Friday, August 29, 2008

My Daniel

Yes, he's entwined in ribbon. Yes, he's lounging in a dog bed. No, he's not wearing any clothes.

But doesn't he look happy??

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Getting Closer

Somehow we just moved one step closer to making Kiki a permanent part of our family. Yesterday we learned that the home study of the relative who wanted her was not approved and today Kiki's mother relinquished her parental rights. The permanency plan for Kiki now states that she will be adopted by us, her foster parents. But there is still a huge obstacle. Her family has 90 days from today to hire an attorney and file an intervention to keep her. We have heard that Kiki's grandfather wants her, so I think it is likely he will do something. This is the same thing we went through with the boys, except since the boys had been living with their grandparents and then removed from that home it didn't seem likely they would get them back. I am very afraid it won't be as easy this time.

Again, thank you to everyone who has been praying about this. I would like to ask you to also pray for Kiki's mother. She seems to be having a very difficult time right now and I just feel so sad for her. Yes, she has made some bad decisions, but she is also very young and has had some difficult circumstances to deal with in her life. She will have a final visit with Kiki in a couple of weeks and I am worried about what that will do to her. Thank you to everyone for your prayers and support.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Kiki Speaks

Several months ago I predicted Kiki would start talking before Daniel, and I added jokingly she'd be talking before Joe as well. Turns out I just might be right. She's been babbling da-da-da and other sounds for quite a while, but last Friday she actually said "hat." We were playing around with hats and I kept saying the word hat over and over and then she copied me. She actually said "h-a-t", not "ha" or "at". I have it on video, too.

Then I was panting like a dog (because it's the baby sign for dog) and Kiki panted, too. Later on I was showing Billy a video of this and when Kiki heard me panting on the video she panted again. Do I have to tell you how cute this is?? And, if she watches us eating, she copies the movement and sound of our mouths like she's eating,too.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Future Olympian of 2024

Last week we were discussing which Olympic sport Joe would be
good at. Wrestling and weightlifting were obvious choices. But today I discovered a ribbon twirler tucked away in a filing cabinet, and now there is no question. Joe shows clear talent in the sport of Rhythmic Gymnastics. See for yourself:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Let's Bake a Cake

Ever decide to bake a cake just because? That's what we did today. Well, the truth is I was craving something sweet and just so happened to have a cake mix in the pantry. So I enlisted the help of Joe and together we baked a cake.

Pouring in the mix. I had to take this picture fast before he dumped the rest of the bag on the counter.

Ooooo! Watching the mixer.

"Smoothing out" the batter.

I'm not going to post a picture of the final product because it may or may not have several pieces missing from it. (Come on, how often do you get to eat WARM cake fresh from the oven?)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Sunflower Playhouse

If you are like me, you may have had all kinds of fun ideas of things you wanted to do with your kids before you even had any children. For me, one of those ideas was to grow a sunflower playhouse. You plant giant sunflowers in a square and they grow to become a "house" for kids to play in. Unfortunately, I got a late start on planting it because we were working on other outdoor projects like the garden. But sometime in June we (I mean Billy) dug out the area and I planted the sunflower seeds (plus Morning Glories to climb up the sunflower stalks) and a just few days later we had sprouts! Only three sides grew, however, because the 4th side was next to the fence and had bad soil.

As of yesterday some of the stalks were over 6 feet tall and the heads were on the cusp of blooming (I'm pretty sure that's the first time I've ever used the word "cusp". And possibly the last). Anyway, I was getting VERY excited.

But last night the sunflowers suffered a severe blow. A wicked thunderstorm blew in at 3 AM complete with high winds and hail. One entire "wall" of the house blew over. This side was lashed together by the Morning Glory vines so I think that's why it fell. The opposite side wasn't bound together so it withstood the wind. I was able to stand the fallen stalks back up again so hopefully the damage wasn't permanent.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Two Babies

Two babies start pounding on the computer keyboard. Mommy looks each one in the eye and firmly says "No." One baby starts to cry and stops hitting the computer. The other baby laughs and hits it even harder.

Two babies are tired and ready for their naps. Mommy puts each one in their bed with a bottle. One baby hits the wall a few times, then gives up, contentedly drinks his bottle, and goes to sleep. The other baby screams to high heaven for 20 minutes, stomps her feet, flails her arms, and then cries herself to sleep.

Two babies are playing with each other on the floor. One baby is climbing on the other baby's back, hanging on to him, and bouncing up and down. The other baby has a mallet. Uh oh, I have to go now!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Glimmer of Hope

If you've been following our journey with Kiki, you know that it has been an emotional series of ups and downs, beginning with the day after we received her when we were told we were only a temporary placement for her and we felt the first sting of disappointment. Since then as the case has progressed, there have been days where we were more hopeful of our chances to adopt her, and then days when it seemed inevitable that we would have to give her up.

Currently we are waiting to hear whether Kiki will be placed with a relative of hers. However, this evening we received a phone call from her CASA volunteer, who told us she is recommending to the court that Kiki be adopted by us. She has some concerns about the relative placement and I would assume that Kiki's ad litem and CPS representative may have the same concerns, and they would also recommend that we become the adoptive placement. This is only speculation of course. So, we continue to pray and hope.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Adoption Day!

Introducing Joseph William and Daniel Otto Morrison:

It is official! We adopted the boys this morning as part of the mass adoption ceremony in which 72 children were adopted into 38 families. It was obviously a momentous occasion for our family, but I didn't really get emotional until about halfway through the naming of the families (we were about the 5th or 6th family announced). Everyone clapped and cheered as each family was introduced. There were plenty of people who had the 500 Babies beat, including a single woman who adopted 4 children and another family who adopted 5 children. There was also a teenage girl adopted who was so excited she "raised the roof" when her family was announced. We had to wait over an hour for the judge to arrive, so Joe was very restless by the time the ceremony started. Fortunately we were joined by family and friends so we had plenty of hands to handle the babies. Afterwards the children feasted on cupcakes donated by H.E.B. and were given cute stuffed dogs.

Oh, and we made the news! Channel 12 usually covers the ceremony each month so we knew there would be a chance. They showed clips of about 4 families and we were one of them.

The only twinge of sadness to the day was the feeling that our family will not be complete unless Kiki is part of it. But God has blessed us beyond measure so far, and we trust His plan for us. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Good Experience

Nothing beats spending free money when you need a lift in spirits. Thanks to a generous grant from the Beaumont Foundation we were able to purchase new clothes for the children yesterday. We thought about waiting until the upcoming tax-free weekend, but I have no desire to battle the crowds. I need serious help in spending money, however, because when I totaled our purchases from our first stop at Kohl's we had only spent 1/9 of the total we were given. We then went to Target and did better, but I still have to go back out later today to spend the rest. Sad story, I know. :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Bad Experience

Did you know that if you are a foster family and someone accuses you of associating with neighbors who smoke marijuana that you have to take a drug test within 24 hours AND you have to pay for it yourself? ($61.50 per test)

We have had such a positive experience with foster care up until yesterday. Yesterday we were presented with these allegations, along with other accusations of poor treatment of our children. I can't understand why someone would do this to us and both Billy and I are dealing with some pretty strong feelings of anger right now. We are 95% sure of who made these false claims and having been praying for a forgiving heart towards them. We understand the need for children to be protected, we don't understand outright lies.

One of the claims was that there was crying in our house, then a "slapping sound", and then more crying. This makes me sick to my stomach. There was also a claim of "scary crying". Guess what? WE HAVE THREE BABIES!!!! And we just finished training a very strong-willed, very loud little girl to sleep through the night in her own bed after she was used to months of sleeping in bed with her mother and father. You bet she did some "scary" crying.

We have a wonderful caseworker who assured us that everything will be ok, that these things happen, and as soon as the drug tests come back negative we will be cleared. It's just an ugly blemish on a week that is supposed to be a happy time in our lives, as we will finalize the adoption of the boys on Friday.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Best Buds Part II

Last night while I was away at MOPS, Kiki had a hard time falling asleep. Normally she cries for about 5 minutes and that's it. Well, last night Billy put her to bed first before the boys. After he put her down she screamed and screamed and screamed and screamed. You may be thinking it was because she missed her mommy, but no. We think it was because Daniel wasn't in the room with her. As soon as Billy put Dan in his bed, Kiki calmed down and went to sleep. Hmmm.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Jesus Loves You

It's really difficult to know what goes on inside Joe's head. He still answers yes to just about every question you ask him, no matter how ridiculous. But I have faith that some concepts are sinking in, especially the important ones. Last night as I put him to bed and told him that Jesus loves him, he pointed to the picture of Jesus on the wall, then pointed to his heart, and finally pointed to my heart.

Best Buds

Saturday morning we caught Daniel and Kiki holding hands during breakfast. All right, all right, I know they weren't really holding hands on purpose, but it's still cute. Several days ago Billy caught them playing peek-a-boo with each other behind a chair. They also "talk" to each other through clicking and smacking sounds. They still fight a lot, which consists of back-and-forth tug-of-wars over toys. Dan also has the habit of hanging onto the back of Kiki (and Joe) as they crawl around the house and sooner or later they tire of him hitching a ride and cry for him to get off.

It is such fun to watch these little babies growing up to be best friends and playmates.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Back to School, Sort Of

Today is registration day at school. Billy went in for the morning and is hoping he won't be needed so he can come home. I am hoping, too. Teachers don't officially start until the 18th, but he will have to go in a couple of days next week to start getting his classroom ready.

These last 5 weeks have been great. Taking turns getting everyone up in the morning, having someone there to fetch a bottle or a diaper, and being able to stay up late together because neither one of us is completely exhausted.

But that is about to end. Soon it will be Billy vs. 20 ten-year-olds and me vs. 500 Babies. Which odds would you prefer?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Happy Birthday, Joe!

Joe turned 2 yesterday! We had a small party with tacos, cake, and ice cream. Joe had a great time opening his cards and gifts and playing with our friends the Rancours. One of his gifts was a potty chair, which he enjoyed wearing as a hat and using for storing toys. I think he's going to be disappointed when he learns the real use for it.

When I was a kid, the best part about birthdays was the shape cakes my mother would make. (Except when I turned 2 and it was so hot they just put two candles in a watermelon instead of a birthday cake.) So I wanted to do the same for Joe, with some help from the internet and Billy. I baked the cake and did the orange icing, and he did the rest of the decorating.
We get to do it all over again in a month when Daniel turns 1, and I hope we get to do it again in October when Kiki turns 1.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Our Family

Yesterday Jamie bravely came over to our house to photograph the 500 Babies. We had a lot of fun and she got some great shots. You can check out more pictures here and here. Thank you Jamie for this wonderful gift!!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Brad is Fat

Brad is 5 pounds overweight, 25% above where he should be. So the vet sent him home with a backpack full of tools to help with his weight loss: a measuring cup for his food, a toy mouse for him to chase, a frisbee, a book called "Fitness Unleashed" and a pedometer that clips onto his collar. Here he is sporting the pedometer:2000 steps = 1 mile. He has taken 4876 steps since Thursday. Don't be too impressed, though. If he scratches himself it registers as a step.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Partners in Crime

Nine times out of ten, Daniel and Kiki can be found playing in close proximity to each other. They follow each other throughout the house, crawling around like little cubs. It's always cute, even when they fight over a toy or when they team up to cause trouble.