Recurring Cast

I thought it might be helpful to give everyone a rundown on who's who in my little world (especially now that my family seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. :-)

(aka. Mimi) - That would be me!  Single, full-time working foster mom to seven kiddos and counting over the past five and a half years, now adoptive mom to one spunky little boy, daughter, sister, friend, cool aunt, honorary "mom", honorary "grandma"...  Accounts Payable Coordinator by day (meaning I pay bills in order to eat), aspiring author by night (meaning I want to earn enough money to eat through witty status updates and blog posts alone)...  Most days I think "I Must Be Trippin'" when I talk about all of the craziness that is Foster/Adopt Land in one breath, and how much I LOVE MY LIFE in the next. Because I DO love my life, and I wouldn't change a thing.

My Mom and Dad (aka. "Nana" and "Papa") - In my completely unbiased opinion, the best parents/grandparents in the history of the world.  Ever.  I never could have taken on being a single foster mommy without their support.  The sacrifices they make every day for my sister, their grandchildren (however many they might have at the time), and me are definitely noticed and very much appreciated.  They are by far the best role models I could ever ask for, both for myself and for my children, and I pray every day that I make them proud.  They are awesome.  Simple as that.  :-)

My Awesome Sister, Christy - My sister is one of the best friends I could ever ask for, and I have no idea how I would live without her!  We had a discussion once about that very subject and mentioned that we wished we "had a backup, just in case."  ;-)  She must have been really serious about that because she is the proud mom of two sets of boy/girl twins!  Christy is my best friend, my closest confidant, and by far the best mother and advocate for her children that I've ever seen (except for possibly our own mom.  We've had a great teacher.  :-)

My Oldest Nephew ("Buddy") - 9-year-old "older" twin to Ka-Diva, and the absolute sweetest, most loving boy you will ever meet in your life...  He has been amazing with all of my foster babies, and is always one of their favorite people because of it.  He's ridiculously bright, compassionate, and is always full of deep thoughts.  He also loves being a bit of a goofball and keeping everyone in stitches with his one liners and awesome dance moves.

My Oldest Niece ("Ka-Diva") - Twin to Buddy, and my absolute "Mini Me" when it comes to her personality...  She has her Aunt Mimi's "strong leadership skills" and "executive tendencies."  (Sorry, Christy! ;-)  She is a 39-year-old in a 9-year-old body!  She is already turning into a pre-teen before she even hits the double digits, is all about music, fashion, and art, and can talk your ear off if you let her.
My Youngest Little Nephew ("Pooper") -  The oldest of the Mini Munchkins...  "Older" twin to Butterfly...  He's our special little guy who has opened us up to seeing the world in a whole new way.  His smile and deep, low chuckle melt your heart and every new milestone is met with trumpet fanfare and an entire tribe of people cheering him on.  This (no-so) little guy has changed all of us.


My Youngest Little Niece ("Butterfly") - "Younger" twin to Pooper, and the official "baby" of the family...  She's a super pretty little thing, and she knows it.  :-)  Quite the fashionista, firmly convinced that she is one of the big twins and can do anything they can do, highly dramatic with the exaggerated eye rolls, and quite possibly even bossier than her sister.  She is fiercely protective of her twin brother and will let you know if you're doing anything that might possibly upset him in any way.  She loves hanging out with her Aunt Mimi and will very likely be my "manicure buddy" in the near future (and quite possibly my fashion consultant :-).

My BFF, Katie - My partner in crime...  :-)  Katie has the biggest heart of anyone you will ever meet, but she tries to hide it by having this tough guy personality.  Anyone who sends me a text at midnight talking about being in tears over a documentary about homeless orphan puppies isn't fooling me though.  ;-)  She's been one of my biggest supporters in Foster/Adopt Land and always seems to know exactly what I need when I gain or lose my little ones.  Whether it's to give me some space but check in with a text message, send me clothes for the kiddos, or to be on my doorstep with some Mexican food and "Margaritas in a Box..."  She's just the best, which is why she's my BFF!!!

The Boy Who Changed My Life ("Booger Bear") - My first foster son who was with me for about a year as a toddler before he went to live with his daddy and forever mommy.  I am insanely blessed to still be a huge part of his life four years later.  I'm kind of like his Godmother, aunt, grandma, super nanny, second mom, etc. all rolled into one and I love it!  :-)  Booger has an "all or nothing" personality.  Complete and total "Monster Boy" one second and super polite, sweet and loving "Nice Boy" the next...  I absolutely love and appreciate every second that I have with him, and I can't thank his parents enough for allowing me and my family to be such a huge part of their lives.

My Honorary Granddaughter ("Banana") - Booger Bear's little sister who I have officially claimed as my granddaughter.  :-)  She is the happiest, smartest, prettiest little thing you will ever meet!  I love, love, love being her "Mimi" in the actual grandma sense of the word (albeit a very young and beautiful grandma ;-).  She is a "Mimi's Girl" and totally has me wrapped around her little finger.  She knows it too!  But seriously!  How can I say "no" when she is always so excited to see me?!?  Pretty sure that's what I love the most about being her Mimi...  The fact that Mimi can just say "yes," and Mommy and Daddy can deal with the fallout later.  ;-)

My Honorary Son-in-Law, Kelly - Booger and Banana's daddy...  He is so good with the kids...  Booger's been crazy about him since the day they met, and it's obvious why.  Kelly's a very hands-on and interactive kind of dad because he's like a big kid himself (a fact that embarrasses Heaven to no end when they're in public, but really is pretty endearing to everyone else ;-).  He's always offering to help me with things around the house and looking out for me like any good son-in-law would do.  Just a good guy who is doing his very best to make a good life for himself, Heaven, and his kids...

My Honorary Daughter, Heaven - Booger and Banana's A.MA.ZING mommy...  This girl won my undying love and devotion when she gave up everything to step up and become a real mother to the Booger Bear.  She didn't have to.  She's not his biological mother.  She was just a kid herself!  She could have said, "No way!  This isn't my problem!  You're on your own!" but she didn't.  The day that Booger left my arms, he went into hers, and I am forever thankful that she has loved that little boy every bit as much as I do.  She calls him "ours," and the fact that she understands and acknowledges how I feel about him speaks volumes as to her maturity and the love that she has for him.  I think that we initially bonded because we were both "mommies" to the same little boy who neither one of us gave birth to, but both love as if we had.  And the more I got to know her, the more I began to feel the same way about Heaven, so I've officially claimed her as "mine."  (whether she likes it or not :-)  She's strong, thoughtful, caring, funny, loving, nurturing, smart, giving, and wise beyond her years.  I love that we talk every day, and I miss her when we go too long without getting together.  But most of all, I love that she has made me a part of her family as much as I've made her a part of mine.  I can not say enough wonderful things about her!  She makes me proud every day.  I wish more than anything that we had found each other when she was younger, but I'll cherish every moment of being her mom now.

My Heart in Human Form ("Monkey") - My second foster son who came to me at two months old, and the only one of my kiddos to whom I remain "Mommy" even after he was returned home to his father.  I am insanely blessed to have developed an awesome relationship with Monkey's dad over the past two years as we co-parent our little boy in order to give him the best parents he can have.  At three years old, Monkey is still an avid Thomas the Train fan and likes to impart his vast knowledge of all things Thomas to anyone within earshot.  He is way too smart for his own good and almost single-handedly keeps Trippin's Facebook Fan Page interesting with all of his one liners.  He never stops moving, loves his Mommy like crazy, and always makes my heart swell with more love than I ever thought possible.  He is my heart.

My Newest, LEGALLY-Forever Edition ("Bug") - My third foster son who also came through my door at two months old, and as of March 4, 2014 is now my first legally-forever son!  :-)  This little guy is my daredevil who climbed before he could walk.  He's my inquisitive and determined one who will spend a solid hour trying to figure out how things work.  He loves cars, puppy dogs, and pink flamingos (first trip to the zoo and we spent more time watching those stinky birds than any of the other animals!).  This little guy has a smile that would make even the most cold-hearted person feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  I look at him and I see my future.  He is my future.

So that's them...  My "Recurring Cast of Characters" in "I Must Be Trippin'" Land...  :-)  I have a pretty awesome family (if I do say so myself! :-)...


Buzy Bee said...

Just found your blog and am so looking forward to reading it. My daughter and I are starting the foster care journey. We are excited nervous and excited. Yes excited.

Anonymous said...

That is a beautiful family photo, no matter how its made!

Janna said...

It's so interesting and heart-warming to read about your extremely unconventional family. :-) Your family reads very much like the way my husband and I would like our family to be. We just started fostering this past August and have had our two adorable little girls with us since then. My husband and I really feel strongly about connecting with their birth mom (at this point, neither of their dads are in the picture). We currently have a very positive relationship with her and would love to unofficially adopt her and any other family members, regardless of whether the girls end up with us or go back with their mom. And moving forward, that will continue to be our goal, however many children come and go and (hopefully occasionally) stay in our home. To me, your story is a perfect picture of foster care done right. I really hope that the foster care system as a whole continues to move in this integrative, cooperative direction. Just from our little experience so far, we know that there are tons of things wrong with the system, but I think it's hopeful to see where foster care was even just 20 years ago and how far it's come since then. Thanks for the encouragement!

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