Friday, September 27, 2013

Parking lot (updated)

I'm sitting here in the parking lot of children's court. I'm early. Right now there is a wave of employees walking in and I am surrounded by women sitting in their cars...waiting. There is no differentiating who are birth parents, foster parents or other relatives.

Children's court is a surreal experience. 

There are people gathering in the hallways that are there to celebrate adoptions... Sitting next to parents who are there to fight for their kiddos... Sitting next to parents that are so high or mentally impaired  they don't know how they got there and don't really understand what is happening.

Today is court for Mr. Handsome. His bio mom may or may not show up. I have never met her before. But as I walk in and check in- it won't slip my mind that she loves her son. And while I am there with hopes of adopting him, she is there as his first mom who is struggling with drug and mental health issues that I can't even wrap my head around. 

I brought pictures for her - she needs to see him healthy and happy. I want her to know that he is loved and well taken care of. If I was his first mom, I would need to know those things. 

Ok. Now it's my turn to walk in. Here we go.


Well, Mom showed. She looked exactly like she does in every one of her facebook photos. I didn't know what to expect. She did look tired. I can imagine she is.

Court went as to be expected. We will be going back at the end of October.

After court I approached Mom.  I introduced myself and she returned my smile. She looked kind.

I handed her the pictures, she gasped and burst into tears. "Is this him?" she asked. "Is this  him? He looks so different!" Yes, I said.. it is him. I explained how old he was in each photo and where they were taken.  

I held it together.

She thanked me a million times.. I told her he is an amazing kid. She smiled through her tears and said.. "he is?" I said yes.. he is...

She asked if he was talking. I explained his personality and that he is LOUD but not talking yet... I told her a bit about him and what he is doing...

She stared at the pictures, standing very close to me.. tears streaming down her face.

I whispered... "Come to court.. show up.. and I will bring you more, okay? Deal?"

She nodded.. thanking me again.

I explained that Mr. Handsome's former foster mom has lots of pictures and we will be getting together so she can give them to me. She explained that when she was having visits, the former foster mom sent a disposable camera-- and they took pictures with Mr. Handsome and Mom.  She asked that I PLEASE get them from Former Foster Mom for Mr. Handsome.. so he has them.. she made sure I would do that. Of course I said I would. 

She thanked me more and I grabbed her and hugged her tight.. I said, "honey- you are so very welcome.. come back.. there will be more".

I had to walk away.

When she asked that-- about the pictures she took.. to make sure I got them for HIM. It was almost as if she was saying... I know I wont see him. But let him know who I am ... that I love him.

That short conversation of two moms was life changing. We love the same baby. We are both his mom. Neither of us love him any less.

Something I read somewhere.. I don't know who said it first... but I agree with it 100%

Children born to another woman call me “Mom.” The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege are not lost on me.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

I'm that mom who is now on prozac.


I visited my doctor about a month ago and broke down into tears about where I was... mentally. Feeling really blue, stressed over the foster care system, completely feeling worthless because of my constant struggle with food addictions.

She looked at me sitting there wiping away my snot and tears and suggested a little help from Prozac.

I have thought about asking for help before, but always chickened out. Or, right before I went to the doctor, I would have a REALLY GOOD DAY and think that it was unnecessary. 

There was no decision made right then and there. Actually, she gave me a couple of options and told me to go do some homework on them... which I did.  Prozac it was. A low dose. Let me tell you- that first week it was as if I had more energy than an Olympic athlete and was completely full of joy.  Man, now that I look back on that I can understand the "high" that addicts chase after.  If I could feel like that all the time, I would never go off these meds.

Now it has been about a month.

I still feel pretty good. My anxiety takes on some different forms which I am learning how to deal with.  I have more patience with the kids. I sleep well, I wake up pretty easily. My appetite USUALLY is lower (now that I am a week away from getting my period, it has gone up). Here is the kicker. I have NO sex drive. none. This is a major deal. If this doesn't go away, it may be breakup time with Prozac.  I still feel LOVE for my wife. I still think she is sexy and love holding her and being close.  I don't *feel* anything sexual. Even if I.. yanno.. tried to on my own. Nope. Nothing.

Outside of that- everything still keeps on rolling. Constant inundation by social workers, licensing workers, therapists.  Court tomorrow, court Monday. Traci and I are going through the relicensing process which just means they tear our life apart with a toothpick. AGAIN. This happens every two years. Please let this be the last time we do this. I can't imagine these kids still being in the system for TWO MORE YEARS.

This wares on an adult. Imagine what the kids feel. Mr. Handsome's mom hasn't shown up for anything. Still a raging drug abuser, has new reports against her... hasn't seen him in over 6 months. But we were told yesterday that when we go to court tomorrow that it most likely will just be adjourned and rescheduled for after January of next year.

Beans mom has cancelled most visits, abandoned her for over 3 months, has no job, is not taking care of her mental health-- nothing. We were informed yesterday that at Beans court date on Monday- that the new judge is super soft on parents - especially if they are young - so the TPR might be overturned.


Okay. Now to get back to the positive.

I have an amazing wife who loves me and supports me through all of this. She makes me laugh and think and feel brave when dealing with all of the above mentioned crap.

I have two beautiful amazing children that are hilarious and smart and independent.  Even if they are in our care for a short time- they have changed my life forever.

Friends.. man.. I have them. They rock my world completely.

Yes. When it comes down to it, life is good. Really good. These are speed bumps.

Sunday, September 1, 2013


There are times when I am completely over two toddlers -- the mess- the screaming-- the constant EVERYTHING and I feel like I am the worst parent in the world. 

Tonight was one of those nights. 

This job is hard. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A layer of crud from two feet to the floor.

Never in one million years did I ever think I would have 2 one year olds.  I also never realized how much sticky messy crud can accumulate on everything from the floor up two feet.

Mr. Handsome (the name suits him perfectly) joined us over a month ago. He is sunshine in the form of a one year old curly haired Puerto Rican nugget of joy. Bean wasn't sure of what to make of him for the first few weeks. We battled with her constantly wanting to sit on him.. roll over him.. or just push him over. Yes, the first time she steamrolled him it was mildly entertaining.. the 19th.. not so much.

My beautiful wife and I have had our struggles parenting two babies. This is no easy task and I commend those who have done it and are doing it. Finding even 5 minutes of time that is JUST her and I has been a challenge.  I miss our time together. I know that things will never get back to "pre kiddo" but I do know that my love and desire for a life with her has not and will not change. I can appreciate the pre-kid stuff.. I love the during kid stuff.. and I look forward to when the kids are older and we can have conversations with them without hand gestures or sung words.

She is my person. I choose her.

This journey through foster care has tested us and taken us to our limits-- and then five minutes later-- we have experienced the most amazing high from our kids.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

surviving a one year old.

Traci and I took Bean to the great up nort' this past weekend. Traci's friend, Sara, was kind enough to open her family "cottage" on one of 3124 lakes in northern Wisconsin. It was absolutely beautiful. They all were SO FREAKING NICE. That kind of nice that you just want to drink in -- in hopes that you will some how soak in some of it yourself. I am always trying to remember to be nicer to people. That is another story, though.

One thing I learned over this weekend: vacationing with a one year old really isn't a vacation. It is pretty much you walking behind the one year old making sure she doesn't stick her hand in a fire, eat a bug, fall off the cement stairs or go running down the dock full speed (happened. Wasn't cute with this fat mama chasing after her. Who knew 1 year olds could run cheetah speed?).

For Traci this location is very important. She spent many hours here with her bestie as they were growing up. You should see the joy in her eyes as we prepared to go, driving there and finally as we were able to drive up. She freely spoke about her memories and shared funny stories along with the rest of the group. It really was great.

Bean is amazing. She is a funny independent soul.  She has the attention span of a gnat. She loves to blow kisses, wave hi and bye and give hi-fives. She can shake her groove thang clap along to any song.

She blows my mind and I am completely in love with our daughter.

And on the 19th she will be getting a brother :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

I am in my cycle.

The one I revisit often.

Maybe even yearly.

The one where I look at my life and wonder what the eff I am doing.  How can I be happier? What job will I like and feel more productive in more than the one I have? Maybe I should think about redecorating. Lets go pick out new paint. How about hitting some estate sales for new SOMETHING.

I'm not depressed, I am not sad, I am not unhappy with my life. I just get to thinking about how short life is and why would I want to be/do/look the same for so long?

We got a call about a new kiddo that needs two mamas. Okay. They didn't go as far as saying THAT, but I could read it between the lines. We said yes. That was two weeks ago. We haven't heard anything since.

If there is one thing that this system is... it IS a mind fuck.

Now I have to go look at new hairstyles and send out my resume.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Who feeds a 1 year old chili?

BM does, of course. According to the case worker and the parenting aide, they both told her that chili wasn't the best idea for dinner. BM insisted she didn't have any other food in the house and fed it to her.

Bean's gift to us? Barf.

I had a meeting that evening and upon my arrival home I was informed that the chili vomit smelled like real adult vomit.

I'm not all that sorry I missed her puke transitioning from baby to adult.

Bean has started crying when I leave her at daycare.  Sometimes I feel like I am the mom that is always disappointing her. Hopefully someday I will be able to change that.

She is walking all over the stinking place and if we accidently leave the bathroom door open, she zooms in to put something in the toilet. She has an awesome toothy smile and adores music and books. She really hasn't said any words yet, but babbles endlessly.  I swear, I could listen to it all day long. She is hilarious, smart and beautiful.

In a few weeks she will have been with us for 1 whole year.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

I want her hair.

Have you heard of Glennon Melton? She has written the book Carry on Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed. She also is the blogger at - I want to say she is AMAZING and AWESOME and a freakin' ROCK STAR .. but what I like best about her is that she seems like just a random woman that might as well be living down on 124th St  She has over come some crazy crap in her life and she is finding herself working it all out while sharing her journey on her blog and in her book. She never claims to have it all together... not even for a moment. She could be the leader of the "sometimes I am awesome and sometimes I suck as a woman/mom/human" movement. But she does it all with a positive spin and idea that maybe this moment isn't exactly how we would like it but there is a new moment starting.. NOW.

And, man,  she has great hair.

After reading something she has written, I almost feel like I have a chance. No matter what people show outwardly, they all have challenges brewing inside. It is their choice if they want to share them with us. I wish more people would.. it might make the rest of us feel a tiny  bit more comfortable with the idea of sharing ours-- then we could all sit down and have a glass of wine and laugh about all the similarities we have between us... and realize that we are all warriors in this go-around.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

1 has to be the new 3.

I swear this girl is on the cusp of being a teenager. Okayfine. She is only one. But MAN I have a feeling we are going to have our hands full with her.

Aren't kids all supposed to be like the kids on Family Ties? All polite and kind and don't have snot running down their faces all the time or throwing herself into a tantrum every time she gets her diaper changed or vomit in the cart at Costco- which we don't realize until everything was on the belt and the cashier put her hand in it? I could tell by her face she thought it was glorious.

Yes. Bean turned 1. We had a nice get together with people coming from near and far. The sun was out in Wisconsin and it was a perfect 70 degree day. Bean dug in that cake like we had been training for it- she rocked it ouuuut!

We have had a couple of court hearings since my last blog entry. I am not even going to go into detail about them as it would simply be details with no outcome. They were pretty much a waste of time. So, we simply move forward day by day loving this little girl as much as possible.

Chapter 23423... we are trying to figure out a way that Traci could go down to part time and we would open our home to more of a fostering situation than foster/adopt.

More on that to come.

I have to punch out and get home to my beautiful family  :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What the WHAT?

Two days ago I wrote an email to the GAL and CC'd case workers and GAL social workers and licensing workers.... a very innocent "just so that we are all on the same page" email.. and "our 6 month hearing is in SIX DAYS.. get off your asses and come see this child" email...

The next morning I am "very busy working" and open my email... there is one there from the caseworker. It states that the TPR paperwork has been accepted by the DA and our first hearing is on the 29th.


Through tears, and.. um.. while I am still "very  busy working"... I log onto facebook and message my friend that I met through fostering to ask her what the hell this is all about... and what does it mean?? She calls me immediately exclaiming "THIS IS A GOOD THING!!! YOU CAN BREATHE!!!" I break down in tears.

All I want to do is exhale.

All I want to do is to be done with all of this.

All I want to do is to get to an adoption day with Bean and for her to have our last name.

All I want is to call her my daughter...and know that statement is legal and binding.

I was talking to my mom about our exciting news and she stated "you are going to be a great mom!". I didn't correct her. I wanted to say Mom, I have been a mom for almost 2 years now. Just because my little boy was with me only temporarily, doesn't make me any less of a mom. I wont turn INTO a mom on adoption day. Granted, I may suck at it most days and her clothes sit in laundry baskets far too long- and I don't have one damn piece of homemade art with her hand print on it that morphs into a butterfly with some swoops of a sharpie marker. But I am her mom.. and together with Traci- we make a pretty good team of moms.

I know that this court date on the 29th is the first in a LONG LINE of court dates... and nothing is set in stone and WONT be until we are there on adoption day and get our first picture of Beans "forever family" with the judge. But I am pretty good at holding my breath and knocking on wood and through all of this I have found faith that good things DO happen.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


My mom is still in the rehab  hospital because of her fall she had the Monday after our wedding.  I wish I could take away her pain and put it into my body. I could deal with it.. somehow. My parents have always been the ones go-go-going. I would compare them to other parents that were younger than them.. the younger ones so often seemed older. I don't want to see my mom in that hospital bed again. She is working hard with PT and OT (as my sister calls her: The Queen of all Bitches, Nina).
I am going there on Saturday and I am going to help her dig a tunnel out. It may take some effort to get it large enough so that her walker will fit through too..

The Bean had a visit again on Monday. BM made her mashed potatoes. Thrilling. Mom of the Year. Now maybe she should stop posting pictures of her in short skirts with a bare ass hanging out.

Time is going so quickly. Bean will be one year old in a few weeks. We are having a little party. I am starting to freak out about it as what the hell do you do at a party for a one year old? It is kind of turning out to be a party for adults that kids will be present for... but what do the kids do? Do I need to have crafts, activities, games? Who knows if it is going to be warm enough to play outside... I will google it.

I have had so many warm fuzzies this week. I went to coffee with some girlfriends and we sat and laughed and talked for three hours. I was on cloud nine. These women bring me strength and an energy that carries me for days. I also got to see my Nonny. I adore her. We had lunch and walked around their furniture store and laughed with her husband. I needed some time with her. She and I go through these loops of talking.. not talking.. life getting in the way.. not enough time. But we always come back to one another. I love that.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

and she is back.

As soon as we think that we can exhale... birth mom comes back. She waves and bam.. visits start.  She has gone on two so far. They are once a week for two hours at a time- of course they are "fully supervised".  The caseworker claimed that both times the "visit went well"... and then goes on to say that birth mom was on the phone the whole time asking family members to come over and see the baby- or talking with her boyfriend about godonlyknowswhat.  So. Yeah. Way to parent-- IN FRONT OF A CASE WORKER AND PARENT AIDE.

All I can do is shake my head and pray to God.

My guess is that she will take off again. She has to. I cannot handle the opposite.

We also got a call for another baby over the last week .. he was a little 4 month old Caucasian peanut. After thinking long and hard about it, we declined placement. The situation just wasn't right for our family and taking on the health concerns may have put me completely over the edge. It was a hard decision to come to but it is for the best.

We started getting some photos back from the wedding... here are a couple... I wish I could go back to that day :)

Watching her mama's tying the knot
Listening to the readings
Happily married

Also- my mom is in the hospital. She fell the Monday after the wedding. Prayers her way, please.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I feel like a wife ....

I wasn't really sure what I would feel like after Traci and I were married. I wasn't sure that I would feel ANY different, but I do. I FEEL like her wife.

The night prior to the big event, my sisters and my mom took me to get my nailz'did. I have never had a pedicure before, and at one point I believe I squealed with delight. It felt so nice to be pampered.. especially after the grueling eyebrow threading that morning. Dear lord. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT TORTURE? Google something like.. eyebrow threading hurts like hell... and you will actually find videos.

Anywho.. the mani/pedi were fantastic! After that we went to a little bistro and had a fantastic dinner with too many drinks. It was a perfect way to celebrate right before the wedding.

Rebs came down bright and early Saturday morning and we hit the road running. Packing cars, packing bags, taking care of Cora... Rebs even had to run to my work where I forgot copies of readings and the ceremony! We had rehearsal at 10:30am and then I met my bride at 4pm.

Traci looked wonderful.  Grey pants and vest, purple shirt and paisley bow tie. At one point during the ceremony when I was tearing up, she pulled out an embroidered handkerchief for me to use. WHAT? Holy sweetness.  We had a guitar and a stand up bass at the ceremony. We walked in to Bob Marley's "Is This Love" and walked out to James Taylor's "How Sweet It Is". The musicians did a GREAT job! We had readings done by Rebs from the Book of Ruth and another called The Art of Marriage that was read by our friend Karina. They both did a fantastic job! People said it was the best, most meaningful ceremony they have ever been to.  What a great feeling.

Pictures and then off to the reception.

Oh my lord, the reception looked BEAUTIFUL! My friend Rebs, her sister and her sisters friend did an AMAZING job putting it all together. I would never have been able to do it-- and they rocked it out. Rebecca- I know you are reading this- I have to tell you that the words 'thank you' would never be able to cover how grateful I am for everything you did to make our day special.  The time, talent and love that you put behind everything you did simply took my  breath away. Everything was a work of art! You amaze me. Rebs even had to put out a fire. literally. at a table. Yeah. only at my wedding. LOL

I really didn't get to eat much at all- but I guess that is what happens when you are a  bride, right? But I heard the food was fantastic and the cupcakes were delish! We hired a photo booth and that was a hit! Then- the surprise of the evening- Rebs hired Irish dancers to come in and perform. Holy CRAP!!! IT WAS AWESOME! I never imagined something like that would happen. They did a GREAT job!!!!

We danced the night away and by the time midnight rolled around, I couldn't feel my feet anymore. We had SO MUCH FUN! We headed back to our room, took a dip in the hot tub and promptly fell asleep :).

I plan on posting much more from the wedding- vows, pictures, etc- I want to remember it all!
My wife and I.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


The vacation was fun! There were issues with Bean while we were gone that we simply couldn't have gotten through without the help of family and friends. While we were there we enjoyed Whale watching, an overnight and haunted tour on the Queen Mary, riding bikes on Venice Beach...lots of swimming in their pool and glasses of wine :)

Now just over a week and we have our wedding :)

It was a little chilly on the ocean for the whale watching... But better then the 15 degrees that was happening at home.

Monday, February 4, 2013

wedding - trip - wedding- baby - YIKES!

In two days Traci and I will be landing in sunny southern California. We are the guests of my boss and his wife. We have seven days of events that are planned for us. Oh how I LOVE that I am the guest and they are the planners. We are going to the Queen Mary- staying overnight on the boat, taking a haunted tour, going whale watching, swimming in their pool in the middle of the desert.. going on a safari and feeding animals at the San Diego Zoo... it is going to be a GREAT time..

They are on the brink of a divorce.

I am ignoring that last part and in my head, at least for the 7 days we are there, they are going to be the most in love couple my brain has ever seen.

A mere 17 days later, we get married.

Holy shitballs.

Oh- and right when we get back from vacation, Traci starts training for a new job.

Bean turns 9 months old and in April we are opening our doors one more time.

Traci and I are so excited! After much talking, tears, communication with our licensing worker- we are on board to expand our family. Bean needs a sibling. As much as we thought we were a one kid family (which we will be happy with if it turns out that way) we would love another.

I wish I could put into words how I feel about Traci. I could be all goopy and use sparkly words... but that isn't me. I wish I could send you the FEELING I get about her. Intense love. The desire to experience everything I possibly can with her. I feel like I am living in a fairy tail. Not that it is all strawberry colored glasses- but even the difficult times are easier to deal with because of her.

And with that- I need to stop fake working and actually do something.

Right after I make a list of everything I need to pack.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

You know whats (not) awesome?

When someone kicks in your door at the home that you have lived at for 3 months... steals your jewelry box with cherished memories in it, your laptop with all of your upcoming wedding information on it, your camera with important pictures of your kiddo on it and a watch collection of your partners that is one of the only nice things she has.

Needless to say, I didn't sleep well last night and I feel like I am on the edge of a panic attack. Thank God for Traci. She is my protector.

Back to researching 1) security systems 2) new homes 3) German Shepards 4) new jobs in a safer community.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

8 months old

Our Bean has made it to 8 months on this earth and about 7 months of being with us.  There are things that I want to remember to tell her- answers to questions that I am sure she will have when she is older. But most of all, when she is going through tough times trying to figure out where she came from and who she is, I want her to look back and just know how much T-Ma and Mama love her... and that.. without one doubt we want her with us.

What if she asks what her mom did? Where she is? What happened to her?

Dear Bean-  your birth mom loved you enough to be as healthy as she could be for her pregnancy, she went to a hospital to give birth to you and loved you enough to put you in this cute pink shirt (I have a picture that I took from BM's facebook of her in the hospital).  She left you in the care of the safest people she knew- the workers of the group home- while she took care of some things on her own.  When your birth mom was ready to come back, she did.  We would bundle you up and and she and you would visit...she even had your grandpa come to some visits to meet you. Between the time you started to live with us and Christmas (8 months) your birth mom made some decisions that weren't the best. She struggled. She left again.

Your birth mom had a life that we don't really understand. She is young and trying to figure out herself.. she has a lot of lessons to learn that she had to do on her own.

But you see, Bean, I thank your birth mom for loving you. For stepping away when she had to and keeping you in safe places. It is sad to me that she wont know your beautiful 8 month smile, your amazing hugs with the lightning bolts of energy that I have never felt from a baby.. your infectious giggle. What joy you are to us, Bean. You keep your T-Ma and I on our toes and can't wait to watch you grow even more. So, lovely baby, your birth mom, in our eyes, made the decisions she had to make to bring you to us. We will do our best to be by your side as you figure out your life's direction and we will make sure that you know you are loved unconditionally.

8 month highlights:
You have 5 teeth and another is on it's way! You sleep through most nights... and MAN you let us know when you are tired. You have a set of lungs on you, angel. You don't like when T-Ma or I are out of your site. You want to be held or at least in arms reach at all times. We don't mind. Soon there will be a time when you wont want anything to do with us- so we soak it up.  You love music. Any kind! You love jump-jump-jumping when we hold on to you.. and it is inevitable that you will be jumping on our laps, then, as if a switch was flipped, you will giggle, crinkle your face up and scoop in for a squealing hug. We love it!!! It makes up for all of the screaming that I mentioned before. You were a real trooper for your first Christmas as you nursed an ear infection that we didn't discover until the day AFTER Christmas. Poor girl :(.  We promise to do better next time.  You see, we are kind of new at this, too. Granted, we had PB, but he was a boy and apparently boys are carefree. You, our little Bean, are a diva in training. We are sure of it.