Sunday, May 29, 2016

Belated Mother's Day

With little baby girl wanting to eat every 2 hours, it makes going out and doing things at a faster pace. With the last place we went, instead of getting her in and out of her carseat, Trav went inside.

A couple minutes later, he opened the side of my car door and handed me flowers, saying, "Happy Belated Mother's Day!" I squealed with excitement thinking about baby girl!



He might have scored some brownie points with that one :)


I know this is probably bad for baby girl
to pull my hair. For some reason, I feel like
she does this for comfort and she knows it's me.
But I always have to like triple check to make sure
a strand of hair isn't wrapped around her tiny little fingers.
After all, I absoultely love everything about her, and being a mother (even a foster momma) is the best thing EVER!!!! 





Wednesday, May 25, 2016

We Got the Call!!


After finally being licensed, I waited for a phone call so we could finally fill our house. You wonder what child God will bring into your home and you pray for these little kids that have to go through so much brokeness to get to you. We were told that we would get a phone call every day for a placement, and thankfully, that hasn't happened to us yet. But it was a couple of weeks, and we still had no child in our home.

I was expecting to have older children in our home, at least 3 years old. I had dreams about this adorable little boy, and then a girl who where I didn't see her face, she had her arms and legs wrapped around me, and all I felt was complete love. So I spent many weeks trying to find the right decor for a gender neutral kids room and hanging glow in the dark stars. I didn't stress on making the nursery look perfect, simply because I didn't think we would get a baby to fill that room. But sometimes, God has other plans.

We did get a call about a long term placement before we were even licensed, but because we weren't wanting to do long term at the time, we declined. Then we got another phone call for a baby once we were licensed, but that child ended up for adoption through another agency. They were calls for babies, but in my mind I was set on getting an older kid.

Then the phone rang. It was another call about taking a placement. I still wasn't sure on what kind of questions to ask, but I guess I felt like I didn't need to because the last couple of placement calls didn't end up working out. So I didn't ask much. The social worker briefly told me about a baby. She said there would be court today and the judge would end up making the final decision on where this baby would be placed. They said that we were plan B, and didn't think it would be likely that she would come to us.

Hanging up the phone, I tried to go about my day as normal as possible. I've already been waiting before and even though my heart longed to have a child in our home, they haven't worked out before. But, my heart really wanted to have her in our home.  However, I was terrified of babies. Mostly because I really wanted a child to be able to tell me why they were crying, and someone I could do things with.

But God has other plans. I think God was trying to prepare me for what was to come. Most of the items that were donated to us for foster care were mostly baby items. And a couple days before all this occurred,  I started asking friends on what they felt like the items they would need most for a baby and what to pack in a diaper bag. But still, with all that stuff, I didn't read up about babies and I didn't really know anything about them except that they eat, sleep and poop, so I was still scared.

Although I wasn't really expecting to take her home, I wanted to be prepared just in case this would really happen. So I had a friend double check my installation of a car seat just in case. The hours flew by with no word. I asked the case worker if it was safe to say that we didn't get the placement since we didn't get a call, and she reassured me that they would call me regardless with the outcome. And, that I realized that when she called the first time, I must have been so nervous, that I wrote down the wrong time.

It wasn't much later that I looked at my phone and saw that I had missed text messages (my phone doesn't always sound when I get text messages), so before I got the chance to read them, I got the official phone call saying to pick her up from the hospital. I was told to bring a car seat, and a change of clothes for her. Thankfully I had already pre-packed a diaper bag just in case, so it made things less hectic because I was supposed to be there as soon as possible.

I have never been so nervous in my entire life. Our entire life was about to change, and I had no idea if Trav got the text messages that we were getting a baby since he was still at work. This was really happening!!

Thankfully, Trav was getting off of work as soon as I was pulling into the hospital. He asked me to wait so we could go in together, but the nurse was worried that if we waited any longer, than we would have to wait another 3 hours until her next feeding. So I rushed to find the floor and the room we were supposed to go to.

They directed me to the nursery where I met the social worker. As I followed the social worker to the room, there laid the most beautiful baby in front of my eyes. My heart skipped a beat. Since the social worker was called in on the case, she wasn't sure if the baby that we looked at was going to be the baby we would be taking home. A nurse walked in and confirmed that this baby was the baby we were looking for.

My mind was racing, my heart was pounding, and my palms were sweaty, but I managed to put all my stuff down so I could wash my hands. Travis walked into the room. I sat in the chair as they placed the baby in my arms so I could feed her. It was the best feeling in the world.

We were actually doing this. Everything was a whirl wind, as the social worker was answering questions that I printed out from a website in case we got a placement and going over the paperwork. Then the social worker left; leaving two lost people, who have never been parents before and had no experience, with a baby to take home.

The nurse then told us that the baby would have to have a carseat test. This test would be an hour and a half long, and we wouldn't be able to touch her. It was the hardest thing in the world, not to be able to hold the baby that was now in your care. While she did her car seat test, I watched an infant CPR training video and practiced on a doll (Trav has already had his training for this, so he made sure I was doing all of it correctly). It felt like days went by while we waited for the carseat test to be over with, but finally she was placed back into our arms. Travis jumped in right away to change her first diaper and to change her clothes, probably because he could see my terrified look. I was so scared because she was so teeny tiny. Shortly afterwards, we were leaving to go home with a child that we have never met prior to this day and a child we weren't expecting.

What a strange feeling it is; as you get in with an elevator with a baby that isn't yours, where people assume it's yours, and start asking how big she is and how old she is. These people had no clue that we were foster parents and we barley knew the answers ourselves. Thankfully they didn't look at the clothes that were too sizes too big (she was a preemie & we didn't have preemie clothes), and instead just noticed how cute she was.

That ride home felt like forever. The entire time, I was wondering if she was still breathing in her carseat because maybe she could be sufficiating with the carseat since she was so little. We finally made it home, and after that, everything was a blur.

The first night, I remember just holding her as she slept. I was too scared to sleep. I wondered about every.single.sound and didn't know if it was normal or not. And the entire night, all I could think about was wondering if she was still breathing.

We were now foster parents; and we couldn't be more blessed. She is the most beautiful baby in the world. And as you could have guessed, the idea of just doing emergency fostering, went out the window as we told them we wanted to do long-term. Haha.

P.S. That feeling of is-she-still-breathing in the middle of the night, never goes away. You will always wake yourself up and sneak into the room to see how she is doing.





Monday, May 16, 2016

Fostering: Organizing Clothes & Items

Coming from the midwest, I was surprised to learn that when we moved to Arizona and Tennessee to find out no one had a basement! {Okay, so I could understand in AZ, but I was in complete shock when there was no basements in TN)

So when we moved back to the midwest, I was SOOO excited to have a basement!! With the house we got, we asked to keep all the shelves in the basement, and it has come in sooooo handy with everything I need to organize, especially all the fostering items.

With being new to fostering, one of the questions I remember asking myself was, "How am I going to organize all this stuff?!" Coming from having no kids, to gather items for ages newborn-5 (both genders) in a little bit of time, was a bit overwhelming.

So a good way to organize is key! :) I gathered totes and inside I organized the clothes by size by using paper grocery bags. I am hoping this will work, but, we will see :) 


The clothes are organized by gender, size (0-18 months, 24 months (2T) or 5t, size 4 and above in case some of the kids wear a little bit bigger clothes.) Toys are divided by age, but then some of the more older toys are divided by gender (if they want to play with the other gender's toys, that's fine too), but it just makes it easier on me to know where the dolls are vs. the cars are).






Friday, May 13, 2016

Building Hope


84% of the homeless population in Kalamazoo stay at the Gospel Mission
80% of the homeless families are women and children
0% of the federal homelessness assistance is given in the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission


To follow more, follow along with their facebook page.


 





If you would like to donate, please visit kzoobuildinghope.org

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Little Rain Won't Stop This Guy!







This was our adventure the other day. Trav was able to golf a 9 hole course in about an hour and a half, especially when it started pouring at the end of the course.



Grandma L.

As we prepared for a busy weekend (Trav was going to run a half marathon with his momma), Trav got a phone call from his dad saying that his grandma passed away.









Grandma L. welcomed me in this family with open arms. By the time I met her, her speech was delayed (the family thought it may have been a stroke, but she tested negative for having a stroke). As her speech got worse, she would communicate with her writing. And she had pretty fantastic handwriting (after all, she was a teacher)!

One of the last cards we received from Grandma.
Easter 2015.
She would always send us cards for every special occasion, and we knew when her handwriting started getting worse and when she stopped sending us cards that her health was going declining for the past couple of years.

Grandma was that she was a way fashionable lady throughout her whole life. She loved sparkly things and lots of bling. :) She would spend hours of looking for gifts for us, and she would wrap them perfectly. If they weren't wrapped perfectly, she would wrap them all over again. I only wish I had her patience and her perfectionism. 

Before she passed, uncle Jon had an upcoming birthday and she asked someone to get a variety of birthday cards. She chose which ones she wanted, even choosing one for the next year, knowing she wouldn't be around. That's the kind of woman she was, kind and thoughtful.

I imagine Grandma getting to heaven and having grandpa and her son, Guy, meeting her. She is able to talk again, but no words are coming out because she's crying happy tears of being able to see them again. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Turkey Hunter

The other day, Travis surprised me by telling me that he is going turkey hunting. So he spent a couple of hours at Dunham's and got more hunting gear, and when he got home he had to try everything on. One of my favorite things about Trav is that he gets so excited and lights up like a little kid and he's just so previous! The dogs weren't fooled that it was daddy hiding being all the camo.


Trav came home late one day after being on call (he didn't get home until 2 AM), fell asleep, and got up at 4:30 AM to meet a co-worker and a friend of his to go hunting. How he did it on 2 hours of sleep is beyond me, but this boy was excited!

Usually, I am opposed to hunting and give him a really hard time. I mean why shoot an innocent little animal so we can eat it? But on a previous hunting trip, my friend Dana gave me reasons on why not to hate it.

One thing Trav has also taught me; would I rather eat a turkey who lived a full life and one day was shot quickly, or would I rather eat a turkey that has been in a cage all day and suffered a horrible life? Okay, even writing that down doesn't make it sound any better.

{Side note: Travis had a lot of fun, however his co-workers friend was the only one who got a turkey, and ended up giving some of the meat to us. Trav was a little disappointed that he didn't get his own turkey, but I'm sure they'll be more turkey adventures in the future.}



Monday, May 2, 2016

It's My B D A Y

It all started out good, because I got these for an early birthday gift:


But then on my actual birthday, this is how my day started out:


The two puppy dogs are in the back. I don't think they knew what was all going on, but they are pretty easy going. My plan was to go back to Indiana for the day and stay, because Trav was on call. I got to the gas station to fill up, and got back in my car, and it wouldn't start. The car was stuck in park and kept acting like it was starting, but it wouldn't start. Trav thought it was something small, but when the tow guy jumped into the car to see, he had the same issue.

So there's that.

And I cried. Hahaha. Mainly, because apparently I have car issues that happen on my birthday, and next year, I'm not driving anywhere. Hahaha. I am joking, but you know.  Also, it was hard to get a hold of some people near by to see if they could help out. Eventually, my friend Kari pulled through, and came and picked up the pups and I and dropped me off at home. (Thanks Kari, you are angel!)

Side note: I was glad to see Big Red was treating his new family well :)

When crying, you get a discount on your tow, your best friend surprises you by coming up to visit, and your parents bring you an extra car. Win win. :)

So I got to see friends, and my parents.
Trav was able to come home too bringing me home Boston Cream Pie.
And I was so excited to see this little man because he's growing so big!


Kate surprised me with this AWESOME cookie recipe that I've been wanting since she's talked about it. And she knows I needed chocolate, so she brought oreos :)


My parents took us out to eat.
And when we got home, they sang to me Happy Birthday. :) :) :)



It was a good day :)


And I loved all the love I got on my birthday: texts, calls, and facebook messages. Y'all rock! I feel so loved.