Monday, April 28

Mini Vacation

This mountain we drove by on the scenic byway we drove to get to Twin Falls on Saturday. It was beautiful.

This was one of the first formations we came across as we entered the City of Rocks National Preserve. This place was the one of the most spectacular places I have ever been. Not many people know about it, and it is a reserve so it didn't cost anything to get in. So here are more pictures. There are some cool ones of the pioneers who came through this area and carved their names into the rock with wagon axle grease! Way cool!

Tuesday, April 22

Battle of the Muffin Tuff Update... and then some....

So it was a while ago that I wrote a post declaring my war with being a fatty, and not only have I failed miserably, but horribly! I actually have gained weight since that post! So I have really hit the skids these last couple of weeks with yet again eye-openers that have made me realize once again that I need to improve my health situation. When a diabetic gains weight, it becomes more difficult to control one's blood sugar, and is even more damaging to one's self image.

One of those "aha!" moments came this morning when my husband and I had to go get physicals done for the foster parenting/adoption process. There came that inevitable and disdainful moment of stepping on the doctor's office oh so accurate digital weight scale. I just about keeled over. Then Brandon got on the scale after me. As we all know, he is totally on the lighter end of this marriage! So after he stepped on the scale, I wanted to crawl under a rock and never come out! And then it came to the Dr. asking me questions about my health, and when I answered them as honestly as I could, she wasted no time in letting me know I needed to wake up and pull my head out of the clouds and get with the program.

I also went to my Diabetes Support Group this evening, and it was just another reminder that I need to get my act together.

So enough about that, now it turns to this opportunity that has fallen into our laps in relation to our nephew. I have been in pretty consistent contact with the case worker in Twin Falls and we are going to drive up some time this weekend to spend some time with both of our nephews that are in foster care. We are excited, and are wanting to take advantage of this opportunity to establish as much of a relationship with this precious little boy as we can. This would only make any transition with bringing this sweetie into our home a little easier!

Another thing is that we have been looking around at baby furniture and bedding and heaven only knows what else we are going to need if we bring children into our home! We have been a little overwhelmed at how expensive it is to just set up house for little people! We are feeling a bit like a couple of fish out of water! But it will totally be worth it! I have found some deals at different stores/websites etc. It also helps to have a wise older sister that has been there, done that, and has about a million t-shirts when it comes to finding deals on a budget! I bought a really cute bedding set today too! So I am trying to take care of the emotional part of this in not getting overly excited or hopeful, and I am looking at this whole experience as being the opportunity to purchase things we are going to need in general just in being certified as foster parents, but also with the potential to become parents this year!

We'll just see, won't we?

Tuesday, April 15

All we can do now.... is wait.

Last Tuesday Brandon and I woke up early for a day trip to Twin Falls, Idaho for the opportunity to sit down and talk with the case worker overseeing my sister in law's case with her two children in foster care. It was a good sit down as far as we know. It was an opportunity for both Brandon and I to sit down with her and ask any questions that we had, and to discuss any concerns. It was also a good opportunity for her to meet us and for us to show her that we are serious about all of our intentions and the interest that we have expressed in adopting Taylor. We found that she was very easy to talk to, and was willing to answer our questions. I am sure it took patience to answer all of our many questions because we wanted answers in order for us to learn more about the process and to make sure that everything from our end was going well.

We said a prayer before we went in to talk with her so that we would know by the Spirit what questions to ask. When the meeting was over, we came back out to the car and felt really good about the questions we asked, and in general how the meeting went.

We had to drive back as soon as we could because I had a mandatory meeting that night in Salt Lake City. I had just about had it with the driving in the car that day, but I went anyway. Then the next morning, Brandon woke up feeling sick, even though it was the morning of his flight to Orlando, Florida for the Deaf basketball tournament. His team played well from what I hear, and came in 9th out of 16 teams that went. Not bad for a first time! The rest of that day, I spent interpreting.

Thursday night was the last foster parenting training class for me. It was not an easy topic, but overall it was beneficial. The topics they have discussed have really been eye opening because they really put things in to perspective for me. It makes me really appreciate and be thankful for the loving family that I was raised in and for the relationships I have with my parents.

I was up most of the night Thursday because I had the rare (but certainly not lucky) opportunity to have one of those middle of the night type of appointments to interpret for. Then I had to wake up again and get ready for a 7:15 am appointment. After that I came home and slept for several hours. I got some things done around the house, and then drove to Salt Lake to go out to dinner with my friend Angie and then go to a movie. It was a great time! It is really nice to have a girls night out once in a while. I planned to stay in Salt Lake until Brandon's flight came in at 11:30 pm, but during dinner, Brandon sent me a message stating that his connective flight from Chicago to home was going to be delayed an hour. I thought that that was no big deal, and just thought maybe I could go wander aimlessly around a Walmart for a while, but then during the movie, he sent me another message saying that his flight had been delayed yet ANOTHER hour, and that it wasn't going to get in until 1:30 am or so. I had no idea what I was going to do, and was starting to feel overwhelmed at the thought of having to stay in Salt Lake with no place to go, and staying awake that late again, only to have to wake up early again the next morning to pack, drop Lexi off at a boarding place for dogs, and drive 3 more hours to Rexburg for a wedding of one of B's close high school friends. Well, his plane didn't get in until about 2 am. I spent the entire night reading a book I ran to Walmart to buy. I had nearly finished it in the few hours I sat in the bag claim area of the airport waiting for Brandon to come in. I let Brandon drive home that night, and then I almost didn't think that I would make it to the wedding because of how tired and gross I felt from a serious lack of sleep!

Even thought it was a short time of respite from the everyday life in Utah, we really had a good time staying for one night in a Best Western Inn in Rexburg with Brandon's parents. They were great and got us a room with a king sized bed. Brandon and I have already made a promise to one another that we are going to buy a king size pillowtop bed once the one we have now wears out! We were in heaven on that thing because we could both sprawl out and move without feeling the other person!

We drove back on Sunday and enjoyed the rest of our day together. We are still both recovering from a lack of sleep, but we will live!

Oh and I almost forgot! We will have the opportunity to go to Twin Falls to visit Taylor every now and again as long as we call and make the necessary arrangements. The reason behind this is going to be so we can get to know him and start developing a bond with him, so that if we are chosen to be his adoptive parents, at least he will have some kind of bond with us.

That's all for now! Love y'all!

Thursday, April 3

Not Trying to Put the Cart Ahead of the Horse....

I have sat down a few times this week realizing that day after day time has been going by without my blog being updated, but I have been speechless (for those of you who really know me, you will know this is a BIG deal) because I just haven't known what to say.

I have been nearing the end of my foster parenting classes and I have learned so much. I think that every one should take those classes because they weren't just classes for foster parents only, but I think they taught me things that would apply to all parents in general in learning more about their children, and how to better discipline them if need be. Oh sure, there is definitely the good, the bad and undoubtedly the ugly, but I am grateful to have seen and heard the things that I did. There have been times where things I learned brought me to tears but it has been an experience that has spoken volumes.

I have two more classes because I missed 2 classes when I flew to Denver to visit my mom last month. Since the classes are taught on a monthly basis, if you miss one of the classes one month, you have to wait until the following month in order to take the "make-up" classes.

The decision to take these classes and begin the process to become foster parents has been influenced by a combination of things: being unable to have a family of our own, family members struggling with taking care of their own children, and the prospect of adoption through the foster care system.

We didn't know where these classes or experiences would take us, but one door of potential opportunity came swinging open and knocked us topsy-turvy. About a week ago, my sister-in-law called us and asked us if we would be interested in adopting her son Taylor. You can imagine how I felt at that moment. Without missing a beat, I told her that we absolutely would be willing to bring Taylor into our home. She said that she needed to talk to Taylor's father to see if he would agree to this decision, and it turns out that he did. So here we are, after having made a million and one phone calls this week to everyone that could possibly be involved in this process. At first, things started to look grim because we just aren't quite educated in relation to this whole process, the paperwork, and whatever else. My emotions have been on a constant roller coaster (more so than usual) and stress has played a role in my life this last week. I tend not to stress about much, but this I think takes the cake as of late. So to make this story short, we have learned that we need to have a home study done in our home to see if we would be a suitable home for Taylor and it would be done after a formal request was sent from the case worker's office in Twin Falls to Boise, then from Boise to Salt Lake City, then back here to Ogden so that a local social worker can come to our home to start and complete the home study and the report that goes with it. We feared that this would take forever, and it may still, but the overall feeling is great because I heard today that in less than a week, the request had gone from Twin Falls to Boise and already was sent on its way to Salt Lake City. And we are also making a trip next Tuesday morning to Twin Falls in order to officially meet the case worker we are working with, and to talk to her about any possible details we may be missing. But even more important, I feel this is an opportunity for her to get to know us in person and not just work with her over the phone. The amazing thing is that I have only lost one night of sleep from all this. I have had some frustrations, some anxiety, and definitely felt the need to emotionally and mentally guard myself in this process because I don't want to get overly excited and then set myself up for greater heartache.

That was the nutshell version of what has been going on at our house. There have been many prayers said, and a constant one in my heart. I have had to keep my faith on the forefront of it all. I have had to realize that this is in the Lord's hands. I pray only that the best interests of Taylor are met. That is all that could possibly matter to me. But I know that my wonderful husband and I have a lot of love to give to this precious little boy, or any other little child. I have to keep thinking to myself a saying that I thought of long ago "In time that's THINE, not MINE".

Please keep us in your prayers. Please pray that all will work out the way it is supposed to.

I dearly love you all!