Smlwoman\’s Weblog

“Waiting for that golden moment when fear and desire die, and only the unspeakable reality of love remains. “

I was not expecting that… February 10, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — smlwoman @ 11:17 am

Im so glad I blogged this! I had forgotten about it.
I can’t believe I never updated this. These two girls got to stay with me. They are adopted and mine. We still have a relationship with the biological family member in this memory. She is the biological maternal grandmother.

As I watched Her prepare to have these girls live with her I was struck how strong she was! I also watched the behavior of the 4 year old grow and grow and become more of a challenge. I started to worry it would be overwhelming for yhe grandma. So one day I told the grandma,” if this ever gets too o erwhelming and you would like to just be grandma I will adopt them and she can still be part of their life as grandma. Just let me know.” She was intrigued and said she would keep that in mind. After having time to think about it she asked if we could get together and talk. So we met at a McDonald’s with a play place and we talked while the kids played. We talked about how it would work. I answered all her questions. My biggest thing I pointed out is that I may not always live in the same state but at this time had no plans of moving any time soon but that it is always a possibility. We talked about how she was the safe family member and that I would keep that open and let her share with certain family members. (We have written to great aunts too). The next day I called the worker to let her know what we discussed and the worker told me that the grandmother was in her office at that moment telling her she wanted me to adopt her granddaughters! The worker had never seen anything like it. We laughed.
It still took another year to adopt but the grandma was at our adoption and stood up and spoke. Brought us both to tears. We kept to our plan. Eventually overnight visit stopped because less safe family members had a bad habit of just showing up at her home. But we still get together regularly and I invite her to every event I can. It’s a little harder as the kids have become teens but that’s a natural event between grownups and teens.AD314CE8-3DDE-4A13-BBC1-42A17D6114C7

She treats my other kids as her own grandkids. She is a wonderful addition to our family. We also keep up with the oldest biological sister and see her as often as we can. And the growth of these two girls, especially the 4 year old who is now 11, is just Amazing to see! It’s an open adoption in this case. It shows that each situation is different and should be treated as such. I would never have an open adoption with the other two kids I’ve adopted but this one has worked out well for all involved. We get inside information on biological family trees and heritage. We get to hear memories the girls would of lost. And important medical history. So much happened in between that I wish I blogged about. Ups and downs, but I loved reading this memory! I hope you all enjoy the update!

Smlwoman\'s Weblog

Wow, it has been a while since I have been on here. Taking care of four kids as a single mom will do that to a person.

Being a foster mom is just about what I thought it would be like. I paid attention in class. However, even though I paid attention and have heard of this happening, I was still caught off guard when it happened to me.

I have two girls who have been with me just since September 1, 2010. There have been many ups and downs. The four year old and I have had a lot of challenges that I have seen improve over the past few months. I always keep in mind whatever I know of past experiences for my foster kids, and that helps a lot. But challenges can wear anyone down. I absolutely love these two girls and wish they could stay with…

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I Make Music (not me but my friend) November 2, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — smlwoman @ 1:31 pm

I Make Music.  this is my good friend’s blog, and he is amazing!  Check it out!


Math Memory Game


My kids struggle with math.  And it is not my best subject.  So I came up with a game to make learning the equations more fun.  I have four children and all of them are at different levels.  1-4th grade.  With this game we can all play it together but still be challenged at our own level.  I posted a picture of all you will need.  I used empty cups from the crystal light.  School Glue. Black construction paper or card stock, A Gold acrylic paint pen, or a white out pen, and the canaster to hold the crystal light, and scissors.  I glued black paper in so the numbers are not seen on the reverse side.  I wrote numbers on the paper with a gold deco color pen.  If you don’t have a pen like that, they sell them at Michaels and are not too expensive, you can also use a white out pen.  It is less expensive and works just as great as you can see with the number 8 I made.  If you have just one level, you can write equations, then the kids have to match them but have to answer the question in a specific time to collect the cups.  For my kids I used just numbers.  Now my 6 year old can add the numbers to get the right answer and my 4th grader can multiply the same numbers to get the cups.  I can even use it for division and subtraction if I don’t use anything other then numbers.  And the containers for the crystal light are a perfect place to store the game when you are done playing it!

So the rules:

Youngest goes first

play goes clock wise

on your turn: turn over two cups multiply, subtract, add, or divide the numbers to get the right answer in less then 30 seconds. (As the parent you set what each child has to do, so there is no easy way out.  Remember it is a game but you want to help them learn their math facts faster.)

If you get it right you keep the cups.

play ends when all cups are gone and winner is the one with the most cups.

Have fun!


Remembering Biological Parents Even When You Wish They Would Forget

Filed under: adoptions in reno,Life as a Mom,my thoughts,Uncategorized — smlwoman @ 12:09 pm

arius bio letterSometimes I forget that my kids think about their birth parents. It catches me off guard when I ask my son what he’s doing and he says he’s writing a letter to his birth mom. He wants to let her know how much he’s grown, and he loves her, and wants her to stop taking drugs so he can see her again. He’s never met her. I have no pics of her. I’ve never met her. I wrote a heartfelt letter to her when she relinquished him, it got to her much later,  while she was in jail. We never heard back from her though. Secretly it hurts to hear him write this letter. It leaves me feeling like I’m not doing enough to love him. It’s almost like secretly I wish they would love me so much that they would forget about them. Forget about the ones who gave them all these struggles in the first place. But logically I know this wont happen. Nor should it. It is my job to help them feel good about their birth parents so they feel good about themselves.  To help them understand that they didn’t abandon them, but loved them enough to give them a better life and safer life. To let make sure they know how hard it was for them to let them go in the first place. And to make sure they know how lucky I am to have such wonderful children to love and care for. It’s my job to give them positive hope that they will one day see them again and get to share all these letters and feelings with them. As I watch my little boy’s eyes fill with tears as he realizes he can’t actually send this beautiful letter to the woman he knows nothing about, but wants to believe she loves  butterflies, I do just that. I help him feel better. I hug him tight, I let him express that he misses her and wonders about her. I tell him positive reasons why she didn’t write. I hug him tight and tell him how much I love him and that I’m grateful for God giving me a perfect son.  Hoping inside that when he is older this is what he will remember instead of how much he gets in trouble. But secretly I think how easily positives are lost and bogged down by negatives. I say secretly because I would never share these fears with him. But with others I will share so that people understand the other sides of adoption and that I’m not a super mom, I’m just a mom. And thankful to be one.


My Family So Far June 24, 2012

Filed under: adoptions in reno,Children,foster care in reno,Life as a Mom — smlwoman @ 10:17 am

I have adopted 4 children as of May 11,2012. I am a single mom, have always been single. I am truly blessed! From left to right.  My mom, my little brother, my dad( who adopted me), me and my adopted children in the yellow and grey, and my nephew!  I truly encourage single adults who are really longing for kids, to check into adopting children from foster care. It has it’s ups and downs as all adoptions do.  But in the end it is truly amazing!  If you don’t think you can do it financially, again I would say look into your local foster care, there is help!


100 Days of School Project 2012 February 17, 2012

This is by far one of my favorite events in school with my kids. This year it was my own children’s turn to make a project. I was so excited to do this, that I started planning in the beginning of the year!

When fall came I started taking one of my children to go collect Acorn tops. We collected big and little ones.  We knew the bottoms fall off the trees way before the tops do.  Once we saw the bottoms on the ground we knew it wouldn’t be too much longer.  We waited another 3 weeks and finally there were a lot on the ground. We did have to get a few from the trees because we needed a hundred of them and not enough had fallen off yet. When we had enough, we put them in a bag in the garage and waited for our 100th day of school!  Finally the week came for the project! Our 100th day of school fell on Valentines day this year, so they postponed the celebration until the 15th.  I grabbed a brownish orange posterboard from the store to use for the body. I drew the acorn first, but found later I should have just drawn a line to show my child where to stop and let her glue them on. My origional acorn was too large for the ammount of acorn tops that we had.  We wound up just drawing the line after a few mishaps.

First we counted out our 100 acorn tops and double, tripple checked our count.  This is important because it is very hard to recount them after they are on the acorn.  I am sure there is a better way to glue them on so you can count them easier, maybe in 10 rows of 10, but we didnt’ think of this until after we already had them glued on.  She painted a thick layer of glue on about 2 inches wide and 12″ long, and then she started to put the acorn tops on the glue.  We added more glue with a paint brush as we worked our way to the top of the acorn and the stem.  This kept the glue from drying too fast on us.

Another lesson learned is:  I would have used Elmers Glue All instead of school glue. It was way too watery, and left the paper pretty wet and hard to dry. By morning it still wasn’t dried, so I turned it over and turned the ceiling fan on and that helped it to dry while we were getting ready for school. It was still a little wet an hour later, but not too bad.  Another thing that was helpful is I put a heavy book on top of the acorn tops to keep the paper from folding and lifting up as it dried.  After she had all the tops on, I cut out an acorn shape on the bottom. I think it turned out great! And she was pretty proud of it too! Her teacher loved it and hung it up in the classroom.  She was the only one who did something like this and felt even more of a sense of pride when she saw her teacher make such a big deal out of it and to hear the oohs and aahs of her classmates.  She collected the acorns herself with a little help from her big sister, and she glued them all on herself, and counted them out all by herself.  The only thing I did was show her how much glue to use and how to put the glue on the first time, and then i cut out the final shape.  We had a blast working on this together, and I can’t wait to do another 100 days of school project with my youngest child next year!


I hate Parent visit days October 18, 2011

I get so upset on the mornings I know my kiddos are going to see bio parents. It used to not bother me. But this was before I was going to adopt them. I used to love sitting and listening to the parents stories of the kid’s lives. I used to love trying to get them to go to fun places to play with their kids. I used to love finding the right bus routes to make it easier for them to get to dr. apts. I used to love it because I was teaching. I expected the children to go back home. But then things got frustrating when the parents didn’t respond to any of my efforts. They didn’t follow through on any of my fun plans. This caused dissapointment and heart ache.
Now I hate parent visit days. I feel that all our privacy is taken away. I dont’ like my adopted children getting hugs from these people. They are just people, but when they lose their kids, they can become harmful people. And now my adopted children have learned to trust them.

I don’t understand why a parent who is facing Termination of parental rights and has to be supervised in visits has the right to go to dr. and dental apts. of the children and not be supervised? I also don’t understand why in mediations bio parents get attorneys for free, and foster parents don’t get any support. The county even puts school names in the court documents they give to the bio parents. This again makes no sense to me. Where is privacy protection for the ones who care for the children? Where is the protection for the children after the county is done with the case? Why do I have to feel like I have to move out of my home to give my kids and my family anonimity. We can get slammed for mentioning any little thing about their cases due to privacy laws, but there doesn’t seem to be any privacy laws for the foster parents. I just don’t get that! Why cater to the ones who abuse and not the ones who care for the abused?