Monday, September 29, 2014

Exciting News

I haven't fallen off the edge of the world, 
I have just been busy. 

The big news is the adoption is final.  



Here we are in front of the court house just after the adoption was final.  It was a bit of an emotional day, especially for the girls.  They felt the loss of their family and there name.  It was exciting for us and for one moment it was overwhelming for me as it hit me this is real and forever.  

They are sweet, active, affectionate, fun, beautiful girls.  
They have blessed our lives.  



Here are some of the family members that came to court and supported our special occasion.  As you can see we were all excited. 

So how did this all come about, what is the story behind this adoption.  
I can remember when I applied for Social Security, how good I felt, it was amazing.  I felt this must be the right time for me to retire. I had a date picked out, it would be after a big project at work and it would be the Friday before Thanksgiving.  So I would have all of the Holidays off, a stress free Holiday Season.  Beautiful!

On November 15, 2012 my former sister in law, the grandmother of the girls called me at work and asked if I could take her grand babies.  This was the day before I retired.  I had plans to teach more quilting and to do a mission at the Mesa Family Search Library. I hadn't made any commitments yet since it was so close to the Holidays.  I had thought about sending my papers in for the mission but a still small voice told me to wait. So, I was just looking forward to enjoying the Holidays without working.  I had a list of quilts I wanted to finish.  Guess what they still aren't finished.
  
While I spoke with their Nana, I had the distinct impression that I had to say yes.  The timing was too good for the Lord's hands not to have been in the situation.  He was mindful of these little girls and He wanted them with us.  Nana told me we were the only stable family she knew who could take the girls.  She couldn't because she works and helps an elderly aunt and had a sick mother in another state, plus she lives in California. 

So on my last day of work I left work at 2 PM and I left CPS at 3:30 PM with 2 beautiful girls.  They went with us to my retirement party; we rode on the light rail and went to the Spaghetti Factory in Phoenix for dinner. 


Here is the little one, or "Little Bit" she was age 7.

Here is the bigger one, or "Bigger Bit" age 9.  These are the pictures they picked out for their scrapbooks.  There are other pictures of them laughing with my friends.  Everyone made them feel welcomed.  My friends are good that way.




That night the "Little Bit" came to me, took my face in her two little hands and told me I was perfect.  If that doesn't melt your heart nothing will.  It had to be the sweetest thing I had ever experienced. 


They took over my planned guest room.  So the quilt I was making for that double bed is not finished.
On Saturday we had to go buy dresses and Sunday shoes so they could go to church on Sunday.  They had never gone to church before so this was a big culture shock for them.  



At first we thought it was going to be a short term like a few months maybe six but as the months passed it became obvious that it was going to be more long term but still not permanent. 

In March of 2013 we began classes to become licensed foster parents.  That is 3 hours once a week for 11 weeks.  What an education.  We were blessed with good friends from church who watched the kids for us for free so we could attend the classes. 
Another couple we knew, who had had foster kids gave us twin beds for the girls. Two of the largest tender mercies we had on this journey.  Another large tender mercy was fun kids who lived by us, just the right age for our girls.  Built in friends what a blessing.

There also many small tender mercies, like I learned to sleep with a night light on in every room of the house and light shining into my bedroom from these lights.  I like it dark when I sleep. When my big kids where home and were up to all hours of the night the light would drive me crazy but not for these little ones, who needed to feel secure. 

We became licensed in July after many home inspections and lots of paper work.  Everything that is labeled keep out of the reach of children are locked up in cabinets. We had to make many changes in our home to become licensed. All worth it.

By November of 2013 we knew the rights of the mother were going to be terminated and the father's would be terminated a few months later.  
I can never explain how hard it is to watch children being heart broken by the actions of their parents.  The pain is raw and intense for them and for me.  There were times I came up with answers to their questions about such things in a way that was much better than I would normally reply.  The Lord has helped me say some really cool things to help them at the right time.   Don't get me wrong I am not perfect but I have received lots of help from above. 


The picture on the right was taken in January of 2013, I made those little quilts and pillows for their doll beds.  They helped with the quilting.  The one on the left was taken in February of 2014.  Little Bit had grown three inches in a year, Bigger Bit had grown two inches in a little more than a year, but she has grown a lot in these last couple of months. 

We didn't think very long on if we should adopt the girls, we knew it was the right thing to do.  We were even encouraged by one person at the licensing agency to let another family adopt them and be their grandparents.  It did not feel right.  We also knew that another big change for them could set them back another year developmentally and we didn't want that for the girls.  I also knew spiritually that these girls were going to be mine. That feeling has helped me get through some very tough moments.  Let's face it, raising kids isn't easy and I am not as young as I was the first time around. I have been blessed with health and energy to care for these girls.  I miss some things but they are worth it. The only time I start to worry is when I think about how old I am going to be when they graduate from high school.  But I remind myself, Heavenly Father made this happen, this is my right place to be and the right thing to be doing, so he will get me through it. 

Things move slowly with the court but by April of 2014 we were going to adopt the girls.   It was final on September 18th. 

We have had lots of fun things happening over the last 22 months, like baby teeth falling out and the tooth fairy coming, and even once she forgot to come and came a day late.  One tooth was swallowed when it fell out while eating corn on the cob.  That was a real concern if the tooth fairy was going to come and the tooth fairy did come.  Little Bit learned to ride a two wheel bike.  Two trips to California.  The first time seeing the ocean and playing in the waves.  Horseback riding lessons for Bigger Bit with grant money for foster kids. Ballet lessons for Little Bit.  Some really fun chalk art in our drive way.  Lots of hugs and kisses.  Lots of not going to bed on time, that's not so fun but so part of children.  That first Christmas was magical, they loved all my pretty decorations and I told them not to worry Santa knew where they were.  And when they woke up and saw Santa had been here.  Oh it was wonderful.  The second Christmas was fun as the girls would say, I remember this when they pulled out the decorations. Going Trick or Treating again.  

Well that pretty much tells the story, and what a story it is. 

You will hear and see more about them now. 
I love my beautiful little girls. 


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I Made History

I did participate in this worldwide event. 
 
A fun experience I had while indexing was I indexed the obituary of E. B. white, the author of Stuart Little and Charlotte's web.  It was a very lengthy obituary.  It spoke about how he didn't like wasted or extra words and I kept thinking he would not like this obituary.
 
Here are the results of this event.
 You We set a record for the greatest number of indexing participants in a single day. A total of 66,511 volunteers participated and more than 5.7 million records were indexed! Share this badge with your friends to let them know you made history.
 
Thank you to everyone who joined in the worldwide indexing event! You set a record for the greatest number of indexing participants in a single day. A total of 66,511 volunteers participated and more than 5.7 million records were indexed! Share this badge with your friends to let them know you made history.

We want to hear about your experience! Submit your stories to fsindexing@familysearch.org.
Now to keep on indexing a little every week. I haven't done a lot since my two foster girls moved in on November 16, 2012.  I was asked by their grandmother to take them in the day before I retired.  On the day I retired I left work at 2PM and I had them by 330PM.  They our great nieces and sweet busy girls.  Soon we will be adopting them and then I will share more. 
 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

My Life Story

Click here to see what I have been doing with My Life Story book.   You will see my binder cover and spine as well as my divider pages.  Oh here is a picture to peak your curiosity.
 
 
Enjoy!
Happy Easter!
 

Monday, March 31, 2014

My Dad's Photo Album

My Dad made three or four photo albums of our family.  Think about that it was my Dad who made them not my Mom.  I have two of the albums.  I am not sure what happened to the others.  My brother who lived with my Dad until his death and lived in his home until the house sold did not have the albums when
I visited him in 2009. 
A few years back I had taken some of the pictures out of the book and placed them on black pages and wrote what my dad had written for each page.  I wanted my albums to all be 8.5 x 11.  I didn't feel good about this so I did not proceed with the project.  
Saturday morning while preparing to go scrapbooking with some friends, I hit upon a wonderful idea.  Why not cut the pages out of the books, leaving his pages intact and add them to my paper to fit my books.  I asked my fellow scrapers and they agreed. 
I am posting just some of the pages here.  Now that the pages are scanned I can also send copies to my brothers.
 

My Mom's & Dad's Wedding Day.   This is my second Mom that raised me, my Mother had died in February. 
 
 
Honeymoon in Niagara Falls both the NY and Canadian sides.  They swam in the Great Lakes.

 
And we came home

 
  Mary Puss  is home and - and fooling with Daddy
 
That was my nick name my Dad gave me and when
I was in a bad mood it became sour puss.
 
I did nine pages but I won't bore you with all of them.  I am happy with the results.  I may add some journaling notes and copy what my Dad wrote as his white ink is very faded on the black paper.  I even tried my white ink pen on the old porous paper and it soaks in and is very faded.  I want to save the information.
 
I did post more picture here.  
 

Here are the two album I have.
 
 
 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

15-19 Parsons Blvd My Childhood Home

This is the home I grew up in until I was 11.  When we moved to Florida.  I don't have a lot of good pictures of it but I remember it fondly. My nephew happens to be in NY now.  So I asked him to take a picture of the old house if he had time.  He did such an awesome job and went today.  He only arrived yesterday!
 
Mary 1949
 
Yes, that is me truly sitting on the steps.  The front yard had a slopping small hill to the sidewalk and a big maple tree in front.  

Old House how it looks now

Here is the house today.  The little hill has been leveled and walled in.  The lions do not fit my memory of the old home.  There looks like a lot of other plants are now in the front yard. And they painted the red brick front but left the big bricks or rocks natural. 

Mary & Dad in 1949
 
Below I am sitting in the upper level of the front yard just in front of the front door.  Here you can see on of the garage doors is open.  In those days they were manual, you had to get out of the car to open and close them.
 
Mary 1958
 
Here is my nephew, Kevin standing in front of the house in the drive way.  It looks like the bay window and garage have been updated.  Well it has been 54 years since I lived in the house, they would have to be updated.  I wonder what it looks like inside.
 
Kevin and the house today
 
Thanks Kevin for doing such a great job!
 
 
Street sign
Here is the corner street sign, this was the street I walled up the hill to go to PS 79 for kindergarten and first grade.
 
 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Family History Pages

I haven't been able to do much research but I have been making some more Family History Scrapbook pages.  These are my Great Grandparents and some of their children.  They had 10 children my grandfather was the second oldest. 
 
This picture you saw in the Mystery Solved post.  The engagement picture of my great grandparents, Mary Ann Holmes and Walter Thomas Chaplin.
 
 
The gentleman in the middle is my great uncle Herbert Henry Chaplin.  This is in front of Buckingham Palace in 1952.



In the side car is my Great Uncle Walter Victor (Vic) Chaplin with some in-laws. Year unknown.

 
The picture below is the first picture I had seen of my maternal Great Grandmother.  My second cousin in England sent it to me about three years ago.  In the picture are children and their spouse and a couple of grandkids.
 
 
I am enjoying saving the pictures and the stories that go with them. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mystery Solved

Back in May of 2010 I wrote this post about a picture of an unknown couple.  One of my second cousins in England had sent it to me.  He thought it might be from the New York branch of the family.  The copy of the picture he had was in a cardboard folder with the name of a photography studio in Brooklyn, New York.  My Grandfather and a couple of his brothers from England lived in Brooklyn, New York.  I had hopes of it being my grandparents. 
 
Well time has passed and my second cousin found another cousin and went and meet her and they had a lovely visit.  This cousin is a granddaughter of the second youngest son of our Great Grandparents.  So she is a generation closer then we are.  She told us the picture was an engagement picture of our
Great Grandparents. 
 
My first reaction was this is right, I could see a younger version of my Great Grandparents in the faces.  But I had to raise the question of the Brooklyn folder.  My cousins went back and checked with the granddaughter and she confirmed it was a picture that was in her home as she grow up and it was of her grandparents on their engagement.  I am taking her word for it.   There must have been several copies of the picture.  Somehow one of them made it to New York and was placed in a folder from Brooklyn.  Maybe someone needed the frame it was in to put a new family picture and placed the old family picture in the folder.  Somehow that folder with the picture made it back to England.  The granddaughter confirmed that the sons in New York sent money back to their Mom when she became a widow.   
 
So here is the picture of
Mary Ann Holmes and Walter Thomas Chaplin
on their engagement.   
 
I wonder why her face is so serious.  Maybe it was the style of photography at that time. 
 
Here is the only other picture I have of my Great Grandparents together.