Court

10.31.17, Tuesday

Another month is finished and now we have seen the end of 4 months with our little guy.  So hard to believe that last October we didn’t even know this little man existed and now he has affected every area of our lives and been woven into our little family like he has always lived with us.

Friday is a big day for us, we have our first court hearing (Permanency Review hearing) with him.  Honestly we have no idea what to expect but we are going into it positive and praying for the best outcome.  We have left it in the Lord’s hands and know He will do what is best for EVERYONE!  Our appointment is first thing in the morning but we have been warned that we could be there all day.  I am going prepared; snacks, games, toys, books, crayons, etc. We don’t know what we will learn, we don’t know what the process looks like, we don’t know if the judge will think we are doing a good job with him, we don’t know if the child attorney will feel like we have done enough to help him; we don’t know…but GOD does.  He has a wonderful caseworker who has seen major changes in him since he has come to live with us, so we go in knowing we have done what we can and have felt best for him

We have had some fun milestones over the last month.  He has learned how to tie his shoes, he turned six years old, he is doing amazing academically in school, we did family pictures together, he had his first “sleepover” at a friends house.  It has been a busy month.  Each day we see more of his real personality.  Each day we get more and more attached to him.  Several days he has told us he never wants to leave and would be sad and cry if he had to leave.  Many days our parenting skills have been tested.  Many days we have fallen short but everyday we have loved that little boy more and more and are so blessed that we have had him in our home.  His smile is infectious and he has a belly laugh like I have never heard before.

This little boy has changed our lives drastically, for the better and we can’t wait to see what is to come.

RLG

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Birthday

Little man had a birthday a week ago!  We were so excited to celebrate him and make a huge deal out of this milestone.  Because we both had to work on the actual day of his birthday we decided to celebrate on Saturday.  At first he was less than thrilled (or so he said, we are learning that the words he says usually isn’t what he is truly feeling, but a defense mechanism), but as we were walking through a store he said to a complete stranger “I get to celebrate my birthday on two days!” So truly, he was thrilled on the inside that we were making the day all about him.

We had decided one of his gifts from us was to pick out new bedding for his bed.  We thought how fun for him to be able pick whatever “print/character” he wanted and know every time he looked at his bed that he had made that fun choice.  So, we told him that we all were going to the store and he was allowed to pick out new sheets, pillowcases and a comforter…he was again less than thrilled.  He said “I don’t want to pick out new sheets.”  Wow…yet once again our idea of something that might make him feel special and included he was not happy with.  But when we got to the store and got to the kids bedding aisle…he went crazy!  He was so excited he wanted to get 3 or 4 sets and he just couldn’t decided.  Now, just about every day he mentions something about the sheets that he picked out, or comments about something on the sheets, etc.  It is amazing how a 6 year old tries so hard to shield himself from enjoying life and having fun and celebrating those special moments…why, we don’t know, but sadly we can only imagine.

We continued the day with another one of his favorites…Happy Meal from McDonald’s and 6 helium balloons and then Ryan cooked his favorite spaghetti and we had candles on chocolate cake for dinner.

He has taught us so much in the last 3 months and we pray that we can celebrate his 7th birthday with him also and see what else he can teach us in the next 12 months.

RLG

75 Days

10.2.17

75 days…so hard to believe it has only been 75 days since we saw that blonde headed, brown eyed boy for the first time in person and were introduced as Ryan and Renae to a little guy that needed a new family.  And to be completely transparent we were probably just as scared as he was that Wednesday afternoon in July.  Every once in awhile he will mention to us something like “Mom do you remember…” and mention a detail about that first meeting, so it is en-grained in his mind as much as it is in ours.

We have had good days, bad days, terrible days and this weekend we had TWO amazing days!  This past Saturday and Sunday were the two best days so far.  He was just a different little boy.  We went to bed Saturday night and Ryan said to me…”all day I was wondering when the shoe was going to drop”…meaning when we would see the little man that we were used to.  But it seems maybe we have had a major break thru.  We hope he understands as much as a little 5 year old mind can, that we love him, that we are going to take care of him, that no matter what he does or says that we will still give him food to eat, a bed to sleep in, etc.  He really truly is a sweet little boy and when he wraps his arms around your neck just to tell you he loves you, all the hard times seem to melt away.

We have had so many friends, family, etc tell us they are praying for us and random text messages just to encourage and fun mail just to let us know they are thinking about us.  It has been amazing to watch how this little guy has affected so many other lives in our little “circle” in such a short amount of time.

He has a birthday this month and it will be fun to celebrate him on that day!  We truly feel blessed.

RLG

Too Much Happy…?

happinessHappiness is that feeling that comes over you when you know life is good and you can’t help but smile. It’s the opposite of sadness. Happiness is a sense of well-being, joy, or contentment. When people are successful, or safe, or lucky, they feel happiness.

9.21.17

It has been an emotional couple of days and a roller coaster for dealing with new things with Little man.  We truly never know what a day may hold and as we go to sleep each night we ask for more wisdom and grace for the new day.  Each day we are learning more and more about this little guy and learning more and more how we can improve as parents for him.

He told us through sobbing and tears on Tuesday night “that we have made him too happy”.  I can’t even begin to imagine a 5 year old thinking that he doesn’t deserve to be happy, that he doesn’t deserve love, care, respect and fun things.  Or maybe he knows in his heart he is becoming completely attached to us and he is afraid that he will have to leave?  Again, I just can’t imagine a 5 year old having to think about these things.

Hearing this just makes my heart break for all the other children that have those similar feelings because they haven’t been able to experience love and care like they deserve. We told him that he has made us very happy also and there is nothing wrong with being happy.

Is there someone’s life you can bring happiness to today?  Do it!  You won’t regret it, I promise.

RLG

Update

9.14.17

Just wanted to give a quick update on how things are going with our little guy.

He has adjusted well since coming to live in our home.  We are “Daddy” and “Mommy” to him and I don’t even know if he remembers our first names anymore.  We are fine with Daddy and Mommy but it can get sticky around birth mom.  But he made the choice (without us mentioning anything about those name) to call us that, so we go with it.

We love him so much and we are beyond blessed to have him in our home.  He was the first one to for us to “parent” and no doubt we have made many, many mistakes, but we just keep taking one moment at a time and hope to make a difference in his life (even if it is just a small one).

He LOVES school!  He is extremely social and loves to be with his “friends”.  We are thankful that we have had no issues with him not wanting to go etc.  He truly thrives on the routine of going to school.  I never knew kindergartners had homework…but I have since learned, they do!!!

We still have our moments with behavior issues but I am sure it is that way with any 5 year old.  His birthday is coming up and that will be fun to celebrate with him.

He loves, loves, loves his “Daddy”.  There is no way to explain how much he loves Ryan, it is amazing to see.

He will eat literally ANYTHING we eat, now it might take him an hour to eat it (because he is talking and anything distracts him) but he loves him some food.  He is constantly hungry and some meals eats more than I do.  We are glad that he has a great appetite and is willing to try new things, even Brussel Sprouts!

We have court in November so we are hoping to learn more about the length of time we may have him.  Things can change so quickly so we have learned to go with the flow and even the “flow” can become a “hurricane” pretty quick, but what happens in the end is always what the Lord wants to happen.

Thank you to each of you that has reached out with love and care, given advice, answered questions and just was an encouragement, it means the world to us as we continue on this journey.

RLG

 

 

Grief

9.7.17

“Grief” can come in many forms and can rear its ugly head so quickly with just a word or something that might remind of the past.  Little man has been dealing with a lot of sadness and missing his birth mom and grandfather lately.  He has just recently become verbal about it and when we sit and talk about what he is thinking and feeling it is interesting to hear his perspective.  With him being 5 he remembers so much, and we don’t want him to forget those good things but showing and teaching him that acting out and bad behavior isn’t appropriate when he is sad is an on-going challenge.

Try to imagine 5 years of your life just being snatched away in an instant and not being able to go back to those familiar places right now and have those familiar things and see your family daily; that is traumatic right there.  I can’t even imagine.  Everyone keeps telling us that those first 5 years are the foundation, building block, and formative days of a child’s life, so that “foundation” that he knows is completely different than what we have at our home.  So not only is he dealing with loss, but also a 360 degree change from what he has known and in his little mind he most likely is thinking, will I leave this “mommy and daddy” and go to another set of “parents”?; that is so much for a child to process.  It is no wonder that those thoughts and feelings of “grief” come out in his behavior.

We let him talk when he wants to talk about his past, we let him share with us the things he misses, etc., but we still are not the life he “knows”.  He laughs a lot, he has fun playing, he gets along great with the kids he knows, he is very affectionate but still there is that part of him that is “grieving” but we will continue to love, protect and care for him even in those moments of “grief”.

He has impacted our lives so deeply in the short 50 days that we have had him in our home, we are blessed.

RLG

Always Learning

8.30.17

In 7 weeks…we have learned or been reminded that:

  • we may never know what all is going through little man’s mind
  • “things” don’t “satisfy” because there is always the thought that he needs something else
  • we have so much to learn
  • little man LOVES grilled cheese sandwhiches
  • affects of rejection can rear it’s ugly head in the most unlikely ways
  • I hate high-top sneakers with zippers!!!!!!
  • support system is definitely needed and valued
  • a five year old can get up with an alarm clock
  • just plain tomatoes are a hit
  • toothpaste all over the bathroom sink is the new normal
  • remembering to flush the toilet is so hard! 😉
  • when you drink something super cold, really quick you get a “freeze brain”!!!
  • making up songs to sing means he is happy
  • “homework” is more frustrating for mom than little man
  • dad is amazing at helping him make his treasure box for school
  • swimming is definitely a favorite
  • his hair stands straight UP without gel
  • Tristan is now “Christian” because Tristan is “too hard of a name to say”
  • prayer warriors are so treasured
  • baths with cold water is the only way
  • the reward for eating lunch is “a fully belly”
  • the county is very hard to deal with
  • document, document, document
  • 18 more weeks of parenting classes is too long!!! 😦
  • stalling tactics at bed time can include literally ANYTHING
  • whatever “dad” eats is what he likes also (seriously…even salad)
  • in his opinion I have “big hair”
  • hiding when he knows one of us is coming home and wanting us to find him

I am sure there are things I have forgotten but in a couple of months to be able to look back and see how much we have grown and changed will be fun!  Seven weeks today…

RLG