Baileys Adventures

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine…-Proverbs 17:22

Quiet Little Update May 11, 2014

Filed under: Baileys Adventures,Foster Care,Turtle — andreabaileys @ 6:48 pm

If you’ve spent any time around here you probably know that when I go silent big things are afoot.  This is no exception.  Less than a month after my last post we received a phone call from our social worker asking if we’d be willing to foster a newborn due around the first of the year.  We’d had to turn down several calls in the fall (it’s hard to have a 15 month old and exposed sub-flooring, at least according to Brian.) and knew that fostering a newborn would be our smartest bet until we get B3’s “big boy room” done and the nursery set back up.  We were glad to have a few weeks’ advance notice and got busy getting ready.  We were told to expect a good sized baby boy who most likely “wouldn’t be healthy”.  That’s all we knew past a delivery date.

The day after New Year’s my wonderful Little Bro and Sweet Lizzy had my awesome new niece, who still needs an undercover name.  She’s amazing, guys.  It’s so cool to look at a little person who looks familiar.   She’s such a good mix of the two of them, and then there are things that I see that are such “Hill things”.  Or my pointy ear, inherited from my Grandma Bowman :) Holding her on January 3rd it was amazing to think that her cousin would be joining us within the week.

On Tuesday, the day after the baby was delivered, I was called to go downtown to sign some papers in preparation for his homecoming on Friday.  I called Mama to come watch B3 and the Munchkin Coalition, and prepared to head to DSS.  On the way out the door my social worker called back and said to come to the hospital….the baby was ready to be released.  It was at least 2-3 days earlier than we expected, but luckily we had a bassinet and car seat ready, and all the clothes and diapers washed up and ready to go.  I had taken my Christmas tree down that morning, and there were literal piles of fake tree needles all over the front room.  Thank goodness my mother can wield a broom with the best of them.   She had everything in order before I got home.

Picking the little guy up from the hospital was surreal.  Brian was en route to Staunton to work for the afternoon and couldn’t make it back.  The baby was (is) absolutely beautiful, completely healthy, and just generally perfect.  There was tons of paperwork, inf0rmation from doctors and nurses, and the pervading sense of worry for his mom a few rooms over.  She didn’t know me, and I didn’t know her.  My heart broke for her and the happiness of meeting a new little person was tempered with the knowledge that his mother was suddenly without her baby.  They made me ride in a wheelchair to the front door (which you can imagine  just thrilled the tar out of me.  /sarcasm) surrounded by a team of social workers.  Loading the baby into the car seat I was stopped by security and detained for a while.  I’m glad they were taking precautions but when you have 4 folks from CPS and DSS with you, you don’t expect problems.

Since then the past four months have been a whirlwind of readjusting schedules, learning how to be a mom of two, discovering that four hours of sleep has a very particular feel to it, and getting to know an amazing little person.  From the very first day his nickname has been Turtle, so that’s how he’ll be known online.  I can’t post any pictures or any details at all, but guys….he’s amazing!  He was just under 10 pounds at birth, is rocking 6-9 month clothes already, sleeps through the night (and half the morning), and is rolling over like a champ.  From his fuzzy little head to his incredibly big feet, lovely blue eyes and oh my word those cheeks, we’re in love.  B3 has taken to being a big brother again with ease and is definitely Turtle’s favorite person on earth.  He’s the easiest baby I’ve ever cared for and so far each day is a great adventure.

At this point we don’t know what lies ahead.  We do have a great relationship with his birth mother, and see her for visits on a regular basis.  For the past few months it’s almost been like co-parenting, and she’s wonderfully easy to work with.  If he returns home to her we’ll hopefully maintain a very open relationship with her, and if he ends up being adopted we’ll definitely include her in our family as much as she’s comfortable.  We’re in love, we’re blessed, and we’re having fun.  The only thing we kn0w for sure that’s coming in the next few weeks or months?  Teeth.

Happy Mother’s Day to our moms, our sisters (biological and in love), and all the ladies who helped raise us.  Happy Mother’s Day and huge hugs to the two women who birthed our sons, both permanent and foster.  So much love to women who wait, who mourn, and who hope for children.

 

 

Slowly But Surely November 22, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — andreabaileys @ 1:58 pm
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***SKREEEEEE***

(taps mic)

“Is this thing still on?”

This is how I feel about my blog.  I’ve written countless posts over the past five months…in my mind.  None of them came to fruition, and it’s time to bite the bullet and talk about why.  I used this blog throughout the beginning of our marriage and our experiences with infertility because it gave me a chance for catharsis and processing, and in order to provide people also experiencing infertility to read about it from a personal point of view.  I promised myself I’d be truthful, and I hope I succeeded in that.  There was good and bad, tears and endings.  I thought I would do the same through foster care and/or adoption.

I was so wrong.  See, the problem is that admitting that not only is adoption hard but also being a mom isn’t always fun means admitting that I’m not very good at what I wanted more than anything.  Admitting to being depressed after your adoption feels like the whole world is going to judge you and find you lacking.  Admitting that falling in infatuation with your son was the easy part, but being almost unable to feel loving toward a child as he’s in the midst of crisis and trying to be unloving is a hard thing to admit.  The truth is ugly and hard, and it’s impossible to come off looking like a good mother most of the time.  So I chose to keep quiet, denying myself my favorite outlet and distancing myself from all my friends in order to maintain a halfhearted charade.  I Fakebooked and occasionally outright lied.  Chances are if you asked me how we were in the past year and a half and I said “great!”, I was lying through my teeth.  I’m sorry.  If you know me personally, you know I abhor lying.  But the truth was far too hard. 

The truth is our son came to us with issues we never saw until he got comfortable, and in the process of unpacking his baggage he uncovered all of ours.  The truth is that many days I hated myself, hated being a mom, and hated most of the people around me, even as I loved them.  The truth is that the past 18 months were harder than anything I ever imagined and I walked through the blackest period of my life I’ve ever experienced.  The truth is I failed over and over and over, I distanced myself from my son daily, and I just wanted to crawl in a hole and hide. 

Somehow through all of this B3 begin to trust us, to love us, and to outgrow so many of his frustrating behaviors.  He started having more good days than bad, and started showing us the resilient, sweet boy we were hoping was in there.  His forgiving, loving nature began to smooth my edges.  His need for a different manner of parenting showed me a different manner of parenting.  I learned from him, we grew together, and we’ve emerged on the other side hand in hand, firmly attached and completely in love.  We have rough days sometimes but now they’re handled with patience and peace more often than not, and we don’t get derailed.  Somehow we’ve ended up exactly where we need to be, and I’ve never been happier.  I have a lot to write about now, after the fact.  It’s time to get truthful. 

 

Where God Comes In June 11, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — andreabaileys @ 10:18 pm
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In February Brian and I took B3 to church for the first time in…well, let’s just call it 3 months or so.  It’s really hard to keep a 4 year old happy and occupied during an hour and a half of church!  He doesn’t know the songs yet, so he doesn’t sing along and he can’t figure out why I make him wait for the sermon to gorge on Pirate Booty and Angry Birds.  But I’m learning that at this point I should just give him his snack and tablet as soon as we walk in so I can enjoy my time, and  last time he did a great job, so hopefully we can start attending on a more frequent basis again.

Our church is absolutely beautiful.  It was almost overwhelming the first time we visited.  The sanctuary is a beautifully made of wood with a vaulted ceilings and a wall of windows.  It’s routinely filled with 350-400 people comfortably and everyone is welcoming and kind.  In the center of the sanctuary’s ceiling the vault opens into a recessed skylight that fills the whole room with sunlight.  If you click the link you’ll see it on the outside picture, and the website header is the view looking up at it from an angle.  Sitting under it is amazing, and our usual seats pre-B3 are almost directly underneath.  On the Sunday in February we were running late (as usual) so we missed out on the coveted spots on the back rows for people with children and instead sat in our customary spot.  B3 flopped into his seat and looked up.  His brow wrinkled up and he pointed to the skylight.  Not-too-quietly-in-the-middle-of-singing he asked “What’s that?”

Now, we didn’t attend Lindale when it was first built so we don’t know how this came about but the whole church refers to the skylight as “where the Holy Spirit comes in”.  I was so excited to lean over and whisper in his ear for the first of many times “It’s where God comes in, looks at us, and see us worshiping Him!” His eyes lit up and his mouth dropped open as he craned his neck completely back, taking in the sun and the view.

“I don’t see Him!” he whispered back.

“See the sunlight?  That’s Him!  Remember how God is always watching? He is now, too,” I replied.

Throughout the rest of the service he would pause, look up, and look for God.  And over the next week he mentioned “the window where God comes in” several times.  I so look forward to raising him in a place and in a manner where he’s always watching for the Lord.  He’s starting to ask questions about Heaven that I hope I can and have answered in a way that leads him ever closer to Christ.  His little soul is a huge responsibility, but an absolute treasure to get to guide.

 

Time Flies… May 28, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — andreabaileys @ 10:37 pm
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I am continually amazed at how time is flying and how much B3 has changed.  I’m trying to find time to post more, now that it feels like life isn’t completely insane.  For now, I give you this….

Image

Same park, same boy….but oh, so different.  Love to you all.

 

Our First Year March 25, 2013

Filed under: Adoption,B3,Baileys Adventures — andreabaileys @ 9:32 pm

The password for this video is B32012

As you may know by now, our adoption of B3 was finalized last week. We are so excited to be able to share B3 with you at last. We have been so blessed by everyone’s comments and support, both through our adoption and through our entire quest to start a family.

I think I’ll find it a bit easier to blog now that I can show you pictures of what we’ve been doing. For now, enjoy catching up on our year!

 

9 Crazy Months February 4, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — andreabaileys @ 12:06 am
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I cannot believe 1. That we’ve had our son for almost 9 months and 2. That I haven’t updated this blog in ages.  I promise to do better, especially once I can post pictures.  Which shouldn’t be that long since we signed our official adoption paperwork in November.  We’re about a month to six weeks from finalized, depending on how quickly it all moves. 

Things are going well.  We had a pretty major setback in the fall when we inadvertently sent B3 to the same therapist he had seen with his biological parents and his foster parents, as well as the place where he had his visits with his bio parents.  Oops!  It only took one visit to completely derail him and the following two almost completely severed his attachment to us completely.  We’ve had some seriously rough times from October until about Christmas, and intermittently even still.  But we regrouped and we’re patching things up and every day is a new one.  

Halloween and Thanksgiving were major triggers for B3, but seemed to go well once he realized we’d all be together.  Christmas was suitably overwhelming, and he was so excited to celebrate for about a week straight.  He enjoyed giving gifts and hanging out with family as well as receiving, so luckily he wasn’t that kid who seems greedy on Christmas.  In mid-January Brian’s family visited, excluding Nurse Baileys and Cop Guy (now to be known as Investigator Man, I think).  We managed to surprise both B3 and my mother in law with a visit from Brian’s sister who lives too far away to visit often.  Christmas Part 3 coupled with a huge family trip to the children’s museum that included both sets of grandparents, one uncle, one aunt, and Cousin Girly Monkey, and B3 was in heaven.

Basically the past few months have just been crazy, crazy, crazy.  My little guy is growing like a weed, and is learning so much it’s amazing.  Somehow all the size 3s he came with are too short and tight, and his “he’ll grow into them” 4Ts fit perfectly.  He can do so much more independently now, and the amazing questions never stop.  He understands so much and is amazingly thoughtful when he wants to be.  He’s 3-starring levels in Angry Birds Space,  learning to write letters, and asking questions about time. He’s pushing hard for a baby sister, and has stopped napping except in the car. Every day he challenges me, frustrates me, inspires me, and melts my heart.  

 

Hard Stuff October 1, 2012

Filed under: Adoption,B3,Foster Care — andreabaileys @ 8:00 am
Tags: ,

Last week Brian and I went back to the foster classes we took in February and March  to speak about receiving a placement of a child who is adoptable and the various  issues that come along.  It was a little nerve-wracking to openly tell people about our first three months.  Because it was hairy, folks.  B3 came to us only 6 months after losing his family of origin, and losing his second family (his foster family) so quickly left him with some serious abandonment issues.  This is on top of his existing behavior issues and the fact that he’s three.

But as we prepared to tell these foster parents to be what to expect (ha!), we realized again (and again and again)  just how far our little guy has come.  It’s been ages since either of us has been hit, kicked, or bitten.  The angry screaming and inconsolable crying has tapered to an occasional phenomenon, and running away in public seems to be a thing of the past.  As we talk more and more about feelings and strive to give them names B3 is starting to use that knowledge to say “I’m a little sad today” or “That makes me angry”.  We’ve learned that none of the plans we had for parenting are going to work, and that if your three year old is bright enough you actually can reason with them.

I was glad to share our story with folks who will probably find themselves knee deep in angry, confused, broken child within the next six months.  It’s not all lollipops and sparkles, by any stretch.  But sometimes your little guy sits on your lap and tells you that he’s “a little happy but a lot sad and and angry” and doesn’t know why…so you send him to “Mister Donald’s” for lunch with his daddy and he comes back feeling at least 25% better.   And later you pick him up from your parents’ house and he had a great time without meltdowns and he goes to bed happier than he got up.  And that’s a little tiny victory.

 

 
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