Friday, June 25, 2010

My Most Perfect Afternoon

Each time I think I have experienced all the emotions at their deepest points in this fostercare world, something else happens. Today started with an almost blank schedule, a late drop off at daycare and about 15 minutes of "What should I do all day?" Then the phone rang. I'd been hoping for a good long while that this invitation would come and had recently dismissed entirely that it would ever happen. Apparently, good things come to those who wait (albeit impatiently). Today, I was invited to see Beignet for the first time since she moved.

I don't remember the last time I had been so nervous--the willing the clock to move faster but worrying what will happen at the end kind of nervous. In the end though, there was no need for such worry. Baby B gave me the biggest hug--it may have equaled 6 months of bedtime hugs, a tour of many things special in her life (like baby dolls and High School Musical DVDs), and a spur of the moment letter written as I sat watching: Tammy, you are so nice and so sweet, Tammy. XO XO.

Today was a good reminder for me of some of the reasons I did not choose to adopt Beignet. The idea that I wasn't ready to get off the foster ride but felt that she didn't need to be on it any longer. That she should have brothers and sisters. That the fast paced life of a two person family wasn't what she would find in a ten person family. That what might be out there for her was more perfect than staying here.

Today was reassurance that things for her are as they should be. For today, I am thankful.

Life in the Slow Lane

Admittedly, I enjoy the hustle and bustle that comes with the preschool crowd and having more than one kid in the house--the fitting three field trips into one weekend, the playing board games and hide and seek and kickball for long stretches of time, the (I never thought I'd say it) nightly rounds of 20 questions at the dinner table. The past four weeks have not held such high energy days. With Little Guy here by himself, we are a family in the slow lane. Everything moves slower. The slow life is different, but it is still good. It is carefully watering about 50 new plants using a 1/2 cup measure--twice. It is chasing the same plastic alligator around the tub every night. It is feeding the cats by putting about 10 pieces of food in a cup and then into their bowl over and over. It is singing the same toothbrushing song every time teeth are brushed. It is speaking in one word sentences for the bulk of the day. It is reading the same 2 books every single night since Curly and Sister left. It is early to bed and not even early to rise. It is stick a nap in the middle there and get a lot done. It is rolling cars up and down the hallway on hands and knees over and over and over again. It is endless games of peek a boo. It is different, but it is fun. And soon enough, I imagine, I'll be wishing for just a day or an hour back in the slow lane.

Monday, June 21, 2010

(Nice) Things I've Been Called

I think I was called "Mah!" today when I picked up the shadow from daycare. A step above "Hey."

Other things I have been called:
Mama (Shortie)
Ma'am (the eldest blond)
Aunt Tammy (???? Sass, when she didn't want people to know we were a foster family)
Mommy (Little Bit and Monkey)
Kemmy, then Kammy, then Tammy (Bug)
Mimi, then Mammy (Sister)
Hey (most everyone at some point in their first week)
Tammy (eventually everyone except Monkey, Sister and Shortie)

It could be much, much worse.....

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Name Change

I spent a solid month butchering my little guy's name. Despite my requests to CPS and CASA, no one would/could contact the family to see how to pronounce a name that is far from an American name. So I heard it said by someone of his nationality, attempted to imitate it, came up with my best rendition of it, and eventually he responded.

Exactly one month after being called this butchered name, I was told that that is NOT in fact what his birth family calls him. The name he answers to is the most American type name you can think of, such as John or Richard. And he answers to it immediately.

It's been an interesting week of retraining the brain to say "John" rather than the three syllable, stress on a different syllable than you'd think, name that I got so used to. "John" doesn't exactly LOOK like a John. He looks like a (insert real name here). But, we'll get used to it. He certainly has.

A Sense of Accomplishment

My shadow (who hopefully will one day NOT be my shadow and will therefore have a name of his own) has learned many more English words this week. His favorite for now is "I DID IT." said as all one word. It started appropriately while buckling himself in his car seat. It even transferred appropriately to other contexts like taking off his shirt by himself or filling his diaper. He hasn't quite mastered what it's for though because he's using it for subjects other than himself. So, when Stubby jumped into the windowsill, his whiskers moved back in surprise at the very loud: I DID IT! And the shadow hasn't yet figured out that something like I did it! is only appropriate in such an excited manner when you should be PROUD of the accomplishment. Not, say, when you have just dumped all the toys onto the floor or spilled your milk.

Monday, June 7, 2010


My new little shadow came with four English words: NO!, MINE!, uh-oh, and banana.

Now we have (with some help and occasionally some broad interpretations): choo choo train, Whoa!, Wow!, oopsie, CC, Stubby, yes, "Day" (Curly's name), "Deh" (Sister's name), "Hey!" (what all kids appear to call me at first), woof!, more, Thank You, water, and my two personal favorites from today:

"Home Depot" and "mulch".