A friend left a comment asking who C. and E. are, and I realized that it's been a while since I've identified the family, and new readers might not know all the players of the Game of Life that goes on at this house. There is now a link to this post at the left if you get confused. I do, so maybe you do, too.
Father: He is the man of the house; a wonderful guy who strives to serve God, his family, his church family and the community, in every way he can. Besides parenting this family, he pastors a Primitive Baptist Church, and works during the week at a community job. He's my best friend.
Other Mother: That would be me, an over 50 mom of 3 kids by birth, 2 kids by adoption (with one on the way), and Other Mother to 160 or more foster kids along the way. I'm a stay-at-home mom who seems to spend a lot of time in the car and elsewhere. Besides parenting, I train new foster parents, write home studies, and other support activities for foster families. I was a room mother for 19 years, and thought I'd retired from that duty when Hugger finished grade school. However, I've still been hanging around school, and with a kindergartner just starting -- it looks like I'll be there for a few more years (if 13 or more is a few), although I'm no longer the Head Room Mother. Enough is enough.
Sarah: Our oldest child, mother of C. and E., who has recently come home again for a while, following her divorce. Her ex is Mike, who still visits in our home spending time with the girls.
Hugger: Child #4, first adopted child, who joined our family at 5 weeks of age, 23 years ago. He's called Hugger because he hugs. Fervently. And Often. He has Down Syndrome, and lives in a supported living apartment about 20 miles from us.
Teenager: Child #5, who joined our family almost 6 years ago, and became a permanent family member 3 years ago. She attends a Christian school, plays the piano, and works as a companion to an elderly church friend on occasion. She has 2 birth siblings with whom she's still in contact.
Whistle: Legally a foster child, but he's permanently in our hearts. His case is moving toward permanency with our family, and we will adopt at the appropriate time. He's been with us since he was a tiny, frail and fragile 1 year old. At 6 years old, he's still small, but far from frail and fragile. He has medical and cognitive difficulties from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, but may be headed to a job with the Harlem Globetrotters with his basketball skills. He also has several birth siblings in his circle of friends.
The others: Children #2 and 3 and their spouses; Ben and Julie, and Liz and George. H. and A. are Ben and Julie's young daughters, and Liz and George are having their first baby in January (a girl, of course!). In this case . . . And one more makes . . . 5 granddaughters! Yippee! These kids all live about 2 1/2 hours away in the larger city. I could write about where they work and all that, but if you know them, you know what they do; and if you don't know them, I'm sure you don't care. Just trust me. They're all -- from the oldest to the youngest -- great people. Just ask me. I'll tell you about them. And did I tell you about my 5 granddaughters?
That's it at the moment. Because of our specialty foster care license, we are limited to 4 children at home, and the agency is counting our granddaughters, even though their mother is here as well. So - we're taking a break from considering additional kiddos right now.