Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Saturday night, spur of the moment, Ben decided to take his best friend Kobe to see a movie Kobe had said he wanted to see, "How to Train Your Dragon". They went to the 9:20 pm showing at the IMAX. It was in 3D so they had to wear those crazy glasses to watch it. They had a blast and said the 3D was amazing. Ben has spent years building this relationship with Kobe, it just gets better and better :) ... my boys.
Posted by Leah Wentzel at 11:42 PM
Monday, March 29, 2010
The kids were coloring the other day and K kept bringing me his pictures that he "made for me". Then he lined them all up like a mini yellow brick road for me.
I thought it was adorable :)
S then saw him doing it and had to try it herself. You can see the difference in coloring and ability to line things up but hers were just too cute too :)
To see pictures of the kids next to their art click here
Posted by Leah Wentzel at 11:14 PM
Saturday K went with his adoption worker to Chuck E Cheese to "play" with a family who wanted to meet him. They are a nice couple who have one biological child, 9 years old.
K had fun. He loves his adoption worker, especially since she has started to pick him up and take him for play dates. I can tell he thinks something is up. I don't know what they say to him while he is with them, so maybe he knows WAY more than he should. I don't know.
The way everything got left on Saturday is that they would love to see him as much as possible over the next month and that (because they are licensed foster parents) after that if they are still interested in adopting him he would get moved to their house as a foster child while they start/finish the adoption.
One neat thing that really has me happy is that the father in this family is the same "color" :) as K. I think it would be AWESOME for K to have a male role model that looks like him and is a good man! What a blessing that would be! Plus, I think K needs to be the youngest for a while and get doted on. He craves that attention and I know I haven't been able to give him as much attention as he would like.
On the flip side of all this, K's odd/disturbing behavior has not stopped. The things this child says are just...bothersome. Within 15 minutes this morning he had said two very disturbing things. He does this thing where he says what he is thinking out loud but its like he is trying to tell himself not to do something he really wants to do.
For example, if he wants to hit S and he is thinking about it and I am around he says, "I don't wanna hit S" in this certain tone that is the same every time he does it. Now, when I say the things he says are disturbing I don't mean him talking about hitting someone, it is usually a highly inappropriate comment.
And, yes, I do worry about what this family will decide after he has been in their home for a while. Once his guard is down and they start to understand what he is doing who knows what they will think. I hope so badly all these behaviors leave him when he leaves our home but that is so unlikely. I have been talking with the adoption worker about this in hopes that we can prepare them for it so they will be ready to deal with it.
So, for now, he will have more visits with them and we will see what happens.
Posted by Leah Wentzel at 6:24 AM
Friday, March 26, 2010
Linny has set up a "Crazy Love" Link that I am going to link to. I have never met this woman but her love for God and the orphan inspire me EVERY DAY!
She wanted everyone to share a need they had so we could all come together and help each other. Friends, I NEED PRAYER!!!! That is it, nothing more and nothing less will take care of our family.
For those of you that will come here that don't know me, we are a foster family who currently has a little boy that needs a home! He met a family Tuesday that I was VERY hopeful about that I found out today decided NOT to adopt him. That is ok, it must not have been the right family, but GOD KNOWS WHO THE FAMILY IS!!! He has a family that is meeting him tomorrow that I would love to be prayed from as well as they make this decision. We need to see our boy go to the home GOD has planned for him! Will you pray for us?
“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him,” (Philippians 1:29)
Don't get me wrong, I don't feel like there has been much if any real "suffering" in my life, but this verse helps me to remember the mind set I need to have.
Posted by Leah Wentzel at 9:43 AM
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Oh how I could go on and on and on about what happens when the state ties your hands and says you can only disciple a child in the ways they approve of. We all see how good the state is doing - why shouldn't they be in charge of something as important as raising our kids.
Anyway, it turns out that the general rules they have set up aren't all wrong. At first I thought they were, but as I have had to deal with children that have spent years going from one unstable situation to another or have lived their whole lives in a volatile situation you see that the same methods that you use on your "well adjusted"child are almost a joke to these kids.
For example, almost no matter what form of time out/whatever punishment I think up that I try to use on K is a drop in the hat to him. When I put him in time out, no matter how long, once he gets out of time out it is still like he got away with something because I didn't physically use some form of extreme discipline on him like we assume went on in his other foster home. He literally gets out of time out with a look on his face that screams "is that all you got?"
Also, when dealing with normal kids and disciple, the things they do make sense. Most of the time. K likes to do random, out of the box, never saw it coming things. Like, throwing things, hard objects, at light fixtures. What could the fascination possible be besides trying to breaking them??? But he hasn't broke any yet. He doesn't seem to try to break them...he just like to throw things at them. Hmmmm...
And, S, Oh S. She is something else. She may not throw things at my lights, but she is just snasty sometimes. She is miss passive aggressive, ignore you to control the situation, manipulative, everything is all about me girl. Now, some of that is just the terrible twos, I hope. But some of it is not.
I guess what kind of spurred this whole post was our little intervention this evening. Today, all day, she has just been not nice. I could write a list a mile long of all the not niceness that has gone on but I will spare you. Often I find that the most off the wall way of handling these kids is the most effective.
Tonight, she managed to work my last nerve. I called her and the boys into a room. I explained to S that everyone in this house is sick of her being not nice. I told her that no one wants to be friends with someone that is mean to them ALL THE TIME. I had the boys look at her in the face and tell her what she had done that was mean to them and how it made them feel. Kobe actually cried during this. He was very honest, was not interested in hurting her feelings, he merely told her what she had done and that it made him feel like she didn't like him. Eventually S started to understand too and she cried as well. She understands far more than what most would give her credit for. She has some serious social issues that fall under the "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" category. She has regressed so much since starting the weekend visits that she doesn't talk to really anybody except me and K. She will talk to Ben some, but if he puts in no effort she stone walls him.
I think tonight, as much as she could, she understood what we were trying to tell her. We may have to repeat this everyday before she truly understand, but I want her to see other people. I want her to feel.
So, as insane as it seems to even me, I will keep having these emotional interventions as often as we need to bring S into reality. She's worth it.
PS Her mom called today, the van has a bad tire and they can't fix it until next wednesday. She can get a ride here to get S but not back. So, we will see if we are going to have a visit this weekend.
Posted by Leah Wentzel at 5:14 PM
Yesterday I got a call from K's adoption worker. I had called her the day before with some concerns I had and that kinda got the ball moving.
Before K came to our house she had had a family in mind that she thought would be perfect for K, but they were in the middle of an adoption and weren't ready to take on another adoption quite yet. Even when she called them a month ago they weren't quite ready, it appears now they are.
Everything was very spur of the moment, but K went yesterday for a couple hours to meet this family. They have a boy that is one month younger that K and from what I heard they played very well together. The worker also said that K had fun with the Dad which was neat for me to hear. They are an african american family and for K to have a male role model to look up to that looks like him I think would be HUGE in his life. The Dad is a police officer. When K heard this he said "Your a good police officer?" I don't know if I ever mentioned it here, but K came to our home with an negative outlook on police. When he would hear sirens he would ask if "the cops were coming to get us" and then also told me "when he got out of jail he would shoot the cops". Obviously after that we had a long talk about how police are after bad guys, not us. I think a little of it sunk in :)
Anyway, they want to have K over this Friday. They were talking about him sleeping over but I told them for the first visit I think a sleep over is too soon but that he could go over to play. I am trying my best to guard his little heart. When I dropped him off at the agency I guess he asked the adoption worker if he was going back to his old foster home and looked very concerned. She told him no and he was fine after that. Before we went there I had explained that he was going to play with some friends and then come back to my house. I had tried to avoid him worrying about that, but I guess I saw it coming.
He also ran into his old foster brother, the 7 year old that used to beat him up, in the waiting room. The adoption worker told me he nearly climbed her like a cat trying to get away from him. I remember how he hid behind me at the Christmas party when seeing him. I think there is a lot in that little boys head none of us know about.
After sharing a lot of my concerns with the worker she decided K should see a therapist. He will probably go on Friday to have a Psych Eval. In a way I think that is good, mostly I just think he is a little boy who needs to see Jesus through the people he is around. Not everyone is bad. Not everyone will hurt you. So sad.
Anyway, I am feeling really good about all of this. I think that this may be what we have been waiting for. Despite the stress of he crazy behavior, I am so happy we have been able to be his family for the past 5 months. I can't believe it has been that long. I hope so much we can stay in contact with him after he leaves. I have a feeling in about 4 weeks he will be living with this other family.
Hope has filled the air.
Posted by Leah Wentzel at 5:02 AM
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Yesterday I got a call from K's adoption worker. They have found a family for K, at least one that thinks they are interested. They are a biracial couple with a 9 yr old daughter. They want to adopt and are very interested in K. That is most of what I know.
I did talk to the other people that were praying about adopting him and they said they just couldn't take on any more kids right now, which is very understandable, so I am glad there is perhaps a family for him.
The adoption worker was talking about taking K to meet them. I told her that I would open my home and they could come here for a visit. I don't want K to feel like he is being interviewed or is getting given away. I will make sure that it will just be us having people over and at first there is no talk about him going to live with them until everyone is on the same page.
Also, there is other things going on right now, terrible turmoil in my heart about whether we will be able to care for K until he is adopted. I don't know how long he can stay here. My two little ones are both having some issues that are hard to deal with right now. They seem to be separate issues, but issues that would not be going on in this house if they were not here.
I can deal with S's issues, at least for now, but I am not sure I can deal with K's so PLEASE pray for God's will. We are in a hard spot right now. This morning I had to make several phone calls I didn't want to make. I had to call both the social workers to discuss what needed to happen for all of us. It was a long morning.
I actually had planned on a happy post, but this morning was hard.
***Look at the verse for the day:
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12)
I mostly add this so when I look back at this post I can see God.
Posted by Leah Wentzel at 8:37 AM
Monday, March 22, 2010
Thus far I have been ignoring this whole "going to mom's house on the weekends" thing the court ordered for S. The best way I can describe it is that God has given me a blessed numbness that I can't thank Him enough for. I drop her off, I don't cry about it. I don't worry much. I just feel like she is being baby sat. And then she comes home.
It has been shocking how hard that has been on her, and I don't think we are even seeing close to what some families go through. Every Sunday evening I pick her up. She is used to it now. Last night she jumped out of her Grandma's old van and climbed right into my car smiling and asking about "Daddy". No big deal right? All is well with the world. Not really, but it looks that way.
Once she gets home she won't let me leave her sight. She wants me to hold her ALL THE TIME, which of course I do. It's not like I don't want to, it is just the reason behind her wanting me to that gets my mind going.
When it is time for bed everything usually hits the fan. I have begun to dread it. In the past we have taken it as her just being straight out defiant and have held strong to the way we have always done bedtime with the kids.
Last night something was different. Now, this is only on Sunday nights after she has been at her mom's. The rest of the week she is fine. Last night she knew it was time for bed so she started the "cry face" and refused to go to the bathroom because she knew after that she would have to go to bed. I pulled her pants down and sat her on the toilet. It was obvious she did need to go. I noticed a little scrape on her knee (that was no big deal) but pulled out the special band-aids to distract her from her crying and it worked. I asked her if she wanted PJs or just wanted to wear her clothes to bed. She was in the outfit she came home from her mom's house in that was saturated by the smell of cigarettes. When she comes home she reeks of smoke. Her hair, her shoes, her coat, her clothes, her toys. Everything that comes out of the car reeks.
She wanted to wear her clothes to bed. I didn't want to poke the monster so I agreed. She also had her hands full of toys, a baby that she brought home from mom's house and 2 other toys she had picked up as we got ready for bed. Still, not wanting to poke the monster, I said she could take all the toys to bed with her too.
I took her in to bed.
Sat her in her bed.
As she is whimpering she is also arranging her pillow, just so, as she does every night.
I give her a hug and a kiss.
She is calming down.
I leave the room and she starts crying.
It doesn't have that sound of defiance.
It just sounds sad.
So, I walk away and come back and sit outside her door.
She isn't screaming, she isn't getting louder, she's just crying.
I wait for her to drift off.
She still cries the sad cry.
I can't take it.
I go in.
I never go in.
I walk over to her bed and kneel down.
She wraps her arms around my neck and smashes her face to mine.
The crying stops.
She grips the collar of my shirt and my hair.
I move a little.
She pulls me back and smashes her face against mine.
I breath her in.
Strawberries and Cigarette.
My first daughter smells like Strawberries and Cigarettes.
I try moving away a little.
She wraps her arm around my neck tighter.
Her breathing slows.
It gets deeper.
Her face is still smashed to mine.
She starts to breathe the way sleeping people breathe.
I get sad.
"She thinks I leave her."
As she falls deeper into sleep it finally gets to me.
I start to cry.
I move my face so the wetness from the tears doesn't wake her up.
I move my face away from hers so I don't wake her up.
She is asleep and her arms are still around my neck.
I move one arm.
She's still asleep.
I move the other one.
She's still asleep.
In the dark.
In her room.
Next to the little girl that thinks I leave her.
I hate this.
I hadn't let it get to me. I was fine as long as it didn't bother her. It is amazing how much comfort I found in thinking she loved going there and didn't miss us that much. I was thankful for the numbness. Obviously it wouldn't last forever but it was nice while it did.
Posted by Leah Wentzel at 5:41 AM
Saturday, March 20, 2010
The family that came to meet K is taking this week and weekend to pray about adopting K. I told her all the reasons and situations that have led us to this point and none of it phased them. They have 3 older kids and 3 young ones in the house right now so adding 1 more is a huge decision, they already have a lot on their plate and that is their only hesitation.
Pray that God will give the right answer, yes OR no. That is what we want for our K.
Posted by Leah Wentzel at 7:58 AM
Thursday, March 18, 2010
I happened onto this blog (http://lovedbeyondallmeasure.blogspot.com) written by Angel who is an adoptive mommy. She has this gorgeous family and she selling nursing shawls, little girl barrettes & head scarves, that are just too adorable, to help fund their adoptions. I ordered one of the head scarves and it is too cute and very well made. I though I would give her a plug because I fell in love with her adorable stuff!
You can take a look here.
Posted by Leah Wentzel at 5:06 PM
Tuesday night Ben and I took the kids to the park. I was so lovely outside!
To see more pictures click here
Posted by Leah Wentzel at 8:25 AM
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Finally, my little nephew had his 1st birthday party!
Here is a shot of the cake I was fretting over:Here is a shot of Noah, he is so happy because he thinks I am going to let him play with the camera
Kobe wrote his name in cursive, they have been working on that in school. He is doing really great this year!
I think he liked it :)
Posted by Leah Wentzel at 7:59 PM
I don't have tons of info to share. We had a blast. Being with other foster/adoptive moms in a blessing that I never knew that I needed SO much. All their kids...they are just GORGEOUS! The family that might be interested...might be interested. They still have a lot to talk about and I haven't heard anything. Kenny told me his favorite person to play with there was their daughter. They are sweet kids, a sweet family and either way I am thrilled we met them. I'll keep you posted!
Posted by Leah Wentzel at 12:30 PM
Monday, March 15, 2010
Posted by Leah Wentzel at 1:19 PM
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Tomorrow I am going to a "play date" with a family that may be interested in adopting K!!!!
They might, they might not. It is very casual but there is a chance! Please pray for our gorgeous little K, he deserves this so much!!!!
Posted by Leah Wentzel at 6:27 PM
Friday, March 12, 2010
It is fun for me and my sister to live so close to each other. Having kids very close in age helps too :) We can do a lot of the same things and if we find a good distraction for the kids we sometimes even get to talk to each other in stead of the kids!
Down the road from us is "Safari Playground". I wish I had taken better pictures. It is a really nice place. It has 2 very large play structures and a smaller one for the littler kids. The kids had fun running, sliding, chasing, and bouncing around in these. It kept them busy for quite a while and no whining :)
Speaking of Noah, pictured below, we are having his birthday party this weekend! It got post poned 'cuz he got sick and then Bobbie got sick too. Right now I am trying to dream up a "Bug" cake to decorate for him. I actually have been sketching it out and I never do that so it better turn out good!
Posted by Leah Wentzel at 10:34 AM
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I do not want to post about this.
But I will.
Everything started off great. S was excited to go see her mom for the weekend. Ever since she has opened up (since coming to our house) she has really rolled with the punches. She was happy to see her mom at supervised visits and fine to come home with us. I think she has kind of a "play land" outlook on her mom right now. For 12 months she only saw her for either 1 hour a week, 2 hours a week, or no hours a week. They would bring candy (visit was from 11 am - 1 pm, lunch time, but they would only bring a piece of candy to feed her) and then they would play with toys with her for the remainder of the time and that is all she has known of her mom for 1 year. You can see, after initially not wanting to see her mom right after she was first taken, how that could change. It has been all fun and games and absolutely no discipline for a WHOLE YEAR. Can you imagine if we tried that out with our own kids? Anyway....
So, off she went-fast forward to 6:30 pm the night I was meeting them to bring her back here. They send me a picture text that shows Savannah in their car dead asleep and say "we're on our way". I am thinking "Great, she doesn't fall asleep in the car unless she hasn't had a nap. Plus, having her take a nap at 6:30 in the evening is going to make bed time real easy".
So, I meet them and Savannah is still asleep in the car. May I mention here that their car has all the windows rolled up and mom and grandma are both smoking in the car? Wonderful. Anyway, Mom hops out and tries to move Savannah while she is sleeping from her car to mine saying "She will probably sleep right through this" - to which I think, "No she won't, she doesn't sleep through stuff like that."
So, Savannah's eyes pop open, she comes to me and gives me a hug, mom takes her and puts in my car, straps her in, and Savannah starts getting weepy. She isn't crying, to me it looked like her exhausted look, but mom takes it as Savannah being sad about leaving her (which I think was also part of it) and unbuckles the seat and pulls her out of the car and starts crying (mom is crying I mean) and starts talking/lowdly complaining about how this is everyone else's fault. It is Savannah's lawyer's fault because he wants everything perfect.
He is the one that wanted her bed put together before Savannah came this weekend!
He was the one that wanted the horribly stained carpet cleaned before she came!
She just went on and on about how this is everyone else's fault and continued to get more hysterical all the while holding Savannah.
Yes, I am so sure this is all going to help Savannah.
At one point, Grandma gets out of the car, Savannah still isn't crying, but Mom and Grandma both are now and they are in a three person hug. At this point, regardless of the lack of common sense in all of this, the scene was very heart breaking. I may be sarcastic about the things these people come up with, but I am not heartless about a mom that loves her kid. If I had it within in my power I probably would have called the judge and said "Send her home NOW!" if it was based upon love. But when it is based upon so many other factors I still don't know that I would ever suggest she move home.
But, it's not up to me.
So, Grandma puts Savannah in the car, mom is bawling so I go hug her. She latches on to me and just bawls. I tell her everything will be ok. I assume their version of "ok" will happen at the next hearing.
I cannot tell you how odd it is to deal with the woman who gave birth to a child you have been mothering for 9 months. How confusing and unnatural it is to try to encourage her to get her act together so she can "take" a child I have loved like my own back. I look at her and think "I want to raise your child!" all the while knowing that this child is literally all she has. I want Savannah to grow up in a stable home. I want her to grow up to be able to FUNCTION in society. I want her to come to know the Lord! I could list 100 things I want for her that will probably never happen if she goes home. Yet, taking this woman's child, no matter how it were to happen, almost feels like stealing.
Savannah came home with me. She sat on my lap all evening. She wouldn't play, it took a lot for me and my sister to get her smiling. She would smile for me. Her real smile thank God. It reminds me of the movie The Notebook. How Noah would read to Allie to bring her back from her Alzheimers. I feel like that is what I do. I have to bring Savannah, our Savannah, back after she has played other Savannah all weekend.
Oh, and if you would like to know how bad the lack of sleep was, let's put it this way-Monday, she went down to take a nap at 3:30 pm and slept all through the afternoon, dinner, bedtime, and didn't get up until 7:00 am the next morning.
Her mom promised her she would call her everyday.
She hasn't called at all.
She is back to normal but you can tell she wasn't told "No" about anything and keeps trying out all this manipulative crap on me to get her way. I don't give in and she is still ok. She isn't throwing fits or anything and she still looks at me and says "I'm Mommy's Girl".
I know that she means me. She specifies.
Posted by Leah Wentzel at 4:59 AM
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I have to share a story with you. After posting yesterday about a day where I actually got something right, I have to take the time to tell you about my failure that led me to it.
Years ago, I imagine almost 6 years ago, I was in Meijer (yes, all I do is shop :)). I had little Kobe with me and I was shopping for our weekly groceries. I was in line to pay. I had a full cart, I am sure that there was around $100 worth of groceries in my cart. There was a lady in front of me who had a little one of her own with her. She too had a cart FULL of groceries. The cashier went through, scanned all her items and when it was time to pay she pulled out her credit card to pay...and it was declined. They tried it again, it was declined again. Right them God told me "Pay for her groceries." That is when my excuses began.
All the excuses that ran through my head:
-God didn't just say that to me, I just thought it myself.
-Look at all the pop she is buying, she does not need all that pop.
(by this time she had headed to the ATM to try to pull money out so she could pay for her groceries)
-See Lord, she is going to the ATM, it will work out.
But, He wouldn't leave me alone. And I fought Him on it. My excuses kept going through my head but I thought to myself "I will walk past her at the ATM (which was NOT on my way out) and I will see if everything worked out. If it didn't I will offer to pay for her groceries if the opportunity comes up" So, I walked past her. She was not having any luck at the ATM. My excuses started again:
-She will be embarrassed if I offer to buy her groceries.
-She will think I am CRAZY if I tell her God wants me to buy her groceries for her.
So, she walked out to her car, without her groceries, and I walked out to my car with a cart full of groceries.
As I loaded my car I saw her drive past me, she wasn't crying, she was drinking a Starbucks coffee.
-See Lord, she doesn't need my money, she had enough money to go to Starbucks (which I NEVER do). She didn't need my money.
I was still making excuses as she drove off.
I know that I was supposed to buy her groceries, I knew I was supposed to buy her groceries, and I didn't.
To this day, when ever I have a situation come up like I did at Walgreens that day comes to mind. The day I said, no God, I must not be hearing you right.
I still think about that day, such an insignificant day really, that changed me. I screwed up. I have since then tried to not let that happened again. I learned a much needed lesson that day. I have regretted that moment for a long time. On the other hand, I am also thankful for it. It made me very aware of what I had missed out on and the regret I would feel if I let it happen again.
I couldn't sit here like "super christian" and only have you read about when I got it right, it is equally important for me to share my failures. I always laugh when people say "God is really using you", most days I am too pathetic for Him to be able to use. But once in a while, when He feels like showing off, He chooses one of His most pathetic children to do something that needs to be done. Because HE can.
Posted by Leah Wentzel at 11:32 AM
Monday, March 8, 2010
Posted by Leah Wentzel at 7:41 AM
Saturday, March 6, 2010
how are you?
Good, good, good.
Today was pretty good.
Kobe had a friend spend the night Friday. They stayed up late and woke up EARLY.
But that's ok.
They got themselves breakfast.
Kobe: Instant Oatmeal
Kobe's Friend: Cereal
Kenny: Fruit snack
I asked Kobe who had fruit snacks and Kobe said "That's what Kenny wanted for breakfast, so I got it for him."
*insert smile here*
We took the kids to Home Depot to do the free build it work shop.
They had a blast.
Like almost too much fun.
Oh, the small things.
*insert smile here*
S is at her mom's house.
Mom texted me a picture of her.
She looks happy.
I am sure they are having a good time.
*insert mixed emotions here*
It was fun to have a day with just the boys.
Amazing how much easier everything was.
I have a pretty cool story to share for Monday. I'll be back then.
Posted by Leah Wentzel at 7:04 PM