It’s Not All Sunshine and Rainbows 

 Last night as I was feeding my baby girl I could not help but think of my oldest daughter when she was younger. As baby girl sat in her high chair discovering her new found favorite food (spaghetti) she was all smiles.  The spaghetti was covering everything from her face to her shirt. She was a hot mess but she was loving it and so was I.  When did I become that mom? 


When my oldest was her age that never would have happened.  She was my first child and I was young (19) and in my mind I had to prove I could be a great mom to all those that judged me.  Her hair was always in place and never would I have let her play with her food making such mess, after all no respectable mother would do that.  If she did happen to get food on her face and hands she was quickly cleaned up and her clothes changed. So why am I not that mom now?

I will tell you why.  Now I know that these moments will pass by all to quickly. It seems like only yesterday I was bringing our oldest home from the hospital when in fact she is now 21 and a senior in college. Life goes by so fast we need to enjoy the little things and that includes dirty spaghetti faces.  No one ever said life would be prefect or that it would not get messy.  It’s not always going to be sunshine and rainbows some days are going to be stormy and messy. But that’s OK it’s part of life. I was a good mom then and I’m a good mom now, I’m just different.
One thing that annoys me about social media sites such as Facebook is all the fake illusions.  If you take time to look at other people’s pages you will see that   “life is alway prefect”  Meaning that every photo they post their kids are posed perfectly, their jobs are going great, they love their spouse, their kids love each other more than anything, ect. It’s enough to make some of us feel less than adequate.  I mean most days I’m over here cleaning dirt of of my son’s face, wanting to kill my husband for working over for the third night this week,  cleaning up bathrooms where my sons have “tried” to hit the toilet, dealing with my daughter who wants to argue her point on why the sky should be purple instead of blue,  and breaking up the latest of the sibling fist fights.  My life is far from perfect and seeing others lives so grand did at one time make me feel like a failure.  Don’t get me wrong I have been known to post the ever so sappy “I love my husband more than anything” post but I also show the not so get moments of life.  Like when one of my potty training three year olds told me he “had went number 2” all by himself and I got excited ran to the bathroom only to find his “gift” in my hallway floor.   Why?  Because my life is not perfect.  I don’t want other struggling moms to think they are alone.  Like I use to after reading my timeline.  We are all moms (and dads) trying our best. I don’t understand why we compare our situation with others but we do we always do.  I don’t want others to to see a fake me. What they see if what they get.  Twenty years ago I worried how others seen me and how they thought I was doing as a mom.  Now I don’t care. I know I’m a good mom. And thanks to my older two children I know that I will miss cleaning up dirty faces and messy handprints off the walls all to soon.  Thank you Sie and Bub. Thank you.

I am blessed God gave me a second chance to enjoy all the little things being a mom means.  I am more relaxed with my parenting style this go around (maybe because I am seriously out numbered lol). I love seeing my kids be kids.  Jumping in mud holes, food on their faces, and dirt on their hands. They are enjoying their lives and that makes me happy.  Our family photos do not have us all looking at the camera with big smiles instead my beautiful chaos is well…. chaos.  Kids are running around, someone is always crying, and the only person looking at the camera is normally me.  That to me is prefect.   


At church last Sunday our pastor talked about Faith and how our plan is not always God’s plan.  We may have our life planned out stage by stage but if it’s not part of God’s plan for us it will not workout the way we think it should.  I never planned on being a mom to seven kids but God did.  I never planned on having kids so far apart in age but God did.  I never planned on adopting five little loves or moving out of state but God did.  His plan for us is so much more than we could ever plan for ourselves. We must have faith and follow Him even if it seems life will get a little messy in our eyes.  He does not promise us sunshine everyday but He does promise to carry us through the storms.   

From our beautiful chaos to yours it’s okay if life gets messy from time to time. We are not perfect. Our happiness will come from how we handle all of life’s little messes.

We have a diagnosis…finally

I look at my six year old and my heart and mind both fill up with mixed emotions.  I love her more than she will ever know, which makes what’s going on with her so hard for me.  She looks up and smiles at me while she looks through the pages of a new book. For now all if fine, but I know soon very soon we will be at war.  She can’t help it.  So I will take this moment and hold on to it. I will recall it later  (how precious she is and how much I love that smile) when she’s screaming she hates me, it will happen.  It happens daily.  
I am her mother, but my blood does not run through her veins.  I did not give birth to her or raise her for her first two years, Lord knows I wish I had. I really wish I had.  Maybe then things would be different. Even before she was born she was unloved and unproctected.  Her birth mom drank, smoked, and did drugs (all of which she denied up till the adoption) while pregnant. She never had someone to love her, care for her, or protect her like a child should, not until she came here at least. I wish her birth mom(and dad) knew what an impact their poor decisions had on my daughter. However seeing I have three more of bio moms children who are younger, I don’t figure she would really care. Addiction is a sick twisted disease. I pray for birth mom every day I hope she finds help one day.

I can’t change the past for my diva. I can’t take away the pain or the hurt. I am thankful she does not recall what happened, but the aftermath is still there.   And when she was a little over four it started to surface.  When things first started going down hill we got the typical remarks like  “She’s acting out because of the new babies” or “Maybe she needs to be an only child” or “She’s only four it’s just the terrible twos hitting a little late” 

Then last year things got worse.  She started acting out in school, not doing her work, eating glue, eating pencils and erasers, and back talking the teacher. At home it was fighting with her brothers, hitting walls, cutting up her sheets and her hair, and defining everything  I said. She was five.  People have no clue how bad it was.

My husband moved out of state for his job in October last year. I opted to stay back so our oldest son could graduate high school with his friends. I was not moving him his senior year.  She went from bad to worse. She would do things to be spiteful (spitting on her brothers, biting, and even using the floor as her personal toilet both number one and number two)  she never made things easy. Everything was always my fault and she made sure to let me know. I was reminded daily that she hated me in both her actions and her words.   

When I started looking for help for her I was met with comments like “She just misses her dad” and “She will be fine after everyone is back together under one roof” and my personal favorite “You should have stopped adopting after the first two”  No one believed it was as bad as it was….. no one except her pediatrician.  Thank God for her pediatrician.

Her doctor suggested we start seeing  a therapist. So we did.  We talked about the screaming, the fighting, the cutting stuff up, and a list of other things I will keep to myself. But after months we were still nowhere and it was time for us to move.  We quickly found a new therapist and pediatrician after we got settled in. Here we are getting somewhere. Here people are listening to my concerns and the concerns of her teacher.  Here we finally got a diagnosis.

Last week after months of tests, consults, forms and personal one on one visits we finally have a diagnosis ….. RAD & FASD along with ADD and ADHD. The truth is I am not surprised. In fact I am relieved we finally have something to work with. For all those that thought I was “just making it out to be worse than it really was” I guess I do know my daughter better than you do.  I am her mother, I know her better than anyone. I am with her every day and every night. I see the struggles the rage and the pain and I knew something was not right. Now that we know what’s going on we can get her help that she deserves.  
I know we are in for a long road. There will be huge obstacles to overcome, and we will do just that.  We will fight the uphill battle with her past demons because she is worth it. Will she ever just run up and hug me for no reason other than she just wants to, maybe not. Part of RAD is the attachment issues. Her therapist assures me my daughter loves me very much that’s why she takes everything out on me.  She is afraid I will leave her (maybe because her birth mom did) so she chooses to distance herself from me so she won’t be hurt.  And I know she loved me, but man some days it’s really hard for me to see it.  So I cling to the small moments. 

God placed her in my arms for a reason. And I promised to love her and protect her just as I promised Him I would love and protect my older children. Adoption made her legally mine but she was meant to be my child before she was born, God had a plan. And I am thankful for His plan.
From our beautiful chaos to yours always trust your mom gut.  You know your child better than anyone. Never stop fighting for them, the answers are out there for those that seek then. 

Foster Care : Every Child Needs a Hero 

Parenting is not an easy job. It is hard protecting our kids from all the dangers that surround them in today’s society. We live in a world overflowing with drugs, gun violence, school shootings, sex trafficking, bullying and countless other horrible things.  The world is not a safe place for anyone especially children. And if you’re a foster parent not only do you have to fight off the world you also have to work with a system that in many ways is broken.

We became foster parents to bridge the gap the kids get stuck in while their mom and dad try to figure things out.  So many kids are thrown into the system without any wrong doing of their own. One of my biggest pet peeves is when we have a child say under two years of age and someone finds out they are in foster care. Normally the first question out of that person’s mouth is “What did he(or she) do to get themselves placed in state care?”  Seriously ???  Like a child that young could do something that bad. Most of the children in care, including the older kids and teens, are there because of the bad choices their parents have made NOT because of what they have done.   

Kids in foster care have seen more, been through more, and lived with more than many adults. They need someone to let them be kids, someone who will love them as they are, who will fight for them and who will protect them at all costs. That’s a pretty big responsibility for a foster parent, but one we are were willing to take.

The system does not always make it easy. If you wanted to be heard then your best bet was to be at the MDT’s  (and we will pretend you get notified about all of these). These meetings are the one place foster parents can openly express their concerns for the child and where you will hear from the caseworker, lawyer’s, birth parent’s and GAL’s.  Every state and every county are different when it comes to allowing foster parents inside the court room. For example where we use to live foster parents were not allowed inside courtrooms during the case.  So I sat in the hallway at every hearing for every child so that the lawyers and judge knew I was there for my kids.  Because while they are with me in my house they are my kids. Correction even after they leave they are still forever mine in my heart.

The caseworkers are overworked so it is not always easy to get ahold of them and even if you do it may take  awhile for them to help you out. The red tape they have to go through to get what should be simple things done is unreal. So you learn to be patient with them.  We were blessed to have amazing caseworkers on most of our cases. In fact, I have become good friends with a few of them.  It is important to remember that while you have a question that you feel is “top priority” they have 30 other cases that have someone thinking the same thing. Email, text, call and leave a message whatever works best for them, keeping open communication is vital, just dont over do it, they will get back to you. Now I know not all caseworkers are good and that some kids get lost in the cracks of the system. It’s sad but true. Happens every day. There are way to many kids and to few good workers to care for their needs. 

As a foster parent our top priority is always reunification of the child and the parent. In many cases I did not want to agree with this.  It is the job of the worker, the judge, the lawyers and the system to figure out  what  is best for the child.  Many times as foster parents it feels as if our voices are unheard and our thoughts don’t matter.  But we fight for what’s right anyway. We fight to make sure the kids are taken care of, we fight for a stable home life, warm meals, therapy, and a loving home. We fight because its what’s best for that precious child looking up at us asking “Do I really have to go back there? I like it here. I have a bed and food everyday”  We fight so that they have a voice, even if it is a small one. We fight because we care.  We will always be the “bad guys” in the eyes of the birth parents. I have had many yell at me I was stealing their child away from them, when all I am trying to do is help them. I blame TV and movies for making  foster parents look like the bad guys all the time. Only on a rare occasion do you hear something good about foster parents. 

The truth is foster parenting is stressful however it’s one of the best decisions we ever made.  And if I were asked I would do it all over again.  It’s a long hard road, but if you can hold your own the outcome is beautiful. We have been blessed to adopt our five Littles out of foster care.  All of the court dates, the delays, the different caseworkers, the home inspections, the monthly visits, and the unknowns were all worth it.  On any given day in the U.S. there are an average of 650,000 children in foster care.  And of that around 7% are in care longer than five years.  It took 2 1/2 years from the time we first held our little guy until we were able to adopt him and his big sister. Our second adoption took 2 years. Thankfully in both cases we were the only foster home they were in, many kids are not as lucky.  With the goal being reunification the parents normally get chance after chance to improve their situation. If they are truly trying I am all for it. In many cases however it’s just a stall tactic and the ones that suffer are the children.  Give them a second chance yes, a third maybe, but a fourth, fifth, or tenth……no.  Many foster parents grow impatient and end up giving up as the weeks turn into months and the months turn into years, they decide the system is failing the kids and then the kids get moved from foster home to foster home. The kids deserve better. 

November is National adoption month. Foster care is a wonderful way to make adoption a reality.  In our six years  and over 20 long term placements we only had  one child go back to their birth parents one. All the other precious little lives were moved to their new forever home or we adopted them.  If you feel God is calling you to adopt, pray about foster care. There are so many kids in group homes right now that need someone like you. Why not take a leap of faith and open your heart to a child in need? It might just change your life. It did mine.

From our beautiful chaos to yours remember everyone needs a super hero in their life, someone willing to come in and safe the day. After all even Superman was adopted.  Are you willing to be that hero?

 

Elissa’s Chant

My six year old is struggling and has been for a while.  We are working on things and she really seems to like her new therapist but as her mom I still worry.  There are things that happened to her, things she lived through those first 18 months that affect her more than any of us could have predicted. I will never no everything that happened and I will never understand why bad things (neglect/abuse) happened to her. But they did so we must move forward. But it’s hard so so hard especially now that she is getting older.

One of the things we have noticed is she downs herself a lot. If she tries something new and is not successful immediately then she becomes frustrated and starts the “I will  never get it” “I can’t do this” “I just give up ”  Nothing breaks a mother’s heart more than seeing your child beat themselves up.  It’s such a lonely place when you can’t help them no matter what you try.

Yesterday did not help matters. It was report card day.  I was looking forward to it as well as dreading it. Does that make sense?  This was her first report card after our big move. New school, new teacher, new friends and new ways of doing things.  Stressed does not even cover what I was feeling.  She gets off the bus with a necklace around her neck.  She told me she won it for going to school everyday. Perfect attendance for the nine weeks. One would think she would she would be happy, not she was not. She quickly followed up with “Mrs X took me all the way down to orange (not good behavior) today I just quit”  I asked why she was moved down (past green, past yellow) ?  She replies “She expected me to stay in my seat all day, it’s just not fair”  We come in the house and I try to cheer her up but once she has hit that stage it’s almost impossible.  She pulls out her report card out of her backpack and slowly hands it to me. 

There in bold black letters I saw what I already knew. When it comes to her studies (math, reading, writing, ect) she is performing on average or above average for her age. Her classroom behavior was a different story. The teacher had said some things like “Does not listen, does not stay in seat, talks out of turn, does not follow directions” She had only one good mark out of the list of nine.  We went over the report card together seeing they use numbers instead of letters like they did back home. I could see in her eyes she was crushed. “I’M TRYING MOMMY I’M JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH” With that statement my heart broke and I took things into my own hands.

The report card does not define who she is. It’s just one thing about her. God does not see her as a child that acts up in school or one that can’t stay in her seat. He knows she’s trying, He knows there are issues. And HE LOVES HER ANYWAY!!!  I took the report card, signed it, placed it back in the backpack and went and got some construction paper.  And I asked her “Elissa how do you think mommy and daddy see you?” “How do you think God sees you?”  She lifted her head and through the tears she replied “You love me always right momma?”  And I answered “Yes”  We sat at the dinning room table and talked about things she liked about herself and things she thought she could improve on.  As we talked we wrote things down. “This will be my chant mommy. Every morning and every night I am going to say this.”  We took it to her room after she picked which statements she wanted on her poster and hung it above her bed. She was smiling from ear to ear. Before she went to bed she stood there and read her “new chant” loud and proud.  This morning after she got dressed she looked at me and said “Its chant time momma” and with me by her side she read it loud and proud again.  

This might not change her over night, but it is giving her a conference I think she needed.  Report cards are something many of us take way to serious. Children learn in different ways so they can’t all be graded the same. I know we have a long road ahead of us. And I know that we with make mistakes along the way, and that’s okay. God loves us anyway. Whether we are a straight A (or  all 4’s) student or if we are a D(or 1’s) student giving it our best. He loves us anyway. In time we will figure out her behavior issues together. Until then I will love her just as God loves her. 

From our beautiful chaos to yours don’t let reports determine the love you have for your child. They need to know we love them even on the not so great days. 

Who am I?

In the beginning I was just a dream of my mother’s. Then I became a daughter, first born child, to my parent’s.They are truly like no other’s.

As a child I was a granddaughter, apple of their eyes, stay and play with me awhile, card playing, garden helper, and slumber night at grandpa and grandmas kind of gal. 

I am a big sister, though sometimes not the best but siblings argue from time to time I guess.

I am an aunt of two spunky teens, they make me smile oh how I miss seeing them it’s been quite awhile.

For awhile I was Dave’s wife, mother of two, then I became his ex-wife if people really only knew.

 I am a survivor of domestic violence. It took years to escape, I had it search within to figure out this was not my fate. 

But who am I?

I am a Christian. I love my Jesus, the hallelujah host, I am not perfect not even close, so thankful for the times God love me most.

I am a friend, been both a good one and a bad. I have been there for some at their weakest moments, yet lost some because I was to consumed with life events. 

I am now Todd’s wife, mother of seven. I really miss living in WV “almost heaven”

There I was wife, mom, foster mom, adoptive mom, and so much more. Here I feel a loneliness  like nothing before. 

I miss my foster group meetings and dinners with the family. I miss my best friend’s girls night outs and and surprised bags of peanut M&M candies.

Don’t get me wrong I love my kids, our new house and state, I just wish I was adjusting faster and could have an occasional husband date.

Here I am only mom and wife, and half the time I don’t feel I am even getting that right.

I am now a Tennessean, Mountaineer at heart, Packers are my Pro team after all I am smart. 

I still hate frogs and stormy nights, but love to held around bonfire lights.

I am a kisser of boo-boo’s, a taxi, and a toilet bowl cleaner, sometimes life maked me just a little meaner. 

I am who I am, I’m lucky and blessed sometimes though I wish I knew who “just me” was I guess.

A Peaceful Day in Our World of Chaos 

Today started off with excitement in the air as JR woke up. The kids are on fall break this week. He decided to spend the week here with his younger siblings while our six year old went to my in-laws. But today he and his daddy were headed north to pick up his sister he “missed so badly.” He was excited. In his eyes it was an adventure, just him and his dad two guys taking on the world in the back seat of the Yukon. He got up, packed his activity bag, a snack bag, and waited as patiently as he could while his dad got ready.  He told me goodbye and off they went.  I came back into the living room to find our two youngest boys watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Baby girl was laying in her pack-n-play babbling to herself.  I thought to myself “Today is going to be a peaceful day.”

The morning went by as normal, we had breakfast, they played cars, and then they decided to watch a movie. When Disneys Cars was over we got dressed because the great outdoors was calling them. At least they waited for the dew to dry.  They love being outside. It took them a few minutes to realize they both could swing on the swingset….at the same time. Normally if JR and Elissa are here we have a major problem, four kids and only two swings. Someone is always upset. I’ve already looked at bigger swing sets for next summer. They laughed and giggled all afternoon. They chased the dog and played cars in the floor box. They played in the dirt and ran relays races.  It was so peaceful and so wonderful. The whole week has been like that.  

The boys have been so good this week. We have had the occasional fuss because one of them was sleepy or one of them didn’t want to take his bath but all in all its been a good week. And I needed it. Lately I have felt so many emotions, I’ve been upset, felt lonely, been angry, and even felt trapped (dead battery in the car). I feel so lost here most days without my family and the few friends I have. I can’t just pick up the phone and call my bestie and say “Hey want to go grab a coffee and vent about the day?” Or call my dad and say “Hey can you come watch the Littles for a few minutes so I can get my hair cut?” Don’t take this the wrong way I love my kids, they are my everything, but since the move they are my only thing.  And I am stressed. Trying to figure out what’s going on with our six year old and then dealing with all the daily things that come with being a mom of seven is taking its toll. And I know when Elissa gets back the peace will be gone. She has no control over it and until they figure out whats going on if its RAD or ADD or FAS or a combination of them all we will just get through each day one day at a time. So I needed today, maybe more than the boys did. 

The two of them can make my heart smile.  I can’t imagine life without them. They are the sweetest most kind boys you could asked for. Yes the can get a little, okay a lot, dirty and sometimes they can fight like cats and dogs. But today we had peace. There was peace and giggles and silly songs and dance breaks and milkshakes. Today was a day to just forget about all the problems in our beautiful chaos and just focus on my boys  (baby girl too). Today was beautiful. How I wish everyday could be like this. How I wish JR and Elissa were here to enjoy the day with us. How I wish more days could be stress free like today. How I wish life was not so darn complicated. 

From our beautiful chaos to yours sometimes you just have to be a three year old in an adult world. Take time to laugh, take time to play in the dirt, most important take time to just be with your little ones.

Do You Ever Think of Them?

A letter to our birth mom(s) ….

All the little ones are tucked into bed. I have finished the second round of check-ins to cover them back up, change diapers and kiss them once more. Life may be busy and at times overwhelming but I would not change a thing.

It’s in the moments like this I find myself thinking of our birth moms. Our adoptions were not the typical ones you see play out on TV or like the ones in the newspaper ads. We did not submit our story to an expecting mother for her to look over our file and pick us to be her child’s forever parents. We do not have an open adoption were we(the adoptive parents and birth parents)can share photos and stories about how the kids are and what we both hope their future holds. We do not share stories about our own childhood in hopes to give them the same type of wonderful memories. No our story is nothing like that….so I wonder.

I wonder if on their birthdays do you think of them? Do you ask yourself ” I wonder what toys they like now or how tall are they now?” I wonder if you think to yourself “School is starting soon, will she like her new teacher?” ” Will he ride the bus?” I wonder do you miss late night cuddles and having the magicial mommy kiss that can make the biggest boo boos all better? I wonder if you miss hearing the phrases I love you mommy or Can you tuck me in tonight? I wonder if you even realize what you have lost or have the drugs completely consumed you? I wonder and wait for the next call to come in saying ,”she’s had another baby.” I wonder if you miss them. I wonder do you ever cry yourself to sleep? Do you catch yourself looking in the crowd to see if anyone looks like what you picture them to look like. I wonder if friends or family still ask you about them? I wonder what their lives would be like if the state had not stepped in to save them. A million thoughts and questions run through my mind, especially late at night while I rock our youngest back to sleep or while our son is judged by outsiders on his actions, things he can not help because of the drugs and neglect he had to go through. I get so mad at you and the things you’ve done. You have no idea the damage you placed on their lives because of your choices you made without thinking of the outcome for them. But then God reminds me if it was not for you I would not have them with me. So I wonder what do you think of me?

I am thankful and grateful that I have been given the chance to be their mom. I am thankful for the few talks we had as we waited outside courtroom doors. I am thankful for a system, though broken sometimes, allowed us to keep 4 siblings together and also allowed us to adopted one who had no one. I could not picture my life without them so I wonder what your life is like without them. I wonder if they have your smile, your laugh, or if they have your personality. Does she get her unruly behaviors from you, does he think and solve problems like you? I wonder if they will ask me questions about you later in life. I wonder how I will answer these questions. I wonder if they will thank me for giving them a chance at a normal life or will they recent me for keeping you away from them? How will I handle that? I wonder if you pray for them and wish them well in their new life. Or if once they were removed from your care you never gave them a second thought? I wonder if your ok. I wonder if you are safe. I wonder if you even care.

I know you never planned for drugs and alchol to take over your life. I know that having your children removed and placed in state care was not how you saw things when you were a little girl. I know you must have been angry, scared, and maybe a little ashamed. But I need you to know they are okay. They are better than okay they are great. Know that I love them. All of them. I love them with every beat of my heart. I love early morning wake ups to giggling down the hall. I love story time and playtime and all the times in between. Know that they are happy, sassy, talented, and yes they fight with each other like all siblings do. Know that I vowed to each of them they will always know how special they are each and every day. Know that I am grateful you had them and did not abort them. Thank you for giving them the gift of life. I am blessed to have them here. I am blessed to be their forever mom.

I may never know the answers to these questions. And I guess I will be ok with that. I am thankful God placed each of them in my arms. I am thankful He had a plan for them when life throw them a curve ball. I pray for you and your life choices. I pray things start to look up and help is received.

I will continue to pray for you I know the circumstances where not what either of us planned but because of you I am mom to my beautiful chaos. We are forever connected in God’s great plan.

From our beautiful chaos to yours its okay to question the unknown but dont get stuck there.Someday you may get the answers you are looking for. Until then just have faith in God’s greater plan.

I Wonder….Do You Ever Think of Them?

A letter to our birth mom (s) ….
All the little ones are tucked into bed. I have finished the second round of check-ins to cover them back up, change diapers and kiss them once more. Life may be busy and at times overwhelming but I would not change a thing.

It’s in the moments like this I find myself thinking of our birth moms. Our adoptions were not the typical ones you see play out on TV or like the ones in the newspaper ads.  We did not submit our story to an expecting mother for her to look over our file and pick us to be her child’s forever parents.  We do not have an open adoption were we(the adoptive parents and birth parents)can share photos and stories about how the kids are and what we both hope their future holds. We do not share stories about our own childhood in hopes to give them the same type of wonderful memories. No our story is nothing like that….so I wonder.

I wonder if on their birthdays do you think of them? Do you ask yourself ” I wonder what toys they like now or how tall are they now?”  I wonder if you think to yourself “School is starting soon, will she like her new teacher?” ” Will he ride the bus?” I wonder do you miss late night cuddles and having the magicial mommy kiss that can make the biggest boo boos all better?  I wonder if you miss hearing the phrases I love you mommy or Can you tuck me in tonight? I wonder if you even realize what you have lost or have the drugs completely consumed you? I wonder and wait for the next call to come in saying ,”she’s had another baby.” I wonder if you miss them. I wonder do you ever cry yourself to sleep? Do you catch yourself looking in the crowd to see if anyone looks like what you picture them to look like. I wonder if friends or family still ask you about them? I wonder what their lives would be like if the state had not stepped in to save them. A million thoughts and questions run through my mind, especially late at night while I rock our youngest back to sleep or while our son is judged by outsiders on his actions, things he can not help because of the drugs and neglect he had to go through. I get so mad at you and the things you’ve done. You have no idea the damage you placed on their lives because of your choices you made without thinking of the outcome for them.  But then God reminds me if it was not for you I would not have them with me. So I wonder what do you think of me?

I am thankful and grateful that I have been given the chance to be their mom. I am thankful for the few talks we had as we waited outside courtroom doors. I am thankful for a system, though broken sometimes, allowed us to keep 4 siblings together and also allowed us to adopted one who had no one. I could not picture my life without them so I wonder what your life is like without them. I wonder if they have your smile, your laugh, or if they have your personality. Does she get her unruly behaviors from you, does he think and solve problems like you? I wonder if they will ask me questions about you later in life. I wonder how I will answer these questions. I wonder if they will thank me for giving them a chance at a normal life or will they recent me for keeping you away from them? How will I handle that? I wonder if you pray for them and wish them well in their new life. Or if once they were removed from your care you never gave them a second thought?  I wonder if your ok. I wonder if you are safe.  I wonder if you even care.

I know you never planned for drugs and alchol to take over your life. I know that having your children removed and placed in state care was not how you saw things when you were a little girl. I know you must have been angry, scared, and maybe a little ashamed. But I need you to know they are okay. They are better than okay they are great. Know that I love them. All of them. I love them with every beat of my heart. I love early morning wake ups to giggling down the hall. I love story time and playtime and all the times in between. Know that they are happy, sassy, talented, and yes they fight with each other like all siblings do. Know that I vowed to each of them they will always know how special they are each and every day. Know that I am grateful you had them and did not abort them. Thank you for giving them the gift of life.  I am blessed to have them here. I am blessed to be their forever mom.

I may never know the answers to these questions. And I guess I will be ok with that. I am thankful God placed each of them in my arms. I am thankful He had a plan for them when life throw them a curve ball. I pray for you and your life choices. I pray things start to look up and help is received.

I will continue to pray for you  I know the circumstances where not what either of us planned but because of you I am mom to my beautiful chaos. We are forever connected in God’s great plan.

From our beautiful chaos to yours its okay to question the unknown but dont get stuck there.Someday you may get the answers you are looking for. Until then just have faith in God’s greater plan.