Saturday, February 28, 2009

She walks!

Lucy is walking. Officially, now since PB and I saw it tonight. J. said she took three steps on Thursday but I chose to pretty much ignore that... Denial much, la la la?

Friday, February 27, 2009

She sorts!

I found out, quite accidentally, that Lily can sort! We were at the table this morning before I left for work, and J. said, "Hey Lily, can you find another clip that looks like this?" while she was holding up a purple hair clip. Before long, she had sorted all the hair clips by color. I don't know why this one seemed so cool - pattern recognition is important for lots of stuff, so I'm just excited for her.

She's also got the memory of a frickin' elephant, I swear. Every time she walks past the slider in our dining room, she tells me the story (that happened about 10 days ago) of how she "boomed on her butt" and fell and "I cried, Mama". Each time she tells it, she gets a sad little look on her face.  She also tells me constantly that her cousin S. is "cwazy girl at the window" because apparently, when she visited two weeks ago, S. was acting silly with some of her friends when they picked her up at school.

I keep telling PB that eventually she will hold a grudge like nobody's business. Who says that nurture doesn't matter?

Other cute Lilyisms:
  • What time is it? "Eight Ocwock" that's the answer any time and every time.
  • "Lucy upstairs self, Mama" - she is obsessed with tracking her every movement now that she's mobile.
  • "I want some sear-re-ral, mama." "sear-re-ral NOW... please?
  • NOT, mama. NOT. - in response to pretty much anything I ask / tell / attempt to cajole her to do.

lucy had a visitor!

This past Monday, Lucy's first dad saw her for the first time since the day they signed the TPR nearly a year ago. He was in town on business and asked to stop by.

It was a good visit - a bit awkward because it's been so long since we'd seen each other, but still good. The best part was that I think Lucy remembered him! As soon as he showed up she smiled and laughed, which is not something she typically does around people she doesn't spend a lot of time with. He said it must have been all of the prenatal bonding :-)

He stayed for about an hour and brought with him a Christmas gift that they didnt' want to mail - a little snow globe that plays "When you Wish Upon a Star" with an engraved part that says "We will always love you. - Firstmom and Firstdad." I think that could end up meaning a lot to her someday.

He said that Lucy's first mom is afraid to see her - she is in a fairly good place right now, according to first dad, sad but not regretful, and he says that it would be too hard to see Lucy. I told him that we wanted to follow her lead and if she ever decided she could see Lucy, we would love it. I am planning to send her a card next week with some new pics and reiterate the same to her.

I really hope that we can keep Lucy's adoption as open as possible. I sometimes worry about how she will feel when she gets old enough to realize that Lily still has a lot of contact with her biolocal relatives and that she doesn't. But then I also wonder what Lily will think when she learns about Lucy's first parents and the fact that they have been somewhat open with us, while her own have largely ceased contact. 

And ultimately, I can't control any of that, obviously. We are starting to talk about adoption more. The girls are still really little, but we talked with Lily about how Lucy's first dad was coming to see her.  And how she has a first dad and a first mom, too - mostly we talked about how they were related to Aunt A. and Cousin S. and Grandma K. She didn't understand any of it, really. I guess at this point, it is more practice for PB and I than anything else. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

Misperceptions of CPS

So another issue that Octomom brings to the forefront is most people's lack of an idea of what CPS actually does. I've seen people online say they "hope" or "assume" or "bet" that CPS will yank the babies.

Let's be clear - CPS does not take babies because they don't have great, good or even passable parents. CPS takes babies whose parents can't provide for their most basic needs (e.g. food and shelter) or parents who are actively dangerous to this kids.

I've seen the pictures of the house and while I agree that it's cluttered, it doesn't seem to me all that horrible for a house where 6 kids and at least two adults live. To raise to the level of removing a child I think you'd need to see dangerously dirty conditions... not just clutter and no curtains.

Basically, from what I can tell, CPS is about protecting children in only the broadest sense - that is, protecting them from death or grievous injury. Until Octomom does something actively dangerous to or around her children, I don't think they'll be going anywhere - you can make poor decisions for yourself and your kids all day long - that's not illegal, and it's not going to mean the kids are pulled.

What's the point of this whole post, you might be asking? Just that I think if social service agencies would be more upfront about the real end goal - that is keeping children alive, it would be easier on them. Let's stop the talk about all kids counting, and keeping all kids safe and healthy, and let's be honest - CPS doesn't want any kids to die on its watch.

I'm not saying that's unreasonable - it is probably all we can expect from a governmental agency. But saying it - we want to keep kids from dying - makes clear their position. Do kids often end up in homes that are not good for them? Yep. Do kids end up in homes that will end up doing some damage? Yep - what home doesn't, really?

The problem with preservice and training, and most of the stuff we're told as foster parents, is that they stress that the focus is on the best interests of the child. Further, they constantly emphasize how important bonding and stability is for young children - that's supposed to make us realize that we are important as foster parents, but it also highlights what some kids miss when they go home. And, yes they say that reunification is always the first and best goal... but they don't say reunification is embraced at almost any cost and that what the system does best is make sure that parental rights (not childrens' rights) are not trampled.

Notice how I'm still not addressing the particulars of the Octomom situation? Yeah, that's on purpose... I'm struggling to not be all judgmental and condescending and annoyed. So I'll just talk about what I see as tangentially related to it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I have not chimed in until now...

Because in the end, it's not my business how many babies a woman decides to have, regardless of her decision making and likely mental state.

However, this quote from her father on Oprah:

"I say to everybody now: People, we do need help. Do not punish my daughter for what she had done and and do not punish the babies, because they were given by God."

is what drives me the craziest about women who have ridiculously large numbers of babies all at one time.

To be clear: while one might consider all children a gift from God in the loosest sense of the world, I think he'd be pretty pissed to be accused of having anyting to do with Octomom's latest foray into parenting.

It's like women who knowingly implant a lot of embryos and then say it's God's decision how many survive. Really, if God is in control and that's why you can't selectively reduce, then God is also in control when you can't have your singleton and that's why you shouldn't do fertility treatments. A moral objection to selective reduction is one thing. Claiming that having 8 babies in one uterus is God's will is an entirely different thing.

Just sayin'.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

We're matched....

we had our official "match" meeting for Lily today. It was a low key affair since we were the only family considered, given our bond to Lily and that she has been with us since birth.

We did get some questions answered and it seems like they are trying to rush the process through. I guess that means it will happen in what? December? JK - should be sooner than that.

Lucy has *6* teeth now. Her front top teeth and two more bottom incisors appeared almost simultaneously. It's been a long couple of weeks for her, poor thing. Oh yeah, and last week, she started climbing up stairs. AWESOME.

Cute Lilyism's too share: She likes to call people crazy (like me). She told her cousin she was a crazy girl last night. She told me I was a crazy mama, too (which I am).

She also noticed a light was burnt out at Ba.ja. Fr.esh and said, "Batty dead, mama" which is Lily speak for Batteries Dead (i.e. not working) which we tell her about all her crazy, loud, lighty up toys.

On the less fortunate side she called a random stranger "Poopy butt boy" at a store two days ago, which PB thought was really funny. 

Monday, February 09, 2009

Hard questions

This is such a *great* post from a blogger I recently found. It's long, but well worth the read if you are an adoptive parent or anyone who wants to understand the experience of adoptees.

Party of 5: Thinking About Tomorrow, And The Past

What I love about this post is that it simultaneously acknowledges three things:

1.  Being adopted is hard, and the difficulty of it can start very early.
Both her boys ask questions, even at this young age. Both have obviously been impacted by this event, probably in ways they are just figuring out or just finding the language for. I have mused aloud before whether Lily's sleep disturbances aren't part and parcel of her being adopted. When I read here that once he had the language to articulate his nightmares, it became quite clear they were about abandonment, I had a full body shiver.

2. All adoptees experience adoption differently.
These boys are identical twins, who were placed in the same place in Haiti, at the same time, by the same first mom. They were adopted into the same environment at the same time by the same a-parents. But their reactions are MARKEDLY different.

3. As a-parents there really is only so much we can do.
I can't imagine any parents handling this better - the constant reassurances, the openness to any and all questions, the provison of honest, age appropriate answers. But, as she describes it, the infinitely deep hole is still there. Being a fixer myself, I have a really hard time accepting this, though I do believe it.

Anyway, food for thought.

Friday, February 06, 2009

I'm not all powerful

So, Lucy has an aversion to the sun in her eyes. I used to have a sunshade on her window but it fell down and I keep forgetting to buy another one for Lucy and it feels really bad to put one up for Lily but not have one for Lucy... and well.. anyway.... the kid doesn't have a sunshade ok? 

So, we're driving down the road and she keeps screaming, "No" and covering her hands with her eyes. Pretty funny in and of itself, because she's SUCH a drama queen. I tell her it's just the sun and to close her eyes. She does for a minute. Then she says "Sun off, Mommy."

She thinks I can turn off the sun. Love it. Wish she'd adore me like that for the rest of her life.*

Also - Lucy update - she has four teeth and is working on five. And she can stand on her own for a few seconds at a time now. No steps yet :-)

* Not just me she adores this way though. She also asked J to turn off the sun.