I've spent many frustrating afternoons sitting on the hard bench at the courthouse rooting and praying and hoping my boys would finally get a voice. When we first took the boys as their permanency placement we were so grateful to not have to do the legal runaround. We soon learned there was a legal snafu and our dreams of adopting smoothly after 6 months in our home turned to tip toeing our way to 15 of 22 months. The countdown finally ended and the permanency hearing at 15th months was scheduled....then delayed. Scheduled again...then delayed. Each time my optimistic spirit was crushed and I wondered who would stand up for these children?

Weary and cynical I sat again on that bench last week. The judge finally changed the case goal to adoption. Praise God! He went on to suspend visitation as well. Most would assume visits would end when the State stops trying to reunify but, more often than not, they continue until termination which we are told is months away. The visits tear up the hearts of my boys. They come home and act out and there is always a couple days of rebalancing. I can only imaging the emotional damage that takes place. To have them done is hard to articulate. Peace washed over me. My boys are safe. They will forever know they are loved no matter what. The emotional ping pong is over. Now we can see true healing even though they've already come so far. 

Without a doubt they are worth fighting for. Worth going through hell for. Worth the efforts to help heal. Worth the stress they put us through. Worth it. I'm in so in love with my two youngest sons. Court didn't change that but it turned the corner. We can stop focusing on the frustrations of the case and start focusing on adoption. Permanency. Thank you, Lord. 


Yes, sir!

Tae Kwon Do remains a passion for Declan. I thought he would only last a few months but he's loving it and working hard so we'll keep on taking him and are excited to see his talent blossom. 


Declan and "J" didn't have an instant bond. It took awhile for them to mesh but they are best bros now. It's so fun to see their relationship deepen. We laugh (and sometimes vent) about how they are both spirited children. How did this happen?! How did we get two very strong willed, crazy, outgoing, stubborn, spirited kids?? 
It makes for interesting dynamics. They are always trying to make each other laugh so sometimes our voices of authority are quickly dismissed. It's a work in progress for sure. 
Regardless, I see many beautiful adventures in the future with these two!
This is the "school day" glazed over look Declan gets in the evening...

Apple Picking

Martin's Hillside Orchard is a darling little place just 45 minutes away. We went last year with the twins and knew right away it would be a new tradition. We ate apples and yummy raspberries all week.
And just for kicks, last year....

Then he was 6

How is it possible that this little chubby faced, smiley, sweet, sassy baby is SIX?!
 Time truly flies. I use to hear that and roll my eyes and now I fully embrace that saying.
Declan is a little boy now...but always my baby.
I'm so proud of who he has become (though I could deal with a little less of the constant negotiating...this kid will not take no for an answer). BUT...he is sweet and caring and has loads of friends at school. Plus: a girlfiend. Whaaa?! I know! Oh Lily... ;)
Funny, silly, magnetic, easy to get along with. Love you, sweet Decs. 
 We had a Minecraft party, of course. I accidentally scheduled it on Grandma's birthday. Whoops! Fun to celebrate them together, though.
 This kid does not lack exuberance. Ha!
Mark and I took Decs lunch at school. He was the first kiddo to turn 6 in his class. I don't regret waiting to send him because he grew so much last year in academy preschool. 
We met some of his goofy friends and I like having faces with names. He was so proud we were there. When does that change and they get embarrassed of us? I'll soak in this stage for now...

Catching up

My foster mama friend feeding her foster babe. Her love for him is beaming. Heart melt.
We love sushi. And Blue sushi? Amaze.

Goodbye, Summer

Summer came and went too quick. We tried to soak up as much as possible! 
Pool day with the cousins:
We said goodbye to cousin Asher and family as they moved to Vail for a job. These two will be
shredding some mountain together in the future:
Declan and I got a chance to sneak away and attend a Saltdogs baseball game together. Such a sweet night:
On a steamy night I joined a group of gals at Sebastian's and, holy moly, was it delish. As always.

A little getaway...

My best friend and I decided to take Declan and her son Owen out of town for a getaway the weekend before school started. It was such a blast. 
These two silly boys were super excited when we got to the hotel:
We have been through a lot of life together. She's always there for me, no matter what. 
These boys reminded me why I don't do sit down restaurants with kids. Ha!
We finished the night with pool time, movie time and candy time. ;)