Saturday, September 26, 2009

Come Monday. . .

I know that I've been horrible about posting. I've been even worse about commenting and I apologize for that. I have been checking my google reader regularly. I hope to catch up on comments soon once we get into a regular routine.

My big news is that Monday is the day our little guy, L., will come to stay with us---forever we hope*. We've had him over our house every day for the past four days and he seems to be adjusting well. We pick him up at his foster home in the morning, bring him to our house (he usually naps during the 45 minute drive), play with him for a while, feed him lunch, put him in his crib to nap around mid-afternoon, play with him some more, take him for a walk with the dogs, and then bring him back to his foster home around supper time. The bringing him back is the hardest part, but we've been going with a slower transition, on the advice of the social worker, in the hopes that it will help him adjust better in the end.

So far, so good. He's happy to see us when we pick him up and comes with us easily. He eats well for us. He sleeps well for us. He's able to be comforted by us if he gets upset. Those are all positive signs in terms of attachment. Today was a little more challenging because he has a cold and I could tell he just felt lousy. Still, he was happy for most of the day, until he threw up all over the giant teddy bear DH bought for him. Although I wish he were here to stay already, I'm kind of glad his first night isn't tonight because I'm guessing it won't be a great one for him. Next time he's sick he'll be all ours, but I'd rather not have his first night with us be miserable for him. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he feels better on Monday.

Our biggest challenge, and in the scheme of things it's relatively small, has been diapering. He HATES to have his diaper or clothes changed. I mean, resists laying down, screams until it's over, wriggles away as much as possible. It doesn't appear to be a sensory issue (in that clothes are uncomfortable for him) because he's fine once he's actually dressed. He's little but he's strong so it really is more challenging than it sounds. Of course, it doesn't help that I'm afraid to hurt him by holding on too tight or that I'm out of practice when it comes to diapering so I'm rather slow. We decided not to get a changing table which I'm glad for now because there's no way I would feel safe with him on it. I change him on a pad on the floor. The only thing that makes me feel better about this is that he acts the same way with his foster mothers, so I know it's not just me. I'm going to try introducing a special toy to distract him during diaper time. Hopefully that combined with me getting faster will help. I'm also thinking about changing him on the bed so it's not so easy to crawl away. I'm open to any suggestions.

I'll update again after our first night.

*A note about the legal situation: L is not legally free for adoption. His is a legal risk placement. His goal is adoption because the state has determined that his biological father is unable to care for him, even with support. The state is moving to terminate his biological father's parental rights, however that could take a year or even more. The risk is that a judge may decide against the state and reunify L with his biological father. This is highly unlikely for several reasons which I can't go into for privacy's sake. However, there is always the possibility, hence the risk. The other risk factor is that a family member of L's biological father or biological mother could come forward and request custody. But as the social worker said, "It could happen, but it won't." Again, I can't go into the reasons for her opinion, but DH and I have decided to trust in it. We had originally hoped to have a legally free placement and were open to older children for that reason. But when this placement came along it just felt right to us, in spite of being the total opposite of what we had originally hoped for. Go figure.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

We Met Him!

We met Baby Boy yesterday. It wasn't like a meeting you'd see in a Lif.etime movie, but it was still amazing. He's cutting teeth (it looks like the whole top rack is coming in at once), he didn't have his nap, and he's developed stranger anxiety, so he was not in the best mood. However, he tends toward happy so he'd look at us and start laughing and playing. Then he'd suddenly remember he didn't know us and the laugh would turn into a cry midstream. It was sad but cute. It's actually good that he has stranger anxiety because it means that he's attached to his foster mom. If he didn't have an attachment it would be worrying. It means that he's capable of forming healthy attachments and, with time, he'll be able to form one with us.

We went back today to feed him lunch and it was much better. We'd left a little plastic photo book with pictures of us and the dogs for him to look at. When we walked in, his foster mom said, "Baby Boy, Mommy and Daddy are here." I got goosebumps. He came crawling out, right over to me and touched my foot (it's at his level after all). He seemed to remember us, and not as the scary people from yesterday, but in a good way. We ended up playing with him in the family room by ourselves for a while. The foster mom started in there with us, but quietly left after a few minutes. BB had no problem at all. At one point, he laid back in DH's lap and just looked up at him. DH started tickling BB's tummy while he was leaning back and BB just giggled and giggled. I don't know if I've ever been so happy. I can't imagine my heart could be any more full.

We had to leave to head to our third baby shower in two weeks (we've been blessed by the generosity and excitement of our family and friends during this time) and made plans to come back tomorrow after work. The foster mom thinks we could take him for an outing on Tuesday. I can't wait!

Through all of this, I keep telling myself that this is really happening. IF has trained me to expect the worst so there's a part of me that is waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'm working hard to keep that part of me at bay. This is too good to ruin with pessimism.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

3 weeks

I want to write about our meeting today, but I'm too tired. I'll share more this weekend. The most important outcome of the meeting is a timeline: In three weeks, we'll meet Baby Boy and begin transitioning him to our home! He'll be with us full-time by the end of the month. I have to pinch myself. Is this really happening?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Meeting Tomorrow

Just a quick update: DH and I have a meeting with the social worker tomorrow afternoon. We're going to sketch out a timeline then. She said the transition will probably be quite short (only a week or so) once it gets started so we should make sure to wait until we're ready before we begin. We're thinking a few weeks at the most. :D