Saturday, July 23, 2011

First Week Alone

I've done it and survived 5 full days at home with the kids on my own. It's really not the days that I'm impressed with but that I've lived to remain sane after 5 full days of play and 5 nights of full duty which means no more than 2 hours in a row of sleep. I've come to terms with the fact that one child will almost always just have to be upset for a while until I'm able to tend to their needs. Their needs remain quite different but little Dre has improved to where he can tolerate some stimulus. This means we can have music on or even the TV and some lights...WOW!

Every hour and first we see draws us more tightly attached together. I've given up hope that I can keep a wall up to protect my heart in the case they go back to their Birth Mom. It's not fair to either of us for me to hold back any of my love and attention. We will keep living with the belief they will be here forever within reason. This allows us to live in the moment and enjoy what we have today. Each night I find myself saying a prayer praising God for the time we've had together and that it continues as long as He has planned.

We've spoken with their social worker on timeline for finalization and it will be at least a year before we can complete an adoption for either of them. This is if things remain going as is. If their Birth Mother suddenly makes great improvements or becomes disengaged for whatever reason the timeline could change to faster or slower. There's no telling but we've been told to expect to have them for at least a year even if this is a temporary home for them.

This week we've seen Dre have more awake time and found out he's gained two pounds since coming to live with us. His cheeks might need their own zip code soon. We've graduated from size 1 diapers and moved onto size 2!

Little Miss has started trying to walk even more. She had a few moments where she stood on her own with no hands! We've also made significant progress to stop the whining at meal time. She has her signs for "more" and "all done" down. We still hear some whining but she's learned she has to sign to get what she wants. She has also said her first word - Mama! She's quite proud of it. There are several others she is trying to say and many she knows and can point to but just not say yet.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Placement in a snap...

So much to catch up on! I wanted to share a little about how our placement happened and what life has been like since. It started back on 6/23 when we saw a referral for a 1 month old boy and his 11 month old sister needing placement before 7/4. We sent our agency a message saying we'd like to be considered. That weekend we went away to a family reunion knowing it would likely be our only chance to camp this summer. The possibility of the placement was in the back of our minds but we knew there would be a lot of people interested in such a young set of siblings.

We heard on Monday afternoon that another family had been selected to take in the kiddos. No big deal, we will be chosen when it's supposed to happen. Fast forward to 3:30 on Wednesday and I find out the previous family has fallen through and we're next in line. They want to know if we can pick up the 1 month old in a few hours I'll be dealing with a newborn! I frantically called Jay to discuss and called the social worker back saying yes we can do that. As I was driving home to pick up the car seat I got a call saying to hold off and they will have us pick them both up on Thursday 6/30. Phew..but still! We had another crib and car seat to find right away. Thankfully we have amazing friends and family come to the rescue.

There is very little we can share about the kids but I can promise that we also know very little at this point. There is still a fairly high chance they could eventually be place back with their birth mother, father, or another family member who may come forward. We were told to expect a long road until finalization since the case is so new. No matter the outcome I know we are making a difference in these kids lives. Hour by hour I become attached and I hope it doesn't come to them having to leave but I will cherish the time we have now. I don't expect they would be going back anytime soon even if they do eventually.

I can't share photos that identify who they are and I'm not comfortable sharing names in a public forum such as this. What I can tell you is they are absolutely beautiful children. I've taken to calling the girl Little Miss and her eyes and eyelashes are to die for...she gives the Kardashians a run for their money. The Little Man is a head of dark silky hair and sweet baby cheeks.

We've been thrown headfirst into parenting and it's all we can do to survive. Little Miss is a sleeper going down without a fight (knock on wood) and only waking if she drops her paci. She doesn't walk yet or stand willingly which makes having both awake at the same time a challenge. The little guy is still a newborn who's having a rough start to life. He's on a 4 hour scheduled of eating, peeing/pooping, swaddling, consoling, and a little sleep if we're lucky. He also has what we've come to call his "witching hours" where he crys inconsolably from about 7:00 PM to 9:00 ish PM. My biggest struggle is the two have completely opposite needs when they become upset. She needs one on one play or snuggles that make her laugh. He needs total silence, no stimulus, and dim/dark lights. They tend to have meltdowns at the same time and when there's just one person's ROUGH on everyone.

We knew going into this there would be no sleep and everything would become all about the kids. Still it doesn't really prepare you until you have it handed to you like a slap in the face. Although neither of us have slept for more than 2 hours in a row since we picked them up and we're completely exhausted there are plenty of high lights. Smiles when we go into wake her up, giggles from tickling, waves nighty night, sweet baby snuggles, soft baby head under your chin, those dreamy brown eyes looking back at you. Whenever I have just one of them to manage at a time I think to myself "I've totally got this, what was I worried about?". We're taking it day by day knowing it will get better and eternally grateful for all the help we have been given by soooo many people.

Time for my late night shift so I have to sign off :)