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Getting Back into Life

I see that now that some time has passed with the major events of the summer (dad's death anniversary and Lulu's freedom court date!) I am starting to re-enter life.

Last week I met with a potential client situation and that was a first of its type. And it looks like it might actually go--next week. I'm doing some work on the side while I market my coaching and build that new business. I always do better when I am doing something to make money. For some reason I am more productive and get more done in less time.  If there aren't any gliches with my fees I'll be good to go to start making some money again.

It's very strange when you stop work and mother full-time. I'm not talking about the sweet 20 somethings that worked 2 years and then got preggo. A few nights ago I was discussing this with a friend and she noted the same thing. If you have been a professional woman in your career for at least a decade, then a sudden halt is very dramatic. I'm not saying i don't enjoy the beach days...but that lack of purpose and identity is not something to be quickly disregarded. I feel more valuable knowing I am going back to work.

Yes, I understand HOW important the past 18 months have been to sweet Lulu and I cherish every moment--even my VERY GRUMPY mommy moments. But, she is secure now and is developing in leaps and bounds. Still, she will have me most of the day and then daddy will be home when I go to work. She won't be in daycare or pre-school, yet (if ever. I haven't decided about any of that).

This summer has been such a whirlwind of activity and fun relationship connections. I need some more routine though, so I've started back at a stroller class for exercise and joined weight watchers recently. Also, the work will build in some more routine.  I'm not a routine type person normally, but realize I need some to be at my optimal.

Lulu's birth-mom has been emailing me a lot. I guess she is really isolated and alone. Interesting. We exchange pictures of the girls and lately I have been able to encourage her (appropriately, of course) to get her life together and move on.  When I first found out about her when Lulu was a baby I had a weird sense that we would be able to have a positive impact in her life. Maybe email is the avenue for that currently.

Lots more is going on and I think I will start blogging again. My computer is soooo slow it discourages me. I need to take care of that...

Until later!

It's Done!

I can't believe I forgot to post the news! Forgive me!

The Termination of Parental Rights was granted!!!!!!

It's over!

We will have a finalized adoption sometime next year.



Is the End really near?

This has been a crazy month in getting ready to renew my foster license, since Lulu is still waiting to be freed for adoption!  In our county we have to do 8 continuing ed hours and renew cpr/first-aid. It's not too bad, just a pain. I went and took an all day class in Spanish so that i wouldn't fall asleep. It was on a topic that didn't require much thought for me since I specialized in working with teens the past 20 years. But taking it in Spanish was a good move, b/c they hook you up with a home-cooked meal for lunch  and lots of lively discussion. The English classes are pretty boring. As it was, it held my interest for a good 4 hours and then I had to go walking to stay.

The adoption social worker that Lulu has is experienced and pretty much on top of things. That's a nice relief.

Birth mom was supposed to leave July fourth, and then when that didn't happen the following Saturday. She even paid to have have her ticket changed to fly out of state. Imagine my surprise last week when I got a call from her saying she was still here! I was concerned she would ask for more visits since legally she has the right too them if she is here. Luckily, she didn't. I didn't suggest anything, of course.  I think because the "good-bye" visit was so clear, she got it that it wouldn't be good to then pop back in.  Maybe she is starting to clue in.

We are retaining contact via texting and occasional phone calls. I think she views me as a safe and reasonable person.

The TPR hearing is for this week! So if the judge doesn't do something lame or the birth-mom's attorney doesn't pull something out of her briefcase, we should have the start of this 2.5 year fight.

On other news, the summer has been beautiful here and Lulu is having lots of fun with all the visitors we've had from out of country and state. It's been a whirlwind of a month with lots of activity and little sleep. I'm looking forward to actually finding a bit of some mellow routine for the rest of this season.

Sadly, we've also had some very close friends experience large losses. One lost her father to a heart attack and another couple experienced the loss of a child (stillborn)--the worse kind of loss possible, imo. I have great compassion for these close friends of ours especially with my dad's death still under the year mark. My memory of the process and pain is still very clear and on the surface.

Regards to you all!

Are most women Social Workers?

This is a cute (and wry) anecdote from my hubby. He sent this in an email to a friend of ours we will call "meme"...

"Today Lulu and I went to the park with our dog Rocco and we saw your friend (I can't ever remember her name, but she owns Snowy the white dog) Anyway their conversation went something like this:


Lulu: Hi lady


Lady: Hi Lulu


Lulu: Are you meme's best friend?


Lady: Oh, I'm meme's good friend, yes


Lulu: Oh, Are you a Social Worker?




Lulu: Bye now I have to go chase Rocco


It's amazing how much this little girl hears/knows/understands...

The Time Draws Near

Our next court date is July 24th and supposedly the judge should TERMINATE PARENTAL RIGHTS (TPR)...but as you all know, nothing seems to go as planned in this case!

It seems that the phone is ringing often with people who need to see me and meet Lulu and write reports for the next court date. We've got the office of her attorney's investigator coming, and the foster licensing people, and her social worker and who knows what else!

Birth-mom says she is flying out of state on the 4th of July...if that actually HAPPENS, it can truly be an INDEPENDENCE day for us! That means that this Friday would be
the LAST supervised visit;
the LAST  weekend of  nightmares and little sleep for days after;
The LAST time of having our schedule inconveniently interrupted.;
The LAST time of having to deal with people's stupid interpretations of Lulu's behavior, when they don't know what she is like normally.
The LAST time of me worrying about some silly this or that that someone said...

Everyday, I try to just let go and release the control I don't even have. I focus on being with Lulu, loving her, disciplining her (Two is soooo fun that way!), being a stable force in her life.

I really like the idea of an Independence day, though. That's a really nice thought.

Trying not to laugh...

Context:  So, Lulu is supposedly eating dinner and I'm trying to take a few minutes to update my theology blog...

Slurp, slurp, slurp...

hmmm. that does't sound like Lulu.

I look up and there is Lulu "feeding" her dog a "baba" through the straw of her sippy cup. So much for the price of milk.

Me: Lulu! don't feed him your milk!
Lulu: completely ignores me
Me: Did you also feed him your turkey meatballs?
Lulu: Yes!


I can't laugh because then she will do it again and again.

We do watch baby animals being fed bottles on the animal channel, so it might be my fault. Except that I told her that her doggy is not a baby and DOESN'T need a bottle...But, she ignores me all the time!

It was pretty funny!

Age has become so fluid

Tonight we are going to another high school graduation celebration. Even though we have a TWO year old many of my peers have children that are graduating high school! sigh. Yes, we are in the same age bracket...what did I do wrong? We will be OLD when Lulu graduates from HS!

Ah, not.

Age is fluid. How old you are is so much a state of your mind and lifestyle. We will be going strong and YOUNG even in 20 years! yay! It is true that my body is not the same as when I was 20 (nor my energy level), but seriously, it's not THAT big of a difference.

I wonder how other "older" moms of tots feel?

I feel wiser and calmer and not so worried about every little thing...but that's just me.

A new Social Worker!

Last Friday, Lulu's new social worker called and she sounded sane and down to earth--very calm and mellow, seemingly unflappable. I was planning on calling the supervisor on Monday to find out who she had assigned and was pleasantly surprised to be pre-empted!

SW came for a visit today and stayed for over an hour. It was a calm and relaxed experience. She was also very helpful in figuring out how to get a passport for Lulu so we can visit our relatives that are out of the country.  What a different experience from the other SW's visit last month. I realize that I pick up on people's emotional states, b/c that one had me feeling very nervous and insecure. Turns out, their office is a lot quieter now that she is gone (according to new SW).  New SW is going to talk to birth-mom about relinquishment, since no one has told her anything. I have no idea how BM will respond, but that sure would make our life even easier if she relinquished...PRAY...

Lulu is at that fun almost 3 stage and all the whining drives me bonkers! Yet, I still love her to pieces. I am simply very grateful that she still takes naps so I can have some none whining time everyday!

If we can get a passport for her we will be able to visit hubby's family in another country at Christmas and see our new nephew! We are supposed to be the godparents and his family is waiting for us to come for the ceremony. The baby was born in May :-)

I planted flowers yesterday with Lulu--she wasn't much help, actually...but it was fun and the colors look great!

So looking forward to fun, lazy summer days hanging out with friends and walking on the beach...Ahhhh....

Drop me a line, or comment in the blog, and let me know how you are!

Surprisingly GOOD NEWS!

My hubby sent an email out to some and I will get around to another email this next week, but for the few who read this blog...

We got a different judge last Thursday!!
In two minutes it was over.
The Agency was denied its continuance and the judge ordered the TPR (termination of parental rights) hearing for 7/24. He used his "discretion" to move things along!
Additionally, the birthmom came out of her denial long enough to choose the right course of action and stop fighting the inevitable! She DID NOT ask for another trial and DID NOT want a continuance either.

I'm absolutely stunned. My friend (Lulu's soon to be god-mother and first foster mommy) and I walked out of that courtroom giddy...
After 2.5 years we finally get another judge and WHAM a decision is made?


I was going to title this blog "The County receives SMACK-DOWN from Judge"
That's what happened. He practically laughed when they asked for a 90 day continuance....
uh, no. Not going to happen.

She's ours. They can't take her away.  The incompetence stops. (sorry to all the wonderful dedicated overworked SWs out there...but ours made this journey miserable...)

Breathing a big sigh of relief....

I talked with the Lawyer

He cleared up a few things for me like if for some bizarre reason the new social worker doesn't recommend adoption, the next link in the "permanency plan" chain is guardianship.  He assured me that they wouldn't "give her back" after the kind of testimony the judge heard (really, he's a commissioner).  Eventually the parental rights will be terminated; it just looks like Lulu might be 3 by then!

I had a big sigh of relief and the lawyer apologized for not telling me sooner that she wouldn't be returned! He also told me to talk to Lulu's lawyer about getting her a passport so we can finally go out of the country to see relatives and friends. We have a new nephew that we need to visit!

The lawyer also reminded me that the SWs don't listen to any of us anyway. They will do what they want to do. He said I was lucky that I got phone calls returned!

It was encouraging hearing his stories about things going awry in the appellate court only to finally be fixed eventually in regular court--encouraging in the sense that this will happen in the end, no matter how many trials (literally) we have to go through in this system.  She's not going back. This is her home.

Until then, I will file whatever I can legally. Will be very assertive with the SWs and hang on....