Monday, June 30, 2014

Surgery, Take 5

Poor J. He had his surgery rescheduled for the 4th time today. This time because of illness. We will try again in 4 weeks or so.

His 1st surgery was rescheduled because of PICU admit, next rescheduling was because of not being cleared by pulmonologist, next rescheduling was because of insurance issues, and this brings us to the current rescheduling.

Maybe someone is trying to tell us J should not have this surgery?

In other news, he got a new CASA, after I called and asked what happened with his other CASA who has not contacted us in months (seems she resigned, but no one told me).  A CASA is a court appointed special advocate, who main job is to advocate for the child. J needs an advocate for him. Just for him. I can't say much more about why I feel he needs a CASA, except to say things are changing in his case. And, after 27 months of this case being open, this baby needs permanency. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Oh, the stress!

Things have been crazy stressful around here for the past few months.

We have had J's dad's tragic death, all kinds of craziness related to that, serious issues with Moo's educational setting and lots of craziness related to that, behavioral and developmental issues for J, behavioral issues for Moo which stem from the previously mentioned educational issues, health issues for Moo (probably not too serious, but possibly so serious I can't keep the thought in my mind for more than a few seconds), and continued health issues for J. Plus, bio momma drama. We can also throw in all kinds of crazy pressures from my job, thanks to the new requirements of my state's education department. Like, ridiculous amounts of paperwork. And, the damn grass needs to be cut about every 5 days. Seriously, stop growing! I am tired of cutting my grass with a baby strapped to my back!

So, my head feels like it is going to continually pop off because it is one thing after another after another after another.

I have a sick kid, another kid that has serious things happening to him that are as yet unexplained, behavioral issues, developmental issues, DCPP issues, job issues, parenting issues, and several other things that can't be mentioned on this public blog. You get the idea.

Oh, and my poor little dog got mauled a few weeks ago. As if we weren't dealing with enough. Thankfully, he is ok now.

My stress level is through the roof. I play my worship music, hoping for inspiration. I pray "Jesus" over and over again when my mind is too overwhelmed to form any other type of prayer.

It has been very rough these last few months. But, my babies are worth every last bit of stress I have experienced. And, I live and learn. I keep on keeping on, because what choice do I have. I need to be the best mommy I can be for my beautiful little men.

Really, though. We are due a break!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

1st Mother's Day Flop

This was the 1st Mother's Day that Moo did the typical adopted-child sabotage.

Many adopted children have a really hard time on Mother's Day. Its such a loaded day and tough on our kids for so many different reasons.

I have to admit, though, that this hit me out of the blue. I wasn't expecting it.

I should have known it was going to be a tough day, though, when he couldn't even say the words "Happy Mother's Day" to me this morning. He said them with his mouth closed. This was odd to me. When it was my birthday, he ran in and woke me up with a kiss and a hug and a big happy birthday wish. Not today. That was my 1st clue.

He was disobedient and had tantrums and was disobedient and had more tantrums. He gave me such a hard time, all day long.

I am sad tonight; partly because I didn't have such a great day but mostly because my Moo was obviously struggling with the day. And I didn't handle it very well.

Next year I will be better prepared. Better yet, next year we will skip the celebrating of this day.

Being an adoptive parent is definitely not easy. But, its so so worth it. My baby boy is worth it. We will figure this out.

"A child born to another woman calls me mom. The depth of the tragedy and the magnitude of the privilege are not lost on me." - Jody Landers

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Freakin' Texts

I am very pro open adoption (meaning contact between adoptive and 1st parents). I have an open relationship with Moo's parents, and it has worked out well. That's not to say we haven't have our issues, but that is par for this course, and it's pretty good now. I love messaging his mom, telling her his latest accomplishments in school, or that he lost a tooth, or how much he loves dancing (to which she says, "he got that from me", and that is fun to share with Moo, because he sure as hell didn't get it from me!!!).

But, wow, trying to navigate an open relationship with J's mom is stressssssing me out. I gave her my mobile number, on the recommendation of our caseworker. The thought was it would begin to develop a relationship between us, because J's case plan is adoption, and an open adoption relationship may be in our future. But wow, this is not working out for me. At all.

She texts me directives all the time. Take the baby outside. Pack him snacks. Put more diapers in his visit bag. Texts at 11 at nights, telling me to kiss her babyboy good night and tell him how much she loves him. Texts telling me has has plans for her baby and his new baby half-brother to take pictures on Easter day. Texts telling me I am not welcome at the next fundraiser planned for his deceased father's family.

This isn't working for me.

I hoped that giving her my number would foster a positive relationship between us. This is not what is happening. And it is causing me undo stress. I am ready to take a step back, until this baby's permanency is determined.

We are having a meeting to discuss boundaries next week. THAT should be so much fun!!!

This thought just occurred to me: J's mom is hellbent on getting him back. So, the original intent on her and I communicating was for us to foster a relationship so that the eventual adoption could be open. But, if this is not a possibility in her mind, then she is his mom and I am absolutely not and never will be, and she will continue to tell me what do to with her child. Perhaps she is just unable to accept my role in her child's life, so will continue to assert  her parental authority. This openness was presented to me as a beginning to an open adoption. Maybe to her, its a foster parent-to-parent relationship. And she is doing nothing disrespectful in telling me what to do.

Geesh, there are just no rules for this. And it is not easy. I have had J more than half his life; I am his day-to-day mom. But she IS his mom. Navigating this dynamic is just so hard.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Early-Morning "Mommy" Call

The 1st year that J was with his, he rarely called out from his crib when he woke. This was a learned behavior- he learned very young that his cries would not bring comfort, so he stopped crying out. This is the kind of behavior you read about with children in institutions. He would just lay in his crib until someone came to get him. The only exception to this was when he was sick- sometimes, then, he would cry out; but, not always. I found him numerous times in his crib, burning with fever, crying silent tears.

Just within the past 2 weeks, though, he has started calling out when he wakes in the morning. He cries "mommy, mommy, mommy". Its not a loud cry; its actually pretty soft and I can only hear it on the baby monitor. But, its definitely progress!

It took a year for this sweet baby to learn that he can call out for comfort from his crib, and that his cries will bring comfort.

Healing takes time...but it is happening! Amen to THAT!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Just the Foster Mom

I was told the other night, via a text message, that I should not go to a public venue (a fundraising event) to support J's father (who was tragically killed a month ago), because I am, ya' know, just the foster mom.

Yup, I am just the foster mom. The foster mom who has been raising this baby 24/7 for the past 15 months. The one who has taken him to his 40+ doctors' appointments (not ONE of which biomom has attended). The one who rushes him to the ER when he has a health crisis. The one who sat with him in the pediatric intensive care unit when he had breathing issues. The one who deals with his 2-year-old mega-tantrums day in and day out. The one who loves him, bathes him, feeds him. The one who gets up with him at 5:15 am on the weekends because he has finally learned to call out for comfort when he wakes, instead of being quiet in his crib until someone comes to him.

But yea, I am just the foster mom.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


**I wrote this post back in December...the goal was changed to adoption. Except now, with J's dad's tragic death, who knows where this case is headed.**

I'm living it...dread. A very very important court hearing is looming; one that could, in theory, send J back to his mom.

I have lived in this place before, with Moo. When he was 9 months old, I attended a court hearing where we thought his parents might sign an identified surrender. Except they didn't. Things went very differently. I was totally not prepared for what happened at this hearing. His parents asked for a case plan to work to get him back. I was unaware that this could even happen (yes, I was naive and uninformed). I was shocked and heartbroken. But, his parents had every right to work to get him back. And I couldn't ignore this. So, for the next 6 weeks, I lived with dread that I would lose Moo. I lived with it every day. I lost 6 weeks of joy I could have had with that baby because I was so upset, nervous, apprehensive, and filled with dread about the possibility of losing him.

I started to go to this place with J about a week ago. I started getting grouchy, nervous, apprehensive, distracted; and quite honestly, I started to guard my heart with J, which is just not fair to him. I took a step back and reflected on my experience with Moo. Then, I just started praying. Praying that God will fill all those connected to J's case with wisdom to make the right choices.  Praying that God will give me peace and help me to know that He is in control. I decided to not live with dread. I made the decision to live in the moment and just enjoy J, and J and Moo, and J and me.

The hearing may change the goal in J's case to adoption. It may give his mom an extension to work her case plan. It MAY order her to be reunified with J. This would not be the best decision because she is just not ready. But the judge has the final say, despite what DYFS and all involved will recommend.

So, I pray that the judge rules according to the facts in the case, and that those who speak on J's behalf that day are guided by His wisdom to use the right words to help the judge understand that J needs safety and permanence.

I prayed the Hail Mary almost continuously when Moo's case got crazy. I didn't pray that he got to stay with me- I prayed that the right decision for him would be made. 6 weeks after his parents requested a case plan, they suddenly decided to relinquish their parental rights. I cannot begin to comprehend how difficult this decision must have been for them; and, without meaning to be condescending, I give them so much credit for making such a selfless decision for their son.

I am praying the Hail Mary now, over and over again. Mary was a mom, who watched her child go through all He went through. I know she will work to protect J. She protected Moo.

(I have so many conflicting thoughts about J's mom, which I will share in another post. Suffice to say, I am conflicted. She loves him. So much. But, so do I. SO much. And he is a complicated child whose health is not so good, which is very worrisome.)


Moo and J. They have such an amazing bond. J often wakes before Moo, and the very first thing he asks for when I get him from his crib is his Moo. He will climb in bed with Moo and lay on top of him- literally with his body draped over Moo's. The two of them will just lay like that for is just so sweet.