Looks like it’s time for my quarterly post!
So things are exactly the same and also totally different from the last time I checked in. The boys are still here and there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that we will be adopting them sometime this coming year. Well, the birth parents (is birth parents the pc term these days? I’m trying to read some adoptee/adopter blogs and it seems like it’s controversial?) might think things aren’t heading that way, but the rest of the team does. For some reason the boys’ mom and the one dad involved think they can scramble and put forth a tiny bit of half assed effort into services they are supposed to participate in at the last minute, all the while continuing their spice/alcohol/weed/opiate habits, and will get their kids back no problem. I don’t get it, but whatever. Jen and I are still nice to them, I accepted mom as a fb friend, albeit on a restricted list, and I pack a lunch every time Kurt has a visit with dad even though I’m not supposed to, dad is supposed to feed him, and I don’t complain to the social workers about anything, I send mom pics and updates whenever she asks and sometimes just because, I shrug off the weird lies they come up with about us and when they badmouth us to the kids and social workers. I’m trying to go high when they go low (thanks Michelle Obama for the great quote!). It ain’t always easy, but I’m trying.
The boys are both doing great these days. We had a few bumps in the road when Kurt started supervised visits with his dad again after not seeing him for about four months. Things have evened out and we are just resigned to having a new normal with his behavior and accepting that Kurt is just occasionally going to be aggressive with other kids and withdrawn at home until visits stop again. It’s frustrating that dad’s right to see him trumps Kurt’s right to feel safe, secure, and happy. His therapist has commented more than once that she’s never seen visits with a parent impact a kid so negatively before, but what can you do? Another instance of children being second class citizens I guess. Aside from all that mess, Kurt is such a great kid. He’s really thriving at school, we often get reports of how smart he is and how good he is at figuring things out and working with his hands. Oh, and he’s totally potty trained! I’m so proud of him (and me) for getting past the diaper thing. God I hate diapers…
Our little dude, Kasey, is also doing well. He’s 22 months, and is entering stinker mode right on schedule. The only delay he has left over from his previous life is language, and we are right on the edge of catching up there. We have had problems with getting his insurance ironed out, but finally got it and was able to get him in to see a specialist who deals with the physical aftermath of abuse and neglect. Poor dude may or may not have some lifelong issues in a few areas due to malnutrition/abuse, but if he does they will thankfully be minor. He too is doing really well in school. He loooves his teacher and has a little girl who is his best friend, I guess they are always together hanging out. He’s entering the ‘me do it’ independence phase which can be challenging, but is also pretty cute. Thankfully his language is catching up so he can sort of tell us what his tantrum is over when he’s throwing one. Silver linings, right?
Ali is three now, do I even need to say anything more? Total threenager all the way. With her, the highs are higher than ever before and the lows are lower than ever before. She’s simultaneously the sweetest, most thoughtful little girl and the meanest, sassiest little girl I know. She kisses her brothers’ boo boos and cheers them on when they are struggling with something and grabs them snacks and drinks before getting stuff for herself, right after she knocks them down and steals their toy and refuses to let them sit anywhere near her and tells them they stink. The balance seems to be shifting more towards nice Ali and away from evil Ali, but her evil side still takes over some days. If I’ve learned anything these 3 years parenting it’s that nothing lasts very long, so at least I know this too shall pass.
Apparently someday I’ll forget all the unpleasant stuff and look back on the toddler years with rose colored glasses and nostalgia, just like I’ve blocked out all the sleepless nights and nipple pain of the newborn phase when I wistfully wish for another baby. And I’m totally wishing for another baby! I want one more, but I only want to take a newborn so it may or may not be difficult through the foster system. If I wasn’t so darn old and if I didn’t loathe being pregnant, I’d just go ahead and do IVF and have another one.
And what about me? How am I doing? Mostly ok. All the separate pieces of my life are amazing and fantastic, put all together it’s a little overwhelming and exhausting. I love learning so school is good. I really love my job, I’m discovering that I’m an ICU nurse at heart which is super cool. The kids are so much fun, I’m loving the new adventures that come with not being babies anymore. My marriage is solid, we spend a lot more time laughing than fighting. It’s the schedule I have to have to fit all that in that makes life a slog sometimes, school all week and working all weekend doesn’t leave a lot left for loafing around and spending time together as a whole family. This is another area where I have to keep the ‘this too shall pass’ mentality to keep myself going. And, unlike the nebulous sometime soon that accompanies stages with the kids, I have a specific date when things will change. Come on May 2017!