Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A New Adventure!

As we were finishing the Bible study that meets in our home tonight, I got a phone call from our agency. I had spoken with them this morning about keeping someone's twin 2-year-olds over spring break, so I ignored it, thinking that I would call back once everyone had left. Then, my husband's phone rang (as usual). Then, my phone rang again, then my husband got a text message. Then I got a text message. We were getting the idea that this was about more than respite care for spring break.

The original information we received was that there was a 6-month-old African American girl in need of a foster family. We talked about it and decided we would do it! We were told we wouldn't pick her up until tomorrow afternoon and that this would probably be at least a 3-6 month placement.

A few minutes later, we got another phone call that this baby was actually only 6 WEEKS old. My husband and I skyped with his sister, and we spoke with both of our moms to get a handle on items we should gather before tomorrow afternoon, so now we are on the hunt for a frame stroller, an infant car seat, a play mat with hanging toys, a bouncy seat, an infant sling or carrier, sleep sacks/swaddlers, burp cloths, and pacifiers.

Here we go again!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Letter for Zizi's Parents

This was the letter we threw together at the last minute for Zizi's parents. The more I read it, the more I see things I might have changed, but we cling to these promises:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, 
because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: 
first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
Romans 1:16 

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, 
and do not return to it without watering the earth 
and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower 
and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: 
It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire 
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:11

Dear __________________,

What a joy it has been to care for your daughter these past couple of weeks! We have had a blast watching her curiosity, seeing her learn new things, and hearing her fun laugh all day long. It has been evident to us that she has been loved and well cared for by her family. Then, over the past few days, it has really warmed our hearts to see Zizi light up when she's near you, and to see you all shower your love on her.

As we hand her back over to you, we want to be clear about why we do what we do. We don't do this because we are "good people." We certainly don't do this because we are wealthy or think we're better than anyone else. We do this for one reason and one reason only:

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: 
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8

We are daily overwhelmed by Christ's love for us and how little we deserve it. Our prayer is that, in some small way, we have been a reflection of Jesus Christ to your daughter and to each of you in this process. Know that He loves you more than you can even imagine. Know that there is nothing any of us can do to earn His love, and know that He is desperately seeking to have a relationship with you.

We will continue to pray for Zizi and for both of you - that God will be present in your lives. Scripture tells us that His love will always prove faithful. It will never fail (1 Corinthians 13:8). People are destined to fail us and disappoint us. Likewise, we are destined to disappoint ourselves, our friends and family, and God. Praise the Lord that His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23), and there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:39).

Much love and grace to you,
Mr. & Mrs. _________________ 
Zizi's Foster Parents

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


It was another crazy day in our little world, culminating with Zizi riding off in a different car than ours...on her way to Chicago with her dad. I'm not going to go into any details of the case, but I'll shed a little light on the experience.

Satan tried so hard to ruin this day. Zizi woke up happy and had a great breakfast, good play time, and went down for a somewhat early nap. Meanwhile, I tried repeatedly to get in touch with the transporter who I thought was going to pick her up and take her to her visitation at noon. At 11:00, I finally got a call back informing me that through an unfortunate miscommunication, the transporter was not coming and I was now responsible for getting Zizi to her visitation. I frantically packed her things and headed out to the court house. I was in tears on the way as I thought of all of the things I wanted to do during those 2 hours to prepare for the court hearing.

I had planned to shower and dress nicely for court, print a photo and scripture passage to frame and send home with Zizi, write a letter to send home with Zizi's parents, and make one last pass through the house to gather all of Zizi's things. As I drove to the courthouse in my pigtails and sweatpants, with no letter in my hands, and with no grace in my heart, I just broke down. Somehow, I had romanticized how this process was going to go. I had in my head these golden opportunities that were going to present themselves when my husband and I were going to be calm and collected, and we would have just the right words to say to these parents to extend God's grace in the midst of a difficult situation. Instead, I had spent 2 days in the middle of a broken system that seemed nearly hopeless, completely surrounded by people who were extremely difficult to love and lawyers and social workers who were jaded and depressed. It was probably one of the most depressing environments I had ever been in. I looked around at one point and thought...what a tremendous difference it would make if the church of America brought the light of Christ into this dismally dark place. What a difference it would make to have even 1 or 2 more faces among this crowd that were marked by grace and peace.

But...I digress...I made the long drive to the courthouse, praying, but struggling to get my heart in the right place. I was at the point where I just wanted to drop her off, go home, and never step foot in that courtroom again. As I got off the interstate and drove up to the courthouse, the song I Will Rise by Chris Tomlin came on the radio. I had such a powerful moment of worship as I belted out these lyrics and believed them deep in my heart. I bolded the words that really spoke to me this morning:

There's a peace I've come to know 
ThThere's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail 
There's an anchor for my soul 
I can say "It is well"

Jesus has overcome 
And the grave is overwhelmed 
The victory is won 
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name.
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings 
Before my God fall on my knees 
And rise 
I will rise

There's a day that's drawing near 
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

Jesus has overcome 
And the grave is overwhelmed 
The victory is won 
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

And I hear the voice of many angels sing, 
"Worthy is the Lamb" 
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

As I walked into the courthouse, I walked with confidence. He is worth this. It is worth going into dark places whether or not I see any evidence that I am making a difference. If nothing else, being in that place gave me an even richer understanding of the depth of love God has for humankind, a longing and expectancy for heaven, and the urgency we should feel to speak redemption into the hundreds of broken lives represented in that place. I'm not even sure I'm capturing this well in words, but it was a really spiritual experience for me.

I took Zizi inside, but then I drove all the way back home to get ready and scarf down lunch. My husband and I rode back together, and on the way, we wrote a letter to Zizi's parents. When I have a chance, I'll transcribe it here so that you can see what we tried to communicate. We really struggled with the words to say, but we felt good about the final outcome.

Shortly after we arrived, Zizi ended up asleep in my arms and slept on my chest for almost an hour throughout all of the court proceedings. That was a really sweet time for me. Once court was over, we were ushered into a private room with a couple of case workers and with Zizi's parents to train them on how to change the dressings on Zizi's burn. What a sweet gift from the Lord! We were able to encourage them, teach them, shake their hands, hand them our letter in person, and pass Zizi off to her father. Then, we all went outside. My husband and I went to gather Zizi's loot from our car - homemade gifts from my mom and my mother-in-law, a teddy bear and blanket my mom bought for Zizi before we even knew who she was, and clothes we had picked out for her in the beginning. We brought it all to the family, and started to walk off when Zizi's uncle came and asked, "Do you guys want to say goodbye?" Of course we did, so we gave her hugs and kisses, made her giggle a couple more times, and then handed her back.

The Lord was so faithful to us today, and we both left with a positive feeling about His provision in her life. More than anything, we felt a sense of satisfaction that we had been obedient to what the Lord had asked of us and that He was in control of whatever may come in the future.

So where will we go from here? I have a few loose ends to tie up at work, and we have company in town this week. We're planning to wait until maybe the end of next week or beginning of the next to accept another placement. Then, we'll see where the adventure takes us next.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Well, yesterday and today have been interesting days. I'm going to try to capture them for you without getting too long-winded.

Yesterday, we took Zizi to the hospital to get a "second opinion" on her burn. While there, I met Zizi's mom, dad, grandmother, grandfather, brother, uncle, and several other family members. The good news is that Zizi obviously loves her family. She lit up when she saw them and instantly reached out to her mother. Her mom played patty cake with her in the doctor's office. It was so good for me to see their strong bond, but it proceeded to be one of the most awkward situations I have ever been a part of.

I was there with the owner of our foster care agency, and thank goodness she was there to speak up and take care of logistics. My brain was going in so many different directions, I wouldn't have known what to do. I won't bore you with details, but here's a little glimpse of what was going on in my head:

"I think she needs a new diaper. Should I offer to change it or just let the mom take care of that? She's starting to get fussy...maybe she's hungry. I have some dinner, but I don't know what mom would think if I pulled it out. The mom doesn't know anything about the burn recently, so I'm answering all of the doctor's questions. I don't want her to think that I think I'm better than her. I hope she can sense that I care about her and her family. ...I hope dad didn't notice a look on my face when he came over with that thug hat with rhinestones all over it."

Meanwhile, the actual visit was almost silent. You can just imagine the tension.

OK...now fast forward to this morning. We all met again at the courthouse. Zizi's dad practically met me at the door to take her out of my arms. Then, I was content to stick with the agency social workers for the rest of the day. Then, around 10:00am, the social workers both had to go into other cases, and Zizi's DFACS worker told me that I needed to go keep an eye on Zizi and make sure that her family didn't take her anywhere but the waiting room.

Wow...could I think of anything I'd like to do LESS?? Talk about feeling holier than thou and judgmental! Yikes...but I had to do what I was told, so I did my best. We had a few positive interactions. I took the family a picture we had taken of their sweet girl, and Zizi's uncle brought her to play with me for a second at one point. All-in-all, though, it was an hour and 45 minutes of awkwardness. Oh, and I forgot to mention that we weren't allowed to bring in cell phones, so I literally had NOTHING to do but sit and watch.

She finally went in at 11:45, but she was a little fussy (imagine that!), so I had to step out with her. After about 10 minutes, everything was done, and we were told to report back tomorrow at 2pm. My agency social worker informed me that Zizi would probably go home with her dad tomorrow after court, so I'll need to pack her things. My husband and I have the option of being there or not. We're still praying through the pros and cons of being in attendance.

And that was it! I drove home, and Zizi got a little cat-nap in the backseat. She's still completely exhausted, but now she is literally screaming upstairs not to fall asleep. What a mess of a day! I have so many thoughts to muddle through. Once I have a chance to do so, I'll try to blog a little more introspectively about this whole ordeal. Thank goodness it is over for today. Be in prayer about tomorrow.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I love my husband!!

I debated titling this post "Kids Are Gross," because those are the 2 thoughts that have been going through my mind all day. I decided I better settle on the more pleasant of the two.

Last night and all day today, I have been battling a nasty stomach virus, and I'm pretty sure that Zizi is the one I have to thank for that. I won't go into the reasons that I think her to be the culprit. I think we can just all agree that kids are, indeed, gross - just a bunch of walking infections waiting to happen. It's a good thing I love this girl so much!!

Now onto the real subject matter of this post - my husband. I hate to say it, ladies, but I think I somehow managed to snag the best one out there! Really and truly...all night last night and all day today, he has managed to take care of me, take care of cranky Zizi (who had waffle house for lunch and no naps...you just never know what you're going to get when the transporter brings her home), take care of the dog, sanitize the house, and still manage to make us all laugh in the process. Often it is so easy to take our family for granted, but tonight...let me just shout it from the rooftops that I am more madly in love with my husband than I have ever been before.

Baby, even though you're sleeping in the other room because I have contaminated this one, I adore you and thank God for bringing you into my life. Sweet dreams.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


That's my temperature tonight. I've been flirting with a fever all day. It has given me a new respect for you stay-at-home moms. Thank goodness I had a few hours of reprieve when Zizi went to visit her mom, but during the rest of the time, I certainly was not my best self over here. I listened to Zizi cry a bit more than I wanted to today, because I just didn't have the energy to play with her the way she wanted.

However, late this evening, as I was counting down the minutes until bed time, the Lord proved faithful to his promise in  2 Corinthians 9:8 - "And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."

I was feeling pretty whimpy (and guilty on top of it all for not being able to be the best mom possible to Zizi today). Then, all of a sudden, Peanut started barking at some dogs that walked by our house. "Oh great," I thought. "As if the night could get any worse." Then, scared Zizi ran to me with terror in her eyes, crawled up in my lap, and snuggled with me for a solid 5 or 10 minutes. That was just what this mom needed to change her attitude, muster up some energy, and pour into this little girl for 45 more minutes before bedtime.

Now, Zizi is sleeping soundly, and mom is about to do the same. Please pray that I wake up feeling much better tomorrow. There is no parent visit tomorrow, so it's all me...all day...YIKES! It's been done by many of you, so I know I can do it, but certainly not in my own strength. Thanks for your prayers.

FYI - Zizi's mom had nothing negative to say about the disappearing braids...whew! She didn't even redo it! I might consider that my greatest accomplishment in a long time...haha.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


They came out tonight. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, but thank goodness my friend, Stephanie, was here to lend a hand and some words of experience. I hope Zizi's mom doesn't hate me for taking them out. I think I'll write her another note to explain the fact that they were dotted with apple sauce and cottage cheese.

This was something I had been prepared for many times by many people, but I totally underestimated the challenge of caring for her hair. Tomorrow I am investing in a shower cap for meal time. We'll see how that goes. Maybe if I'm lucky, I won't have to wash it again until after her court date on Tuesday.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Prayers for Zizi

We have known from the beginning that we would be temporary parents for this sweet baby, but the reality is still difficult to face at times. Zizi will go to court on Tuesday, March 22, at 9am. That's when the judge will determine the next step for her - to return to mom, stay with us for a while longer, or stay with a different family member. This will be a big day in Zizi's life, and we want to cover it with prayer.

If you are interested, we would love to invite you to our home on Sunday, March 20 around 3:00pm to pray for Zizi and the events on March 22. This is nothing formal or lengthy.  Stop by for 5 or 10 minutes if you'd like. Bring your whole family! We would just like to give you the opportunity to minister to Zizi in this special way.

If you're not able to pray with her in person, feel free to pray wherever you are! Just remember her, her mother, the judge, my husband and I on that day. Here are some things we are praying for:
  • That the Lord would watch over Zizi for the rest of her life. That He would continue to put people in her path who will point her toward the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and that He would keep her physically safe in whatever home she is placed.
  • That the judge would be wise and discerning as he sorts through the details of the case.
  • That Zizi's mother would be drawn near to the Lord, and that my husband and I would do whatever is in our power to display His abundant gracy, mercy, and love to her every step of the way.
  • That the Lord would be glorified in Zizi's life and through this entire process.
  • Last, but not least, that Christ's peace, which surpasses all understanding, would be with my husband and I on the inevitable day when Zizi is placed in her permanent home.

Bebe and friends

I am so thankful that there has been nothing outstanding to blog about this weekend. Over the past couple of days, Zizi has been able to be a regular kid again - playing, napping, and eating when she's supposed to. She's also enjoyed the company of many new friends. One of those new friends was my mom, who we call Bebe.

Bebe came to stay with us all weekend and was a HUGE help and a wonderful encourager to have around. Bebe and Zizi read books, played games, went on walks, and just had an all-around great time. Bebe also helped me with laundry, meals, clean-up. Her presence will surely be missed in more ways than one! Zizi also has a Meme (my husband's mom) who lives nearby, and we look forward to some fun time with her tonight.

What a sweet sight it has been to watch so many people at church, in our home, and in our neighborhood love on this sweet girl and give her a sense that she is precious in the sight of the Lord. If nothing else, that is a real impact we can make.

We've also had a couple of friends bring us meals. Meme hand-made Zizi a girly burp-cloth that she loves and picked up several other things for us along the way. I just stand in awe at the support that we have from our own family and from the family of faith that surrounds us. Zizi is visiting with her mom right now, but I can't wait until she comes back so we can go play at Meme and Poppy's house!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child...

...does not apply to foster parenting.

Poor Zizi woke up at 9:30 this morning...went to visit her mom at 10:45...returned at 2:50, taking small cat naps throughout that time in the car seat.

Then, I tried to keep her awake until the DFACS case worker arrived. She was supposed to be here at 3pm. At 3:45, I gave up and put her down for a nap. At 4pm, DFACS arrived and had to see Zizi and undress her to make sure she was not being mistreated. Zizi had not fallen asleep yet, so we went and did just that. (sidenote...Zizi hates nothing more than being undressed and changed). After we undressed her, I saw Zizi do something brand new...she clung to me like her life depended on it. She would not go to that DFACS worker. She has had it with today and wants to get some sleep!

DFACS left at 4:30pm. My husband and I wanted to go on a walk and take the stroller. Too bad neither of us could figure out how it worked. At 5pm, my husbandwent up to try one more time to put her down for a nap, but at 5:15, we have finally thrown in the towel.

Poor baby...she's going to be fussy for the next 2 hours until bed. Too bad my mom's on her way in town as we speak to babysit tonight. Pray for a restful night and some normalcy tomorrow.


Another overdue update...here are some photos of our functional (but certainly not designer) nursery. Zizi doesn't seem to mind. Now, if I could just get the door to stop shutting automatically!! I can't tell you the number of times that Zizi and I have been downstairs playing and heard Peanut's whimper over the baby monitor, letting us know that she had, yet again, gotten herself stuck in Zizi's room...that dog...

Poor Peanut

On a lighter note, one of the funniest moments of this whole thing was the night when the baby gate went up. Poor Peanut...ever since that moment on Monday night, she hasn't quite known what to do with all of these new items, people, and commotion surrounding her.

By the way, you deserve an update on Peanut. She stayed with my parents for several weeks after the incident. She went to the vet and to doggy day care several times, both of which remarked how shocked they were that this dog would have bitten anyone. We continue to wonder what exactly happened that day. We're getting some help from the dog trainer who sold us Peanut. We're also watching her like a hawk and making her lay on her bed or go to her crate whenever Zizi is on the floor. They have met several times, and Peanut has done nothing but love on her and lick her toes. We're never going to drop our guard with Peanut, but for now, we think we'll keep her. We're really praying hard that this is a wise decision and if not, that the Lord would make it clear what we should do with this sweet puppy.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

So much better

A sweet friend sent me an e-mail a couple of nights ago in the midst of my meltdown, which said, "May God give you exactly what you need moment by moment as you love on the beautiful baby girl I was privileged to meet." What a sweet prayer and how amazing it has been to see it answered time and time again. Last night, Zizi slept 13.5 hours. This morning she's been sleeping for 13 and counting. Yesterday afternoon, her transporter (doesn't that sound like some sort of UFO or something??) picked her up and took her to a Family Team Meeting, so I had about 4 hours in the afternoon to go shopping for a few things I really did need after all and get things organized at home.

This was good for a couple of reasons:

1. I needed some time to think and get my head wrapped around all of this.
2. I missed Zizi!! Missing her for those few hours was such a neat way for the Lord to reenergize me for her return.

Since then, we've had a great time. We visited the church last night, where Zizi made tons of new friends. Then we went home and went right to sleep. This morning, I was hoping to take her to special children's music program at church called "Tiny Tots and Tunes," but I think sleep is a much higher priority. Later today, we're going to have lunch with my office and possibly visit my husband's office. Then, we have the whole evening free to PLAY!

Before I go, let me share one more sweet God moment that happened yesterday. I had planned to attend the Family Team Meeting with Zizi, our agency case worker, Zizi's mom, Zizi's mom's case worker, and tons of other people involved in the case. Unfortunately, the weather was terrible, and my nerves got the best of me, so I stayed home. We did, however, send this note to Zizi's mom:

Dear Ms. ___________________,
     We really with that we could be at the meeting today to meet the woman who has raised such a sweet, beautiful little girl! Unfortunately, the weather has prevented us from being there, but if we were in your shoes, we would want to know a little bit about the people taking care of our child.
     We want you to know that we are praying for you through this whole process. We don't know a lot about the situation, and we don't care to know. We are here to support you by taking care of [Zizi] and loving her to the best of our ability.
     We are simply here to be servants during a difficult time. Know that we love you and your daughter and are praying for you both often.
Much love,
[Zizi's] foster parents

I didn't know if the note would even get to her amidst the hussle and bussle of the meeting, but later that night, when I was flipping through Zizi's diaper bag, I found this note:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. _______________,
     I, [mother's name], am thankful for you and please keep us in your prayers.
Thank you,
    [mother's name]

We are really praying that the Lord will use us to minister, not only to this sweet girl, but to her mom as well. Please join us in praying about that.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I'm laughing as I read my last post. Right after I posted, everything kind of hit the fan. Thank the Lord I have the greatest mother-in-law ever who came and spent several hours with me. For some reason, it always feels better to have a buddy, and I was really missing my husband.

After I posted, I got word that Zizi would have a visit with her mom after all, so I quickly got lunch together and fed her, packed a bag for the lady who was coming to transport her, and got mentally prepared to have a couple of hours to myself. Then, the transporter arrived, we loaded Zizi into her car seat, and they were off! 10 minutes later, they were back at my door. Zizi's mom apparently had to cancel the visit. Unfortunately, Zizi had already fallen asleep in her car seat. I tried so hard to get her upstairs without waking her, but the second we got to the crib, her eyes opened. She cried for about half an hour before she finally fell asleep. Then, 45 minutes later we loaded the car and headed to the pediatrician's office.(We hunted looooooooong and hard for a pediatrician who would take Zizi as a new patient.) She slept all the way there, did great in the office and slept all the way back. When we got hone, she had dinner & a sponge bath. We changed her diaper, gave her a bottle, and put her to bed...


Now, it's confession time. I would love to say that at the end of the day, this is such a rewarding experience that the exhaustion and stress all feel worth it. I can't say that tonight. Shamefully, tonight my emotions are yelling "This has been great, but about tomorrow...can I go back to normal tomorrow? I'm really missing my time with my husband, with friends, and at the office with my fun coworkers. I'm missing a life that was easy and predictable, and I'm not sure I'm really ready to sacrifice that." Fortunately, from day one, this has not been a decision based on emotion. The Lord knows what He's doing, and as a sweet sister in the Lord told me tonight, He's going to give me everything I need...every step of the way. I should be in bed now, but all I want to do is snuggle on the couch with my husband and my dog and watch TV.

Please rest well tonight, little one. I can't wait to see you in the morning.


OK...I am officially a terrible blogger. This may be a long post, but I'll try to keep it simple. Suffice it to say that this has been a beyond crazy weekend.

My parents came in town this weekend, and on Friday night, my mom, my husband, and I went to see David Platt speak at a dinner in town. I won't be able to put into words the impact that his words had on each of us. As he exited the stage, you could have heard a pin drop among all 300 or more people in the room. No one clapped...no one said anything for several minutes. It was a lot to soak in, and it was a real inspiration for my husband and I to re-energize about this decision.

Saturday was a long day. My husband and his dad spent the whole day painting the nursery. I owe them big time. Meanwhile, my parents and I went shopping. Here was the shopping list:

2 sets of twin sheets for the bunk beds donated to us
crib mattress
booster seat with tray
foam pad for bottom of sink at bath time
burp cloths
baby lotion
baby shampoo
baby powder
first aid kit
rectal thermometer
children's Tylenol
children's Ibuprofen
child toothbrush & toothpaste
baby monitor
stuffed animal & cozy blanket from my mom
big Lego's
stackable ring toy
board books
changing pad & cover
plastic plates and spoons
cabinet locks

That's all I can remember, but there may have been more. I'm really trying to stick to ONLY the necessities, but it gets difficult to discern what those are. Everyone has their own opinions. I guess we'll learn as we go.

We spent Sunday setting up the nursery - putting together the crib and bunk beds, organizing donated clothes by age, setting up the changing table, etc.

Then...Monday (yesterday) at about noon, we got a phone call. A sweet 9-month-old girl who we affectionately call Zizi (not her real name), would need a home that night. Could we take her? They had a few more details, but I'm not really able to share any of those. I frantically called my husband, who was (of course) unavailable,  but I finally got him on the phone, and we made the decision to jump right in.

Little did we know that it wouldn't be until 10:30pm that we would finally have that sweet baby girl in our arms ready to go home and go to bed. She was understandably exhausted and had a hard time deciding that she wanted to go to sleep. I was laughing at myself trying to troubleshoot this situation. We walked around. We bounced up and down. We laid down and watched the fan. We rocked in the glider. We sucked on our passy. I hate to admit it, but at one point, she was trying so hard to tense up and stand up that I bear hugged her for several minutes, hoping that she would learn to give up the fight and say yes to sleep. That did not work...I do not recommend it, but the funny part was that the second I gave up on that, she pulled up, turned around to face away from me and leaned back on my chest. She instantly closed her eyes and went to sleep. Haha...she knew exactly what she wanted. Her silly caregiver just couldn't figure it out.

After that, my husband and I went to bed. She fussed just a little bit around 1:30am, but she went back to sleep quickly and slept until 7:30am! Now, her foster mom on the other hand could not quiet her nerves until about 3am. I can't tell you how many times I quoted scripture in my head last night trying to quiet my fears and my insecurities. Now, I should be catching up on that sleep, but I couldn't keep all of these details to myself any longer.

This morning, my husband and I had the new challenge of feeding this little one. I picked up some bananas and carrots and a fleece sleeper at Walmart last night on our way home. The agency sent us home with formula and rice cereal. This morning, Zizi ate about 1/4 cup of rice cereal, 1/3 of a banana, and 6 oz. of formula before she fell asleep in my arms. Now, she's been sleeping for about 2 hours, and she's still going strong!

After she went down for this morning nap, I got a call from her CCFA coordinator. That stands for Comprehensive Child and Family Assessment, and these are the people who will work for the next 30 days to assess the situation and come up with the plan by which Zizi's parents can earn their right to have her back. Being so new to all of this, I pretty much believe anything I'm told, which makes me quite a pushover. Our agency asked that we always direct DFACS workers to call the agency instead of coordinating with us. Of course, the second this lady called and said that she wasn't directly with DFACS and didn't need to speak with the agency, I believed her and may have already gotten myself in a bind. They want to arrange 4 visitation periods a week!!! Yikes! Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday! When I got off the phone, I called our agency, and lo and behold, they would have rather I ask them to call the agency to coordinate. Oops! For all I know, the CCFA lady may show up in a few minutes and want to take Zizi to visitation. I have been told to pretend that I am not home...haha...what a mess! Why can't I just have a backbone every now and then?

Rather than pretend, I think I may take this girl on the road. There are many people who would love to meet her and love on her, so here we go! I hear her crying now after that solid 2-hour nap. You go girl! Now, let's go have some fun!