Monday, April 13, 2015

Here We Go Again...

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Do you want to hear something really embarrassing about me? A psychic once said I would marry a good man, the one I was with (which was Ritchie) and that we would soon buy our first home (which we did) and that we would have 3 children, 2 biological and 1 adopted. Because the first two things happened pretty soon after his predictions, I naturally believed the third one to be true as well. When we found out Ben was a boy, I knew right then that was all part of the "plan". We had two boys and would adopt a girl and be done! Wow! Psychics really can predict the future!

Fast forward 2 years. We're in the adoption process and then BAM. Pregnant. A third biological child. Psychics make for terrible birth control. Okay, so we'll have 4 kids! No big deal! On with the plan with one minor hiccup. 

Fast forward 7 months. We decide to move to Washington. We knew this would alter our adoption plans to some degree. We'd have to redo our home study (which we'd have to do when Crosby was born anyway) and Ritchie took a significant pay cut when we moved, so saving money to continue the adoption would be slower. 

Fast forward 2 months. Crosby is born and we find out he has a heart condition. We don't know what the next year looks like for him and we're scared and overwhelmed and all we know is we definitely cannot handle two small children with medical needs. We change our adoption medical profile to be a girl who also has a minor heart condition, which keeps us on track for adoption but extends our time to be matched by 12-18 months. 

Fast forward one year. Crosby is one. He has had no changes in his condition and hasn't required surgery. Once he reached the one year mark, his chances for needing surgery immediately went down. We're also understanding and more comfortable with what it looks and feels like to have a child with a medical need. Once you get past the shock, it feels more manageable to us. I start really having the desire to complete our adoption. 

Conversations begin to open up again. Ritchie and I both have the heart for adoption, we always have. We'd both LOVE to welcome another child (a girl, because, frankly, there's enough boys around here) into our family. The problem now is that we'd need to come up with over $20,000 to complete our adoption. We could do that, but it would take a few years and put a lot of other financial goals on hold. 

We've discussed other avenues of adoption before and nothing ever felt quite right to us until now. Very recently we opened the discussion again of fostering to adopt. I've reached out to other families doing this in our community and have heard some amazing stories and felt really inspired. Ritchie immediately opened up to this idea and, last week, we turned in our application to be licensed for fostering and adopting locally. 

There are many, many, amazing things about fostering. Opening your home to children in need of love and support during a frightening time is rewarding and teaches our own children about community and compassion. That said, this journey will not be without struggles. I'm not wearing my rose colored glasses here. I'm mentally preparing myself for the largest devastation my heart has ever endured. My biggest fear is falling in love with a child and then having to give her back to her birth mom/dad/grandparent. This will likely happen. A good foster parent IS attached to their foster child and has a child attach to them as well. This is part of the process.  It may happen a few times before we're placed with a child whose parents will have their rights terminated so that we can adopt. 

This will not be easy. So many logistics. Parent visits, phone calls, readjusting to a new child, then saying goodbye, then welcoming another one. We're open to newborns, so we're facing sleepless nights again. Tons and tons of unknowns. We will not know that the little girl we have will be ours forever until the courts finalize everything. Up until that last minute, it could always change. 

There's all of that, yes. HOWEVER, I hold out hope that one day we WILL adopt a girl who needs a family and our family will be complete and all of that heartache and headache and pain and hoop jumping will be 100% worth it. I know that ultimately we will not regret one moment of this decision. 

And so... here we go again. This life, 3 boys and foster care and adopting locally and maybe even an open adoption. This was all NOTHING I had ever dreamed of. And certainly the psychic never saw this coming! But, here we are. I'll update more as I know more, but for now we're just working on getting licensed. We should be done by September and welcoming our first placement of a little girl up to three years of age by the end of this year. 

For now, we hang on tight and enjoy the ride. And we stop trusting psychics. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Crosby is ONE

Our cute baby turned ONE a few weeks ago. What can I say about this unexpected joy that we have in our life?

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Okay, first let me tell you about the day! We took the boys to a kangaroo farm and got to see a ton of awesome animals and have a lot of interactions with them. It was a really cool experience.

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The big boys got most of the action that day since Crosby was in the carrier, but he did LOVE looking at the animals and got to touch a kangaroo and a mule.

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After lunch and nap we took the kids to Build-A-Bear, which is a tradition for us on each first birthday. The kids all still have their animals from when they turned one. Crosby chose the "Thin Mint Bear" which was pretty ridiculous, but it was the only one he got excited about.

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Then we had dinner and cake and called it a day! It was SO much fun celebrating as a family of 5.

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Crosby is the funniest little guy. He's energetic and stubborn and determined. He scoots along with one hand a leg all day long, opening cabinets, pulling out toys and snacks and racing to get to splash in the dog water. He LOVES to be around his brothers and isn't intimidated by them in any way. He holds his own. He's pulling himself up more and more, but I do think he'll be our latest walker and predict he'll start around 16 months. He's our strongest communicator for this age. He says, "dada, mama, ni-ni (night night), ball, uh-oh, and whoa" he signs for "more" and "all done" but mostly just grunts and stares and points until we cave and give him more or clean him up :) Sadly, he is NOT a smuggler, but he does give the world's best kisses. He loves animals, including his stuffed animals. He showers them with more affection than any human. He's about 21 pounds now and is the tiniest of our children for his age. His heart has remained unchanged since birth which is great for us! We get to just keep waiting to do anything more about it, and for now, I'll take that!

I never pictured my life with three boys, and Crosby was nowhere in our plans, but I'm SO freaking happy that life doesn't usually go according to my plans. Crosby is a gift to our family and we all love him SO SO SO much!

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Happiest of birthdays to you, my sweet boy.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

What I Read: March

I listened to this through Audible and the author was the narrator. It was an AMAZING listen. I highly recommend listening to it. The author is a minister and it's very religious, but even if that's not your thing, don't let it put you off. His work with gang members in Los Angeles is important and makes anyone want to move forward in life with a more compassionate heart. 

This was a YA book about a girl who dies and her mother seeks out why/how because she doesn't believe the results of the initial investigation on her daughter's death. I liked how the story wove itself together and it was a quick, easy mystery read if you're ever in the mood for that sort of thing! 

This was my book club book for the month. I've read a lot of Jodi Picoult and have always really loved the way she tells stories and this book was no exception! Such a great read and with a surprising element of elephant grief that I didn't expect to like, but really did. 

Yikes, I think I'm officially behind with my reading again! March was redo the kitchen month so reading got pushed a bit. Time to pick up speed! 

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