The Lord and I need to have a frank discussion on how awesome He thinks I am…

8 04 2018

Because I’m just not seeing it.

The world didn’t stop with our ASD diagnosis, but it would have been nice.

I’m a *tad* overwhelmed, and this post is me dealing with that. It would be nice if things could be put on hold while we figured this thing out. But they’re not.

Twelve days into our autism diagnosis and it’s hitting me that our lives may be dramatically different than what we were planning.

Or not.

We just don’t know, and that’s part of the stress. Just not knowing… Not knowing anything…

I like to learn about the things I’m facing (there’s a lot to learn right now and it’s going slower than I wanted). Then I like to plan and put those plans into action. After that, that’s when I start to relax because I’ve done all the things I can to make the situation better.

After that, I can “play”. That’s what I call doing necessary things, but in a fun way.

We’re not there yet.

But I have chosen a therapy program. It’s a hybrid of home and center based therapy. I’m not ready to let my baby go completely, but right now, I can’t give him the help he needs because I’m not trained to do it. But I’ll learn 🙂

The center based therapy can provide the break everyone tells me I need to take. I don’t disagree with them, but at the same time, I feel like I’m abdicating my role as his mom, and that’s hard for me to come to terms with. But I remind myself about that self care thing. Still not sure when and how I’m supposed to fit that in when there are a handful of other children with their own diagnoses. But we’ll see.

I feel like knowledge is power. That it arms us to face our challenges. This is a BIG challenge and I feel like instead of meeting it head on clad in armor, I’m dressed in a slinky nightie. I feel like there’s all these choices that need to be made and I don’t have all the information – but I *think* (and hope) – I have enough to make the very first decisions I need to to help my son. “I may not know it all, but I know enough,” is the mantra scrolling through my head at this moment.

Now we have to wait on the insurance company to do their jobs and hope they do them well and quickly. I think this may be one of those miracles I pray for. Quick access to therapy for my boy.

In the meantime, I’m hoping to augment our early intervention team’s awesomeness with another therapist that brings her own strengths to the floor to help my son in a very easy going and fun way for him.

I’m hoping that once these therapies get started, we’ll see some good improvement and that will take away some of the stress of the unknown. Because I’ll see we’re on the right road.

I really am surrounded by amazing people and I’m grateful for them.

The Lord knows what He’s doing. He’s just waiting for me to catch up.

*laces up running shoes to get going*

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Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis

27 03 2018

Our foster son (soon to be adopted- yippee!) just met with the Developmental and Behavioral clinic today. I’m sure you can guess from the title, we received an autism spectrum diagnosis. To be more specific, Autism Spectrum Disorder with Global Delays with Speech Impairment.

We knew we had some delays. He’s been in physical therapy since he was three months old.

We knew he had speech delays. He’s been in therapy for that for the last seven months or so.

He’s pretty caught up in PT, but still lagging behind in speech. Although, I believe his receptive speech isn’t too far off target. But his expressive is still significantly behind.

They gave us a severity level of 2 – or moderate…

We figured something was up. Knew this was a possibility. But I kind of expected a mild case (a 1) if we received any diagnosis. So this 2 is kind of throwing me a little. I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was to hear the words.

I’m pouring over the stacks of papers they sent home with me and have barely scratched the surface.

I’ve called and texted numerous people to give them updates since they’re involved in the case. I think I remembered everyone…

And with that done,  I’m now dealing with hearing the words and what it means for our family. What it means for my son. And what I keep coming back to is the fact a whole world of resources and help just opened up for us.

Obviously no one WANTS a diagnosis that complicates things. But we don’t get to choose. My daughter didn’t want a epilepsy. My sons didn’t want ADHD. Depression and anxiety? Nope. My kids didn’t want those either. Migraines? Scoliosis? Please. But you know what? We have them. We live with them. We manage and thrive with them whenever possible. Sometimes we win, other times we take a small break before getting up and trying again.

This diagnosis is no different. And there’s help to learn and manage our stumbling blocks.

I didn’t have access to that support before today.

My brain thrives on information and I have access to it. How wonderful is that? We’re so blessed to live in this time of medicine. I’m grateful to be in this moment when there is more help for my son than ever before.

We’re hoping that with time, the early interventions already in place, and adding more services specifically for this leg of the journey, we’ll be able to help him move from a moderate level to a mild level. There are no guarantees, but we’re going to do our best.

WE ARE SO BLESSED.





You Were Born Trailing Clouds of Glory

25 02 2018

I’ve LOVED unicorns since I was little. Not the cartoonish ones around today, but the regal, majestic ones.

So when I had the chance to do a shower gift bag for a precious baby girl, I thought unicorns and I’m so glad I did. I’m kind of excited with how things turned out.

Some of that excitement comes from trying new things and realizing those ideas worked 🙂 Like modifying bag designs, digitizing hand lettering, and playing with glitter HTV 😀

Also, babies. Those little bundles are pretty exciting. I love holding and snuggling them. There’s something miraculous about a new born. Something heavenly. So I also included some William Wordsworth words (the trails of glory).

This post is kind of picture intensive, but there were quite a few things.

Ready? Let’s go 🙂

I like giving mommy gifts. Those usually consist of thank you cards. But recently, I’ve been going nuts with vinyl, so I included that insanity in the gift as well. But I had to figure out how to package it all. So here’s what the gift looked like packed up.

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I made the bag, using a design from SVG Cuts that I altered to fit my needs – that was the first thing that excited me. It worked 🙂 Obviously, the bag and mom’s card coordinated. But I wanted the unicorn on the bag to be a little more dramatic than the one on the card. To do this, I used my prisma color pencils to define and enhance some of the shading.

Here’s the next exciting thing. The words on the card front are from William Wordsworth, but the lettering is mine. See?

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I scanned it into the computer and into my Silhouette Design software where I could clean it up. I’ve been practicing my hand lettering for 5-6 months now. I haven’t perfected it, but it’s fun to play with. After I cleaned the lettering up, I used it in my Craft Artist 2 software where I created the card above.

This is the inside of the card. I rarely decorate the inside, but this one just seemed so fitting. This was mom’s card. It was a 5 x 7.

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I duplicated these cards and made a dozen 4.25 x 5.5 size cards for the new mom to use as thank you cards. I transferred the card design into my silhouette workspace and really made my print & cut feature work. But those cards needed a box…so I made one. Or two. Each box held 6 cards and their envelopes comfortably.

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The saying is one I found in a book but had no author’s name attached to it.

So now, I have two sayings. I also happen to have two 0-3 month onsies just waiting to be vinyled. So, using the hand lettered saying, and the one I found for the front of the card box (I used vinyl on that, as well) I played with some red glitter heat transfer vinyl…it’s amazing. It looks like someone skinned Dorothy’s ruby red slippers and made HTV out of it it was so sparkly.

Here’s how the onsies turned out.

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Now I had onsies just kind of floating around in the bag. It was not cute and this bag was all about cute. So, I found baby themed boxes in the design store that held the onsies perfectly.

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Here’s what it looked like all laid out.

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Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo

Links to the projects:

Carousel Horse Bag (mine looks like a unicorn bag), Card Box, Onsie Box

 

 

 

 

 

 





Valentine For the Hubby

15 02 2018

I got his wrapped up about an hour before he got home. I wish I’d had time to make a box or bag for him, but I didn’t.

Here’s what you need to know about the love of my life.

He comes across as intimidating. I have NO idea why, but he does until you take the time to get to know my quiet wonderful man.

Something else you need to know. I think he likes it and kind of plays on it sometimes, especially as our kids have gotten old enough to date.

He also likes to laugh.

So the gifts were made with theses things in mind. And they were well received 🙂

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thanks for stopping by!

xoxo

 

Links to files used in the projects

Corset, Pattern1, Pattern 2, I Don’t Like Morning People





And She Loved A Little Boy Very, Very Much…

3 02 2018

Tomorrow is our foster son’s last visit with his bio mom.

Last week we had court. A judge sat behind his bench waiting to decide the fate of three families, two sets of parents, and one little boy.

What had been anticipated to be a 1-2 day trial turned into a court session that ran over an hour behind then only lasted 30 minutes.

We lived miracles last week.

The day before court we had mediation with bio mom. She came into the meeting contesting the Termination of Parental Rights (TPR). But after speaking with us and I’m sure many sleepless nights considering her options, in the end, she decided to consent to the termination of her rights and agree to the adoption of her precious little boy.

I’m still unsure how to process that scene. We sat across the table and watched as the court document was signed. I still have trouble wrapping my head around the concept that a SIGNATURE is all it takes to sever those ties. It looks so simple, but was oh so amazingly swift and final.

I hugged her and thanked her. I acknowledged her sacrifice. I’ve learned that love comes in so many ways. She showed an act of love I’m not capable of.

We got word earlier that morning that bio dad’s attorney was asking for a continuance. Someone else hadn’t done their job correctly. So we expected the next morning to bring consent and TPR for bio mom and a continuance for bio dad.

While we waited. I sat with my son’s bio mom. She sat alone on one of the hardest days of her life and I couldn’t ignore that. Maybe I was the last person she wanted to see or talk to. I don’t know. But I asked questions about the children we share. How they got their names. Who they take after. What kinds of things she was going to do with the baby on his last few visits. Our parent aide has agreed to record her playing with the baby and sending me the videos so I can hold on to them for my children.

That hour they ran behind? Bio dad’s guardian ad litem and the court worked some things out and the GAL consented on bio dad’s behalf. I was surprised, too, when bio dad’s sister told me they were happy with how things were working out. She hugged me after court was done. I couldn’t believe we had the support from both sides of the family.

In the end, I couldn’t comprehend – I still can’t – the enormity of her loss. To gain my son, another mother LOST hers. But going through this journey with her for almost two years, the Lord has provided many opportunities for me to understand, to a small degree, the heart crushing cost to one mother so another could raise the child they both loved.

I wanted something special for this last visit. I used his footprints for this card and  included the actual footprints with it so she has those too.

It’s so incredibly inadequate, but it’s all I have.





Mediation Day Tomorrow

10 01 2018

Tomorrow is mediation.
We’re praying for a miracle.
There’s a small, small possibility bio mom will consent after mediation. This is our prayer.

This can be a very hard day for the bio parents. They’re discussing what the future looks like without their child.

Emotions can make us build walls and block possibilities. We have the option of going in and not bending. We can choose to have the attitude of “too bad so sad for you”.

But one of the things the Lord has been trying to teach me the last few years is that LOVE is usually the best course. Hate, insecurity, anger, a lack of empathy – NONE OF THESE will help our cause.

It is a negotiation time, but my child is not a car. These people are not questionable salesmen. They’re parents losing their child.

So although love, empathy, understanding, and generosity don’t condone their actions of the past, they can certainly open doors to the future.

Here’s to open doors.





This Crazy Foster Care Thing Update

11 08 2017

I've blogged a bit about my family and how it's put together. I've shared the books I've made for my foster son's bio mom. I've asked for prayers at crucial times in our case.

Yesterday, 70 days after the state suggested the case goal be changed to adoption (with us), we finally got the news.

The judge CHANGED THE CASE GOAL TO ADOPTION.

So, if you've prayed for us, thank you so much. We're not done, we're on a different path that may still take some time to finish. But we're on it and that's the important thing.

You might think I'm jumping up and down in excitement. I'm not. That sounds odd, doesn't it.

I'm relieved. I'm grateful. I'm conflicted.

This was the right call. But somewhere today, there's a mom, a mom who truly loves her son, who is learning that she will probably not get him back.

A mom who's heart is probably breaking. I can not celebrate my good fortune, not when I understand the magnitude of her loss. And I think that was a lesson I needed to learn. My heart aches for her.

The next goal is for the state to file the appropriate petitions in a timely/quick fashion. So, if you're a praying person, we'd be grateful for more prayers on our family's behalf.

And while you're praying, please remember his bio mom. I'm sure she can use some prayers, too.