Our little foster baby is almost 6 months old, where has the time gone?! Of course anything can happen in the foster care world, but at this point we are tentatively thinking that she will be our keeper baby, which also means that she is our last baby we will have. I’m finding myself feeling a lot more sentimental about the material parts of babyhood as she outgrows them, putting those premie/newborn/0-3 clothes in the donate pile may or may not have brought a couple tears. That’s big stuff for me since I’m usually the heart of stone type person! I suppose the flip side of this is that I’m content to let the slow snuggly days pass as they are without wishing she’d hit whatever milestone I think would make the days easier. I definitely cheered and took a video, or tried to, at the first laugh, the first roll, etc., but I’m not rushing it like I did with Ali. She’s the best baby ever, so enjoying these baby days are easy. With Ali, there was a lot of hormonal and first time mom stuff going on. The baby days were precious, but not very enjoyable. There was so much anxiety about everything from the simple stuff like leaving the house to the hard stuff like sleep. The boys were older when they came to live with us. 13 and 26 months is still babyish, but they weren’t babies. Plus they had some serious physical and emotional stuff that impacted that whole first year they were with us that typical children don’t have.
This baby though…she’s perfection. She’s eating and pooping and growing like a champ. She rides in the car without screaming. She’s smiley and happy most of the time. She is content to play with toys or coo and babble with her best friend the ceiling fan. And, brace yourself people, she sleeps through the night! I guess I paid my no sleep dues with the other three, the universe must have taken pity on me and granted me one of those unicorn sleeping babies. Or, it was all the pot mom smoked while pregnant and she’s not sober yet. Either way I’ll take it.
The other three are doing well. The boys still aren’t fully adopted, that probably won’t happen until next fall-ish. Parent’s rights were recently terminated, which is good at least! The department of children’s services here in Indiana has been on the news quite a bit recently, some shakeups at the top with leadership and some scrutiny from the media on the huge number of kids in foster care, well above regional and national averages. The opioid crisis has hit us hard, lots of addicts having babies and all the complications and misery that comes with that. But, a big factor is how the courts drag their feet with bio parents. The boys’ case is a prime example. Every service provider from about 4 months in has been adamantly against reunification. Bio parents have not done their services, have had criminal involvement, have had very few clean drug screens, haven’t had visits in over a year and a half. Case will still be active for about 3 years, it’s crazy. Oh well. Even though the legal piece isn’t in place yet, they are our boys, our sons, our daughter’s brothers. The legal part is important, but not (usually) relevant in our daily life.
Ali is still equal parts awesome and naughty. I get that her strong will and stubbornness will make her a total boss-lady someday, but I wish she’d just fucking calm down and follow the rules sometimes. Kurt, the older boy hates being in trouble so he doesn’t push the limits very often. Kasey, the younger boy, does crazy stuff like get up and make toast at 3am, stuff that you’re not sure whether to praise or scold him. Seriously, his midnight snacking was crazy for a minute. He’s a sneaky little ninja so I’m sure there was a lot we didn’t know about, but the smell of toast alerted us to that one, and a falling box of macaroni alerted us to the time we found him in the pantry scarfing down twinkies. He earned himself an alarm on the door, seems to have stopped it all. Ali though? She’s just plain naughty. ‘No’ is her word of choice these days. She balances it out with saying ‘I love you mommy’ just as much, which is her saving grace. That and how damn cute she is, who can stay mad at a face like this?