I’m a talker. Always have been. Had a t-shirt in fifth grade (bought by my loving parents) that said “Help I’m Talking and I can’t SHUT UP!” My grandpa used to say that my mouth went as fast as a ducks behind. Well….this just in…you DON’T need to share your DNA with your children in order to share your traits with them!
LittleMan does NOT SHUT UP!!! From the minute he wakes up his mouth does not stop. And oh is he ever getting slick. He can now talk his way out of anything!!
“LittleMan, why is your foot on your brother’s head? We do not kick!” “Oh Mommy, I am not kickin’, my toes are just givin his head a little kiss.”
“LITTLE MAN! We do NOT throw pillows at the dogs head!” “Oh Mommy, I am not throwing, those are airplane pillows, they are flying into Maya.”
And I had no idea how quickly all the things you say over and over again as a parent can come right back at you!!
“LittleMan if you take the train track apart, please remember that Mommy does not know how to put it back together. That is a daddy job.” “Oh Mommy, sure you can do it. Just say, ‘I think I can, I think I can’. If you think you can, you will do it.”
“Mommy, thank you for being such a good listener”
*when offered some carrots* “Thanks for thinking of me, but I’m fine.”
Gosh I love this kid….but I am soooooo in for it!!
“Oh mommy, thank you for bringing my wittle brudder home! I did miss him sooo much!! He is soo bootiful. May I touch him and kiss him pwease?”
Could this boy be any sweeter??
That is how he greeted us when we returned from Friday’s visit and testing.
“Bramma, I am so important to you.”
“Mommy, you are a very good listener.”
“You are good at being my mommy.”
“Mommy, I wuv you soooooo much. Forever and ever, ok?”
“We can not stay in California with Aunt B forever….I will miss my Daddy too much.”
“Mommy, you are my best!” (Sometimes he says “my best” in place of “my favorite” So cute. The giraffe at the zoo is his “best” too!)
See…isn’t he so stinkin’ sweet??
I just can’t get over what a loving, intuitive, affectionate little boy he has become.
Last week, we celebrated “Forever Family Day.” February 19th. One whole year since he came home. The happiest and best year of our lives.
This is what LittleMan can tell people about “Forever Family Day”
What is “Forever Family Day” LittleMan?
“The day that I did come home FOREVA!!”
How did that make mommy and daddy feel?
Happy is an understatement.
I know I write about it ALL the time, but…we are so blessed to have been chosen to be his forever Mommy and Daddy.
**This was written on Friday. It was therapeutic at the time. I decided to share it on here so that another foster mom might come along and tell me I’m not crazy. OR, maybe another foster mom will relate and feel validated for her feelings.**
I am in full tilt freak out mode right now. Sitting at Panera with a soda, because the belly couldn’t possibly tolerate more. I had to drop BabyMan off for a visit with TummyMom for the first time in 24 days. I think that it was just too much time in between. It was enough time to ‘forget’ that he’s not really mine, to forget what we still have to go through to make him ours. To forget about how hard it is to ‘play the game’ with TummyMom. To forget that when it comes down to it… I don’t want to share. It’s like a piece of me is missing right now, and not just a small piece, a big huge honkin’ chunk! Not having LittleMan here with me makes it worse for me (but better for him, since visits are starting to stress him out). He’s a great distraction. Without him, there is too much time for my mind to wander. Too much time to ponder and dwell on the what-if’s. I can’t stand it. I have rationalized through every outcome at least ten times in just the past 12 hours. The paternity test is today, and even if these people are legitimately the family, they have clearly said they can’t and don’t want to parent. I should be relieved, but I’m not. What if they meet him and they change their mind? TummyMom doesn’t really feel like a threat at this point. I think it would take a miracle for her to get custody. But, ugh….the what-ifs.
And then I come back to this.
Worrying isn’t changing ANYTHING. It is just making me crazy. The bottom line is that this is not up to me. I have NO control at all. That’s a hard reality. What should not be such a hard reality, is that God already has this all figured out. Who the heck do I think I am to micro-manage or question or fear the creator of the Earth’s plan?! I feel so small. Ashamed that I doubt and question the one who has brought us to this place. Who has brought us this happiness. Who has taught us to love his children the way he loves us. What is wrong with me? I need to get rid of this fear and doubt….now. I need to go back to loving our sweet boys and taking just one day at a time, one step at a time. This crippling fear and anxiety need to somehow disappear and be replaced with hope and faith. I’m resolving to do that. I can’t promise I won’t trip and fail again, but for today, that’s my plan.
Letting go of the control I erroneously believe I have. Letting go of the fear. Letting go of the doubt.
I’m holding on tight to my snuggly, happy blue eyed bundle. I’m holding onto hope. And I’m holding onto the promise that God has a perfect plan.
48 Hours Later:
The paternal family is by NO means a threat. They are not interested or capable of parenting. No “changing of minds” occurred. That should be the end of dealing with that hurdle.
Never would have dreamed that GroundHog day could be such a great day! Exactly one year ago today we got the official word that LittleMan would be coming home to be our forever son!
Today, we got a call from BabyMan’s caseworker saying that his biological father’s family has been located and that none of them are interested in parenting him or being a resource. Up until today, they were our biggest fear/threat/hurdle. If any of them were “fit and willing” relatives they would have the primary right to adopt him. However, today they are telling us that we don’t need to be worried about that. This lifts a HUGE burden off our shoulders. Up until now, that was our biggest fear. At this point, we aren’t too concerned that TummyMom is ever going to be in a situation where she could adequately parent him. The courts are in agreement and have already changed his primary goal to Adoption, rather than Reunification. They had up to 15 months to make that decision so the fact that they have made it so quickly is very positive for us.
All good news on our end! LittleMan said it best today, completely unprovoked or unprompted:
“Mama, I am sooooo lucky”
Why are you lucky LittleMan?
“Because I am a big brudder!”
Saturday marked the one year anniversary of the day we first met our
LittleMan. I can’t imagine a day of my life without him. What seems
strange is that sometimes I think, “Wow, it’s been a whole year
already!” and other times I think, “Wow, it seems like he’s been here
forever.” I actually frequently forget that he hasn’t been with us
since the day he was born. He is just so much a part of our puzzle
that it seems like there is no possible way he could have ever been
missing from it.
I remember that day like it was yesterday. Laying eyes on him as his
foster mom carried him to the door. Feeding him. Tickling him.
Watching him get his coat to go “bye bye” with us as we were leaving.
I think what I remember most was walking back to the car with Brian
looking through his glassy eyes into my glassy eyes and saying,
“That’s our son.” He said it with such confidence. It wasn’t a
question. It wasn’t a hope. It wasn’t a wish. He knew. He knew.
I played the skeptic. The one who was going to keep us grounded. The
one who knew far too much about ‘the system’ to think that it was
really going to be that easy. The one who knew that for this to all
come together was going to take a miracle. I was the one who said,
“We can’t get our hopes up. We shouldn’t get too attached.” They were
all words. Just words. In my heart, I knew he had to be our son.
But, these excuses were my way of trying to prevent the devestation
that would come if things didn’t go the way we prayed they would.
But, what still brings tears to my eyes everytime I think about it, is
that LittleMan knew. He KNEW we were his parents. His foster mom
warned us that he ‘takes a long time to warm up to strangers.’ Within
minutes of our arrival he was in our laps. In his 7 months with the
family he had never taken his backpack and shoes to the visitor
leaving the house. None of this was a coincidence. He KNEW from that
very first visit that we were his parents. I have no idea how that is
possible at two, but there isn’t a doubt in my mind that whatever he
felt from us was different than what he had felt from other adults.
What we didn’t know that day was that it was the beginning of our family’s story.
We were making a memory that would last a lifetime.
BabyMan has taught me so much about life.
1. Patience- Because making a colic-y baby burp at 3am takes a WHOLE lot of it! But, mostly because waiting on caseworkers, judges, biological parents, paternity tests, hearings, etc. etc. has taught me to hurry up and wait.
2. Trust- He is trusting us to meet his needs. To advocate for him. To love him, with all that we have. So we are learning that we too must trust. Trust God. Trust judges. Trust caseworkers. Trust Children and Youth. Trust that they all have his best interest at heart and that the outcome will be what is best for HIM.
3. Sacrifice- I’ve learned very quickly that NONE of this is about ME. It’s not about what I want. It’s not about how much time, energy, love and resources we invest in our son. It’s about HIM. So it’s my job to give and give and give until it hurts, but realize that I may not get what I want in return. I may not get my forever son. But, I’m learning that regardless, this sacrifice is worth it, because he deserves NOTHING but the BEST.
4. Perseverance- OK…haven’t quite learned this one. But, beginning to realize that this is a lesson he will teach as we ‘wait.’ We will feel defeated, we will get knocked down. Just after we jump through one hoop, it will be time to jump through another. BUT, we will learn to persevere.
5. Hope- So much is going on in regards to his future and his life. Decisions are made for and about him. But, he is blissfully unaware. He looks deep into my eyes with those bright baby blues and long curled lashes and I can’t help but see hope. Hope for his future. Hope that this is all resolved before he is aware.
6. Selfless Love- For the first time in my life, I feel like I understand true love. What unconditional love is. I love my spouse, but I get love back. I get support back. I get foot-rubs, mid-day ‘thinking of you’ phone calls, and lots of laughs in return for my love. I love LittleMan. I get “I wuv you sooo much Mama”‘s in return. I get snuggles, kisses, licks, cheek rubs, bear hugs. I know I will get these things for many years to come. But, with BabyMan, that reciprocal love isn’t there yet. We may never see the fruits of the love we pour into him. That’s ok though. Because now I understand what it means to truly love.
What a gift he has already given. Who knew there was so much to be learned from a little nine pound bundle? In just 8 weeks I can confidently say that having him in our lives has changed us forever. He has taught us more than we could ever have hoped. He will continue to make us better people. We will continue to let him teach us.
Oh sweet BabyMan…..we love you. You’ve been here 8 short weeks and have already left your footprint.
“Baby, I will always wuv you.” –LittleMan as he wrapped his arms around BabyMan this morning.
Fostering is not easy. I don’t know how people do this over and over again, but I am so thankful that those kind of people exist. There are so many unknowns with the system and the circumstances of the situation. Yet, in our little corner of the world, in the day-to-day, it’s like we find a way to make that all disappear.
Many people have asked us, “How can you do this?”
My answer is, “I’m not sure.” So until we know how, we love completely, knowing that this selfless love could break our hearts. We allow LittleMan to love completely, trusting that if he loses his “baby brudder” we will find a way to help him cope. We live like this because, if we didn’t, we would go crazy! We try to just be a family, to just be parents to two amazing little boys. I’m not saying that there are not times when all of the “what-ifs” don’t creep up and completely overwhelm and overtake me, but I am finding a way to work through them. It’s getting easier to do as time passes and we realize that patience is key AND no amount of worry will change the outcome here. We take it a step at a time. We trust that there is a reason we have all been brought together and we know that God does not make mistakes. Truly, that’s the only way we are making it through these uncertainties.
Our visits with TummyMom have been reduced from twice a week to twice a month. That has made it easier to “forget” the situation for a longer stretch of time. It has taken that glaring reminder away. It has also made life feel more normal. We aren’t spending over 2 hours in the car twice a week. We aren’t constantly feeling like we are ‘sharing.’ I don’t want to share too many specifics of the situation on here, given their sensitive nature. Please, just pray for the BabyMan and all who love him. There will be a lot of decisions made by a lot of parties in the coming months, pray that HIS best interest is the focus of ALL of those decisions. In the end, that’s the most important thing we can ask for.