Thursday, December 21, 2006

Off-topic: The WWW is cool.

The ClustrMap on the right side of the blog tells me that there were 25 vists to this site yesterday. And almost 1700 visits since 10/20/06.
I assume this is not unique visits, but also I think it's not counting when one person refreshes a million times (I do this all the time....)

So Chez FosterMoms has been viewed by people from all over mainland U.S., plus Hawai'i. We're big in Edmonton (I think), and have a hit from either northern Manitoba or southern Nunuavut (which is pretty darn cool). Someone likes us in western Australia, as well as somewhere in the U.K.
There are scattered hits from Portugal, Spain, Japan, New Zealand, various other European countries and somewhere in southern Asia...I'm not good with my geography around there and the map is pretty darn small.

I'm just impressed that so many people, all over the world, seem to be relatively interested in what we have to say here at Chez Fostermoms. Hopefully we can continue to write posts of interest, including, but not limited to, the emotional rollercoasters of foster care and private adoption. I've got a few ideas percolating.
If y'all have any requests, please let us know and we'll be more than happy to write about whatever you'd like to read.

And, please, keep writing on your own blogs. I learn so much from everyone else, all over the world.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Brand new rollercoaster!

We got a call from our adoption agency this afternoon!
They're presenting us to a potential birth mom (and possibly dad) tomorrow morning. The baby was born yesterday! They were calling to make sure we're ready - we just got on the list last week!

We're READY!

Okay, so the house is kinda messy and it would suck if I had to take maternity leave from my job right now, and all that kind of stuff, but...BABY!!

I have no idea how long it will take for the family to make a decision, so each hour is going to be excruciating.... And they might not choose us, obviously. That's fine. It's just sooo exciting to be being presented!!

By next week, we could be coming home with our baby!
(In our state, the surrender isn't final for 30 days, so the baby wouldn't be ours until after that 30 day period, but we're happy to take that risk. It's like having a foster baby for 30 days.)
Update: The mom decided to parent. Now it's back to waiting. I suspect this could happen a few times before our baby finally comes to us. I hope it's soon, though.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

We called to confirm, and were able to see Niblet this weekend and for an overnight. She had a great time. We had a great time. She gave a big squeal of delight when she saw us come to pick her up, which always makes me feel good. Her parents seemed pretty happy to get a break, as well - gee, Niblet, a handful? Never! :)

She's still doing really well, overall. Her babbling is different everytime we see her, and I can only assume that's a good thing. Practicing different sounds and all that. She still uses the signs that we taught her and I assume she uses them with her family, because I doubt she saves it all up for us. She's 18 months old, so everything is "MORE!" Her parents still haven't sent her with a change of clothes, so we had to send her back in her dirty things, but that's not so horrible. They probably change her when she gets home, anyway. We did have to send her with a fresh undershirt, because she had a blowout in her diaper and we didn't have time to run a load of laundry - ick!

The only thing we've slightly worried about is that she seems to be losing weight. It's very, very possible that she's just in a growth spurt and she's gotten taller, and she just hasn't plumped out again. She's very thin naturally and she eats constantly, so it's probably really hard to keep her fed enough to accommodate a big growth spurt without getting a thin time. Or she's just not getting enough to eat.
Fortunately, she has a doctor's appointment today. Hopefully they have her old records so they can see if her growth curve is healthy. Her parents are caring towards her, so I'm sure they're not feeding her too little on purpose or anything like that. The doctor will tell them to feed her more, and hopefully give her another prescription for vitamins, and she'll be fine.
She also drank 12 ounces of water from a sippy cup in the first hour we had her at our house...and didn't pee until 7 hours later...but overnight she had a hugely wet diaper, so she's not dangerously dehydrated. And it's not something we can really talk to her parents about, so that's that. I'm sure they give her juice and water and milk. It's just possible that she had salty food for breakfast before we picked her up. Or didn't have a bottle overnight. Or any number of things.

It's just very hard to not be in control. While we had her, we filled her up with as much food as she wanted, we gave her tons of liquids, and we made sure her food was high in good fats. Less than 24 hours of that isn't going to be enough if she's lacking, but it's better than nothing and all we can do.

To top it off, she wasn't particularly excited to see her dad when we dropped her off. She fussed at our leaving and I gave her a final kiss and left. She was fine, but obviously wasn't ready to go back home. It's really hard to know that she's still very bonded to us. We could take her back permanently and she probably wouldn't be very upset about it at all. It also didn't help that she decided that I was the one who wasn't allowed to leave her sight this time. Fostermama was great and wonderful, but it was okay if she left the room. If I left the room and was caught doing so, she cried at me until I brought her with me. So she watched me pee, went with me to fetch things, etc, even though fostermama was available to play with her. It's sweet and loving, but it doesn't make it any easier to bring her back home to her family.

So hopefully we'll get back on an every-week visiting schedule. And hopefully we'll be able to schedule around Christmas and New Year's. Though we'd certainly be happy to take her for New Year's. We're not the partying types, and often have trouble staying up until midnight, so it probably would be more fun to have Niblet over and go to bed early.

It's hard not to assume a future with Niblet, in some way or another. But, really, losing her to begin with is the worst disappointment I could have ever had, so if I plan for things that don't end up happening, it's not like I could feel any worse. That's the spirit, right?

Happier Week

We saw Niblet yesterday!! Yay!!

We 3 had much much fun.
I called her dad to confirm on Saturday, and he was more coherent and relaxed than he's ever been with us, and when we picked her up on Sunday he and her mom were joking around telling Niblet "now don't come back" and saying "good riddance" - in other words, "yeah, we're ok with you taking her and it's helpful for us to get a break - see you all tomorrow." :)

We hung out at home and played and played and then went out for a walk to the grocery store for apples for saucing. It was latke night at our weekly potluck, so we brought home-made sauce. I've never seen people eat that volume of sauce in such a short time! Yay! Of course, Niblet ate like 1/3 of it! She was a vacuum!

We are a bit concerned because she seems lighter/skinnier, and she was dehydrated when she showed up. Drank like 12 oz of water in less than an hour, and she's never been much of a water drinker in the past. But, her dad mentioned when we picked her up that they were taking her to the doctor this morning so hopefully she's getting her 18 month check-up and she'll get weighed and everything. She's not skin and bones or anything, and she's actually got less of a cold than she's had for the past 2 months, so that's good. And we'll keep an eye on her and say something if we have to.

She took a good long nap, and then we went to potluck and she totally loved seeing all her peeps and eating tons of lots of different foods. She was SOOO sleepy when we left, and cried most of the way home (luckily only about 10 minutes) and once we got home because all she wanted was to be asleeeeep. She fell asleep fast but it was 30ish minutes before I could successfully put her down, especially cuz when she first fell asleep she pooped! :P

This morning we got her up and dressed and breakfasted, and she was all grinning and sweet, and we dropped her off at home and then went off to work.

I was smiling big as I walked away down the street (I work 2 blocks from her house). Yay for a good visit!

Monday, December 04, 2006

How it's going at Chez Fostermoms

Today, not so well.
This weekend was supposed to be our regular, weekly visit with Niblet. We showed up at the set time and her father seemed surprised to see us and said that Niblet has a bad cold and couldn't visit with us. He did say that next week is fine.

It was very disappointing. I wish he'd called. I wish we'd thought to call. I think I'm scared to call ahead of time because I feel like it gives him an out. Like we would call and say "just confirming for tomorrow" and he could say "oh, actually, don't come."

It's silly, in some regard, because although he does seem to not be clear on the "every week" thing, he's never been evasive or seemed like he wanted to call it off. And if he did, he could call it off whether or not we called him first.
Since Niblet's mom is back in the picture, we're also afraid that she'll decide that Niblet shouldn't see us anymore, or as often, and that will change things.

Really, of course it's fine that Niblet's sick and of course she should stay home and feel better. It's just that it brings up everything all over again.
She's not our baby. We don't get to wipe her nose and help her get better. We have to wait for her parents to let us visit with her.

And it just sucks.
So fostermama and I fell into the hole. The hole filled with grief and depression. The hole filled with "it's not fair!" The hole that hides the alternate world where we adopted Niblet and raised her ourselves. The hole where we hide all these feelings and wait for them to disintegrate, slowly.

On the bright side, we're now on the list with our adoption agency. We're ready to be presented to prospective birth mothers. And, probably next week, we're going to get on the foster care list. One way or another, we need another baby to love up 24/7. And soon. We've enjoyed our time off, but now it's become more often painful instead of relaxing, so that means it's time for a baby.

Another ride on the roller coaster, I guess.