Monday, October 17, 2011

December 6

A date that now has significance, and I don't know if it is better knowing, or not knowing.

I'm a mom. But not your usual mom. I'm not making long-term plans and wishes. My precious little bundle is a temporary one, and I have learned to live in the moment. I live for those evening hours where we fall asleep curled into each other, feeling her soft breath on my throat, her tiny arms stretched to reach around each side of my neck. I let myself settle in to share her pre-bed-time nap, shutting out all cares of a messy and cluttered house, and a school semester that is kicking my ass. Just these moments, these are the ones that matter. They confirm what a happy, joyous little bean she is.

She belly laughs, she smiles, she sings in an impossibly high register. She flirts, she watches, her moss-green eyes missing nothing. We giggle and talk back and forth, and most of all, we both sigh as darkness falls, and we are reunited after a day apart, able to snuggle down into each others warmth.

You can only live for the moment, because it is all so tenuous. She doesn't know this, but I do.

She doesn't know the legal craziness her case is tied up in, but I do. I shake my head, I make calls to push and advocate. I clamor to know her guardian ad litem. Words like "permanency planning" make my heart leap with a sudden excitement and hopeful possibility. Until I'm reminded things are just "routine" and have no special meaning in this case. At least not yet.

There is an army of supporters sending out prayers. And two case workers nearly as passionate as I am. They've not seen us in those sleepy evening hours as the world fades away and we just simply are to each other, but they read the effects of it. On her. On me. Even my most feeble cry of frustration and advocacy are echoed by them.

Echoed in a way I didn't expect. "When was birth-mom's last visit?" There is a sudden counting out of months to six. December 6."We will file to terminate parental rights due to abandonment on that date. She will be available to adopt."

It is kind of stunning spoken reality of my greatest hope, something I didn't think possible. So soon. Really, so soon!

Oh, it isn't without a catch, without a chance for it all to evaporate into thin air. One simple phone call from birth-mom, and that goes away, a clock resets, and we are back into limbo. So maybe it was better not knowing, being able to live in just those moments, and not thinking ahead, not worrying, not wondering what is going to happen tomorrow, did anything happen today I don't yet know about.

And you expect me to pay attention to a lecture on heart failure and EKGs.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

12 weeks

And a couple days. :) But this past Wednesday marked someone's 12 week mark, and holy cow, it just amazes me how much she does for 12 weeks! Sleeps like a champ through the night (even as I grab her out of the bassinet to give her a diaper change as I head to bed at midnight-- she sleeps right through it).

Right now, she is hanging out in her jumper. Yes, a jumper at under 3 months because this girl needs to kick her legs!. So with the help of one of my crazy-thick text books under it, she is able to bounce about and get the lights and music to play and giggles herself silly. She lasts about a 1/2 hour until she exhausts herself into a sweat and needs to come out to snooze.

Which would be about now. Hold on....

Okay, we are both back now and she is intently watching my fingers on the keyboard. She loves this.

Other favorite activities these days are shoving both fists in the mouth at once. And did I mention she is a champ at peeing all over you, her and the changing table? I think she has 2 bladders. She got me the other night at the midnight diaper change, squirting up a huge fountain and soaking everything. Then just as everything was cleared away, I had her washed up and clean sleeper and diaper pulled out, she peed yet *another* fountain. I'm looking at her saying, there is no way in your big belly you have room for that much pee! And certainly not twice.

But this kid is talented. Her biggest talent though is charming everyone around her with he laugh, smile and just how stinkin' happy she is every minute of the day. Honestly, I have never met such a constantly cheerful little monkey. I've told her she's completely spoiled it for any other munchkin that has to follow in her footsteps. Not going to lie, I'm pretty spoiled right now!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I haz a purchase!

Ooooh, I got home this morning to this sitting on my porch waiting for me:

Mwahahahaha! I have been craving this stroller for months, playing this video review of it nonstop, and watching prices on eBay and Amazon and elsewhere for a steal.

Lately, talk of travel out of town with the peanut in tow finally pushed me over the edge. Plus, I think my mom was very jealous of my Snap N Go frame I had been using as compared to the G.raco travel system I picked up for her, I was hoping she would get to snag the Snap N Go.

Well, we've been playing all evening in the house with this stroller and both the peanut and I LOVE it. Worth every penny!! I don't find it heavy when folded at all -- probably because I've been toting around peanut who is approaching Brazil nut (did I mention 13 pounds on the dot at her 2 month check up which was 4 weeks ago?).

But the stroller is fabulous, she loves the seat option, loves the pram option, and damn, I'm going to have to get some kind of a social life that involves me out and about walking with this thing!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Worst mommy ever?

I feel like such a bad mommy, sitting with bebe on my lap as we cruise youtube videos of babies laughing so she can giggle, smile and kick her legs. She is so amused !

And having her giggle right now is a good thing. We have our first touch of Daycare Crud going on. Kiddo has a tendency to be stuffed up deep in the sinuses, but yesterday morning she sounded like a regular Snuffleupagus when she woke up. Unfortunately, it's all so high up, I can't even suction anything out for her. And she has the upset tummy with explosive diapers. So far I've done the steamy bathroom bit, and of course, Grandma El's on the butt. And trying to keep her upright most of the day to promote drainage and encouraging much napping. Her mood is a bit improved over yesterday when her usual fussy to full on cry fuse vanished so that we started right out in inconsolable. Poor thing was a confused by this development as she was to feeling crappy.

Oooh, we have a sneeze with snottage! We are off to see if there is more we can finally suction outta there.....

Monday, July 25, 2011

2 months!

I just realized as I wrote the date down today that is has been 2 months since I picked up my little wiggle-butt from the hospital. What a two months it has been! Accomplishments include:
  • Sleeping through the night (week 4!)
  • Not spitting up (except when Bebe overfeeds her which has been a while)
  • Expressing her hatred of heat and humidity
  • Shoving her fist in her mouth
  • Letting out a loud scream of frustration when said fist will not fit all the way in mouth.
  • The most hysterical lilting "ooooh!" when she hears/sees something she really likes. Fun when reading or singing to her.
  • Giving the biggest smiles ever, even when waking up with a wet diaper and empty belly at 5 am.
Speaking of singing, I just serenaded her with a silly rendition of "One" from A Chorus Line (hey, knowledge of the classics of Broadway is crucial!) as I was changing her and had her in a constant state of a face-splitting grin and squeals of laughter.

Yeah, and you think I'm going to get homework down with this kind of audience around?


Again, I wish I could post pictures because for her actual two month birthday last week, I managed to get the most incredible photo of her. Asleep of course since school just wore us out and being awake for a photo shoot was not going to happen. But I promise you, I'm not one to brag about my photog skills (which I do have), but this picture rocks, and is going to be printed up on a canvas no matter what.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Trying to get back on the blog-wagon

Anyone still out there? Not only have a been a bad blogger, I've been a terrible reader. Chalk it up to not being able to handle one more "I got my BFP!!!!!" post on the blog-roll several months back.

Well, that and life being crazy.

In case you've paid attention to this feed at all today, you may have seen a couple posts go up earlier in the day. They should be back dated to May, as I'm trying to catch up on some news that needs to be posted here. Suffice to say, a foster-baby has found her way to this nest and been here exactly 8 weeks as of today. We are in a holding pattern of waiting to hear from another state regarding a kinship relocation for her (which hurts dreadfully as she has been such a perfect fit for me and my entire family). But I'm each day as it passes.

So give me some time over this weekend, and I'll try to get a few more back-dated posts in with details and all the rest. :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Someone is having a hard time figuring out what she needs to settle herself tonight thank goodness for the moby wrap. We had a day packed full of non-stop activity, and 11 pm tends to be the witching hour for her, so she's just overwhelmed at the moment. We finally seem to be having some quiet moments,

I of course am now wide awake. and yet to work on my clinical writing for class that I really needed to do yesterday. Not that I really mind having a reason to procrastinate.

Could someone go empty cat boxes for me right now? I don't want to break this moment of calm.


[A] remains the absolute easiest baby, and is high up on the cutest thing ever ranking. my CF social worker was out for a visit today and had more information on birth mom, which I won't be sharing on a public forum. SUffice to say she has an extensive history in another state, and [A] has 5 siblings. This will be a kinship placement, but with family out of state, so an ICPC is in the works. Unfortunately, no real timeline on how long it will all take.

So we will continue to enjoy the time we have. And I'll continue to be so thankful so such a sweet and easy girl for my first ride on this merry-go-round.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

so far, so good...

Granted, it's not 2 am, but from what I've seen so far, this is one mellow kid. Which is great considering how nervous I was this morning.

And this despite placement at the hospital this morning being, well, less than ideal. (Birth mom showed up on the floor, so everyone got in a tizzy) I wasn't able to do a diaper change and feeding before leaving. Luckily, the private agency I'm fostering for (CF) had an office around the corner that they conveniently share with WIC. So my CF social worker and I headed over there to feed and change, and oh, hey, I can go ahead and apply for WIC here instead of my home office? Many birds, one stone.

Since getting home, we have hung out in the papa san swing, the bouncer in the kitchen, managed to change cloth diapers, get several more feedings down (this kid prefers her formula room temp -- she's making it too easy on me!), and are now trying out the Moby Wrap which she has just decided is amazingly cool and wonderful to actually be on someone all the time. But yeah, some mild fussing is about as upset as we have gotten.

Oh, and she is beyond adorable. I hate that I am not allowed to share pictures because she is precious and perfect. And also the palest AA baby ever! LOL! Seriously, she's my skin tone, which is about that of a corpse. This also led to some amusement at the hospital since the social workers and I had been told this was an AA placement, we are in the nursery going over the discharge, and the nurse says, "Okay, go get her, she's all yours." Um, okay. There are only a few babies in the nursery, and all but one are on monitors, and the one not on a monitor is pink with Caucasian fine and straight hair. Um, some direction here, please?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

24 hour preganancy

Had a call yesterday afternoon. My foster parent license was in. And by the way, here is a possible placement. The details (such as they were) were read to me, and there was no hesitation in me saying, "Yes". Drug use, no prenatal care, history of disease in the family, none of it mattered. Baby. Baby in need of home.


Me. Baby. Tomorrow.

The foster mommy gig just got real, folks. Am spending the evening setting up a pack N Play bassinet, sterilizing bottles and installing a car seat.

And trying not to throw up from nerves.

Friday, March 11, 2011

progress on the foster-parent front

Had my final homestudy visit yesterday, and basically everything is going to be written up and we are looking at a DCYF approval at the end of this month. There may or there may not be an immediate placement. And who knows what the placement will be.

But yes, sometime in the very near future there will be an infant in this house. Last week I went out and hit consignment shops and craigslist for basic supplies - car set, stroller, swing, pack & play, plus some infant toys.

Now I'm on to the cloth diaper investigation and acquisition. I had to break down and order a new battery for my laptop, so while up on amazon, some bath towels and bottles and a warmer found their way in my cart.

I still have to choose a pediatrician, and interview some more daycares and babysitters. But yup, school and baby, heading into exams and a busy summer full of classes and clinicals as well. But I know this is something I can do.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Throw open every door; you never know where someone intends to knock

Now, if only I wasn't battling five kinds of crazy-tired and chasing after 6 million balls at once, I'd have a chance to open a few more doors in life.

But I kicked a big one open last week. Back in October, I finally decided to suck it up and head off to a meeting DCYF (Dept of Children, Youth and Family -- hey, you know guessed what state I'm in!) was having on their foster and adoption program. As expected, adoptions through DCYF do not start until the child is at least 6 years old. All hail the classic "we must do everything to reunite the family even if it is unhealthy" philosophy. I know, I can debate both sides of that argument backwards and forwards, but I'm a wee bit leery of the extent to which DCYF goes on this, especially after clerking in family court, and interviewing for a job as an attorney with DCYF. Which I turned down, because seriously, that scary understaffed and overworked office they like to show on television for that? THat would be sugar coated about 10 times over from the horrifying reality.

Anyway, as I was sitting in the meeting and hearing more on fostering, and trying to figure out if I could really adopt an older school age child who had already been in the system for eons, and didn't just come with issues, but rather publications, little bells started going off in my head on fostering for infants. Yes, and infant, and handing it back to family that has gotten it's sh!t back together. Part of me is going "WHat are you doing? You are insane! Stop this!" A much larger part of me was rolling around in all my developmental psych studies, shouting things like "secure attachment!"

I walked out of there going, I want to be a foster mom for infants. Maybe one will stay, maybe one won't. But I can make a difference. Just for the record, my cynical side is no longer talking to me.

I began to try and wade through the disorganized mess of forms (some of which were photocopies of handwritten mimeograph forms. Hello, the 1980s called....) they gave me to start the enrollment process that needed to be completed before I could start training classes. Luckily, I was smart enough to talk to a family member regarding a reference, and she happens to work with a private foster/adopt agency that works with DCYF. She steered me straight to their foster recruitment program, and they completely sold me on working with the private agency. Yes, foster children still from from DCYF, but now you don't have only an overworked state social worker as a contact. You have a social worked from the agency as well, as well as a dozen other people on staff working both on behalf of the child, the birth family, AND the foster parent. They know how to kid kids from languishing in the foster care system and kick things into overdrive -- either by above and beyond support and training for the birth family so their sh!t really is together, or making the state and the courts open their eyes and see that some chaotic situation are never going to be able to be fixed, so why are we punishing a child by keeping them in a tenuous and different kind of chaotic situation.

TRaining classes started last week, and if it hadn't been for a huge blizzard this week, I likely would of already had a case-worker assigned to me and home-study kicked off. But that is all on the horizon.

Bottom line is that in three months or so, once I'm approved, I could have a placement. I could be a full-time student, part-time birth doula, and full-time foster mom.

Me. <---- Insane.

But completely loving it. :)

Now, to start working on those other doors. Anyone want to help me right up a profile to make my womb look like the amazing location it is for a few frozen embryos? Oh great, I just got the idea for a profile headline... Instead of the typical "Family with so much love to give", I can see, "Spa-like retreat in this tropical beach-side womb -- just the place to thaw out and relax!"

I did mention the five different kinds of tired, right? Yeah. I get punchy when I'm this tired.

Over and out!