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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

2 years, 4 months, 16 days

That's how long our baby has lived with us now.

So hard to believe it's been that long in some ways, so hard to believe it's been that little time other ways.

We love this child to the moon and back and it's hard to remember there was ever a time without her in our lives.  It was love at first sight.

That said, there have been some hard times, but every step has been so worth it.

Why am I reminiscing and thinking about how recent her move really is?

Kiddo had an extreme anxiety attack last night, such extremes that her leg cramped up from the tension and she wasn't able to move from the waist down for about 40 minutes. It was very scary.

I knew she had an anxiety attack when we were waiting on the ambulance, but I thought the anxiety attack was because of the paralysis, not vice versa.

The paramedics were great with her, I rode in the ambulance and by the time we got there, she was pretty calm.

They still ran some tests though and it was a 5 hour trip to the ER, resulting in grouchy family and getting home at nearly 1 am.

I wish so bad I could help her anxiety.  As far as she's come, it stuns me when this happens and it really shouldn't.  She was with her bio family for right at 7 years (being abused probably 4+ of those years), she was with her abusive first adoptive placement 2 1/2 years.  So any family she's been with that abused her were the only longer placements than us.  Her non abusive ones were shorter, of course she still has extreme anxiety.

One of the paramedics though commended me on how I was trying to handle the situation while waiting as we talked about what was going on preceding the call.

so scary though and I'm one exhausted momma!!

(and today we got bad news on the little sis, so now I'm wondering if they triggered each other Sunday or if it's because it's so close to traumaversary time)

Monday, April 27, 2015

School and Foot Update

Kiddo had her appointment today to follow up on her foot. She's been taken out of school for the rest of the school year. She will be starting physical therapy in May and target date for boot to come off is May 27th.

She has to do physical therapy until she can walk with no crutches and no limp, so hoping that she does better than I did at her age when I broke my leg.

Hubs has been doing physical therapy for his shoulder and BFF is getting ready to restart physical therapy on her knee, which has not been getting better. They're going to try to get appointments together and all go together.

Should be an interesting summer with 3 of our household (yes, I consider BFF part of the household) recovering.

Kiddo is not particularly sad about not going back to school this year. I wonder how she'll feel when she remembers that when she goes back next year, boyfriend will not be there, because he'll be in high school next year and she still has a year of middle school left.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sibling Visit

Baby sis's parents reached out to us last week and said that she'd accepted Christ at church the week before and they were letting her have a small party to celebrate that and how much better she's done with her boundaries since being hospitalized.

We went and were the only ones that showed up for the party, but I don't think she was too upset, given that she said kiddo was the main person she wanted there.

The visit went well.

For the first time on one of their visits they actually referred to their past, specifically birth cousins.  I hope that is a sign that they are starting to heal and move forward.

We had lunch together, the girls went in baby sis's room and played with her hamster and took selfies with kiddos tablet.  We talked to the parents awhile about her progress and plans for continued success and I felt really good when we left that baby sis is in her forever home.  We played farkle and then had cake and looked at photos together.

When baby sis found out we'd make a new lifebook for new beginnings and a baby book for kiddo, she asked her parents if they could do that too.  I think that's a good sign.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Post Sibling Phone Call

Kiddo got really stressed yesterday.

Thursday she had a phone call from her sister. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize something triggered her.

That's the first time I've ever not hung out to hear the whole conversation, so I asked her about it. She said baby sis told her about her hospital visit, only she described it as having to go to the hospital because she was bad.

Despite being so confident that she was there forever right after the hospital visit, now she's worried that she's not going to be there much longer and that she feels like it's her fault things keep going wrong. It's no convincing her that she's not to blame.

We mailed baby sis some pictures, a letter and a bracelet.

I would never tell kiddo this, but I'm worried too, just not for completely the same reason.

Baby sis's family is having a hard time, they've had to miss a bunch of work because of baby S's tantrums.  I can't imagine what life is like in their household, but missing work, not being able to be a stay at home parent and getting abused by your child, losing all your baby sitters because they all give up on her = a very hard life.

I hope they can find some solutions to help her calm down.

I've been worried sick about that kid.

and no, us having her if it falls through is not an option. Her behaviors have escalated to a point where I'd worry for kiddos safety. I know she'd never intentionally hurt her, but with that much unresolved anger, she could be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Visits are better.

I was aggravated and mad at kiddo last night because of the tantrum our child had at dinner.  As soon as kiddo was out of sight, hubs whispered "she's not giving you a hard time, she's having a hard time, remember that" and then "at least she's not XYZ (insert S behavior here)".  I had to laugh and yes, I calmed down.

Today babygirl wrote us each a small note and requested one from us. She also drew me a peace sign and cut it out and hubs a heart with daddy on it.

My note said: "Momma, I love you, no matter what I say" and asked for a kiss.

Therapy Update

Pychiatrist said last visit that babygirl would need her therapy upped while she's out of school because of the lack of peer interactions while she's out of school.

It really surprised me because I don't see that at all. On the contrary, she's overall been calmer since being out of school.

I took her to therapy this week and the therapist said she thinks he's barking up the wrong tree, that that is generally true for most kids, but for kiddo she could see that being the opposite.

It was a fairly good session.

She whined a little about baby sis not calling her the last few times she was scheduled to call.  The therapist said "I thought you were the big sister, why would you wait on her to call?" Her answer was PERFECT!! She said "I know my momma and daddy will let me call anytime I want, she still needs to learn that about her parents, so I let her call me so she can learn that they'll keep the communication going.

I thought I'd cry. That was perfect.

We also talked about the dad stuff and the food stuff.

Therapist says that kiddo is secure that we will feed her and that she'll never be hungry again and that she suspects it's an emotional eating disorder, not just the fear of not having enough driving the binging and hoarding of food.

Dad stuff is scheduled for next session. She still has a fear of men in general.  Last night it was hot in her room and she wouldn't let me turn her ceiling fan on. She said it's scary at night, and not in the day.. Hubs said the fan's movement looks like somebody hovering above her bed, so that makes sense.

Oddly enough, right after we got home from therapy, I had a message from baby sis's mom asking if she could call baby girl.  Yes!  Yes!!

(her sis sounds so adorable on the phone--I answered the phone and she sounded so cute and I said "I bet you want to talk to your big sister" and she said "Yes.....")

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Baby Sis Update

Baby sis has had a rough time lately and I hadn't been telling kiddo about it because I didn't want her stressing. Once they got past it, we let kiddo know the basics of what had happened and where things stand now.

Hardly any reaction at all. I was worried about a lash back later because of the lack of reaction.

This was yesterday.

Today, "momma, can you tell me what happened with her?" I went into a tad more detail, without going too deep to stress her out over stuff that wasn't really key to the story.  She smiled?


She said "MOMMA!! You know what this means!! This means that she FINALLY has a family that's going to stick it out!! They're not going to give up on her! She has a forever home"

Smiles and relaxed and she was good then.

Hoping this is a breakthrough for everybody and both girls anxiety levels will decrease as time goes on.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Family History

When we went to disclosure on kiddo before adopting, we were told family history was a mess, issues on both sides of the family, many overlapping.  We also got her DNA test done on 23andme (highly recommend)

There wasn't anything in the history that was off our list of acceptable, but it was more than the average number of issues.

Last week, baby sis's new parents let us know of a sad turn in things. They stuck it out and kiddo is back home safe and sound with them.

This week, we received an e-mail from baby girls ex-case worker.

The bio mother contacts the case worker fairly frequently to ask about the girls and get updates.  The social worker asks her for updates as well.

More added to the family history....1 of the items was on our no list, but even if kiddo ended up with it, we'd still love her like crazy.  23andme DNA testing has helped alieviate anxiety about things she may or may not end up with and shows what likelihood of ending up with certain things (low for her).  But, more importantly, even though their is a genetic component to the disorders mentioned, there also is an environmental component.  Studies show that a nurturing adoptive home can greatly reduce the risks of certain genetic risk factors.

It's always good to have info though.  It's maddening to fill out paperwork at the doctor and they ask you a question about something you can't answer and have to explain over and over again that she was adopted at 11, it's not like we have a complete history.

It's even more maddening to see kiddo triggered when the doctors staff says "Did her mom have....?" over and over. *I* am her momma, thank you very much. Show the respect to say birth mom and not stress kiddo out.  Usually after correcting the first few times, I just deal with it and kiddo tunes them out.

More history, less mystery. Opposite of love life, but perfect for adoption.

Baby pics and more

I'm so lucky to have baby pics of kiddo.  Her birth family gave her some baby pics and she had somebody work with her on a lifebook. Her foster parents and her first adoptive parents both added pics as well (although the last year of her life before us is missing).

I'm so grateful for this photos. I've made a baby book of all her photos and look at them on occassion and wish I could have held that cute baby when she was little and prevent all the bad stuff that happened from even happening and showing her love the way she should have known it.

Occassionally though, I'm wistful for weird things.

This week one of my friends kid lost her front teeth.

I found myself wishing that I had kiddos first tooth she lost, that first lock of hair, her homecoming outfit and other silly stuff.

What I do have and count my blessings for:

  • some baby pics I scanned from kiddos lifebook
  • weight and length at checkups for 9 mos, 13 mo, 15 mo, 3 yr, 8 yr and when she got her
  • copies of her baby footprints
  • copies of her first birth ceritifcate, second and final
  • a few milestone markers (1st step, first word, first crawled, first playmate, etc
Some of those things are things I use when she talks about when she was a baby and with us (reconstructing her past to make sense and to focus on the positives).  She'll say "Remember when I first crawled and went chasing Bonkers" and I'll respond with "Yes, you were so cute, 6 months old and the kitty would grab your diaper"

Kiddo used to look thru her lifebook alot, tell me stories about who and what happened when. It's put away for now behind me on the shelf for her to look at whenever she wants to, but she no longer does that. I know it'll be good for her to have though when she's ready and it's helped her make sense of her past and helped us bond as she knows we are not denying her past.

If you're just fostering and no intent to adopt, please help your kids out.  Help them with their lifebook if they don't have an assigned worker to do so, send them to their final home with lots of photos. Your kiddo will appreciate it one day.

Home Schooling

Kiddo is homebound until May 18th.

After a rough start to get things started, babygirl started school at home a little over a week ago. It's going well and I'm amazed at how much she's done.  What's amazing is how little time it takes to get the same thing accomplished. 2 hours at home = 7 hours at school.

I wish we could do this all the time, year round and eliminate some stress.

I guess it's not meant to be.  It would be good though.  If only I could be a stay at home momma and do this.

Her first paper was a success.  I love her writing. She wrote about huskies.  "When caring for a huskie puppy, you have to be prepared to lose some shoes and stuffed animals."

One of my favorite quotes.

Easter Bunny

Babygirl forgot that last Sunday would be Easter, I reminded her Saturday and she said "Oh, I forgot" Not surprising with all the craziness.

Sunday morning she wakes up and says "Momma, did the Easter bunny visit?"

It was funny. Arlo started going bonkers at 2 am.

I asked her didn't she hear Arlo chasing the bunny in the middle of the night. She said she was zonked and didn't hear a thing.

Her loot:

The dress and luggage are from us. The basket of goodies were from the bunny.

I went out the day before for the dress. Things have been so hectic we hadn't had an opportunity to get things.  I asked kiddo if she wanted to go. She declined and it was a good thing. Rue 21 just came to our area a couple weeks ago and it was a zoo in there. Baby girls anxiety would have either been thru the roof or she would have used her crutches to clear the way.

The luggage is because BFF is going on vacation with us this year and that way they can not go thru our luggage picking out her outfits. She can be like BFF for the weekend.

It was a nice, lazy day. We did absolutely NOTHING!! I apologized for not having planned something and she said "Oh, this was PERFECT!!"

Good memories, good days, love spoiling the baby.