Surprise from a co-worker on Monday.
Surprise from a co-worker on Monday.
7: Number of days we’ve had our Precious 2-month old
1: Number of blow-outs that have required a bath and full wardrobe change. For both of us.
6: Number of days Jason was on the road during our first week. God has a funny way with timing the arrivals of our babies…
1: Bottle she came with
7: Total number of bottles we now have
1: Pacifier she came with
3: Pacifiers we now have
6: Bibs that Precious came with
26: Total number of bibs we now have thanks to family and friends
50: Approximate number of diapers we’ve gone through
30: Dollars worth of formula used in a week. At least.
7: Average number of hours slept straight through the night. Hallelujah!
15: Approximately how many giant, slobbery smiles we get a day
18: Average number of hours per day that a 2 month old sleeps
24: Ounces of formula a 12-pounder requires a day
4: Loads of laundry done this week (not too bad!)
8: Times I’ve cried this week between the Empowered to Connect conference, worshipping, missing Ladybug and grieving for Precious’s situation (9 if you count the onion I was cutting up for potato soup.)
4: Cups of coffee I’ve had (I’m NOT a coffee drinker)
Have I mentioned that I’ve been really emotional lately? At the Empowered to Connect conference last weekend Dr. Karyn Purvis showed this video to illustrate that the “dance” of attachment looks like between adoptive/foster parents and kids from hard places. It made me cry. That dog just loves his master so much! And she must be so committed to that dog!
I wish I had some more artsy home-related projects to write about to balance out all this foster parenting business but I don’t. Our goal was to get the house pretty well de-projected before we started having kids since we knew we wouldn’t have as much time for crazy home renovations. So that’s where we are right now. Anyhow…
Over the weekend, my mom and I went to a conference called Empowered to Connect. The main speaker was Dr. Karyn Purvis, author of The Connected Child. It was without a doubt, the best conference I’ve ever been to. I feel like I learned SO MUCH. Dr. P is a great speaker and such a sweet, sincere, funny, smart woman. I think we all fell in love with her. The principles she teaches for parenting kids from hard places are really great. They are so love-based and wise. Also time-tested as she’s been using them with great results for over 30 years. Lots of “duh” moments over the weekend, as I realized why a lot of conventional discipline practices are counter-productive with traumatized kids. I cried. I laughed. I really do feel more empowered to connect.
Here are a few little nuggets of goodness that won’t come close to doing justice to how great this conference was. Seriously, if you’re a foster or adoptive parent and you ever have a chance to hear Karyn Purvis speak: GO.
• It takes about 1 month of intensive care and training per year old the child is to reverse the affects of abuse, neglect and trauma. (Example: a 4 year old needs 4 months of focused attention to get to a place of earned secure attachment.)
• Bad behavior always has a purpose. What is the need that’s driving the misbehavior? Help your child develop a voice.
• Giving a child choices and compromises gives them a voice and returns their preciousness.
• Sharing power (through compromising, giving choices, etc.) proves that it’s your power to share; it doesn’t take it away.
• With a biological child, you have 2 years of saying “yes” 100,000x before you start saying “no” for the first time
• Say “yes” to your child as much as possible, especially during the honeymoon period
• If you cut your child off when you’re upset (through timeouts or silence), you are teaching him to do the same thing to you when he’s older rather than dealing with and resolving conflict.
• Always level your response at your child’d behavior, not their preciousness; never let your child’s preciousness be up for grabs.
• Regarding your facial expressions when you’re changing your child’s stinky diaper… “I want my children to know that even when they’re covered in their own *stuff*, they’re still precious to me.”
Our first 4 days went really well with Precious,* our new little baby girl. (*Not her real name.) I’m learning lots about babies, bottles, burping, etc. She’s amazing. Very pleasant and easy going most of the time. Sleeps like a champ. Gives me the best gigantic, slobbery baby smiles. I have to say, at least in my limited experience, a 2-month old is SO MUCH easier than an almost 1.5 year old. I don’t mind a middle of the night diaper change and feeding when the ability to cook dinner, do dishes, clean up the house, etc. comes along with the package. I mean, I can set her down somewhere, sleeping or awake, and she doesn’t move. Ladybug required constant attention unless she was asleep.
Don’t get me wrong, Ladybug was an awesome child. I’m just saying, toddlers are way more challenging than newborns in my book. Speaking of Ladybug, we’ve been missing her like crazy the past few days. It was about 3 weeks between the day she left and the day Precious arrived. We had been doing pretty well, feeling pretty good, and when we got the call Jason pointed out that we really didn’t have a good reason to say no to this one. He said the only reasons he could think of where born out of selfishness. My only reservation was Is it too soon? I wasn’t expecting sadness to be stirred back up quite like it did by bringing in baby #2. Precious is great and our love for her is growing rapidly, but she’s not Ladybug and she isn’t going to fill the Ladybug shaped holes in our hearts. God, we miss that sweet little girl so much.
Now I’m crying. I’m tired and very emotional lately. Sheesh. I have no idea where this blog post is heading…
Let me at least end on a high note. I have the most amazing friends and family. Ahhhhmazing. We didn’t ask them whether or not they wanted to be strung along on this crazy journey with us but they’re right there with us anyway. Have I mentioned that Jason had to leave town the night Precious arrived? Of course I didn’t mention it because I don’t ever tell ya when he’s gone. So yeah. That’s a crazy coincidence. He was in Europe for a week when Ladybug arrived and the night we got Precious he had to take off for a long trip around the mid-west. He’s a wonderful daddy and he can’t wait to get back in the game here at home. While he’s been gone, though, my mom and his mom have been a HUGE help to me! My sister-in-law has been great with answering my questions since my niece is just 5 months older than Precious. Plus, she lent us a bouncy seat and a bunch of blankets and bibs. (This blog post is brought to you by the Letter B.) Also, a bunch of friends have been super kind and helpful, too. Precious is getting tons of love. Despite the sadness we’re still dealing with, overall things have been much smoother with this second placement. God is good.
I wonder sometimes if Lucy rolls in something gross just so I’ll have to give her a bath.
The post from earlier today was actually written several days ago and scheduled for this morning. Right now, I’m eating the last of the bananas as I write this and I don’t feel any urgency to run out and buy more because… 2 month olds don’t eat bananas.
Right as we were sitting down to eat dinner last night we got a call for a baby girl. We felt like we were ready (enough) and didn’t have a good reason to say no, so we said sure! She got to our house around 7:45pm last night.
It hasn’t even been 24 hours yet but we’ve been doing great so far. She seems really pleasant and easy-going. She slept from 10-5 last night and then after a diaper change and a bottle, slept until I had to wake her up at 8:40 so we could get going with our day. She’s cute and fat and she likes to smile and make faces. Very different from a nearly 1.5 year old but I think this is going to be lots of fun, too.
I’m still working on coming up with a bloggy nickname for her. I have no idea at this point about the timeline or what to expect. Hopefully we’ll get a little more clarity about the situation in the next few days. As always, prayers are appreciated!