Archive for December, 2010

Seeing the light…

Posted by KK on Thursday, 30 December, 2010

…the one at the end of the tunnel. A mere glimpse, anyway.

We had a very big meeting at DCS this past Tuesday. It was brutal. My morning began with more nausea than I have ever felt while not being pregnant. I was forced to swallow an anxiety pill just to make it through. Brutal, I tell you. Jason got out of work for a little while to make the meeting with us. Luckily, the meeting took place during JJ’s visitation time so he spent most of it on mine or Jason’s lap instead of in his birth mother’s lap. The purpose of this meeting? Well, to merely announce for the second or third time now that TPR (Termination of Parental Rights) are in fact begin filed but this time they mean business and they in fact had the paperwork already turned in prior to the meeting. JJ’s caseworker, who has proven herself to be the worst in history who I haven’t even heard from in two months almost and who has lied to us and others repeatedly, was there but had nothing to say to anyone and wouldn’t even make eye contact with me because of the recent emails I have been sending her and copying everyone including her supervisor. She is positively the most defensive person I have ever met and would deny in a minute through screaming rants that she has ever done anything wrong. It is beyond sad and frustrating that people like her have so much control over a child’s life.

So for nearly two hours we got to watch JJ’s birth mother cry and cry and pour her heart out over how she would do absolutely anything for her child (although in retrospect it has been 9 months since he came into custody and she yet to do ONE item on her perm plan) (and he is her 4th child that she does not have custody of) and she was so pilled up that she couldn’t even understand simple statements others in the room were making. She brought with her yet another boyfriend that is now living with her (this one couldn’t have been around for more than a few months) who tried to dominate the entire meeting for the first 5-10 minutes before he was silenced. I tell you, it was brutal. I don’t care anymore. I will no longer sit quietly while I watch a broken system fail another child. I will give it my all (even though Jason silenced me more than once) so that when it is all said and done I will have no regrets.

So Jason and I have decided that at this time we are not taking another placement. Everyone at DCS understands my hurt and frustration right now and are begging and almost bribing me to not quit although our quitting would be completely justified considering what we have been through the last nine months with JJ. Jason and I are praying about how to move forward and considering other options for adoption that do not involve the foster care system. Perhaps we’ll be making a formal announcement soon. We’ll see. Meanwhile, we ask for your prayers in the coming weeks for the brutal road ahead in regards to our JJ. His case IS in termination. Finally. And it WILL go before and be heard by a judge soon. The judge will make the final decision. Many are on our side but that doesn’t matter in the eyes of a judge I am told. He can say whatever he wants and his decision sticks. I just pray he has all the details before him. God knows the outcome. I am so jealous.

1043rd installment of “Funnies…by Bailey boyz.”

Posted by KK on Monday, 27 December, 2010


Daddy, did you marry mommy because she has beautiful teeth?

Lake: (spoken while watching us smooching in the kitchen)

Daddy always kisses mommy a lot right before she’s gonna get stressed out. It’s amazing and romantic in many ways.

JJ es dos.

Posted by KK on Sunday, 26 December, 2010

Our little JJ turned two on Friday, Christmas eve. Yep. You read that correctly. He’s a Christmas eve baby. Mine is two days after Christmas and I gave birth to my eldest son, Wheaton, the day after my birthday in 2000. So counting Jesus (because WE definitely count Him), we celebrate 4 birthdays in 5 days here. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, though. So if we are blessed with the gift of adopting our little JJ I will have yet another little guy to make sure he gets celebrated individually every year amidst the hustle and the bustle of Jesus’ big day. JJ came to live with us when he was barely 15 months old so I am not sure what sort of 1st birthday party he had if any so I let him do the tearing up a cupcake ordeal (which is so hard for me as you can imagine) and he loved it. It took him no less than 15 minutes to realize that I was indeed planning to let him eat the cupcake himself (he has chewing/food issues due to an oral motor delay so I have always fed him to ensure he doesn’t take in too much and properly chews his food) but when he did finally get going he helped himself. He did a great job and asked to get down before finishing his carrot cupcake. Who doesn’t finish a carrot cupcake with cream cheese frosting?? My JJ doesn’t. And I was glad. About 30 minutes later he was bouncing off the walls. Later when the sugar high faded he just sat in his mamaw’s lap staring into space. Poor guy. Perhaps I should give him sweets more often. …. Nah.

We taught him to say ‘two’ and to hold up two fingers although after we spent a great deal of time trying to show him how to hold up two fingers we finally held up his two pointer fingers and that was doable. So when he shows you how old he is he holds up two hands. It’s too cute. After his treat when it was time to open gifts he was again unsure of whether he was actually allowed to tear paper. Again, it took him a while but he got the hang of it and had his new toys unwrapped in a matter of minutes. He loves animals SO much and got a big red barn with several new animals and a couple puzzle boards to go along with it. He played and he played and he played. He’s such an angel.

Jason’s parents were in town as well and his mom brought us all a birthday cake. She is so sweet to think of us all each year and always brings a cake no matter what. It’s her thing. I like it! I failed to snap a photo before the cake was cut but it read ‘Happy Birthday Wheat, JJ & Kayce”. It was yummy!

a God of mystery…

Posted by KK on Thursday, 23 December, 2010


Have you searched for Jesus in the eyes of real people this Christmas? In the eyes of the poor, the oppressed, the orphan, the homeless, the AIDS victim – the abandoned and the forgotten? Below is an excerpt from an incredible book I am reading called Red Letters written by Tom Davis. This book is so eye-opening to what we as christians should be living. I can’t wait to read more….I’m only on page 21. I thought this message might be a great reminder for us all in the coming days as we find ourselves bustling through the hours of why we are celebrating this day and remember those who cannot celebrate.

I don’t know about you, but I (and more than a few Jews in Jesus’ time) would have expected the King of the universe to be born in a palace – someplace worthy of his status. He would have slept on no less than four-hundred-thread-count Egyptian cotton crib sheets and rested his head on a down-filled silk-wrapped pillow. The mobile above his crib would surely have been crafted of sparkling gems – white diamonds, red rubies, blue sapphires, and green emeralds. And all of the most respected people in society would visit this beautifully decorated nursery to worship him.

But that’s not how God did things. Jesus was born in a dirty, smelly, disgusting barn. He was laid not on a clean sheet but in a manger – a feeding trough filled with animal snot and drool and their leftover half-eaten food. He wasn’t welcome to the world by great leaders, by rulers and officials and other members of the Lexus-drivers club. He was met by a bunch of lowly shepherds. Yes, three kings or wise men arrived from the east months later. But nobody even knew who they were.

Are you getting the picture? Jesus didn’t come to earth and identify with the rich, the successful, and the most influential. He entered the world as a pauper. He entered the world not in the comfort of his parents’ home, nor in the company of smiling relatives or even the safety of a hospital. He arrived in the humblest of places, in the lowliest of circumstances. God hid the mystery of the kingdom in the lives of the most needy.

Is it any wonder, then, that Jesus associated himself with the “least of these”? That when we help them, we’re helping Jesus? God has tremendous love for those who are rejected, abandoned, and laughed at. This truth came clear to me when I started reading about the life of Mother Teresa. Read what she said:

The dying, the crippled, the mentally ill, the unwanted,
the unloved – they are Jesus in disguise….[Through the]
poor people I have an opportunity to be 24 hours a day
with Jesus. Every AIDS victim is Jesus in a pitiful disguise;
Jesus is in everyone….[AIDS sufferers are] children of
God [who] have been created for greater things.

…In some crazy way, Jesus is the poor. When we find the “least of these”, we find him. If this doesn’t turn your theology upside down, I don’t know what will.

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40

Christmasy stuff…

Posted by KK on Wednesday, 15 December, 2010

Christmas is in the air around the Bailey house. I feel like there’s a new project every day. We haven’t been shopping once this year but instead are replacing all our time baking and painting and doing fun stuff. I love it. I did panic just a bit a couple days ago when I realized that despite my kid’s not requesting much in the way of gifts, they still did write a few things down and I had not purchased one item. So I took about an hour or so while they played outside in the snow on Monday to do some cyber shopping and finished in just over an hour still drinking hot coffee and wearing my pajamas. It was awesome. I chose really cheap shipping despite the multiple warnings they gave me about making sure I chose the right method in order to receive our goodies before the big day (which is all hogwash to try and pry more money out of you) and since my kids know santa isn’t real then they wouldn’t even care if something came a couple days late. By the time I went to bed Monday night, I had received shipping notices for everything and it will all be here days before Christmas. Oh yea.

So what have we been up to? Well, we made and decorated cookies a few days ago (see photos in my previous post). It was fun and no one was killed in the process which was a plus. I have issues with flour and sugar and the potential mess it all can make along with letting little boys go nuts with it and slosh it all out of the bowl. I micromanage them big time when we do things like that as a family. I can’t help it. I have issues. But I did do something that I am very proud of….I let them paint!! Yes, I did. And as I realized the other day that I am turning 34 years old this month, have been a mother for almost 10 years now and am beginning to even dress a bit more matronly (because it is freakin’ comfortable and practical) that I do not own a single nativity set. Nope. Not one. Some people I know have oodles of them but I haven’t one. Well, I do now. And it is the best one in the world. Why is it the best? Because my sweet boys painted it all by themselves. I stopped in Hobby Lobby a week or more ago (vowing that would be my very last trip to Turkey creek until after the holidays so since Earthfare is there I am not sure how we are going to eat but we’ll figure it out) and they had all their Christmas crafts and decorations 50% off. I saw the cutest unfinished wood nativity set that was originally $35 (which I got for $17.50) that you could paint and knew I had to have it. I hope to collect a few more nativity sets over the years because I love them but I will never forget that my very first one was hand painted by all my sweeties. They did a fabulous job, too. I completely let them have at it and didn’t try and manage them at all. Mama’s comin’ around. Slowly but surely.

Christmas Cookies…

Posted by KK on Monday, 13 December, 2010


Busy Baileys.

Posted by KK on Friday, 10 December, 2010

We have been so busy here. It’s been a good busy, the kind that makes you feel good and that warms your heart. I love that kind of busy. We’ve not been shopping for Christmas one time and it’s already the 10th but I don’t care. I am so ready for things to slow down but when I say ‘slow down’ I mean fill our days with family fun like baking cookies, painting our nativity set I bought at the craft store for my boys to paint for me and finishing the decorating. We have our tree up but that’s about it. I am not complaining at all, really. I’m just sayin’.

So what have we been up to? Well, a couple of weeks ago our JJ started having visits with his birth mother. JJ has been in our custody for eight months and had not seen his birth mom in six full months to the day when DCS decided she could begin her visitations again. When JJ came to live with us he was a terrified, incoherent little baby who had been living his 15 months of  life in a drug induced, secluded run down hotel environment where he spent most of his days either sleeping all day or laying in his crib with a bottle. We learned this as we began realizing that at nearly a year and a half of age he had never experience a bath before (because he screamed uncontrollably every time we bathed him because it terrified him so badly), he had never eaten solid foods before (because he gagged every time I offered him a banana or cheerios) so I introduced him to baby food at 15 months of age and then began transitioning to solids, and because sunlight and loud noises were too much for him and he couldn’t take a lot of it. He wasn’t speaking one word. Despite the mound of age appropriate toys within his reach in his bedroom, he wouldn’t play with anything. For more than a month, I carried him everywhere I went. Fast forward eight months and you wouldn’t ever know he was that little boy. He has speech therapy twice a week where he now recites parts of his favorite books with his teacher, where he repeats almost any word on command and is now using words to try and communicate with us (such as ‘stop’ when we are tickling him and ‘wah-wah’ when he wants his cup of water). He will be two years old this month and has yet to use more than two words at a time and only uses a handful of words appropriately. He loves baths and calls them ‘tub tub’ instead of bath tub. He loves the outdoors and the sunshine. He is no longer afraid of loud noises but still has a lot of fear of abandonment and will not let me out of his sight for too long. He eats everything. I mean everything. And he eats so fast that he nearly chokes at every meal because he wants it in his tummy so fast he forgets to chew his food. He eats the same thing we eat at every meal. Along with speech therapy twice a week he attends a ‘Birth to Three’ program taught by Little Tennessee Valley Education Coop at Lenoir City Elementary School on Mondays and loves his teachers. He no longer cries when I drop him off but instead runs toward the mound of activities they have waiting for him. The child we have now is nothing like the child we received in April.

So take a child who was awakened to the world around him with a loving, caring family and who had not seen his birth mother in six months and try handing him over to her who he sees as nothing more than a complete stranger and this is what he and us have been subjected to the last two weeks. The first week, he screamed. He didn’t recognize any of the people trying to take him from me, who he knows as his mommy, and wasn’t in any way shape or form going to be left with them. I had no choice but to hand him to someone, tell him I loved him and would be back shortly, and walk out while he screamed with his arms outstretched towards me and crying ‘mommy’. Talk about heartbreaking. That day, when I returned to pick him up, he was overjoyed to see me and nearly jumped out of his birth mother’s arms and shouted very loudly “MOMMY!!” to me. What an odd position I was in but glowing on the inside. The second week it wasn’t much different although he didn’t cry much. As we entered the DCS office and he saw his birth mom and the visitation supervisor he quickly whipped around and laid his head on my shoulder gripping his fingers into my back very intensely.  His birth mom kept trying to take him from me and he wouldn’t have it. I was finally able to set him down on the floor and he walked toward the playroom when he recognized a DCS employee who had visited him several times in our home. Again, when I returned to pick him up, he was overjoyed to see me and jumped in my arms. To him, it is no different than dropping him off in the nursery at church. He doesn’t like it but knows he doesn’t have a choice and also knows I will return shortly and he is reassured by that. I hate this for him and I will admit that I hate it for myself, too. The system is broken. We know that. But this is the first time we have witnessed the system begin to fail a child and I have already made everyone at DCS aware that if they fail this child we are done. In the last year we have had seven children come through our home and six have returned. Successfully. The system worked for those children. This time it is different. I can’t be a part of it knowing there are children out there in other less fortunate countries who do not have government systems in place to protect them, clothe them and feed them and who possibly need us more than the children in our country who at all times are being taken care of by someone. So that’s that. We’ll see what the future holds. “Be STILL and know that I am God.” I chant it all day every day. It’s all I can do.

So aside from this addition to our already very busy schedule, I have with a friend been planning a Christmas party for CAPA, our foster parent association for Loudon and Monroe Counties. We have approximately thirty homes in these two counties and in each home is anywhere from 1 to 5 foster children at all times. We had about 70 folks RSVP. With money raised through our two fundraisers, we had a total of $868. How were we going to pull this off AND buy each child a gift that wasn’t just a piece of crap!?!? That’s when God stepped in. The vice principal at a local elementary school learned we were looking for a location and being an adoptive parent herself said she would let us use their gymnasium for FREE. which included basketball goals, a giant area for a bunch of wild kiddos to run for two hours, tables, trash cans…absolutely everything we needed! Also, the supervisor at our local DCS office attends a large church here in town who owned their very own bounce house and he arranged for us to borrow it for FREE. We received a $100 gift card donation from Wal-Mart to use toward the purchase of gifts and were able to spend $20 on each child….all 41 of them!! My friend Charity’s youngest adopted son, Mason, just had his first birthday party about a week ago and received way more gifts than he needed and two of some things so she provided gifts for about six of the very young children on our list by donating things he received at his party. This saved us so much money! Papa John’s gave us a great deal on 20 pizzas. Food City donated two dozen cupcakes leaving us to only have to pay for six out of the eight dozen I ordered. All the paper products and wrapping paper needed we purchased from Dollar Tree and saved a ton. Lastly, Charity’s father came wearing a borrowed santa suit and personally gave each child his/her gift. I stood beside santa for a little while and heard the children telling him things they wanted. One little boy said, “Do you remember seeing me at my school the other day?” It was precious. All in all, we fed and entertained about 70 people for little to nothing. We are in fact broke with only maybe $20 left in our account but we made a lot of kids really happy. To beat it all, because they are technically still in state custody although living with their grandmother for the last nine months, our three boys we had last winter (A, T & J) were able to come with their grandmother so our boys were so happy they got to play with them again. These boys all love each other so much. They’ll be brothers forever. I am attaching as many photos as I can without showing too many faces (I am not legally allowed to show faces). The faces you see are of those already adopted like my friend Charity’s blonde headed angel, Mason. I didn’t get one photo of her Kaden. For those of you who loved on our three boys last winter, you’ll enjoy seeing them almost a year later….perfect, happy and well cared for by their grandma. They’re amazing, smart, healthy & SO well behaved! Thank you to all who helped us sell tickets to our pancake breakfast and who helped in any other way make this a very successful and joyous event for so many children in distress.

Merry Christmas!

This is enough for me.

Posted by KK on Thursday, 2 December, 2010


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“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25: 40