Today, I rage.

She came to me a broken little 20 month old. After over two years of healing and hoping and helping. She’s still broken. She still cries out from the pain of her seizures. She still chokes on her own puke that she brings up without knowing she can stop it. She has a hole in her stomach to receive food. Her ears don’t hear correctly. She deals with a disease that’s meant to be given to adults who have unprotected sex. Not to an innocent child. She still doesn’t speak. She still falls and stumbles and bruises her head. She still can’t play without mouthing the toy. She has zero self care goals met.

Most days, I can deal with this. Most days I see all progress she’s made and I know she’s a miracle. Most days, I focus on the good. Today is not that day. Today is the day I cry and I rage. I rage at the fact that NONE of this had to happen. She could have been a completely normal child. Today is the day I rage. She’s aging out of nursery, but we surely can’t put her in children’s church. We keep her home. Or only keep her in Sunday School. People offer to keep her for me and it’s wonderful. But she’s my daughter and I understand what caring for her entails. She’s too much when there’s a class full of kids. She needs one on one attention. And I don’t want to hear murmuring about the “four year old still in the nursery”.

Today I rage. She has a cousin just four months older than her and they can’t play together. I get so insanely jealous seeing pictures of my niece playing dolls and tea party. Will Carlee ever do that? I flipped through a catalog of American Dolls and I would give anything to take to get one. For her to understand what they are. For her to wait impatiently to get her first one. Hell, I’d buy her every damn doll in that place if she knew. Forget Dave Ramsey, I’d bust out a credit card and get her whatever she wanted. If she knew.

Today, I rage. I get online and all my sad feelings spew. All my anger. Later today, I’ll feel guilty for posting this, for feeling this way. Right now, I’m too pissed to feel guilty. Today, I watched her have seizure after seizure. See her cry. See her suck her fingers until they bleed, because that’s all the can comfort her. I watch her on her tip toes because her ankle muscles have tighten to much for her to walk flat. Can we get into a doctor? Nope. They won’t let me have the casting that was recommended by her therapist who knows her. No, they want to do braces, as if she could understand that. “Maybe surgery when she’s eight” because why make her life any easier than it needs to be. We’ll just let her lose all range so you can cut later. What’s the big deal with another surgery?

Today, I rage. I rage at her birth mother. The child who did this to her. I could forgive, I could, she was young, much too young. But she’s gone on to have FOUR more children since Carlee’s birth. And she’s pregnant with two more. They all suffer, they all have issues. Some more than others. Thankfully, they are being cared for and loved on and healed in their new homes. She just keeps doing this. She just keeps stealing childhoods from her own children. I can pray and hope for a normal life for Carlee. For dolls and and dress up and prom and graduation and a wedding. If I listen to the doctors. She’ll have none of that stuff. Of course, I believe in a God much wiser than those doctors. But, today, I’m drowning in their diagnoses. And it’s all her fault. The pain she’s caused the child she gave birth too. It’s her fault. She packed her bags at eighteen and LEFT. She abandoned her child. She didn’t want to deal with the medical mess she made. So she just went on to have two more. And then two more. And now two more. 7 kids in 4 years. My beautiful friend can’t get pregnant. She gets to have seven kids. At least she doesn’t get to raise any of them.

Did you miss the part where SHE WALKED OUT. In all the time that I’ve had Carlee, since April of 2012, she’s never seen her. Never even tried. She messaged me last Christmas “Will I ever be able to see her again? I love seeing the pictures” I had mercy for her. I set up a visit at her family’s home. So she could see the daughter she walked out on. She said she was coming. She didn’t. No call, no text, just never showed up. That was the last time I heard from her.

Do I feel badly blasting her? No, not right now. I pray the day will come when Carlee will understand what a treasure she is, that she was adopted in love, that she will ask me about her. I’ll be kinder then. I wouldn’t want to hurt her with the harsh truth. I already have to deal with that one day with Matthew. But today, I vent. I want her to feel what Carlee has to live with. I want her understand what she’s doing to these babies. But, she won’t. And I can’t make her. So I write here. I scream here. I cry here. I rage here.

Then I wipe off my face and go back into my world with a smile. I’d give anything to make her whole. Even if that meant I’d never met her. I’d do it. But she isn’t whole and we were given the responsibility and the joy of raising her. That makes me heart smile.

My 4 Year Old

My baby lady turned four on Sunday. There was no big party, no princess gowns, no bounce house, and no glitter. But she’s here. Long after ‘they’ said she wouldn’t be. She ate her cupcake and enjoyed it, even after ‘they’ said she’d never eat again. She locked eyes with everyone, after ‘they’ said she might never do that. She ripped open her presents (with the help of her brother) and looked at them all and picked her favorite. Even though ‘they’ said she might never play with toys appropriately. She smiled, even though ‘they’ said she might not because of the brain damage. She’s going to show up every single one of ‘them’. My baby girl has improved so much in the last year she’s doesn’t even resemble the child she was. Does she do things that a four year old does? No, of course not. Does she do things a six month old does? Not anymore, she’s moved on. She was stuck so long at 0-3 months development. She’s progressed to about 9-12 months. It’s progress and it’s slow and you may not see it, but we do. And she does. So we spend Sunday celebrating our beautiful daughter. Our purple in a sea of blue. Our living breathing miracle. Our 4 year old. 10385285_10152290244228882_8688481818152742140_n

10478137_10152290245218882_3392095165762357706_n

My family. Carlee’s namesake and my best friend came to visit.

1919622_10152290244393882_1247655084062506837_n 10348202_10152290256123882_1700079295996854730_n  10456259_10152287535548882_6546398922817232310_n 10463983_10152290244853882_2552111617445692215_n 10488108_10152287535468882_5554083399252709657_n 10492142_10152290245753882_4535238794119227304_n 10492326_10152288076808882_5422577553344436155_n 10516789_10152290250768882_3457957727770531095_n 10518963_10152290251288882_4504637706829157290_n 10527280_10152290255643882_4371008376562555233_n

Randomness

Life moves on and so do we. Time is quickly escaping us. And here we are already in July. Carlee’s 4th birthday is at the end of the week. I cannot believe she is four already. She came to us shortly before her second birthday. Last year on her birthday, it was four days before her surgery. Seeing the pictures of that day, I can honestly say that that surgery saved her life. When I see how thin she was, how her hair had fallen out, and the life was out of her eyes, it makes me so sad. It makes me angry that my girl had to suffer so long. That foster care wouldn’t give her the quality of life she needed. That she had to languish in waiting. Until the day I got adoption papers in the mail, and three weeks later, after eighteen months of begging, she had a date. Things have been up and down over the last year with her health. However, as of now, we’re in a peak. We’re starting to work with communication devices and sign language.

We’re in the midst of summer. My girl is loving the heat. She has a hard time with cold due to her slow circulation. She’s always layered up, even indoors, even in the summer. However, once outside she flourishes. She’s running and playing and making grass angels. Two years ago, she’d scream if the grass touched her feet. She hated texture of any kind. To see her throw herself down in the grass and move her arms and legs. Well, it’s just amazing.

My big kids are doing well. We’re getting a lot of use out of the pool. Shane just got back from a week of Boy Scout camp. Jackson will head off for his last year of Cub Scout camp later this month. Sam just “flew-up” to a Bear. Matthew wants nothing more than to be a Cub Scout. His favorite thing to wear is his brother’s old scout shirts. Sweet Bluebird is learning to sign as well, but he’s well on his way to talking as well.

We’re nearly done with the school year. Just have to finish up some testing. I really dislike this time of year. Testing is so bias and shows very little of what they learned. Well, it’s what we do. And it will be over soon.

Summer and Anderson Day

Summertime summertime sum sum summertime. It’s here. Old Man Winter finally accepted defeat and the sun is shining like it means it. We’ve been busy reclaiming our backyard. A year after we moved in, the lot behind us sold and they built a house, taking down every last tree. So we moved our lives out front. The trees we planted now hide our yard a bit, so we’re moving on back. I have begged for a pool for years and this Mother’s Day, that what I got. We’ve made into our little sanctuary. We have the pool with some decking and we’re redoing the back patio. I’m loving it. The kids are outside more, everyone is happy and tired by the end of the day. It’s been a lot of work, and there’s some more to go, but we’re having a blast already!

We hit off the season with a celebration. We celebrated that one year anniversary of Carlee’s adoption. We didn’t do much on her actual adoption day, because she was so sick. This year my girl was the center of attention and even got to eat some s’mores. We had a s’mores party! Our dear friends came in droves, we had about 70 people here to love on our girl! I have to say, it was a hit!

10426782_10152206877848882_5911679372381862332_n 10417541_10152195825848882_5659066369410861896_n 10415717_10152206883528882_7541752741148115969_n 10414914_10152206882063882_1826191516636047619_n 10411268_10152195825418882_2658505610039006292_n 10347180_10152206878618882_5464145924925149560_n 10313842_10152206883743882_6301380894492188628_n 10314665_10152198201133882_4505737920378359149_n 10388141_10152206883248882_5837978909786959105_n

 

Prom Night

I have a friend named Rachael. A kindred sister of sorts. Until recently, I’ve never met her in real life. She’s moved to my hometown after I graduated. When I friend requested her, I honestly thought she was someone else with the last name I remembered. I’m so thankful that I made that mistake. Rachael is a mama to many. She has two sons that share my sons names. She and I are on the opposite sides of adoption, her being a loving birth mother and me being an adoptive mother. We’ve bonded over a lot. The most recent and most tragic, is the illness of her daughter. Her daughter shares many of the issues that Carlee has. However, her daughter is terminal. On August 27th, 2012, Jaeda Celeste was diagnosed with Metachromatic Leukodystrophy or MLD. MLD is degeneration in the white matter of the brain and Central Nervous System (CNS) which has a color on staining that should not be there. It genetic disorder that affects nerves, muscles, organs, and behavior. It slowly gets worse over time. And is SUCKS. Royally. (you can read more about Jaeda on her facebook page https://www.facebook.com/blessings4jaeda)

Jaeda went to a birthday party that included a dance. She decided she wanted to go to prom. Her angels came from everywhere to make this happen for her. She rode to prom in an awesome vintage car. She had her prom date. The cafeteria was set up just beautifully. And she entered in a beautiful pink prom dress. Jaeda may not make it to her real prom, this was her dream and strangers and friends and family made it happen. And it was magical. So magical, in fact, that Tinkerbell herself crowned Jaeda prom queen. In all the sadness that Rachael has to endure to watch her daughter slip away, she got this one night to see her shine and radiate in happiness. We pray and pray for a miracle for Jaeda, we don’t give in the diagnosis or what “they” say. And in the meantime, her family makes sure she has all her dreams come true. They are amazing.

10371955_10152179070138882_2734308183846992937_n 10342955_661016823966894_3336800559247896889_n 10342484_10152190744573882_7216746487180539306_n 10322657_661016827300227_5849977969733483857_n 10314483_10152179355743882_8274856224802688478_n 10371955_10152179070138882_2734308183846992937_n 10154426_661009357300974_3698734515205374762_n 10313379_10152179067963882_5780900830588723972_n 10260010_661009060634337_5686285693543466515_n

Busy Bees

Oh, how I hate to not blog. We’ve been busy busy bees around here. We have a new placement, a sweet baby boy nicknamed Bluebird. I wish I could show you his face, he’s adorable. He’s 15 months and walking and playing and generally being a toddler with the face of a baby. His doctor appointments and visitation schedule have finally settled down, but we were hopping there for awhile.

I have some great news about Carlee. However, it started out as really bad news. I got her out of bed on Thursday morning and her onesie had blood on it. I freaked out and when I touched her, I realized her feeding tube was gone. Thankfully with God’s awesome timing, my husband was home from work that day. After waiting around for the answering service to call back, we learned we’d have to take her to the Children’s Hospital for a replacement. The hospital is about an hour away plus traffic. Since her daddy was home he took her. After the waiting in the er for a temporary tube, they took her to radiation. There they tried for over an hour to put her GJ tube back in. They could not get the tubing through the lining of her stomach. They had to stop, so they put in a Mickey button and scheduled us for the next morning. Well, we’ve been working to get her to a Mickey button. After a few calls, I got in contact with her GI doctor who gave us the all clear to keep the Mickey button. This is a HUGE deal. The GJ has a base on it about 2 inches in diameter and an external tube about 9 inches long. This tube has been the bane of our existence. Carlee would pull it and tug it and chew it and squeeze it. Many mornings we awoke to her covered in the contents of her stomach because she’d open the tube in the night. As for superficial reasons, she always had to wear a gauze netting or a onesie over the tube to keep it in place. Oh, and bath time was a nightmare because she would pull on the tube or it would float. The Mickey button is about 1.5 inches long and .5 inches wide. NO TUBE. To feed her, we put the tube into the Mickey button, feed her, and remove the tube. It’s been just three days and we’ve all noticed a difference in the ease of her care. Carlee herself seems so much happier, nothing tugging on her and causing her pain. We are thrilled with this turn of events.

We recently had some family pictures done as well, sweet Bluebird had to be covered up, but you can get the gist of the ever growing family.

1532114_506257029476225_5781784605093933250_n 10322709_506690489432879_7245138876281166820_n 10407681_506257086142886_987755359114607513_n 10404434_506256899476238_4111703991856112938_n 10372086_506257049476223_4130876607234061814_n 10309239_506256902809571_6731997847183146659_n 10291090_506256969476231_2720259288685672850_n 10170987_506256892809572_4790752148090511854_n 10351577_506257079476220_920960721029789269_n10336685_506257006142894_3849504691628338887_n

Link

National Foster Care Month

10289867_622404677829939_6711643637425113247_n

May is National Foster Care Month. It’s the time of the year that we all (more than usual) promote foster care. We share our kids’ stories, we give tips on how you can get can involved, we share resources, and we ask for help.

This year, my friend over at http://tamlynn75random.blogspot.com/ Errr, I can’t get it to work, but anyway. She’s doing a “First Night” drive for foster parents and the children. Often, in many many stories, these children come with nothing except the clothes on their backs. Sometimes they are taken in the middle of the night. Sometimes they are removed from school. The majority of the time, they come with very very little. So foster parents have to run out at 1:15am and grab diapers, toothpaste, underwear, socks, and other various items. The goal of the “First Night” drive is to halt the middle of the night run.

Example: A social worker gets a call. They start going down their list of potential homes. Mr and Mrs. Doe say ‘yes’ to the call for an 8 year old boy. Mere hours later at 2 in the morning, the doorbell rings. Instead of showing up with nothing, the boy has a small bag in his hand. The bag contains a toothbrush, toothpaste, underwear, socks, a pair of pajamas, a clean outfit, and a small stuffed animal. The social worker was able to grab these items off a shelf before leaving to pick up the boy. The boy has a few pieces of comfort and the parents can wait until the next day to go out for the rest of his needs.

So that’s my goal. For the month of May, I will be collecting items to make First Night bags. To make a transition for a scared child just a little bit easier, knowing they have clean clothes for the next day, and to save foster parents the stress of a middle of the night run. In the next day or two, I hope to have a paypal donate button and I’ll be collecting in person as well. Thank you for sharing and considering helping the foster children that exist all around us. You’re showing them that someone cares and that they matter.