Thursday, December 1, 2011

This Years Christmas Letter

The holiday season is now in full swing.  This has always been one of my favorite times of the year.  I love wearing sweaters, scarves, drinking hot chocolate, and spending extra time with family and friends.  And though I have never written a Christmas letter I always enjoy reading others so I thought I would try one for us this year.

As this year comes to an end it’s a good time to thank God for the blessings He has given us and the hard times he has brought us through in the past year.

This year has not been without it’s hard times but we are both thankful for the biggest blessing God has placed in our lives.  As many of you know last year at this time we were in full swing taking our classes to become foster parents.  We completed our classes in March and in May we got our first call for children to be placed in our home.  It was a long five hours as we waited for CPS to come to our home.  But what happen next nothing in our classes could have prepared us for.  We fell in love! 

For the past 6 months we have two wonderful children living with us.  D, 3, is a handsome young boy who is full of energy and has a huge heart.  He’s such a joy!  D who is now 6 months old is the most beautiful, happy, snuggly baby.  She has brought so much laughter into our home (and sleepless nights). 

What a blessing it has been for us to see our friends and family take in our little ones and love on them.  It truly is an example of how God designed us to love and live in community.   To all of you we are thankful!

Along with this new journey, we are thankful that Buck still has his job as a high school teacher at Poteet High School (Go Pirates).  He also has been writing curriculum for church youth groups. I am doing volunteer counseling at the Pregnancy Resource Center, room mom for D’s school and staying at home with our little ones. 
So from our family to yours, MERRY CHRISTMAS!  I hope you take some time to thank God for the blessings and the hard times He had brought you through.  What a special time of year!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fall, well eh, I think it's fall...

Ok I must begin by stating I love the fall time of year.  It's probably my favorite time of year.  People start to get a little nicer (it's not too close to Christmas for the niceness to wear off) and the weather is perfect.  I know here in my part of Texas we really do not get too much of the leaves changing colors but it's enough for me.  It's reminder to me of the opportunity we have to change and to start over and how beautiful (and ugly) the process of change can be!  Too bad though it's too hot here for the leaves to change and I am still wearing shorts and flip flops but these are the things November *usually* brings.

I have spent my morning in prayer concerned about the most precious little boy that God has placed in our home for this season.  He is growing, learning, laughing, and he is hurting.  I find it so frustrating at times that he cannot verbalize what is upsetting him.  Our little one shows such big emotions, pitching these huge fits, hitting things and yelling.  He cries and tells us "no" but he cannot communicate with us what it is he wants/needs.  I find myself wondering how to comfort him, how to teach him he is safe with us, how to give him an outlet for his emotions.  I am angry that a young boy has experienced so much that he has such huge emotions.  So as we enter into this time of year that reminds me of change, love and new beginnings, I pray that we can love our little one into his new beginning where he can leave behind the hurt and shed whatever pain may be bothering him.

Don't get me wrong not every day is a "bad" day but even if there is one, that is one too many for me.  So please join me in prayer for our little man.  That he will first understand the love that only God can provide and that he know he is safe and loved at our house.  Also that he will continue to learn how to communicate and that Buck and I will be creative in our ways to allow him to communicate.  He is a beautiful child with a big heart and I look forward to our continued journey with him.  And thank you for a God that is bigger than any situation.

Happy 6 months to the littlest member of our family!  What a blessing she has been and what a joy it has been to see her and her brother interact with each other and us.  Love them to pieces!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I must start by saying how super sad and disappointed I am in my Texas Rangers.  Baseball season is over and we didn't win it all.  I am still upset about this and hope that by the time baseball season comes back around I will have forgiven them and will be ready to cheer them on again.  As of now....I'm not too sure.

Enough about them onto the kiddos! Our little ones are growing so well.  The oldest is learning to talk more each day his little personality is shining through.  He is so caring and a huge helper!  He gives the best hugs and kisses.  And I love it when he brings us a book and asks us to read to him.    He loves playing outside, reading and just being with people who will show him some love :)  We are so blessed to have so many people to help us in showing him that he is special and loved.  From my small group of girls at church to our own family who will drive in to spend time with him, each person is making a difference in him understanding who he is!  We have also been blessed with becoming friends with the middle boys foster mom.  Buck and I are both so thankful for her and her heart and encouragement in this process.  What an amazing woman she is!

With our little man comes huge emotions.  He can pitch of fit with the best of them and knows how to stop that foot when he is mad! We are also constantly having to remind him  he is safe in our house and that we aren't going anywhere.  Last night he came out of his room several times just to make sure we were still here.  I pray that with time he will overcome this fear.

The baby is so much fun.  She is snugly and giggly.  She is rolling all over the place and just talking to us the whole time.  She is really the happiest baby ever and of course one of the prettiest.  I love our mornings together.  When I get to give her all my attention while we read, play,talk, and run errands together.  

While these children have brought so much joy to our lives I was reminded yesterday that their time here is not permanent.  The ultimate goal is for their mom to get well and for their family to reunited.  It's hard for me at times to imagine our life without them.   But after a few hours of moping around, I realized that this is why he decided to become foster parents, to help families become whole again, to show families that you can thrive when you make good choices and to use the resources when you need help.  I also have to remember that God is still in the business of changing people and no one is beyond his love.  So as much as I would like for these little ones to be with us forever, I feel that for now I need to root on their mom and do what I can help her.  But I do pray that if/when they return home that God will provide us with peace.

However until we know that outcome of their case we love them and go on like they are here forever, and what a blessing they are and they bring such joy to our home!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"I pray"

The past few weeks have been busy busy at the Baskin house.  We have lots of family come to our home, we have been to the fair twice and of course we have watched lots of baseball.  I have just loved every moment of having family around and experiencing new things with our little ones.  But two things stand out more than the others.

Last Friday we spent the night with two of the brothers of our children.  It was a blast.  It was loud and crazy but so much fun to see them enjoy being with each other and having "family prayer time"  We are so blessed to have these (and I mean even the ones not in our home) in our lives.  

Also as many of you may know our oldest came to our house being able to say one word "Spiderman".  We have been working so hard on learning to speak, ask for things and not pitching a fit or grunting.  There are days it's hard but all worth it for last night.  At bedtime we gather everyone and read a bible story and talk about it.  Then we always ask who do you want to pray, Mami or Papi?  He will choose and he repeats the prayer we say.  (super cute)  Well last night he pointed to himself and said I pray.   Of course I said sure (thinking I wonder if we will be able to understand him).  But then I heard him speak more clearly than I ever have as he thanked God for school, his friends, mami, papi, his sister, and for loving him.  Though he did mumble in between his clear words I was so excited I cried! ( I'm a weeper what can I say).  It was so beautiful.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Emotions and Love

It's no secret to those who know me that I am an emotional person.  Not in the sense that I can't control my emotions and I am unstable but that I anything I choose to do I allow my emotions to get involved.  As Buck and I have instantly became parents of two last May I have slowly learned just how strong my emotions can be and at times how confusing they can be too.

As a social worker and someone who has several years experience working with CPS and foster care system I know it.  It's like a part of me.  What I didn't know was how easy it was to fall in love with our kids and how everything that happens to them and/or in their case not only effects them but it effects us as family.  I always knew I could love kids but it took me by surprise at how easy it was to feel like a family, like they had been with us forever and how my heart got attached.  

Last night however I realized much as I have been loving the kids in our home, making them part of our family I have missed an opportunity to love on their birth mom.  If I say I love others then that means I have to believe that people can change and that they will.  To be honest with you I find this very hard.  Everyday we are reminded of the hurt our little ones have because of choices others have made (their parents).  But I believe that they too change learn and be new people.  How do I encourage them?  How do I show them love too?  How do you love someone who hurt the little ones you have now fallen in love with?  I don't know.  I am struggling with this but one thing I do know....if our little ones are allowed to live with them again, I want to know that I did my best to encourage their mom and hopefully set her up for success.  And if they don't, I want her to have had the opportunity to know that we believe she can change.

So I ask you to join in prayer with me.  Prayer for all the kids in the family, prayer for the foster parents and prayer for their mom (that she will choose to make good decisions for her and her little ones and that she will be surrounded with people who encourage and love her).  It will not be easy for any of us.

And take time to be thankful for the people who never gave up on you and for the people who encourage you through life.  Not everyone is blessed to have such a support group.  And choose to be a blessing to those you meet!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Empower to Connect

Last weekend Buck and I went to a conference held at our church for adoptive and foster families.  I was excited about the conference because my favorite author/researcher on the topic of helping kids "from hard places" was going to be speaking.  I have read all of her material and have heard her speak before but this time I was more ready listen because we are in the trenches with kids from hard places all day every day.  It's not my job anymore, it's our life.

When it comes to research I am somewhat of a cynic considering it's hard to find good research and data.  However, Dr. Purvis is right on and flawless in her research methods.  So as a foster parent and someone who respects science and loves having good resources I thought I would share with you her resources.  If you are a foster/adoptive parent, know someone who is or just have a desire to love kids from hard places, please take some time to read, reread and reread this book.  And remember there is no child that God does not have an answer for, we must keep looking and show His mercies to each child and it will be hard!

Check these out and you will not be disappointed

The Connect Child

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Talk to me, Mami

So this week I don't think I have ever laughed so hard at anyone or anything.  Over the past few months our three year old has often said to me "talk to me."  We could be in the car driving home from school or to church, walking in the grocery store or even while watching a movie.  Each time I would stop what I was doing, turn off the tv or radio and talk to him.  I found it wonderful that he wanted me to talk to him!  

Well while looking at pictures the other day he was naming every one in our family, Papi, Tia, Hallie and the list goes on.  Every time he came to a picture of me he would say, "talk to me."  For a while I thought he didn't know my name so we would remind him "that's mami (pronounced ma mee)."  Well after a few times he would yell no "talk to me"  at which point we realized he thought my name was "Talk to Me."  I couldn't stop laughing!!!!

Since he has been in our home we have to remind him to talk and not to grunt or whine.  I would do this by getting down to his level, pointing to my chest and say "talk to me, I can only hear words, talk to me."  I guess in all of the reminders he just picked up that my name is "talk to me."  haha :)

 We debating correcting him but we have since decided to remind him that it's Mami.....but for now he calls me "talk to me, mami."  And then I always answer of course baby, mami would love to talk to you! 

I love our little ones!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Second Chances

Yesterday we had what CPS calls a permanency planning meeting.  We were unsure what exactly this meant and what was going to occur in the meeting.  We all went into this small room and they hashed out the case.  I went through many different emotions and thoughts during the two hour meeting.  On the way home while Buck and I were debriefing what went on we both realized something.  We talk about how we believe that people can change and that we all have been given second chances however, at times we don't act as though we truly believe this.

To be honest with you, 90% of the time we pray that our little ones' birth mother gets the help she needs and makes the changes she needs to and I believe she can.  But I found myself in this meeting almost rooting against her for a small time.  I wasn't wanting her to fail however I did think "I wonder if she can really do all of this they are asking."  I left with lots of questions, some concerns, and a deeper understanding of their birth mom.  She too is human, she too needs second chances, she too needs encouragement and people in her corner!

After sitting through this meeting I hope that we are able to encourage their mom better and that she knows we are in this together and not against her.  And that in the end her little ones (all of them, not just he ones here)  will be in the best place for them to grow and flourish.

Monday, August 29, 2011


After talking with some friends at church today I realized that there are some things about having little ones in the house that I miss out on.  I miss that I don't get to show everyone pictures of just how cute they are, that I have to be secretive about parts of their lives (which I know is for the best), that I can't talk about them on my facebook and call them by name and that there is no certainty about anything.  It's also hard to hear some of the questions and comments people say and it's hard not to let it bother me.  

But even as I sit here at write out this blog and the baby is in my arms and the oldest is giggling at a movie I know that this is bigger than me.  We are able to be a part of something that is not the norm.  And though my family is different than most it's beautiful to us.  So trust me when I say they are super cute, the best kids ever and though we don't know what each day holds we love them as if they are here forever.  I wouldn't want it any other way!


So last week was crazy at our house but there is one thing that made it worth it!  The encouragement and people checking in on us.  Over the years friends have come and gone, I've made mistakes and been on the end of mistakes being made but one thing rang through this week.  No matter what there are people in our lives who choose to do life with us,  all the hurt, the pain, the good times and bad times.

I am also grateful for a great agency.  It's been a huge blessing to know that Buckner is on our side.  I really feel that they look out for the best interest of each little one and their families.  Along with that they choose great people to be apart of the Buckner family.  We have been blessed to have such a great person in our lives now.  She is the foster mom of the middle two boys in the family we are currently fostering.  It's so nice to have someone who understands our fears, hurts, and joy!

And last, our oldest just loves school.  And I love that he loves school and I am looking forward to the day he can come home and tell me how his day was and can answer my questions.  It's hard that he can't really talk to us but the smile on his face says it all!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


So this past month has been filled with many emotions- happiness, sadness,  confusion, tiredness, and excitement.  There has been death, broken relationships, new friendships, start of new adventures and many other events.  Each was real and effected me in different ways but I felt prepared.  Prepared in a sicne that many of these emotions I felt before or I felt prepared to handle.

However yesterday that came to a screeching hault. Though I cannot tell the details of the children's case I can say that yesterday I was heartbroken, scared, possesive and then I had some relief.  I am not sure I have ever felt emotions to the degree that I did yestersday.  I was worn out by the end of the day.  I have worked in and around the foster care system for 6 years and our agency did a great job in their preparation classes but nothing can prepare you for just how easy it is to fall in love with the children in your home.  And a result of this love that you have for them is bigger emotions (or at least it did for me).   Though yesterday left me worn out it alao a reminder of why we do what we do and that these little ones are worth fighting for.  And I know that I am not a "real" parent but I sure felt real emotions and pray that as long as they are here we can be the best "papi" and "mami" we can be.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer is over (well not the temps)

So school starts at the Baskin house tomorrow, Buck goes back to work! I can't believe it's time for the school year to start but I am so excited.  I am looking forward to walking the oldest to and from school along with staying home with the baby :)   Speaking of the baby she will turn 3 months old on Tuesday and of course we will have to have a cake in her honor.  She is full of energy, giggling, smiling and growing!!!!!  She has grown 4 inches and 5 pounds since we first got her placed with us.  She is such a joy!

I am hoping to find a group of stay at home moms so I won't feel so out of touch.  The one or two that I knew in my area have decided to go back to work and though I believe that me being home is what is best for our situation and with our little ones I am a little afraid of being disconnect with friends and what is going on outside of our house.  So luckily I have two little ones who love the car and enjoy being out doing things!  Just because I am a stay at home mom now doesn't mean we will stay at home!  (or least that's the plan as of now).

Please continue to pray for the little ones and their bio family.  We have had a great time getting to know them and getting to love on the whole family this summer.  And as school begins and schedules aren't as flexible we hope to still be able to love on them all.  What a blessing this summer has been for us!

Monday, August 1, 2011

August Already...

It's been a fast summer full of trips, laughter, learning, friends, family and much more.  The only thing we have missed out on this summer is sleep.  :) A year ago when we started this journey I had ideas of what it may feel/be like to have children/babies in our home but it's so much better than I imagined.  Yes, it may take us an extra 20 minutes to get out of the house and I get 3 hours less sleep a day but it doesn't compare to the blessings we get.  I am so grateful that God has allowed us to be apart of these children's life and for them being in ours.  Here are just a few of the fun things we did this summer.....swimming, Ranger games, playing at the park, chuck e cheese (which by the way was the worst pizza), reading together, learning to smile and laugh (the baby of course), the circus, traveling to see family and lots and lots of laughing!!!

It hasn't been without it's hard times.  We have also had many tears, time outs, fits, being ran away from, and communication difficulties.

As we wind down our summer I am looking forward to school starting.  Our oldest will be going to school for half a day and the littlest one and I will be hanging out the house have lots of girl talk!  And as strange as it may sound I look forward to back to school shopping for the boys in the house, parent/teacher meetings, school trips, making school lunches, signing notes and all that goes with having a child in school.   So as August arrives I am both saddened that a great summer is coming to an end yet excited about the next journey we get to take with our little ones.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

2 month already!

It's been almost 2 months since our little ones were placed in our home.  It's been quite an adventure and tons of joy.  I have quickly learned that I can function on 5-6 hours of sleep.  Even though I like more :)

As I am up early this morning feeding the baby it's hard to think that one day they may be with someone else and not in our home.  It will feel empty.  I know this is all part of the process but still for right now I choosing not to like it.   We do not have a timeline or even know when this day may come.  So until then we will continue to make memories, have fun and help/watch them grow.  Each day brings new surprises and for the baby she new looks different.

Today there will be some first in our family today.  First time I have ever been to Chucke Cheese (it's true, I am almost 30 and never even been inside one).  And the first Ranger game for our oldest.  I know, were you sad that he's three and hasn't been to a game yet? No worries tonight we plan on changing that for him.

Guess I will try to get some more sleep before the oldest gets up but please continue to pray for their mom and that decisions in their best interest will be made for them.  (It's hard for me to be ok with people who are not with them all the time making the decisions, but I am praying for the best).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


It's a month and a half since our little family has doubled in size.  Buck and I have just fallen in love with the two little ones that have been placed in our home.  It took us a while to get into a routine and we are still learning a lot about parenting and about each other.

The oldest is probably the cutest little boy I have been around in a while.  Most of the little ones in my life are girls so I think it's safe to say this :)  He loves  to run and jump and play and swing and sing and do anything that isn't sitting still.  He's so polite but can throw a huge fit when he doesn't get his way. He has really taught me what it means when God says his mercies are new each day :)  Each night after we do our bedtime prayers with him, no matter how rough bath time might have been (which he hates) it's hard to remember we were upset with him.  Thankful God does the same for us.  I know that I have been a recipient of his forgiveness many times.

Today he had oral surgery to fix some things wrong in his mouth.  He was such a great trooper and only kicked me once and spit up the "silly" juice all over me once too :)  We got to see a new side of him, the still, snuggly quiet side.  Though it was sweet we are looking forward to him running circles around us again. We love how many of our friends and family have taken the time to love on him and run circles in our house with him.

The littlest one came to us when she was just two weeks old.  I must tell you that I was a little nervous at first but she has been such a blessing.  She is a fairly easy baby who doesn't like the mornings , but who does?  I know I don't.  I am fussy in the morning too.  We have been able to see her grow and take some developmental steps.  I love listening to her coo.  She loves to talk to herself.  She has stretched me because I am not a morning person but she can't feed herself just yet :) so someone has to get up and love her about 3:30 every morning.   I do let Buck to this often too).  When I am up this early there is something peaceful about how still and quiet it is.  If I can get myself out of bed and I enjoy being still ( well until she screams).

I have a unique opportunity to being involved with the rest of their brothers and getting to talk to their mom.  The other foster moms are great women and we chat often and get to have play dates about once a week.  I value that their mom does want to chat every once in a while and though it's not best for them to be with her right now maybe she will not feel as though she is missing too much and that she may find some peace in knowing that her little ones are being loved by a community of people who also want her to get well.  I can't bare to even think about the day they will/or might get to go home.  I will be a wreck, full of joy and sadness.  But I know that if it isn't hard for a child to leave our home then we are not doing our job.

To end on a light hearted note....Buck and I get many stares and some funny questions while we are out with the little ones but my favorite so far was by a lady in Kroger who said "your babies are so precious but is he (pointing to Buck) your babies' daddy?"  I politely smiled and said yes as I watched her tilt her head, scrunch up her forehead and try to figure out how.  Oh people....why must you be so nosey :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Oh boy and a girl!!!! :)

It's been an adventurous week around the Baskin house.  Last Tuesday we has a little boy (3 years old) and a newborn girl (3 weeks old) placed in our home.  It was strange how we were instantly "parents".  Both have been such a joy to have around even through the midnight feedings, the moods of a 3 year old and all the crying and messes made.  We both have been surprised at how well we all work together and it feels as though they have been here for a while.

It's sweet to watch the two little ones interact and how much the boy wants to be a great big brother.  He loves on his sister and helps feed her.  However growing up in a family of all girls, having a best friend who is a family of all girls and we have all nieces....boys have so much energy!  We run, play, draw, read, blow bubbles, eat a snack, and play in the dirt and that's all in the first hour of being awake.  Hahaha.  Buck and I have zero problems falling asleep :)

And in the midst of it all I got sick.  I was in bed with a fever and not able to eat anything for two days.  Buck was a single dad.  But thank goodness for my grandma who came to the rescue and helped us for a while.  After a few rounds an antibiotic I am finally feeling better. :)

Also this weekend we were able to be apart of our oldest nieces baptism service.  It was a special time for our family and loved how both of the nieces loved on the children and played with them.  The boy loved it and can't wait to play some more.  

Tonight we have some friends coming over who have a boy just about the same age.  We are hoping for the beginning of a beautiful friendship, or at least a familiar face when we go to church on Sunday.

Thanks for all of the calls,  encouragement, visits, and help.  We are thankful to have so many along in this adventure with us.  Please keep their mom in your prayers.  We pray she gets healed and her family can be together again, but until that happens we are loving this children God has brought us for such a time as this.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Early Morning Call

Over the past week every time our phone rings we run to answer thinking this could be the call, we could have a child placed in our home.  We can't help but laugh at ourselves.  I run around with my phone in my hand, not even in my pocket or bag but in my hand so I don't miss a call.  Then in the middle of the night Saturday our phone rang three times before we actually heard it.   It was a call for a possible placement.   As we listened to the on call person explain the situation we barely had our eyes open.  We told her yes and she said she would call us back.  In the next thirty minutes we talked about all things we were needing to do to get ready and then we exctied, it was finally happening.  But  the return call left us a bit dissappointed and we completed understood.  The two little ones that were going to be placed in our home were able to be placed closer to their siblings which is great!

It was an emotional rollercoaster (which I am not sure it would have been that way if it wasn't so early in the morning) but was a reminder that lifes never takes a break and that even while we may be sleeping there are people suffering.  If anything it changed my prayers and reminded me just how grateful I am to be able to sleep at night and not have to worry.

As we begin another week we continue to pray we will not be needed because families are whole but that we will be ready when the call and a child is placed in our home.

Monday, May 23, 2011


A quick update...

Our home is officially open and we are waiting.  However, I must say that as people ask about if we have children placed in our home I have mixed emotions.  We both super excited, ready, and anxious to provide a home, safety and love for a child. However to know they come into our home because of an unfortunate situation, many times with physical or emotional hurts it is hard to wish for a child.  The idealist in me hopes we are never needed and that all children are safe and taken care of but the realist is ready for the opportunity to be a part of the healing process for families.

So this is where we are...waiting

Monday, April 18, 2011

Getting Anxious

Update from Buckner
I called and talked with them this morning so all we have to do is wait until May 20.  Officially everything is completed as of this morning! :)  They wanted to start placing kiddos with us now but we are waiting until my long term sub position is finished because we don't want to have to pay for daycare for a month. 
So we ask for you to pray with us this month leading up to children being placed in our home for everyone that will be involved (bio parents, the court, CPS, Buckner, the children, our church and family) and for us!  We pray for restoration for the families and healing for the children. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011


As of 10:35 this morning we have completed all the requirements to become foster parents.  Now we have to wait until May so we can be fully licensed (it's a time period policy that Buckner has about how long you have been married and when you started your orientation)!!!!  So all we have to do is patiently wait for one more month and we will be able to have little ones in our house.  I cannot tell you how excited we are and how we are looking forward to playing a part in these children's life and you all getting to sharing in this with us. :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I love, love, love the spring.  It's a time for new beginnings, warmer weather and baseball!  We just love the game of baseball at our house.  And new this year we have been asked to coach a 4U t-ball team.  We had our first practice last weekend and it was tons of fun.  The kiddos loved running around the bases (and all in the right direction), hitting the ball (or at least attempting to) and playing in the dirt.  I am not sure how much baseball we were able to teach between all the wonderful randomness of 4 year olds but we had a great time.  Our team is full of energy and I am looking forward to our first game! 

On a completely different topic our youngest niece will be in town this weekend and I am hoping to be "one of those people" who take bluebonnet pictures of her and also we will watch the Rangers, learn Texas our Texas and maybe I will read her a book about the Alamo.  She does need to be reminded  that she really is a Texan at heart and that she wants to live near her aunt! :) 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

So Close

Over the past few weeks we have made much progress on the process to become foster parents.  My grandparents were in a weekend and were super nice and bought us some items we needed, Buck's bought us a crib, my mom helped me shop and bought some bedding and then Buck's mom helped us paint. Also a huge thanks to my best friend Cindy for the box of kitchen goodies she sent and to my sister, Stephen and Hallie for the many things they have given and mailed to us! The room looks wonderful and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out!

We are still waiting on our fire/health inspection and then we have officially completed the process.  All we have to do is wait around until May 20 and then they will be able to place children in our home.  There are lots of reason of why May 20 but that was the last official word from Buckner.  The cool part about May 20 is that I have been offered a long term sub job at the high school Buck works at that ends on May 20.  Even better about this date is that Buck and i have been working hard to pay off all of our debt (minus car and house) before they place kids in our home.  Unless there is an emergency this will  be accomplished since I was offered the sub position.  I can't wait to be able to go see a movie again!  I think I miss those the most :)  We both know that this has to be from God since we could  have not asked for it to work out any better.

Over the past weeks too God has provided several people to give us words of encouragement or they have given us items we may need.  I am super grateful that we really haven't had to buy too much considering w have to be ready for any gender child raging from 0-10.  We are blessed with a great group of friends, family and church family.

As we wait out our last month and a half I ask that you pray that God will continue to prepare our hearts for this adventure, that families will be healed and that we will be able to meet the unique needs that each child will bring to our home.  And of course once there are children here, come along with us, come visit us, or continue to pray for us as we learn how to do life with not only the children but the many many adults that will be in and out of our home all helping us love each child. We truly could not do this without the support we have been given!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Baseball and Buckner

Ok, so I know this blog is suppose to be about our adventures as we become foster parents however, I must take a few moments to rant about my Rangers.  Ever since I moved to the DFW area I have been at opening day.  I would save vacation days, flex days or take off from school so I could be there.  It means spring has started which is the most wonderful time here in Texas.  I love it.  I love Ranger baseball and seeing families take trips to the ballpark and friends hanging out.  The smells, the sounds, ballpark nachos, the hope of catching a foul ball....just a few of the wonderful things about baseball.   With all the wonderful things I can saw about Ranger baseball (and I even thought they were wonderful with they weren't winning, I sat through many many losing seasons) I am sad to have gotten a rejection letter from them.  This year we had to sign up for the "opportunity" to have the chance to maybe get to buy opening day tickets.  Everyone I know got a rejection letter and I felt like it was personal when I got mine.  Me, a fan through the ugliness that use to be the Rangers, a fan of Ian's the first game he played, a fan who has been at the coldest game in Ranger history and who will sit in the 100 degree weather, I was rejected by the Rangers.  It was a sad sad day here but I am trying to remind myself it's not personal, it's business but it still stings a little.

And just in case you are wondering what I will be doing come April 1 for opening day, I will be grilling out at friends and watching the Rangers play (on TV).    And  whether we win or lose I am here from the beginning to cheer on my Rangers!

Today Buckner will be coming and doing their last walk through and then we will have our inspections from the county and we are done.  Buck and I are super excited about getting all the steps completed with and are grateful for all the help people have provided us.  My mom and I had a great time last weekend out shopping and organizing  and we are looking forward to Buck's mom coming and helping us paint.  And as our time gets nearer I get more and more excited about playing a role in helping families heal and getting to love on little ones.  We have all needed help from time to time in our lives and this is our way of helping others hopefully through us others will know the love and hope and God can provide.

Monday, February 21, 2011

thank you, thank you, thank you

This weekend we were given some items for the room we are making a kids room.  A couple at church was telling their daughters what we are doing and they went through their rooms and gave us lots of toys and clothes that they wanted us to have to give to the children that will be in our home.  Their mom said that the girls eager to help.  To the girls we say thank you!

Questions, Comments, Concerns

I must preface this blog by saying that most people in our lives are super encouraging and supportive of us. But as I was chatting with an old friend who I reconnect with recently she was asking me of all the dumb things people have said to us and does it make me upset to hear people say such stupid things to us.  It use to frustrate me, but now it just makes me smile at their ignorance.  For example, here are some questions I have been asked or concerns people have voiced to me.

1.  You do know that "those" children (ok, I must be honest that anytime some says those type of kids does anger me a little) will change your life?

So really there are people out there that have children and their life doesn't change.   :)

2. You just wait, I bet the children in your home will fight and disobey you.
Again, seriously, there are kids that don't disobey.  I know that I haven't had children of my own but anyone who has seen children, babysat, or there is a child in their family knows this is true.  

3.  You do realize you are asking to have trouble and chaos in your home?

First, sure their may be some trouble but as with anything good there is some trouble. But trouble doesn't have to be crippling to us, and child or not people have trouble.  As for chaos, I have seen homes with children in them and biological children or not some level of chaos is present.

I know (or at least hope) that each person is just misinformed and are saying such things with good intentions, however, sometimes you want to look at them and say, did you really just ask me that, you do realize how dumb that just sounded.  But instead I just smile.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Last Interview

Wow, it's been a crazy last two weeks.  We had record snow, ice and cold temps in the metroplex which kept us inside for a long time.  I went a little stir crazy while Buck loved every minute of it (he read several books and did some writing).  We also had a death in our family and though it was a sad time it was a beautiful time with family.  Buck's family is huge and it was so much fun to be around so many people who love you with kids running around, stories being told, lots of food, and at least for the weekend everyone got along.  Unfortunately I did not know Buck's granddad that well, he was already in pretty bad health by the time I came around, the times I did get to talk with him one thing was evident, he loved God and he loved his family.  His funeral was truly a celebration of a life well lived.  Buck and I both hope that as we continue in the process of becoming foster parents that we will have the same heart, zeal and love for those who will be in and out of our home and lives as his granddad did.

Today we will be spending our Valentine's Day doing our last interview with Buckner.  We have both come to enjoy our time with Jim, our interviewer, and will miss our chats.  Hopefully we will see him as we continue our relationship with Buckner.  We are also thankful to our church family who has really showed us some encouragement and support over the past few weeks as we continue to prepare.  I have been humbled by the many people who are so interested in hearing what we are doing and wanting to help out.   We still have quite a few things we need to do but I am feeling good about getting it all completed.  This weeks project is going to be sanding a wall for a project in the kids' room.

 Hope you all have a great week and are making sure you are living life to it's fullest that one day you too will be celebrated for the life you lived.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Wow, we have had some crazy weather here lately and have been stuck in the house for several days.  We were however able to go shopping last weekend with my grandparents and picked up a few things. Thanks grandma and grandpa for purchasing some items! We also went crib shopping.  I could not believe how many options there are and how many things you have to check for when it comes to safety.  We have found two that we like and are hoping to get it by the end of the month.  Babies R US is doing a great trade in sale.  If you are needing some items check out their website for all the details. Babies R US

My next big project will be to sand one of the walls so we can paint on it with the chalkboard paint.  I have been looking forward to this project for some time now!

As we continue to move closer to having our license, we both get more excited about the opportunities and adventures that lie ahead of us.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Today we were suppose to have our last interview with Buckner but the person doing our home study was having car problems so it has been rescheduled for next Monday.  This is no big deal and kind of a relief since this week is going to be busy for us.

So, last Friday I spent the day looking at every baby store I could think of trying to figure out what are must needs and what are would like to haves.  Buck and I also spent that night looking at bedding for both boys and girls.  It can get a little overwhelming looking at crib bedding and toddler bedding for both boys and girls but  mostly it was fun.  My grandparents are coming this weekend and are wanting to go shopping with us and then I am hoping my mom will be here at the end of February to do some more shopping.    Buck's mom has also graciously said she will come help us paint one weekend.  Yay! :)

Though Buck and I were thinking that we were going to have elementary age children placed in our home the change to now open our home to even younger ones has been fun, exciting and is a gentle reminder of how God works.  After several months of being unable to find a job and feeling a little defeated  to then finding out that Buckner has a need for stay at home foster moms for non school age children it all made sense.  I know that sometimes it's hard to understand what God wants from you or what move you are suppose to take next but we are grateful that we understand this step in our lives and we look forwrd to the journey and adventures it will bring.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Steps 456 and 457

For good reasons there are several steps to the foster care porcess and Buckner is doing a perfect job of reminding us about what is needed and where we are in the process.  We are greatful to have such a great team on our side.  Today Buck and I have to complete one more step and drive downtown to get our figerprinted.  On Monday we will have the last part of our home study which is the longest step of them all.

Today I spent two hours cleaning used toys that we were given to us.  My hands and my house now smells like bleach, however the toys are at least starting off clean.  And again, we really appreciate those of you who have given us ideas of where to buy things or given to us. Thank you for your part you will be playing to help families heal or for families to grow.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How Can I Help?

We have had several people over the last few weeks ask how they can help us in this process.  Well the biggest thing you can do is pray.  Prayer not only for us, but for the children, their birth families, the caseworkers involved and for Buckner.

Also there are a few things that we still need to properly care for children, so if you know of places of where to get great deals on cribs, car seats, baby monitor, etc please let us know.  We will have to be ready for an age range of children (boy or girl) and there are somethings that will be stables.  It can be overwhelming to think about but (thanks to my mom)  we have a pretty good system figured out, we just need to get the things :)

If you are still wanting to do more but are not interested in becoming foster parents you can volunteer at your local CASA.  Go here to learn more about them. They are a great organization and I have two close friends that work and volunteer for CASA.   You can also call your local foster care agency and ask how you can help, we suggest Buckner but there are several other good ones in the area.

Thanks for the continued support

Monday, January 24, 2011

Buckner and the Baskin's

I have had several request from friends to start blogging about our journey as we prepare to become foster parents.  Since we are now done with our classes and are currently in the process of our home study I decided that now is as good as time as any to begin.  So for those of you who have we go.

It's hard to even know where to begin, so I will start with the most asked questions throughout this process.

Why?  This one is easy, I fell in love with population of people about 7 years ago when I first began grad school and have been working with foster children ever since.  I have felt that this is something that God has wanted me to do for a while and everywhere I go things point towards it.  I am not sure if any of you saw Freedom Writers where the teacher talks about being blessed with a burden, well this is us.  We are blessed with a burden and know that we are suppose to do our part.  We want to help families become whole again and give children the opportunity to grow and flourish into beautiful young people.

Don't you want your own children?  Yes, no, maybe so.  I can't really answer this right now.  We sway back and forth on it almost daily.

What does your family think?  We are both pretty lucky and for the most part we have a very supportive family who is praying for us, helping us along the process and eager to be apart.  However as with all families we do have some who are concerned and wonder why we would bring other peoples children into our home when we  could have our own or they are worried about the trouble it may cause.  I understand their concerns, but that's all they are, their concerns not ours.  We are not nieve, but we aren't scared either.

Won't you get upset when they leave?  Yes, of course I will.  I think if you don't then you aren't doing it correctly.  We do have to remember that it's our goal that families become whole again and we must hope that every family can be restored!  People can change.  It will be hard and I am sure their will be tears. Plus we are open to the idea that we may adopt, we aren't sure, we just aren't closing that door ever!

Why Buckner?  In the several years I have worked within the foster care system I have never been less than impressed with Buckner.  Their staff, policies, and love for children is evident in everything they do.  Plus, I have some personal connections with Buckner along with there being a Buckner campus in our home town which will make traveling home to visit people a little easier.

And last, what age group?  As of know we are thinking birth to 8th grade.  We struggled with this for a long time but decided this was best for us at this time.  We were told in class there is a high need for 0-3 families (lots of families want children already potty trained) so we are praying through and discussing me staying at home and focusing on the infants.

So what's the process from here...I will not bore you with the many many things we have had to do but I will tell you were are almost done.  Buckner's policy is that you have to be married for two years before they can place a child with you, so for us this means we have 5 months to get you can ever be ready...

So to our friends and family who have supported us so far, we thank you.  We are looking forward to this and are honestly we are a little scared too.  There will be more responsibility on our end and we also realize it means we may lose some friends, see less of some family and friends, and have to make some tough choices.  But we are thrilled to have most of you guys along for the journey.  We ask for your continued support, listening ear, and at times a babysitter (haha).