We survived the first week!

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Well you must read this post in order to understand that we just received a newborn foster baby, making our total to 6 kids and this past week has been kind of a blur at times (don’t ask me for a specific detail at a specific time, I might not remember).

Usually when most people are pregnant, they have 9 months (or more) to prepare for newborn-hood.  We all know that the last trimester when you are literally carrying around a basketball, and can’t sleep, and have to get up and pee all.night.long is preparing you for a newborn keeping you up around the clock.

Shane and I decided that I would be the one getting up all night since I stay at home and Shane would need more sleep for work, and let me tell you.. it sounded good initially, but me and sleep have become long lost friends.  I know this phase doesn’t last long, and it’s so different formula only feeding a baby since I did half breast/half formula with my own.

But even though nights are long, making the days seem that much longer, I am loving every moment of having a newborn around again.  Getting to love on her, to know her likes/dislikes, to know how and what to do to console her sweet precious heart when she cries, is the best thing in the world.

Of course my hands are full, but so is my heart.  The good times definitely supersede the bad, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this precious baby girl and I am so glad that God saw fit to make us her guardians during this time.

I will attach some pictures (of course her face is blurred due to privacy rules/regulations per foster care).

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©2017 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

2 days old and oh so great!

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So yesterday we got a call from our Agency stating that a newborn infant (2 days old to be exact) was needing to be placed due to drug exposure and her other siblings were already in foster care at this time.

We of course said yes, and couldn’t wait to meet her!  She came to us around 9:45pm (when all the kids were already in bed) and we got to hear more about why she was removed and what the plan of care is for reunification at this time with both of her parents.

It was an eventful first night between our 1 year old baby girl and now with her both waking up at different times, but it was oh SO good knowing that we are helping out each of these girls, and restoring them to health before returning back to their parents.

It just feels so good holding a precious newborn again, let me tell you! They are just so innocent, and fragile, and 100% dependent on you.  So amazing how God has placed each one of these precious kids in our house to love on, and comfort and care for in these past 11 months since becoming foster parents.

The children have ALL been so smitten by a new baby girl in the house (especially Brielle), and the older boys can’t wait to come home and love on her some more!

So now we back to the Great 8 number, and we will love on, pray for, and care for baby girl each and every day while she is in our care!

(the baby in the top picture is not our baby girl, but I will leave you with some precious blurred pics of her!)

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©2017 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

The final visit

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Being foster parents, you know in the back of your head, that every child placed into care may possibly be up for adoption.  The likelihood of that happening is very slim, but it still gives you hope.

Our journey has been far from easy, and these precious boys of ours (ages 8,6,3) have been through so much in their short life.  On Thursday May 4th, my boys had to say goodbye to the only parents they knew–their birth Mom and Dad.

Throughout the past year and half, they have looked forward to the visits with them every other week (even if the parents tested positive, CPS still let the visits happen) unless the parents cancelled, or didn’t show up.  They have gotten to know them in a supervised setting, and felt safe and secure knowing that nothing could happen during their hour visits.

On the day of the final visit, I told my boys I would be the one taking them and picking them up.  I let them know that since they were aware that their parents cancelled this “goodbye visit” twice already during the week, that if they cancelled this last and final chance, they would not get to say goodbye (per CPS rules/regulations).

I felt SUCH a relief when their birth parents showed up to the visit, because each one of my kids wanted to buy them gifts and give them things as well for them to remember them by.  Each one of my kids picked their own picture frames, with one of their favorite pictures that I printed for them to place inside the frames. My oldest foster son (8) also picked out a nice Jordan hat for his Dad, and some really nice earrings that he thought his Mom would like as well.

There were no tears shed before/during/after the visit from any of my kids at the final visit. My conclusion is that God protect them that day.  I prayed hard that God protect their precious hearts and cover them with His goodness during these hard times, and that prayer was more than answered.  I feel like they had cried all they could before the visit took place, that when it actually happened, they were okay.

If the biological parents don’t appeal the termination of rights, then we get to move forward with adoptions and that would start the process in July.

Thank you for just having the rights words to say to us during this time, and for always being so uplifting and encouraging.

©2017 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

 

The “talk”

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So on Monday,  I had to do the thing that I have been dreading since the day the boys came to us and they said “they might be up for adoption one day in your near future” to Shane and I.  Little did I know though, that the process to get here would take this long, and take such an emotional toll on everyone involved.

After termination of rights happen (which you can find a little more about what happened at our trial here), then CPS must tell the children what is about to happen, and that they will only have one more visit with their parents known as the “goodbye visit”.

The legal worker arrived on Monday afternoon to our house, and spoke to me outside for a minute stating that she would like me to start the conversation with the boys and she will feed off what I say, and then allow them to ask any questions that they are wondering/thinking.

I can’t go into a LOT of detail about word for word on how the conversation went, but let let me tell you..telling them that they will no longer have any contact with their parents after this last visit, and knowing how much that must truly hurt to hear, pulled at my mama heart strings so much.

I know the conversation needed to happen, especially for my 8 year old foster son because he was the one was so bonded to them, and wanted his parents to “stop doing bad stuff”, so he could go back home to them. He broke down sobbing when he realized what was happening, and I just held him so tight in his room while he weeped into my chest.  It truly broke my heart.  My 6 year old foster son, definitely handled the news way better than I thought he would, but he could be masking his emotions as well.  His phrase after myself and the legal worker were done talking was “that’s great, now we can get adopted!” and my 3 year just told me “I don’t know what you’re talking about” and then started laughing.  I even broke it down into toddler terms, and I am not quite sure he even understood it then.

I hope and pray that God continues to give them strength, just like it says in Isaiah 40:31 “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint”.

Please keep the Johnsons in your thoughts and prayers as we are transitioning into new and abundant stages in our life and our journey! ♥♥

©2017 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.