The Last Night

It has arrived. The last night.

It’s Annie’s last night in prison. Tomorrow she’ll walk out the gate to a colorful, fast-paced, noisy world that she hasn’t seen in nearly four years. She’ll have new choices and responsibilities. She is both excited and nervous. Getting out of prison is a relief but it is also overwhelming. Continue reading “The Last Night”

One Month Until It All Changes Again

As of today, it will be exactly one month until Annie, the birth mom’s, release. I have already arranged to have the day off and will be going with Annie’s father and two of my kids to whisk her away from the prison.

I’m learning that getting out can be frightening. Annie has heard from others that when you are released, everything is overwhelming. Continue reading “One Month Until It All Changes Again”

Mothers’ Day 2016

Which is it officially? Is it “Mother’s Day” or “Mothers’ Day?” I’m not sure, but for my family this year “Mothers'” is the appropriate spelling.

Although we are not seeing Annie (younger kids’ birth mother) today, she is still a part of this day in a way she hasn’t been in previous years. A couple of days ago, I received an e-card from her, along with comments of thankfulness that I am the kids’ mom now. I sent her an e-card today. Continue reading “Mothers’ Day 2016”

The Girl’s First Visit

Again, thankfulness. Annie has thanked me many times for renewing her relationships with my children, her birth children. Today, though, I found that I am the one feeling very thankful for her.

I am thankful for the way that she is showing the kids honesty, repentance and love, and challenging them to find the better way. She worries about them, like I do. What I can’t do, she can do from experience Continue reading “The Girl’s First Visit”

Guest Blogger – the Birth Mom!

I asked Annie if she would be willing to share her story with you. She sent this to me today. When she refers to “losing them” it is when the birth parents made the choice to have me adopt the kids instead of continuing to fight D.S.S., a battle they would have eventually lost in court.

“I am a recovering junkie in prison. I was sentenced to 3 years 10 months. I have been down now for 30 months. But my story starts way before. I had everything. The husband, three kids, and a home. That’s before opiates entered my life. Slowly we started to lose everything. First my husband lost his job. Then we lost our home. We moved in with friends. But as always that never works. So we ended up in a homeless shelter. I hated it there and called my mom, who lived in a two room apartment and asked to come live with her. She of course let me. While living there my oldest son was hit by a truck. He survived by the grace of God. But my children were taken away from me. That drove me further into my addiction. Then my marriage went south. We both ended up in prison. For different reasons. But the underlying reason being drugs. My children were adopted by an angel sent by God himself. I couldn’t ask for a better mother for my children. For the longest time I thought I was an awful person for losing them. But in my time in prison I had a wise friend sit me down and explain that she didn’t think I was awful at all. I wanted them to have a better life. I was strong to realize that I wasn’t the best for them. Continue reading “Guest Blogger – the Birth Mom!”

The Boys’ First Visit

 

As we rode in the car and drew closer to the prison, the chatting stopped. The boys and I sat in silence, wrapped in our individual thoughts about the upcoming visit with their birth  mom. The boys were excited and nervous. I was nervous as well. I had been nervous for my initial visit with her, but was more so with this visit. The stakes were higher now that the kids were involved. This week the boys were visiting. Next week it will be Katelyn’s turn. Continue reading “The Boys’ First Visit”

Beyond Wading

I went to prison today. I’d never stepped foot in one before today, but today I became a visitor. I wrote a recent post called wading in with the birth mom.  Today I stepped in much deeper, going alone to visit my youngest kids’ first mom. She is the one who gave birth to them and was the only mom they knew for the first 6, 10, and 11 years of their lives. Continue reading “Beyond Wading”

My Little Boy Becomes a Tween

Eleven already? Conner is my youngest child. Although he turned eleven today, I have only known him since he was five. He was my student then, in one of my kindergarten classes. He was a sweet boy and I enjoyed having him in class. The next year, he became my foster child, at the age of 6 years and 8 months. He is the only one of my four children that I had as a little kid.

It has been precious. He’s been the only one to hold my hand, kiss my cheek, or snuggle with me on the couch. He’s been the only one to excitedly Continue reading “My Little Boy Becomes a Tween”