy some delicious fair food. The super long corndog was my favorite. The chicken on a stick was good too, as was the Bacon Bomber deep fried dessert. Then we checked out the baking competition judging and wondered how we could get that gig next year. IMG_1877

Maya lost another tooth. IMG_1894
We went to a delightful birthday party at Carol and John’s. Their daughter Bella turned five. Carol is a master at themed birthday parties. MASTER. IMG_1916 Quinn didn’t care for Elsa and Anna. IMG_1939
Maya, Quinn and I now all have strep throat, although Quinn and I don’t really feel bad. Poor Maya spent the morning sleeping on the bathroom floor so she’d be close to the toilet. Poor thing. But Q, she’s just chillin. IMG_1974
So that’s our October so far. The weather is getting cooler. YEAH! This is my favorite time of year. Stay tuned for more.

 

One Year Ago Today My World Crumbled

September 8, viagra dosage 2014: I was home with Anthony getting the house ready for Baby Girl. She was born the Friday before, and at the request of Elle* (birth mom), I was there for her delivery. See Elle and I had history. I adopted her first child back in 2010 after fostering her for almost a year. During that time, unbreakable bonds were formed with Elle, her mom, and the rest of their family. So when she found out that she was pregnant again, she asked me if I would adopt this child too. I was uncertain if I wanted another child. Anthony and I already had three daughters. But we decided to get open as a foster home, and if this child ended up in foster care, we would foster the baby as “fictive kin.” Fictive kin is defined as people not related by birth or marriage who have an emotionally-significant relationship with an individual. And since we had the biological sibling, our DCFS resource worker said we would qualify.

On deliver day, Elle was scared and asked me to be with her in the delivery room. The nurse placed a chair for me near Elle’s head. She was draped with hospital blue cloth and prepped for a c-section. I reassured her that it would be okay. (I was reassuring myself at the same time.) I was so fidgety, about to explode with anticipation. I asked Elle if she minded if I moved from behind the blue draping to watch the actual delivery. She didn’t mind, so I got permission from the nurse. The nurse agreed after I told her that I’m also a nurse and that the sight of blood didn’t bother me. I had seen a c-section in nursing school, but this one was different. With each cut of the blade, with every move of the surgical team, I felt my child coming into this world. It was like I was on that table and having an out-of-body experience watching myself give birth. The doctor exclaimed “It’s a girl!” as I witnessed Baby Girl take her first breath outside the womb. IMG_1232She was big. She had a strong cry. Someone asked me if I wanted to cut the cord, and I did. It was all a big blur, like a surreal made-for-TV movie. I was taken back to another room where they cleaned up Baby Girl, inked her feet for precious footprints on her birth record, and then I got to hold her for the first time. She was very pink — not the dark brown that I was expecting. She had big, bow-shaped lips. I was overjoyed and so nervous.  IMG_1230Sometime later I joined Elle in the recovery room. She was given two armbands for access to the NICU. She gave me one of them, so I was able to stay in the room with Baby Girl. Elle came down to visit periodically and a few times a day she would request that I go up to visit her in the postpartum unit. Every time I would see her, she begged me to raise Baby Girl — to fight to keep her — to not let DCFS place her with anyone else. I said I would. Elle told me that she wanted her daughters to grow up together. I liked that thought too.  IMG_1250Then Sunday came. Around noon or so, Elle came down to the NICU to visit Baby Girl. A DCFS caseworker was with Elle. They asked that I wait outside the room so they could visit. Anthony arrived shortly after that and met me in near the nurse’s station. I just knew that Elle was in there telling the caseworker about our plan — about how Anthony and I became foster parents just so we could foster this baby as fictive kin, and if the case led to termination of parental rights, we would be open to adoption since we already had her sister. Then the nurse on duty came out and said that we were being asked to leave and for me to tell her what things in the room were mine. I couldn’t even enter the room to get my things — the nurse had to gather them for me — and then Anthony and I were escorted out of the hospital. No explanation was given. I was in shock.

The caseworker called me later and told me not to worry. That was reassuring. The plan would work out. I waited all day Monday for the call. Finally mid-afternoon we got the call that Baby Girl was being released into DCFS care and that we would hear from another caseworker about placing her with us. Whew — what a relief. Then about an hour later we got another call that the caseworker was buying a few things for the baby, but we’d get an ETA call soon. Then a third phone call:

She’s being placed with another family.

My heart dropped. What? Surely there’s been some mistake. I called my resource worker and was told that Elle said that I was trying to take her baby from her, and therefore it was assumed we would not be a good foster placement because we wouldn’t work toward reunification. I tried to explain that wasn’t the case. I wrote emails to the resource worker to reconsider. I wrote the area director. Over the next two days, I wrote and called everyone that I thought could help, finally talking to the director of DCFS for the entire state of Arkansas. She basically told me to back off and let the system work.

It was out of my hands. For the next week, I was a mess. I cried and laid on the couch in a crumbly, depressed pile of brokenness. Those were dark and uncertain times. My faith was tested, and I didn’t take it too well.

Finally a meeting was set for September 19. Anthony and I went before the area director and a bunch of other DCFS staff to be questioned. And fortunately, our pure motives came to light. A few hours after the meeting, a caseworker brought Baby Girl to our house. She was two weeks old at this point, and I wondered what I’d missed in those 11 days apart. And I knew she wasn’t mine forever yet — or if she ever would be. The following months were fairly easy as far as foster care cases go. Soon we knew that reunification wasn’t the goal, and we would probably get to adopt her. We were cautiously optimistic.  IMG_1252Almost a year passed until we adopted Baby Girl, now called Quinn, on July 29, 2015. Over that year, God taught me several important lessons. The first and most important one is that HE WILL DELIVERY ON HIS PROMISES IN HIS TIME. I have to remind myself of that daily. I have to relinquish control, open my clinched fists and release my right now to Him. That’s not easy for this control freak, this planner of all things. But I’m learning, one hard lesson at a time.

* name changed

 

Superhero Birthday Party

My little one turns five in a few days. It really has gone by so fast. I remember the cold, online rainy February night that I got a call from DHS asking if I could foster a baby girl. I calmly said yes, then immediately called my mom — “Get over here NOW. WE’RE GETTING A BABY!” I didn’t know how long this little wide-eyed pumpkin would live with me, so I just cherished every moment. She was such a good baby. Now here we are almost five years later, and I’m her forever mommy. I cry happy tears thinking about how lucky I am. So as I prepare for birthday party #5, here is a look back at the first four.

1st BIRTHDAY
1stbday1stbday21stbday3

2nd BIRTHDAY
2ndbday2ndbday22ndbday3
3rd BIRTHDAY
3rdbday23rdbday1
4th BIRTHDAY
4thbdaycupcakes4thbday24thbday

This year will be a superhero theme. Stay tuned!

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photoLittle M had her 5th birthday party yesterday. It was a Superhero themed-party. She wore her pink Power Ranger costumephoto 1(2).

The menu:
* Flourless chocolate cupcakes served with mint chocolate chip ice cream
* Grapes & strawberry cups
* Star-shaped peanut butter and chocolate hazelnut spread sandwiches
* Snowball clusters from the Plain Chicken blog (hey Stephanie!)
* Bottled water (the small ones)
* Pita chips and hummus (for the adults)
* Tortilla chips and cheese dip (also for the adults)

When the kids arrived, therapist
they were directed the playroom to decorate their capes. I made the capes very simply from old t-shirts and iron on Velcro. They seemed to enjoy coloring them, rubella
but then nobody wore them except Maya and my mom.

photo 2(2)
photo 3(1)After the cape decorating, apoplexy
the kids ate, then played some. Finally it was time to open presents. M loved all her gifts, but especially the remote-control car.

photo 5(1)photo 4(1)After about two hours, everyone had gone home, and Momma took a much-needed nap. So overall, I give the day an A+.

photo

photo 1(2)

Birthdays Remembered

My little one turns five in a few days. It really has gone by so fast. I remember the cold, online rainy February night that I got a call from DHS asking if I could foster a baby girl. I calmly said yes, then immediately called my mom — “Get over here NOW. WE’RE GETTING A BABY!” I didn’t know how long this little wide-eyed pumpkin would live with me, so I just cherished every moment. She was such a good baby. Now here we are almost five years later, and I’m her forever mommy. I cry happy tears thinking about how lucky I am. So as I prepare for birthday party #5, here is a look back at the first four.

1st BIRTHDAY
1stbday1stbday21stbday3

2nd BIRTHDAY
2ndbday2ndbday22ndbday3
3rd BIRTHDAY
3rdbday23rdbday1
4th BIRTHDAY
4thbdaycupcakes4thbday24thbday

This year will be a superhero theme. Stay tuned!

FREE SHIPPING

Cuatro Leches Cupcakes (recipe)

photo 1Last week, click my stepdaughter K turned 14. She was in New Orleans with the youth from our church on a mission trip, capsule so we didn’t get to celebrate until yesterday. Her sisters and I decided to make her cupcakes instead of a regular birthday cake. (I found cupcakes help my crew — myself included — with portion control.) K is a plain vanilla cake kind of gal, healthful so chocolate was out. I decided up to kick it up a notch and make these Food Network Cuatro Leches Cupcakes. They were so yummy — and not too sweet.

photo 5

I use a squeeze bottle (like the mustard one above) for adding fillings to cupcakes. It also worked for soaking these cupcakes with four milk (condensed, evaporated, whipping cream, and coconut milks) mixture.

2013-07-28 13.27.15

The finished product!