In the trenches

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I was listening to a podcast (you can find out more here) and they spoke about being in the trenches and watching God speak to you (and through you) during that time.

Since May is National #fostercareawarenessmonth I wanted to let you know how we have been deep in the trenches, and what all helped us during that time.

Fostercare is kind of like riding on a REALLY long rollercoaster, most of the time.  Between court hearings (and there is usually between 3-5 within the first year), traveling to and from all of the required appointments, counseling, and visits with the parents, you sometimes find yourself in the trenches of it all.

I remember many times where I just broke down and asked God “can I really do this?” “am I made out for this” and many more similar questions.  The overwhelming paperwork, the countless amount of people in your house all.month.long and the having to put your trust in such a broken system, can sometimes catch up to you.  BUT you know what?  You don’t stay in the trenches and yes you can do it!   You see the milestones that your foster children are able to reach, you see the LOVE that is just poured out of them with happiness and joy, and you see that you are making a difference in the life of that particular child (regardless if they remember it) forever.

Every one of us has gone through something (or will go through something) that will test our faith, our friendships, our marriage, etc.. it’s what makes us human.  It’s how we respond to that test that shows who we are as a person.

Did it hurt when we had to say goodbye to Gracelynn and watch her go back to people that we knew wasn’t the best for her? Yes! Did it hurt watching the boys have to suffer for SO long watching their biological parents string them along the entire way, just to disappoint them in the end? Yes! But it’s those trenches that God called us so fully depend on him and trust that everything would work out the way He intended on them to!

I am so glad that I have been through the good times and the not so good times with foster care because I wouldn’t be able to write this post with three beautiful adopted children that I get to call mine each and every day.

So friends, remember that when you are the trenches, it’s only temporary and that you can and will get through it (through faith, prayer, and action)!

Let me know if there is anything that you have questions on that I could help you with! I thank you all for continuing to follow along in our journey and know that I love and appreciate every single one of you!

©2018 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

 

Still in shock.

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♥ 379 days

♥3 hearings

♥ 1 trial

♥A LOT of ups and downs.

♥LOTS of hugs, cuddles, and kisses.

♥Sadness/heartache/pain when we had to say goodbye.

♥HOPE for the future once she returned to us after 2 weeks.

♥ Finally 1 answered prayer (that was prayed many times during this journey).

Today August 31, 2017 marks a day in history for the Johnson family. Today was the day of the trial for OUR baby girl (well our 17th month baby girl). Today God answered our prayers and led us to a place where we never in a million thought we would be this early in the journey of foster/adoption(because this usually takes years to get to).

The trial was set for 1:00p.m. in San Antonio.  I received a text message at 10:00a.m. from baby girls attorney saying that both the parents were already in the court room and both of them were agreeing to relinquishing their rights as baby girls parents. 10:17a.m The next text stated that it was official and the judge signed off, and they were no longer their parents and that baby girl would go straight to adoptions and be up for adoption within the next couple of months.

While this is never what we pictured happening, or even thought it was possible, it touches my heart so much that they are choosing to do what’s best for their baby girl and give her the best possible life with us.

I literally want to shout from a roof top with all of my excitement right now, but I have 3 kids napping at the moment.

I am hoping and praying for not only baby girl, but for her parents who are losing such a big piece of their life today.

I agreed with the biological mom that pictures and updates would be sent of baby girl and that Shane and I would see in the future about meeting up once a year around her birthday to get together. It isn’t official but I definitely want to keep my word as much as possible, because baby girl is our world and Shane and I are FOREVER grateful that they brought her into it.

I can’t wait to share the next journey of our lives with you all, and I am so ready to be babys girls forever mommy!

Image credit: here

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

 

Half a year old, already!

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Height: 20 inches

Weight: 10 pounds even with our at home pediatric scale

Likes:
-To smile!
-To spit up… yep, she’s a spit up baby! But I must say in the last month she has gotten tremendously better!
-To be awake! This last month has definitely led to more awake time!
-To suck her thumb!(yes, she will get out of her swaddle to get that right thumb in her mouth!)
-Her swing, she just loves that thing.. and so do we! 🙂
-To take a bath..but the water must be juuuuusst right, or else we will hear it.

Dislikes:
– Exercises she is supposed to be doing to help loosen up the muscles
– To be cold.  She loves to be warm/hot and wrapped up all the time.. but let her think she’s cold.. and we will hear it!

Teeth: Still no teeth

Language:
None yet.. BUT the babbles have definitely started, and they are OH so cute! Love her cooing noises!

Upcoming:

Family visit (every Tuesday this coming up month for 1 hour)

MD appts: Pediatrician(Sept. 29) Dentist (Sept.27)

Monthly visits with team (now just legal worker and case worker)

ECI (early childhood intervention coming now twice a month to work with baby girl)

OT (Occupational therapy) coming out next week to evaluate and decide how many sessions/month they are going to do

Mama and Baby massages will be starting up soon as well, and she qualified for 5 sessions and they are done in the comforts of our home! Can’t wait for that!

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(Her face was protected due to her being in CPS care at this time)

©2016 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Unexpected

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Sorry I have been MIA for the last week, I went on a cruise (which I will be posting about soon) and just got back home 2 days ago.

I have been trying to somehow manage having 3 kids 3 and under, and have them all fed, clean, changed, and happy  content. It has been awesome having my parents and my husband (shane) help SO much when I was gone and even when I am here.  Thank goodness for my village.. it’s so so good!

So just imagine you get home from vacation (5 days) and you want to relax, unpack, do laundry, hug and kiss and love on your kids.. BUT you get a phone call from the legal worker for baby girl saying that he is on his way to my house to do his first monthly visit.. UNANNOUNCED.. um WHAT?

I literally had a million thoughts running through my head such as:

  • I haven’t been home to see what kind of condition it was in since I left
  • My kids are going to be SO excited to see me, they are going to act up in front of new people
  • My animals (dogs) were outside roaming the land and they need to be put up before he gets there
  • I need to make sure everything is put up that should be.. (basically your house has to be perfect at every visit and make it look like you don’t have 3 kids who destroy it in less than 5 minutes, living with you)

It was crazy!  I had about 20 minutes to get things together before the legal worker and his supervisor arrived at my house and thankfully Shane cleaned up as much as he could during his lunch before he had to go back to work.. and my parents agreed to stay and keep the older two distracted so that I could just focus on baby girl and answer all of there millions of questions they have about her (that they basically ALREADY know).

Let’s just say.. two toddlers who were wanting to nap, wasn’t the prettiest of sights.. thankfully they kept them all in Brielle’s room and played.. and I answered as much as I could before having them walk through my house to make sure everything is up to “standards” with having baby girls needs met here.  It was a very stressful afternoon and I was so glad when it was over..

Well.. fast forward two days later (to today) and the CPS licensing lady decided to show up to my house UNANNOUNCED as well, to make sure our foster/adoption agency was doing everything they should be doing with us, and keeping up with the “standards”.. Well  when I saw her car pull up to my driveway (insert panic mode here) and I noticed my cell phone was going off and it was her, I knew it was going to be bad. I just didn’t know how bad it would get.

Well, let’s just say that I had 3 happy, content kids before she arrived.. and of course she was a stranger, so little man immediately attached to me until I told him it was ok and he could go say hi, Brielle doesn’t like too many new people (actually she is not a people person at ALL, so she had a meltdown when I told her that she couldn’t hold the baby on the couch and sit with me), and of course baby girl woke up and realized it was time to eat.. all within the first 10 minutes of this lady showing up..

I was SO nervous/anxious and starting sweating thinking of all the possibilities that could be going through her head seeing all 3 of my kids throwing tantrums (which they RARELY ever do at the same time), and judging how I would handle the situation. SO what did I do? I called Shane to get off work early (practically begging for help) so he could take the older two kids out to eat lunch/go play at the park, etc.. while I just had baby girl and the lady here so I could focus properly and answer her millions of questions so she could leave faster.. UGH! Thankfully Shane came and took the other ones and it was finally peaceful and I could feed baby girl and get everyone taken care of. Talk about CRAZY!

After doing a walk through (yet again.. thank goodness my house was clean this time since I had been cooking/cleaning/doing laundry ALL morning) and then going over how she doesn’t have to come for another two years (THANK goodness), she wrapped her things up and left.. I could finally breathe.. Shane brought the kids back and everyone (all 3 kids, plus all 3 of my animals) went down for a nap and I have a moment to just realize how crazy this foster/adoption journey is for us! Not easy at all, but God blessed us with the ability to do this and He always comes through to help me. He is such a good God!

Please say a small prayer that no more people decide to just show up at my house unannounced (which is allowed in this crazy system) so I can finally relax for the next couple of days before working this weekend!

©2016 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.