#TheBeggsFoster Chapter One closed.

And just like that, he is gone.

Foster care is hard, y’all. You can imagine. I wouldn’t allow myself to think about how I would feel, until it was time. I wouldn’t allow myself to dabble there. I couldn’t. The pain is real, even when you cause it. We chose this particular path for him. He is where he should be. Hell, I think he is where he should stay. He is so happy. He is so loved. I see it in their face. I pray for them. I pray for him. 

Me? I’m okay. The boys? They are okay. Ramsey has asks about him all the time and so has Bear. He says “I miss him so much mama. I love him.” But he knows where he is and how this works. We are very open with the boys, as much as we can be. They understand how this goes, as much as their little brains will allow. 

Bj and I keep thinking, “we need to check on the babe” or we need to get him ready when heading out but he isn’t here any longer. We don’t have to make bottles, pack his bag for day care or wipe his nose. We don’t have to replace the sheet on his crib mattress any more. You know, the one that you see standing up right so every time I pass it, I don’t search for him. 


This is foster care, and we will jump right back in with both feet.

Thank you for reading, friend!
~Mika Beggs

He was never ours...



I'll never forget the moment our first foster child entered our lives. He was a tiny 2 day old soul being swallowed whole by the giant car seat he was strapped in. The moment the investigator sat the car seat down on our couch and I took my first peek inside at his less than 7 pound self, and you could think of a million things that would pop in my head. 


"Ohhhh, he is precious, I love him! Can I keep him forever?"



No.

“He isn’t our baby.” 

Wait, what? Where did those come from? Of course he isn't ours, but he will be. I buried them deep inside. This tiny being was so sweet and innocent and I cared for him in that motherly way, but he wasn’t mine. The moments I met his sweet and troubled soul mama, he wasn’t mine. The moments we realized that visitations were likely over and we were practically left alone as a family of 6, I still knew he wasn’t mine. I imagined him staying with us forever, signing him up for Kindergarten and t-ball. I imagined explaining to him adoption and all about his beautiful biological mother... but I always caught myself thinking while snapping his picture, "I need to get this printed for his life book for when he moves on."

Because he simply isn't mine.

He thrived. Y’all I mean, he THRIVED. He gained weight, slept well, smiled, cooed, rolled over and laughed so much. He wrapped me and the boys around his finger. It was not a hard place to be. Gosh, I love him so.

But he isn’t mine. 

We talked adoption often, Bj and I. We are a foster only home, meaning we have no plans to adopt. However, we know to never say never. Our plan is not our plan, it’s His plan and we trust that. 

That’s why I thought it would be fairly easy to officially say no when adoption was brought up by our caseworker. I feel it in my soul, he isn’t mine. He isn’t ours. We are simply caring for his every need, holding him when he is sick, needs cuddles, feeding him and responding to his cries and fusses.... for his forever mama and daddy. Because they are out there, waiting for their baby, and I can not wait to hand him over, with tears in my eyes, and say “y’all lucked up. He is perfect.” 



But y'all, it wasn't easy. It wasn't easy at all. It gutted me. 

January 16th, 2018, I officially told our caseworker that no, we did not intend to adopt him. I barely hung the phone up before I sobbed like a baby. I could barely get the words out to BJ. I couldn't bear to say them again. 

The seriousness of the decisions we are making regarding another humans life, one that I did not birth, is not lost on us. The tragedy of this matter, is not lost on us. The weight of this decision, is not lost on us. 

You read about making these decisions, you hear other people’s experiences and you think you know how it will feel. But please, allow me to reassure you, you do not know how it’ll feel. You are not aware of that wave of emotion that comes over you and the bit that spills out when you speak it out loud. The realness of the moment and the decision that you just made, for your family and for this tiny human. You know it to be right, you know it to be true. I feel with every fiber of my being, he was never meant to stay with us forever, but it doesn’t make the decision any easier. 


Foster care is not something to take lightly. It’s not something you can tame or control. It’s messy yet beautiful. It’s happy yet sad. It’s an emotional roller coaster. It’s, foster care. 

Disclaimer: With foster care, nothing is set in stone until it is. Meaning, just because adoption is mentioned in our babys case does not mean that he will not be reunified or placed with a family member. It means that all options are being explored and all contacts are being made, because its that time. With foster care, a simple decision can take months to execute. He could be with us for only 2 more weeks or 4 more months. With foster care, you never know until you do. Its, foster care. 

Thank you for reading, friend!
~Mika Beggs
TheBeggsBunch@gmail.com


Foster care is an inconvenience.




While I was laying in bed with my 18 month old while he breastfed, the 3 year old was pacing the floor and our newborn foster babe screeching in my husbands arms I realized, foster care is an inconvenience. 

And as people, we rarely like to be inconvenienced. 

You never know when you are going to get called to duty and you always will have plans to cancel. Baseball games or date night will be missed due to new placements, sleep will be a thing of the past because these children are in brand new places and scared out of their mind. They will need reassurance, especially at 3 am. Caseworkers will call, stop by and need documents sealed, signed and delivered. Visitation with biological parents will occur with no regards to your schedule. False information about the child placed in your care will be given, hopefully unintentionally. It's a HUGE inconvenience. 

But guess what I'm going to say? 
It's worth it. So far, it's worth it. Any love and safe haven we can give a child is worth every tear, every heart break and every inconvenience. 
This newborn baby, that has thrown us for a loop, needs love, skin to skin and a bond that our family can give, for however long it's needed. 
Today, we are family.
 Today, it is worth it. 

Thank you for reading, friends!
~Mika Beggs

Honest Motherhood: I am human.

Honest motherhood = Real life play room at The Beggs Cottage


With all the pristine small squares that host our life on social media, I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to the real me... not the brave and selfless future foster mother, not the perfect wife of the hilarious Bj, not the certified lactation counselor who has a fierce passion for breastfeeding and certainly not the laid back, "it is what it is" mother of 3 rambunctious boys.

That brave and selfless future foster mama is scared to death. I will get too attached. My heart will break into a million pieces when the system fails them, because its inevitable. My body will crumble when that small child yells for me because I represent security but by the court, I have to let them go for just a little bit. My children will need help processing what is going on, why we have a new family member and then why they had to leave. I will question this journey. I will question my worth and my ability. But I will do it.

I lack patience, a forgiving nature and remembering to breathe sometimes. I have meltdowns and forget to "go with the flow". I wake up on the wrong side of the bed and label my day as the crappiest ever, all before 7am. I am not always positive and I judge people wrongly. I enjoy hiking but not in the heat. I enjoy camping but hate bugs and sand in the tent. I like to eat food but hate making it and hate cleaning it up even more. I have had to shut myself outside to have a moment before I screamed because the kids (OR ME!) were way too emotional. I yell, scream and slam doors. I make bad decisions. I stay up way to late at night thinking of all the crazy things that I have no control over. We have debt... welcome to America. We have come to the realization that I just can't cook. I can make a mean, magical sandwich though. I have no will power or discipline. I will always eat the cake.

I attempt to forgive, but never forget. I don't like gossip. I can't hang with bad vibes and I watch people to closely. I am way to sensitive, get my feelings hurt quicker than I like and I give myself a pep talk in my head every morning. I thrive when I have something to look forward to. When I post inspirational post on social media, 10 times out of 10, its for me. I love to connect to other moms and I live for making legit friendships. I am always changing and evolving into the person I aspire to be.

I have also realized that when it comes to my kids being treated fairly or safety being a concern, mama bear will come out, has no filter and gives zero f*cks.

We are all human. No one is perfect. No one has it all together, if they claim they do they are full of it. But you know what the difference is? I forgive myself. Daily. If I mess up, I apologize, move forward and do better. I am on a voyage of self discovery and self improvement.... join me?

Follow me on Instagram!
~Mika Beggs

Our first 'YES" of foster care...



So Wednesday afternoon I received a call from our caseworker. She has her own ring tone so even from the other side of the house, I knew who it was. My first thought was "Heck yah! We've been approved!!" Her first words were "You haven't been approved yet, BUT..." My second thought, "Well this ought to be interesting."

We were asked to provide respite care for a local foster mama from Friday after school till Saturday evening.... for 4 boys! She originally had asked for the younger 2 but had stated they had to find placement for the older 2 as well. Bj and I thought, "What the heck? Bring it on!" so we said yes! We could handle anything for 24 hours and it would be an awesome learning experience for us and a huge favor for this sweet, sweet foster mama.

The next day Bj tells me he will be late coming home from work Friday AND that he had to work Saturday morning. He hasn't worked a weekend all summer long and they had to pick THAT Saturday to pick it back up. Funny. Ha. {Shout out to my ma who came to the rescue or I am sure I would have been hanging from the chandeliers by time he came home from work, and we don't even have chandeliers.)

What is Respite care? It is short term or emergency care provided to a foster family, usually by a foster family, for foster children. In foster care, you have to jump through hoops to keep these children so when you need someone to fill in for a day or two, you go to other foster families to keep it simple.

So Friday comes and I am cooking their favorite meal for supper, sloppy joes. (How awesome is this!?) and they pull up. Out come our boys for the next 24 hours. Big E is 11, F is 9, A is 2 and baby E is 8 months. The foster mama hops out of the gigantic foster mobile looking graceful and frantic all at the same time, having a few more stops before she heads south for her meeting tomorrow. We exchange basics to-do's and then she pulls out of the drive way and I cant help but be honest... two thoughts went through my mind. "WAIT! Come back!!!" and "Shit just got real." as I am standing there with Bear on my hip and a baby carrier in the crook of my elbow.

But you know what? We managed. Hell, we rocked it! I remember reading someone had commented "Oh I bet yall had so much fun!" I laughed out loud. You know what?  It was rough. It was super crazy and we pretty much just survived. Someone was always getting a snack or we were talking about the next meal or we were cleaning up said meal/snack. It was pure CHAOS but we SURVIVED!

We chose to do this knowing that this was going to be a learning experience for us as parents, as foster parents and our kids. We would be able to see what we could handle and how our kids would handle it. It was a blessing y'all.

What we learned: Bear loves to hug babies, not gently. He literally bear hugs their neck and they tumbling down. Oh yes, it happened, more than once but baby E was a trooper y'all. Ramsey loves and thrives in the chaos. He shared his toys,said please and thank you and really bonded more with F, the 9 year old than the 2 year old. He ran around, taking in all the changes with stride. I was so proud. Ayden was looking kind of crazy after the 2 older ones took over his room but quickly readjusted his outlook and took to the oldest, E. They played video games and rode the skateboard outside. I have to say out of all the things, Ayden impressed me most. He did so well with the change and was so very helpful. I told him over and over how proud and thankful I was of him, which was very important to me.

All in all, I think that fostering is going to work out so well for our family. Whatever life throws our way, we will take it and work with it. We can adjust as a family, bend and not break. Adapt to the change and thrive. I could not be prouder of my boys and the journey our family is embarking on. Its going to be a beautiful story yall. Stay tuned, these blank pages aren't going to fill themselves.

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” - THE Bruce Lee, Y'all.

As of today, 8/22, we are waiting on the very last stamp of approval and we will have an open home you guys.<3 p="">


Thank you for reading, friends!
  ~MikaXO

I have sucked at motherhood....

by hustlin the wrong passion. 

I have steered too far off the beaten path of home cooked meals, checked homework and brushed teeth. I have, instead, picked up my phone too much, said "yeah, okay. Uh huh." and missed too many smiles. I haven't read a book for pure enjoyment in months nor have I actually watched, I mean really watched a Netflix series that BJ and I have picked out together. Maybe I have sucked at more than just motherhood. shit.

But today, TODAY, is a day of self realization of my suckiness and a day of change. The produce isle at Walmart better watch out, because this mama is coming back. My Pinterest boards are about to get some love and my recipe book will have some dust blown off of it. Errr, well. First on the grocery list... a recipe book. 

Ill go steal some paper from Aydens homework book and maybe even check it while I'm in there. #Score. #Winning


#TheBeggsBrothers

One of my favorite pictures of these two! Spring 2015


Thursday July 13, 2006

I was 21 years old and 36 weeks pregnant when my water broke with Ayden. We hadn't even had our appt with the OB yet, you know the one where you get the information on how to register at the hospital, what to do if you think your in labor, what to pack your hospital bag. Yeah that one. We hadn't had it yet. That was on monday. Today was Thursday. 

I had not done any research. No reading, no friendly discussions about how this was going to go… I was clueless and terrified. I remember we had tacos for dinner that night, labor inducer?! Maybe, maybe not. Who knows. At that point we were sleeping in the living room because my big swollen self couldn't sleep comfortable in our little full size bed. We had a sofa that BJ slept on and I slept on our futon. Much more comfortable.

I remember waking up thinking I had peed on myself. (I swear I don't make a habit of that!) I ran to the bathroom, did my business, and came back to bed. (It was around 1 am) When I laid down it happened again. I remember laying there thinking "well this is different." I remember pushing, but not pushing when your trying to pee, just pushing and out came more water. WTF? I woke BJ up and said "I think I'm peeing on myself but Im not sure." After much speculation we realized that my water had broke. 

WHAT?! What do I do now?!

We called his mother. She said to call the Doctor. oh! duh! So we called the doctor and he said to go on in. 

"Go on in where!?" I said.

"The Hospital, honey" BJ said

"But Im not ready!" said this slightly freaked out mama to be.

"Well, he is."

"Shit."

And there we went. Going 80 miles per hour (We didn't see 1 cop) down Hwy 29, through Athens Georgia at 2am.

I was 4 weeks early to the day. I wasn't ready. We weren't ready. We didn't even have the carseat installed yet and again, I didn't even have my bags packed. Of course, I still didn't pack them, we just left. Left everything the way it was, even my poor dog Joey didn't know what the hell was going on. 

So we go into the ER to register before we are taken to our spacious birthing room. One of the things BJ and I laugh about often is our little ER story. While we were sitting in the ER waiting to finish registering there was a group of very intoxicated college "ladies". They were there with a fellow classmate that had apparently ran into a pole or the concrete and busted her forehead open. You can imagine the dramatics and valley girl voices that sound so much worse when they are drunk (and you are sober), trying to console their bleeding friend that.. "no, its totally not that bad and won't even leave a scar, like." ::insert eye roll from this pregnant 21 year old::

We finally get wheeled to a birthing room, all questions asked and answered, gown finally assembled (that thing about kicked my butt) IV placed, pitocin started and was checked at only about 2cm dilated. 

Now to wait, of course after I jumped at the chance of the epidural.

There was so many people in and out of our room through out the day. All my friends were there, Bjs friends and family. Mom and I laugh at the story now that when they got the call from me that I was in labor mom jumped up and said "We gotta go!!" She said dad was trying to take his time and drink his coffee and mom made him hurry and get to the hospital well before daylight. He had enough time to go back home, drink his coffee, go to work and come back to the hospital before Ayden was born. We were such newbies at this labor thing!

Then finally, at around 7pm we were ready to push. Around 17.5 hours of labor and just a few minutes of pushing Ayden Michael was born at 7:41pm.



******************************************

Tuesday October 22, 2013

I remember thinking throughout this whole pregnancy that I wouldn't not make it to 40 weeks. Hell, I wouldn't even make it to 37. I just knew that I would go early, like I had with Ayden. I was prepared. So you can imagine my surprise when I was still very pregnant at 38 weeks and 6 days. I woke up that morning (pissed off at the world) got ready for work and went on in. I was done trying to decipher my symptoms, it was exhausting. At around 10am that morning my water broke.

WOOWHOOO
SHOWTIME.

I gathered all my things from work, called BJ to tell him to head to the house, clocked out and went home. The funniest thing was that this man had been through 3 births already and he comes flying in the driveway, runs into the house, grabs are stuff and runs back to the car ready to leave. Im still standing on the back porch talking to the nurse at our OB office and trying to get our bulldog to get off the porch and go pee. I was cool, calm and collected. BJ was not. After I assured him I was good, no contractions, give me a minute to breath and we will head out…. we finally headed out.

This time we didn't go 80mph. We did 60. No big deal. We didn't talk much just kind of set back and enjoyed the car ride. I got some last minute advice from my pregnancy guru of a friend and we went on in. After registering and getting to our room, the IV with Pitocin (to regulate my contractions since my water had already broke) was in place and now we were to wait. I knew I wanted to labor as long as I could before I got the epidural. When we got to the hospital I was a 3, I made it to 6 before I asked for the epidural. I remember walking around and rocking in the rocking chair to make it through each contraction. The nurse came in and said if I was interested in the epidural to let her know because the anesthesiologist was going to be away for a bit. I didn't want to miss my window of opportunity so I jumped on it!

At around 6 that evening my OB said that it should be long before we would have a baby. By 8, still no baby. After much speculation we realize that when my water broke the tear in the sac was at the top, not the bottom like normal, so once he fully broke my water labor progressed rapidly and at 10pm on October 22nd 2013, baby Ramsey Delano was born.



I remember Ayden was asleep on the couch, mom and BJ were at my head and the Auburn vs Texas A&M game from the previous Saturday was playing on the TV in front of me when Ramsey was born. After he came out and he was on my chest, Dr Sepesi went over the Ayden, woke him up and said "You want to come meet your little brother?" Ayden grunted and rolled back over! He was not interested at that time. He did finally come meet him on his way out the door to go home with nanny.


... and there I was. Mother of 2 boys...


*As always, thank you for reading! Scroll below to read Bears birth story!

~Mika Beggs
thebeggsbunch@gmail.com