The main source of my chaos...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

There was an old lady who lived in a shoe...

I can soooo relate to that old lady.  If you're reading this, you probably already know that in addition to my own 5 kids, we have two new (temporary) foster kids.  The little boy is 22 months old and the little girl is 10 months old.  They're very, very sweet and we're enjoying them. 

First of all, let me apologize to all those who were unfortunate enough to have to sit by me and my flock yesterday at the volleyball games.  I should probably personally refund you all your admission money.  I don't think I'll be trying THAT again.  Bringing two little ones is hard enough - four just isn't any fun at all.  I'm thinking a hiatus from ballgames may be in order until the two new babies get moved to their other foster home. 

I got them last Tuesday and they were supposed to be moved to another foster home today, but it looks like we're going to have them at least a couple more weeks.  That is, unless DHR decides to show up and do an impromptu inspection.  If that happens, they'll probably take them ALL away and condemn the house.  Let's just say that I named the blog appropriately.  Chaos doesn't even begin to cover it.  :(  I keep thinking, "oh well, it's just laundry...and dishes... and crumbs.  It'll all be here when I DO get a chance to tackle it".  I'm actually going to be home all day today, which never happens, so hopefully I can do some strategic planning with naptimes and get them all down at one time.  I might have a chance to sweep or something! 

Hope you all have a good Tuesday.  Although not a fan of cold weather, I'm loving the coolness in the air this week.  THIS is football weather.  Roll Tide!! 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hey... No Fair!!!

Last Friday, Yuri's class had a special day devoted to the letter "T".  She had a tea party, had to wear a tutu and a tiara, and take her teddy bear with her.  She was so excited! 

I love T day! 
Gigi, on the other hand, was not happy that she didn't get to do the same.  Here's how she feels about "T" day.... 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Brooms don't make good bridges...

Sometimes I don't blog until I have something serious to blog about.  Well, today is not one of those days.  I'm blogging today to let you know that if you are planning to use your broom as a bridge between the couch and the recliner, it won't work.  Just ask Yuri and Gigi.... 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

One of *those* days!

When I named my blog "can you say chaos?", I must've been foreshadowing yesterday.  Yikes. 

I'll have to back up a bit and give you some history first.  Hunter hasn't felt well for a couple of weeks and he called me on Tuesday to let me know he was "spacing out" at school.  He really couldn't articulate it any better than that, just that he couldn't concentrate.  So, when he decided to come home yesterday, I got him in to see the doctor. 

Here's where the chaos starts... I'm almost to the doctor's office to meet Hunter when Karlie's volleyball coach calls.  Apparently Karlie has injured her wrist playing volleyball and she isn't doing well.  I said "you mean it's broken?".  He said, "well, I don't know, but I think she's about to have a seizure."  (Karlie was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 6).  I told him I was in Decatur but that Willard was home and I'd send him to pick her up. 

So I go into the doctor office with Hunter.  After talking with Hunter, doing an exam, and drawing blood, the doctor says that based on Hunter's description and the family history of epilepsy, he thinks Hunter may be having petit mal seizures.  Well, that's just great.  He's having an EEG first thing Monday morning.  This means he'll miss classes on Monday, and it also means that if his EEG does indeed show seizure activity, we have to deal with many issues, including driving a car.  !!! 

In the meantime, Willard calls and says that the school nurse thinks Karlie's wrist may be broken and she will need an x-ray.  He heads to Cullman to get an x-ray while I wrap up Hunter's visit.  Turns out that her wrist just appears to be sprained, but she'll need another x-ray next week to make sure there's not a fracture in the growth plate that isn't showing up yet.  She said she never felt like she was having a seizure.  Her wrist was just hurting so bad that she was seeing spots and thought she might pass out. 

In the midst of all this, I realize that Willard was supposed to pick up Yuri and Gigi from daycare, but he's in Cullman (with the car seats).  I'm in Decatur and he's in Cullman, Yuri and Gigi should have been picked up 30 minutes ago.... luckily, Haley Rae was home and was able to dig out old car seats from the garage and go get them. 

I realize I'm hungry but it's too close to supper to really eat, so I swing through Chic-Fil-A and get a vanilla shake (you know, the one with whip cream and a cherry!). 

Before I even take a drink of my shake.... Oh, look... I missed a call from my social worker at DHR.  (By the way, ANY time DHR calls, you come to learn that SOMETHING is going on).  I call her back and she answered with "never mind, we found someone".  Apparently they had picked up two children (ages 4 and 2) and they wanted me to take them for a few days.  I just start laughing.  I laugh because that's ALL I need - two more kids to add to an already unbelievably stressful day.  And I laugh because had I ANSWERED the phone the first time she called, I WOULD have two more kids to add to an already stressful day! 

I still haven't taken a drink of my shake because my family and friends are calling to check on Karlie, but a melted shake is still tasty so no big deal, right?  As I turn off Danville Road onto Wynn Wallace, the entire shake tilts and dumps into the floorboard.  I don't even drink or cuss, but I have to admit at that moment I wanted to do both! 

The day eventually settled down.  All my kids were tucked in safely at home by bedtime and Gigi slept all night.  That's got to be a sign that today will be a better day! 


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

How Lluri Bargas became Yuri Garnett....

Last Thursday was technically Yuri's 4th birthday, but it was her FIRST as an official Garnett. I'm about to tell you the story of how Lluri Elizabeth Bargas became Yuri Elizabeth Garnett.

Many, many times over the last 20 years, I told Willard I wanted to be a foster parent. I needed a fix to baby craving and that seemed like a good way to do it. He repeatedly and sternly rejected it ALWAYS. He had this ridiculous idea that I would get attached and never want to give them back. Seriously?? Me???

So one day I walk into church and there are little Hispanic kids all over the place. I didn't even know the Weaver's and the Tyson's were foster parents, but they suddenly had six little ones between them! These kids were so sweet and I immediately had the "awwwww" reaction. Willard started shaking his head and I could read through the lines. No way, no way, no way... it ain't happening! So as the Weaver's and Tyson's had foster kids coming and going, I just enjoyed getting to see them and resigned myself to the fact that fostering was something our family wouldn't be doing.

I'm not sure of the timeframe, but maybe a year later, I got a picture on my cell phone from Cindy Weaver. She and Dennis had been on their way to Smith Lake for a 4th of July weekend of camping when they got a call from DHR asking them to head back into town to pick up a 9-month-old baby girl. They agreed, as long as they could take her camping! So, on my phone came across this sweet picture of a little brown baby girl. They didn't even know her name, so they were calling her Jewel. She was adorable. Come to find out, her name was Lluri. In Spanish, I'm told, the double L makes a J or Y sound, so when pronounced, it comes out "Juri" or "Yuri", depending on the accent of who is saying it. In my mind, she was "Yuri" from then on.

So, me and Haley Rae and Karlie immediately begin stalking the Weaver's. We would fight over holding her at soccer games and football games. We begged them to let us babysit her. She was absolutely adorable, but the thought of foster parenting was tabled. Willard had squished it like a bug and made it clear that our family would not be fostering. Ever.

I believe Cindy was the first one to notice this, but then we all started noticing it too. Whenever Yuri saw Willard, she immediately lit up and started reaching for him. She liked him more than she liked me or either of the girls. Now, if you know us, you KNOW that's just plain WEIRD. He's big and he's scary-looking and kids typically run the other way. Not Yuri. She would sit in lap at games and be so content. It was really bizarre, to be honest.

So, we're sitting at a football game in September and Yuri was sitting in Willard's lap. She kept reaching up and rubbing his face and beard, and looking at him with those big brown eyes. He looks over and me and pretty much mumbles, "if you still want to do that foster thing, go ahead and sign us up". WHAT DID YOU SAY!?!? I don't think I even answered him. I just waited until Monday morning, called DHR, got the paperwork, and started filling it out. I was afraid to question him because I was scared he would change his mind!

The paperwork involved is unreal. There are basic questions, family history questions, financial questions, and then "touchy-feely" questions. There's one section where you can put what kind of child/children you are interested in fostering. Willard kept telling me to put "Hispanic girl less than one year old". I was like "ummm... that's kinda limiting our options, don't you think?". I finally had to say "Willard, look, you know we're never getting Yuri, right?" She's with the Weaver's and that's going well, and... well, it's just not going to happen. I started worrying that he would be disappointed in any child other than Yuri, but I went ahead and completed the paperwork.

A few weeks after I submitted the paperwork, I got a call from Cindy Weaver. She said "guess what? I just picked up Yuri's baby sister at the hospital". Her what? Apparently Yuri's mom was pregnant! Cindy and Dennis were automatically called to take her when she was born because they keep siblings together if at all possible. So, enter Giovanna Noemi Bargas into the world. Sean (the Weaver's biological son) realized immediately the Giovanna was far too big a name for a 6 lb. baby girl, so she became "Gigi".

Well, you can just imagine the Garnett's... we kicked it into HIGH-gear stalker mode. I know Cindy was so sick of seeing us. We thought of every excuse in the world to "be in the neighborhood" as often as possible. We couldn't get enough of Yuri and Gigi!

Around the first of December, me and Willard are talking one night and he gets this look on his face. It's a look I've come to recognize. He doesn't have it often, but when I see it, I know something serious is about to come out of his mouth and I know that whatever he is about to say is something he's been thinking about for a while. One time it was "I think I'm going to open a lawnmower shop" just out of the blue.  Most recently, it was "I want to move to Belize" (that's another story... stay tuned)  But on this particular night, he says "I can't explain it, but I think I'm supposed to be Yuri's daddy." I didn't quite know what to say. I mean, that can't be possible. I tried to laugh it off. We can't go to the Weaver's and say "Willard thinks he is supposed to be Yuri's daddy, so hand her over". ?? It's obvious to me that he's serious and struggling with this, so I just don't know how to respond.

About 2 weeks later, we went to a Christmas supper at church. At the end of the night, Dennis walks up to me and hands me Gigi. He said, "You want her?" I, of course, said "Yeah, I want her. Give her here". He said, "No.... I mean, do you WANT her? DHR has told us that the girls won't be able to go back to their mom and they're going to eligible for adoption. DHR wants to move them to an adoptive foster home soon so they can be bonding with whoever is going to adopt them". I was floored. In all of our conversations, Willard and I had always discussed FOSTERING. The word adoption wasn't even on the radar. But the minute I processed the thought, I knew God had just worked out how Willard was going to be Yuri's daddy.

Cindy and Dennis Weaver walked into our house on February 8, 2008, and handed our family the most precious gift anybody ever got.

Loving them and making them a part of our family was the easy part. Making it LEGAL was not so easy, but that's another story.

On May 11, 2010, Lluri Elizabeth Bargas and Giovanna Noemi Bargas officially became Yuri Elizabeth Garnett and Giovanna Grace Garnett.

There were a million reasons for us NOT to foster or adopt, but there were TWO reasons that we should - and they're laying in the floor at my feet right now coloring in a princess coloring book.