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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Grief and Happiness

First, the happiness because although its great I'm pretty wrapped up in the grief right now. I got my home study draft in the mail today!! I will get it to the adoption agency Monday so they can review it to ensure it is compliant with Hague regulations. Then hopefully get the final report soon! Then the I800!! I'm so excited to be moving forward again in the adoption journey. Though as soon as it gets going it will stop again. It truly is a hurry up and wait process.

Now, for the grief. It truly hit yesterday about Summer leaving. Partly because I was seeing the 18th as the end and trying to look at her weekend visits with her family as a break for me. The SW asked if I wanted her for Easter and I said the family could have her but I would ask to get her back in time to have an early dinner with my family on Easter. That was on Tuesday. Then yesterday the SW called and told me the family is going to get Summer on Good Friday and since they are out for spring break, they will be keeping her until Wed. We have a CFT and Summer has a visit with her mom on Wed. It felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. Not only was I not going to see her on Easter but I felt like I was being robbed of my final days with Summer. The SW didn't know if the family would get Summer back that following weekend or just wait until court on the following Wed. to take her permanently.

I am so glad Summer is having this time to get to know her family and for both of us to transition away from one another. And the family has certainly been robbed of more time than I have. But it truly occurred to me that as of the 18th, she will cease to exist for me. This child that I have cared for since she was 2 days old. I have seen her every day since she was 2 days old. For over 3 months now, she has been a part of my daily life. And not a small part but a large part. I feel so empty and hurt so much. She is gone for the night but it already feels like it will be forever. It feels so weird here without her. I can't even enjoy being free of a baby for the first time in over 3 months b/c I miss her so badly. I ran an errand today after she left. It felt wrong driving around without her. I came home and it felt empty in the house. There was no baby to get out of the car. No bottles to wash. No diapers to change. And none of this felt good. I want to do those things. I love being a mom.

I sat on my bed to write in my journal like old times (pre-Summer days). I suddenly remembered there's a TV in my room. I haven't used that room for anything other than sleeping in so long and certainly not the TV.  I had to actually fish the remote out from the bottom and back of the drawer. I don't want that life again. That life is empty and has no Summer. I want my baby. I laid on the bed (crying, of course. I'm a big cry baby). In a short time I will no longer lie on the bed to snuggle with her, looking into her deep brown eyes. Her smile lighting up her eyes as she looks at me and snuggles in closer. I won't know what it is like to feel her body. To watch her grow. To hold her in my arms. To kiss her forehead. 

I am happy for Summer and fully support this placement. But this is one of the hardest things I've ever done. I miss my baby. I want my Summer. So, I'll drink and cry the night away and praise God for the time I've had. For the lessons in nurturing, bonding, attaching, and grieving. And I will grieve b/c its the right thing to do. Its the way to move on. And she has been worth every tear I shed. I don't think I can ever forget Summer. I pray I don't. And I pray I never forget how much I love her and how much it hurt to let her go.

Bless the Lord, O my Soul, O my Soul
Worship his holy name
Matt Redman-10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Time coming to an end with Summer

My beautiful Summer Sunshine will be leaving me very soon. I have some mixed feelings about her leaving of course. She is truly the sweetest baby and she has been a constant part of my life for the past 3 months. Having her with me has been such a blessing and I am so glad God allowed me this time with her. But, I knew Summer would not stay forever and actually had expected her to be gone before now. I will desperately miss her and I am already anticipating how weird it will be to not have her and her stuff at my house. But Summer does not belong to me. I was only granted the opportunity to help her get a great start in life. I must say, I've done my job well and been a great temporary mom (if I do say so myself). Summer is a very pleasant, easy going baby. She loves everyone, connects well with people, and trusts easily. I know some of this is a part of her personality but some of this is because I was able to provide what she needed in life. I probably over-responded some. But every time I was taking care of her, I would think about what my Brigita and the other abandoned babies did not get. I want her to always know she is loved, she is wanted, and she matters. No matter how good an orphanage is, there just isn't enough resources to give every child what they need. That is why the US started foster care and why I chose to be a foster parent. These children need someone that can take care of them as a parent until their place in this world is decided. Summer has a wonderful family. They are biological relatives. She will be so loved. They will give her everything I would want her to have and more. I have no doubt she will be treated like the princess she is. She will have an older brother who at 7yo is already marking off things he is willing to give up doing so he can help take care of her. He dreams of her being with their family. He was a foster child and adopted into this family. I can tell by how great he is what an excellent job they did as parents. Summer will have contact with her biological parents sometimes and has a biological brother (not this little boy) that she will get to know. It is by far the best situation for her and I am so thankful for this family, her mother who supports this placement, and DSS for doing the best job they could for her and me. We are doing visits to include weekend over nights so she will get to know the family more before she leaves. But in mid-April, she will cease to be my foster child, my beautiful baby girl. I cannot imagine not seeing those beautiful eyes and that smile that lights up her whole face like a ray of sunshine. I will grieve but I will also rejoice. I will use what she has helped teach me to be the parent that Brigita needs. To know what Brigita should have had to help her grow, develop, and thrive. I have had lots of experience with newborns but never parented a newborn. I firmly believe God allowed me this time so that I could understand the bonding cycle, the cycle of needs, the need for consistency and patience. God is so great if we will listen and trust in Him. I have prayed for Him to prepare my heart and comfort me as Summer leaves and He has already been doing this for some time. I have also prayed for Summer every day, multiple times a day. And I know He has already been providing for Summer. He directs me and I am willing to follow Him.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Noonday Collection Trunk Sale

A friend (Elissa, not sure if she wants her full name on here) is hosting a Trunk Sale in Texas with Noonday Collection on March 29th.  10% of the sales will go towards Brigita's adoption!!

Not only does this organization support adoption fundraising, but the items are made by women around the world to give them a sustainable income through Fair Trade guidelines. Here is some information copied from Noonday's website about their organization.

At Noonday Collection, we believe every child belongs in a family. While the owner is no longer raising money for their Rwandan adoption (though they think more adoptions will come), the vision remains the same. We advocate for the orphan by:
  • Providing jobs that create a pathway out of poverty for families. A stable income means a family is less likely to abandon their child.
  • Help families raise money for their own adoptions. We give 10% of trunk show sales directly to the adoptive family when they host a trunk show.
  • Aside from donating 10% towards qualified adoptive families, Noonday Collection also gives towards orphan care and prevention. Watch the video to see one of our beneficiaries.
  • The dream: Take YOU on a trip to visit artisans and visit orphans in their distress.
Please check out their website and if you find something you are interested in ordering, just send me an email and I will get the order to Elissa. We do need orders ASAP! http://www.noondaycollection.com

Monday, March 26, 2012

Saving One Child At A Time: Vinnie's Giveaway with a Twist

Saving One Child At A Time: Vinnie's Giveaway with a Twist: I am doing a giveaway for the Sheffield family bringing home Vinnie.  They are $4,300 away from thier goal of $5,000 for dossier/apostilles....

This is a triple support effort!! Not only are you helping Vinnie and the Sheffield family, but also help to support Christina. Christina is hosting this giveaway. Christina is the lady that hosted Brigita's auction and has helped so many families and kids. She is very dedicated and it takes a lot of work to get these things up and going. Please show her that her efforts are not in vain!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

7th Annual World Down Syndrome Day!!!!

Grab This!

Celebrate this day by making a donation
 to a waiting child or an adopting family!
Show the world these lives are blessings, not mistakes meant to be hidden away. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

No Home Study Draft yet...

Obviously I am still waiting to get the draft of my home study. I turned over all the paperwork last Tuesday and had hoped it was completed by the weekend. I'm assuming the SW has to then send it to her supervisor/ director of the home study agency for final review. I want that draft so badly. Getting that finalized home study report is so important now. I can't send off my I800 until my home study is completed. I can't apply for grants or loans until the home study is completed. Its another sit and wait time...ugh. Its so hard to do anything and focus when you only have one thing on your mind. I want to meet my girl! I want to see her! I want to know how big (or little) she is. What she is like now. How she has changed when she was met 2 years ago by friends. Or how she is the same. Doesn't matter to me either way. I just want to go now.

On other news, Summer has started visiting with the family that she will most likely be placed with. They visited at my house this past Sunday. They are a great family and seem really nice. More importantly, they are her biological family. I am happy for her and I know this is right. I am sad that they couldn't have had this past 2 1/2 months with her that I have had. The plan before she was born was for them to get her from the hospital but the mother changed her mind. I hope people understand that children who are in foster care have parents that love them. Her mother cannot parent but that doesn't mean she doesn't want to and doesn't love. Summer's mother did nothing to be unable to parent. She just lacks the ability and that will not change. I am glad Summer will be able to know her mother. But I am going to miss her so much. I think we may have until the end of April or so together. Maybe not even that long. We will see. I love her so much. She is such a good baby and such a happy baby. And oh so pretty!! She has the most gorgeous smile.

Speaking of smiles, I am actually typing this on my off time before picking her up from daycare. So I will run to get her. I just thought I'd update about her situation. And my aching heart for Brigita. Oh, I got the Avon orders back from Brigita's fundraiser. We haven't gotten a grand total yet, but we had over $700 in sales and what looks like about $330 in adoption funds! What an excellent turn out! Off to get my Sunshine!

Friday, March 16, 2012


I am writing today to help spread the word of a horrible situation that needs hope, prayers, and money. I have cried so much over these children. No one, least of all a child, should be treated the way these children have been. Actually, I guess the correct term would be untreated...because that's exactly what has happened. These children have been denied food, clean diapers and clothes, appropriate bedding, toys, attention...and the chance to be adopted by people that would be more than willing to provide these things!

I have shared some of this with people around me and get the same response...its too sad, I don't want to talk about that. Guess what?? Ignoring it only allows things like this to continue. It is our duty and obligation as Christians (and social workers for some of us, me included) to care, to open our eyes, to advocate, to help...

James 1:27 
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress

What has been done to these children is not only wrong but is criminal. They need justice and they need redemption. Don't close your eyes to these children. Read their stories. Look at their hollow eyes, their small bodies.


No 9yo should weigh 10lbs (Katie, theblessingofverity)! A 14yo that weighs 14lbs (unknown, referenced in only1mom)! A 15yo (Sophia, sousabrownfamily) that weighs 18lbs! An 11yo (Amelia, sousabrownfamily)that weighs 13lbs! A 4yo (Keith, God's Rainbows) weighing 11lbs! You are not misreading this...these are their actual weights. They are wearing clothing for 3mo babies! 6mo babies! Their bones are brittle and break easily. Broken bones have not been treated and have healed incorrectly. They have rotted teeth that reek of decay. They sit in their own urine, feces, and vomit. They have rashes that are beyond description. They are wasting away, barely alive. They live a life time alone in a crib, being fed laying down from old beer bottles with nipples that have large holes so the food will go down fast. If they choke, oh well...15 children died in 2011, and not from any disorders that should have killed them. Their diapers are changed 1-2 times per day. There are some Sundays they are not fed or changed at all. One child (I think Keith) has been in isolation for 2 years! A lifetime in a crib and then placed in a room all alone for 2 years. All because he had a respiratory infection 2 years ago!

Beautiful Katie has come so far in the 4 short months she has been home. When her mom met her in August 2011, she didn't like to be held. She was not used to it. Please, look at her first pictures. Make yourself SEE. They said she couldn't grow. Of course not if you don't feed them, give them stimulation, treat them like humans (or even animals for that matter)! She bit her wrist when she was scared. Her hands constantly fluttered in front of her eyes for stimulation and soothing. But even in those first days, she smiled when her mom talked to her and made kissing noises. She is so smart. She is already saying mama. She understands words like "outside" "bath" and so many others I couldn't possibly know. She is having to be taught to touch things. Her palms are so sensitive from not having anything to touch! See how much she has grown.

And Amelia...beautiful Amelia (also known as Lilliana). She was losing the will to live. She was unresponsive. Refusing to eat. Wanting it to be over. Then the medical team came and took her (and Sophia) to the hospital. She is doing better but still so unstable. Pray she hangs on until her adoption is final. Her mama got to be with her last week. Pray this was enough to give her the will to hang on a little longer.

There are many pictures of sweet Keith as well. He wears 6mo clothes! There are videos. Watch him smile and giggle with his daddy! So sweet and beautiful. Except he looks like a baby and should be a rambunctious 4yo boy.

Please go to the links! Please look at these children! Share their story! Pray for them! Pray for the medical team that is trying to save them! Pray for the families that are trying to adopt! Pray for the government to do what is right and help these children! Most of the institutions/orphanages in Bulgaria are not like this. But even one is too many!

I did not want to post any pictures or copy their stories without permission but didn't want to wait to write this up and start sharing. Change is in the works but there is so much to do. A medical fund has been established to start helping with the medical expenses for these children. The quicker we can get the resources to them, the quicker these children can get the care they need. Right now, about 30 are in need of hospitalization, surgeries, etc. All are in need of basic care beyond imagination.


Please pray, share, and give!! Donate to the medical fund! Help these children! Rejoice in the their blessings of redemption but let your heart be burdened by their injustices! I hope the links work (this is the first time I've done this). If not, take the time to copy the links to your browser.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I have finally (hopefully) gotten all my paperwork to my social worker to finish the home study. I've also been working on the dossier packet to get things going a little closer. I have finished all the educational requirements for Hague countries and even a couple of extra ones that looked interesting. I strongly recommend reading up on Sensory Integration/Processing Disorders. Its hard to believe that any child that comes out of an institutional setting would not have this, even just some of the institutions here. There is so much overload that can go on when you have been monitored and under-stimulated for any period of time. Think about winter when we are cooped up inside...cabin fever!!

If you won an item on the auction and haven't yet received it, please get in touch with me so I can check on it. Several of the items were from me and I discovered this weekend I hadn't shipped one item. I had put it in my purse since it was so small and completely forgot about it. Luckily I cleaned my purse out to go shopping Saturday. Speaking of shopping....I got my little ladybug the cutest backpack. I wish I could show a picture of it but it has her real name on it. I plan to keep her real name. I think its beautiful. Its a red, quilted bag with ladybugs. That's the theme I'm going for with her room and, well, Brigita in general. The very first picture of her with that big smile and red shirt always reminded me of the little cartoon ladybugs. Now I find ladybugs melt my heart just like she does. I also picked up a pair of ladybug pajamas from Walmart today for her. They weren't expensive and I decided if they don't fit her or if I am unable to bring her home, I will just donate them to someone else.

Summer is still with me and still very beautiful. Sorry I can't share how beautiful she is with everyone. She has a head full of hair and the prettiest smile. She is now 10 1/2 lbs and 21" long. She is the sweetest baby and so easy. I have truly been blessed, even though she is only a temporary foster child. I could not thank God enough for this opportunity to parent a newborn, especially one that is so agreeable. She is cooing and smiling a lot. She loves her Mama Dee!! I'm going to miss her so much but I know God is already preparing me to let her go. And I am glad she will be with her family. I'm sorry they have missed this time with her. I picked up a bumblebee photo album to keep her pictures in. She will have an album all to herself...my first baby!

Friday, March 2, 2012


I can now show some pictures of my beautiful little girl!!

This picture was taken from the youtube video at Brigita's facility. It is from December 2011. The quality is not that good, but it doesn't matter to me. Its her and its recent!

These are all from 2010. They were taken by another family that was able to visit with Brigita. They weren't able to adopt her... 

But they were able to share with me what she was like and these beautiful pictures. And they will get to see her again!


  Oh, how I love that

Still waiting for the home study to be completed. I was reminded (by my social worker) that I should have life insurance through my job. Not only do I have the basic, I apparently have two voluntary policies as well...who knew? Not me. I did this nearly ten years ago and haven't thought about it since. So now I'm just getting copies of the policy information and then the worker should be able to finish up the home study for review.