Friday, December 11, 2009

On turning 30. . .

God Says Yes To Me

Kaylin Haught

I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don't paragraph
my letters
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I'm telling you is
Yes Yes Yes

Friends and Family.

If you do this- it's possible that you won't have the support of people you thought you had, and you'll find support where you never expected it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Beginning.

It's hard to say exactly when I knew that my children would come to me through adoption. Sometimes I joke it's because the first Cabbage Patch Kid I was given as a child was black, but most of the time I tell people that there are a handful of things I've known to be true in my life, and that my children would not be biological is one of these things. *

Long before getting married Eric and I discussed having children- being my best friend, he already knew my feelings about adoption, and he was surprisingly (to me) agreeable and felt no need to have biological children.

Approaching thirty we decided that it was time. I knew virtually nothing about how to actually go about adopting, only that I wanted to do it. I picked up a couple of books and started searching the internet for Houston adoption agencies. The more I read, the more I didn't find what we were looking for. I'm a high school teacher at an inner city school and I know a lot about cycles of abuse and poverty from my students. That's when I checked out the DePelchin site. DePelchin serves students at my school in the teen parent program and our health clinic.

So, long story shorter. . .We ended up at an orientation meeting at DePelchin. When DeNita said, "If you're here for us to find you a child, you're in the wrong place. We're not about finding children for families. We're about finding families for children," we knew we were in the right place.

And that's where this journey began.

*I've also known that I'd be a special education teacher and that I'd marry my best friend.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


1. My husband- my friend, my love.
2. Our parents- their faith in us and all that is good.
3. Stephanie and Jarret- though far away, close at heart.
4. My girlfriends- their strength, their hope, their laughter.
5. Our friends- walk with us, talk with us, drink with us.
6. Our students- our education, our growth.
7. Our jobs- provision for today, hope for tomorrow.
8. Our home- sweet. home.
9. Our faith- in others, in ourselves, in Life.
10. Our baby.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Today this whole foster parenting thing sucks.

Parenting is a lot of work. a lot. I mean, babies don't care if you've slept or eaten or had a great day or a terrible day. They need what they need without regard for your strength. Foster parenting, especially as it is our hope to adopt, is that much harder.

Today we had a birthparent visit. When I walked in I was surprised to see that not only was Aaron's birthmom present, but his birthfather as well. I was just overcome with the reality that we've chosen to love this baby as our own, but it's not likely he'll be ours forever.

and today, that sucks.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


We went on our fist vacation as a family of 3. Headed to Kemah for the night to participate in the MS Walk on Saturday-- the thought of getting there by 8 from our house was just too much! We had a blast and it was an honor to walk for our friend, Nicole. So, it was Aaron's first vacation and first 5 K.

The weekend was followed by my first day back at work. I'm not really sure what to tell you there. It was both terribly hard to leave the little guy (with my parents for the first week) and also great to see my kids at school. They were excited to see me and have asked a lot of questions about the baby since. I've been pretty guarded about how much to share with them, but am so deeply appreciative of their love and support.

My parents seemed to have a wonderful time staying at home with baby. Foster care allows for very little in the way of babysitters. Hours of training, tb tests, interviews, and reference letters are required on top of the requisite criminal background checks. Needless to say, my parents are our only eligible babysitters.

We also had our first CPS home visit-- honestly, I'm not sure of the purpose (other than checking up on our home) of the home visits by either CPS or DePelchin. Both agencies come out monthly. So far, visits are short and generally uneventful. I did get a tiny bit more insight into the process of reunification and foster care, but mostly discovered that one aspect of the brokenness of CPS is that no one seems to work there long. Our caseworker gave me a little better picture of the timeline of hearings and decisions, but has worked for CPS for only months, so had very little in the way of details.

Finally, we started this week with baby's first days of daycare. I don't know if I've mentioned before, but I'm blessed to be able to work only 3 days/week. This is a lovely arrangement for our family-- the district continues to provide full benefits, I'm able to continue at a job I love, and I'm able to be a mom. He didn't nap much on Monday, but did much better today and his teacher even reported that he spent a lot of time "talking" to the other babies. I'm so happy he's having the opportunity to socialize and be loved on by so many people.

And most importantly, baby boy has really really started to smile and interact with objects- it's so awesome to see him grow-- there are new "firsts" all the time!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Someone Else's Child


hey there

do you have 2 seconds?



i do, i do

and i am.



i just wanted to tell you -

i was thinking about you and Eric over the weekend

and what a wonderful thing you are doing

I read on somebody's profile on, "

If you are a single mother, God bless you. But I want to have my own children, not someone else's."

and it cut me to the quick

just the wording



yeah, no kidding.



and that got me to thinking bigger picture

what if no one ever wanted "someone else's children"

and I started think ing about you guys

and my cousin and her husband who adopted twins from China

and I just wanted to connect with you and acknowledge what an amazing thing you are doing

and how I, as a mother, and a single one, am very grateful for that

it just really affected me

and also kind of made me feel closer to you

that's all



well, thanks. that's really encouraging-

and encouraging to know that others are listening, thinking of, and praying for us.

and we really love y'all. we should hang out again soon. Rowan is good for Eric.



you bet

is there a possibility you will adopt the little boy you have now?

(and lol re Rowan being good for Eric)



there's a possibility, yes,

but it's a long road.

we'd love to.

but we're in it for whatever is best for him and believe that our forever children will come to us trhough adoption.




your forever children

that is WONDERFUl


well I am here if you ever need to vent or scream or cry or share some tiny wonder

I know we don't know each other THAT well

but there are ties that bind



Thank you. Would you mind if I posted some of your words on our blog?

An excerpt from a chat I had with a friend on Facebook this afternoon got me thinking about what makes a child my own. If family starts and ends with biology then we're a world in trouble. Aaron and I don't share DNA, and though my mom says we favor physically (brown hair?)- that's just coincidence, but am I any less his Mother? I feed him, I rock him, I read with him, and I talk with him. I pay for his diapers and buy him clothes. I sign the documents when I take him to the doctor. I love him and cherish him- isn't that family? And Shannon- she doesn't share my blood and we've only spent brief hours together, but she took the time to talk, she cares about us, and shares with us; Our lives are rich with "someone else's child (sister, mother, brother, uncle)", and the ties that bind us to them, while not DNA, can be just as strong.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Baby Gear

Preparing to foster parent an infant makes the purchase of baby gear quite the adventure. We had to really think about what we would need for a baby from birth through toddlerhood. These were the essentials that we decided on and have served us well so far!

1) Carseat:
We chose to go with convertible car seats for a few reasons. First, as foster parents an infant seat limits us to about 25 lbs. and rear facing. Secondly, we found a great deal on these and they fit children from 5-40 lbs. Thirdly, I'm cheap and the thought of buying 2 carseats over a few years seemed wasteful. Oh, and I think it's weird to add 10 pounds to the already heavy baby by carrying an infant carrier. (though, I've not used one, so some may argue that the extra weight is worth it for the convenience, etc.).

After much online shopping and review reading we chose the Maxi Cosi Priori. We purchased two so that for now, we can have one in each car, or if we accept two children, we can use both in one car. There are a lot of great convertible options out there- our final deciding factor was that I found this one on sale (glorious, glorious!) Already reasonably priced at $199, I found the 2008 model for a great price here.

2. Crib: Craigslist find that matched our vintage furniture. I love the lines!

3. Pack n Play: these come in a multitude of colors and are easy to find used. We bought new, but only because I couldn't find anything that was both gender neutral and not plaid on Craigslist. We use ours daily for the time because our home is two story. Lil dude uses it for naps, diaper changes, and playtime when we're downstairs. We also travel a reasonable amount to see my grandparents in San Antonio, so we'll pack it up with us as a travel bed then. Pack n' plays also come with a variety of gadgets; i.e. changing tables, bassinets, vibration, music, etc. We chose the most basic model.

4. Babywearing gear. We use the Sleepywrap, Kelty Wallaby Carrier, and Beco Butterfly. Wearing your baby promotes attachment, frees your hands to do other things (i.e. dishes!), and makes going out and about so easy.

5. Clothes and diapers. CPS provides us with quarterly vouchers for Target to buy clothes- we also love the Carter's outlet and Old Navy for good prices. We've tried many different diapers- Nature Babycare have been our best bet for both disposable and as environmentally responsible as possible.

6. Bottles. We landed on Dr. Brown's, but try several and stick with whatever works. We tried to get away with cheap evenflo glass bottles, but alas. . .he prefers the Dr. Brown's and they really decreased his discomfort while feeding, so the expense was worth it.

That's about all we started with...and really, we've added very little. We have an exersaucer, diaper disposal system, and a great jogging stroller, but I wouldn't list any of those as must haves. They've been nice, but certainly not essential.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Visit with Mom

Today was our first time to meet Aaron's birthmom. I wasn't sure what to expect and was a little anxious, but so far have learned just to keep walking and things will get figured out along the way. Eric and I had a good conversation last night to remember our purpose and hope for being foster parents. It's easy to lose focus and just want to keep him for myself in the day to day love and work of mothering. It's important to keep talking - to each other, to our families, and to our friends about why we are here and why he is here and . . .anyway . . .back to the birthmom meeting.

Our appointment was at 10:00 a.m. across town at the CPS office- not the CPS office we went to last time, but a new one, with a new caseworker. We arrived about 15 minutes early, signed in, and sat down in the waiting room. I knew his birthmom as soon as she walked in the door- young, jeans and a t-shirt, and the requisite J's * of urban high school fashion. She and I sat awkwardly on opposite sides of the waiting room for a time. At first, I worried about what I was supposed to do- was she supposed to see me? what if she was unkind? does she hate seeing me hold her baby? what if her mom cussed at me in spanish (like I heard she did at an earlier meeting)? Finally, I just did what I would do if I were at work- I spoke to her- like a person and invited her to come sit with us. I knew I couldn't just give him to her without CPS supervision, so she just sat next to us and touched his face, held his hand, spoke quietly and sweetly to this baby that she carried to term but had scarcely seen since birth. After just a couple of minutes, his caseworker came down and took them back to a visitation room. I spent a good part of the next hour wandering the local Wal-Mart ** and returned just before 11:00. With kisses and tears Aaron was returned to my arms. It was a sweet moment, and now I know. It's not about us and our family-- it's about him.

* Nike Air Jordan's
** I hate Wal-Mart. Just so you know.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Court, Caseworkers, and Clinicians- Oh My!

So far this morning, I've received two calls. One from my clinician and one from Aaron's CPS Caseworker. My clinician was a welcomed call-- apparently there's a check waiting for us at DePelchin to buy the lil dude clothes and such. We love, love clothes shopping- he got his first sweater vest and cords last night - I'm hoping he can wear them for Thanksgiving.

The second call was from the CPS caseworker. His second caseworker in 2 1/2 weeks. His birthmom has court ordered weekly visits and she'd like to see him tomorrow. I'm already a little skeptical as she didn't show to the last visit that she scheduled. And secretly we're getting pretty attached and I don't want to share him. I do, however, want what's best for him and I know that his birthmom will always be an important piece of who he is and who he becomes. Sometimes your head has to remind your heart. . .

Sunday, October 25, 2009

1:06 a.m.

I've been trying to figure out where to start our story. There's so many things I'd like to tell you- so many details, so many people, so many thoughts, so many stories. . .but it's 1:06- nay, 1:07 a.m. and all I can tell you tonight is where we are now.

I've just laid our baby boy down- for about the 5th time tonight. He's having gas/growing/only want to be held issues. I waver between begging him to fall asleep and wanting to hold him in my arms forever. He's beautiful- seriously. He's happy (mostly) and easy (mostly). He's strong and clever and silly. He loves to be loved and he's happiest when he's sleeping close to heart. He's not ours biologically- and only our foster son legally. But he is ours today- and that's all that matters.