Saturday, March 31, 2012

One Day at a Time

Here's the thing. You can read the books, go to the training, talk to the experts (other foster and adoptive moms), have adoption experience under your belt, be parenting a two year old and still be completely unprepared for a day like, today.

It started out fine. It actually started very early. I heard giggles and whispers from the room next door at 6:15am. Given the early start and the blustering weather, we were a bit stir crazy by lunch time. I worked up the confidence to run the boys to the dollar store to pick out a treat.

Ben had to work (lucky him), so it was just me and Ty and our new son - the one that doesn't like me much. I have been reading the Connected Child and using some Purvis techniques.

I prepared the boys for what we were doing before we did it. Both at home and in the van before getting to the store. Both boys held my hand as we walked in and enjoyed looking at all the toys and gadgets.

The boys love dinosaurs, so they mulled over that bin the longest. Ty settled on a Brontosaurus, while LJ chose a Stegosaurus. We walked to the checkout and I asked both boys to put their dinos on the counter, so I could pay for them. While Ty patiently waited for his to scan, LJ threw a complete fit. Kicking, stomping, crocodile tears - the whole bit.

Ty is such an even-mannered kid, so this was a first-time experience for me. The checkout lady immediately asked me if she could give LJ the Stegosaurus. I calmly asked her to hand it to me and bent down to LJ's level. I said, "Sweetheart. This is not acceptable. The same rules from home apply at the store (we've had this lecture before). We communicate with words. Would you like to hold your dinosaur (his big saucer eyes nod, yes). Then you need to say, "May I hold my dinosaur, please?"

In the quietest voice with eyes to the floor, LJ stopped crying and said, "May I hold my dinosaur, please?"

"Yes, you may."

I stood up and put my attention back to the cashier. She looked me square in the eye and said, "Good job mama. That's not something you see everyday."

I left the store a few inches taller. 

Ben and I have this conversation all the time. The reason so many kids are out of control is because good parenting is a lot of work. It demands constant prayer, attention, and consistency.

We have spent the last two weeks of transition, getting to know LJ. We did less parenting and more observing. We knew that LJ was in for a rude awakening, yesterday, because it was our first official day as his parents. Ben and I were in complete agreement that although LJ wouldn't translate our structure to satisfying love, it's what he needs most.

I know I'm opening myself up to criticism, here, so I would like to say this. We are not addressing things that aren't imperative to his growth in our family (potty training, eating with a fork, taking his shoes off, zipping his coat, etc.). We are, however, taking a very strong stance on the way LJ communicates with us. Apart from bonding issues, it is the most difficult task at hand.

The incident at the store was one of about fifteen today. The more comfortable LJ is with us, the worse his behavior gets. He cries and kicks and pouts every time he doesn't receive on-demand attention or is told "no". Sometimes it's crazy stuff. He wanted more peppers at lunch. My reply, "Sure thing, babe. Let me grab them." I went the fridge and before I turned around he was in hysterics. I was baffled.

I got really good at going to my knees, looking in his eyes, and softly saying, "Sweetheart. I know this is tough. But remember what we talked about? Our family communicates with our words. I can't help you if I don't know what you're feeling. Can you use your words and tell me what's wrong?"

And you know what? He could tell me. Every time.

Sometimes he would tell me, adjust his behavior, and we were able to quickly move on. Other times, he would continue to stare me down, sobbing, with his hands tightly crossed at the chest. Those were the times that I gave him a choice. He could stop crying or he could sit on his bed and cry. Unfortunately for all three of us, he chose option two more times than not, today.

I would put him on his bed and let him kick and scream for a few minutes and then I would come back in to talk. Rinse and repeat.

He never let up.

Sometimes he'd come back from his room completely ready to engage, but other times he was angry and disgruntled. To avoid further kicking, pushing, bullying issues, I had a few conversations with Ty about spacial awareness and giving LJ lots of breathing room.

It made for an exhausting day. When Ben got home, I let him hold him and then asked for five minutes to myself. I just needed to hold my head and let the Holy Spirit minister to me.

I LOVE this boy. I don't like him all the time, right now, and I don't feel even a little bit like his mother, but I'm doing the work...patiently, lovingly, and as gracefully as I can.

I hold on to the sweet moments and disregard the rest. I am not a perfect mother, but I am trying to listen to the voice of God. I find a lot of rest in the fact that neither of my sons will ever remember this time in their life (including the mistakes we make). We just have to get through it.

Because I want to end my day on a high, I want to share a shining moment. Ty and LJ were in their room playing. I was changing over the laundry. I heard Ty asking LJ to pass him some eggs for his "spicy soup". LJ must have complied. Ty said, "How you doing, LJ?"

LJ answered, "I'm fine."

Ty said, "We are so glad you're in our family now. Do you want some of this soup?"

Oh, that makes me smile! God is good.

We will keep taking this one day at a time.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


As I type, my boys are both in room next door giggling and whispering.  Ty just said, "LJ how's your day been?"

LJ, "It was good."

"My day was good too, buddy."

We had a GREAT day.

It was crazy similar to our homecoming with Ty.

We showed up at the agency prepared for a formal meeting with lots of paperwork and signing and were surprised by the casual "everyone-good-to-go?" gathering in the lobby. We signed two pieces of paper before LJ's caseworker volunteered to walk outside with us to the car.

I felt the same quick panic that I did when we left the hospital with Ty. I remember yelling in my head, "Wait! Are you really sending us home with this kid to raise for the rest of our lives? We're not ready! We don't know what we're doing! HELP!"

Same feeling today.

When we left Rebekah back in Colorado to head for home, I cried for miles. I couldn't handle the pain that I knew existed in her heart. It was too much.

Same feeling today.

Before we got in the van, I  offered fresh flowers to G-Mama, with a from-one-mom-to-another card, and held her for a long time. We both cried.

My parting words were -

Luke 6 says, Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  Thank you for using a big measure. We can only repay you with LJ's life. We will give him our all and trust God with the rest...

I cried for her bleeding heart as we left for home and reminded Ben how difficult this part of the journey is for me. I am indebted to these women for taking such loving care of my sons before I could...They are forever a part of our story.

We relaxed at home all day, today. We played trains and dinosaurs and kitchen. The boys wrestled with Ben on the floor for over an hour. LJ kept kissing Ben's head, saying, "I love you, dad."

My favorite part of today was bedtime. Ben laid with LJ; I laid with Ty. The lights were dimmed as we said our prayers and worshiped. I could barely make it through Jesus Loves Me as I snuggled Ty close and watched Ben do the same with LJ from across the room.

I feel undeserving of such a well-written God story.

After Ty fell asleep, I could hear LJ in his bed, sniffing for his mommy. I stretched out next to him and laid my head on his chest. I softly sang, I love you Lord...and I lift my voice... he didn't stop whimpering, but he did put his chubby hands around my neck. I continued, Let it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear... When I went to lift my head up from him, he quickly put his hand on my cheek and pulled me back in.

It was right then that I knew. We're going to be okay.

God will help us do this.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Secret Thoughts

As we headed to the agency to drop LJ off with his G-mama, Ty said, "Mom, I don't want give LJ back."

I didn't either.

Not only am I ready for my baby to be home, but I fear the progress we made over the weekend will be undone in the four days we wait to bring him home for good.

There's nothing we can do about that, so I'm moving on from that point.

I'm not sure I can even describe the number of swirling emotions I feel at the moment. There were so many beautiful moments, this weekend, that made my heart sing...but the outweighing challenging and emotionally exhausting ones seem to stand tallest.

I'm not sure how anyone could survive this without Christ.

I would be lying if I said I didn't have "those" thoughts. The ones I can't speak out loud. The ones that only get voiced to God and whispered to Ben (in the dark).

Are we really ready to do this? Can we do this? Are we making a mistake?

The answers are all obvious and not important. The reality of how much we need Jesus is.

It's not just LJ's behaviors. Those we were able to take in stride, overlooking some and addressing others.  It's the other long list of emotional experiences that have me on my knees, tonight.

It's watching Ty's tender heart hurt at LJ's gruff behavior and unprovoked's the soft "mommy" whimpers that come from the bedroom that I cannot's disapproving looks toward LJ from people who just don't's family members speaking honestly about how they feel and questioning how long it will take to love LJ in the way they love's Ben and I questioning the same's watching Ben mourn the loss of his one-on-one time with's me mourning the loss of the years I'll never have with LJ...

This is not and will not be easy.

All the periphery struggles will work themselves out. My only cry tonight is that God will teach me how to love and mother my new son. I could do it my way in my strength, but I don't want that. My way may not be the right way for LJ. Unlike my story or Ben's story or Ty's story, LJ's life has been written as a series of reports, that conflict at best. There is no constant. There wasn't one worker or agency or mother. His life has been patched together, while being riddled with disease, neglect, and movement.

If it weren't for Jesus I would be at a loss. I wouldn't be able to move forward. I, however, find great peace in knowing the Know-er. The Know-er of all things formed my son in his mother's womb. The Know-er of all things breathed life into his being and said, "I will not fail you (Joshua 1:5), nor will I abandon you (John 14:18). IN FACT, I will give you the future you hope for (Jeremiah 29:11)." The Know-er never left LJ's side. He was in every bedroom, in every home.

He is in our home.

The Know-er will lead me and guide me. He will teach me to mother. He is the only one who can. He is the only one that knows my son.

When both our case worker and LJ's foster mom asked us, this weekend, if we were sure we wanted to do this, I heard the Holy Spirit prompting - DO YOU TRUST ME?

We do.

We will sign our commitment on Thursday morning and bring our baby home for good.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Mama said there'd be days like this.

Okay they're napping. Deep breath.

Our case worker came to the house, this morning, for a supervised visit. The boys were playing with blocks on the floor. We told her about our night and the great morning. Ty was up at seven, but LJ slept until well after eight. We ate breakfast, watched cartoons, brushed teeth, made beds, got dressed - all without hiccup. We discussed the recognized challenges and our thoughts on overcoming them.

All was going fine until  LJ started crying. No real reason. He just sat and cried. I tried to soothe him and divert his attention, while Ty asked what was wrong. I explained how difficult it was going to be for LJ to get used to another new family. Ty rubbed LJ's back and told him it was going to be okay. When he went in to give him a hug, LJ got up and pushed him to the ground. Ty's face met his favorite dumptruck.

Ty stood up and looked at me with no words, just screaming from shock and pain. I pushed LJ out of my lap and over to Ben, and gathered Ty in my arms, telling him how much I loved him and that LJ didn't mean to hurt him. As Ty sobbed, "Wh--y  d-id  h-e  do--that  m---om...?" I realized the case worker was still in the room with us, waiting to see what we'd do.

I took Ty to his room to get Little Cow and asked him to get Baby Bear for LJ. He sniffled, but was compliant. I told him to give Baby Bear to LJ and to let him know that pushing isn't kind, but that he would forgive him. Ty did it.

Ben I swapped out and I took LJ into my lap as Ben talked with Ty. No amount of consoling would stop the tears from spilling over his cheeks. I was out of wisdom, so I just sat and held him with Baby Bear and let him cry...and drool.

When the cries were dampened, I looked at our case worker and simply said. It's just going to take time.

"Yes it is."

She left a few minutes later. Ty walked her to the door while LJ sat on the couch with his lip pouted and arms folded. I tried not to laugh.

Thankfully the boys were friends, again, by lunch and went right down for their naps.

I wasn't ruffled by the incident. There are so many more to come...I just wish I had planned better.

Mama needs some dark chocolate.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bed Time

Am I seeing double...?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Visit #4

Today we were able to bring LJ home. For the day.

It was awesome.

We played t-ball in the backyard, road our bikes to the park, and played endless games of bubbles, airplanes, and chase. Pretty much a typical weekend day at the Pinchbacks + one.

A woman noted today, "Those boys are two peas in a pod."

They sure are.

Aren't they awesome?

I am blown away at how well-mannered and even-tempered LJ is for all that he's seen in his little life. I give full glory to God for protecting his innocence and a lot of credit to his current foster mom, G-mama. He covers his mouth when he coughs, sleeps like a champ, and eats everything I give him. I am stunned.

The two areas that will be of greatest challenge is 1) helping Ty realize he is not the center of the universe and that his toys need to be shared and 2) proving to LJ that this move is permanent and will re-define his view of family.

Teaching Ty to share is a perfectly natural problem and one that will have life long benefit. It helps to know that we're not alone in battling this. You can tell that poor LJ is used to having everything taken from him (in more ways than one); he is completely void of reaction and goes out of his way to make Ty "happy" with him.

The bonding issues are so much deeper than what we've experienced before. I desperately want to have an adult conversation with our new son and tell him that he is complete in Christ and his position in our family. That God has stamped redemption over his heart and that his life will never be the same...I want to hold him and weep for all the times I wasn't there for him and infuse overflowing joy into his very serious demeanor and sad heart.

Instead... I am forced to love him from a distance, with a relaxed attitude, and light hearted interactions. It's tough.

He does have moments of laughter and bouts of silly with Ty, but never me or Ben. I even tried tickling him, today, and was met with cold eyes and serious lips. It will take time.

I am secure in me and motherhood, so it's easy to trust God. God has a plan for this little boy; there's no mistaking it.

Ty's friendship and brotherhood will be a healing balm to LJ's little heart. Ty litters him with kisses and hugs and hand holding. I am so proud.

And Ben. Oh, Ben. My incredibly loving, tender, not-many-guys-could-go-along-for-this-ride husband. He is such a lover and protector...for all of us.  LJ is smitten with him. Everything is, "hi, dad!", "okay, dad?", "look at me dad!", "I see you dad"... I am just the girl in the corner that likes to take pictures and Ty calls, "Mom." [smile]. I'm okay with that.

We had a GREAT day as a family. It's a one hour drive (one way) to LJ for each visit. That part is getting annoying, but only a few more days of that! We dropped him off tonight with his G-mama and a somber Ty said, "Mom...I miss him already." I love that boy. He is a gift from God.

We were cuddling tonight before bed and Ty said, "You know what Mom? I love you." I didn't know that I needed to hear that, but it was a direct connect to my heart. The love of God is so satisfying it leaves you full for days.

We pick up LJ after work tomorrow and will have him for the weekend. I know that God will guide us through the challenges. I am just so incredibly thankful to have our second son home...

I leave you with my new picture of God.

His perfect love -
unending faithfulness -
and unparalleled redemption.

Lord, you are GOOD.

My heart and eyes cry.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Visit #3

LJ ran to the van, slapped Ben with a high-five and with a huge smile said, "Hi, dad!" His exuberance didn't stop there as he nearly tackled Ty to the ground with a hug. He was happy to see us.

Each visit LJ reveals a little more of his personality.

We took the boys to IHOP and enjoyed pancakes all around. I was pleasantly surprised at how well behaved  both boys were and that we were able to enjoy our first meal together as a family. Both boys have tremendous appetites and wiped their plates and mine clean of food!

I know it's only been a few days, but so far having two two year olds is proving easier than one. Ty is completely entertained by LJ. Ben and I actually had an uninterrupted conversation in the car as Ty's endless questions were directed to LJ and not us.

The backseat conversation was completely nonsensical, but neither boy seemed to notice. One would shout "Donuts!" and both would be in silly hysterics over who said what.

When it came to play time, LJ enjoyed taking on the big slides. Every time his feet hit the ground he would proudly announce, "I did it, dad!" and look to Ben for approval. He is quite taken with my husband. And Ty. Every time I looked, LJ was giving Ben's knees or neck a squeeze. He can give or take me, but I don't take it personally. Moms have been like shoes to this kid...they're switched out every few months.

He's never had a dad. Until now.

I know our time for bonding will come. For now, I will enjoy the interactions between my three boys.

We found out, yesterday, that we were one of sixty-five families interested in adopting LJ. I am so very thankful that God chose us.

My heart is happy.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Our First Day as Four

Meet LJ. The newest special member of our family.

Our first day as four went something like this...

I set Ty on the pavement of the agency's parking lot, preparing for LJ's tears at leaving his foster mom. Ty immediately ran to his brother for a hug. He said, "Hi, LJ. I'm Ty."

LJ responded with, "Hi, Ty."

Ty looked up at me and said, "Mama! He talks!" As if the idea had never crossed his mind.

We all laughed.

Ben took one and I took one to strap in their respective car seat. Neither paid us any mind and talked about their favorite things. I remember hearing a random "Hot Dogs!" and "I like circles." You know. The important things.

They were really cute.

Ty talked to LJ the entire time to the park. LJ mostly listened, but copied everything Ty asked him to do. "See if you can touch the ceiling, LJ," and "Show me how old you are." Ty was pretty much a steady stream of bossy chatter, asking LJ all about his brothers and sisters (when he wasn't mentioned he added, "And I'm your brother!"), and asking me, "What color is LJ, mom?"

We went to the park and bookstore and playplace at McD's. Ty and LJ held hands everywhere we went. People stared everywhere we went. I smiled and felt love pouring from my heart.

Twice LJ wrapped his little arms around my neck and let me hold him close. I kissed his soft hair and told him how much I loved him. I asked him if he would like to come play at our house and his big saucer eyes nodded yes.

Ben and I didn't have titles or agendas or expectations; we just quietly enjoyed watching our two boys together. Both so different, yet so similar.

On the way back to the agency, Ty asked if we could keep him (I assured him we would) and wondered, out loud, where LJ's mama was. I tried to appease him by saying that LJ was living with his foster mama, right now, until he could come home with our family. Ty pressed, "No, mom, his other mom. Where is his first mama?"

He's a perceptive little guy.

When we got back to the agency, foster mom was waiting and had two of her adopted kids there. We stood and talked to the foster mom for quite some time while the four kids played. While foster mom retold her adopted kids stories, my heart filled with warmth for her for making a difference. For doing something great.

The school age girl's mother was addicted to cocaine and died from an overdose shortly after her birth. I later looked in the girl's eyes and told her I had never seen prettier dimples on someone in my whole life. Her face lit up like Christmas and I thanked God for his goodness.

These beautiful kids have the most horrific stories. But God. He is moving and leading and changing lives - especially mine.

At one point, LJ slipped on the gravel and looked up with hurt in his eyes. Without thinking, I ran to him and put him in my lap, kissing the palms of his hands. I heard foster mom say, behind me, "She's got this mom thing." At that moment, it didn't occur to me that she was still mom.

I am thankful for her acceptance of us.

We all hugged and kissed our baby boy goodbye and told him we would be back to visit.

Foster mom texted me later, saying, "Thank you for picking him out of all the kids in the world. You are getting a gem. Meeting you has eased my fears."

I can hear God's song rising.

Our story is far from over.

LJ's fifth sibling (sister) is one month old and in care. I would love for her to join our family, but my complete trust is in our heavenly father for her. It's a messy family file. While baby girl rests in the palms of Jesus, my eyes are focused on the second little boy to steal my heart.

Our third visit's tomorrow.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Visit #2

We had such a good morning together. Our visit went better than I expected. I will give you a detailed report, later, but I had to update you with Ty's best one liner of the day. About half way through our morning, he looked up at me and said, "Mom...Can we keep him?"

I laughed with tears in my eyes.

Yes. Yes we can, Ty.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Our First Meeting

We rode the elevator to the second floor.

The caseworker asked if it felt crazy.

We explained that after flying all the way to Colorado to knock on the apartment door of a woman we had never met who held the baby we'd later adopt, we could do anything.

She laughed.

It's amazing how your gauge of normal adapts.

We met with caseworkers for a better part of two hours before we were notified that Little Boy and his foster mom had arrived.

We, excitedly, sat at the conference table, before Ben hurriedly ushered me to the couch. He felt it was more "natural". I went along. I was just happy to finally be meeting my baby!!!

We heard the pit-pat of his shoes first.

He ran the length of the hall.

Ben and I exchanged a quick glance, hearts melting at the sound.

Little Boy poked his head in the door and, immediately, caught my glance in his big brown eyes.

His foster mom nudged him forward and introduced us as "friends."

We spent an hour playing and talking and planning for the days to come.

Unless you've been in this place, it is very difficult to explain how humbling it is to take in your son while his eyes search the room for his mother. The mother that isn't you.

Thankfully, I was much more prepared for that moment, today.

I didn't cringe when he cried out for his mommy or hid in her arms. Instead, I enjoyed the moments of observation and conversation with one of the many women Little Boy has called mom.

Little Boy took to Ben right away. Foster mom says he hasn't been around many men.

I drank in every moment.

As foster mom talked, Little Boy became more comfortable and tiptoed over to the toys sitting to my right. He reached beyond me to grab a tricycle and put his pudgy little hand on my knee. My heart flopped. I grabbed it gently and held it for as long as he would allow.

He may not feel like my son, but that doesn't make me love him any less.

After an hour it was very clear that Little Boy is sweet and tender, oddly similar to Ty. The largest difference between the two two year olds is the profound sadness that pours from Little Boy's eyes and demeanor. It was heartbreaking.

We wanted to bring Little Boy home, more than anything, but after seeing the bond that existed between him and foster mom, we agreed that a two week transition time was appropriate. We have 8 visits scheduled for the next 14 days. Including a full day this weekend and three overnights, next weekend.

Homecoming is March 29th!

Ben and Ty and I will pick Little Boy up on Saturday and spend our first day together as a family of four.

I can't imagine anything more wonderful.

Thank you for all of your encouragement and prayers. We are believing God for the life of this sweet, perfect boy.

Many thoughts, words, and pictures to come...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I've been avoiding this place because I've been a frustrated mess with nothing to report. We've had two scheduled meetings canceled. Hopefully, third time's a charm. We are supposed to meet tomorrow. This is the meeting that will determine Little Boy's homecoming date. We have yet to meet Little Boy OR to have any questions answered by foster mom...or anyone else.

So frustrating.

Little Boy's caseworker has asked for foster mom to bring Little Boy to the meeting, tomorrow, so that we can meet him. I am too afraid to hope that might happen, but am holding my breath at the possibility!

We will bring Dino with us just in case.

I am going to kindly insist request to bring Little Boy home by Monday...but we'll see.

God is refining patience in me. That's for sure.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


This week has been so slow...

Our case worker called yesterday and said that she would contact me on Monday with our re-scheduled meeting day. She requested that it be as soon as possible so that we can start visitation and get Little Boy home, soon. Her recommendation is five days of visitation.

Ty asks us every night when his brother is going to come home. I wish I knew.

 He has also been sneaking "Dino" in bed with him (a sweet little lovie that Ty picked out for Little Boy). Ty named the dinosaur, Dino, last week even though I told him Little Boy might want to rename him. Ty responded with, "He doesn't mind mama."

The original homecoming plan was that we would have Little Boy by the end of the month (this was prior to foster mom's vacation/respite home announcement). Even though I would love for us to bring Little Boy home next weekend, I'm building in extra days and preparing myself for the end of the month. I would rather be pleasantly surprised.

I think about my new son constantly and pray that God is holding him close until I can...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

No news.

In this instance no news is not good news.

Apparently, Little Boy's case worker quit. His new case worker and supervising case worker are gone for the week in training. Foster mom is out of town; adoption worker can't get a hold of any anyone to find out which respite care home Little Boy is in, so that we can meet him.

So. We wait.

I was angry, yesterday, but feel amazingly calm today. If there's one thing that adopting has taught me, it's patience. I have to trust God because this is all so far outside my control.

Please pray. Pray for our Little Boy. Pray for us. And pray for Little Boy's sisters. He has three in care.

We've inquired on all of them.

Monday, March 5, 2012


Our big meeting with all the case workers today, was canceled, this morning. Our case worker had a family obligation that she had to attend to. I completely understand, but it's still frustrating. I have not heard whether or not we will be able to reschedule for tomorrow. Until we have that meeting, Little Boy's homecoming is uncertain.

I am frustrated, but not discouraged.

He WILL come home and now that he has a growling mama advocating for him, he will not slip through the cracks again.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Reality is starting to set in as I try not to sob.

I laid with Ty in bed last night and looked over at Little Boy's space. I thought about how scary it will be for him to sleep in a bed he's never seen, with a brother he just met, and another set of adults telling him that he's "home". It breaks my heart.

We got Little Boy's file, today. It took me ninety minutes, but I read every word.

I knew his first three years would be a patchwork of time that would be all but erased from me, but I didn't consider my need to mourn that time. It was easier to sweep under the rug when I didn't know the intricacies of his case.

Mixed in between the lines of violence and neglect, were sweet milestones stating that Little Boy spoke his first word. Took his first step. I was unprepared for how it would feel to catch up on my son's life on paper, knowing that I missed every moment.

Our sweet boy has been in six homes and represented by four agencies in two and a half years, available for adoption for the last nine months. Our caseworker admitted that Little Boy, our Little Boy, had simply slipped through the cracks.

As I read about his long case of bronchitis, last year, I traced my time back to what I was doing, hoping he was rocked and cuddled and prayed over. When I read he was removed from a foster home on a charge for failure to protect, my heart twisted in agony. When I read that he was separated from the only sister he knew because she could not stop crying, I had to take a minute to breathe.

These are kids. Small, innocent children, undeserving of such hardship.

While Ty and I cuddled and whispered in the quietness of his room, Little Boy was one of five laying on a mattress on the floor.

My, God....

I cry as I type. This is not just some boy. This is MY boy. I cannot control what led him to this place, but I can change his name and future.

His first name will remain intact, but his middle name will be Jeremiah.

My son will have a new start. He will understand the significance of Jeremiah 29:11 in his own life. God says:
I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for [The Message].
Oh, friends. There is so much need.

Please consider foster adoption.

It makes me down right angry that we were turned away from every agency in Michigan because of our adoption specifications (i.e. only being willing to adopt children younger than Ty). We were told, today, about another sibling group. Two little girls. One and two years old. This is the fourth case we've been presented with and we've only been approved for adoption for a month.

My heart is heavy, but thankful, that God called us when he did. Our son will be home soon.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


For those that asked, Michigan does have a transition period for adopting children in foster care. Homecoming for Little Boy was expedited because his foster mom is going out of town on Wednesday, for several days, and was going to leave Little Boy in respite care. Our case worker advocated for us and requested that Little Boy come home with us instead of moving from foster home to respite care to foster home to our home.

Our caseworker is unclear, now, if the supervising case worker will grant the request (I'm not sure of the specifics; we meet with our case worker tomorrow after church).

As much as I would LOVE to bring Little Boy home on Tuesday, I am preparing myself for an extended transition time. Our house and hearts are ready, now, but extended time would help both Ben and me settle things at work before taking some time off to bond with our new family.

We will know the homecoming date on Monday!

In the mean time, we are loving on Ty and enjoying our final days as a family of three.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Please Pray

Please pray for me, friends.

Pray that my anxious heart will still and that my baby boy will come home with us on Tuesday.  The adoption is not in question, but the homecoming date is.

Our caseworker is getting some mixed information and chalks it up to too many caseworkers being involved on this case (it's complicated). She is driving out Little Boy's file to us on Sunday afternoon so that we can read through it carefully and present our "intent to adopt" on Monday afternoon.

Her advice to me was to come to the meeting on Monday prepared to advocate for our son.

I don't know the weight behind that statement, but I will be prepared.

Things have gotten mighty complicated...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I need your help!

Okay, so this is a really crazy week in the Pinchback household! Amidst the exciting activity swirling around the new addition to our family, Ben launched an equally exciting venture, today. He and his buddy designed a strategic card game that got picked up by Gryphon Games last summer. The prototypes were mailed to test players and the reviews are good! The last step before publishing is a pre-order blitz that started, today.

You can pre-order his game, here, for $20 (including shipping):

We're $600 in pre-orders away from being completely funded (in only 9 hours!) The really exciting part is that only 10% of those sales are from people we know!

I can't tell you how proud I am of Ben for doing what others only dream of...

I'm a little jealous that he's going to be "published" before me, but he deserves the fanfare. He has been working on this project for about a year.

If you like me - and strategy - and sweet nautical art, show Ben your support. You won't be disappointed!

Just in --

Okay friends, pray for me. I am so excited and overwhelmed that I can't think straight.

We get to meet AND bring home Little Boy on Tuesday morning.

That's in four days!

There's so much to do....