I know there are a few of you waiting on news……here’s the update.
THE NEW KIDS ARE HOME!!!
So let me back up and tell you how it went.
We finally got all the paperwork between the states, all that was required to complete the packet, arrangements made with foster parents and scheduled to meet the kids Friday, October 25; with official placement happening November 4th.
We did still need to do the staffing calls with the foster parents, the kids’ worker, our worker, worker supervisors, etc.
We decided to leave a week early and we told all involved that we’d pull over and do the staffing calls while on the road. They kept us posted via text and phone calls.
So…we left October 16th and headed to Alabama to visit Travis and family. Because yahoo maps and reality are different….we got to their house Saturday the 19th instead of Friday the 18th. Missed a whole day visiting with them plus we were not able to stop and visit my Aunt along the way since we were a day behind.
We visited with Travis and family from Saturday, late afternoon until Tuesday morning. We had loads of fun.
Ryann and Samantha are getting so big. They are so smart (they are in advanced classes in school).
While there, we got a tour of the base and air field. Went to the Air Museum. We went to church with them as well. It was a great service and felt so good to be in church with Travis and family again. It has been awhile.
Tuesday we headed to New Orleans. Dave helped with the Katrina clean up in 2005. He wanted to check out the changes in the past eight years. So we spent the night in New Orleans.
This is the sunset over Lake Pontchatrain as we came in.
Driving through New Orleans is a harrowing experience!!!
Oh my word!!!!
Wednesday morning we headed south to Venice and on down the peninsula. I thought it would be an hour drive or so. By the time we got down there and back up to New Orleans, it was five hours!
We were suppose to make it to Jason’s house for the night. Yeah…that didn’t happen. We told him we wouldn’t be there until midnight or so and decided to meet another day.
So we headed north to Shreveport area. I was never so happy to leave an area as I was to leave New Orleans.
I won’t say “never” but I hope to never return to New Orleans again!!!
We made it to just the other side of Shreveport about 3am. We pulled over and slept in the van. Then headed on into Ft. Worth and our hotel on Thursday.
We were suppose to meet the kids Thursday after school and then pick them up for the weekend Friday after school.
All those plans changed as we traveled.
So….we picked up the oldest at his school and brought him with us to pick up the three little ones.
Instead of a meet and greet…it was a meet and let’s go type of thing.
Then Friday morning their caseworker brought the three middle kids to us at the hotel.
I could tell you foster parent stories about all this but I won’t. Suffice it to say…..Grrrrrr…..
Back to meeting the kids.
When we got to the school to get the Nehemiah (15), he immediately shook Dave’s hand, but I told him I prefer hugs. He hugged me
He was animated during the drive to get the littles. Then ended up falling asleep (it was 60+ miles thru Ft. Worth down to Dallas….nearly 90 minutes).
When we got to the littles’ (Symphoney 6, Logan 4, Jeremiah 2) house Logan ran up to Dave yelling, “Daddy. My Daddy. My very own Daddy.” Dave scooped him up. Logan hugged him tight. Then looked at his face. Rubbed his hair. Hugged him again saying, “My Daddy”. Then Logan would touch his mouth, his cheeks, checked out his ears, hugged him again and you guessed it, “My Daddy”. He did this over and over.
The caseworker and I both just about lost it.
Jeremiah saw what Logan was doing and he was saying “My Mommy” and hugging me. He immediately began saying bye to his foster parents.
Symphoney was a little more reserved. We got a hug then she began to panic a bit. Good thing Nehemiah was there. He talked to her and calmed her down. She was still a bit reluctant to leave with us though. By the time we got back to the hotel she was doing well.
We went for pizza for dinner. Logan got his first experience of we say what we mean and mean what we say.
Friday morning when the others arrived….Adam (13), Faith (10), Dennis (8 ) …… Adam dropped the rubber made tote of clothes he was carrying and ran to us with open arms saying, “my new mom and dad” and we got a super bear hug. I was surprised at that. His worker said from talking with them that he was the most excited.
They all stayed with us at the hotel until Tuesday afternoon.
We went to the science museum. The zoo. The park. Hung out at the hotel. We went to the store.
We also drove three hours south to go see Jason and family. What an adventure that was trying to keep the kids entertained for three hours each way.
Jeremiah, at 2 1/2 years old, did not take a nap in either direction…well, he did finally go to sleep about 30 minutes before getting to the hotel.
On Tuesday, the kids’ worker came to the hotel to pick up Nehemiah and take him back to his foster home (actually dropped him off at school to take the bus home).
We left right after and took the three littles back to their foster home. We left there with Jeremiah screaming and crying for us and Symphoney not even speaking to us. She wouldn’t give us a hug or nothing.
We grabbed all their belongings and brought them home with us.
Then we headed back to the other side of Ft. Worth (the littles were just south of Dallas) to take the middle three back to their foster home. The whole drive there, Faith begged us not to take her back to the home.
We left them sad too.
We also got their bags of belongings to bring home with us too.
Dave and I had a quiet dinner that night. Exhausted! My voice was hoarse. The hotel room seemed quite empty and too quiet.
We packed up and headed home Wednesday morning.
We stopped at a bus company in Denver on the way back to check out a bus we saw on Craig’s List. It was already sold.
Got home Friday early evening.
Enjoyed doing some catch up with the other kids on Saturday and doing some last minute things to prepare for the new kids.
Sunday the kids were to arrive at 1:15. Brandy and her family went with us as we were now a family of 17 and our van only seats 15. So Robert drove our Excursion, which seats eight and there are only six of them.
Dave’s mom and brother met up at the airport as well. The kids had made a welcome home sign and waited for the new kids at the bottom of the escalator.
It was great!
Monday the caseworkers (three came along to keep the kids in tow) and our worker came over to do the official placement (lots of paper signing).
We’ve had a week and a half of getting settled. Getting to know each other. Finding personalities. Learning likes and dislikes on food.
Teaching the little guys that food will be forthcoming and they just need to learn patience.
We’ve seen differences already.
They are off their meds, except their sleeping meds. We figured that we’d let them continue with those for now, because of the excitement and newness still going on. We have knocked it back some to try and wean them off.
I want the kids to teach their bodies to maintain themselves without some little pill to help them out. We worry that they think a pill will fix everything. We don’t want addicts.
The girls have decided to change their names. So Faith is now:
Nehemiah hasn’t decided whether to change his name or not. I think he feels some loyalty to his birth mom in keeping his name. He’s gotten after the other kids about changing what mama gave them.
Adam wants to change his but then doesn’t want to.
Dennis changed his middle name to Joseph.
We changed Logan’s middle name and I’m trying to think of a shorter middle name for Jeremiah.
Jeremiah William Butterfield just seems so loooooong!
We’ve had a few meltdowns, me included. Some because of our rules, others because of the noise level, still others because we had to close a door and panic set in (grrrrrr…..foster parents).
We are happy to have them all here. I told one of the previous boys today (after a meltdown of “there are too many kids in this house”….
….we went into this adoption thing thinking we wanted to adopt two girls.
God apparently had other plans.
He changed our hearts and our minds about just getting two. Never would I have believed that the Lord would call upon us to adopt 15 kids!!!
I’m still in shock at that number. We have 18 kids total!!
I know the Lord has called us to this…no one in their right mind would think to adopt, or even have, such a large number of kids in one family.
I am thankful the Lord did call us to this because honestly….which 13 would I give back? I’m loving it all.
Well….that’s our update in a nutshell.
I have all kinds of stories already. Some good. Some not so good. (foster parents….grrrrr).
Thank you for following us on this journey. Hang on for the ride!
The first Sunday together. All 15 ready for church. We made it….we were only 5 minutes late