Sunday, August 10, 2014

So...I've Been Vlogging.....

Please feel free to join me on my youtube chanel.  I vlog semi regularly and would love to have you follow me around.  I have all these good intentions of posting here, on blogger, but time just gets away from me.  I will try to get back and update on all the exiting changes that have happened in my life....but everything is on my vlogs.

Hope to see you there....



xo Tiff

Our Perfect Blonde Angel.....


One week into being foster parents, things were a bit rocky.  Out sweet Little Lady was having a difficult time, she was teething, settling into an unfamiliar home, had a few restless nights, and her first foster care well baby appointment was upon us….and wouldn’t you know she needed a few shots.   She cried so hard that the entire office could hear her.  She had some strong vocal cords for such a Little Lady. 

She cried and would not stop no matter what I did to comfort her.  We got into my mommy van and as we pulled into our neighborhood she stopped crying and fell to sleep.  I drove right by our home and kept driving.  We had a few hours before we had to be home for a visit with our agency case worker so I decided to take a drive around our city.  We drove and drove….and I let her sleep, finally.

The time that we HAD to be home was getting close so we headed back.  By the time our case worker arrived Little Lady’s mood was better but still a bit fussy.  She rested in her swing as our case worker and I chatted and started on paper work.

As we sat in the den working I heard ducks. (Please see this post for info on back story)  I was a bit confused since that is the ring tone for our agency and a representative of our agency was in my home.  I do not know what made me answer the phone, I mean it was actually kind of rude since I had a guest, but I answered.  I was being called for a placement.  Let me back up to say that I had gotten a few more placement calls since Little Lady had been in our home…but none felt right or I did not call back in time to get the info.

The voice on the other end was the agency Program Manager (everyone there seems to take and make calls) she said she knew I was getting settled with Little Lady but wanted to tell me about another baby.  This baby was a little 8 month old girl who needed a place to stay.  I was told all family and other options had been exhausted.  Since we are a foster to adoption home, this sounded good.  I got a few more details, that I cannot share, and I said “bring her home”.

When I told our case worker what was going on she asked, “Are you sure?  Are you crazy?”  I had just told her about the rough time Little Lady and I were having.  Their ages were so close, a 5 month old and an 8 month old!?!?! I was sure.  Something just felt right in agreeing to care for her.  Our case worker agreed and said it sounded promising that this baby might stay forever.  Of course we never know that to be true, the goal is always reunification.

Fast forward to later that evening and a beautiful blond hair, blue eye angel came to my door.  We call her “Blondie”.

When I opened the door I felt immediate love.  The man on the porch held the most beauitiful fair skin, blonde hair baby with big blue eyes...like a sparkling saphire blue that you can get lost in. She was scared but not crying. All she had on was a thin onesie that had holes and smelled of smoke.  I wanted to get her inside and into something more comfortable.  The first thing I found was a clean, Texas A&M, thick soft onesie. So I put that on her and a nice warm pair of socks. 

Meanwhile, the CPS worker who brought her home was bringing in boxes and armfuls of belonging.  I still get very emotional when I think this was everything she owned….well except the “play pen” (as the CPS worker called it) that she slept in, it did not fit in his car.  When Little Lady came, she had a bag of clothes, like she was staying a few days.  Blondie had everything she “owned”, like she was not going back. 

We are her first Foster Care home but she had been in multiple homes over the last few months as her parents could not care for her.  Remember, she was only 8 months old at the time.  It is hard to tell the entire story when there are so many details we cannot share…. But just know that she was scared and tired.  But she was well fed as she was much bigger than I thought she would be.  Compared to Little Lady, just a few months younger, she was a big girl.  Not fat, just big.  I even asked if they were sure she was 8 months old. 

We started to get settled in, remember Little Lady (the 5 month old) was still with us, at this time.  We were thinking about what we needed for TWO babies and what we had.  Well, we only had one car seat, one stroller….so David, my hubbie, headed out to get another car seat (we actually had a car seat and stroller we were borrowing from my brother and SIL, but it was a single stroller).  When he came back, he not only had a new carrier and car seat but a double stroller….the exact one I wanted. 

I do not know if Blondie was just exhausted or used to being in so many homes, she did not put up a fuss.  She played with us, a little cautiously but not really guarded.  She ate well.  She loved watching Little Lady, and wanted to love on her….but she did not know her own strength so we could not let her play too much. It being so late in the evening, when she came, it wasn’t long before bedtime.  She and Little Lady were pretty good roomies.  They both slept well…esp Little Lady who I think was used to sharing a room with her brother and sister.

In fact, they were both so easy going that we took them out to the mall that weekend to test out the new double stroller.  They just chilled in their seats and enjoyed being out.  We saw the Easter Bunny and got their pic taken.  That was a big surprise as I had not thought about it being so close to Easter.

We had so many visitors in and out of the home, meeting the girls.  I am not sure, looking back, that it was a good thing or not.  Some experts say not to have a lot of visitors so the baby can bond with mommy and daddy…but everyone was so excited to meet them…and the babies seemed to enjoy it, too. 

Blondie had a yuckie rash and other skin problems when she arrived. I had talked to our Foster Care Clinic but they did not seem concerned and just said to go to the ER if it got bad.  We had an appt coming up for her first visit, so they just did not seem to think we needed to come in sooner.  I kept a close eye on it and used rash ointment, we used very strict cautions so there was no cross contamination.  By Sunday afternoon I just could not deal with not really knowing and we took a trip to the ER. Foster children have medical covered so might as well take advantage of it.  Also, David had been inventorying her belonging s and came across some cream in a bag….I am not going to disclose what it was but dealing with it in my past, while working in an Alzheimer’s community, I just wanted make sure we had this under control.

So we spent most of Sunday evening in the ER.  The nurses were so nice and the babies were pretty relaxed.  I think Little Lady just slept thru it.  Ok…so Blondie was relaxed until they started examining her.  She did not want me to put her down.  We were already getting pretty attached and she trusted me.  She had to lie down and be still, something to this day she still does not like.  I let her play with my necklace and that seemed to calm her down….give her something else to focus on.  We made a joke that something shiny from Tiffany and Co always makes a girl happy. The nurses doctored her up, we got a diagnosis of what the rash was (and it wasn’t the icky thing the cream was for, that had already cleared up), and a prescription.  We gladly said thank you and good bye.  We had our first ER visit and it wasn’t that big of a deal, it could have been worse.

The next week was exhausting but I felt so blessed.  There were some sleepless nights; I will not fib on that….but the babies were in a strange home, sleeping in a strange room….with another strange baby.  It was one of those feeling of exhaustion that you welcome it kind of things, if that makes sense.  Mommies understand what I mean. 

On Thursday, after 2 weeks of being her Foster Family, we had to say Good Bye and God Bless to our Little Lady.  She was a sweet heart but she was going to live with her Grandma, Grandpa, big brother and sister.  We were going to miss her but were very happy for her reunification. 

And now Blondie was an only child.  We decided to focus our energy and love on this little angel.  She seemed to need some attention and we had plenty to give.  We were called several times over the next few weeks about placements and always passed.  I finally asked that they just give us some time to spoil Blondie and enjoy her.  When we agreed to be licensed for two it was supposed to be if they were siblings, so it wasn’t really a big deal.  I love the idea of two but not right now.

Over the last few months we have kept pretty busy.  We have enjoyed lots of family events.  My sister, Krazy Krystal and BFF Cathy threw a fun “Welcome to Foster Parenthood Shower” for me and Blondie was the center of attention.  It was so cool that the baby was there at the shower.

 I also celebrated my very first Mother’s Day as a mommie.  Blondie and David made me breakfast (cinnamon rolls) and had a card from David AND one from Blondie waiting on me when I woke up.  I got presents, too…a charm from Tiffany’s of a little girl silhouette and a Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM in Azure (to be my summer mommie bag…which I LOVE!!!!).  We hosted a Mother’s Day lunch at our home and everyone came.  We had David’s Yummy, award winning, homemade jambalaya. I had been feeling so sad on the last few Mother’s Days that this was a big deal to me.  I was finally a mommie, too.

 We celebrated Father’s Day, too, which was a lot of fun.  Blondie and I took off shopping on the Saturday before to hunt for the perfect gifts (they had been planned for a while but I could not find the perfect frame). We gave David cards, made breakfast, and gave him cigars and a big photo collage frame with several photos we took of Blondie in the Bluebonnets (for him to hang in his new office).  We took Daddy out for dinner at his favorite place, Bone Daddy’s House of Smoke.  David has a daughter, Victoria, who is in her 20s, but we do not see her often.  I always make a big deal about Father’s Day for him with a card, gift, and dinner out…but this was so fun having a baby to celebrate with us.

We went on quite a few outings.  David and I always take a trip to the BLuebonnet Trails in April, we really enjoyed taking BLondie and getting some great pictures. We got Family Memberships to the Dallas Zoo and went several times before it got too hot.  Blondie loved riding in her stroller and seeing the animals.  She especially enjoyed when Jordan (17 year old niece) and Ayden (4 year old cousin) went with us. When Krazy Aunt Krystal was on vacation we went to the Dallas Aquarium and saw the sharks and flamingos.  We also went shopping and out to lunch a few times while Krystal was off of work.  We went swimming at Mimi’s house a few times and Blondie enjoyed it so much we decided to have her Birthday Party as a Pool Party / Luau. 

At the first of July we welcomed Baby Lucca, my nephew, into the world.  Now Blondie has a cousin just a year younger.  I hope they get to grow up together, picking on each other and playing, becoming  best friends. 

We have celebrated many firsts with our sweet little Blondie.  We were told, when she arrived, that she did not crawl.  We witnessed the “first” time she crawled.  We cheered her on to her first steps.  We celebrated her first Birthday…..OH and did we CELEBRATE!!!!

To be continued….

XO

Tiffany

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fostering "Little Lady"

Ok...so bare with me as I ramble thru this.  I posted back on March 30, 2013 that we were considering the Foster to Adopt program to grow our family.  We took a leap and started classes (Pride) in May of 2013 which started the process.  Over the next 10 months, yes it took that long, we got our license.  (If you are interested in each step of the process, please look into your states Foster Adoption program.  Every state might be different and I do not want to lead you the wrong way.)

I want to tell you about our first foster daughter, Little Lady....

On a Friday afternoon in mid March, I got our first call for a placement.  It was for 2 baby girls, I was told they were 5 months and a year, if I am remembering correctly.  I do remember the ages had to be an estimate because it did not "add up" to possible.  Anyway, those were the ages I was told.  I remember when I got the call I kept hearing ducks.  I had set my ring tone to ducks for the agency and it did not register in my brain that was who was calling.  As soon as I realised, I ran to the bathroom (I was at work and we were not supposed to have phones on us) and answered.  I got all the info, said yes, and started trying to get in touch with my husband.  Well in the meantime, the girls went to stay with someone in their own county.  I was very sad for the loss of two babies I never had. 

I was also pretty pissed that I might have lost this placement because I was too preoccupied at work to listen for my phone to ring.  The next day I gave my two week notice.

Turns out I did not work the entire two weeks.  Everyone who mattered understood that I might be quitting at a moments notice....from the day I agreed to come in to talk to the Executive Director (who was a long time friend, ex boss of mine)....but I still wanted to give the courtesy of notice. 

Anyway....as I sat playing BINGO on a chilly Wednesday afternoon, I heard ducks again.  I answered the phone RIGHT THERE at the BINGO table. Since I was playing BINGO with a group of Alzheimer's residents I knew they might get agitated if I continued to chat on the phone.  A hospice nurse came over and continued the game for me.  She knew what was going on.  The agency was calling to ask if I could care for a little 5 month old baby girl and a 3 year old little girl sibling group.  They had a brother, too, but he was to go elsewhere since I was not opened to older children.  This really made me sad but I decided right off to stick to the decision my husband and I made when we started this journey.  I agreed to care for the girls and they were to arrive later that evening.

I left my job right then and there.  I went to Walmart to get things for the 3 year old since we were not really set up for a 3 year old.  As I pulled into the parking lot, I got a call from our agency letting me know the 5 month old, who we started referring to as "Little Lady" would be coming but her sister was going to the same home as her brother.  I was a little sad but I understood that she was older and would most likely need her brother at that time.

"Little Lady" arrived later that night.  She was bundled up in a Hello Kitty blanket and did not seem to know anything was happening.  Her brother and sister came in as the CPS worker dropped her off.  Their CASA was with them.  I did not expect to meet them.  They were so well behaved and I did not expect that, either.  Not even crying.  I am sure the older kids were scared.  The big brother was 7, so old enough to know what was going on but young enough to be scared.  He was so brave.

Even though I was going to be caring for Little Lady, I asked if I could hold her.  Now, looking back, how odd was that?  She was the sweetest chubby cheeked little baby.  Dark hair, dark eyes, perfection.

The CPS worker filled me in on the case, which I can not go into here.  Of course she said the goal was reunification, it is always the goal. She did say that grandparents wanted her to live with them but they failed the home study....but there was a court date in the next week and the judge could grant them placement of the children.

I expected a long process but the CPS worker was in and out in under half an hour.  I am sure it was shorter than that but I know it was not longer.  I just had to sign a few papers and I was left with a beautiful baby girl.

When everything quietened down I changed her into some comfy clothes and fed her.  I was amazed how she slept thru the night. I also think that might have been the only night she slept thru.  She must have been exhausted.

Over the next few days everyone came to visit and meet our Little Lady.  She was so precious.

Also, over the next few days, we learned more about  her case, mostly from CASA.  CASA can be a wealth of info, GET ON THEIR GOOD SIDE!!!!  They are volunteers and are advocates for the children. We learned that, yes, the grandparents failed their home study but only because of something minor that happened like 30 years ago.  They were good people.  Grandpa took the little boy fishing, Grandma cooked with the little girl....they were their family.  In my heart I knew we were not Little Lady's family.

I loved her and cared for her with all of my heart.  I grew attached to her.  She had her moments, like any 5 month old, but over all she was a very easy and happy baby.  What a welcome into being Foster Parents.  We took her everywhere with us...even to see the Easter Bunny.  She went on date night with us....and to Krazy Krystal's house.  I loved holding her and feeding her every night, even waking up with her to eat and to watch the lullaby video on Youtube. (if you have babies, you MUST watch this....helps them sleep!!!!)

She stayed with us for 2 weeks.  When she left I was very sad....but only for me....well for my entire family as we all loved her....I was happy for her.  She was going to live with her family.  Not only her grandparents but her big brother and sister, too.  I still have very sad moments when I think of her. I cry often when I think about her. She is about 9 months old now.  I know she must be crawling and eating some yummy baby food....has a few teeth.  I also know she is happy when she is around her big brother and sister as she always lit up when they would visit with their CASA worker.  She will always be our first foster daughter and I pray and wish for her a happy life. 


XO

Tiffany







Updates....

Well, here I am.  Coming on to ask for forgiveness for neglecting you....yet again.  The only excuse I have is life just gets in the way.  But I will let you know what has been going on....

First, last we spoke I was working, again.  As I am sure I mentioned, I went back to work for the Assisted Living Corporation that I worked for before I was married.  I am not going to go much into that but I did continue working there until late March of this year. As you know, I went back to work for a few reasons.  First, to get my mind off the infertility / adoption / etc process we were working thru.  Well, we decided that further infertility treatments were not in our future and we were moving on to adoption.  Now let me say, I am not going to go into why we moved on from one thing to the other or how I always knew adoption was a journey I was to go on...that is all too much for a quick update....but anyway...one reason I went back to work was to get my mind off of the wait.  Secondly....why most people work....the all might dollar.  Adoption is expensive and I wanted to stash some Benjamins away.  This was my excuse for neglecting the blog during that time.

I enjoyed working, for the most part.  But I did not enjoy being away from home.  I still believe and will most likely always believe that I belong at home.

So fast forward to late March 2014....I quit my job!!!!

Why?  Well a sweet little 5 month old baby girl needed a place to stay for a few weeks.  Yes, we became Foster Parents.  Long story short....I went to work one day, went about my business, and in the middle of an exciting game of BINGO with my Alzheimer's residents I got the call.  Our placement agency had a little 5 month old baby girl and a 3 year old little girl who needed a place to stay. 

Yes, that is the short version...and I will come back soon to tell you the rest.  .... and the main reason I have been too busy to blog the last few months.

If you just can not wait to read the story....come over to my Youtube channel "ramblingsfromagirliegirl" and catch up with me there. 

Look forward to getting back and catching up....I am not sure what direction the blog will take...or how often I will be able to post....  I would like to continue with the housewife advice and ramblings but I am sure a few foster care and adoption blogs will creep in there.  What I can tell you is there will not be any photos or videos of the babies, we must think of their privacy.  When I refer to them it will be just general things...nothing too telling about their case. 

On my vlog channel on youtube, I have a few videos about the Foster Care process, if anyone is interested.  There is a playlist set up for your viewing pleasure. 

xo

Tiffany


Friday, July 5, 2013

Find Your Voice: Lesson One, Prompt Two: Storytelling Goals


Who knew actually putting words down on paper would be this tough?  I used to take pride in how easy I found writing to be.  I loved telling a story.  I still do, but now that it has been years since I have done so in a “workshop” or class environment, I think I have lost my nerve.  I journal in my scrapbooks and for Project Life, but it is just basic, one dimensional facts.  I want to push myself and make the story of my family more interesting.

I want this story to help tell future generations who we are at this moment in time.  This exact moment while we are waiting to meet our child(ren).  Since we will be older parents we may not be here, or if we are here, we may not remember the facts. Our scrapbooks and journals will be the documentation of who we are.

I want this to be real.  I do not want it to be sad, even though we have sad times.  I want the sad times to show why and how we grew from it.  How something sad can bring something so wonderful.  I want to tell how we came to our decisions.

I want our future children to know how happy we are, together.  How much we love eachother.  How we care for eachother.  We enjoy being together, doing things we love together.  Our scrapbooks already show this but I want to go further.  I want more of a story.

Future generations will already know we are a Godly house and family.  This can be expanded on and more of the WHY can be told. Our roles in the family are because of God.  This is and will be reflected more in the story of our lives.

Find Your Voice: Lesson One, Prompt One: Creative Base

 
Just a fun, simple, creative way to tell WHO I am at this moment.
 
XO
Tiffany
 
 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Paper Lover's Studio Challenge

How can you not love a place called "Paper Lover's Studio"?  They are having a challenge this week where you are to create a scrapbook page without photos.  The point is to do more journaling to tell the story.  Well, I scrapbook like this so I am taking on the challenge with my own little spin.  I am going to do it SMASH style.  I simply found one of my favorite pieces of ephemera and journaled around it in the journal I am using for the Find Your Voice workshop.

 
XO
Tiffany