All I want for Christmas, I won back from CPS

Do not give up! If you are facing this holiday season without your children, know that our hearts are with you and that the view on the other side is not only beautiful but also reachable!

We thought we were in a never-ending nightmare. We felt the depth of the gorge and saw the height of the mountains that we were determined to climb. We questioned the view from the top and wondered about what would come on the other side if we were to ever make it out of the valley.

I know many of you feel this now. The holidays are overwhelming for your children or grandchildren, for any number of reasons either real or false reports, are dreaming of sugar plums in a bed that is not their own. For those of you who have not experienced this, imagine the emptiness of a stocking on Christmas morning because there is no child to shriek with excitement. Imagine seeing other parents urge their children to sit on Santa’s lap and wondering if your own is scared or excited. The magnitude of this cannot easily be portrayed but I am here to tell you that the view from atop that mountain, what lies beyond the valley, is beautiful!

I mean, look at this smile!

smiles
We just saw Chase and Marshall from Paw Patrol!

They tried to tell me, in the valley, that this smile would not be over that ridge! But on a Friday night at a local Christmas tree lighting, Chase and Marshall from Paw Patrol told them that they were wrong. She smiles and I smile!

But wait, they also said that my daughter would never smile again and that she would no longer get “mommy moments” but they were wrong.

mommy smiles
Banana Pudding: Just Because!

Of course, they did not count on me snapping a quick photo while the children made banana pudding with their mommy! They did not know that, on the other side of that seemingly insurmountable mountain, my daughter would smile again!

In fact, they did not count on library craft mornings or ice cream afternoons!

But the smiles are real and so is the view! Do not give up! If you are facing this holiday season without your children, know that our hearts are with you and that the view on the other side is not only beautiful but also reachable!

Many blessings and prayers to all of you!

“Gigi”

Take a Bite but DO NOT Bite: Ways we Confuse Toddlers

Have you ever experienced the shocking pain of someone so cute and dear to your heart closing their teeth firmly on your arm? OUCH!!! With four toddlers running around the house, obviously, we have all felt the cringing pain more than once. I remember discussing this with other parents when my own children were little and the answer was always something along the lines of “they are just figuring it out” or “this is just something children do!”

Okay, maybe if it is only adults who are falling prey to this “rite of passage” so to speak, then maybe I could accept those answers. However, again, with four toddlers we have ALL (children included) experienced this pain at one point or another as the four take turns transforming from sweet little children to the spawn of Dracula!

Usually, Clarabelle alerts us as to the culprit shouting “Elliott bit Gloria,” or “Braxton bit Elliott!” I mean, they are quick with it. One minute they are all sitting around with blocks and we think it is safe to refill cups and the next minute there is a shriek and an announcement of the bite!

As most parents and grandparents have done, I searched the internet for methods to stop this and these methods all lead to some form of punishment for the action and align the “fault” with either the child or simply development. To understand why I disagreed with these methods, you have to understand two things about our situation.

  1. These are my grandchildren so I simply cannot see “fault” in them (smiley Gigi face icon not available!)
  2. Seconly, one of my grandchildren was the victim of child abuse as an infant and one has Down syndrome. Punishment takes special circumstances because of these situations and we try to be fair regarding all four children.

With that said, punishment occurs in the form of timeout or standing against the wall but it is hard to assign punishment based on the words of a three-year-old (no matter how verbal and advanced Clarabelle is.) So, if we do not see it happen, it is really hard to punish over biting.

Besides, I got to thinking, there has to be a significant reason why most children at this age think biting is okay. I mean, I tell them one time on most things such as “the trash is dirty do not touch,” or “do not hit” and they generally comprehend what I am saying and refrain from these behaviors. But biting, for some reason, is different. It is like they forget following each incident that biting is wrong and that being bitten hurts.

During my whole thought process, I found myself snacking on some cookies. (Hey, it is the holidays so no judging)!!! As the children passed, I asked them if they wanted a bite….

Let me say that again. As the children passed, I asked them if they wanted a bite!!!

Wait, a minute ago, a bite was bad but now bite means cookie?

We work with children on context clues, vocabulary, synonyms, phonics, etc. but not before the age of 2. Maybe, just maybe, if we could use more specific words for specific actions, then they would understand the context clearer.

Granted, I realize that this offers little to no advice for all of us who are struggling with the toddler teeth situation, but I hope it offers a different way of thinking about a child’s behaviors. Sometimes, we expect that they should just know things. If that was the case, what are we here for?

 

If we do not teach then they will never know,

“Gigi”

Thank God for the Fluff!

When thinking about how I have been TOO busy, I realized that the things keeping me so busy are MY LIFE! These moments that we rush through, the fluff of life, are the whole of life. There is a beginning and an end (the seams of life) but the middle, the fluff, that’s what counts. 

I have been busy! Hell, my days are always busy but lately, I have actually had to do some real work (if that’s what they call working from home) and get the house ready for the holidays. So, a busy life has been so busy that I have had no time to blog about all of the things that keep me so busy!

Ahh, but now the house is quiet and I have finished my work for the day. Turns out my brain is tired. Imagine that! So, missing my blog, I turned to the daily prompt to get my head in the game again. FLUFF! Where does that even fit into a blog about life? I mean, one blogger posted a beautiful picture of fluffy ducks by the water. I could dive into the discussion about how many times I have found my peace sitting by the water and feeling as free as this flock. Another posted the fluff of a dandelion and provided a poem about life’s changes. I cannot count the number of times I have watched my grandchildren laugh as they blew those white “fairies” across the yard! Beautiful approaches such as these filled the page.

One, in particular, really triggered what I have been feeling. The author simply said to enjoy the fluff. What a concept!

When thinking about how I have been TOO busy, I realized that the things keeping me so busy are MY LIFE! These moments that we rush through, the fluff of life, are the whole of life. There is a beginning and an end (the seams of life) but the middle, the fluff, that’s what counts.

I’d rather be fluffing!

“Gigi”

Wake Up! Government Reassignment of Children is real!

We wander through this life with the perceptions of a reality that is composed of our own problems, our own challenges, and our own celebrations. We believe what it is that we need to believe to support our decisions and prevent us from taking on the issues of others unless these issues somehow coincide with our own. This is not a mean statement nor one that is accusatory but it is the truth. Have you ever tried to disprove a situation that brought you joy or peace? Of course not! If your belief allows you to sleep at night, then you will work hard to maintain that belief and push aside any evidence that could contradict your belief.

But what if your belief is wrong? What if, by holding so closely to your belief, you actually are bringing other people harm and putting yourself at risk of the same harm? It is a surreal existence. It is a life-altering realization. It is the truth. The things that you believe that you deserve, that you are entitled to, that you should support, may actually be debilitating to others. Then, one day, you will look in the mirror and wonder who is looking back at you.

Society does not need to be pinched to make sure that it is awake. Instead, it needs to be woken up! You believe that you are saving children but you are destroying families. You think that you are better or chosen by God, but God placed these children into their mother’s womb. You think that the world is working in the best interest of the children but it is money, always money, that drives the government’s involvement in the lives of the private citizens.

Children are being hurt. I have seen it first hand. I continue to see the fear and the pain. I know that there is nothing that I can do to undo the year that my grandchildren were held in the state’s captivity but I can assure you that I will do everything in my power to protect them and all children moving forward.

There is a way to go about protecting children without stealing them. There is a way to be a part of the next generation without hindering their lives or mocking the decisions that God made long before governments were formed or systems were in place. This is not a dream, people. This is not a game. I am angry and you, if you choose to wake up from your delusions, should be angry too.

Read the reports. Listen to the mothers who are afraid to give birth because the vultures will be standing outside the delivery room. Know that not every mother on earth is neglectful and abusive but that every mother on earth is at risk for having their children ripped from their arms because someone else wants to have a child or feels entitled to that which is not their own.

The government continues to remove children and reassign them to people that support their agenda. Maybe the foster parents or adoptive parents support the same political party or attend the same religious functions. Perhaps they will raise the children in the mindset of the chosen race or affiliation. Wait…the government would do that?

YES!!!!! Wake up, people! This is happening! This is not a dream! This is the reality!

Please, look around. Shouldn’t fit parents be allowed to raise their children? Shouldn’t expectant mothers be excited about their child rather than looking for alternative birthing options to prevent their newborn from being kidnapped? Shouldn’t we all be protecting children and families?

The evidence is there, do not dismiss it to protect your own reality.

“Gigi”

CPS Expects you to Accept their Power! Do Not!

We expect a lot of things in our lives and, in the same breath, we accept a lot of things to be simply as they are despite our expectations or desires. Some of us expect to be passed over in celebration but accept that it is our role as a human being to encourage that celebration. Others expect to be treated fairly and accept that this is not always the case when dealing with teenagers!

However, these daily and normal expectations come with experiencing life as is intended. For those of us who have experienced life through the pain of a CPS investigation, and for those of you who have yet to experience this atrocity but are likely to do so as their power continues to grow, expectations and acceptance take on a whole new role.

You see CPS targets families who are perceived to be weak. The uneducated, the impoverished, the immigrant, the single parents, are all likely to receive a knock at their door. And do you know what, most of these people, including myself, believe that the government is there to help them out of a bad situation? What is even worse, we may not have viewed the situation as bad before they quickly told us just how much “imminent danger” our lives brought to the children!

But wait, the children are fed, clothed, loved, receiving medical care, receiving education, and happy? They have bonded with their family, have a routine, and present no concern of neglect or abuse in the care of their parent?!

Hmmm, but they are the government. They know things. They have a better way of doing things. They have the power to see the future and, according to this “power” they know that your child is in imminent danger or will be soon in the future!!!!

They word this in a way that foster parents, extended family, and community members believe that this power must be real and that this organization is clearly looking out for the children!

Are you all serious? You seriously believe that there is an organization of people who have such a power yet they don’t use their fortune telling ability to win the lottery or prevent terrorist attacks?

There is a financial incentive for placing children outside of their home. The ability to target families without the ability to fight the system aids in achieving this incentive. To these families, the ones who do not believe that they have the resources to fight, FIND THE RESOURCES! For those who have overcome the power, be the resources! Do not accept their power. Do not accept that you are meant to lose your children. Do not do what they expect you to do! Do not give up!

Do the unexpected: WIN!

“Gigi”

As We Ascend from the Ashes: It only gets better every day!

We have been through it. Hell, I guess everyone has in their own way and by no means is one person’s difficulties any greater than another’s. In fact, the perception of one’s own life cannot be viewed through anyone else’s eyes. When considering the concept of perception, I am drawn to another blogger’s discussion as to how to determine how much attention someone’s perception should actually be given to situations. I enjoyed reading this and I would certainly recommend a look if you are struggling with trying to force yourself into seeing a glass half full.

None the less, we all experience hard times and we all would like to believe that we can determine when to make the change to ascend from the ashes of misery.  I would love to tell you that this is true but, I do not like to make a habit of lying. In fact, through all of our hardships, sad times, moments of grief, and sleepless nights, we would tell ourselves that the next day, the next night, the next court date, or the next breath would be the moment that we would begin to rise. NOPE! Another sad memory, postponement, or obstacle would arise and we would fall even deeper into the belief that things would never get better.

But, do you know what? They did! And once we began to rise, we decided to soar!

You cannot talk your way out of a bad time. You cannot force your way out of depression or grief or hardships. But you can keep hope and know that, beyond the darkest moments, the clouds will be at your feet!

Of course, there are ways to get through these times without allowing yourself to sink. To ascend prompted another blogger to speak of the importance of being low enough to remind you to look up to God. Maybe this is why we experience hardships. Perhaps we need to be reminded that we are not alone.

Find your strength to get through the moment then ascend beyond your wildest dreams!

“Gigi”

From Belief to Knowledge: The process of growing older

It is funny how, when we age, what we believe to be true changes to what we know to be true. For instance, when I was young, I believed that dessert should be eaten first and at every meal. Now that I am older, I know this to be true. I mean, really, you could reheat that steak at home but that lava cake is not going to do anybody any good if you are too full from dinner to enjoy it fresh. It is a matter of not being wasteful (yeah, that covers me here!)

I also believed, when I was younger, that Santa Claus existed or, at the very least, I hoped beyond all hope that this was true. Now that I am older, I know that he exists. I saw him in the sparkle of my children’s eyes as they grew and now I find him in the eyes of my grandchildren as we anxiously await the time to start decorating for the big man! (Loved knowing that another blogger included Santa today! Excellent list!)

As a child, I used to believe that my loved ones would live forever. I never thought about any other possibility. Now, I  know this to be true. I hear their voices in the whisper of the winds. I feel their presence when I need to make a decision. I see their reflections in my children and grandchildren. So, yes, they do live forever.

My younger-self believed that her mom and dad were the smartest people in the world. Yep, you guessed it. I now say, without hesitation, that this is also true! I know that they have investigated, experienced, and questioned every piece of advice that they have handed my way and that this journey would have been a bit easier had I have known this during my early adulthood. (It seems that beliefs and knowledge have a gap during this period for most people!)

Finally, I believed, as a child, that children are awesome. I mean, I was a child and I was pretty awesome. My friends were children and they were also, yep, awesome. Shoot, I couldn’t think of anything more awesome than a child (besides maybe Santa and dessert) and I was certain that everyone believed this to be true. And, if you have read any of my blogs, you know that I now KNOW, without a shadow of a doubt, that children are, in fact, AWESOME!

I am not sure whether we are wiser as children for having such solid and valid beliefs or if we become wiser as our experiences lead to our true knowledge. One blogger discussed how important it is to experience life (you can read this here) and this makes me wonder if the children are more willing to experience the world or if they have not yet got caught up in the rushed state of adulthood so they have the time to do so.

Regardless, as a child, my beliefs were spot on! I just didn’t know it yet! (Fortunately, this does not extend to beliefs about monsters under the bed or the world dropping off at the edge of town!)

The greatest part of aging is confirming your beliefs as a child!

“Gigi”