Mermaid in a Bottle

3 06 2017

It was a stressful week. We had court for our foster son and the judge is in the process of deciding whether to change the baby’s case goal from reunification to adoption.

Court was Thursday.

It’s Saturday.

We’re still waiting for an answer.

To help deal with the stress, I colored a mermaid. 

I decided she needed a cozy bottle to hang out it, but it was kind of boring, so I also created a background for her.

But I’m most excited about the cork. Yes, the cork. Below the card in the picture, you can see what the cork looked like compared to the cork on the card.

When I put the card together, I realized the bottle looked kind of funny with the cork on top because the cork should be behind the opening. But when I put it behind the card, it looked funny because there was no cork visible inside the opening.

To fix this, I drew in the bottom part of the cork and colored it with my copics. Then I colored the top of the cork to make it match better.

I like the bottle much better now 🙂

The mermaid is from a place called Coronado Stamps, but I don’t think they’re around anymore. But a quick search online showed their stamps may be found on eBay 🙂 I used my pixscan mat to cut out the stamped image on my Silhouette Cameo.

The background was done in Craft Artist 2 with the kit called Summer Seaside. The bottle and the letter set are from the Silhouette Store.

Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo





For My Foster Son’s Birth Mother – A Mother’s Day Card

17 05 2017

I think about her a lot.

I wonder how she’s doing.

I wonder if she’s safe and healthy.

I wonder if she’s happy.

And on days like Mother’s Day, I wonder how she’s survived the loss of three children, and potentially a fourth.

I’ve wanted to reach out on previous Mother’s Days to let her know the children she gave birth to are safe and happy. That they’re doing phenomenally well even though we’ve had our struggles.

But I’ve never had a way to reach out until now.

So this is her card. I’m not sure what I’m going to write in it, but I may not get another chance to do this, so I don’t want to squander it.





I’m More than Art…

8 02 2017

…even though you probably can’t tell from my blog because it is so art focused. But I use art to cope with some of life’s stresses.

I’m also a mom to a couple of children I didn’t give birth to. Luckily, six out of my seven children are legally mine. We’re hoping and praying that the seventh (a nine month old we’ve had since he was three days old) will also legally be ours; but that’s still up in the air.

It’s one of the hardest paths I’ve ever had to walk.

I’m not good with uncertainty. I need the control of having things planned out so I know what needs to be done and when so I can make sure everything gets done.

The first two years we were foster parents showed me that I’m really not a great candidate for this. We have to cede too much control to the state, and it rankles. But when we found out about this little guy (he’s a bio sibling to a couple of our other children), there was no doubt in our minds that we needed to bring him home. In nine hours we rearranged our entire lives and at the end of the day we were smitten with this adorable little boy. We knew he needed a family, but we had no idea how much our family needed him. He’s been a huge blessing to us all from day one.

But babies aren’t easy and seven kids is crazy, but we’re managing. But every three months these last 9 months we’ve had court. We have no idea what will happen those days because the commissioner who has our son’s case has not been predictable. It seems everyone leaves the court room scratching their heads and wondering what just happened. Except one of the attorneys who probably walks out thinking, “I can’t believe that worked.”

So every three months my stress levels amp up. Not only am I managing the normal things of life, I have to prepare myself and my six other children, just in case we go to court with a baby, but come home without one. It has happened to others, so we know the possibility exists. Every three months I have to tamp down my anxiety so I’m not a puddle on the floor. I have to find a way to be okay around our court date. I have to find a way to see something good in the people who may one day leave the court house with their son, who has been my son since he was 3 days old. I have to find a way to see something good in the people who were not able to parent three other children well enough to keep them. These children, two of which are now mine, did not have an easy past and these are the people who should have made their lives better but didn’t. I have to find a way to see something good in them because my children carry them in their hearts and heads all the way down to their DNA. When my children look in the mirror in the future, these are the faces they may see looking back at them. My children need to know that there is good in them regardless of who they look like. They need to know that I love them, no matter who’s eyes they have, or who’s DNA. If they see me finding good in those people now, I hope they’ll believe me later.

To help me gain that perspective, I’ve been making books for them each month of what’s going on in the baby’s life. They’re missing so much, I hope this helps them not miss everything. And I find that when I can put my fears aside and do this, it’s easier to see them simply as parents. Parents who are missing out on their child’s life. I put myself in her shoes and I know this is how I would want to be treated. It’s the right thing to do, so I do it. Then my eyes are opened a little bit more and I realize she’s not the enemy. That although I think this precious little one will be safer here, she still deserves respect. And art does that.

Art brings things into focus for me. It distracts me when I’m trying not to think about the upcoming court date, or when I have too much nervous energy to sleep the night before court (I didn’t fall asleep until about 5 am this morning).
When I’m stressing out about all the other things on my plate (I have 4 teenagers – two are graduating this year, a tween, a preschooler, and now an infant, and each one can be classified as special needs) I can sit at my desk and lose myself in the quiet of the night and de-stress.

Art makes life better.

I’m including the book I finished today for his 6th month. I purposefully didn’t include his pictures. I made a deal with myself when I started this blog, that very few, if any, of my childrens’ pictures would show up here. It’s too public of a space. Thanks for understanding and thank you for stopping by.

 

 





I’m Not Dead

25 08 2014

But it has been a while since I posted.

In March we dropped off our three foster kids with their mom for the last time. It was bitter sweet. We’d spent thirteen months with them, but we helped a mom put her family back together.

We took a small break – my family so earned it – and May 29th welcomed a toddler and a teenager into the family. That makes six kids total now. We spent the summer getting to know each other better.

Now school’s back in session and there are finally moments (not many, but some) of quiet. There still doesn’t seem to be enough time for me to get done what I’d like though!

I kept trying to squeeze writing in. I’m about half way through a New Adult Adventure Romance kind of thing.

Because summer is the time to prepare for the MS ride we do in the fall, I missed out. It’s been hard this whole idea of not being able to do it all right now, but I’m coming to grips with it. The things I chose to do hold more importance. So, the ride is out for this year.

Hoping things will stabilize in a bit and I’ll find a way to get in everything I want to do 🙂

Happy back to school time!





I’m Unsupervised…

15 04 2013

The craziness of becoming a foster family hasn’t gone away. It’s just been dispersed differently.

We made the decision to enroll the kids in pre-school. I’m not sure about it, but decided to give it thirty days. I do miss the rascals. BUT it might be good for them (although there are now tears when I drop them off) and it might be good for me.

Paul wants me to keep some of my sanity, because really, it benefits us all. And in order to keep some of that sanity, I need to find a way to balance the needs of 7 kids, 3 of whom have only been here a few months, with keeping some parts of my identity.

First and foremost, I am a wife and mom. Those two titles come before everything else. They’re titles of service, and that services creates the fierce love I have for my family.

But I guess I’m not selfless enough. There’s more to my identity. In order to keep hold of the remaining sanity, I need some down time. Some time to develop newly discovered talents. I don’t want to give up on writing. Paul doesn’t want me to either – which is reason #2968 that I love him.

So kids in pre-school, this gives me time to work.

The hard part – there’s so much to choose from, I don’t know where to begin. Which means I may totally run amok while I figure it out 😀





Full House

25 02 2013

I haven’t been able to update my blog for a bit. It’s not that I’ve been busy writing or cycling. Nope. That would be easier!

The end of January (four weeks ago today) we welcomed two siblings into our family through the foster care system in our state. A week later, their little brother came to stay with us, too.

I now have seven children, three of them pre-school age 0.0

Now, a month later, I’m finally starting to get my feet back under me. All the children seem to be settling into the family. I can finally see light at the end of the tunnel. I’d like to start adding the things back into my life that were put on hold to do this – like the cycling and writing.

This is the hardest good thing I’ve ever done, but seeing the kids beginning to bloom…wow.

So, there you have it. My crazy life.