Our Elmo

Our fourth son Eli celebrated his birthday a few weeks ago by turning the big 3.  He and Alex are known as “the twins” being that they are only eight days apart in age. His story with us started 3 years ago with coming Tuesday. Let me introduce you… 
Life was busy. We were in the process of adopting wild man and little Miss when we received the “we only need you to foster him till we find another Adoptive family” for our newest addition….that had been a month ago.  We were adjusting schedules to made life with five kids do able. I was packing clothes and suitcases for my family reunion. The reunion is on my mom’s side.  Every year aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers and sisters come together for four days of good food, laughs, games and fellowship. It’s the one weekend out of summer you don’t want to miss. Two to three hundred relatives coming together. We are blessed to have such a wonderful tradition that has lasted throughout many generations.  And this year I was excited to introduce our soon to be adopted daughter and son along with our newest little guy.

I remember standing in the kitchen placing dishes in the dishwasher when the phone rang.  It was the one call worker.  She asked if I had siblings “X and Y”  it throw me for a moment because we had not used Elissa and JR’s birth names since we found out we were adopting them, that had been over a year.  When I realized what she was saying I told her yes and asked what was going on.  She told me that birth mom had another baby and that the birth father had taken him home from the hospital. The birth dad was told if he wanted the baby he had to stay away from birth mom. Shockingly he did not so the baby was now in state care and they were bringing him to me since I had his half siblings.  I remember laughing and saying, ” We can’t.  We just took in a newborn and they still haven’t found him an adoptable home so we  are currently full…..sorry”  Then the worker laughed and said, “I already have the waiver for you. I will see you around 430” 

I was shocked, excited, scared and every emotion in between.  I know what this meant. Birth mom had already lost rights to our soon to be adopted daughter and son. And if the dad could not handle the baby he would be forever ours also.  I called my husband and his only question was “Do you think you can handle two newborns plus Elissa and JR(3 and 2 at the time) ?  And just like most foster moms I know I answered “Sure I can, it will be fun”  and with that we had six kids.  

The worker showed up right at 430. She carried his car seat in and sat it in the living room floor. Elissa quickly went over to the new baby and said, “Mommy it’s baby Elmo” we all laughed. I asked the worker what his name was and when she told me I looked over at Elissa and said “baby elmo it is”  I will never understand why birth mom gave all of her kids such odd names, maybe it’s because she know they would be changed after they were adopted or because she was so out of it they sounded good to her at the time. Either way he quickly became baby elmo, and in fact is still called elmo sometimes even now. 

We loaded up shortly after his arrival and headed out to the reunion where we surprised my mom and the rest of the family with “the twins”   The looks on many of their faces was priceless. Many wanted to know how they could adopt baby Al seeing that no one had stepped up to yet. Others questioned my sanity.  But it was all good.  I know they didn’t mean anything by it, they were just concerned.  

Days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months and just like his brother and sister he was released for adoption.  It took two full years from the time he and Alex came into our home but on June 17, 2015 they became forever brothers on the same day.  

It’s funny. They are not related by blood at all, but they are the true definition of twins in the since. They started crawling together, walked days apart, and they even have their own language they use to talk to each other.  They don’t know any different.  People would come up to us when they were babies and ask if they were twins. At first we did the, “no they are not we are foster parents” answer. They people would want to know what they (the babies) did to end up in foster care. People can be ignorant. So we started saying, “No they are not. They are 8 days apart”  and walk off. The looks on people’s faces was priceless. You could hear them talking as we walked off “she was in labor for 8 days…that’s crazy” lol. We had fun with it.  Still do.

All of our kids have brought something different to our family. With Eli it’s his sweet personality and his contagious laugh.  He is definitely our class clown. He is always doing something to get the others to laugh. He is as rotten as they come but I would not trade anything for him.  I think back to that call, what if the worker would have said “Oh I didn’t know you had a new placement I will find someone else” What if we never met him?  Life would be so much different. I am thankful God had a plan for him and us. 

Life is to short to worry about what other people say. It use to get to me when asked how many kids we had, I would answer 6 and people would say oh sweetie I’m  sorry or don’t you know how to stop that.  Now when people ask I hold my head up high and say we have 7 beautiful children God blessed us with. The comments still come but I have spend many nights talking with God and asking him things and I have come to realize this is between my husband, myself and Him. God placed these childern with us. He trusted us with their life’s. He picked me out of hundreds of thousands to be their forever mommy. How cool is that? He loves the kids so much he placed them with me to watch over and love. I will forever be in awe of His plan for our family.
From our beautiful chaos to yours enjoy your little ones and have a great weekend

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.

New State, New School, New year….oh my

Today our six year old started her new journey at her new school. Our normally chatty girl was somewhat quiet this morning while getting ready.  She has adjusted well with our move to Tennessee, after all she is back to seeing her dad everyday and her big sis has been with us all summer, and normally is excited to try new things.  Today however you could tell she was a little nervous. 

She got up and dressed in her new pink shirt and shorts. She put on her socks and shoes. We brushed her teeth and brushed her hair. She grabbed her new backpack and out the door we went.  In the car as we waited for the bus we made a video to pass the time and we talked.

She worried no one would talk to her, or no one like her glasses (you know things all 6 year olds worry about)  My heart broken for her. The idea we had moved and she would not be with her friends had finally hit her.  How do you convince a first grader everything will be ok when you are worried about the exact same things?  I gave her the “You will be just fine, I know it” speech, but I worried all day.  Worried if anyone would talk to her, worried if she would feel all alone,worried because that’s what moms do.   She made it through the day and when we picked her up she was smiling. She loved her new teacher and breakfast was awesome she said. She said she had talked to a few new people and that she was sure she would have new friends soon.  She was more relaxed than she was this morning and could not wait to get home and show me all she had brought home.  She will be fine for she is strong, she is confident, she is a survivor.  I will still worry, it’s what I do, but she will not let anything get in her way. And because of that I know she will be just fine.

Tomorrow our five year old goes to his introduction to kindergarten at his new school. The two will not be in the same school. JR will be going to a school that has a special classroom for children with autism.  You can tell he is also nervous about going to a new school.  Back in WV I knew all the teachers at the school. My older kids had went there years ago and so did my neice and nephew. I was on a first name basis with most of them so the anxiety about sending him to school was there but I knew enough people to keep an eye on him making it bearable to let him go.Tonight he said  he will not be going to school tomorrow. He says he wants to stay little. I can tell he is scared even though he has few words to describe his feelings. He has cuddled more, kissed my forehead more and been by my side all night.  With our daughter I was able to give her a pep talk and send her on our way. It’s not that simple with him. I know he will have a better opportunity here to receive a top notch education, but the familiar faces of home is what I need tonight to help me tell him it will be ok, I need them to tell me it will be ok. 

So tonight as I did last night I will lay in bed praying for tomorrow. Praying he will be ok, that he will find his place in the new room, praying he will like his teacher and make new friends, praying for protection praying for comfort, praying because I don’t know what else to do. I worry about him. 
Moving can bring about many fears and unknowns especially when you have kids. The only thing I know for a fact is that God is in control.  He brought us here for a reason. He has been with us the whole way and He will be with us tomorrow. Our faith in His plan is strong even if we don’t know what the plan is. I am sure I will worry about him tomorrow but I know God would not have placed us here just to have me worry. I will hug him and love him as soon as he gets out and we will take this school year one day at a time. Pray for us.
From our beautiful chaos to yours may this school year be a success

Questions/Comments foster parents hear but wish we didn’t 

There are many questions that come with being a foster parent. Over the past 6 years we have heard and answered our fair share. Below,in no particular order, are some of those questions and comments that we have heard more times than we can count.

1. Are all those kids really yours?

The answer to this one is Yes they are. Every child that comes thru our home is one of our kids. While they are with us, they recieve the same love, the same attention, and are treated the same as our own children. I don’t care if we have only one or 20, if they are in our house they are our children. We maybe the only chance they have to see what a family is suppose to be like so while here they are our kids.

2. You must get paid really well to take is so many unwanted kids?  First off, just because they are in foster care does not mean they are unwanted kids. Things happen in life and kids end up in state care, that does not mean they are unwanted. Second, are we in it for the money? Seriously?? The stipen foster parents recieve is minimal. Yes they recieve a medical card for their health care needs which is nice, but the “money” given to care for the child goes fast. I mean seriously have you bought school clothes or kids shoes lately?  In fact most foster parents I know spend more that what they recieve taking care of the children. If you hear of a foster family making money taking care of the kids then they are either lying or not taking care of the kids the way the should. Foster care is not a way to get rich. Shame on you for thinking it’s about money. It’s about saving the kids.

3. I could never be a foster parent, I would love them to much and never want them to go back.  

This one gets to me.  Do I look like a cold hearted witch? Do you think I don’t have feelings for these children? Do you think I want to have my heart ripped out time after time after time?  Fostering is  not for everyone. It’s hard. It can be emotionally draining on oneself  and trying on a marriage. I do have a heart. It has been torn into pieces over our kids leaving many times. Yes we have adopted five but we have had more than 20 placements in our six years. We have had our share of pain and lose. Everytime a child has been removed form our home, either to go back to their birth parents or to be placed with their new forever family, my heart has been broken. I have loved them ALL.  I have cried myself to sleep many nights wondering how they are doing in now while wishing I could see them one more time. 

   I am sure that this comment is not meant the way it comes out. But every time I hear it I want to scream. It’s the momma bear in me. 
4. What did the baby/kid do to land himself/herself in foster care?  

I was at the dentist with our 4 year old and had my, at the time 6 month old with me. The receptionist and I knew each other so we were talking and a lady in the waiting room overheard us. When I sat down she quickly asked me what the 6 month old did to get herself placed in state care. I was floored.  Let’s get something straight, a six month old does nothing wrong to get herself placed in state care.  It’s the birth parents life choices that placed her there….not hers. Most of the kids in care are there because of what their birth parents did, yes that includes older kids in care.  I am sure that they are some children in care because of their own drug addictions or because their parents cant handle them but for the majority it’s not about they “have done” but about what their parents have done. Don’t just assume the child is a bad seed because they are in state care. 

5. If you can adopt or pick your child why choose one with special needs? 

We have three that are considered special needs. Any child can be born with something wrong. Even if you give birth to a child that does not mean your child will be perfectly healthy.  ALL CHILDREN DESERVE LOVING HOMES.  Its not about their limitations. Children are children and all need to be treated as such.  Our son’s have shown us so many different ways to see the world and how to love unconditionally. Just because they are labeled special needs by what is considered normal society means nothing to us. They have taught us more about life than anyone else could.

6. There’s not a need for foster parents in our area. That’s just happens in bigger cities.
Kids can be exposed to drugs, abuse, neglect and violence anywhere.  It can be in big cities or small country towns. It can be in white neighborhoods or black neighborhoods, rich areas or poor.  The need for good foster families is everywhere.  There are thousands of children in group homes because there are not enough individual foster families out there.  Research our area. Call the local DHHR to see how big the need is.
Instead of questioning a foster parent be supportive. Offer to pray for them and the new additions to the family. Be there for them to talk to, maybe offer to babysit, or cook dinner. Don’t criticize them because their family is larger than the normal family or because the kids are wilder than you think they should be.  Kids in foster care have seen more, been through more, and dealt with more than most adults.  Be supportive of those trying to make a difference. 

And if you happen to be a foster parent yourself don’t get upset if it seems other foster parents recieve more calls than you do or get jealous because. “they got to adopt another child” We are all in this together. It’s all about helping the kids survive the process until they can return home or until they become part of a forever family.  Be happy for each other support each other. We all can make a difference one child(one placement) at a time. We are all given the chance everyday to make a positive difference in someone’s life. Take that chance and make it count.
From our beautiful chaos to yours make a difference today.  

Little Miss aka Sassy Cat 

It was late in September 2011 and we were once again in the hospital with wild man. By this point I believe we had been in every room on the pediatric floor and we knew most of the nurses by their first names.  He had been well enough to do a few visits with his birth mom by now so I knew what she looked like. Imagine my surprise when I see her going into the room directly across for ours at the hospital. 

I quickly got up and closed our door and paged the nurse.  When I asked who was in the room across from us I got the standard “I can’t tell you that” answer.  So I called our worker and explained what was taking place outside our room. Within a few minutes they had removed wild man’s last name for the front of the door, it is not a common last name so it would be noticed if anyone looked. I soon discovered that wild man’s half sister, who was about 1 1/2 years old, was in that room. I was in shock. I had heard he had an older sister but never dreamed I would see her. 

The next few days went by with the little girls birth dad only showing up at meal times. At first I thought he had come to feed her but quickly realized he was coming in to eat what was on her tray and then he would leave.  The mom was only there that one night, we never saw her back in the hospital.  I think God allowed me to see her so I could make the connection between the two babies. She cried.  Day in day out she cried. No one there to hold her. No one there to comfort her. No one there to love her. I wanted to hold her, comfort her, but could not.  I cried for her. 

The day came we were cleared for discharge. While we waited things in the room across the hallway got heated. The dad was screaming saying he was taking his daughter and there was nothing they could do about it. Our nurse closed our door but you could still hear him yelling and the little girl…crying.

After we got home I could not help but worry about her. Then two days later our phone rings.  It was a call for her. The on call worker asked if I had her half brother to which I replied yes. We agreed to take her in. I had her in my arms less than 4 hours later. 

Her story is sad.  I assume they discharged her to go home with the dad. Things got worse from there. This is what we know…
She had been in the hospital with upper respiratory issues and while in the ER roaches had crawled out of her ear. You dont have to read that again I did say roaches in her ear. I am only guessing that’s why there was a follow up at the house. 

Cops showed up with a search warrant to the house. Dad was not there. Some lady staying at the house let the cops in. She assumed the dad had taken his daughter and went somewhere, but she was so strung out she was not sure.  As they looked around one cop went over to the pack-n-play. It was full of trash. Actual trash…empty pizza boxes, old newspapers, moldy bottles, Mt Dew bottles, dirty clothes, etc.  There were bugs crawling all over the place. No running water, no electric.  The house was in terrible condition.  They were getting ready to leave when the one office felt the need to go back to the pack-n-play.  He walked over and took his night stick and moved the trash around, thats when they found her. Little Miss was sound asleep under all the trash. She had been given benadryl to sleep. Who knows how long she was there or how long she would have stayed there if God had not touched that officers heart to go take one more look.  She was picked up and removed from the house, the lady that answered to door was heard saying “I didn’t even know she was her, I thought he took her with him.” 

After being checked out at she was brought to us.  She was filthy. Her hair was brown, so we thought, until I gave her a bath that revealed she in fact has blonde hair. She was 16 months old and could not sit up by herself let along walk. She did not talk and  did not know how to eat from a spoon.  How could you do this to a child?
She quickly became part of our family. And for the two and a half years that followed we dealt with the court hearings, visits with birth parents, yes after all that they received visits, and we dealt with the problems that come getting a child that’s a little older. We had a wonderful group of Birth to 3 workers that got her to hit all of her milestones she had missed while younger. She was doing great considering all she had been through. By God’s grace she and wild man became part of our forever family on the same day. It was one of the happiest days of my life.

She is now 6 going on 25 lol.  She is all divia all the time.  We still deal with many things from her past. Don’t let anyone ever tell you “Oh she/he is to young to remember what happened”  They do remember to some extent. The memories may not come up daliy but there is always something there and you never know what will open up the part of their past. We have problems daily with lies and her only wanting to listen to her dad (males) and countless other things that most people will never understand. Being 6 is difficult for anyone. I am not going to kid myself being her mom has been the most challenging thing I have ever done, but I would not change it. Children who have been through hell and back need to know they have someone in their corner, even if they don’t want you to be.  I have heard more times than I can count that she hated me, that she hates our rules but then there are the good days where we laugh and paint our nails, fix our hair and do each other’s makeup. The good days are what it’s all about. The good days are why we became foster to adopt parents. The good days is what we will remember.  Good always wins over the bad. Together we will overcome all the terrible things that have happened. We will survive this together just as God had planned. 

God’s plan always wins in the end ♡

From our beautiful chaos to yours enjoy your day.

How do you define beauty? 

Have you ever looked in the mirror and just wanted to turn away?  I know I have. What is beauty anyway?

Well I can tell you its not what the TV or magazine models want you to beleive it is.

And it’s not about staying a size 2, wishing you could eat a doughnut.

It’s not about fablous make-up, or great hair days.

It’s not about the perfect selfie that took 20 mins to take.

It’s not about the latest clothes or the biggest diamond ring.

No, being beautiful has nothing to do with any of this things.

Beauty comes from within one’s self.

Beauty is being able to laugh at yourself.

It’s about stepping into those new size 10 jeans and owning it.

Its about messy hair days and your husband still thinking you are the most gorgeous woman on the planet.

It’s allowing your kids to do your makeup.

Beauty is food glorious food.

It’s a smile from across the room or in a hug from an old friend.

It’s forehead kisses and late night snuggles.

It’s in a person’s eyes and the way they see the world. 

Beauty is in the words we say to each other and the way we act toward each other.

Beauty is the way your children see you even on your not so great mom days. 

Beauty has no gender, no race , it is not straight or gay, it’s not skinny or curvy. Beauty is to powerful to be held to limitations like that   

We are all beautiful. We come in different sizes, genders, and races but we are all beautiful. 

Don’t  let anyone tell you different. God made us perfect in His imagine that means you are a child of the King and He does not make mistakes. You are perfect just as you are. Remember that.  It does not matter if your hair is turning gray or if it has fallen out. It does not matter if you have gained 5 pounds or 50 pounds you are a beautiful you. Love yourself embrace the you God has made.
Thank you dear friend for reminding me that I am beautiful even on my worst days. Your words this weekend inspired me to let my beauty be part of very thing I do. 
From our beautiful chaos to yours, enjoy the day and embrace the beautiful you.

Our Alex

As we celebrate our son’s third birthday today I can’t help but remember how he came to be.   

Todd and I were on our way to Walmart one Saturday early in July when our lawyers office called to give us our adoption date for JR and Elissa’s.  Finally we knew for sure they would be ours and that September date could not come soon enough.  As we drove and discussed plans for an adoption party and we also talked about our future as foster parents.  JR and Elissa’s journey to be forever ours had taken over two and a half years and I didn’t know if we had it in us to do that again.   We agreed that after the adoption we were done. Our hearts had been broken time after time and we felt this adoption was where we were to stop.  That was our plan…..not God’s plan.

That Wednesday night while Todd was at church we received a call about a baby boy in the hospital. My heart wanted to say yes but I said no, after all we had just had this discussion a few days ago and I was not going against what we had decided.  I got off the phone and instantly began to cry.  I am not sure why. Earlier that day I had turned down a group of 4 siblings and up to that point in the year we had to turn away  over 152 different placements because we simply did not have room(many where sibling groups).  Each time I said no, I got off the phone prayed to God the child (ren) would be placed in a good home and went on about my day. Why was THIS call different?

 By the time Todd made it home from church I was a mess. He took one look at me and said “Whats wrong?” I explained to him we had received a placement call for a baby boy and that I turned it down because we had said we were done but that I could not shake the guilty feeling for saying no. He looks at me and says call the worker back, he belongs here. I look at the clock and it’s 1030 at night, way to late to call back. Besides it’s a younger children I was sure he was placed safely by now. I would wait until the next morning before calling.
That night in my dreams my Papaw Wilbur came to me.  He told me that this child was ours and not to worry what others would said. He “kissed” my forehead and was gone. How could I agrue with Papaw? We had lost him earlier that year and if he felt the need to visit my dream to tell me about this little boy then you better beleive I was calling in the morning. 830am I made the call. This was the first, and only time, I had ever called a worker back. I got her voice mail so I left a message that sounded something like, “Hey this is Mrs Smith, you called me yesterday about a little boy. My husband and I talked about it and prayed about it and if you have not found him a home bring him here we would love to have him.”

With that I had done all I could. Thursday closed with no word from the worker. I went to bed knowing we had done all we could and knowing he was probable safe in a loving home somewhere else…..sorry papaw.

Friday afternoon my phone rings. The lady on the other end said, “Hey this is Mrs X with DHHR are you still open to take in the little guy?”  My jaw hit the floor. After some small talk she told me she would be at my house and explain the situation in person instead of over the phone.

I could not wait to see the little guy. I was expecting a 6 to 8 month old, what we got was a 3 day old newborn.   Talk about shocked.  The worker told me that he was birth moms six or seventh child. He was suppose to go to an Adoptive family after he was born.  The “Adopting couple” showed up to the hospital took one look at him and said he was to “black” and decided he was not for their home.  For the recorded his birth mom is biracial so that makes him biracial. Seriously?? He is a precious child what does skin color have to do with anything? They had called me after that.  God works fast.  He was beautiful. He was born with Marijuana in his system (which we dealt with) but other than that he was a perfect newborn.  He would stay with us until they could find him another home. That never happened, he was destined to be ours. The rest is history.

Today we celebrate his 3rd birthday. God knew He was ours from his first day. Out of all the people they could have called they called us. What are the chances they would not find a home for a newborn after they called us? What are the chances I would call back and say yes the next day?  There are no chances only God’s plan. Thank you Jesus for making us part of Alex’s life. Happy birthday baby boy you are loved more than you will ever know.  And to my Papaw thank you for coming to me in my dream that night three years ago. Continue to watch over Alex and the rest of us. I wish you could have met them all in person. I hope I am making you proud. Love and miss you greatly. Come visit me in my dreams anytime.
From our beautiful chaos to yours have a great day.  Go enjoy it