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.


Beautiful Mess said...

WOW! Things are going so well, that's great! I'm so happy for ALL of you. I'm sure he'll get use to the diapering and clothing issues. Especially if you introduce a toy during that time. You could have a basket and those could be only "changing time" toys. He won't get it right away, but eventually, he will. Just introduce those toys during change time and put them away after. I had to do that with Zilla. I always had his stuffed dog on the changing table and that's the only time he was allowed to play with it.

Good luck, hon! I hope he feels better soon, too.

Barb said...

Most of my nephews and cousins went through that wiggly, horrible, crying stage during diapering at this age if that makes you feel any better. :) (Most of my family is highly prolific. Go figure)

Sounds good!

cloudmaster said...

I don't think you ever get what you plan on. It was our plan to do respite care only with absolutely NO intention of adopting.......We have now had our foster daughter for 2 years and are hoping to adopt if the TPR ever goes through. Tehre is obviously a plan we aren't always privy to.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I have been reading your blog for a few weeks now. I just wanted to comment on the diaper changing and cloths changing issue. I have twin boys and one of them absolutely screams when we change his diaper/clothes. He is 13 months old and we have been going through this since he was a tiny little baby. He is getting better but he just doesn't like it. I have found that ANY kind of distraction makes things easier. We grab a toy that is interesting at the moment. Sometimes I try to change clothes with him standing up (now that he stands) while he watches a morning cartoon or is otherwise distracted. Most of the time the distraction works and we get through it fast without tears. He doesn't have sensory issues. We think he just doesn't like to stop long enough for us to change his diapers or clothes. He is completely fine and happy when it is all over. I have also found that I need to change up the toys when I change his diaper. It has to be something that he is interested in so I usually just grab something when I pick him up or something that is unusual that he doesn't usually get to play with. Good luck and congratulations! I will be sending you lots of good thoughts that everything continues to move smoothly!

Lost in Space said...

I am so happy to read this, Karen. It sounds like the transition is going very well! Take all the time away you need to get settled in and know that we are here with support and open arms whenever you have a free minute to get us up to date. You are a new mama now!

Kelly said...

Hi Karen....still following your awesome story! I'm thrilled that you've gotten to spend this past week with your little guy. You and DH must be over the moon! Like pp's dd STILL has diapering issues and she's 21 months, lol! We finally had to start putting diaper on her toys or babies and she wouldn't like that and would want us to put it on her instead. You'll find something that works for you, I just know it! Can't wait to hear about your first night. How exciting that your long journey has lead you to this precious baby boy, who I hope and pray will be your very own son soon.

HUGS...Kelly, your FF friend!

Claudia said...

But when you do update... what an update!!

I'm so pleased that things are going so smoothly, in general. It's monday now that I'm reading this and wow, today!! Today it all happens! I'm so, so thrilled for you. When you're allowed and feel comfortable, I would LOVE to see photos of your little guy (although I know that might not be allowed until the legal risk is over, or you might not want to at all, but if you can that would be cool!)

Me said...

I am SO happy to read this update!

Fran said...

This is a great post! I'm sure everything will be fine, I can totally understant the anxiety though but you are doing great already!
I have left you an award on my blog for whenever you have time. Much love and monday is only three sleeps away!