Yes, blame it on NaBloPoMo.  If ever an abbreviation hooked me, it’s this one.

Not as if I don’t have material out my ears to blog about.  It’s the time, see, that’s a rare commodity around here.

So here’s a quickie:

Is the “beeping” Aaron’s been hearing since last night

a. a side effect of the ADD med he started four days ago?

b. an early indicator of ear infection?

c. an auditory hallucination (Lord, please help me if he’s started hallucinating…)

d. ringing in his ears from all the intense roaring he did while trick-or-treating?  Note that he was Spiderman;  I have no idea why the kid decided to roar/scream at every house.

For the time being, I’m keeping him on the meds.  Time will tell us soon if it’s an ear infection, and if he damaged his own hearing from his own silliness, well, I don’t know what I’ll do.  Ditto hallucinating.  Phone call to the doctor by the end of the week, I’m sure!

 

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I know this is a big risk for privacy, but there’s no other way to blog about it…

today is Aaron’s birthday.  He is 7 years old and tickled pink.  We are giving him all sorts of hugs, making his favorite cake, his favorite dinner, and he is picking the activities for the day (train museum, here we come!)  He is so HAPPY and honestly, because I was focused on his birthday, I’d forgotten completely the 9/11 anniversary until someone mentioned it at church.

It’s nice to have a joyful distraction.  I love making his day like this – his joy just multiplies through us all.

This morning, I saw a parallel universe, where we weren’t foster parents.

It was after church.  Husband and Little Daughter were mixing up the pancakes in the kitchen, Junior and Big Daughter were playing a game on the floor, laughing with each other, and I was sitting on the couch, nursing Baby.

It was Rockwell-esque.  No trauma, no meetings, no caseworkers, no wacky bioparents.  Just us.

Comfortable, easy, tranquil.

I took a deep breath and enjoyed it.  Then I opened my mind and my ears, and listened for the sound of Aaron and Allie, in the front room, where they were playing with a tape player.  I let them back in to my reality and came back to this universe.

I’ve forgotten completely how it arose, or even what he was actually trying to say, but Aaron reportedly came out of the bathroom and told Husband:

“Guess why I’m real glad I’m a woman!”

The kid CRACKS ME UP.

 

So I had been under the impression that TPR would be initiated for Aaron and Allie this month.  Wrong.  Am I ever really in the loop about anything?

Without getting into too much detail, the judge has decided to stall on Aaron and Allie’s plan until something happens with their siblings;  that something would be either success or failure in reunification.  The siblings are in another foster home, and a specific plan has been set up to achieve reunification by a set date.  If it hasn’t happened by then, I’m assuming the siblings would also head to TPR.

BUT as far as I know,  Aaron and Allie are being fully recommended not to reunify.  So we are now just waiting, and it does make sense to wait, so any pre-adoptive families are fully informed about the family’s situation, and heck, maybe there is even someone who might want to adopt all of them.

And if their siblings do end up successfully reunified, maybe maybe Aaron and Allie might be able to attempt reunification.  I have no idea if the judge is thinking along those lines, but I am.

Is this confusing to you?  It is to me.

 

Aaron swam all the way across the pool by himself today!  His form was horrible and it took him 5 minutes, but he kept at it and I couldn’t be prouder.

 

I’m growing to appreciate Aaron and Allie’s counselor.  She’s a bit too analytical in my opinion.  For example, she theorized Aaron likes to put his parents on speaker phone because he’s afraid to ‘be’ in a place alone with them, i.e. the phone conversation.  Really, he just likes to press buttons.

But on other areas, she’s spot on, and the kids enjoy their time with her.  I also like that her approach is not focused on helping them, but helping Husband and me help them.  When you’re dealing with little ones like this, that makes so much more sense than individual counseling.

We’ve focused most of our sessions on Aaron and his feelings/communicating, but I think we’ll need to spend some more time with Allie.  There has got to be more emotion in her than she lets out, and, I believe, more resentment towards Husband and I than her smile lets on.  She loyally idolizes her parents.  She also burst into tears a few days ago when Junior told her she lived here.  Even after 5 months, it still pains her intensely at times.

We’ll keep building this relationship as we prepare for the impending biggest pain of their lives.

Nothing like your car catching on fire to ruin a vacation.

But we muddled through, and really, looking back, everyone in the family, kids included, made great choices even under stress, and we handled the crisis as best we could have.  And although 3 of our 6 vacation days were spent dealing with stupid car issues, the other 3 were much fun!

And I think we managed to avoid sounding too incompetent to the kids’ parents and to the caseworker.  Even though the car problem we encountered was pretty random and not something that results from, say, avoiding repairs or whatnot, it still makes me feel stupid to have had it happen.

The extended family we visited was so wonderful and especially welcoming to Aaron and Allie.  The night before we had to leave, Aaron was seriously trying to talk our host into letting him live at her house.  And on the road home, he told me it was a sad car ride because we were leaving them.  But once we got back to our house, he told me he was glad he came back.  What a sweetheart.  His emotions are so real and honest, no manipulation involved at all.

So, we are home.  We did get a new ride – we had to buy it while there, but we like it, it fits us all, and it should suit us for a while.

Back to the regularly scheduled daily whirlwind.

Big news:  Aaron and Allie’s case was transitioned to the TPR-track.  Near the end of the summer, we’ll have a hearing to either do a voluntary TPR or move to trial.  It seems no one knows for sure what Mom and Dad are going to do.

None of this is a surprise, but to have it actually happening makes me mentally hyperventilate.  I am overwhelmed by how many ways the future could go – kids could go to a relative, but if not, we’ll be asked if we want to adopt (!!!!) and if we don’t, they’ll stay with us but for who knows how long??  It could take years to find an adoptive family??  No matter what, we’re going to be helping them transition to a new forever family.   And right now, they still ask when they get to go home to Mom and Dad.

Yep, definitely overwhelming.

For the time being, we’ve started both of them seeing a counselor.

I’m trying extra hard to stay sensitive to their feelings and thoughts.

And we’re going on a nifty little road trip for a week.  I think it will be fun.  Maybe take my mind off more serious matters.

But somehow, I bet as I watch them enjoying the events in our journey, I’ll be wondering “Is this my future?  Someone else’s?  Where do these kids belong?”

 

 

Something has happened to Aaron.

Something that makes him poop every day, sometimes more than once, in his underpants.

It started roughly two weeks ago, but I haven’t been keeping a very good diary, so I don’t know for sure.

While it is dang annoying, in the way poop in the wrong place can be, I haven’t stressed about the actual cause.  It’s been small amounts, not complete evacuations.  He doesn’t seem to notice until someone calls it out, and given his improvements in other areas, I figured he is just regressing a little in this one, and he’ll eventually get back to normal.  The simplest explanation is the most likely, I’ve always believed.

I was reticent to let Mom know, because I suspected, rightly, that she would way overanalyze it.  She frequently medicalizes problems and makes small issues much bigger than they need be.  It’s not quite pathological, but close.

So she’s discussed with me at great length that it could be stress (a minor cause, sure), his new medicine (unlikely), the medical problem that necessitated the medicine (very unlikely) and/or attention seeking (maybe, but he’s not the kind to seek negative attention.)  And she’s been discussing it every night for several minutes with him on the phone.  Aaron, the kid who usually stops paying attention before you even finish answering his questions.  Ay ay ay.

But I thought of something yesterday, and maybe we’re both wrong.

He takes his new meds three times a day, sprinkled on applesauce.  My theory is adding 1/2 cup applesauce a day to a small boy’s diet is too much on his bowels.  So we’ve switched to yogurt, and hopefully, in a few days, the pooping will have stopped.