Monday, November 30, 2009

and just like that

this morning i got an email that the grandparents want to do a homestudy. **sigh** and just like that i'm shaking in my boots that i could lose the hope of not one, but two babies. pray for me. this is a long shaky bumpy road. for those that can reproduce, be thankful.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Trimming the tree

we put up the christmas tree yesterday with sweet pea so she could understand the festivities a little bit. she quickly caught on to putting the limbs on the tree (yes, we go artificial...we're too hippy to justify cutting down a real live tree.) soon we were missing the smaller limbs, only to find that they had been shoved into the lower part of the tree. about...2 feet high. then we put the lights on. and she quickly realized you just put all kinds of stuff on THIS tree. so she went and got some of her most sacred toys. some cars that dan & jenn and the kids sent her, and did a little of her own decorating. we love this baby!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

introducing peanut

well. this past week was full of news from the foster front. i've come to grips with what is about to happen and i'm ready to get some more prayer warriors on the home front. i found out this last week that sweet pea is going to be a big sister. yup. our birth mom is pregnant again by sweet pea's dad which means "peanut" will be here somewhere in the march-ish area. i have no idea if it's a boy or girl. i have no idea if there will be mental delays. i have no idea if the new baby will be nearly as perfect and wonderful as sweet pea. but i do know that paul and i both feel called to accept the new baby into our home and try to keep the kids together. our birth mom does not want the county to have anything to do with the new baby. and rightfully so. i totally understand her thinking. in her mind the county came in and took her baby away and gave her a checklist a mile long of impossible things she has to accomplish in order to get her back. in her mind we, as the foster parents for sweet pea, are as much a part of the county as the case workers, attorneys, nurses and infant care workers that give her endless unsolicited advice. so i completely understand why she's lumping us in with her hatred for the county. she doesn't know that we aren't told of every unfolding development in her case. she thinks we are, in fact, one well oiled machine that always tells the left hand what the right hand is doing. her plan at this point is to get a private agency involved to adopt out the new baby to a separate home. she has yet, however, to crack a phone book and find an agency to get matched up with an adoptive family. she also hasn't been eating, drinking, getting pre-natal care, taking vitamins, getting proper folic acid, or gaining weight. from what i'm told she's about the size of a 9 year old and is TINY. i cannot emphasize the tiny part enough. i'm not sure if they are expecting both or either mother and/or child to make it to full term. what this means for us is that i will need to quit working in order to spend time in the NICU with the baby in order for it to know there IS actually someone pulling for it and hoping for it and wishing it to be here. financially we are far from ready for that prospect. but we also feel that god has called us into this whole fostering business and know that he won't lead us where he cannot take us. i'm scared. i'm very scared. i had my first good cry about it tonight. yes. 4 1/2 days after the news i had a good cry. i just know we have a good thing going with sweet pea and i hope i don't ruin it being selfish in wanting to have more babies in the house. and so many people have asked me (just recently) if she has any siblings and i've said "no, and her parents have split up so she'll always be the only one." and it made me sad that such perfection would never be duplicated. and now to find out that it can, and HAS, been duplicated makes me think of all the but-what-if's in the situation. what if it has mental retardation? can we handle that? what if it has physical handicaps? can we handle that? what if it's not as perfect as sweet pea? is it even POSSIBLE to be as perfect as sweet pea? what if sweet pea gets upset that all of her love and affection that she's been showered with now has to be shared with peanut? will she hate us forever for that? all of these, and more, are the questions that leave me tossing and turning deep into the night. and i realize trying to keep this secret under wraps until peanut gets here is too much for me. i'm a blogger. i gotta talk. i gotta get my aingst out there into the world. so here's what you can pray for specifically:
1. that peanut makes it.
2. that the birth mom gets hungry and thirsty and is forced to eat and drink.
3. that peanut doesn't have delays more than therapies can reverse.
4. that peanut is as perfect as sweet pea (this one would be a miracle).
5. that the birth mom realizes the need to keep the kids together and if she doesn't
6. that she forgets (yes, this is possible) to line up an adoption agency
7. that the county is notified by all the right people immediately upon her labor beginning so that they are there in time to file the paperwork necessary to get custody if the birth mom forgets to line up an agency.
8. that peanut holds on long enough to be healthy, but not so long that more permanent damage is done.
9. that we can handle what is coming our way.
10. that financially i can find a job that can work around all of this.
11. that we're able to adopt through the county and not a private agency because the services that would be available to peanut are so far greater than what we could provide i can't even list them all.
12. that sweet pea is able to adjust and we are able to give her all the same love and attention that she gets now.
13. that the all of the right therapists and doctors and nurses and case workers and adoption agency workers are put in the path of everyone involved to provide us and peanut with everything we are going to need.
14. that my boss will go easy on me when i'm finally able to explain all of this (which will be much further down the road.)
15. anything else that the previous 14 points didn't cover.
i think i'm beginning to wonder now if it's probably a good thing that i haven't gotten pregnant because i'm not sure i have the patience to wait 9 whole months for a baby. it IS still possible for peanut to not make it so i won't tell work until i know that they are going to make it. somehow, i gotta let go of it and just let god do his thing.

Friday, November 27, 2009

thanksgiving and whatnot

sorry to keep you waiting for an update for so long. this week has been one 360 turn of events after another. i had case workers and nurses and attorneys and more case workers come to the house. each and every single one of them had news that put me on my ear. i'm coming around. coping and coming to grips with most of it. today i tried to go thrifting with my mother-in-law who was in town. but i couldn't make any decisions. little decisions. like: do i buy 36 feet of gold beads for the tree for $2 or should i buy both spools. but then that's $4. do i really have $4 to spend on gold beads that 5 minutes ago i didn't need, nor was i looking for. all in all i left with nothing. we went to 3 stores and then the bead store. i got all the way home with out spending a dime. in fact, i found a dime. me and my grandma angelo had this thing about finding money all the time so when i find money i think my grandma is saying hello. one time i found $40!
anyhow. i guess we need prayer, specifically that god will provide for us. we live on a very tight, very specific budget but we are facing some decisions in the next few months that may require me to quit working. only time will tell and a million things could happen before i'd have to quit working...but it's a strong possibility.
i know everyone is going to say "god will provide" but it's still a very nerve wracking prospect.

Friday, November 20, 2009

tired of feeling sorry for myself

i had a glimmer of hope. "had" as in past tense. as in, i no longer have a glimmer of hope. i thought maybe this month we had a chance. but i took a copy of my chart to molly and she saw my temps and said they are way too low. so even IF i had released an egg that MIGHT have gotten fertilized, my temps are too low to host it and make it into a real live baby. and the worst part is, molly doesn't know what it is that i need to get my temps up. they aren't high before i ovulate OR after i ovulate. and there's only a couple points of a degree difference before and after i ovulate. i guess it needs to be more. she has me on progesterone creme now (for those of you that will ask). but i just feel like all the hope i did have, the hope in my bracelet, the hope in all this sugar-free diet, the hope in actually ovulating this month, is gone. and i want to just lay around and cry but i don't even have the energy to make tears over this anymore. and does not help to know that things are going good in sweet pea's case. so quit asking. and for the record, the statistics on those that DO get pregnant after adopting are about 5 in 100, the SAME statistic for those who get pregnant and did NOT chose to adopt. so please don't think we are adopting as a back up insurance if acupuncture doesn't work. nor is it any part of our motivation for wanting to adopt sweet pea. we would like to someday make her a big sister. *sigh* what the hell. i'm too tired to even bitch about being too tired to bitch.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

even more scoop

i just got an email from our case worker that we have a concurrent plan of "adoption" along with "return home". what that means in non-foster talk is that although the parents still have a chance to pull things together, we need to be working on a plan b, alongside returning home, and that plan b is "adoption". EEEEEK!!!! this is VERY good news my friends. this means we are officially in the running.

a little more of the scoop

well, this past month has been quite a bit more informative than months past. i have found out a few things that i can sort of put on the blog. really, i shouldn't, but i figure for those that follow* that i don't get to see in real life, you should get more of an update.

sweet pea does not get to see her mom anymore. for now. if her mom starts cooperating, she will get to visit again. at this point she's not in a place to be able to cooperate and show them that she can parent the way sweet pea needs her right now. her dad, bless is heart, is trying. he comes to visits. he brings her food. he's kind, he plays, he tries. but they are still unsure that he is going to be able to parent on his own, with out the help of his family. if his family were stepping up to help him, we'd have a different situation, but at this point they have not stepped forward the way the county needs them to step forward. they aren't getting their evaluations and home studies done and until they do that, they can't be considered as options. sweet pea has been in our care for 4 months now. at this point, that's a quarter of her life. it would be equivalent to me living with loving doting strangers for 8 1/2 years and then going back to a home where i was told they loved me, but no one ever showed me.

our first court date is coming up in early december. at that point i'll have more information. we are acting, like we do with all of our kids, that she is our own forever and ever. christmas is coming and we can't wait to shower her with gifts. we celebrated early with paul's side of the family this last weekend and i was just humbled by all the gifts and clothes and toys and books she got. last week my brother's wife and kids sent another box full of toys the kids had picked out of their own stash for sweet pea. and yet another brother sent her a gift card for whatever else falls between the cracks. she is set beyond belief. i can't believe, or thank you enough for how generous my family and friends have been in providing for us this year. and sweet pea is overwhelmed with all of the new toys and books she has all over the house.

in preparing for kids from 0-7 and spending every spare dime we had on the basic necessities to make our sterile house a kid friendly home, it didn't leave much left for the extras. we are trying to get back to square one and save up for next year for a) if sweet pea's case does not go to adoption and we can't take another foster heart break. at that point we will adopt from an agency. and b) if sweet pea's case does go to adoption, we won't get the much needed financial support from the county, including childcare, and will be facing being a one-income FAMILY. both options scare us in a way but we are trying to prepare, as best we can, now so that we have some options to fall back on.

*I do want to thank those of you that follow. sometimes it's really hard for me to talk about all of the stuff that's going on and other times i'm a gusher of information once i see you in person. thanks for always letting me know when you've been reading. it's fun to know who's really come and gone and it's fun to know that people are interested in what's going on. and an even bigger thanks to all of you that pray. i can feel your prayers and can often see god's hand in the goings on of our county and specifically our case.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

THAT'S how they do that

just when i think it's time to worry...

this last week i've been crossing every "t" and dotting every "i" to make sure that sweet pea's language skills are on target. she will say a word or two and then they'll disappear never to be heard again, it seems. so i filled out a questionare for the county nurse that we're working with (who i LOVE by the way). and she said she's really right on target. well last night when i picked her up from daycare the teacher told me they were in the gymnastics room and sweet pea's teacher counts 1...2...3 and then they jump in this huge pit of foam blocks. last night sweet pea walked up to the edge of the pit, put her fingers in the air and tried to sign for 1...2...3 while saying "one" "two" "three". in baby talk, of course, but she said it. i told paul at the dinner table so we started counting and she did it again. she put her fingers in the air and she's making the right shape with her mouth, and she makes a little noise but not the whole word. we'll get there.
she also used a zipper for the first time yesterday. while our nurse, rhonda, was over she brings a scale so i can fulfill my addiction fed need to weigh sweet pea every week. she only gained one ounce this week, but the scale is in a zippered bag and sweet pea went over to the bag and the next thing i heard was "zzzzzzip!" and she was zipping. she's so smart.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

this product sucks.

i got this precious hands kit tonight thinking i could make some plaster hand ornaments for sweet pea's grandparents for christmas. it says mix it up for 1 minute, you can use warmer water for it to set quicker. so i thought, weeeeell, just a touch warmer. i mixed it up for 1 minute using the kitchen timer and paul brought her over ready to press her hand in and bloop! it turned to a stiff oatmeal consistency and separated before 1 1/2 minutes was up. i'm taking it back to michael's tomorrow. yes, i'm going to be THAT woman. but i refuse to pay $10 for an experiment. that's not cool. and if they say they can't take it back, i'll ask for the manager. if only 50 people bought and tried this product once and didn't take it back, they'd make $500. i won't be one of those 50. if we all take it back, michael's will stop selling it.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

fertility turtles

have you ever googled fertility turtle? well, it turns out everyone and their brother, except me, knows about turtles being a "lucky charm" of sorts for fertility. so today i went to the bead store and made myself this bracelet. and then i had a few beads leftover and made these earrings. let's hope this turtle is my lucky charm. well that and hundreds of dollars of acupuncture, and months and months of herbs, and years and years of trying and oh ya, all of your prayers. *sigh* something's gotta give.

Friday, November 6, 2009

ohmigosh ohmigosh ohmigosh!!!!

i just got really good news in an email. REALLY good news. i can't share much more than that so please don't call and ask me. just be really excited with me AND continue to pray! EEEEEK!!!! pray, be excited, then pray, then be excited, then pray AND be really excited.

on another note-paul is getting really irritated with me (rightfully so) that i don't get excited for pregnant women that didn't have to try for 2+ years. i'm trying to get over it. i'm at least able to love babies again. (i used to not make eye contact with them because i was angry that they were cute and somebody elses.) but i've at least gotten over that part. *sigh* so now i gotta get over pregnant ladies too! give me a break. one thing per decade. is that not fast enough?! i'm trying. i truly, promise you that i am trying. but i'm not there yet.

oh-and in funny this-is-really-my-life?-news: tonight i had acupuncture and i just love molly. now we can laugh that every other appointment will be my pms week and that i will probably come and just cry and cry and cry. ha! poor molly. i think my freckles conceal the part where i'm italian and make people think i'm irish (one of the FEW nationalities that ironically, i am not) so she doesn't know what a huge cryer i really am. well now that i have hormones flowing through my body i cry alot. and when i get pms AND hormones HA! i'm a MESS! so poor molly has to put up with me crying through every other acu appointment. anyway, tonight i said "paul's coming down and we're going to go to dinner" and she said "OH! he's coming here? with the baby?" and i said " actually, we're just meeting at the restaurant." and she deflated and said "oh." i said "you should come! we're just going right up the street.....seriously!" and she said "oh, no....would he mind?" heehee. she's so cute! and i said "oh no! he won't mind at all!" so she said "well i have some herbs to mix up and i'll be right there." so i got to have dinner with paul, sweet pea and molly. how fun is that? i love my crazy mixed up life. seriously. even though the infertility sucks. i do love my crazy life.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

clap your hands!

this morning while putting on our shoes and socks (and by shoes, I mean her new pink boots because now she refuses to wear any other shoes even if it is 60 out today) i started singing "if you're happy and you know it clap your hands" and then i'd clap my hands. well then i was zipping up her boots so i clapped her hands together. and then i sang it again and paused long enough for her to catch on and then SHE started clapping her hands when i got to that part. is she really smart for 16 months or is it just me? she's so cute it kills me!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cutest little lion EVER!

Since this photo does not reveal anything about sweet pea's identity i can post this. she was a lion for halloween and oh my GOODNESS was she ever the cutest lion i've ever laid eyes on. she didn't like the hood for long periods of time because she's a hot blooded little moma but she did like quite a few things about halloween. 1. the attention she got IN the costume. much like tatum in the octopus suit, sweet pea in the lion suit is an attention grabber. 2. going to the door with all the big kids (we have my nieces and nephews over for halloween every year). 3. holding out her little halloween basket and having people put candy in it. 4. interacting with strangers. she loves making friends no matter where she goes. 5. candy! she has figured out that it is good.
oh MAN do we love this baby more and more every day. continue praying for her situation. nothing more to report really. just plodding along as it goes. today we went to the library and ran into the woman that did her evaluation a month ago. it was fun to see her and reconnect and tell her about the new and wonderful things she's been doing. this last week i taught her how to summersault, somersalt, she comes up and puts her butt in the air in front of me and her head on the ground waiting for me to flip her over. lately she's been saying "ya" and "thank you" and "my". she's also now able to go to the other room and retrieve something if you say "where's your book?" or "can you bring me your beads?" or "go play with your blocks." we are noticing some things that are gonna take some work but all in all this little tyke is catching up and moving beyond benchmarks in some areas. i think it will be a matter of time before things start to even out and she is caught up in all areas. she's an amazing little one and we are so so thankful for every day we get to spend with her. we are praying for thousands more but after our past few meetings with various case workers i feel confident that they won't send her back unless it truly is the best place for her and her birth family is able to care for her in the very best way and be prepared and ready to do that. please continue to pray for them as you pray for us. it really does take a village to raise a child and we realize that, but selfishly, hope that we are the ones that get to chose who is in that village.