Monday Musings

Side-note: The verse I’m sharing today was prayed over us by family and friends this past week as we found out that H’s case might not be as smooth and easy of a road as we once thought.  We knew bumps in the road were inevitable when trying to adopt a child from the foster care system; our fairy tale foster story has had a bit of a reality check.  And that’s okay.  Because we know that if it’s God’s will for H to stay in our home forever, nothing can be done to change that.  And if she doesn’t stay with us, then we know that’s God’s will, too. 

That’s where I choose to keep my thoughts.  (The alternative isn’t very pretty.)

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Blog Changes

I did some freshening up here on my blog- I thought it was time for a new look, one that better matched the content of the blog.  What do you think?

I haven’t been posting very often- and when I do, it’s usually due to the fact that I’ve had time to sit down and write a few posts and schedule them to post over the next few days… so it looks like I’ve posted a few times, but really my life is crazy-busy (as I’m sure you can relate) and blogging is often pushed further down on the to-do list.  Like on the next page.  At the bottom.  Squeezed in after the last line in teeny-tiny writing.  But you get the picture.  😉

Speaking of pictures, we are having our first family photo session next Saturday and to say I’m excited is the understatement of the year.  Yippee!  We’ve only had it booked for, oh, 2-3 months… I’ve been working on our outfits for just as long (maybe even longer) and I’m still not sure what we’re all going to wear.  I’m working under all this pressure to make sure we all look just right- coordinated, but not matchy-matchy.  Put-together, but not looking like it’s taken me the months it has to get the look just right.  And who’s putting the pressure on me?  Well, that would be me.  My sister-in-law is taking the pictures so I know with her talent, we could take pictures dressed in clothes made from feed sacks and she’d still make the pictures look amazing.

In other news, we made our first trip to the emergency room last week.  Little Miss H developed a cough that sounded exactly like the baby’s cough on the pertussis commercial.  Do you know the one?  She kept having coughing fits and I couldn’t sleep- especially after watching the video on the Sounds of Pertussis website– so I took her in around 3 am on Columbus Day.  They swabbed her for RSV- which came back negative- and only swabbed her for pertussis after I begged and pleaded.  I was told to take her to see her regular pediatrician in 2-3 days if her cough persisted and that they would call me if the results of the pertussis swab came back positive. 

Something about all of that didn’t sit right with me, so I took her to see her regular doctor later that same day.  They actually wanted to test for pertussis right away (no begging or pleading there!) but I decided not to have her swabbed again since she’d already been swabbed that morning.  (Lesson learned: always consent to another swab)  Our pediatrician wanted to go ahead and get her started on antibiotics as a just-in-case measure and also promised to check with the lab at the hospital for the results of the swab.

We started H on the medicine, keeping her home from daycare as we waited to find out the results of the test.  The typical wait time of 48 hours came and went.  We called the doctor to see if results had come back.  They called the hospital to find out.  No results.  We called again the next day- still no results.  Friday rolled around and still, we knew nothing.  H’s cough had improved, she had never run a fever, and had certainly not suffered from a loss of appetite.  By Monday she had finished her antibiotics so we sent her to daycare.  I called the doctor’s office again to find out if they had any information.  The nurse checked and then called me back.  She was told by the hospital that this test can sometimes take up to 10 days to find out the results.  (Am I kicking myself now for not letting our doctor do another swab?  You betcha!)  Then out of the blue, on Wednesday D gets a call from a nurse at the emergency room, checking up on H to see how she was doing.  D filled them in on what our doctor had prescribed and said she was doing much better.  Right before the call ended, D asked whether the results from the swab were in or not, only to be told that the ER had made a mistake when swabbing and the lab had to throw the swab out.  (2nd lesson learned: When the health and wellness of a child is at stake, just drive the extra 15-20 minutes to the Children’s Hospital- even when it’s 3 in the morning and you’re by yourself.) 

Thankfully, she seems to be doing just fine.  She had a few days this past week where she didn’t cough much, if at all, but with the recent weather change, she seems to have developed a different cough. 

In addition, A has the stomach bug that has been going around in our area.  My little bottomless pit only ate crackers yesterday.  He who has the energy of the Energizer bunny has been a cuddly little guy who sits on Mama’s lap and watches cartoons while I run my fingers through his hair.  He usually hates it when I do this, but yesterday, if I ever stopped, he would put my hand back on his head and say, “More, Mama.” 

All in all, our little family of four is doing well.  Hopefully A begins to improve today because we had plans to go to a pumpkin patch after church tomorrow!

Happy Saturday!

The Story of H: Revisited

My purpose for blogging is to keep a record, a diary of sorts, of my journey to becoming a mom; our journey to becoming a family.  The first year and a half of my blogging details a lot of waiting, of appointments, of finding out results of tests, of hearing the medical community’s recommendation for starting our family.  Sidenote: Isn’t it funny that we were going to foster while we waited and saved up our money for IVF?  And now we have two precious little beings and IVF is the furthest thing from our mind?  When I think about how drastically our plans have changed, I can’t help but smile. 

Anyway, back to blogging… since I view my blog as a journal of sorts, I enjoy going back and reading through old posts.  Seeing where I was at this point last year or even the year before.  Sometimes I smile as I read posts of frustration, impatience, you-name-it, because I know what happens next.  Other times, I can’t help but feel embarrassed over something I’ve written about that was so important to me at that time, but now pales in comparison to things of importance in my life. 

Recently I was reading through my posts from this year and realized I had never given the full story on how H came to live with us. 

We learned that A’s mom was pregnant the weekend we met A for the first time.  I can still remember what we were doing: sitting around the foster parents’ table, looking at 18 months worth of pictures of this little boy who had stolen our hearts while he slept in the next room.  I think it was Nanny (this is what we call A’s first foster mom) who said that she had heard A’s mom was pregnant.  I can remember not giving this information more than a second thought and how surprised I was when I heard D whisper in my ear, “Do you think they’ll consider us for that baby?” 

I whispered back with a smile on my face, “One at a time, D.  One at a time.”

Famous last words.

Two months passed and we saw A’s mom for the first time at court.  Our CPS caseworker told us in the courtroom that A’s mom had just had a baby.  As she said this, she gave us a look as if to ask, “Are you ready for a second child?” 

Again, I didn’t give this conversation a second thought.  My focus was on A, and honestly, I was disappointed that both hurdles weren’t being cleared and that we were going to have to wait until August for the second item to be accomplished.

During the next two weeks, when I wasn’t busy playing with A or getting back into the swing of things at school as I returned from my leave, my thoughts would easily turn to thoughts of fear, anxiety, nervousness.  I was so scared that something was going to happen in A’s case while we waited for August to arrive that would result in us losing A.

May 3rd
I was visiting with a friend at school during our lunch break when I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket.  I looked at the screen to see our agency’s number flashing.  I actually debated for a split second on whether to answer it or let it go to voice mail- I was still living in fear of A being taken away and thought if that’s what this call was about, I didn’t want to hear it in the middle of the day.  In the end, I answered it to hear our placement coordinator’s voice on the other end. After completing the normal pleasantries, our conversation went like this:

PC: A’s mom has had a baby and we were wondering if you and D would take her.  She’s healthy and she’s a girl- that’s all we know.  This is a foster-only case, she might not ever be available for adoption.  Are you interested?
Me: Wow!  Really?!  I think we would, but I better call D just to check.  Can I do that and call you back?
PC: Sure!  Call me as soon as you can!
Me: Ok!

As I get off the phone, I can see my friend hanging on my every word, trying to figure out what the conversation was about.  I have no idea what I was doing while I was talking, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that I was pacing the room at a super fast speed, waving my hands in excitement, and grinning from ear-to-ear as I spoke. 

I quickly told her as I was calling D to ask him. 
D’s first words: Well, it’s his sister.  We can’t say no!

I was so glad to hear him say that.  So glad.  I was very close to having a longer break where I could run home and this just happened to be a day that he decided to stay home with A to experience some one-on-one time since his PE test was finally over.  I raced home, we talked about it, prayed about it, and then called our placement coordinator back. 

“We’ll take her!”
“Oh, good!  I’ll call CPS back and find out more details and then give you a call later this afternoon.”
“Sounds good.  When do you think we’ll get her?” *thinking days/weeks*
“Oh, you’ll get her today, definitely!”

Somehow I finished the rest of the school day, then raced through the baby aisles at Target just trying to get everything we would need for that night.  I was in survival mode.  I remember making several calls to my oldest sister and mom, asking if I needed this or how many of this did I need?  Should I go ahead and buy this or wait and get it later?  I felt like I had gotten everything we would need, only to get home and realize there were many more things that we were missing.  So D went out after dinner and finished getting things while I rushed around the house, getting it “baby ready”. 

At around 11:00 that night, our doorbell rang.  The caseworker was making sure she had the right home before she got H out of the car.  We walked out to her car, D walking calmly while I tried to slow my steps and act like this was something that happened to me every day- you know, because having a baby delivered to your doorstep is an everyday occurrence. 

I carried H in her carrier into our home and set it down in the living room.  She was screaming, ready to be out of the seat after a long car ride.  For a few seconds, we both sat there, staring, trying to figure out what we were supposed to do- should we let the caseworker take her out?  Do we rock the carrier?  Do we get her out?

Then the maternal instincts kicked in and I unbuckled the car seat and took this tiny (she was so tiny!) little creature into my arms, rocking her and talking to her to quiet her cries. 

I was her mom and she was my daughter- if only for the night. 

It’s Fall!

Here are some of my fall favorites from that addicting site known as Pinterest: