Friday, March 26, 2010

Could it be three weeks already?

Sheesh, where does the time go?  I am not sure how three weeks passed so quickly.  I do know that we have been in an upheaval mode since my last post.

Three weeks ago today we knew for sure that our precious S & I would be going to their forever family on March 15.  That week we spent doing a whirlwind of preparation.  For a couple of kids that came with next to nothing in clothes and one ball for toys, we had to take two car loads of stuff over - and then we still found stuff that they left here.  We did therapy, we did many hours of phone preparation with the new family, we did lots of fear calming and behavior dealing with.  Seems once S sensed there was a change in the air she was all out of sorts and we saw some behavior regression right before she left.  One night that week all four kids were crying for different reasons - the two oldest were crying because the two little crying ones would be leaving.  We realized that night how hard this was going to be for all our kids.

When all was said and done our two little ones were placed with their forever home on Friday the 12th and after a tearful "see you later" (because it's not goodbye forever), Brian and I decided that it was a must for us to get out of town and fast.  We had loosely been toying with the idea that we really needed to see our grandparents (as in our children's great grandparents) and by late Friday night I had clothes packed and a plan in place to drive to CA.  The kids had no idea, our CA family had no idea, and we were giddy with anticipation.  Jacob had a baseball game Saturday morning and while the kids and Brian were at the ball game I finished packing and loaded the car.  My sister came over after the game and took our lab "puppy" under the rouse that we were picnicking with the other two dogs and it might be late when we got back.  The kids didn't question the suitcases in the back of the car and assumed the ice chest was for our picnic.  About an hour into our drive we admitted we would be going a little further than the lake for our picnic.  Reba was ecstatic, Jacob was beside himself - we had not let him mentally prepare.  Our family still didn't know.

24 hours later we were cutting off Brian's dad as he was driving down his street.  He didn't look too happy until he realized it was us - which took a minute because what the heck were we doing in CA? We spent the rest of the week surprising the great-grandparents.We got to spend a day with each of our grandparents.  It was a special treat.  We even were able to be there right over my mom's birthday and she got a great shock when Jacob and Reba showed up in her office the morning of her birthday.  CA was a wonderful trip and the perfect medicine for a couple of kids (and parents) missing their foster kids.

This week has been spent just trying to get back to normal.  We have been playing baseball, softball, we have been working, cleaning house, and noticing how dreadfully quiet it is around here.  The last two weeks with only our two kids gave us just enough time to realize how big our kids have gotten.  It helped us appreciate how darn funny Jacob is and how sweet and responsible Reba is.  This time has been just enough that when we got the call two nights ago for two more kids we said YES almost immediately. 

So, now our adventure begins again.  Two more kids, a 9 month-old and a 2 year-old, and the second go round has been just as fun as the first.  We are thrilled to have babies in our house once again.  The two older kids are thoroughly enjoying their big brother/sister rolls and Mommy and Daddy are remembering (after a nice long vacation) what sleep deprivation feels like. 

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Best and Hardest Day as a Foster Parent

I have the most amazing foster children.  Along with my biological children, they are the reason I believe I was put on this earth.  They came to us broken, abused, and neglected.  They will be leaving us whole. 

"S", though sometimes a typical 3-year-old, challenging her parents and talking back, is a joy.  When she came to us, she was a foul mouthed kid with no boundaries and teeth rotting out of her head.  Today she is bright and energetic.  She learned how to use a computer and is her favorite website.  She loves puzzles and can complete them on her own.  She is inquisitive.  Her favorite thing in the entire world is to be read to.  She is empathetic.  She has a knack for complimenting.  And I love her.  From September 15 until March 15, I am her mommy.  It has been an honor.

"I" came to us as a baby with a blank stare.  He rarely laughed and barely ever made a noise - good or bad.  He had not spoken his first word.  He could crawl, but at 30 pounds and almost 1, he could not walk.  Today he is a child of many expressions.  His laugh is contagious.  He says "Momma, Daddy, uh oh," and most importantly, "Dog."  He runs, chasing all of us around the big circle in the house.  He is incredibly smart and likes to carry around a stool to reach all of those forbidden places.  He can point to his shoes, his head, his nose, his ears, and his mouth.  His best friend is a 60 pound yellow lab.  His eyes light up when you walk in the room.  And I love him.  From September 15 until March 15, I am his mommy.  It has been an honor.

Today we learned that they will move on to a wonderful family.  It is what we had hoped and prayed for.  We are blessed to have their new parents as friends - or something closer (it's an unexplainable relationship).  Once I talked to this family about the possibility of being our kids' forever home, I knew with certainty that everything would be okay.  God had a hand in this from the beginning.  We were meant to be "S&I's" foster parents just as they were meant to be their forever parents.  I wanted these children forever. I begged God and Brian and they both said, "No."  I was crushed and despondent then, but of course, this was the plan all along. 

Brian and I will continue to foster.  It is our mission.  This is what we were supposed to do.  We see that more clearly now than ever.  However, I will never stop loving these first two.  They hold a special place in my heart.  So today, as we learned "officially" that our kids would be moving on, it has been absolutely the best and the hardest day as a foster parent.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Here's the thing about Second Graders

They are so gosh darn funny.  I had the privilege of being home yesterday as my big kids came home from school (not typical for this working mama).  The way they come in the door is so indicative of their personalities.  Reba comes home, neatly hangs up her backpack, promptly takes out her lunch box and deposits it in the proper place, and immediately takes out her folder which no doubt contains some piece of pressing news that she will not forget to tell us.  So. Reba.  Jacob comes home, I swear, tires on the scooter squealing, top speed straight into the house, scooter likely dropped at the door, running like a banshee, shedding backpack in the middle of the floor right outside of the bathroom, which he enters with his helmet still on.  I laughed out loud as I realized what kind of scene every afternoon must be for their father.  They both, apparently, do this every afternoon. 

This evening Brian and I were chuckling about it to ourselves in the front seat on our way out to dinner (a rare treat but we needed to get out of the house since one of our little one's has been sick and is finally feeling a bit better).  Jacob, chiming in from the back, yells, "What? I can't take any chances!"  That darn kid is hysterical.  The vision of him sitting on the pot with his bike helmet on has me doubled over laughing all over again. 

Jacob, you may not have a baby book, but at least your mama has a blog so she can write all these fabulously embarrassing things down for posterity.  I am pretty sure you will thank me someday.  You're welcome, son.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I Heart Faces Challenge #9: "Hillarious Outtakes"

This was from Reba's birthday party.  Note the look on her face and the fact that this child is not Reba attempting to open Reba's present.  I love it.  So classic for this child.