SOTU – Nov 2013

Three weeks since a post, I thought I’d check in with y’all.

Well, the facts are these, loosely ranked in order of immediacy:

Dad had heart surgery yesterday. So that’s a thing. I think the part yesterday wasn’t actually possibly the biggest deal… it’ll be trying to keep that man remotely still for the next 6 weeks. Good luck with that, y’all. I kind of had this image even of the surgery and the coming-out-of-anesthesia part, of that part of King Kong where they’re throwing all the big bottles of ether at his face and shooting ropes around him and he’s just like bashing stuff up and hollering and it takes like 90 people to get him down. Not sure how accurate that was. 🙂

Anyway, I went to see him last night, and it’s like you go through the ICU and see a lot of kinda wasted and crumpled-looking people, people who look like they might have been in a hospital for quite some time and who might be in a hospital for some time to come… and I mean no disrespect to those people. I am sure they have daughters and sons and spouses who love them just as much as my dad does, but you don’t go from Wrestler and Thrower of Toddlers to that overnight, or at least I hope you don’t. Anyway, we turned the corner of his room and there was My Dad, sitting up, cheeks pink, eyes sparkling, looking like My Dad, cracking jokes, and I was like yep, we’re fine.

In other news: Shushee gotta owee. Or so I have been told eighty-thousand times in the past couple of weeks. Susanna (my younger sister) got in a pretty substantial car wreck and then had to have kind of reconstructive surgery on her FACE, and so that’s also been, you know, a thing. In our family. The toddler is quite fascinated with this fact and now likes to diagnose virtually everyone in the family with an Owee onna Eye. She, too, is doing quite well and will be back as good as new in no time, although still down one car… (no collision coverage + totaled car = total loss.) So if you know anyone with an extra car sitting around…

Also: yes, the toddler’s language has kind of blown up in the past couple weeks. It’s pretty fun. He said his name yesterday! It’s not the easiest name to say. That was the first time I’ve heard it. There are things sometimes that I think he’s been saying for a while but I didn’t recognize them, and then all the sudden context clues kick in and I’m like OH! How long have you been saying that? Like Grandma, who apparently he has been talking about and asking for a lot longer than I realized. And yet she’s still something like “Hay-gawar,” because I think he is REALLY fixating on the “G-R” part. We’ll get there.

He is doing really well. He is quite comfortable with us and our house/routines now. It really is amazing how there was such a dramatic shift between the first month, when everything was freeze-or-meltdown, he never knew what to expect, he liked us ok but didn’t really settle into us, if you know what I mean, and his language acquisition seemed to be basically stopped. And then now, when I feel like in most cases I think he’s probably acting (and dare I say: feeling?) much like any other two-yr-old.

He’s funny, clumsy, sweet(-and-sour), (but mostly sweet), smart as a whip, studying and absorbing everything, eating nothing… The kid is ridiculously coordinated, clumsiness aside. I mean for a toddler. He can throw and kick like most 5-yr-olds can’t do yet. Make baskets in his little basketball hoop, I’d say more than half the time.

He LOVES reading. He will wake up from his nap and request a book, request that I “sheet” (“SIT”, YOU SICKOS) in the chair next to his crib, and we read side-by-side for like 45 minutes. I mean, yes, interactive reading. But still. And he could swing basically all day and all night if we’d let him. Omg also, he has this book where you look and find animals all over the place on each page (thanks, Davises!) and he knows like EVERY ANIMAL. It is insane.

His case is still… let’s say back-and-forth. Strange. They’re all strange, let’s be honest. Out-of-the-ordinary is the ordinary in this business. We knew that. At least, in his case, it ought to be decided on a shorter time frame than most of these are, which is about 12-18 mo. I am thinking it is more than likely (although not definite) that we will have a pretty good idea by year-end of whether or not we will adopt. Knock on wood. Jinx 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. Who knows, though, really.

How are we doing re: the baby? Well, fine, and then someone says “so, how are y’all with-” and points to a photo, and I melt down into tears, but then fine again the next day… I don’t know. I mourn, but honestly it is a sort of sweet mourning, as cheesy as that sounds. Like last night I basically got stuck standing in the middle of the kitchen for no reason just looking through photos of him for about half an hour, and it is simply nonsensical to my heart that there was a part of my life that included him and then it actually just ended, kaput, in one trip across our lawn and into the CPS worker’s car; there then gone. It is crazy. Does not make sense. But at the same time, it is good, as we all know.

I was talking to our friend Roy the other night about getting the toddler and the overlap in time, and how it was hard to see him so disoriented and displaced and not understanding it at all… and knowing that I was about to send the baby into exactly that same thing.

And these words came out of my mouth that actually I had not thought before, about how the baby was probably pretty deeply shaken and upset by the abrupt loss of the parents that he’d known. But that that probably lasted about a month, max. I mean there will always be ripple effects of that kind of trauma and loss early on, but he is an incredibly flexible kid and actually he knew his dad quite well – saw him 2 hrs/week for the whole 10 months.

So it was probably less than a month of being really upset and miserable, and then you know what? How do you weigh that against a year, 5 years, 10 years, 18 years, of him being with his biological family? You don’t, that’s how. That month of disorientation is traded for a childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, and adulthood that he WON’T (God-willing) have to feel displaced and confused about his bio parents and where he came from. Worth it? In this case, yeah, pretty sure.

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Posted in Fostering, Posts by Abbey

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