Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Good Wife's Guide...

Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.

Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.

Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.

Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc and then run a dust cloth over the tables.

Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.

Be happy to see him.

Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first- remember his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.

Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.

Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.

Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.

A good wife always knows her place.

This is an article from Housekeeping Monthly in May of 1955. We have come along way ladies!! I think many women would stay single if this was still the expectation of a wife. I now see why it was expected of them to stay at home...after completing all of their duties as listed they certainly wouldn't have time for anything else. I got a kick out of this article given to me by my mom and wanted to share it with all of you.  I read it to my brother and his response was, "What's wrong with that? That's how it should be!" His fiance certainly has her work cut out for her. 8] So how do you rate as a wife after reading this?!?

Friday, August 19, 2011

More Time...

that’s what we have all been given as of yesterday. Us with the Princess and the bio mom to get her stuff together. Court was supposed to be the 23rd of this month but yesterday I received a call from the caseworker saying the mom’s lawyer requested it be pushed back. Court is now on the 20th of September. When I hung the phone up I was ticked…livid even. She gets chance after chance, and LOTS of time. They always manage to cut her a break. I’m just wondering when they will cut the Princess a break…and give her a chance….and give her time to be a kid and sort through everything she has been through. This time I decided to just try to immediately look for a silver lining. I didn’t have to look long….this gives us another month with The Princess. I think we got the better deal.

We had to get another round of shots for the Princess yesterday to catch her up. These were her 15 month shots. She wasn’t thrilled. However, the doctor raved over how much progress she has made…he couldn’t get over how good her speech was. He said over and over how pleased he was and that he thinks that her current environment is what has helped her catch up and do so well. 8) I told him she had been diagnosed with PTSD and ADHD primarily hyperactivity and that they said the issue of whether or not she should be medicated should be raised. From listening to his thoughts on ADHD I don’t think he is going to recommend medication. I am thrilled. You may judge me for that and that’s okay. I don’t judge those who choose to medicate…I just prefer not to. I do know this could change, but we will deal with that when the time comes. Both girls’ lungs sounded good…I asked him to check to make sure we had fully recovered from Bronchitis. It’s the second time we have had it in the last 4 months so I wanted to be sure!!

I told you in my last post that they said her mom had until November to have everything in order to get The Princess back, but I thought it was until January because that’s when she came to us. I am happy…no thrilled….to tell you that I was wrong!! She has until November 15th . The bad news is that they could give her an extension of 3 months. The way this case is going, I wouldn’t be surprised. But I have to focus on the silver lining…more time with our Princess. And I think someone nailed it when they told me, “If she hasn’t shown us anything by now after 8 months, she isn’t going to. But you have to remember who is in control. Time doesn’t matter…it’s all up to God.” I have never in my life had to rely so much on the grace, compassion and justice of God. It’s a good place to be.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Waiting Game....

I am exhausted and could fall asleep standing up today…I do not know why. Because of that, this post will be short and I am going to collapse in bed. And pray the girls are feeling just as tired and sleep in. Tomorrow we have an appointment for The Princess to get another round of shots. (For those who don’t know, she never had shots after 6 weeks of age and is getting caught up on immunizations. She will be done with this in November as we do a little at a time.) I am not excited about this. We will have to find a way to cheer her up afterwards. I hate that she has to get it done….it is awful. It breaks my heart the way she screams and begs us not to make her get them. I always end up crying along side her. I am sure they think we are a bunch of nut jobs.

The Princess did well today at her appointments and they said her visit with mom went pretty well this time…usually it’s a fighting match they have to break up. I did find out why she came home with no panties on yesterday which I didn't know until much later when i walked in the bathroom to check on her while pottying. I asked her where her panties were and she said home. Today I was told she had an accident yesterday during counseling. She has yet to have one since she woke up one day moths ago and decided to ditch her pull ups. Anxiety. That she was scared and nervous enough for this to happen makes me see red!!

           Her speech therapist is amazed at how well her speech is and that she is using complete sentences now. This makes for a happy and very proud Mama!! Madison and I stayed home and visited with my brother’s fiancĂ© and did puzzles and laughed. She was a perfect distraction to my thoughts. She has the sweetest spirit. She asked when The Princess would be home and finally said she was tired and wanted her nap. I got tons of housework done and am proud to say….the MOUNTAIN of clothes has been demolished. For today. I am sure it will be back within the blink of an eye! How do 4 people…two of them very tiny….dirty so much laundry?? Anyways, I am trying not to bore you to death!!

As I mentioned on face book earlier today, it seemed the caseworker yesterday jumped the gun in telling me adoption was where we were headed. Today when I called her she said that she was asking us in case this is what happened…which she thinks will. I asked her if bio mom had said she wanted to sign over rights and the answer was no. I think they assumed…although the reason they assumed is legit. I hate assumptions…they give false hope. Hope is what we cling to around here!! When the worker who transports the Princess brought her home she was sacked out sleeping and continued to as I picked her up and put her in the car seat and slept for another 30 minutes. It gave me the chance to talk to the worker who smiled very big and said, “I saw on her file today her worker wrote that she had asked ya’ll about adoption and you said you wanted to.” I don’t know how to interpret the smile. I am taking it with a grain of salt…but hoping. It’s what we do. We hope. Bio mom was supposed to talk to the caseworker today after her visit with The Princess but haven’t heard yet how that went. They were going to ask her again if there are any relatives that could be a relative placement should she come up for adoption. There never has been or she wouldn’t have been placed with us. Mom always said there was nobody. Not sure what her answer was today. However, I feel reassured by my friend, who has been on this journey a lot longer than Ronnie and I, that they have to pass lots of screenings and background checks and so forth and only have 21 days to get their license. Not really worried about that happening. It’s been 9 months…if they were interested in having her I guess they would have already stepped up. Again we hope.

There was a possible silver lining in all of this. The woman who transports the Princess also said that the mom has until November to get her back and have everything in order. I told her this couldn’t be true because she has a year and the Princess came to us in January. The 6th to be exact. She said they had started a case on her in November…but that maybe she was wrong. I am praying she is right.

I apologize that this post seems gloom and doom…we are really okay. We are trying to find the balance of trusting in God and not getting our hopes up. It’s not an easy thing to do. I don’t even know if it’s possible. Ask me later. Things are up in the air and we worry. But I know who is in control and He does an excellent job. And tonight, we have two beautiful girls sleeping in their beds. And they are SAFE. And very much loved. And that is enough for today. God is already in tomorrow.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Today brought lots of news. But all good news! That’s what you call a good day!! I think I spent 80% of it on the phone…which was the only downfall. I HATE talking on the phone. Tomorrow will most likely be the same…but after today…bring it on!!

First off we received the results from The Princess’ psych evaluation she had a few weeks ago. She was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and ADHD…which I expected. Autism was said to be a very slight “possible” and ODD (Obstinant Defiance Disorder) was ruled out. Yay!!! She is going to be just fine. It’s nothing we can’t get through. If I have learned anything it’s that faith and prayer get things done!!! I prayed for a good report and that she wouldn’t have to battle Autism because she already has SO much to get through. I prayed PTSD and ADHD would be it…because I knew she had it. Now we pray that being in a loving, stable home with people who love her and a large dose of Jesus will get her through PTSD. As for ADHD…it could be worse and she will be fine. The evaluation said the dominance is in hyperactivity. What a shocker! Ha-ha…she is definitely that. We just prefer to call it spirited. 8) Like I said, it could be worse.

I was pretty pumped from talking to them about her results and then it was time for her to go for her counseling. Her caseworker was picking her up today instead of the person who normally transports her. I knew this wouldn’t be easy. I told her “Mrs.______” would be picking her up instead. She said “NO! I go with ____!” Needless, to say when the caseworker got there she began screaming as soon as she walked in our front door. She jumped in Ronnie’s lap and clung to him screaming, “My Daddy!!!” and wouldn’t go. I promised her she was coming home and we would go visit Granda and play castle with her. (AKA: playing in the mud.) She was still crying when we put her in the car seat and kissed her bye. Have I mentioned yet how much I HATE when she has to leave when she clearly doesn’t want to go? I do…more than you know. She is always scared she isn’t coming back. Sheesh…so are we! We may have PTSD too from dealing with this up and down for almost 8 months. She went and was gone for almost 4 hours which was unusual since her counseling is the only thing she had to do today and it is for 1 hour. I figured they must have ended up talking and discussing things but wasn’t going to ask. I WILL be asking tomorrow, however, why she came home with a big blue bruise on her forehead. 8( I didn’t have to ask why the meeting was late…

The caseworker brought her home and she ran into the door and said “Hey, Madison! Hey, Mama!!” 8) The caseworker told me to call her at 8 o’clock the next morning to talk to her. I told her I would. But then she said, “I want to talk to you to see how ya’ll feel about adoption!” I seriously am surprised I was capable of answering her so fast, but I immediately said, “There’s no need for a phone call. The answer is yes!” She said the counselor asked today if it was possible for an open adoption. The DHS supervisor said they don’t negotiate. However, it seems we are headed towards an adoption. I am still in complete shock and awe!! Shock that it happened so fast and awe that God did exactly what I have begged for!! For her mom to sign her rights over and walk away. How incredibly awesome is that??? I sometimes thought maybe that wasn’t the right prayer or maybe that was asking something too big. I have never been more glad to be wrong. I will call tomorrow to see where we go from here…if they are going to come straight out with it and ask her if she wants to sign her rights over or if we have to wait and see. I am still praying hard that she will sign them over quickly and we can be done with the visits. I am also praying nothing happens in which we HAVE to, for some reason, let The Princess keep in touch in order to adopt. It isn’t a tie that needs to be kept in her situation. Please pray with us that bio mom will sign her rights over and will walk away completely. Thank you to those who continually pray for and encourage us. It means a great deal more than you will ever know…for us…but mainly for our girls and their future. I am thankful I know who holds their future in their hands. And it isn’t DHS or the judge.

(*I will update you again tomorrow after I talk to DHS more.*)

Highlights from the past few days:

Watching the girls play with their water guns today in their floppy sunhats of Granda’s and hearing Madison say, “I’m a lady!” when she put hers on.

The Princess talking in complete sentences for the past few days all day long!!!

Madison washing The Princess’ hair in the bathtub tonight and The Princess pretended to cry because water got in her eyes. Madison said, “I told you to close your eyes!”

Sitting at the dinner table about to eat and The Princess said, “WAIT!” and held out her hands on either side of her to say grace.

Watching the girls at the movies last night and completely LOVING it. In the middle of the movie Madison turned to The Princess and said, “I love you!” and then they hugged and kissed each other.

Hearing the girls sing as loud as they can in the backseat of the truck to the radio.

Flipping through the songs on my Adele CD in the truck and Madison says, “Wait mama, that’s my song!”

When the Princess says, “I make a name!” and then draws a picture.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sharing My Daughter....

Have you ever been in a situation where you were so excited but yet dreading it so much it made your stomach turn…and then you sit back and watch it turn into something surprisingly wonderful? This was our experience today. It’s an unpredictable journey we are on, yet the one who has us on it isn’t unpredictable in the least. He promised to bring beauty out of ashes. And you can hold Him at His word. I have proof: My Madison.

Yesterday we were informed that Madison would have her last visit with her aunts. This may not seem like such wonderful news to you, but to us it’s HUGE! There are certain things we knew we would have to tolerate during this journey before we began, but that doesn’t always make it easy. A lot of times it seems unbearable. And one of those things for me is sharing my child. On the days that she go for visits with her aunts I am reminded once again that she isn’t really mine. I didn’t carry her for 9 months. I didn’t give birth to her or stay up all night with her when she cried. I didn’t hear her first words or see her take her first steps. Yet, she is mine. I was a mother the second she walked in my door. I couldn’t love her anymore if I had given birth to her. I prayed for her before she was born. How is that possible? I have been praying for almost 6 years for our kids. I just didn’t expect them to come to us the way they did. Madison is everything I ever dreamed our daughter would be and so much more. She is beautiful, kind hearted, sweet, brilliant, funny and spirited. She gives her love freely to those she loves through kisses and hugs all day. She ADORES her Daddy and that is just as it should be. She loves all things girly and thinks there is nothing better than spending time with Granda and Papa. She loves to be read to and sings and dances all over the house. She asks to go talk to Jesus constantly. She is our world and we couldn’t imagine life without her.

I was overjoyed when I realized I wouldn’t have to share my Madison with anyone ever again. All day I couldn’t help but think about this chapter of our lives that was finally going to be closed and the next one about to begin. I thought about it so much I didn’t stop to think about the big picture….that this chapter of her life wasn’t closed for HER yet. She still has thoughts and feelings to work through….to figure out in her little mind and her heart.

We dropped her off for her last hour visit and when we picked her up I was still excited but there was this uncertainty. Foster care is unpredictable. I didn’t know how it had went when DHS informed her aunts that they would never see her again. I had to wait until 5 o’clock to call her worker and ask her how it went. At 5:00 my husband hadn’t forgotten…he reminded me very quickly, “It’s 5 o’clock!!!” I called the worker.The “aunt” who raised her from the day she was born until a few weeks before we got her…was broken hearted. She knew this day was coming but she had no idea it would be today. The caseworker informed me the next part was when she needed me to listen to everything before I made a decision to what she was about to ask me. I took a deep breath and in that instant I was terrified. What if it would change everything? The aunt asked for one more visit to be able to tell her goodbye and let her 3 sisters tell her goodbye as well. She wanted to sit down and talk to me and Ronnie. I had a million thoughts running through my mind at this point. What did she want to talk about? Was she warning us she was going to try and fight it? Was the bio mom going to decide to actually fight it hard. But anything that veers from us adopting Madison even in the tiniest of chances…terrifies us. I really thought I may throw up. ….The aunt wanted to sit down with Ronnie and I and tell us Madison’s story. 8*) She wants to tell us everything there is to know about Madison…her life from the day she was born until the day she came to us. She wants to ask if we will please tell Madison her story one day. I can tell you I cried then as I am crying now while typing this. I know you were expecting me to announce an unexpected pregnancy or something extremely different than this. This is better. And yet that doesn’t even describe it. It is handing me my Madison’s past…the 3 1/2 years I missed out on. The one thing I still couldn’t get over…missing THREE AND A HALF YEARS of her life…and they are being handed to me. No, it’s not the same as holding her the first time and her grabbing my finger with her hand…seeing her first smile. I know it’s not the same. But somehow…to us….it is a miracle of it’s own. Time given back. That’s a gift you never get. It’s hard to adequately describe to you what this means to us. It means EVERYTHING. I can’t imagine the sacrifice she is making. To raise this precious little girl for 3 ½ years and then having to give her up. And then sitting across from the people who are “taking her” and giving them this. This gift. I am not sure I could do this. I never expected to feel this much gratitude towards this woman…this indebted. In the beginning, we didn't know how this woman felt about us and we weren't sure how we felt about her. (Later, we admitted we were jealous of her...that she had Madison for the first 2 1/2 years and had Madison's love and adoration.) Now, I am thanking God for this woman who cared for my Madison when I couldn’t care for her myself. Thankful that she taught her Jesus Loves Me and she sings it all day…especially when she is nervous or scared. Today I felt broken hearted for the woman who was losing her child because I have been there. I know what that is like. Did I happen to mention that not only is she telling Madison’s story, but she is also making us a CD with pictures of Madison from birth until she left her at 3 ½? When God blessed us with Madison I was overwhelmed but this…this I am not sure how to describe. That He is thoughtful enough to not only bring us the child we asked for…but to give us back her first 3 ½ years we lost. He is a GOOD GOD!! My Madison is proof of this.

September 8th we will go meet with the aunt and Madison’s 3 sisters. We have decided to tell her we will leave updates on Madison for her through pictures and letters at the DHS office so she can still watch Madison grow up. We will let her know that she is welcome to leave her own letters to Madison as well as pictures of their family, especially her sisters, for us as well. These things will go in her box we have for her when she turns 18 and we tell her her story. We are also going to ask for a picture of her mom to save for her.

This may seem odd to you since I am finally able to not share her. But what I have realized is this: I will always share her. She is not my child. She is on loan to us from God.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Cinderella by: Steven Curtis Chapman
She spins and she sways
To whatever song plays
Without a care in the world
And I'm sitting here wearing
The weight of the world on my shoulders

It's been a long day
And there's still work to do
She's pulling at me
Saying "Dad, I need you

There's a ball at the castle
And I've been invited
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone...

She says he's a nice guy and I'd be impressed
She wants to know if I approve of the dress
She says, "Dad, the prom is just one week away
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone

She will be gone

Well, she came home today with a ring on her hand
Just glowing and telling us all they had planned
She says, "Dad, the wedding's still six months away
But I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone

I LOVE this song. I admit I cry every time I listen to it….but it’s so very sweet. And so true. How often do you get so busy doing all of the things on your to do list and say to your child, “Hold on, let me do the dishes..” “Hold on, let me fold this load of laundry…” I am embarrassed to admit that I am guilty of this. And then I lay down at night and think to myself…Was that load of laundry really that important that I couldn’t go see the castle they had made with their pots and pans or apply yet another coat of lipstick to my little doll’s lips? Will it not still be there tomorrow? I know beyond a shadow of doubt that the pile of laundry in my bedroom will be there until I myself fold it and put them away. I do not have any assurance that my girls will be here tomorrow. One day they will be going off to college and I will be sitting here depressed wondering where all of the time went. I don’t want any regrets. I want to know I invested all of my time and love in them. That same pile of laundry in my bedroom that is there now…may be there 14 years from now when my oldest goes to college. I would rather paint and make cookies…take them outside to play with their kitten…build castles in the dirt or take them swimming in the creek. I’d rather dance with Cinderella!!


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bugs In Our Teeth, Psychologists, and Random Laughs

We are still alive…sorry about the lapse in posts. We have been very busy and going on little sleep around our house. I could sleep for a year!!
         In other news, we have bugs in out teeth. By “we”, I mean Madison. And by “bugs”, I mean cavities. I always tell the girls if they don’t let me brush their teeth they will get bugs in them. It gets the point across….and they let me brush their teeth! She went to the dentist on Thursday and came back with the news that she needed to go back in a few weeks to get fillings due to bugs. However, her caseworker bragged on how well behaved and well mannered she is. I am a proud Mama. There’s nothing like people having your kid for a day and being told they were “perfect”. She is a sweetie pie. Apparently everyone in the dentist office loved her and thought she was as well. Her caseworker said she sat very patiently to be called and as soon as her name was called she got up and went back. She did everything the dentist asked and when she left she said, “Thanks for looking at my teeth!”. Sweet girl…she was SO excited about her day with her caseworker that she was bouncing around all morning. I packed her a lunch which was icing on the cake. She doesn’t get to use her lunchbox a lot like The Princess does because she usually leaves in the evenings. When her caseworker showed up to get her, she grabbed her lunchbox and took off for the door screaming, “Bye Mama!” No kisses or hugs for Mama. When I mentioned it she ran back and gave me a kiss and then took off for the door again. Halfway there she ran back telling her caseworker to “wait!” and kissed The Princess on the cheek and then hugged her saying, “I love you! I’ll be back in a lil bit!” And then she was running out the door again. I love her adoration for her “big sissy”…and I really love that she loves her caseworker and likes going with her. And hopefully we won’t get any more bugs in our teeth.
          Wednesday we went for The Princess’ psychiatric evaluation. I was relieved that she woke up late (she is not a morning person) and in an incredibly cheerful mood. She was extremely cooperative getting ready…this really helped relieve Mama‘s jitters. I told her we were going to see a man who would ask her some questions but Mama and Daddy would be there the whole time. She did really well for him! I heard her answering the questions (as best she could) and giggling a lot. She talks about snakes all of the time…so when I heard him ask her what a picture was and heard her response…I couldn’t help but laugh. She said, “That’s a snake…he bite you!” And made a loud biting noise. She did good. While she was being tested I went in the psychologist’s office to answer some questions for him and fill out some paperwork about her behaviors. After discussing everything, down to the smallest of details, he said he is most likely going to diagnose her with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). He asked us if this sounded accurate. It made perfect sense! The meltdowns, the temper tantrums, the ANXIETY!! It makes perfect sense. While I hate that she has any diagnosis and obstacles to face…I am relieved with this diagnosis in a sense. I knew one of the things he was concerned about was Bi-Polar…and he didn’t seem convinced that Autism should be ruled out. After seeing her and talking to her…he saw how much anxiety she has. For instance, if my parents and siblings are babysitting or just have her over to play, she gets anxious after a while and wants to know where Ronnie and I are. She gets anxious when Madison goes for her visit and is gone long. She gets anxious when she has to go to the DHS office and in many other situations. Often so much so that she would have diarrhea. It explains a lot. Treatment for PTSD is therapy and medication. I was relieved to find out DHS doesn’t like to medicate. She is only 4 and I am not one for medicating a child (or anyone for that matter) unless it is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY and the LAST RESORT. I know some children need it and I am not condemning those families at all as we all want to do whatever we have to to help our babies. I just feel for this diagnosis she can get through it from being in a SECURE and STABLE environment where she knows she is safe and loved. And with much, much prayer! And if there are two things these girls are covered in…it’s love and prayers! It amazes me the numerous people we find out are praying for our girls and I cannot begin to tell you how much we appreciate it! We feel and see it at work in their lives and our own each and everyday. Our Princess is tough…I know it is because she has had to be…but she is TOUGH! And Her God is BIG!! She will get through this.
         Madison came up to me tonight after watching The Princess And The Frog movie and said so matter of fact, “Mama, I’m not kissing a frog!” I said, “You won’t? Not to even to find your prince?” She thought for a second and said, “I’ll kiss him on the cheek! NOT on the lips!” Hahaha…I asked her who her Prince was thinking she would say her Daddy like most little girls. Nope. She said, “Mickey Mouse.” Sorry Daddy! You better buy her more chicken nuggets and make sure Santa brings her the Power Wheels car she wants to bring up your rating.
         The Princess has been talking in complete sentences more and thankfully…around other people besides Ronnie and I like usual. We were in the car shopping with my mom and sister yesterday and she said, “I want some water, Mama!” My mom was just as excited as we get when this happens and said, “Did you just hear that?” Ha…it may not sound like much, but it is. It’s a HUGE deal for her. Any progress no matter how small is a big deal. She also has only had two temper tantrums since I posted on Facebook and on here asking for advice on her tantrums. You know, she potty trained about two days after I posted on Facebook asking for advice on potty training a child who is constantly traveling. I am seeing a pattern here. Tomorrow I will be posting advice for how to get a child to eat their vegetables. Any vegetables….even one!!! And I will be waiting for the next miracle. 8)
        Life is never dull at our house as the girls are into everything and constantly saying the funniest things ever! I don’t know where they come up with this stuff…but I know I wouldn’t trade any of it for all of the tea in China. Or maybe I should say for all of the sweet tea in the south. These girls have brought such joy, love, and hope into our lives. Someone told me the other day that the girls were so lucky to have us. My response to this is always the same…we feel like we are the lucky ones!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

He is Emmanuel: "God With Us"!

This couldn't have been more true this week. More specifically...today! It has been quite the week. On Saturday I accidentally poked myself in the eye with my finger and my nail scratched my cornea. I suffered through holding a wet washcloth over my eye until Sunday morning. And I just want you to know it WAS PAINFUL!!!!! I couldn't even open my eye and my head was pounding from the strain on my other eye. Not a fun experience at all. I went to Immediate Care bright and early Sunday morning. (I didn't go Saturday evening because it was almost 6pm and I knew it would be so packed on a Saturday night we would be there until the wee hours of the morning. With a 3 and 4 year old. Not fun. I was told I have two bad, deep cuts on my eye and given antibiotic eye drops as well as some drops to numb the pain. And the perk? I got to wear an eye patch. Like a pirate. (This is dripping with sarcasm.) Have you ever worn one of those horrible things? Not only are they hideous and cause many, MANY stares everywhere you go...the strings cut behind your ear and hurt. They are so uncomfortable. My husband took off work Monday so I could lay down and rest while he watched the girls. (My headache was excruciating at this point.) My girls pampered me and brought me tissues...my nose was running for some reason. They kissed the eye patch and my cheek several times and asked if I was okay and if it was getting better. Sweet girls. They took good care of Mama. Today I was finally able to take the pirate eye patch off and go without it. But in the sun, I still have to wear sunglasses. (Madison told me I was a "Pirate Mommy".) It's still bothering me in that bright lights make me feel a little queasy and my head hurt and makes my eye really burn. But it's much more tolerable. And now....drum roll....I have a stomach issue. I'm telling you. It's been a rough few days. I have been battling nausea since around 5 this afternoon and am drinking a bottle of Pepto- Bismol as I type this. 8/  Maybe it's my nerves? I don't know...but it's unwelcome!
Monday afternoon I was laying down in bed and the house phone rang. It was a DHS worker. Let me stop right here to tell you about this lady who called. She is an ANGEL and I know without a doubt that God sent her to us. To The Princess to be exact. She transports The Princess to her meetings each week and The Princess loves her. She fell in love with The Princess also. (It's hard not to.) She fights for The Princess tooth and nail!! We don't worry for one secon when she is gone all day with her. We know she is in excellent care and that she feels safe. That means the world to me. This child doesn't always feel safe in every situation because she is scared of change and people leaving her. I have worried often that this woman...angel....would be called off of The Princess' case and we wouldn't have someone fighting so hard for her. I voiced this to her and she said, "Don't keep your eyes on me. Keep them on God. The Princess is in His care and He is good at what He does." Back to the phone call....I answered the phone and her voice was sad. I knew something was wrong.
“Stephanie, I am off of the case!”. I think I didn’t hear much after that and hung up after only a few minutes. I laid there and tried to process it all. To think about what this meant for us and for The Princess. It meant another person was out of her life and I had to explain this to her. It meant she would take steps back in trusting people. It meant we had to get her used to new people, which she hates and does not do well with. It meant watching her cry and hold her arms out to us when the new people picked her up to transport her. It meant we didn’t have this woman’s testimony on the stand when we went to court in August. We NEED her testimony. It meant a lot of travel again which she also hates and doesn’t help our already crazy schedule. My heart
sunk. I was angry, disappointed, sad, nervous and everything in between. Ronnie was angry. This little girl can’t catch a break. How long does she have to keep going through this…uncertainty and instability. I analyzed it over and over and then….I was determined. If nobody else was going to fight for her…I sure would! I called the caseworker back and asked more questions and then decided to schedule a meeting with The Princess’ caseworker and the supervisor and find out what we were looking at…where we go from here. Amazingly, we were able to get a meeting the next afternoon. Tuesday morning we headed up there and sat down with them and our list of questions. I got my questions answered, but it seemed there was a definite hostility. When we left I was still discouraged. We had gotten answers, yes. But, the hostility meant this was going to be just as hard as I had imagined. I told Ronnie, “We are going to have a hard time standing up for her and fighting.” He agreed. I stewed on it for a few hours and that evening we went to shop and go out to eat. We were driving around and I finally just knew I had to trust God to take care of The Princess. He is good at what He does. DHS and the Judge won’t have the last word where she is concerned. God will. I love that little girl to death…how much more does God love her. I will fight for her with everything in me. He already did. If you rip my heart into tiny shreds, you will see my girls on every shred. God will have the last word and I had to trust Him to take care of her. I had just posted this on Facebook when my cellphone rang. It was The Princess' angel...calling to say she was back on the case. In her voice was joy and exhilaration!! Same as mine. Yesterday she cried with me on the phone for this little girl that she has fallen in love with . Today, we laughed together and shared our joy! I cannot express to you how much was lifted off of my shoulders in that moment. I had peace. It's not over by far...we have a long ways to go. The Princess has many obstacles facing, but she is tough. She is a fighter by far!! But more importantly, we have a HUGE God that is guiding us in this journey. Holding our hand. Holding my Princess' hand and He will never fail us. He showed us compassion today and I am humbled and full of gratitude. He is Emmanuel: "God With Us!".