Sunday, August 22, 2010

Belly Pics and a Camel

Ok, here's the long-awaited Blueberry-belly pics. It's not much to show right now, but it's all I've got.

For comparison, here's 16 weeks, when I first started taking pictures. This is really how I looked pre-pregnancy, I would just never have shown a picture of my gut looking this big!

Here's 19 weeks

And a view from the inside

Now, 20 weeks (taken today)

(Yeah, I realize I am arching my back, but people have been giving me a hard time for not showing very much, so I was overcompensating!)

And finally, have you ever seen a lump of hay that was in the same shape of the camel who was sitting next to it?


Well here you go.

You can't say I never gave you anything.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Happy Five Years to Us

To my husband, my precious gift of grace from God. You bring so much joy to my life. I'm thankful beyond words for the five amazing years we've enjoyed together so far. And to think....

This is just the beginning!

I love you. Happy Anniversary.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Get ready, baby!

Five years ago this morning, John and I were getting ready for our wedding rehearsal. We had a rehearsal breakfast instead of a rehearsal dinner, which I blogged about last year at this time. I promised I'd post pictures from that and I never did, so here's a few.

l-r: Mommy, Neelka (my sfam), me, Martha (my sis), Kim (my sil)
(sfam= sister from another mother)

In addition to being a rehearsal, we also had a time of praise and worship and had a time where people prayed over us, and gave us individual blessings, charges and prophecies. It was incredibly special. I was looking through our pictures to find a good one to show how awesome it was and it seems I have a very weird worship face. I look like I'm in pain. I'm really not. I don't have to worry about anyone ever using me on the cover of their worship CD, that's for sure! Anyway, so this is the only picture of us that I have from that time that you can't see my crazy pain-for-Jesus look. Also, I had gotten spray tanned the day before and it hadn't quite faded yet, so I have an orange tint in most of the pics!

Speaking of pictures.

Today, five years later, we're going to get another very special picture. This time I don't have to worry about my hair, makeup or weird expressions.

This is the day we get our first picture of our Baby Blueberry! (!!!!!)

This weekend, we're taking a little local vacation, so I probably won't get a chance to post it until Sunday. Please do try to breathe and find something else to think about in the meantime.

PS. We took Boy D to be with his aunt and uncle Thursday. It was a joyous and smooth transition for them, but his parents seemed to be pretty shaken up. I believe they're all a journey to a better future for Boy D.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I'm Proud

I'm proud of my husband. Friday was a tough day for me and he put on his hero cape and made it all better.

By noon, Boy D had managed to push every single one of my buttons by breaking ALL of the few, simple rules we have established for his benefit. Don't go downstairs without an adult, don't open the doors without an adult, don't touch things that aren't yours, we only pee in the potty, and the toilet paper goes in the potty, not the trashcan.

So, you can do the math and figure out why I broke down and decided we needed a leather couch. Between the constant battle with Mocha hair, baby spit-up and little kid "messes", it just was the best option.

John has wanted a leather couch since we got married, so before my tale of woe of the horrible day was over, he was online, finding deals. And what a deal he found!

He found this $750 leather couch for $250 in DC, just a few blocks away from our church. He talked the owner down to $200, rounded up some friends to help move it up and our old couch down, and had our old couch on Craigslist and sold by Sunday night (don't worry, I had it dry cleaned and de-messed)! And sold for $250 no less!

Did I mention the hero cape?

I will also add that I'm pretty proud of myself. On Friday, which was a pretty tough day if I didn't mention that, I actually planned for the week ahead. I knew I'd be going back to work for a 3-week Reserve tour on Tuesday and I'm no good at doing meals while I'm working if I don't plan for it. So, I made a meal plan and a shopping list, went to the local farmers market to buy fresh produce and the grocery store for everything else, and along the way decided to stop and vacuum the car while caring lovingly for a little boy who was pushing all my buttons.

Oh, it doesn't stop there! Between Friday and Sunday, I also prepared 4 meals, including a ratatouille and butternut squash soup I learned how to make in my cooking class. Both turned out delicious! I am so proud!

Maybe I should get my own little hero cape. Hmmm... On second thought, that plus the little horn I'm tooting might be a bit much!

How was your weekend?

PS. As for Boy D, we have a good wonderful friend who is going to come watch him starting tomorrow while I'm at work. His social worker is pretty confident that the paperwork to get him to his aunt's house will be finished by Thursday. If you pray, please pray for no glitches and that this little guy can go be with family soon!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

New Chapter

We started going to a new church about 3 months ago and have really been enjoying it. (I started this blog post 3 days ago and this is as far as I got. Not the best at multi-tasking right now!)

Last weekend, the sanctuary was getting worked on, so we had service in the park. Saturday night, a bunch of people from the church decided to camp in the park. We took Boy D, Mocha, a Jeep jammed with supplies and headed out.

We met tons of awesome new people. Well, I guess we're the new people, but still. We had been at our last church for almost 8 years and are still very close with alot of the people there and we love those pastors dearly, so we were praying for good connections and bonding with this new group. Prayers were answered!

It's interesting being the new people, though. And it's really interesting being the new people with a kid that nobody has seen you at church with and yet still looks kindof like you. With the babies, it was pretty obvious they weren't ours, and of course everyone at our last church knew about our "situation." The folks at the new church don't know the "us" who waited for years for a child. They just know the us with a baby on the way and a 5-yr-old foster child.

I loved watching and experiencing this Body embrace us and Boy D (and Mocha). I loved telling about our journey from infertility to foster care to now, loved sharing God's faithfulness and opening the door for hearing others' testimonies. It seemed that every other person had an experience with foster care and adoption, either their parents had done it when they were kids or it was a goal of theirs for their future.

It was sweet, too, watching Boy D taking pride and ownership of Mocha. She had basically adopted him, sleeping outside his door instead of ours and often I will find her cradling him and licking him like he is her puppy. She whines if he gets out of her line of sight too far and when he is upset, she gets anxious. So, at the campground, when the other kids would stop by to pet or admire her, Boy D jumped in to tell them all about her and encourage them to not be scared. I am so glad these two have each other!

Another thing that's been sweet to watch is the relationship with D and John. He thrives under male attention and John is so good at pouring it on. He has D help him with the Jeep and other manly chores and enthusiastically listens to his retelling of Thomas the Train's adventures. Every day. Some have mentioned (rightly so, I think) that they resemble each other.

(I think it's the ears!)

In closing, as challenging as this placement has been for me with the non-stop demands of a 5-yr-old boy and his emotional fragility, I am thankful for this new chapter in our lives. Nothing about our lives now would be as meaningful if it hadn't been for everything that's gone before and I know even now we are being readied for what's up ahead.

No closing question here, you have the night off. Feel free to comment, though!

Monday, August 2, 2010

An (un)invited heartache

Today was a little hard. It was hard for Boy D and it was hard for his parents. It was hard for me, too, but I'm not the point.

Taking care of this little guy has been a whole different set of joys and heartaches. For the past week, the hardest part of the day is bedtime. That's when he starts crying and asking for his mommy and daddy. A few nights ago, I thought it might help him to talk to them at bedtime, but the one night we tried it, it was even worse.

It's hard to hear him cry over a circumstance we can't do anything to make better. It's hard to hear his parents cry over a circumstance they can make better, but not on their own. So, we went back to talking to them after dinner when he's happy.

I took him for the first family visit today, where we met with his mom and dad at the county center. Although they seemed hesitant to talk to me at first, at the end of the visit, it seemed they opened up more. It's hard because they seem so ashamed, and I'm not exactly sure how to help them with that. So, I just kept things positive and raved about their son. We had made them cookies that he decorated and a card with some pictures in it from his week so far. He was very excited to give them these gifts, and they brought some of his clothes and toys and movies from home, so that was all good.

But this good thing came to an end, and they walked him out to my car. When he realized he was going with me and not them (even though we all tried to prepare him for it), he lost it. He was also confused about why they were taking the card and the cookies. For the rest of the day, not 20 minutes went by without him saying he wanted to go home and see his mommy and daddy. It was rough.

As for his future, he has an aunt in a neighboring state who has spent alot of time with him and is ready for him to come stay there. His CPS social worker has inferred that his parents, specifically his mom, have deeper issues than the one he was removed for. So, the plan is for him to go to his aunt as soon as the interstate approval process is done. That could be by the end of this week or next. And for his sake, I hope it's just as soon as possible. He needs to be with his family. We can do alot for him, but we can't replace them.

I promise I'll post a cheerier blog tomorrow with pictures from our weekend. I just felt like sharing this piece of the process, because it's much harder than with either of the babies. They warned us about this in our training, so at least we know what to expect. But nobody trains the kids or the parents for this. It just sucks.

Thanks for listening.
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