Thursday, May 15, 2014

To Foster/Adopt... THAT is the question...

I was given pamphlets from DHS to hand out to my friends. Quite frankly, I think the pamphlet is utterly terrifying. It basically lists all the worst case scenarios and solidifies every stereotypical horror belief potential parents face. SOOO... meet MY FOSTER/ADOPTION pamplet!

SINGLE women! You can be a foster/adoptive parent! If you work outside the home, DHS helps with childcare costs.

Grandmas and Grandpas! YOU can be a foster/adoptive parents! People always tell me, "I would have LOVED to do that. Now I'm probably too old, huh?" NO. Find a new excuse.

IMPERFECT people! YOU can be foster/adoptive parents. Oh my gosh! You have BAD days where you are stressed and fail to be super mom or dad?? You lock yourself in the bathroom and scream into your hair dryer? You hide in your closet to escape your OWN children and engage in silent chanting. You randomly suffer from bouts of hormone imbalance and/or psycho-ness. Welcome. to. the. club. (If you AREN'T doing this- you really aren't stretching yourself enough).

FACT: Foster families are OVERFLOWING with children. To the point that many children are being placed in shelters and institutions because there is no family to take them. And I thought this was only teens (which is bad enough) but even very young children are growing up without family environments.

FACT: Some of the kids are nuts! And some kids will think YOU'RE nuts! Your family will NOT be suited for them or them for you. (And if this occurs; NOT a problem. Social workers will find a family more suitable for them and children more suitable for you).

FACT: Some children will come into your home and you'll wonder how you ever lived without them. (And for the record, that's been the majority of my experience). And you'll never want to let them go. Lucky for you some will become adoptable and because you are the foster parent, you get first option to adopt if no family placements can be made. And sometimes you won't get to adopt them. This has happened to me more than once. BUT God has a plan for the children and for each of US. And I have faith that God's will be done.

TERRIFYING RUMOR: DHS places WHOEVER the heck they want to in your home and you DEAL with it.

FACT: Every time a child comes into custody, the social worker can NOT leave his/her office until they have a place for that child to sleep that night. The SW sits at the computer for HOURS and starts calling foster parents. If you receive a call, you may accept the placement or refuse. Simple as that. I highly recommend a "Let me talk to my husband and I'll call you right back." At which point your husband and you kneel down and PRAY to know if the child/children should come to your home or not. (Once God says okay- I'm all in. And I've never been lead astray).

RUMOR: You HAVE to be a foster parent to adopt. Not always. Though you go through almost the same training, you can sometimes get a lawyer and bypass DHS and NOT have to foster. BUT, if you are a licensed foster parent JUST in case you MIGHT want to adopt at some point in your life... your life will be TEN TIMES easier when you decide to adopt. (It can take MONTHS and MONTHS to get licensed or to get approved for adoption). So don't procrastinate! Get licensed and say NO to all calls until you are ready to say YES!

Because I only have 3 foster babies right now; and I am OVER my limit for taking in more, I feel a VOID: I could be doing MORE! So, because several people have been messaging me about adoption and/or foster care... I've decided to give you a random sample of some of the kids that are in US states' custody (and these kids can be adopted by anyone in the US unless specifically stated otherwise).

Many states, MS included, do not participate in the "Heart Gallery." So it is difficult to know, if you are not currently licensed, who NEEDS you. BUT, there are endless children coming in everyday. I get calls for newborn babies right out of the hospital all the way to 18 year olds. I obviously can't take every child into my home. THAT's where I HOPE you will come in.


I live by a simple, but firm belief. "To Whom Much is Given, Much is Required."  And most of us are SO blessed. When you look at your family, ask yourself- "What could our family offer to an orphaned or homeless child?" And God will fill your head with BOO-KOO-DOLLS of things.

It is my hope to one day give a child a forever home. As soon as God gives me a yes. (Because I kind of beg Him for almost every child He sends to my home). But until then, I refuse to be discouraged. I have thought, "WHY do I foster? Especially if the child ends up going to live with someone I don't approve of or back into the SAME situation she/he just came out of?" I got my answer one night when it was time for scriptures and prayers and my foster baby, only in my home for three days asked to say the prayer. He prayed his little heart out. I realized that if the ONLY thing I do while a child is in my home is help him/her realize he/she is a Child of God and is LOVED and SPECIAL and can PRAY anytime, anywhere, then my labors are not in vain. Every child I've been blessed to foster has grown leaps and bounds in behavior, in learning, in happiness. And most importantly in understanding the lifeline of prayer.

I have been plagued with moments of complete self doubt, but God magnifies those willing to serve. It's a faith thing. It's not always easy, and it's not always fun, but it has ALWAYS been worth it. ALWAYS.

Lets meet some KIDS!

There are TEENS! LOTS of teens! And guess what?! They are NOT all deranged juvenile delinquents. There are some amazing teens that would make amazing sons and daughters! 

All of these children have BEAUTIFUL pictures that you can view at the website listed here:

(For child's safety, and my lack of hacking skills, I canNOT get the little darling's pictures to SHOW up on my blog! Blocked content).

MEET Romelle

AZ01564 (THIS is his state and case number)

Photo Updated:

Romelle - Male, age 15

About Romelle

Romelle is a bright energetic boy with a charismatic sense of humor. He has a great smile and big brown eyes. Romelle does very well in school and is very proud of receiving the Principal’s award for getting straight A’s for the entire school year. When asked who his favorite teacher is, he names all of his teachers and cannot determine which teacher is his favorite. Two of his best friends are gold fish named Mr. and Mrs. Bubbles. When Romelle gets older he would like to be a veterinarian or serve his country in the military.
Romelle is in need of a permanent adoptive home that will provide flexibility and consistency. He would like a family with several family pets. Romelle would also like a family that will continue to support contact with his older brother.


MEET Andrew


Andrew - Male, age 17

About Andrew

Andrew "Andy" is a very active and athletic young man. He is able to take advice from authority figures and desires to improve his character. He enjoys riding bikes, working outside, helping care for animals, and playing video games. Andy recently asked his foster parents for a new pair of cowboy boots so that he could dress like a ranch hand. 

Andy's favorite subjects in school include; science and social studies. When Andy was asked what the perfect family would look like, Andy reported, "a family with a mom and dad, a nice home with his own bedroom, and to be able to visit with his siblings." Andy has three siblings who are very important to him so it is necessary to ensure that contact between them is maintained.

Andy has been able to make some significant bonds with his current foster family. Andy needs structure and consistency to allow him to reach his full potential. Andy would like to be in a home that, "allows him to have fun, likes to go places, and spends a lot of time outdoors." Could you be the family that Andy is looking for?

MEET Kanin



Kanin - Male, age 14

About Kanin

A few words to describe Kanin are energetic, comedic, and an animal lover. When you first meet Kanin you will quickly see his bubbly personality come out. Kanin is quite a comedian and loves telling jokes of all sorts. 

Kanin is an avid movie-goer and Star Wars, Batman, and Spiderman are just a few of his favorites. Kanin will be quick to quiz you on his favorite Star Wars characters and bring out his action figures. He has every one, from Luke Skywalker to Princess Leia. Kanin also enjoys playing video games. When he takes a break from his games and movies, Kanin enjoys sitting down and drawing his favorite characters.

Kanin is a very intelligent young man. Kanin reports that his favorite classes are science and weight lifting. He also loves learning about Greek Mythology.

I'm having a really hard time just picking a FEW! I may have to do more than ONE of these. I'm only looking at Arizona's website! Forty-nine more to go...

Here is a cutie from Alabama! Direct link:


LaRaymaun 6 yrs
Photographed by Admoni Photography

LaRaymaun,born April 2008, is a very energetic and loveable child. He enjoys playing with his trucks and riding his bike. He also enjoys drawing and coloring. His favorite subject is Math. The numbers and dynamics of Math seem to capture his attention. He is also eager to learn. He will usually ask questions when he lacks understanding. There have been few occasions that he has gotten into trouble with other kids at school.

LaRaymaun has a hearty appetite and is not a picky eater. He is usually shy when he first meets someone but will warm up and talk to them. He enjoys attention and positive feedback. He is currently adjusting to being in "real school." He is learning more structure as compared to the past two years in day care and has had some difficulty in the transition. LaRaymaun is tenacious and has really good coping skills. He has faced many losses at an early age but continues to strive and thrive. He is a joy to those he comes in contact with.

There are SIBLING groups! (And they are so stinkin' CUTE!!) Sometimes sibling groups can be broken up and sometimes they must stay together.

Whatever state YOU are IN, there are KIDS that need to be adopted!! (And if you can't find them- pick another STATE! Or ask me. I'll find out for you)! There are also girls! I just, apparently, overloaded this blog with boys. I challenge you, if you have felt ANY tugging on your heart strings to pray to see if you may be underutilized right now in your life. You may have the world to offer a child and vice-versa.

I know Fostering and Adoption isn't for everyone. But for SOMEONE out there, it IS and you need a little push to get started! I'm at your service! (Even though I'll be learning alongside you).

Good luck with the battle of the conscious vs the comfortable! You know which side I'll be cheering for!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Snake Encounter

Six kids. Five doors in my house leading to the outside. I often feel like I am trying to collect sand in a sifter. 

No matter HOW many times I collect them, one or two of them is ALWAYS slipping through the cracks. And, as you can imagine, it's difficult to accomplish more than a headache with all that riga-maroe.
However, nothing is impossible! I slept in Brookie's bed last night, since I came home from the gym at 11 p.m. and my bed was covered in a thick layer of KID.

I didn't wake up ALL night! It was TERRIFIC! I was woken up before the rooster had a chance to croak, but that's okay. I decided I would start the day out with a delicious breakfast.

I grabbed a loaf of bread. Never been opened. (I bought 6 loafs yesterday; HERE is why). I opened the loaf, used the ENTIRE loaf to make French Toast, scrambled a dozen eggs (and about two dozen nerves. Have you EVER attempted cooking with SIX starving children TOUCHING you at the same time?!?!?)
I FED the little piranhas. Not a MORSEL of toast left. NOT a dab of syrup or egg. They licked their plates clean. No I'm serious. I had to tell them to stop licking their plates because it was getting syrup in their hair.
Being a stay at home mom is very similar to coaching a foot ball team. You have to get those kids into shape, get them moving, make them run plays for you, ALL the while keeping them motivated. I drew out my game plan on the dry erase board in the kitchen.


I did the quick count to six that I seem to being doing every 6 seconds to ensure all my children were indeed still INSIDE the house.

"'Brooklyn, dishes! Jimmy & Isaiah cabinets! Peyton and Bry Bathroom duty! Boeing? Balance on your head just like you are doing! WHEN everything is DONE, we make BROWNIES loaded with M&M's!!"

"YAAAAY!!!!!!!" (Total motivation).


Brooklyn ran up our water bill about $25. I mean she washed dishes.
The oldest boys finished the cabinets and I put them to dusting the living room. (Sooo only the bottom half of my house is dusted...).

Brighton and Peyton "cleaned" the tub. Which meant I put lemon scented pine saw on their rags and they played in the tub and bathroom. It didn't get all that clean but my bathroom smells better than it has in months.  

I vacuumed, did laundry, loaded the dishwasher with the rinsed dishes, etc.

During this fantastic escapade of keeping the children busy doing something that wasn't COUNTER PRODUCTIVE while I cleaned, I happened to look through the glass in my back door. And maybe shriek. And maybe do the jitter dance while dragging Starling to the window.

A nice sized SNAKE was slithering in the VERY spot I needed to get. It was AT LEAST three feet and those are words from STARLING's mouth. I thought he was five foot.

Luckily for me, well- really for the SNAKE, I JUST went on a home school field trip on Thursday. ON this trip to USM's Biological Sciences Learning Center, I learned ALL about MS native snakes. The venomous and non venomous.  WELL, one of the snakes we got to look at was a black speckled king snake.


I yodeled for all of my children to come see. For the longest time I was lifting the kids UP to see through the glass at the top of the door. Then, in a stroke of GENIUS, I just OPENED the door.

"NOOOOOOO!!!" exploded Brooklyn as if I had just invited the snake to gobble up every last one of her family members.

Teaching moment. Teaching moment. I tried to act as calm as the herpetologist lady that showed us all the reptiles on our field trip. But let's face it. Herp lady HOLDS snakes and lets them crawl around on her bare skin without a) Peeing her pants. I on the other hand? AM TERRIFIED of snakes.
BUT, it was obviously a king snake. Its head wasn't triangle. And it seemed friendly enough. Which is why I was FREAKING out. The herp lady said, "Snakes are MORE scared of you than you are of it."

The snake did NOT look very scared. IN FACT, it was the OPPOSITE of scared. It didn't RUN. It didn't HIDE. With my live audience, I went into a full spell of acting.

"Does EVERYONE remember what kind of SNAKE this is? Some of you were brave (or crazy) enough to PET him on the field trip!"

"It's a KING SNAKE!" I told my VERY unresponsive, petrified audience.

"That's not a king snake." Starling said from behind us.

"Yes it is. I just saw it on Thursday."

"This is a GOOD snake!" I told the children in a sing song voice.

The snake, who was a full two steps below us and about four feet away from us gave a sniff with its forked tongue. I guess he liked my perfume (or un-showered body odor) and slithered to take a closer look.

An eruption of screaming. Some of it may have come from me; I'm not sure.

"Its non venomous! That means when it bites you, it'll hurt and make you bleed profusely, however, you will not die!"

"Ah.. it is a king snake. A speckled king snake." Apparently Starling believes the internet more than his WIFE.

It slithered to the bottom of the steps.

"AHHHHH!" High step. High step. 

"Who would like to pet the snake?"

"NOOOOOOOO, MOMMY! DON'T TOUCH IT!!!" Brooklyn was hyperventilating and holding Boeing in a death grip, pleading with as much desperation as when she begged me to wash the cleaner off Bry's hands so he wouldn't turn into a toad. (I may lie my children into submission. I'm a horrible person, I know). 

"Catch it Mommy! So we can pet it!" said the boys. (Not Brighton of course. He wouldn't even touch the SHEDDED skin that the science lady showed us).

"Catch it?" gulp. Well, the science lady made it seem so easy. She just scooped it right up.

"Hmmm... I don't know..."

About this time, the snake slithered UP the step and right across my foot!  I knocked the kids down like bowling pins, trying to escape as the snake came up INTO the house!

Brooklyn was barely making it from her perch on top of the couch. She looked like one of those fish out of the water with bulging eyes and wordless gasps. She was gurgling something along the lines of, "In... our... house...we're all... going to die...."

The boys were bouncing around like popcorn in the microwave and I was high stepping with a towel in my hand trying to catch the snake while Starling took a moment to take some footage on his cell phone.

I tried to resume my acting and catch the snake with honor and dignity. But the blamman thing MOVED every time I got near it. And it didn't seem to care in the SLIGHTEST that I was screaming like an un-oiled set of brakes. It just moseyed along, taking its time, checking me out.

For a second I thought it might be a friendly snake.

So, since Starling was videoing, and I was trying to calm down the children and demonstrate exactly how harmless the snake really was, I lifted my bare finger. I crouched down low. And.. I touched its tail.  

That thing whirled around so fast I almost bumped my head on the ceiling. Whew wee what a thrill! My heart jumped completely out my chest and my knees slammed together so hard, I think I chipped a cap. The snake decided it would go back outside. When the boys brought me some toy clampers, the snake decided I wasn't so fun to play with after all. I was trying to pick the snake up with the clampers but every time the snake moved, I screamed. I don't know WHY! It's a harmless rat eating snake! It's so strange! A doctor whacks your knee, your leg kicks out. A snake moves, you pee a little. Basic reflexes.

I was so relieved when the snake slithered under our slab! Besides the fact that there is space for a snake to slither under our slab. (We haven't started the remodel of the OUTSIDE of this house. ugh... a lot to do in such a short amount of time...).

But. I feel so EXCITED! For the first time IN MY LIFE, I saw a snake withOUT bursting into tears! AND I didn't have Starling shoot it or beat it to death with a hoe! And I didn't have to lay down for two days to recuperate from my "near death" experience. What liberation! I touched a frickin' WILD SNAKE!!! Probably shouldn't have done that. Not the brightest brainiac idea I've ever had. I keep feeling that creepy sensation on my finger and have to keep washing my hands. I'll definitely have nightmares. And I may have screamed and bolted halfway across the yard when I saw my water hose near my foot. Baby Steps. I named the snake "Dave." It seems less menacing that way.

And I think I have FINALLY gotten it through 5 little boys and one little girls thick HEADS why they HAVE to keep the DOORS CLOSED. (Escaping cold air- didn't work, but snakes coming in? Gets em' every time)!