This is one of the most amazing things that has ever happened to me! I still cry every time I read this. God Breezes were blowing on this day! They are still blowing. Please read all of this. If you are a FlyBaby who is scared of Social Services knocking on your door; there is hope. Check out our BabySteps and Shiny Sink Video.
We had a wonderful time in Salt Lake City. There were about 10,000 people at the Convention Center. I was so overwhelmed by the whole week and debuting our new CD with Eric Dodge, Megan and the FlyBaby Chorus. When I got home my sweet darling asked me what the high light of the week was. I was able to tell him immediately with tears in my eyes.
Everyone is always so kind to us when we are in Salt Lake City. We had spent the day with Shelia from our FlyBaby Chorus. We had rehearsal and then we went for a drive to Park City to see where the Olympics were. Then we met the Mother of the Year, Jeanne Godfrey for dinner with her husband and her friend Sue.
At dinner, Jeanne told me about her job as a social worker. She has questioned her coworkers for success stories of children who had been removed from their homes because of messy and unsafe environments. No one in her department could remember any success stories of children being returned home. She asked me about a testimonial she remembered from two or three years ago about a mother who had all of her seven children removed from her home. I told her that I did remember that testimonial and I would find it and send it to her once I got home. Then she asked about another testimonial in which the mother was turned into social services by her ex-husband. He wanted custody of their child. This mother was able to open her door without being asked and give them a tour of their home. I remember this testimonial too and said I would do a search and find both when I got home.
After I spoke that afternoon we set up a table so I could meet my FlyBabies. This is always my favorite part of the day. I don’t really remember much of my talk but getting to touch your hand and see your smiling faces just makes my day complete. There were several people waiting in line to get me to sign their programs. It was only a few minutes into the signing that this one young woman stood in front of me. She was sobbing so hard that she could not talk. I had her come and sit down beside me and I put my arms around her and tried to calm her down. She began to tell me about the testimonial she had written several years ago and how she had gotten control of her home and her seven children were returned because she had followed our routines. She had recently moved to Utah.
At that point I just lost it; even though I had been crying all day long. I started to hollering for my sister Paddi and Michele to find Jeanne. This was the lady whose testimonial Jeanne wanted to share with her co-workers. I got Jeanne and Lisa together and I began greeting other FlyBabies. Now you are not going to believe this, but in the line only a couple people behind Lisa was the FlyBaby Evelina who had opened her doors to show the world she was FLYing!
By this time I am a beside myself. Paddi grabbed Jeanne again and put she and Evelina together. Here were the two people that Jeanne had wanted just their testimonials to share with her co-workers. She had them in the flesh and they have agreed to share their story in person with Jeanne’s co-workers.
When I told my Sweet Darling this story all he could say is sweetie God is listening! This story is going in my next book. Our lives have been filled with one God Breeze after another. The blessings or miracles of this day will be felt for many years to come. I felt honored to be a part of God love!
I love you all,
Here are the testimonials Jeanne wanted.
You are my hero. My heart is so full right now I am about to burst. I have purple puddles all over the place. About a year ago my family was turned into Social Services by my sister. Within a month after being turned in all seven of my children were taken from us and given to my family to care for, including my one year old son. I cried buckets full when that happened. Before the children were taken away I had tried to learn to fly but was having a terrible time getting the hang of it. And I have learned now that I had severe depression. So my house was in total chaos all the time.
But since then I have learned to fly. It was frustrating for me at first because I knew I was trying to be a perfectionist at doing it, but was trying to remind myself that I didn’t have to be, and to take it easy and do babysteps. It took a few months but I finally got the hang of it. Things are not “perfect”, and I don’t ever expect them to be. But I keep going along doing my routines and babysteps.
Since the children were taken I also started going to therapy and started taking an anti-depressant. It wasn’t until I started taking the medication that things finally started to click for me and I began to fly. I have been learning to love myself more and more. I no longer go out of the house looking like frump lady. But I have bought shoes just for going out around town in, I wear hose, and I have on makeup and I wear nicer clothes. I have also been working on goals. This past year was not easy. In fact it is the hardest thing I have ever had to do.
Anyway, since finally getting myself together my oldest 15yodd has come home. And now this weekend my now 2yods will be coming home. And next month two more of my children will be coming home, and the month after that one more. So now you know the reason why I am so happy. I am getting my family back together. For months the social worker just couldn’t understand how I could do it, even after I showed her my control journal. But she finally said that “well, I guess it is working”. I have you to thank to show the way, and I am thankful that Heavenly Father gave me a supportive husband, and the will to keep trying even though sometimes I just wanted to quit. But something inside me kept telling me that I couldn’t give up because literally my children were depending on me.
In North Carolina
Here is the next one.
Today Child protective services came knocking at my door. This evening in fact. There were so many accusations against me. See, tomorrow my dd is flying home. She was away all summer at her dad’s, in another state. This is the first time she’s gone to visit him alone, (we left the ex back in Nov of 94). Last year she went with her married sister for one week for the very first time EVER visiting her dad. I just pray and hope she is on that airplane.
I’ve e-mailed you before, long ago, about how my dd is in special ed classes, and how she told the special ed aid all about you and our routines at home and HOW CLEAN our home is, (she over heard them talking about housework, I think). And my dd does not like to talk. You responded you were so proud of her, and well, it made her swell with pride.
Nearly two years later – sometimes I loose my routines. But, those babysteps are ingrained. I always make my bed, and always get dressed, and usually to the shoes too. I always keep my sink shiny, and I always swish the toilets on most days so they have been clean for over a year or more now. I always know where my laundry is, too. And the rest, well, I may fall off, but I do get right back on.
And right back on is where I am at right now. I had not dusted in a few months, and I started back up last month doing the full home blessings, and wrestling with the vacuum. (Fibromyalgia, things are hard, and tiring). I do think the reason I’m back on track flying is because I had stopped all my meds, that control the pain, for a whole year or so. So last year was not a good flying year, but I managed quite well with the hot spot checks and fire drills and ingrained routines. I started back up on my pain control meds in May, and by mid June I was flying again with the blessings.
Today: I was dressed, almost to the shoes, (I had kicked them off during a break, it was about 5:00 pm), face made up.
I opened the door WIDE when I answered the door. I quickly invited them into the house without hesitation. The curtains were all drawn, (against the sun to keep the house cooler), so I had to turn on some living room lights in my nice shiny, dusted on Family Blessing Day, (Monday), living room. They sat down. We discussed things. I had the papers ON hand, (divorce papers, court orders, etc.). How about that, I’ve been flying at my desk these past two weeks, and since Wed’s Procrastination day, I’ve been filing stuff – slowly but surely organizing all my paper work on Wed’s and through decluttering the home over the past year and a half.
Then I invited them to inspect my house, I didn’t wait for them to ask. The kitchen first, where one lady said, “My kitchen isn’t this clean at home.” when I asked them to excuse what I thought was my mess – a big can of black olives sitting out which is my dd favorite snack – waiting for her return tomorrow, and my back pack and a couple envelopes on the counter top, and paperwork that I was working ON on my desk. (Office in the kitchen area or breakfast nook as it’s called.)
Then, on to the garage to inspect the garbage – ONE CLEAN empty trash can, one full, lid closed trash can, a hint of a stench, but not bad for this Florida heat. Of course, I had decluttered the garage during one of those massive decluttering missions last year, and hauled several hundred pounds to the dump, but it has accumulated again: my married dd stuff, and my Dad’s stuff when he recently passed away, but it is not a FILTHY health hazard, and less cluttered before I started flying.
After that, my dd room. Proudly throw open her closets to prove adequate amount of clothing. Nice and tidy, bed made. But not too tidy, there is some clutter she insists on keeping for a while longer, on her shelves. Then on to her bathroom, (the main bathroom of the house used only by guests or my dd), where I noticed one of the ladies glancing into the toilet bowl because she had to do a double take – I could almost hear it in her mind “wow! That looks clean for a surprise inspection, am I seeing right? Yep, sure is clean!” She didn’t’ say that out loud, at least that’s the look of surprise I felt I noticed. A woman can always tell when another woman’s sizing up her house cleaning. Neatly folded towel on the counter top, told them that is usually not so neatly folded, after my dd uses it she hangs it up on the back of the bathroom door.
On to the “computer room” or “fun room” as my dd calls it. It was formally my married dd’s room. Cluttered, a few boxes of games on a chair, stuff on the desk, (desk shelves neatly arranged by my dd, though). Two computers, my daughter’s computer included. A cozy day bed, all stuff on it clean – sheets, quilt, pillows. A crowded room, but clean! No trash in the trash can! Clearly a well used study room for home work, computer work.
On to my bedroom, and I heard a quick inhale, and look of surprise at the fact that MY bed WAS made on a surprise inspection, with pretty afghan I crocheted on it, and my three teddy bears grouped together sitting on the pillows, the picture of a beautiful bed and breakfast room. They didn’t want to see my master bedroom bathroom by then…they had enough evidence on this accusation made against me. Supposedly my dd has been telling her dad that the kitchen is so dirty, with mice and bugs crawling all over the place that she is scared to enter it! And the garage has big rats and snakes in it from the piles and piles of trash. A couple of the many accusations placed against me, by my ex, of course! I doubt my daughter would say that WHEN she was bragging at school when WE first started flying! 🙂
The evidence against me? A clean home! Mostly uncluttered – peaceful, beds made.
My dirty little secret? Shhhhhh….I’ll only share this with fellow FlyBabies and the FlyLady and FlyLady Helpers….back in May of 2001 when my eldest was getting married, I was going to college, finishing up my last class (I graduated in May), my home was a mess! And the ex SAW it when he came down for the wedding. My eldest dd was messing things up, because she was soon moving to Hawaii after the wedding, and everything was so hectic. AND I purposely did NOT clean the house because I didn’t want my ex to get ANY ideas about me, romantic ideas! But, it was NOT the mess he claims my dd has told him it is. And if that is not true as he accuses, do they believe me that the rest of the silly, but serious accusations are also not true too? Most likely so!
THANK-YOU FLYLADY! THANK-YOU! YOU SAVED MY FAMILY! GOD BLESS YOU AND ALL OF US FLYBABIES!
I can proudly tell every one I had a surprise inspection yesterday with a huge, happy smile on my face!
If my daughter’s not on the airplane tomorrow, I’m making the long 18 hour drive up there, backed up by Child Protective Services down here!!!
FlyLady Here: This happen all the time in divorce custody issues. One parent calls social services on the other one. It is so sad that people can’t work out custody without having to play these mean games. Social Services has to come and check things out. Isn’t it wonderful when you are free to open the door and feel peace as people inspect your home. You can do this. All it takes is babysteps and 15 minutes at a time. Don’t look at the whole house; concentrate on one little area. Do you hear me? This is how you always get overwhelmed. Babysteps, babysteps, babysteps!
FlyLady here in the present time: If you are scared of social services showing up at your door; You can find help here. Please take babysteps and don’t panic!