More on the brain and some break-throughs!

What a whirlwind it’s been! 2019 has worn me out.

So, I’m putting all this “out there” so I can find out who my awesome resources and experienced mommas/daddies are, or maybe give another parent some hope or ideas. We have had major regression and aggression since the week of Christmas. 14 fits in 9 weeks to be exact. (This is a lot for *Little man.) So, naturally, I’m back into my reading and research.

PANDAS is something all parents should be aware of. I have recently read about it, thanks to another mom that “randomly” crossed my path a month ago. This could be a cause of aggression and more frequent fits along with obsessions. He had strep the same week aggression started…and it has continued weekly until we received some more information from a neurotherapy facility.

We had a brain scan at the Neurotherapy facility, 3 weeks ago, which is really insightful! Since those results, (which are all possibilities, not diagnoses) I have been intervening when necessary, as if he had a diagnosis of OCD and indecisiveness. With many students I have taught, choices were what kept them functioning in the classroom. *Little man gets even more frustrated when offered a choice, when he is succumbing to “caveman” brain. I was previously either giving him a choice, but not necessarily the thing he was fixated on, which causes him to escalate; or, we completely ignore him, also causing him to escalate.

Thankfully, with OCD in mind, I have begun to see his fits as a lack of control, versus him trying to manipulate or take control. I focus on helping him get whatever it is he is crying about. I used to steer clear of his obsession during fits, because my previous parenting focus was, “you can’t get what you want when you act like this,” and focused on setting boundaries with my kids. This new strategy is one that is really hard for me- kids who are capable of controlling their emotions, get what they want if they whine more, cry, or ask over and over. I experience kids who test these boundaries frequently in my classroom. But ultimately, most kids thrive on boundaries. *Little man is a different story.

I am now relying on the fact that he actually can not mentally let ‘whatever it is’ go. OCD comes in various forms taking on the form of sensory and/or mental repetitive thoughts too, which I didn’t know until I read more about it.

Along with the new linguistics during a tantrum, we are going to our 3rd consultation at a highly recommended therapist. He offers many different treatment options, including neurofeedback. I have called many facilities, therapists, and doctors who offer neuro/biofeedback, thanks to our therapist’s referral and leads from my new mommy friend. Updates will follow, but please comment with your experiences.

I have also discovered Hylands supplements at Sprouts, thanks to a friend at school. We began taking these daily for irritability each afternoon, the same week I found out about the possibility of OCD, and received more information about the neurological effects of Strep.

So here we are, and we will grow together and stronger; as this too, shall pass. I am bringing my sis-in-law to help me listen and make an informed decision of our plan to a healthy mind and body.


Other blog post drafts will have to take a back seat to this one as today marks a very important day for our little man.  I don’t like to write, revise, and post on the same day, but I have a lot of feels today.

This past weekend, we had a sweet farm party to celebrate with some of our family and friends.



—though I feel somewhat sad, like a piece of me is missing, a desire to want to know more, but nothing more at the same time.

Today marks a birth story that I can not recall.  There is no documentation to tell of the joy or pain his birth mother felt.  I don’t know if birth mother had complications during delivery, a natural or caesarean.  I don’t know if he was jaundice, breastfed after delivery, or held skin-to-skin.  I don’t know how often he woke up to eat, if he took a pacifier, or if he had to/was able to soothe himself.  I don’t know what outfit he came home in, or where he went home to.  I don’t even know who was there when he arrived, or if his biological father laid eyes on him around this special day.  We don’t know what foods were introduced or when; although, we have a hunch that the variety in his diet was very limited.

I wonder what she is thinking about today.  I wonder if she is sad or angry.  How is she coping with his loss?  Is she celebrating and relieved today?   Does she have memories of his other birthdays?  Does bio dad even know it is today?  We don’t know how his 1st and 2nd were celebrated.  His 3rd and 4th was with foster family #1 and 5th was with foster family #2.

So, this past weekend and today we establish our new birth…day traditions.  He learned from big brothers that he gets to choose dinner on his real birthday and that Menchie’s  is not out of the question.

Carter is 6

Adoption day

***The non-social media filtered version (as my hubs calls it):

(or as @AndyStanley refers to, the following story is the stuff we don’t put on our “bookshelf” for everyone to see.)  But, anyway, here it goes:

Our day prior to announcing our new son:

*Little man could not wait for early check out at school today; in his teacher’s words, “climbing out of his skin with excitement.” He screeched last night when he found the outfit he wanted to wear to court.  (We were only at the outlets to look for a shirt for the big boys to match *little man’s already planned outfit.)  He wanted to look really handsome.

The big boys couldn’t wait to check out of school either, but their excitement of their fancy clothes quickly melted away.  Photo shoot pictures were as pictures usually are with kids…  “stop touching each other, put your arms down, smile, stand up, if you look at the camera – we can be done,” etc.  Our amazing neighbor friend somehow made them look perfect in our world of kid chaos. 🙂

A puppy walked past our photo shoot and *little man was obsessed, trying to convince us we need one (he LOVES dogs)- Brian tries and I consistently deny.

Done with pics- grumps:


Waiting again:


The events as I remember: (but I may miss a few due to complete emotional overwhelm – ha!) We drove 1 1/2 hours to arrive early, get a snack, and then find out that the hearing may not happen. One piece of paperwork was not complete with the appropriate person’s signature on it. The judge’s clerk quickly helped get everything squared away and we finally entered the court room with both sets of grandparents, a set of great-grand parents, our lawyer, caseworker, and our handsome boys who were already tired of waiting.

Brian, *little man, and I sit at the table across from the judge, while *C$ and *minion take a seat at the table to the right, family behind all of us. Our lawyer begins talking and making introductions, and then the judge speaks to *little man, asking who all the people behind him were. Once she did this, it’s like it gave *little man approval to make this his show. 🙂 She told him she had been checking on him and he loudly stated, “you’ve been spying on me?!” She told him that she had not been spying but again stated that she had been checking in. She asked about school, in which he kept avoiding the question, by trying to give her a high-five, each time she asked the question. So, three or four high-fives later, he said, “ask her…” and pointed to me. (He was afraid since she had been “spying,” that maybe she knew about his unreasonable meltdowns, or 5’s on the 5- point scale, as we call them at home.)

Then she asked, “who are you pointing at?” And he replied, “weird.” That would be us, his new parents- weird!  Then she said, “well, I bet you don’t call them ‘weird,’ what do you call them?” He loudly and proudly stated, “Daddy!”

Judge asked about his new name, and he didn’t want to say it because it was his “trouble” name as we jokingly call it at home. We had not used his middle name, ever, but he was subtly obsessing over having a middle name like big bros. Judge then asked, who’s trouble name was used the most at home, and all three pretty much jumped out of their seats to let her know that it was *minion.

*Little man made noise or talked the entire hearing.

*Minion grabbed the defense mic, turned it on, and said, “I’m guilty.”  And Judge quickly told him that he should not practice saying that in a court room.  He then proceeded to be the first person to “Floss” in the judge’s bench.

(These pictures are on Facebook, if you haven’t seen them yet, they are pretty funny.)

They all got to sit in Judge’s bench, hit the gavel and reluctantly took more pictures.

We made it through dinner with one hangry *minion, and finished a way too scary Redbox movie on the car ride home.

Difficult questions at bedtime about birth mom, foster family, and “real” mom, followed by tears, because ‘something was in his eye’ and he was ‘thirsty.’  I reassured him that it was okay to have sad feelings, but that he needed to go to sleep because we had a long, very special day.

*I am beyond shocked at the amazingly kind words you guys have posted on social media, but want you to know: we are just a normal family with our ups and downs, tears, and exhaustion. I am forever grateful for my husband, family, and friends who are in it with us! ♡ you all and am looking forward to the next months and years.

Good morning coffee

Good morning…coffee.


It’s Sunday at 6:45 am.  I wake up to a little munchkin standing beside my face.  It is so hard to be nurturing and kindly wake up this way, at this hour, to a little one that I know needs to be in bed, who’s little body needs more sleep, who will not want to wake up for school this week, and we went to bed too late (Though I like to allow the kiddos later on the weekends, it often backfires).

It is also so hard not to make bedtime like a consequence, but on these weeks of adjusting, and depending on how emotions are handled, it is like that.  I’m just trying to hide it from our little, but explain it to our big (and he needs examples of why he can’t stay up as late as he wants to or as late as his friends do).

Why does sleep always seems like a hot topic with kids and with parents?  I am going to invent a clock that has ages already programed.  It will turn blue or black and sound an alarm at their recommended bedtime, then turn green when it has past their recommended wake up time.  I’m sure there is something already out there, in fact, Amazon has something similar we may try,


since I don’t think I’ll be getting around to inventing anytime soon.  And I’ll just type the recommended hours below, so I can remember when to change their Ok To Wake clock.  It is so easy to stay up, and to let littles stay up when we are having fun.  We don’t really have a bedtime in our house, it is based on the way we can tell their bodies are feeling.  We try to take into account birth order, but *C$ seems as though he needs the same bedtime as *little man with all the growing and emotions.   When I say, we don’t really have a bedtime, it fluctuates, frequently.  I don’t mean stay up as late as you want.  🙂

Below are the “AASM’s recommended minimum and maximum hours each age group should regularly sleep during a 24-hour period for optimal health:

  • Ages 4-12 months: 12-16 hours (including naps)
  • Ages 1-2 years: 11-14 hours (including naps)
  • Ages 3-5 years: 10-13 hours (including naps)
  • Age 6-12 years: 9-12 hours
  • Age 13-18 years: 8-10 hours

A panel of 13 sleep experts reviewed 864 scientific articles to formulate the recommendations. It noted that sleep also must be appropriately timed and without disturbances.”

This summer good sleep went through phases, we are currently not allowing shows or video games until 8am, no middle-of-the-night cuddles, diffuser with oils, and we are leaving their beds before they fall asleep.

Please post any great sleep training tips or standards you have in your home, below, for kids of all ages!  Or post it to Instagram.  Thanks everyone!  Good night.  =)





bonding therapy

I am hoping this type of counseling will continue to grow and be offered in more cities for foster, adoptive, and even blended families.  We drive almost two hours total, to spend about an hour, but it is worth it.  As a busy family, who would normally only see a pediatrician once per year, our kiddos’ doctors may be the biggest influence
(other than teachers, who are not generally trained in this area- which I am working on).  I am hoping doctors will begin to make this referral!  Let’s be proactive instead of reactive; mental health is just as important as physical.

Though I was resistant to send *little man, he has his own therapist (and for other reasons), I ultimately didn’t have a choice.  The therapist and agency drug their feet for months on approving us (they wanted to just approve *little man, while I wanted the big boys to get support and learn how to be patient and lovingly accept their new brother).  Finally, they said they would see the three boys individually and work with them altogether during some sessions.  Though things didn’t originally go as I requested, it seems like it will continue to be a great experience for all.

The therapist is working on getting the big boys used to the fact that they can share hard feelings independently, and she started working on communication with all three.  They have learned through playing games, they have to share feelings, communicate, and pay attention to tone of voice.  It has also brought up the fact that *little man becomes agitated, flustered, and does not listen when he is frustrated.  It presents itself as ADD, but is his response to anxiety.  This is a great heads up for our upcoming Kindergarten school year.  Last week, she took a teachable moment and ran with it.   She explained to *little man that he could have done a better job building and would not have been as frustrated during the game, if he would have asked questions.


This type of communication training is quickly becoming my passion as an educator and a mom, due to the fact: the recent school-aged generations have increasing difficulty with verbal communication.  It seems like we are living in a world where negative feelings are shunned and envy is on the rise.

In rereading The Connected Child for my parent coaching classes, I am finding “new” tidbits that are a great communication reminder in our busy world:

— eye contact (as the author describes, driving our kids around to all their events and activities does not count as bonding because they look are looking at the back of our head)

— stay close even during time-outs (adult body language is interpreted easily by kids)

—  avoid open-ended questions (build trust and stay in control)

—  give simple choices (love this example: “would you like an apple or banana with your chicken soup for lunch today?”   NOT: “what do you feel like having for lunch today?”)

— clear instructions (it seems that my boys need eye contact for this as well 🙂

Other updates: No word on final adoption.  *Little man will be registered for Kindergarten at my school.  Staying asleep is an issue; he is making up false reasons for being scared, then ultimately admitting he just doesn’t want to be alone.  Bio family vs. foster family talks are hard.  Family trip #3 is coming up, so consider this a picture overload warning.  And—anyone willing/able to come give C$ a puberty talk?  #notready


I love my family; but, we are in the midst of hard.  Thank goodness for summer!  I love taking pictures, so don’t let it fool you.  We are learning, crying, not sleeping, getting annoyed, but loving, communicating and growing.


operation summer

We are officially in “operation summer.”  I have finished post-planning teacher duties, and we are home together for 7 weeks.  Our “operation’s” focus is to spend time together as a family, continuing to work on trust and love.  My goal for this summer is to spend time having fun, playing, working through weird feelings, justifying feelings, and working on my relationship with my bigs (and of course continuing to work with *little man too).

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from our 1st summer weekend and a days off.  (Some are duplicates from Instagram.)

~enjoying a quiet evening on the boat, because all three boys love to tube 🙂

~*little man watching the big boys wakeboard

Chevy Braves camp at Suntrust Park was great!  We were lucky to attend again this year, and I love that retired players are there to speak with the boys.

*Status updates- *Little man is doing great!  He is not having tantrums; he cries, but the tears are weeks apart (I’m documenting each one :).

*Minion and C$ are going for an evaluation tomorrow to see how much/what type of bonding therapy they would benefit from.  Their emotions fluctuate, so being heard and working through thoughts with someone else other than mom and dad, is exciting for me!

*Family updates- I am so glad summer is here!  Brian’s travels after our transition and move in day were quite exhausting; I’m so glad he is home.  This is definitely a two-man job.

We will be glad when visits are over.  We are still meeting with two different case workers, a CASA supervisor, a new lawyer for little man, and will meet our adoption lawyer at some point.  Brian and I are starting parent coaching next week, for 5 weeks.  And most importantly, we are continuing to be “monitored” and are awaiting official adoption in August, but I’m not getting my hopes up for that month specifically.

Lovin’ some David Lee and Kenny today; *Little man said this song is “connected to me,” today on the radio and it gave me chills.   Everything’s Gonna Be Alright


Hey parents of 3 (or more), I need some tips.  How does going from 2-3 kids seem like it triples the laundry, dirt on the hardwood, toothpaste in the sink, and urine on the back of the toilet?  Brian and I are outnumbered.  We can not just split anymore, taking each child to their sport, school function, or playdate; sacrifices will be made and commitments may not be 100%.  We already have to be intentional, on a rotating basis, for fairness.  I have to say, we have an amazing village though: parents, siblings, and friends have already been our heroes, as well as our kids biggest supporters!

Going from 2-3 kiddos has also brought our awareness to and seems to triple the little things:  awareness of kindness, support, and patience.  It has tripled the sensitivity of our worrier


*little man insisting on doing homework with his big bro


and tripled the leadership of our free-spirited child.

We are in the midst of state testing for *C$, travel for dad, and all things play-date, sports, and friends for our busy *minion.  We are thankful for coaches and teachers.  It truly does take a village.  I am reminded that we are all busy, do something for someone even if you don’t have time for it, accept help from someone, and “bother people. brave it.” ~@jennieallen- Instagram

“it’s not what we have in life, but who we have in our life that matters”

*Little man is taking it all in.  He is adjusting, loving, and learning.  He is so happy and he puts life into perspective.

Please leave a comment if you have a parenting tip for being #outnumbered.

move-in day

What a great day! All love, and only tears once due to a kick ball to the head. 🙂 Thank you for the texts and messages showing your support of our new son! Brian made it back from Dallas, early! And our foster fam friends are da bomb!

We started the day packing the cars (well, moms packed, while kids jumped on the trampoline). Then we headed to *little man’s lunch choice, Longhorn, dessert at Menchie’s, and home for a surprise welcome from a best friend and her crew. She also made our bio boys feel so excited with matching UGA hoodies and personalized blankets!


We unloaded both cars, with lots of “new” stuff to find a spot for. We are so grateful for sweet neighbors that handed down the sports décor for *little man’s new room too!


The big kids passed off big sibling responsibility- literally!


As our “friend-fam” left, the bros headed to get neighbor friends to play,

team Nerf war first, then a huge kickball game. This was followed by team Minecrafting. It was the best unplanned (non-*little man focused) party we could have asked for. Dad made it home for dinner, so our first family dinner is in the books! Great night to watch the Braves play the Rockies and listen to the boys discuss their racing game. Let’s hope everyone sleeps well. 😉

perfect timing

The “transition plan” is over.  The pre-adoption papers are signed.

*scroll down for the cliff notes on our adoption update*  =)

As humans, we try to control everything.  In this day and age perfecting a family schedule is an art.  In addition to scheduling, responses to communication is expected through email, text, prayer, FB messenger, phone call, etc., and expected in a short amount of time.  It is so easy to let our events and forms of communication control our day, or become overwhelmed by all of this.

As adults, we make excuses, “I’m too old,” “too busy,” “too tired,” “too stressed,” “it’s Monday,” “I can’t,” etc.  We want to control the timing all things occur, desperately trying to stay organized and responsive.


Children make excuses too, but adults are so good at working them through those insecurities.  Children also have a desire to control, but this is where we, as adults, often miss an important opportunity: our job as adults/parents should be to take that overwhelming desire and let them know we are in control.  (Control has a negative connotation, such as yelling, punishing, or disciplining, but that is not the control I’m referring to.)  All kids, and particularly kids of trauma, need to know an adult is in control and they don’t have to be.  It can be a long process to even “untrain” an average kiddo, I see it in the classroom all the time.  They need to trust, feel safe, and don’t need to feel the stress that many adults place on children.

As adults, we also have a desire to control our child’s communication.  We want them to respond to adults in a certain way, be excited to see people we care about and express it, change their tone of voice, eye-contact, body language, the list is exhausting just thinking about it.  It comes down to modeling.  Adults have a huge task ahead of us as technology is quickly changing verbal and face-to-face communication.  We must be so intentional about conversational communication, modeling, and discussing those conversations that won’t shame in front of the adults that are speaking to our kids.


I remember having a conversation with Brian, about having our 2nd child, asking him, is it really the right time?  Do we have enough money, energy, and time for this change?  The answer was no, but it was still perfect timing.  We wanted to control when it was “the right time.”  We didn’t realize, that we just needed to be at peace with the timing.

There is a plan for all of us.  The timing of *little man’s move-in, is perfect.  Do we have the energy and time for this change, at times, we still may say no to this question.  Brian had a meeting that he had to prepare for outside of work, he had to fly out of town, it’s the end of Spring Break, it’s 7 months after we finished all of our training/home visits/paperwork, but still…it’s perfect timing.  We were not always very patient since the timing was out of our control.  We have learned to pray for that peace.  Our communication will be in due time, and not very responsive.  =)  While we know the intentions are great, please don’t ask how it is going in front of the kids.  It makes me think of this quote I recently read, “No for now, not for always.” -Sandra Stanley

*Tomorrow, April 6th is “move-in” day!  The timing is perfect!*  Follow @fosteringmoorelove on Instagram for a few recent pictures.  I am sure there will be a lot more tomorrow.


staffing meeting

Brian and I met with several important “decision makers” on Wednesday, which was awkward, just as I thought it would be.  We had to go over everything we felt we already knew, plus: medical history, family history, routines, school, and foster care.  I know DFCS workers must hear and deal with the unimaginable, and am thankful for those that care about their cases.  I appreciate that they cared what *little man’s foster parents had to say, and am so thankful that he is in a loving home, and that they also attended the meeting.  I feel as though they really are part of The Moore family.


We also already have a transition plan!  We are shocked and excited to announce that *little man’s transition begins next weekend!  This is our last weekend as a family of 4.  We brought *Minion and *C$ to get ice cream and tell them the exciting news that they will have another permanent playmate and brother.  Their reaction was sweet.


*Little man will be at our house the next two weekends and part of Spring Break.  He will move in on April 6th.  We will be intentional about our time together.  We will be slow to introduce him.  He needs to understand who his people are, and we are so thankful for our people, which will become his people.  He will be grieving the loss of an amazing foster family, whom he calls mom and dad at times.

We have an amazing network and are so thankful.  He has 3 sets of parents that love him, and we plan to include these family members in his near future.  I don’t even know how many loving grandparents, aunts, and uncles this sweet boys has.  What a lucky kid.  I just hope we can help him see how lucky he is.  We are lucky to have him!  Happy Lucky Day!  (or St. Patty’s as most call it).