Hello Again Beautiful

Have you ever thought how different things may be if Joseph would have said no when the angel told him about Mary? What if instead of him stepping up and becoming a father to Mary’s child he walked away? What if he would have told the angel “Find someone else. I’m not ready for this.”

What if… that question has crossed my mind more than once as a foster parent. I have spent many nights crying about those what if questions. Every time we had to turn away a child or sibling group because we did not have the room or because we were not equipped to handle their medical needs. I questioned what would happen to him or her. I questioned what their life would be like.

Even with the children that have came into our home I have questioned myself. What if we can’t connect with them? What if she never opens up to us? What if he never talks? What if I can’t give them what they need? We try our best to make the situation as comfortable as possible and we love them as our own for the week, month, or year they are with us. And as the time begins to pass you question what if they need a permanent home? What if the department asks us to adopt? What if a family member comes out of nowhere and wants them? And while your mind races with these questions somewhere a judge and a team a people who are not emotionally tied to this child are making decisions that will ultimately change the life for him or her.

Many times there is but one hello and one goodbye. We get the call we say yes and we say hello to a scared little one hours later. We love them, comfort them, pray with them, and cry with them only to have them removed and placed in their new forever homes. We are just a gateway to their new life. Most of these goodbyes are permanent. And that leaves you to question what if they miss us? What if it does not work out? What if they think we never loved them or wanted them? What if they never know just how much we truly did love them? What if their new home is worse than the one they came from? What if questions that never get answered.

We have been blessed to get a second chance with one of our little loves. A second hello if you want to call it that. Something I never thought would be possible. She became part of us the moment we saw her but we knew the plan is always to reunify with the parents. While she was here we loved her, prayed over her, and enjoyed our time with her. The day we had to say goodbye was hard. So so hard. I knew we would never see she again. But you see God had other plans.

Some time passed and we had calls come in, but none of them fit what we could take in. We questioned if we were really suppose to be do this here? We questioned if our time as foster parents was over. I decided to go on and have surgery on my back that I had been putting off. Then the call came in. She was coming back to us if we would take her.

What if we would have said no? Where would she be today?

Maybe God knew I needed to get my back fixed and He know I would not as long as she was here. Maybe He knew she would be loved at the other house so we made a way for it to happen. Maybe she is meant to be with us a little while longer. Things I may never know and the one thing I do know is none of these would be possible is we would have never stepped out in faith and said “God what if you used us in your plan?” What if we could take in one more?

God has a plan for all of us. For Mary it was to become the mother of our Savior. For Joseph it was to become the earthly father of our Lord and King. For others it’s to become a doctor or a lawyer, a cook or a bus driver. For some it’s to become a teacher to share their wisdom with young minds. Still others it’s to be a world renowned blogger sharing their personal stories of overcoming life struggles and being triumphant. And still others it’s about becoming caregivers or foster parents for those that God places in ours paths. We are not here by accident. The people we cross paths with are placed before us for a reason. We may not know all of the what if’s in life. But we know the one who does.

As for us we don’t know if we will have to say goodbye again. And while that is scary and in someways heartbreaking we are grateful for more time with her. We will treasure it and make more memories with her. We will love her and comfort her as if she is ours because in our hearts she is ours (just as every child that has been in our home has been) Whatever happens she will always be part of our hearts.

Thank you God for second hello’s. Thank you for your perfect timing. Thank you for trusting us once more.

And to you little love….. hello again beautiful we are so glad you are home. We have missed you so. ❤️

What do My Kids Need for Christmas?

Yes oh yes, it’s that time of year. It’s almost Christmas. I love this time of year. Our little loves become a little bit nicer to each other, the holiday baking of cookies and hard candy has started, family traditions are being passed down from one generation to the next, even the smell of this time of year makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And while I love all that Christmas entails it’s also that time of year where we tend to over spend on everything.

Being a mom I want to give my kids the very best. However my kids seem to want everything. Which is typical, but they really don’t need anything. It’s not like it was when I was growing up. I remember the excitement building the weeks coming up to Christmas. My brother and I would go through the big Sears catalog and circles and re-circle all of our must haves (it amazed me back then how one catalog contained everything I could possibly need it’s glossy pages) We would write letters to Santa and practically beg him to bring us a few things off our long lists. This of course all while promising Santa we would be kinder to each other if he would deliver the goods to our house.

When I became I mom I wanted my kids to have everything I didn’t growing up. When I became a foster mom that intensified. Many of the children that came to our home had nothing. You want to shower them with goodies and love, especially at Christmas, so they can “just be kids”. Seeing them in their jeans that are too small or shoes that don’t fit breaks my heart. So we over spend and justify it. And that’s okay.

Even after we adopted our little loves I find we still over do the gifts. We use the rewards system for good behaviors at our house. They earn stars for good manners, or completing homework without fussing, or helping with the laundry, theres a list of other things they can earn stars for. Once they hit a certain number of stars they can decide what level to cash them in. Each level has a different value so one child may cash in early and get a “prize” valued at 5 dollars while another may bank his or she stars and safe up to get a prize valued at 50 dollars. This system works great, but it means they received gifts all year round.

So when we asked what do you want for Christmas they had to think about it.

When their grandparents, aunts, and uncles asked I gave them a small list but asked them to keep the gifts to a minimum and asked them if they really wanted to get them something then they could put money into their college funds. Is that mean of me? I hope not. It’s not that I don’t want them to receive gifts it’s just we have so much stuff. With five under the age of seven we are not short on toys around here. Just looking around my living room I see Barbies, puzzles, cars and letter magnets. I understand that they are kids and people want to buy them things (I want to buy them things as well) but we decided not to go overboard this year. Instead of buying them a bunch of toys that will be played with for a few weeks then tossed in the toy box we plan on buying only a few gifts and putting money in their accounts so when they are ready for college they will have money in case they need it. Hopefully they will understand and appreciate it later on.

Besides Christmas should not be about how many gifts you receive or how much money you spend. Christmas should be about the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It should be about loved ones and family traditions. It should be joyous not stressful.

What are your children asking for? What are you planning on doing this Christmas? I would love to hear your thoughts.

From our beautiful chaos to yours don’t stress over the holiday stuff, The perfect gift was given over 2000 years ago. Remember the real reason for this season.

Beautiful Chaos Book Funding Link

hello everyone,

As many of you know I have sent off my first book to be published.  I am super excited and can’t wait to hear what people think about our journey through foster care and adoption.   We have hit a small problem however.  There were some fees I was not expecting and I am looking for people willing to help raise the money.  If we hit the goal I will select 7 people who have donated at random and they will receive an autographed copy of the book.   If you can’t donate that’s perfectly fine, please share the link and pray for this project.   I truly feel God intends to use this book to help others take that leap of faith and become foster parents/adoptive parents.  The link is below:

From our beautiful chaos to yours, thank you.  Together we can make this happen

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Robot Mom 2.0

In order to fully understand this post please go back and read my blog Part Mom/Part Robot sort of.

My last surgery, I was told the new batteries they were placing in my SCS’s (spinal cord stimulators) would last me between five and six years. That was last June. This past Friday I found myself back in the surgery room undergoing the knife one more time to replace the batteries. Where did my five years go?

Dealing with back pain/neck pain has become part of my normal. I do not complain about, it’s just part of who I am. Maybe it’s because I don’t complain that people do not see me as someone who suffers with a chronic pain. Just to clear things up not all illnesses or health issues can be seen. Just because someone is not in a wheelchair, or using an oxygen tank, or someone is not using crutches does not mean they are fine. Many chronic illnesses or pain issues can not be seen with the naked eye.

It is much easier to say I’m fine when someone asks how I’m feeling than to actually go into what all hurts. It’s been my experience that when most people ask “How are you doing?” they are just making small talk they don’t actually want to know how your doing. The truth is most days I am fine. The SCS’s have really made it possible for me to keep a somewhat normal life. But there are days I hurt, days I can’t move, days I wish the accident never happened. On those days I wish people could really see what’s it’s like for someone to live in constant pain. Days like today.

A few months ago my generator started saying it was time to replace my batteries. I thought there had to be a mistake so I called the doctor and scheduled an appointment. When I went in I was met by the doctor and the programming team. They laid me down and ran the scans to see what was going on.

They adjusted the programs and reset the batteries and sent me on my way. That lasted three weeks before my unit started flashing replace batteries soon. I called the office back and scheduled yet another appointment. At this appointment it was confirmed that my SCS’s were in fact dying. Both batteries were going bad, just my luck. After father investigation it was determined that my spine is covered in scar tissue (countless surgeries will do that) making it hard for the electrical current to get from the leds to my spine. This was making the batteries work over time to get push the current through in order to keep the SCS’s working. That in turn drained the batteries, which is why my five to six year battery life only made it a year and four months.

So Friday I had yet another surgery. New larger batteries were placed in my units (one on the left side of my lower stomach area and one on my right side lower back area). They worked on my one on my back first then flipped me over and replaced the one in my stomach. In a few days I should be back to my normal but today I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.

This will fix the problem short term but there is still scar tissue around my spine so another, more complicated, surgery will be needed down the road. Sooner than later. It seems to be never ending.

But even with all the downsides I am thankful. I do hate surgery but because of it I am still able to walk. The scars will fade and the pain will subside. I am thankful because with each passing year the medical community gets closer to finding a way to permanently fixing those in chronic pain. I am thankful because with my SCS’s I am no longer on pain medication. I am thankful that I am still able to be the mother and wife God planned for me to be. I am thankful because I still believe in miracles and one day I will be healed. And oh what a day that will be.

From our beautiful chaos to yours don’t be so quick to judge others. Just because you can see their illness or see what causes their pain does not mean it does not exist. The strongest people I know cry behind closed doors in pain so they don’t worry those they love.

A Salute to My Favorite Veterans 

In honor of Veterans Day I thought I would talk about a few of the finest men I know.  I am honored to have/had them all in in my life.

I have several uncles that have served our country proudly.  Two however I would like to tell you about, my uncle A and my uncle L.  Both of these men helped shape my life in more ways than one.

When I was younger I belonged to a clogging (an Appalachian form of dance) team.  I along with my brother, mother, and father all danced on this team.  So did my uncle A, aunt and cousin.  We practiced weekly and on most weekends we performed at different festivals.  I loved those days.   Our two families are close thanks to those times.  We also spent many of our “free” weekends at my grandmothers and if we were there you could almost bet my aunt, uncle and cousin were there as well.  In fact most of my childhood memories include them.  I would give anything to have him spin me around the dance floor one more time to one of our old routines.

Now my uncle L is on my dads side.  He has a love for motorcycles and for Jesus.  He is one of the sweetest men I know.  He always has a kind word to share and he makes sure to tells me just how much he loves me every time I see him. When I was younger and still lived at home he, my aunt and their two kids lived less than a mile from me.  Family is everything to him.  And I will never be to old for one of his bear hugs.

I am blessed to have had both of my grandfathers serve our county as well.  Both Papaw W and Papaw L served during World War II.  Papaw W was in the Navy and Papaw L was in the Army.  My Papaw W always had a story to tell and made sure we knew who the greatest hunter/or fisherman was. Later in life he would quiz me on Bible verses or share a passage that he thought was interesting.  My Papaw L was my rock when I was a little girl.  I spent most of my early childhood days at his and mamaw’s house.  Having them as our neighbors made it easy to see them daily.  We would pass the days by working in the garden or playing games of Canasta.  I would ride in the back of his old black Ford pickup truck to the store were he would buy me a soda and candy bar for under a dollar.  Those were the days.  I would love to be able to hear just one more hunting story from Papaw W or to be able to play one more game of Canasta with Papaw L.  I know they both watch over me in all that I do.

I even married into a family that has served our country with pride.  My father-in-law was in the Air Force and my husband was in the Army.  My father-in-law fought in the Vietnam War.  He is the best when it comes to being an all around great guy.  From the first day I met him he welcomed me into his family.  He showed me how to eat chicken wings and helped introduce me to NASCAR. He is the first person people go to when something needs done.  He works with his church making sure all the local kids have food to eat through the back pack program and he is always the first one to offer to help if something comes up.  He would give the shirt of his back if he thought someone needed it. He is also a pretty awesome papaw to our little ones, just ask any of them.  When he says “I love ya girl.” I know he means it.

My husband, my hero, my rock, and my partner.  He fought for our country in Operation Iraqi Freedom.  He always has my back no matter how crazy things get.  He works hard to provide a good life for the kids and me.  He opened his heart up to foster care when many others would have said no.  He makes me happier than I have ever been. He is my shoulder to cry on, my go to guy when I need good laugh, and my stealer of the sheets at night.  My favorite place in the world is in his arms.

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I also have many cousins and friends that have served the Red, White, and Blue proudly.  To all of them I say THANK YOU!!!

The point of this blog is to show that our Veterans are not nameless people or people without faces.  Our veterans are everyday people.  They are someones grandfather, father, uncle, cousin, husband, son, daughter, aunt, mother, or grandmother.  They are real people with real families yet they choose to serve to give us the freedoms we have.  They sacrifice so much to give us opportunities many Americans today take for granted.  Freedom is not free.  It comes with a cost few are willing to pay.

So today, as well as every day, if you see a veteran thank them for their service.  I am honored to be part of a family that has served our country over the years.  To all those that have served or are currently serving I salute you.  Thank you for being you.  And God bless you.

 

The Extra Hour of Sleep Myth

Daylight savings time.  The time many adults get excited about gaining back that hour of sleep.  I too once cherished that extra hour, then I had kids and the extra hour of sleep became nothing more than a myth. 


My kiddos never sleep in.  Most Saturday and Sunday mornings you can find us up and at it before 5am.  (How we manage to still run late for church I will never figure out) So this whole Daylight savings time is a struggle every time it rolls around.  It does not matter if we are “falling back” or “springing forward” time change on my little loves is hard….so so hard.


Its worse on Wild Man.  With his sensory issues and autism any change is huge for him.  In order for us to gain this one hour we will spend countless hours(days maybe weeks) in complete turmoil trying to readjust him to the new normal outside.  It’s exhausting. 

This morning he was up around 3.  He climbed in my bed but could not go back to sleep. He tossed and turned, he talked and sang. I knew there was no way he was going back to sleep. I knew if he stayed in my room much longer he would wake up both his dad and baby sister so I got up and we went back to his room.  For the next two hours he played with his Legos and asked if it was time to go downstairs.  Around 5 our two four year olds heard us up and wanted to join the morning party.  


By 5:15 we were downstairs watching Tangled for the 1,573,693,302 time in Wild Mans lifetime. (We have went through 10 dvds of this movie. Safe to say it’s his favorite) 

By 530 the boys were eating breakfast.  By 6 Diva was up and the boys were having their morning snacks.  I was working on my second cup of coffee.   My husband and baby girl are still sound asleep at 7.  

I am sure that when daylight savings time was invented it was necessary. But I know I can’t be the only mom who suffers from the time change.  Okay suffers is a strong word but I have been up since 3 so bear with me. The next few days are going to be tough, but we will get through them with coffee,chips and Disney movies. And who knows we may even fit in a short nap later today.  

From our beautiful chaos to yours may that extra hour of sleep do you well this morning. For those of you with kids well maybe we will enjoy it next time 😂

Trick or Treating with Autism 


Autism can make the simplest things…less simple. And trick or treating is no exception.  Last year we were still new to the area so we let the kids dress up and run around the backyard. They took turns ringing our own doorbell as I gave them candy. It was simple it was safe and most importantly Wild Man was able to just be himself.  This year however, the kids wanted to venture out and gather candy like we had back in my hometown before we moved.  I knew this would be a challenge even with help from my husband.

The last few days leading up to tonight’s outing we went over The trick or treating rules.  Basic things like: staying with mom and dad, no running off, saying please and thank you, and being respectful to all those around us.  Down here they do not trick or treat like back home.  There hundreds of candy hungry kids flood the subdivisions in search of the perfect sweets.  Here it’s not about going house to house but more of the local churches doing what is called trunk or treat. We decided to go to a church close to our home so the kids could make their big candy score.  

The trunk or treat was suppose to be from 6 to 8.  The church had hot dogs and other food for people to eat and they had games set up where kids could play and earn candy.  Which for most kids would be fine and I’m sure everyone that attended had a fantastic time…everyone except our Wild Man.   We arrived right around 6 (it was still daylight so Wild Man was okay with being outside) We signed the kids in and were told we could get something to eat.  If you have ever been trick or treat with young ones then you know the last thing on their little minds was eating actual food they want candy and nothing but candy.  We passed the food station and walked through the game stations over to where the trunk or treat was suppose to take place. The problem….they were not ready for the kids.  We were told we could play some games while they set up.  Wild man was getting anxious but we tried to play a few games.  He didn’t understand why he could not just get the candy from the bowls. Why me play game momma? Why????? We tried for about 20 minutes before he got extremely upset.  We walked back over to where the trunk or treat was to take place. It was still not ready.  I looked at my husband while trying to keep ahold of Wild mans hand and made the call to head back home.  Our other little loves were not thrilled we were leaving. Having a sibling on the spectrum is difficult on them sometimes.  They know he has limits but their kids and sometimes they just want to be able to do what other kids do.  As we walked back home we saw a few of our neighbors lights on. I look at my husband and he knew what I was thinking and he shrugged sure why not?  

In our large subdivision we walked along with our five little loves.  Out of all the houses in our subdivision we found four that were passing out candy. Four.  But four was enough.  At the first house Wild Man asked the lady’s name and then told her he was moving in with her. She was sweet and laughed it off.  At the second house they passed out suckers and Whopper candy. Wild man loves both so he was okay there. Third house he tried to take more than a few pieces and when the gentleman said Oh only a few big guy, he started screaming and tried to step on the mans foot. By the fourth house he was done and when they opened the door he ran in. (When he’s done he’s done. He saw their TV on and wanted to watch) The gentleman at the door caught him and was very kind about the situation.  As we went walked down the neighbors front porch steps I said it was time to go home.  That’s when Elmo and Diva started fussing. It’s not fair.  We hardly have any candy.  Why do we always have to stop when he gets upset? As we walked up our driveway they both stomped as loud as their little feet possibly could.  

I am use to things not working out as we plan.  So as they fussed I went to the kitchen and pulled out Plan B aka backup candy.  I had the kids open up their bags and I filled them with their favorite sweets. Smiles finally covered their faces as they settled in with their candy to watch a Halloween special before bed. They were happy and Wild Man was safe and comfort in his own home so he was happy. I hate to say it but as an autism mom I always have a backup plan. You have to have a backup plan.

It’s not fair, I get it. It’s hard on them, him and us. All I want is a normal life for all my kiddos. Some days we get through without any major upsets other days it’s meldown after meltdown.  All we can do is take it day by day (and always have backup candy just in case we need it) Our normal is different from most. And I’m okay with that. 

Even though we did not get to go to many houses or play all the church games we did get out as a family. We did manage to get out of the house for a little while and he did have fun. And he was able to wear his mask for awhile. (Huge win) We could set and dwell over all the things that went wrong or we can celebrate the small victories.  We will celebrate and eat candy I bought. 

My Twins…My Boys

My boys. My cute little oh so rotten boys. My four year old boys. My world.

Baby Elmo
Baby Big Al

When I was growing up I dreamt of having twins.  When I did have children I had one daughter and then three years later one son.  Twins did not happen for me naturally.   Instead God gave me “twins” in a different way.

Big Al came to us when he was two days old.  Elmo made his grand appearance when he was three weeks old.  The two of them bonded like nothing I’ve ever seen.  They were raised as brothers and seeing that they are only eight days apart they were raised as twins.  They sat up days apart, they crawled hours apart, they even walked days apart.  They formed a special language that only they understood. In every aspect of the word they were twins. When they were babies people would stop us and ask if they were twins even though they look nothing alike.  Nowadays they have each other’s backs in everything they do.  It’s truly a special bond they have.


Over the weekend all of our boys received hair cuts.  Elmo and Wild Man always do a buzz cut while Big Al goes with just a trim to keep his curls.  This weekend however that all changed.  After Elmo was finished Big Al insisted he wanted his hair cut just like his brothers.  I love his curls and when he begged me the last time I told him no.  He has beautiful hair.  I could not bring myself to just cut it all off.  He received his usual trim and was fine with the end result.  This past weekend he begged again.  And again I said no.  Then he said he just wanted to look like his brothers. He crossed his little hands and looked up at me with those big brown eyes and said Please momma I look like Elmo please?  I looked and my husband and sighed.  It’s only hair right?   He was so excited as the clippers cut away at his long locks.  When he was finished he raced to the bathroom mirror to see what he looked like.  In his sweet little voice he said I look like Elmo, we can play tricks now.   

Before the hair cut
After the hair cut

They were so excited to trick their teacher this morning. As I pulled up to drop them off I rolled my window down to give their teacher the heads up about the boys plan.  When she opened the door she pretended not to know who was who. The boys just laughed and giggled.  Elmo finally said it’s me see I got’s glasses on.   They walked into class feeling confident in their clever plan.


Pure innocence of a child.  They do not see their differences. They do not see their eyes are not the same, nor their skin color, nor their hair color or that one wears glasses while the other one does not.  When they look at each other all they see it their brother not their differences.  Nothing but Love.   

We all could learn a thing or two from them.  Love is greater than blood. 

Adoption is beautiful. It brings together boys meant to be brothers.   

The X Factor: School Life for Our Autistic Son 


I attended my first IEP meeting for this school year for wild man a few weeks ago.  As a mom I want the best for my kids. I want them to have a great education and be able to succeed. As a mom of an autistic child I want these things and so much more.

 The meeting went well. His new teacher, OT, speech director, principal and his teacher from last year all love him.  Which makes me feel like we made the right decision on the School.  We went over his daily schedule and how we could make it better for him.  This year he will have his major subjects in a regular classroom while his afternoons will be spent in the classroom equipment for special needs (this is the classroom which make us choose the school in the first place). Change is hard for him but I want what’s best for him.  

The meeting was filled with comments like “he is doing so great” “he is working so hard” and “he has come a long way”. All of which made me smile because he is doing great and working hard. And he has come a long way, a very long way.  It’s in these moments that I get lost and almost forgot he is autistic.  Everyone bragging on him and telling funny stories about things he has done.  I love seeing other people’s faces when they talk about him.  They just light up he has that effect on people once they take time to get to know him. 

But then there comes the reality.  Take this work page for example.  He scored a 3 out of 10.  I know placing him in the regular classroom is supposed to help him build social skills and help him become more independent.  But he is so lost when it comes to the actual school work.  I don’t want him to be overlooked or just passed through because of his disabilities. I want him to have a chance to learn and to grow just like any mother would.  I know many of you are thinking “it’s just one paper or he is just in 1st grade” but that’s my point. This is just the beginning. What happens now and how he is treated will affect the way things go from here on out. He does not bring many graded papers home but when he does most notes are “he tried hard” At what point will he become completely lost and what nothing to do with School? Will he always be this happy go lucky boy or will the struggles become to much for him the bear?  I worry because it’s my job to make sure he receives the best possible education he can receive. I worry that the other kids will start calling him names or talking about him because he does not get the answers right.  I worry constantly about how his peers receive him.  

But then my son does the most wonderful thing.  As I look at all the X’s on his papers and the comments my son, my beautiful intelligent son points at the papers and says “look momma I got this one right” and smiles great big.  Even in a world full of negativity and large red and green X’s my son only sees the good, he only sees the beauty. As his mom I worry about him in this crazy world we live in.  People are so cruel to each other and I am scared that the things that make him unique in Gods eyes will get him teased or even hurt in this world.  But God has given my son a unique way of looking at things. He only sees the good in people and in things.  He does not notice those that stare at him or say hurtful things about him. I am truly thankful for that.  As his mom I need to try and see the world the way he sees it.  I need to find the good.

So yes we celebrate the three right answers, because a year or two ago none of this would have even been possible. We celebrate that he can now write his name and that his teacher said he is now sitting at his desk up to three minutes at a time. (This is huge for him) We celebrate that he has even sat at the dinner table with us a few times this month and we were able to have dinner as a family(and this is huge for him). We celebrate the red and green X’s because they show us progress. He is moving forward in all areas of his life.  We celebrate because God has made this prefect little guy ours and we are the ones that get to watch him grow and succeed at life.   

We celebrate because we are blessed.  

Thank you wild man for opening my eyes to more than just the negative.  Thank you for helping me see there is beauty in everything, even in X’s. 

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