Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Regression

I went ahead and spoke briefly with Mrs. Beach, Dolly's kindergarten teacher, about Dolly and some of her needs this morning. It was oh so brief but she listened. She also seemed very confused. Dolly had performed wonderfully on a project she had the children do yesterday. In fact, from what I could tell, Dolly had done one of the best projects in the class. And she did it all independently. Surely Dolly understands everything that's being said to her?!

However, immediately following this success, Mrs. Beach started to pass out scissors for the next activity. She handed Dolly hers along with two other little boys in the class. Then she stopped herself and gave the rules, "Only cut on paper." She explained how to hold scissors, how to pass scissors to another student safely and she repeated herself multiple times, "Only cut on paper."

Dolly took the scissors in her hand and promptly cut off a hunk of her own hair.
Mrs. Beach saved the hair for me.
 Mrs. Beach was so apologetic. She said in all her years of teaching, this was a first for her.

I didn't really know what to say. This is NOT typical behavior for Dolly. I tried to help Mrs. Beach understand that Dolly might not have understood what she was being told. However, I also told Mrs. Beach that Dolly had been exposed to scissors before and she knew the rules from using them at home.

Things have just been strange for the past couple weeks.

Both children have regressed a great deal. Dolly is difficult to understand when she's talking. Not only is her speech garbled, but her sentence structure is off. Her thinking in general seems mixed up at times. I realize my worries can be blown off. So many parents can say, "sure...my kids do the same things." But I know MY kids. And something's "off".

The biggest indicator for me is their inability to play appropriately. They cannot seem to get engaged. I'm trying to not overreact. There could be so many reasons why this is going on. But I'll be honest. It bugs the heck out of me. I'm having a hard time dealing with it because for almost two years, these kids have played so well.

When they came they had never been exposed to toys. They each had one stuffed animal from home. That was it. But, they had pretty much been homeless before coming in to Care (if I know their story right), and it's hard to have toys if you don't have a home (or even a vehicle) to keep them in. When they moved in they had so many things to play with. Both kids did a wonderful job of playing with something and then picking up after themselves when they were done. They loved to pretend with our play kitchen. They enjoyed blocks, Legos, action figures, a doll house and so much more. The cherubs could play for extended periods of time needing almost no redirection.

The past couple weeks though?! They can't seem to play. They spend their time walking around in circles making this incredibly goofy giggle. They wander aimlessly not doing much of anything. They might get toys out but they don't actually play with them. And the dump-and-run....oh the dump-and-run. They're taking toys, dumping them out all over the play room, not really playing with them and then dumping out some more. This is typical behavior for toddlers but I've never experienced it with Dude and Dolly since they moved in.
  • I know that part of it is because Dude started school a week before Dolly did.
    For that first week, Dolly didn't know how to play by herself.
  • The video Minnie made messed Dolly up in the head.
  • The trip to Dallas was difficult for both kids.
  • Just starting school, in and of itself, is difficult.
  • They know court is coming up.
  • And I'm guessing it might be because a year ago is when they came BACK to me after the investigation.
Oh duh. (face palm)
I just figured out that last bullet point as I was typing this up.

Alright -- so I'll leave the entire post even though I just figured it out.

My kids have regressed. It's probably due to all the things mentioned above,
but I can stop worrying about why it's getting worse.

Trauma-versaries are difficult!
Foster Care Sucks.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Invisible

Dolly struggles.

Neglect and the subsequent trauma it causes does awful, awful stuff to the brain.

Dolly's needs are practically invisible though. She has such good "herd mentality" that she does not stand out in a crowd. Unless you really (REALLY) know Dolly, you simply cannot tell that she does not understand much of what you're saying to her.

I don't know where to start.

Is it English language learning difficulties?
Maybe.
Is it some kind of processing disorder?
Maybe.
Is it that her brain is simply stuck at a younger emotional age due to the trauma of foster care?
Maybe.
Is it one or more of all of the above?
Probably.

I have almost no resources at my disposal right now. Miss Mary should be able to help with some of this. But really, she's a bit of a dingbat. Well...dingbat isn't the best word. But I don't know what to use. Basically, I think it's safe to say that she realizes I do a lot of "therapy" stuff at home. She backs me up if there's something I want reinforced. But if left to her own plan, therapy with Miss Mary doesn't amount to much of anything!!

The school system is perfectly worthless. We're only two days in but I know that Dolly is being left to fend for herself more than she is capable.

For example, it was my desire that Dolly take a cold lunch from home every day this year. I bought her a nice lunch box. We talked about bringing food from home. We talked about how it would be different from last year when she was in preschool and I went ahead and had her eat hot lunch. I told her how she would eat the food from home. She was a part of picking what would go in her lunch. And now, two days in to the school year, the poor dear carried her lunch box through the hot lunch line and took school lunch. She also ate some of what I sent both days.

Dolly does NOT need two lunches!!!

Dolly needs a healthy lunch from home. (Dolly has food issues. Portion control with healthy food is a very good thing for Dolly. Continuing to eat large quantities of sub-standard "healthy" food isn't so good for her. I really want to establish eating patterns that will benefit her as she grows older. The school options pretty much suck.)

But Dolly simply does not understand. And since the herd is going through a line, Dolly follows right along. Her teacher, Mrs. Beach, could be approached to help Dolly learn this. But is it worth the stress it might cause Dolly? Perhaps it's better if I just have her take hot lunch and follow completely along with the herd.

I've got tons of examples that prove Dolly uses most of her thought energy to try and please those around her. This herd mentality of Dolly's makes it difficult for her to say what SHE wants or what SHE needs. Dolly tells you what she thinks you want to hear regardless of whether or not she understands what you're asking her. The investigation last summer and the recent ridiculous video made with Minnie are two big examples that stand out to me. There are lots of little ones that occur daily that I could add to the mix as well.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to say something to her doctor at her next well-child exam a little over a month from now. Maybe I can get a referral and get her back in speech therapy. I do not want to add that crazy to my life, but I do want to do whatever it takes to help Dolly.

But the one thing that would help the most seems to elude her.

Permanency.

Foster Care sucks.

Monday, August 26, 2013

I spoke with Ms. Colorado

I just got off the phone with my lawyer.
  • The State is convinced that this case should end with Grandma N getting PMC.
  • My lawyer is convinced (because I pay her to be) that the parents need to have their rights terminated. Even if I didn't pay her for this, she can see that this case is a disaster and that the parents' rights do need to be terminated. She says we can "duke it out" for placement AFTER rights have been terminated. I get the impression that she's very confident we are going to succeed.
  • After a phone call this morning with Minnie's supervisor, Ms. Colorado was told, "weeeellll....maybe," when she pushed again for the State to pursue termination.
  • In the meantime, Ms. Colorado is working on drawing up her own papers for termination. It'll cost us a TON more, but I'm OK with it. The State continues to make error after error in this case.
Ms. Colorado is going to make some changes for the better.
  • Minnie needs to be dealt with. She had no business making the video!
    That, and other issues, will be addressed.
  • My cherubs need to be speaking with their lawyers. They've been in Care for two years and it's never happened. Ms. Colorado is going to change that.
  • We may even go back to the issue of January 2012 and the syringe that came home in the cherubs' suitcase after a visit to Dallas. She's blown away that the State keeps wanting to completely ignore that particular situation. I still have the syringe in my possession. She may even get it tested so it can be presented as evidence in court.
My next job is to prepare a document that basically covers the high points from the past two years. Praise God I blog and keep notes on everything. I've got a several page document already written out. I just need to type it.

And last, Ms. Colorado changed our court date. (Grrrrrrr to her for not telling me right away!!) We don't go before the judge in two weeks. Instead, it'll be four. She said not to expect anything to change at court. Things won't be different until we actually terminate and go to trial for that.

And last, Baby Zippy was placed out with a relative so the State is not involved in his case at the time.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Processing the events of this past weekend

Miss Mary sent me a text last night asking if the kids could come for a session today. Of course I said yes. (After all...this is foster care. I am at the beck and call of all the professionals.) We drove to her office today right before 5:00PM.

The cherubs were sent to the play room while I spoke briefly with Miss Mary. I now know the "official" details surrounding the blasted video.
  1. Minnie made the video in the waiting room on her phone prior to the therapy session she took the cherubs to last Friday afternoon (immediately before leaving for Dallas).
  2. The reason Minnie even showed the video to Miss Mary is because she had her phone out trying to set up some kind of a video conference with Grandma N in Dallas. (Said video conference never did work.)
  3. Minnie seemed quite proud of herself. Miss Mary thought the video was quite leading.
Dolly did great at therapy tonight. Personally, I don't think it meant much. If anything Dolly figured out how to "please" Miss Mary. But, since Miss Mary was so incredibly thrilled with the progress, I certainly won't complain.

Dolly talked with Miss Mary about the video. She told Miss Mary that she made a mistake. She said many, many times that she wants to stay with us.

Miss Mary had the wrong date in mind for when her report needs to be ready. (I wonder if Minnie is feeding her misinformation.) She said she'll write up her report this week based on my date so that it's ready. She said again that her report will reflect what the cherubs say they want. (I'm praying that she will present this information to the court in a manner that reflects what SHE thinks is best. I pray she doesn't simply state what the cherubs tell her. I pray she takes a stand herself!!)

Minnie has expressed that she wants Miss Mary and Grandma N to have a therapy session before court. COURT IS IN TWO WEEKS!! Because the video conference was a flop Minnie is recommending that they either fly Gma down here or fly Miss Mary to Dallas. (What a waste of our tax money!) Miss Mary is disgusted and sees no value in meeting with Grandma one time. It is what it is though. It's all in the hands of Minnie right now.

I am calling Ms. Colorado tomorrow!! I will be telling Ms. Colorado about the video. I will recommend that Ms. Colorado contact Miss Mary. Perhaps we can bring her in to testify. I've got no problem paying for that!!!

Dolly is doing a lot better now that she's processed with both me and Miss Mary. Dude is frustrated. But if I had to guess he's just sick and tired of all the waiting that foster care is. Dude just wants to get on with his life.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Today

TT only got the upper expander this morning. The one they made for the lower jaw didn't fit. He had to get another impression taken and they'll send off for a new device.

I could be wrong, but I think this just might be OK. TT won't start having to "crank" the expanders until the lower one is put in -- three weeks from now. He's able to get used to the device first before he goes through any real pain.

It was determined however, that he needs two baby teeth pulled. Thankfully I've got a lot of personal experience with this, as does his older brother. I'm also going to spring for the laughing gas to help ease any anxiety. Those teeth come out next week.

----

Dolly has been WONKED OUT since she got back from Dallas. Some of it is because Dude started school this week. She's been wandering around listlessly and has been unable to get engaged in play. But some of it...some of it is much bigger than all that!!

As soon as we got back from picking Dude up from school, the goofy started coming out. Both children regressed back to the play I assume they had before they came in to Care. They were walking around the room in circles talking about the grout lines on the tile floor. It had no purpose. It wasn't imaginative. It wasn't even fun. It was what I call goofy. The cherubs weren't making conversation. They weren't saying much that made sense. But they were giggling a lot. To an outsider they would think I was overreacting. They would tell me that nothing bad was going on.

But I know better.

This "goofy" as I call it is a HUGE sign things aren't quite right. It means that the cherubs don't feel safe or that they're dealing with some kind of big feeling. When I'm on my game I'll pull them close to me and do what I can to increase their felt safety.

Today though -- that was nearly impossible for me.

I'll admit it. It took every ounce of everything I had to not climb into a pool of pity party and roll around in the betrayal I felt.

So I played half my game. I was a little bit therapeutic. When the cherubs get "goofy" (my word for the state of being that comes right before full-on dysregulation), I often try to get the cherubs engaged. I don't ask them "why" they are doing something goofy. I don't lecture. I simply stop them. I tell them they are acting goofy. I remind them it's not OK. And then I make them tell me what they are going to go do.

The cherubs then have to pick a specific toy that they are going to go play with. They then have to go play with that toy for a least a little bit.

I might not have used the nicest words today though as I redirected the children. And when they both gave me their standard answers, "I'm going to play with my trucks," and, "I'm going to go play with my babies," I might have told them off a little bit. I called them out on the fact that they ALWAYS give me these answers so they had darn well better go play with those things for real.

They hung their little heads and marched upstairs.

They didn't stay long. Just a few minutes later they were back in the living room. Dude got out the Legos and Dolly...well...Dolly was just there.

Next thing I know I hear, "Hey Dolly! Don't pull my ear!!"

Dolly was intent on getting Dude to join her in dysregulation one way or another.

As for me...it took every ounce of everything I had to not go off on Dolly. She hurt my feelings yesterday. I don't care how many times since she told me the story about the video that she's said she wants to stay here -- I'm human dammit and it's been rough!!

I managed to keep it together though. I simply looked at Dolly and told her to go to the guest bedroom (the big feeling room if you will). I was mad. She knew it. But she followed me there. I sat down low on the floor so as not to overpower her. I made eye contact. I tried as hard as I could to keep my own feelings in check.

I tried to not say much. She went deep inside herself. The hollow look in her eyes was expressionless. I said I could tell things have been wonky since she got back from Dallas. I kept it open ended though and simply said, "Tell me about it."

Dolly just stared at me.

Again I said, "Tell me about it."

Eventually she mumbled incoherently, "I don't know."

She just stared at me.

I briefly asked her if something happened in Dallas that she needed to tell me. She said, "yes." Again I said, "Tell me about it."

Dolly gave me some cockamamie story about watching TV at her cousin's house, then going outside to play, and the sun feeling weird on her.

I called her bullshit (not using that word of course) and said, "Is it about the video Dolly?"

She burst into tears!!!!

We proceeded to process through that crap of Minnie's one more time. I told Dolly that her strong voice is what's in HER heart...NOT what she thinks she's supposed to say to make someone else happy. If she truly wants to go to Dallas THAT is what she's supposed to say with her strong voice.

Dolly looked so damn confused. This child is the poster child for pleaser. She won't answer a question half the time if she doesn't know exactly HOW she's supposed to answer it. Here I was telling her that she can say she wants to go to Dallas. I was really messing with her head.

Dolly kept saying over and over that she wants to stay here.

I told Dolly that she has to use her strong voice. And when she says what she wants, she cannot keep changing her mind. I also told her that she's going to have to tell Minnie she made a mistake if she truly does want to stay here.

Dolly cried and cried. Well..that's not exactly accurate. Dolly showed all the emotions of a crying child without letting the tears actually fall from her eyes. Dolly rarely cries more than just a few tears. When she's upset she uses ALL her energy to box everything up behind a huge wall. I've told her many, many times that letting it out is good!! I've encouraged her to cry. But she usually can't.

So tonight, as she was trying to cry I asked her, "Do you want me to say more to make you cry?"

She very honestly answered, "yes."

From there we had another Come to Jesus moment about how bad foster care sucks. And yes...I used that word. I told her that her heart wants to be with Mommy Cathy. It's OK for her to use her strong voice when someone asks and to say that she wants to be with her mommy.

Tenderly, then I said, "But even though that's what your heart wants baby, it can't happen. I'm so sorry Mommy Cathy didn't keep you safe. You do have to choose either Dallas or here."

Dolly cried again. She cried and cried. And then as quickly as she started crying, she bottled her emotions all back up again.

Things lightened some. She smiled. She hugged me. We rounded out the conversation with a huge hug. And off she went on her merry way.

At least four times since that conversation this afternoon Dolly has come up to me and said, "I feel better now Mommy."

----

Because it was clear that our family is being attacked right now...we ALL went to church tonight. Of course that meant all the little cherubs were up much too late. But we NEEDED to get our church on! I'm so glad we went.

The message was about finding joy in everything. I don't have to find joy IN all the crap that Minnie is doing to us. But I can find joy IN SPITE of it all.

Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.

----

Tomorrow is going to be a great day!

Spiritual Warfare

Tired Mama made a very good point on my post yesterday:
You must be getting really close to the finish line for the enemy to be unleashing so much on you right now.

Hang in there sister! Covering you with prayer from afar! 
I covet your prayers. The enemy really is unleashing a great deal on my family. Yesterday was not a banner day for Mr. Amazing either. Keep in mind that his profession is as a BIOLOGIST. He is the assistant manager where he is employed so he does have some paper pushing responsibilities. But, by and large, his calling is to care for this planet that God gave us. His job requires him to be out in the field making sure tracts of land are being maintained properly.

He got shot at yesterday.

SHOT AT!!

Mr. Amazing is ex-military. He says he's seen more "action" where we live than he did when he fought in Desert Storm. But the timing yesterday?! He was being shot at at almost the exact same time Dolly was dropping her news about the ridiculous video.

Satan is really doing a number on my family. We need your prayers!!! September 9 (our next court date) is a lifetime away if things stay this intense. My confidence in a miracle really fell yesterday. I know I need to keep my mind on the truth. But it can be so hard when attacks come at all angles.

Today TT gets palate expanders on both his upper and lower jaws. HE IS PETRIFIED! (He's also getting Stage 1 braces on his upper and lower front teeth.) I ask for prayers to storm the heavens that this isn't painful for him. Please pray that his spirit finds rest and his anxiety can be relieved. (He hasn't been sleeping well. This tends to be the start of when behaviors come to a full boil.)

I thank you in advance for covering our entire family in prayer!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

UPDATE on what I learned...

The therapist was NOT INVOLVED in the making of the video with the cherubs.

It was done entirely by Minnie.

Surely that won't hold up at all.

Shoot -- is it even legal?!

Either way...I'm less worried. Not completely relieved. But less worried.

Things I've learned

The cherubs spent most of the weekend at a relative's house because Grandma had to work.
-- Great that she has a job.
-- Has this relative been "checked out"?! (I highly doubt it!)

----

The cherubs had to go to therapy with Minnie immediately prior to the visit in Dallas. I tried to find out what happened without prying too much. Dolly said that Minnie waited out in the waiting room and didn't go in to therapy with them. I breathed a sigh of relief.

Imagine the gut punch I felt when Dolly shared just minutes ago that they made a video with Minnie at therapy. On said video Dolly told Minnie that she wants to go live in Dallas.

Immediately after telling me this (because SHE brought up everything) Dolly said, "I told them I want to stay with you."

I questioned Dolly, "What did you REALLY say? This is important Dolly. I need to know."
I stayed as calm and as non-judgmental as humanly possible.

Dolly insisted that she told everyone she wants to stay with me.

Dude got in the car (we were picking him up from school). Dolly brought it up again all on her own. Dolly said, "I told them I want to stay with Mommy."

Dude piped up with disgust in his voice, "No you didn't. You said you want to go to Dallas".

----

I am trying as best as I can to handle this the right way. I did tell Dolly that I will love her even if she does go to Dallas, I will love her forever. I did tell Dolly that if she goes to Dallas she will never get to see me, or anyone else here, ever again. I did tell Dolly that if this happens it's not because of ME or anything I ever wanted for her.

Dolly is a pleaser. Dolly tries to tell everyone around her what she thinks they want to hear. In fact, she won't talk much if she can't figure out what she's "supposed" to say. Her therapist knows this about her and has documented Dolly's "confusion".

I'm still sick.

I think I'm going to go cry now.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Bart's Big Feelings

Dude and Dolly came back from Dallas today. I was at the grocery store with TT. (Yes....I was deliberately avoiding having to see Minnie.) There were many, many tears upon entering the home. The cherubs were physically exhausted and had slept from the airport to our home. They are also emotionally drained. And it was difficult for them to come home and not have me here.

Mr. Amazing totally rocked it! He's an amazing dad!! But after they'd been home about an hour he did text me to say that things were pretty intense and he might need my assistance. Thankfully I was in the car and just a couple of miles away when I got that next. (Side note: Minnie never did give me the flight numbers for this weekend's travel. All I got from her was a casual, "we should be back around 3:00PM". She showed up well before 2:30. Her complete disregard for any life I might want to have outside of foster care frustrates me beyond belief!! I had not planned on being away for that long after their arrival home.)

Nevertheless, I came home and things smoothed out a little. I also allowed the cherubs to turn on the TV. That lessened any interactions that would cause more tears.

However, at 5:00PM the TV went off and dinner went on the table. In the 5 minute transition all Hell broke loose. Bart went off the deep end. Sitting here just an hour later, I don't even remember what started it. All I remember is telling him to leave the dining room (where he was supposed to be setting the table) to go to the guest room to cool off.

As I rounded the corner I saw Bart laying in the hallway (instead of being in the guest room as directed). I told him to move into the guest room. He screamed at me, "I don't want us to adopt Dude and Dolly. I don't even like them!!"

His words cut me deep. I still ache because of what he said.

I took him into the guest room. I held him close to me. He said he's never wanted to adopt them. Not at all. He just didn't want to say anything because he didn't want to hurt our feelings.

It took everything I had to validate his feelings and not call him out on the bloody lies. Because in that moment, he was speaking truth. Even I find it "easier" when the cherubs are in Dallas. And none of us like re-entry!

But damn...what do I do now?!

I told Bart that we would probably have to start seeing a counselor. He said he doesn't know what he'd say to them. I told Bart the counselor would be for ME but we both would go.

I told Bart that we are NOT going back on what we've started. I reminded him that children don't get to choose when their parents want to procreate...he's not going to choose whether or not we adopt.

He claimed it's because of the money we've spent.

I said, "ABSOLUTELY NOT!!" It has nothing to do with money and everything to do with my heart, the babies' hearts and promises we've made.

Bart acknowledged that it's not safe for them in Dallas. He knows we are the best option. Even he seemed a little shaken by the words that escaped his mouth.

I still don't know for sure what to do. I don't want to sweep this under the carpet. Even though I know it was said in haste, and it's likely not even close to the truth, I feel I should do something.

What do you think?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Processing her story

We're back from vacation. It was oh so much fun!!

It was also really difficult for Dolly.

You see, we go on vacation to see FAMILY. And family can be complicated.

Dolly is acutely aware of who is who. She knows who my mom is. She knows who my dad is. She knows I've got a sister and a brother. She's really ahead of most kids her age. She understands family connections. And because of this, she knows what she is missing too.

Dolly knows she's not with her mom. She's aware that her bio dad hasn't really been in her life ever. She knows she no longer gets to see certain aunts, uncles and cousins. And when we get around my family (and my husband's), it makes Dolly sad.

It also makes her aware of her full story. Or, better yet, it makes her aware of the holes in her full story. Dolly wants to know what she was like as a baby. Seeing my 8 month old nephew, SB, makes her curious. She saw all of us holding SB. She saw everyone playing with him. She saw him nursing. She saw him sleeping. She saw him being tended to when he cried.

It makes her sad.

Today she came up to me out of the blue and said, "Mommy...when I was a baby, did TT and Bart hold me?"

It nearly broke my heart, but I stopped what I was doing to process with her. I reminded Dolly that she didn't live with us when she was a baby. She lived with Mommy Cathy.

Dolly looked up at me with a hollow look. It was almost like she already knew the answer but she was hoping I'd say something different this time. I asked her if she wanted me to hold her. She said yes so we went over to the couch to snuggle.

Thankfully Dolly doesn't struggle with attachment issues. We were able to sit together on the couch for quite awhile. I held her. We didn't talk much but she did give me lots of eye contact. I do what I can to make up for all that she missed in her first 3.5 years of life. When she first came I fed her at dinnertime a lot. I hold her and hug her all the time. I help her with self-care. (Though, with the head of hair she used to have she had no choice there.) I'm grateful that Dolly uses her strong voice now to ask for what she wants. Holding her today was beautiful.

I asked Dolly if she remembered her mommy holding her. She said no. She said she remembers Mommy Cathy feeding her crackers. I asked if she remembered Mommy Cathy taking her to friend's houses. Dolly said yes. I asked her if she remembers being alone. Dolly said yes again. (The extent of Dolly's neglect came out a bit more over vacation. I believe she and Dude were left completely alone a lot.) During vacation Dolly needed a lot of reassurance that I wasn't going to leave her!! I figured she needed a bit of that same reassurance this afternoon too. I looked her deep in her eyes and told her I wasn't going away. I told her I want her to be an Eldridge. Dolly's eyes lit up!!

Our snuggle didn't take too long. After about 5 minutes or so Dolly decided she wanted a snack. With a bounce and a smile we went in to the kitchen together.

When Mr. Amazing got home I let him know that Dolly was processing "her story" today. We try to keep each other in the loop about emotional stuff like this. Often times Dolly will need to process with both of us but she often doesn't give as much information to the parent she goes to second.

Dolly did want to talk to Mr. Amazing before dinner. This time though, it went like this, "Daddy, Catherine didn't keep me safe."

I don't refer to Dolly's mom as Catherine ever. Most of the time I call her "Mommy" or "Mommy Cathy". Dolly's use of the full name and the lack of the use of the word mommy is profound. My heart breaks for all that she has lost.

I am praying for a miracle on September 9. Every time I get started trying to figure out "what" that miracle should be, God reminds me I don't have to make the plans. I'm just supposed to believe in a miracle.

So believe I am. I trust that good things are going to happen in this case. Dolly deserves it!