Friday, May 28, 2010
Tomorrow the children are going to come over and hang out.. Their foster mom has a graduation and party so I offered them to come here. We are going to go to Old Navy and get them swim suits something that has been postponed for the week since there were bad thunderstorms on the days I was going to take them. I am hoping to go to brat fest with them. There is a nice ride area.. I have been told it is a little pricey but hopefully we can get a few rides in. Tomorrow Jonathan is going to come up and clean the town home for leaving and handing the keys back to the Landlord.
Another sad point is that tomorrow my husband and I were going to have a brunch date because Zoe offered to watch our 3 boys in the morning for us to go out. This is the last set date I had with her. These days are harder for me then others. Some days Zoe and her family would come over and other days we just chatted on the phone or FB. But then we would schedule things too like working on our garden and her wanting to hang out with Baby Adam and Isaac and Noah so she offered to watch them. I guess where I am going with this is it hurts knowing that I would see her it was a guarantee but not now. Sadly this is the last future event we had definitively planned so hopefully these days won't hurt so much but it is still sad. And I still miss her everyday.
Now that things are stored away that chapter of this process is coming to a close. Which hopefully that reduces the stress and urgency on everyone. Now it is a wait and see game. I will update when I know something new worth sharing. And I will update on our adventures with the kids. I hope to get some fun photos of them tomorrow with what ever activity we plan to do. Also a note that if you are in the area and want to get photos done please do they would make a great father's day gift. And every day with our children are gifts and oh so often I find I am the mastermind behind the camera and hardly ever in front of it. So Mom's it is time to step out from behind and treat yourself to a beautiful shot with your beautiful children.
Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend don't forget to thank your servicemen and women, new and old veterans this day is for those who never made it home so think of them so their memory never dies.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
As you are aware fellow MIM member Zoe Silver passed away recently. I had the opportunity to work with Zoe and her kids and that meeting and her passing has had a profound impact on me. As a result. I am offering a mini session benefit donating all proceeds in Zoe's memory.
I would encourage moms to come out with their kids. I feel honored to have been able to capture Zoe and her kids and I think that getting photo with your kids would be a great way to honor Zoe's memory.
Please check out the details here.
If you have any questions please contact me.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
This is the garden after we gridded it out.
Wow today was hot.. 91 degrees seriously? What happened to an in between temperatures. Well anyway.. Today I picked up Shira and Caleb for a visit. We ran to Menard's and picked up a few last Gardening items we needed and then a quick stop for some lunch and back to my house. While Caleb played with Isaac, Shira and I laid out the grid for the garden and planted all the plants and seed.. Holy cow was it hot.. We had to take a few breaks to cool down.. When we were all done we stood in the shower and hosed off our feet and legs and arms to get the dirt off and cool down.. And of course a Popsicle helped too. Then we went down and worked on some stuff in the basement.. She wanted to help as I put up the Toilet paper holder and the towel holder in the down stairs bathroom. Then we had some Fish and rice for dinner and of course our visit was slowly coming to an end.. The children need a few things like swim suits and summer pjs so I thought we could get out the door around 5:40p and go to old navy they have a nice sale going on and pick up some clothes for the children but we got there at 6:01p and they close at 6p on Sundays.. Darn that was out of the question and I had till 7pm with them and of course I didn't want to give up anytime to spend with them so we headed over to the mall. And of course they close at 6pm on Sundays too.. So we then drove by Borders Books to see if they were also closed and if they were I told Caleb and Shira we would just head back to Joan's house (where they are staying). And in the backseat a little voice said "No, I want to go back to your house." Such a sweet sound coming out of Caleb's mouth I had such a hard time explaining to him that I would be back to get him in a few days.. I just wanted to cry my heart was breaking. And with that our luck Changed Borders was open so we went back to the children's section and got some goodies for the children.. I picked up Caleb a Sumba instrument play set and Shira a doodle and wash pony. It was nice to get them something little, though I was wishing it was stuff they needed like clothes. Though I have been informed by Joan that Caleb has no toys of his own where Shira has a nice box full. So hopefully we can get him a few more things to call his own. So I am hoping to pick them up on Tuesday and next Saturday. We wanted to go to the botanical garden but it was way way too hot. Maybe if it is still super hot I can pick up a kiddie pool for the front yard and they can slide into it from the swing set.
Let's step back a day.. Susan, Jonathan, Annette and I worked more on the house.. Packing and cleaning and throwing out trash (wrappers and spoiled food). With the help if John F. and his truck we took two large loads to the dump of just Trash everything else is packed in boxes. We also cleaned out the frig and freezer. Which is a big accomplishment. So much to do still in the way of cleaning. We are almost all the way through the house and we did go all the way through the Storage unit and still no hard copy of the will. But like I said before we have multiple computers with the same copy of the electronic will. Hopefully that will help. Sad to say though that after going through the storage and still not finding what we need I am very sad. It is hard to explain but the flicker of hope of finding this hard copy is starting to dull. Though I am going to get some unofficial copies of Zoe's Death Certificate to see if maybe we can help by talking to UW to see if she had anything on file for when she had her surgery in September 09! So fingers crossed something pops up.
Well that was pretty much the weekend. The children went over to Margo's on Saturday and got to play with their dog Emma. They enjoyed being there with Emma.
**** little side note. I did put up some photos under the Sweet Memorial post (from the memorial here in Madison) ****
Saturday, May 22, 2010
It is nice to see a lot of people reaching out to see what they can do to help. I have a lot of people suggesting different things to raise money for the children and unfortunately I am unable to field most of these inquires. I guess my thought is if you have an idea to do and want to execute it and then send the proceeds to me to put in the bank that is up to you. Still working with the photographer and I hope to put the information up on the blog soon.
As for the Children they are coming to visit tomorrow with my family for about 7.5 hours.. So we are hoping to get out of the house and go to the Olbrich Botanical Gardens or something fun.. Maybe bowling who knows yet..
Have a blessed weekend.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
I went to highschool with Zoe. I am so sad to have read the news of her passing. I am staying prayful for her children. I was so inspired by her posting of her & the children's lives. She loved her children the way God would have us to love all...unconditionally with ALL she had!!!! I don't know anything about her family.
Monday, May 17, 2010
"My dear friend, your memorial was yesterday and all I could do was look around and see all the lives you have touched and the many ways you have touched them. It was a beautiful memorial with lots of love and soft gentle words.. I could feel you in the breeze around us surrounding us with your loving embrace. Sweet Shira was able to hold our words in her heart and feel the gentle blanket of love reaching out from us and yourself. I know it was hard for her but she was glad that this moment was for you. I love you and always stay close to us and guide us in and invisible embrace till we meet again.."
Thank you all for coming to the memorial. It was beautiful and in a fashion I know that Zoe would approve. I felt though that we morned her and will continue to morn her that this was more a celebration of life. Thank you for all the wonderful Memories that everyone spoke. It is nice to have more added to our memories of different times through out Zoe's Journey.
I am working with the photographer who took Zoe's photos with her children.. We will get together the price list for options and dates and times so you will just sign up and the photo shoot will be in a park or maybe the botanical gardens.
As for photos from the memorial I will put them up as soon as I get them for everyone to see. Again thank you so much for coming in the celebration of her life.
This is a Song that I love and will think of my loved ones on the other side waiting for me.. Please check it out...
After the memorial I took the children to my home and they ate dinner with my family we had Chicken nuggets, French Fries and Peas. They then went out and played on the swing set till I needed to pack them up and take them to their foster home. I have talked to Joan and I will be able to set up times with her to pick them up and go places.. I am hoping to see about setting up a day soon maybe to go out to Cathy's farm. I will of course post what we are up to and how they are doing and will continue this until they are in a long term situation with friends. So please keep checking or just subscribe to follow the blog and it will automatically send you an update as I post them.
I wanted to Add a thank you..Thank you Margo for opening your house to us and hosting the memorial and all the work you put into making this a beautiful memorial.. Thank you.. Thank you.. Thank you..
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Enjoy some photos.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
1. I can become guardian of the children. This would be where I would be responsible for decisions regarding their health if there is an emergency they would call me to approve medical procedures. There is a list of other things I would be responsible for doing and signing off. I even believe helping enroll Shira in School.. I know Zoe was of the unschooling group but CPS will not do this and going to school is the route they will take.. I would be allowed visits with the children and after time even be allowed unsupervised visits and taking them on outings.. I even approached the subject of overnighters at my house and that too would be allowed in time. CPS is big on wanting to keep Guardians and the actual custody of the children separate so they wouldn't live here with me but I would be allowed access to them as stated above. If we take this route it will be the quicker of the 2. And I would still have to have my home and everything inspected and up to code.
2. This option is Tom recommending my family and I to become a special license foster family.. There is a 9 to 10 chance that the application would be denied. Mostly this number comes from the fact that is the rate of cases that go before the judge that get denied. This isn't adding in other factors that a more in depth search of my home may bring up. The group that comes in for the in depth search nit pick to the core of everything one minor thing could disqualify me. I then would take the course and even with taking the course I am still not guaranteed a license. This immediate process takes around 8-10 weeks and I am not 100% sure that is including the courses. Here I would not have guardianship and would just be a foster family.
As you can see they are 2 completely different ways of going and now it is time to decide what would be the best for Shira and Caleb and whether or not risking and going route 2 over route 1 is going to be productive. So for now we are leaning more toward one than the other.
I still need to organize and make sure my house is safe for the children to come to and that is why Tom came for the visit. He evaluated the home and pointed out to finish the electric. And that my downstairs bedroom might not be able to be used for the children due to height regulations of the windows. And I need to get my Down stairs bathroom completed so that all accessed areas are safe.
Ok so that was long... On to some good news. Tomorrow I am going to get to visit with the Children here at my home it will only be for an hour and it is a tentative appointment and could be changed if there is emergencies within CPS that take precedent.. So thoughts and prayers everyone that I can make contact with the children tomorrow and help prepare them for the memorial on Sunday because they will be in attendance.
Things are starting to slow and processes are starting to go in motion.. But this is going to be a long, slow process from what I have been told and I am starting to lose some steam on what I can continue to push to make go faster. I am now at the will of the process and it pains me not to be able to get things flying. Again I am here if anyone needs me and I will post as things come.. Just know they may come more slowly now..
With Love Katrina
I just learned that you are gone. I am shocked and saddened. You were the kind of mom that I wish I could be. Homeschooling. Organic. Green. Farming. Knitting, making cheese and cooking everything from scratch. Two beautiful and delightful children. Most of all, I hope that Shira and Caleb are being comforted by family. So sorry to hear this news.
We have known Zoe since she was a miserable 19 year old student at University of Chicago through thick to toned, through cluster headaches to precious and fleeting health, through her family of origin to the utter joy she shares with Shira and Caleb. She has blossomed and become her best self. She has created a wonderful life for Shira and Caleb and herself.
If we are chosen, Sandra and I would be honored to raise Shira and Caleb. As Zoe knows, we have always wanted to be parents and know that our love for one another, our individual and combined triumphs and trials, our love for everyday adventure, and our love for nurturing our nieces and nephews and our friends’ children will allow us to excel, even if we are not experienced. We loved being Shira’s aunties when she lived here, and missed that opportunity with Caleb.
We were almost there when Zoe had Shira. Sandra spiked a fever in the middle of it all (in the birthing center). I took Sandra home and the birth was over before I returned. Susan Rosenberg was the coach as she had given birth to four children. We remember when Zoe found out she was carrying Caleb– she laughed that she had a penis. It may have been at that time, we talked about being guardians. It was just conversation, but we are so touched that she committed to this in writing.
Finally, I found my great grandfather's prayer book while my mother was dying and I will bring that with me to Zoe's memorial. Memories are a blessing.
End of day was a positive one.. I went back over to Zoe's to pick up the Birth certificates that we had accidently left and to throw out more trash. Unfortunately when I arrived there was another vehicle who followed me into the driveway.. Turns out that Neil the landlord is already showing the house.. So we need to go through boxes and box up more in case we need to move all of Zoe's stuff to a storage unit. So our plan of attack for this is going to be that Jonathan is coming up on Saturday.. First WE (Jonathan and I) are going to go and set up the savings fund/memorial fund for the children so that we have all the information for the memorial. I will set up a paypal account to it also incase anyone would like to donate that way.. But all Checks and money will be put in the account so it will need to be labeled accordingly.. Both children and their SSN will be on the account with 2 Guardians of the Acct (Jonathan and I) all withdraws of the Account for the children will go through Jonathan and/or I we will keep a ledger of the going ins and outs so that everything will be accounted for. So who ever in the long run who adopts or fosters the children will know that the account exists for the needs of the Children.
Ok back to the house.. Saturday Jonathan is going to go over and if we have anyone else to help volunteer we are going to start packing up all the clothes upstairs and box and LABEL them accordingly. One person will be boxing items like clothes and the other will be boxing papers.. We will go through papers with a finer toothed comb to make sure that everything is checked due to the fact that if the digital copy of her will is telling that the will is only 3 pages long that we need to be adjusting our looking to something smaller and not a big legal envelop.. So we will be packing stuff that has been throughly inspected so that it will be easier when the time comes to rent a uhaul and store items until the estate can be settled. So if anyone in the madison area would be able to join Jonathan on Saturday and maybe Sunday before the memorial event let me know please.
Next the good news.. I was told by Tom (CPS) that he is going to come by my house today (5/13/2010) to make a run through to see if my house is available for capacity of the children. It will be a process to get them here close to 6-8 weeks but we are available for the intermediate between now and the final placement.. As much as I love the children and want to be the final destination for them I know in my heart that this will not be the case.
Last night I was outside trying to put up our new swing set activity center from my mother and I think I may have caught a small cold.. So for now I need to clean our house for Tom (CPS) and then rest! I am going to talk to Tom today to see about a visit before Sunday with the children.
As for Sunday this may be the only memorial we are going to get due to Zoe's mom releasing her for Cremation and we are not sure where the ashes are going to go. I am not 100% of the attire but just so everyone gets sorta an idea I believe that Zoe would like a fancy casual.. Nice Top, Khakis or Nice Jeans, Dresses stuff like that. I am going to wear a blue long summer dress with maybe a knit sweater top. And my 2 big boys will be in Khaki pants and nice shirt and the baby in a nice little outfit.. I put this is in the note so that those who have not met me until Sunday will be able to recognize me quickly.
Please keep everything in your prayers but mostly keep sending the children loving vibes and sense of loving peace to surround them in this difficult time..
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The kids WILL come with their foster mom, to the Sunday gathering. Shira is crying for Emma the dog. The Humane Society is considering letting us have her for Sunday, and I would keep her in the yard with our two dogs. They are also looking for a foster home for Emma—until we return from our two-month visit to our home on the North Atlantic Ocean in Canada....end of July.
Any friends who might be able to manage a dog for two months? Rosanne is considering....
What: Memorial Gathering in Honor of Zoe Silver
When: Sunday, May 16, 2 p.m.
Where: home of Margo and Dan Redmond
826 Miami Pass (Village of Nakoma)
Madison, Wisconsin 53711
RSVP or ask directions or other questions: Margo or Dan: 233-0215 or email@example.com
Comments: We hope Zoe’s dear little ones, Shira and Caleb, can join us, as requested.
We believe it is important to honor Zoe and console her children by acknowledging
Zoe’s passing in some ceremonious way.
Expressions of affection for Zoe and her children are appropriate, so please prepare a short
statement to share with the group, as those who wish to do so may speak by turns.
If you have photos of Zoe or the children, please bring copies to give to the children
and sign the guest book, giving contact information.
To avoid having the event overwhelm the children, we ask that
everyone speak softly, refrain from outbursts of strong emotion, and allow the children
to come to them, rather than go to them suddenly with hugs, etc. Too much of a good thing
might not be a good thing, and we are certain that you who cared for Zoe understand
completely. Thank you for being a good friend to Zoe, who died the day before Mother’s Day
and exemplified the best of motherhood: unconditional love.
I decided today to start this blog so that everyone could be informed of what is going on as it comes each day! I have found that I have become the epicenter of this and I don't mind and I am trying hard to field any questions but I am constantly on the phone with someone and I don't mind I just am forgetting who I have contacted and who I have not so I have started this to make sure everyone is in the know who wants to be..
Also if you would like to post anything to this blog shoot me and email and put FOR BLOG before where you want me to post information from you that others will see.
Thank you I will again post tonight at the end of the day.
When we got to my home we again loaded up the computers and were able to boot both of them and found a copy of an electronic WILL on her computer but it is not signed so we need to find the hard copy still.
Jonathan headed home to Chicago. I contacted the Social worker to tell him what we found and to see if I was cleared by the courts to see the children. Which I am so I expressed to set up a date soon to see them.
We finished off the day..
Side Note~~~ There is a memorial gathering I will post info in a separate post.
Jonathan came up from Chicago to help me since I was granted permission to get into the house. We started by cleaning and trying to find documents. CPS met us there with a list from Shira about Items she would like from the home. I asked the CPS worker to put me down so I could be authorized by the court at the continuation of Care hearing on Tuesday as and Authorized visitor of the children. I also handed him a print out of Zoes blog and emails expressing her concern about the children going to her mother. I also told him that I had tons of information for him to ask when he needs it. I also asked if I could remove items from the house so that we could get more contacts and see if there was electronic clues to the were abouts of the WILL. I was given the go ahead to remove items.
In the search of the house I grabbed the computer and some stuff for the kids. Once home we got into her little ACER she carried everywhere and got names and emails.
Annette a friend of Zoe's helped me with an Electrician to help get my house ready if CPS will allow me to take the kids.. We are in the process of adding living space and still needed to finish electric an plumbing. I still haven't contacted the plumber to much still going on. The electrician came monday night to help me get things around we still have a few things but we are scheduled to finish that by Friday.
I later found out the first night for Shira was really hard and most expected to be again I prayed for a calming peace around her so she can rest and dream beautiful dreams!
Again a lot more calling and rallying around the friends of Zoe's to figure out a game plan... Lots and Lots and Lots of phone calls and seeking information so that when Monday rolled around we would be ready to get in gear.
Once home I started contacting who I could and racking my brain about who to call. I sat for an hour hitting the older post till I came across Jonathan and Susan R the names I was looking for and contacted them.. From there is was pretty much a web out of people to contact email and chat with.. So End of Saturday.