To everything there is a season. This season is interesting. Our home is full of special needs equipment. Things I never thought I’d have in my home. A seven foot tall crib. A medical pole with tubing. A very large walker. Arms guards, helmets, finger guards, button covers, chewy tubes, and feeding tubes. It’s all such a part of our lives now, it doesn’t even seem weird. My thighs are consistently bruised because Carlee rams her walker into me. I can pour liquid and put in a new tubie with my eyes closed. It’s amazing that it’s all just become second nature to us.
Within this season there are changes. Because of Carlee’s needs and immune system, I’ve been staying home from church. I don’t mind missing a Sunday every now and then, but for now, I’m staying home with her. Her immune system is down. A simple sniffle in another child could turn into a horrible sinus infection for her. Any sickness could activate her virus and do further damage to her brain. So for this season, until her immune system is hiked back up, I’ll be home.
I have sermons playing on Sunday mornings. I’m still learning. I miss the family of church. I miss singing. However, I’m happy to stay here and keep her healthy. I have a home group on Monday nights. I have Ladies Bible Study on Tuesday nights. I still have my community. And after all, this is just for a season.
Oh, what a day!
Is than an understatement? Am I being dramatic? Who knows. What I do know is that I have been through the emotional wringer today. Carlee’s setbacks became very apparent today, the rumination, it is like a PTSD trigger. Okay, not to make light of PTSD by any means, but that year of vomit, it took it’s toll on me and seeing her start again, it’s making me a little crazy. I don’t want to see her regress. She’s been doing so well. Because she’s been doing so well she’s been used to having her cup and food. Without it, she’s a very angry non-verbal three and a half year old. Then that brings up bitter feelings toward her birth mother that I’ve tried really hard to rid my soul of. But knowing she’s walking around and living her life while she sentenced her daughter, my daughter, to a life of suffering, it just makes my blood boil. It makes me want to punch something. And cry.
There were a few high points today. My kids at preschool dyed eggs and painted with bubble wrap and playing in shaving cream. They were adorable. Bluebird fell asleep in the Ergo and I got to watch his sweet face dream. I had two really good talks with moms on the playground about life and foster care and special needs.
It was just one of those days. High and low and lower. My foster friends are getting babies left and right. I’m happy for them, I’m happy for me. But when you really stop to think about it, it’s damn depressing. All these children being removed. All these lives interrupted. I love that Bluebird is here, he’s a joy, but the ‘why’ of why he’s here is sad. And I don’t wish sad on any child. It’s the paradox of foster care. We make smiley faces and say “congratulations” when someone gets a placement. Congratulations on what? “Hey, there was a child abused, but yay, you got a baby.” I do it. We all do it. I’m glad these babies and kids have a safe place to go, but God, I wish it wasn’t needed. That parents could just parent without the neglect and the abuse. That they could break what seems to be an endless cycle. Maybe we’re the ones to break that cycle. Maybe that’s why we says congratulations. We could be the ones to stop the abuse. To change their futures. To change their family history. Or maybe I’m being dramatic.
We opened our home up to foster care again. I haven’t been actively pursuing it, but I did let them know the new cell phone numbers and our new age range. A 3-6 year old girl. It’s been over two years since we got a call and almost a year since we’ve had a foster child. April 25th is Carlee’s Anderson day, the day she was adopted. So when the phone rang with our county’s number, I didn’t think much of it. However, it was ‘the’ call. Our 3-6 year old girl turned into a 14 month old baby boy. Carlee remains the purple in my life. Our new little one is nicknamed Bluebird, he has big beautiful blue eyes and teeny little bird legs and arms. He’s just adorable.
Everyone has acclimated well. Matthew likes that Bluebird plays Cars with him. Shane is happy with a baby. Period. He’s my baby whisperer, the flock to him. Sam and Jackson are pretty indifferent, having wanted an older child to play with, Bluebird is just another baby in the house. Carlee is thrilled that there’s more cups and puffs around now.
Her rumination started acting up about a week before Bluebird got here. She’s back on the feeding tube during the day. My hope is that we can get it under control before she makes it a habit again. Her finger is all gross again too, so the guard is back on. I’m praying this is a temporary setback.
Some days is leaps and bounds forward and other days is one step forward two steps back. One day, she’s just going to strap on skates and be so far into the sunset, we won’t even recognize her.
I’m an indoor girl. I don’t like being hot or cold. I really only like being outside to sit by a pool and read. Or if I’m in Washington (that place turns me into an outdoor girl). When it’s nice outside, I do enjoy reading under a tree. Last year, Carlee HATED being outside. Her world was loud and bright and completely overwhelming. Her nutrition was still so poor and her PICA was out of control. She couldn’t be outside three seconds without putting something in her mouth. She hated the feel of grass, leaves, the dirt, anything touching her.
Yesterday this happened:
Yes, that’s her. Standing in bare feet in the grass. That’s her walking through grass, dirt, straw and leaves. That’s her playing in the playhouse. That’s her in the wagon with her brother. That’s her holding Matthew’s hand in the rocks. That’s her laying down on the grass and looking at the clouds.
It’s a miracle in action. It’s God’s healing in action. It’s answered prayers in action. It’s her enjoying her life!