Saturday, January 30, 2016

Other Christmas related fun . . .

Seeing Christmas lights with friends . . . so warm we could just walk through them . . . Little Lady THRILLED with this display!!  

School Christmas parties . . . 

 pinning Jesus to the manger . . . LOL

Little Lady and Tim got to sit front row at the Nutcracker on a daddy/daughter date!  I was SOOOOO jealous!!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Christmas Programs

Christmas, as always, brought programs for the kids in both school and church.  We were very proud of our kids.  They each had a little part in the church program and did so well.  No pictures of Chunky Monkey as Joseph or Little Lady as herself (reciting a poem and song) but here are some of Andrew.  Our church did a cute little take on Star Wars and Andrew was a Storm Trooper.

Little Lady and Andrew were both in the choirs at their school program too.  See them in that crowd?

Chunky Monkeys school did a unique take on a program this year.  Instead of the kids doing a program the staff did a program for the families and had a "Polar Express" day for the entire family.  Here is Chunky Monkey getting our family ticket stamped before we went in.  Lots of crafts and activities to do as a family once we got in.  A cute little take on a program.

Lastly, on Christmas Eve our church had a service and the Pastor asked four members of the congregation to do some readings.  Andrew was asked to represent the children and read.  We were so impressed and proud of him.  He sat up on stage the entire service and read all his parts without losing his place once.  Very cool for a kid only 8--maybe preaching is in his future.  :-)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Foster Parent Dinner

Our foster agency hosts this Christmas dinner every year to honor their families and the children involved in the "system"  I LOVE so much about this party.  I LOVE that its formal and the little girls (and boys) get to get all dolled up and fancy.  Many of these kids have never, or at least rarely, had that opportunity to be treated like kings and queens.  I LOVE that no one knows which kids are foster kids, which kids are adopted kids and which kids are biological. It gives everyone a level playing field and they can just be kids.  I LOVE that they take family photos.  So many of us are uncertain of how long we will be a family so getting photos taken all together is difficult and often ignored but its so important for the kids to feel like they are a part of a family unit and getting photos they can take home is a great way to do that!  I LOVE that Santa comes and brings the kids each a gift.  They will all get gifts from their foster parents (and the agency) on Christmas but to have Santa talk to them and then give them something right then really means a lot to them . . . I'll be honest and say I don't understand why it means so much but having witnessed it now for two years it really is special.

My FAVORITE part this year by far was seeing this little group of girls dance together.  Little Lady and some other girls started dancing in a group.  The best part for me was that one of these little girls was ALSO a foster in my house for a few days when she was first put in care.  She was frail, malnourished, infected from a surgery and just a baby . . . now she is healthy, dancing in a circle with my Little Lady--neither of the girls remembered each other but seeing them both healthy and knowing how far they have come really made the night for me.  There were dozens just like them there . . . but two of them were once "my girls,"  just really special for me.

The theme this year was the "forever families" that were formed in 2015 and there were photos of those families around on the tables and  cake to honor their adoptions.  What hope it gives to the families and kids who are hoping to be adopted that other families have successfully adopted this past year.  It's also pretty cool to have the party honor those forever families.

I know many of the kids and families are close to reuniting with their birth families as well . . . this can be extremely happy but stressful for everyone involved, so this party is the perfect way to just relax, enjoy the night and dance your cares away.  Oh and on that topic, Andrew got to be a guest DJ at the party.  He was THRILLED to learn how to play the songs for the people dancing and it made him feel very important.  The DJ even let him talk into the microphone and pick a song.  He had a great time and wanted to stay longer to keep "working"  Thanks to the ever patient DJ for letting him have this opportunity.

When our time in foster care is over I hope I can still play a part in this dinner, it means a lot to me and I think its such a worthy cause.  Thanks to Try Again Homes again for all you do to support us in this roller coaster journey called foster care!