My boys.

2018-02-20_10-52-04_630

I love dogs, always have. I don’t have kids (yet!) so all of my attention goes to these two dummies.

I love when I look out in the yard and get a glimpse of them at peace like this (as they don’t always get along).

I wonder how they’ll do when kids are in the house. I think they’ll enjoy the extra love.

Sulley (the little brown one) is 8 years old. My grumpy old man. My snuggle buddy. He’s not always a big fan of his (big) little brother; he’s jealous of the attention I give the puppy.

sulley

 

Moony (the big white fluff) is only 4.5 months old now and will likely double in size by the time he’s 1.5 years old, he’ll be around 100lbs. He’s sweet and independent. He loves to go for walks and get as wet and dirty as possible. I hope to train him to be a therapy dog that I can take to places like the children’s hospital.

moonman

I love my boys and I hope the kiddos that come to live in our home will love them too!

Advertisements

A rambling update.

My second Home Study is tomorrow night, which means tonight I’ll be cleaning. It’s not like we live in a pig sty, but no, I’m definitely not the type to keep my house inspection-ready on a daily basis! I mean, we have 3 dogs, one of which loves to get as dirty as possible!

I’m not nervous this time, I’m just anxious to get this show on the road… Once she completes her visit tomorrow, she has 45 days to complete our Home Study Report and turn it in to DHS. From there, DHS will review and determine if they’ll open my home or not. I’m hoping it doesn’t take the full 45 days!

Also, I’ve been reconsidering what age children I’ll be willing to accept. Originally I said 4-12, but now I’m thinking I may be open to younger children as well, so 6wks-12yrs, not sure yet. We don’t have a crib, but could easily get one and put it in the kid’s room in that eventuality. From what I’ve heard, they’ll pretty much call me for any age kid, regardless of my preference and it’s up to me to ask questions and say no when the placement isn’t right.  Our room is big enough for 2 kiddos, I’d prefer one, but am willing to accept a same-sex sibling pair in order not to split up siblings, so I want to be as flexible to that as I can.

Other than that, I’ve been trying to get myself as prepared as possible. I’m making my way through a stack of parenting/foster parenting books. I’ve been researching schools and day care facilities in my area. I’m as ready as I can be until I know I’m open and who my first placement(s) will be.

I pray for my kiddos daily. I stand in the room and try to guess what their names will be. What they’ll look like. I pray for their tiny precious souls. I pray that while they are with me in my home, for however long that is, that they will feel welcome, safe and above all, loved.

Ain’t no thang.

The Home Study was no big deal. She didn’t even look around the house, and I was just mad I’d made my bed for nothing! 🙂

It was basically just answering a million questions that I’d already answered on all of the forms that she already had… in her hand… but no big deal. Another step closer.

Our 2nd Home Study is next Thursday and I guess that time she will be walking through the house (so I’ll have to make my bed for a second time!!!).

After that she has up to 45 days to write up my Home Study and turn it into DHS. I’m hoping it doesn’t take that long, but I’m trying to have patience.

It truly boggles my mind that you hear so many stories about bad/abusive/neglectful foster homes, because how do those kinds of people make it through this process!? It’s long and involved and invasive; it takes actual work. I mean, I had to get a physical, get finger printed, take 30 hrs of training, turn in a million forms, turn in my pay stubs and tax return, insurance documents, and then some… she asked why my grandparents got divorced 40 years ago.  I don’t mind a bit because I know it’s in the best interest of the kiddos for them to do their due diligence, but still, it just makes you think.

In your patience, posses ye your souls. Luke 21:19

 

 

Home Study.

I think we’ve checked all the boxes, gotten everything done we needed to before tonight. The house is clean. The medicine, knives and firearms are appropriately secured. The kiddos’ room is finished.

Home Study tonight and I’m a little nervous, but ready.

I went home on lunch and triple vacuumed the carpet and couch because the woman who is coming to compelte the Home Study informed me this morning that she’s allergic to animals (and we have three dogs!).

This room is now my favorite room in the house. I love it and all it represents. I’ve known for years that I wanted to be a Foster Parent, but I just wasn’t in the right place in life to do so until recently. I went to my first informational meeting at the end of December and here we are mid-February about to complete the Home Study portion. We’re nearing the end of the preparations. I’m so excited to get started.

foster room

foster room 2

Hello?

I don’t ever answer the phone for numbers I don’t know. I get 5-10 junk calls a day sometimes. I let them go to voicemail. Usually it’s “Rachel from Card Services” calling about lowering the interest rate on a credit card I don’t have. Or a robotic voice telling me I’ve “frauded the IRS” and there is a warrant out for my arrest. *eyeroll*

Today, I was sitting at home during my lunch break and I got a call from a number I did not recognize. I thought to myself, you better answer this, this is the call about the home study. I answered. It was. I wasn’t expecting the call until mid to late Feb. I have no idea why I knew it was the call, but I knew.

I hung up after talking to the woman and scheduling the home study for Tuesday night and I burst into tears. Happy/excited/scared/joyful/freaking-out tears. This is all getting so real.

Time to clean.

Fear.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

I am in the process of becoming a single Foster Mom. I am embarking on a huge journey, one full of emotions and trauma, heartbreak and loss, and hopefully also of joy and laughter and love.

An endless mountain range of unknowns sit before me.

I am guilty of letting fear hinder me in the past, but not this time. I have no idea what is to come, but I am walking in faith and trusting in God’s plan.

It’s hard. It’s scary. It’s worth it.

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” – Psalm 56:3

 

 

The One Where it’s 2018.

It’s January 2018 and I haven’t written on this site in 4 years. Is crazy that I even remembered the password. I’m making no promises, but I want to start writing here again.

So what’s up? God is doing big things in my life. 2017 was huge. I started losing weight and getting healthy, I went on vacation, I moved to a new house, I bought a new car and I got a new puppy!

BeFunky Collage

The biggest news is that I am currently in the process of becoming a Foster Mom!

The process is overwhelming and emotional and involves SO. MUCH. PAPERWORK! I finished my 30 hrs of training last weekend and yesterday I turned all of my paperwork in. Now I wait for DCFS to schedule my home study. If all works out and my home gets “opened” I know I’m going to want/need an outlet to write about my experiences – so here I am.

 

James 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

 

LOL Worthy Reads

It’s no secret I love to laugh. I love comedy in any form. I love funny people. I love funny movies, tv shows and books. I particularly love stand up comedy and it has long been a secret wish of mine to become a stand-up comedian. (Of course, I will never be one, it isn’t a serious dream. But I do sometimes think to myself about a situation or thought, “That was funny, I’d put that in my act.”)

I read a lot. And I love books that can actually make me laugh out loud. Few do. One genre I’ve been enjoying a lot lately, is memoirs written by comedians (not all of the stand-up variety). Here are a few that I have enjoyed and have legitimately caused me to LOL.

Bossypants by Tina Fey
★★★★★
9418327I’ve listened to the audiobook of Bossypants several times. It’s read by Tina Fey and if you’re a Tina fan, it is everything you’d expect – hilarious, intelligent, insightful and quirky. I loved learning about her life and career and she tells the stories of her life in such a way where they are both thoughtful and funny. A highlight for me were her chapters on being very very skinny and being a little bit fat—  about women and weight. I also enjoyed her thoughts on Photoshop and her thoughts about her daughter.  5 stars.
 
Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan
★★★★
16141924If you are at all familiar with Jim Gaffigan’s stand-up comedy and enjoy it, then you’ll enjoy this book. It reads much like one of his shows. It’s full of hilarious stories, mainly about his family (five kids and 2 adults in a 2 bedroom walk up!?), although you don’t have to have kids to enjoy it. It’s a quick read and I recommend it to anyone who wants a good chuckle. 4 stars.
 

Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories by Mike Birbiglia
★★★★
7775841I read this book in the break room at lunch and frequently caught coworkers looking at me as I’d let out a laugh. This is well written, honest, and of course, funny. There are also several poignant and tender moments that really balance this book out. Mike’s voice and subtle delivery really shine through and I truly enjoyed this read. 4 stars.
 
 

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
★★★★
10335308I’m a huge fan of the TV show, The Office. My all time favorite episode of The Office, one in season two called, “The Injury,” was written by Mindy Kaling, so I knew I’d love this book before I read it. And I did. I highly recommend that if you’re a fan, you listen to the audiobook, I loved hearing Mindy read her stories. It gave life to the book, and I don’t know if my review would be the same if I’d just read it myself. I have listened to it several times, and laughed out loud every time. I love hearing stories about people’s dreams coming true and if they can make me laugh while telling them, even better. Not all of the essays are brilliant, but overall, a lovely (funny!) read. 4 stars.
 
Have any LOL worthy recommendations for me? What books make you chuckle? I’d like to know.

“To sleep, perchance to dream”

I have always been a prolific dreamer. And in this case, I’m not referring to hopes for my future, although I’ve got an abundance of those as well. I’m talking about the kind you have while sleeping. I’ve always been a person who dreams very vivid dreams and I almost always remember them. I’ve always been fascinated with my dreams and the reasons behind what I dream and why I dream have always been of interest to me. I know there are a million thoughts and theories about why we dream and if those dreams mean anything.

My personal belief on the subject changes frequently. I’d like to believe they’re meaningful – but I guess I don’t really know. Sometimes my dreams are bizarre and unexplainable. But for the most part, I can look at things going on in my life and things I’ve been thinking a lot about lately and kind of figure out why particular things were in my dreams.

For instance, I’ve had one reoccurring dream for as long as I can remember. In the dream, I’m getting married. I’m walking down the aisle and a sea of blurry faces are watching me as I stride confidently towards my groom. His back is turned at first but then he turns around and his face is a blurred, black smudge. I can’t see who it is. The details change, sometimes I recognize guests. My dress and flowers will often be different. But the basic premise of the dream is always the same. To me, this dream is pretty cut and dry. I want to get married, I want my life to go in that direction – but I have no idea who I’ll marry, if anyone – so the mystery remains. Sometimes, this dream makes me profoundly sad. Other times, hopeful.

Not only are my dreams usually vivid, but they are almost always connected to strong emotion. I’ll wake up after a dream feeling sad, happy, scared, joyful, etc.. Whatever the main emotion of the dream. Sometimes I wake up smiling or laughing out loud. Sometimes I wake up actually crying. A few times I’ve woken up truly sobbing. It’s always so bizarre to be in such a heightened emotional state without any conscious effort.

Lately I’ve been dreaming a lot about death. I had a terrifying, sorrowful dream about the death of my mother (who is alive and well in real life) and woke up sobbing and crying. I was in such a funk when I woke up it took practically the entire day for me to shake the emotions.

Last night I dreamed of my own funeral. My best friend and her sister stood by my grave and sang a beautiful song and I kept thinking, “Man, I wish I was alive to hear this song, it’s so pretty!”

When you search dream meanings online, you get an abundance of different interpretations. One site says, “Dreams of experiencing your own death usually means that big changes are ahead for you. You are moving on to new beginnings and leaving the past behind.” That could be a load of bull. But I hope it’s true.

Maybe dreams are completely random and mean absolutely nothing. Or maybe not. Either way, they’re a big part of my life. Sometimes I hate them, sometimes I love them- but I always enjoy thinking about them.

What do you think? Do you think dreams have meaning? Or do you think they’re the random misfiring of neurons or other random brain phenomenon? I’d like to know.