The rest is still unwritten..

Blank Space

So our foster baby girl, who is now 16 months old, just recently had her permanency planning hearing (to talk about what all is going to happen during her trial on Aug. 31st).

It went different than I expected, and I was actually not allowed in the room (due to construction, and they had to fit about 20 people in a tiny room–including the Judge to discuss the case), and I kind of did not mind.

In the past month, CPS has chosen to fight for termination of parental rights for baby girls mom and dad, and want us (a non-relative) to adopt her. While this news alone sounds amazing, there is so much more that goes into a decision like that, and they only want what’s best for the baby.  Up until this point, they have wanted her to be placed back with biological parents.  When that didn’t work out, and they returned her 3 weeks later back to our house, they quickly changed their minds.

So as I was waiting anxiously to hear what the parents were going to do I was praying a lot.  Praying that God would place her where she needs to be, that He would allow the parents to see what a true blessing of a child they have and that they would want the best for her as well, and just praying over the everyone involved in this case.

Everyone started coming out into the open area (where I was sitting) and the lawyer for baby girls mom came up to me and asked if I/we would be open to communication with mom through letters, and pictures as baby girl was growing up, since she was thinking about relinquishing her rights over, knowing that her baby girl is safe and flourishing in our home right now.  So of course (without a doubt) I said yes, and I almost felt like crying in this moment (especially watching the biological mom cry) knowing that this must be the hardest thing in the world to do (give up your child for the sake of their future/success), and I admire her so much for wanting us to raise her child.

I was also waiting to hear that the Dad wanted to do, and he wasn’t sure at the time of the hearing that he wanted to relinquish his rights too, or if he wanted to go all the way with the trial and fight this case.

It wasn’t until 2 days ago that I got an e-mail from our caseworker stating that BOTH of the biological parents are wanting to relinquish their rights, meaning now there is NO trial in August, and once that goes through, we are going to start the process of ADOPTING our baby girl!!

We are so beyond thrilled to be given this news (because with our boys–we are still in the appeals process which is taking forever, so we thought adoption was so far away for our family) and we can’t wait to finally publicly show her pictures, announce her name, and call her a JOHNSON!

Though this process is long, a lot of paperwork, a LOT of sleepless nights worrying about if you are doing what’s best for these precious kids, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I loved baby girl like she was our own from the very first day I met her, and we can’t wait to make it official hopefully this year or early next year!

Thanks for reading and following along still (my life has been a bit chaotic and crazy lately but I was so happy I couldn’t wait to share the news with you all)!

©2017 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All rights reserved.

 

Birchbox February Review!

I love beauty products, and ever since becoming a parent to 5 children, I wanted to gift myself something for Christmas this year, and that was a 12 month gift certificate to BirchBox beauty products!

I did my second beauty product review, with a LOT of mishaps from behind the lens, and ended up shooting it with my cell phone.. so I know the image quality isn’t the greatest, and I say um… A LOT! haha!

Let me know what you think of the products, hopefully I described each of them well!♥♥

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

 

Developmental Delay?

delay

So today was baby girls major Developmental appointment.  This was one of the MOST important appointments we were excited about, since discharging from the hospital 3 months ago.  This appointment was the tell all.. to see how baby girl is growing and developing after being a micro preemie.

a micropreemie or micro preemie is defined as a baby that is under 1 3/4 pounds (between 700-800 grams) and is generally born before 26 weeks gestation, but most people prefer to loosen this term up to include any baby under 3 pounds (1500 grams) or under 29 weeks gestation.

Our baby girl was born 4 months early, making her gestational age only 24 weeks.  At a small 1 pound 8 oz., bleeding in her brain, holes in her heart, and on the ventilator… she had a rough start at life.  God gave those sweet nurses the love and strength they needed to use to fight with her/for her to save her precious life.

Once we discharged from the hospital when she was 4 months old, it was crazy how small and fragile she seemed at just 7 pounds.

These past 3 months at home I have worked with a team of people (from doctors, to therapist, to specialist) to give me ways I could help improve her strength/endurance/mobility and overall loosen her stiff muscles.  Is it a LOT more work than a regular/healthy newborn?  Yes! But is it so worth it? Yes!

So now that you have a little back story, the appointment today was testing her Gross motor skills(movement and coordination with legs, arms, and other large parts of the body), Visual Reception (being able to interpret the environment around you by processing information contained in visible light), Fine motor (the small muscles and how they coordinate together), Receptive language (the ability to understand information), and Expressive language (the ability to speak certain words to form a language). They used her adjusted age (making her only 4 months old at this test) to do this exam, and her results are amazing!

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She actually met her goals and surpassed them by one month on 3/5 categories! They gave me some more ideas on what to work on, when to start foods, and a lot of REALLY helpful handouts that I could see and some websites to utilize as well.

Thank you to for all of your amazing prayers for baby girl, and please continue them as we have a lot of developmental progress going to be happening in these next few months!

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

 

Readjusting Expectations

This is section three of the 30 days towards connected parenting.

In this section Sara speaks about having too high of expectations for our little kids. How we expect obedience, we take away their choices, we minimize feelings, and expect perfection.

This is so true in so many ways, and when we stop to think about it, we do it every single day without ever noticing it.  I am definitely one to say that I have high expectations for my daughter.  I want her to always strive to be the best she can be, in any given situation.  I used to hate taking her out to eat, because she would never sit down in the high chair that they provided, or in a regular chair.  She would have to stand up and taste a little bit of everyone’s food at the table.. the whole meal.  I knew this topic would hit me hard, and here is the questions that were asked at the end of the prompt.

What expectations do you have of your children? Are there any that you’re still holding onto that might be negatively affecting your relationship? What are you working on letting go of to allow a deeper connection?

  1. I would say that my expectations that I have for Brielle is to be honest, to have manners and not just demand/take something she wants, to respect others and herself,and to know that in any circumstance is it EVER ok for her to hit, kick, bite, scratch, or intentionally hurt someone else (that will result in an automatic time-out).
  2. I definitely think the one major expectation for her that I just need to let go of, is perfection. I want her to really do great in life (as I am sure that many parents want the same for their own children), but I do tend to get upset when she messes up something that I know she knows and understands, or I tend to want to fix the 1 out of 5 shapes that she did not trace completely correct.
  3. I now understand that my behavior for her to be perfect, is because of my own insecurities and upbringing.  I never was the best at any sport, or mastered anything in school (I was good but not great at math), people didn’t idolize anything about me, and I see myself wanting that for Brielle.  I want people to look at her and go “wow, she’s so smart at …., or I wish I could teach my child to kick the ball like she does” etc., etc. I just want her to know that if anything ever happens to me, that I was the best possible mom I could be and that she learned as much as she could during the time she spent with me.  I am going to work on letting go of my high expectations and being proud of who she is, as her own individual.