Birthday Boy

We’ve stayed in sporadic contact with the boys’ case worker this summer and it seemed like the timing was right to invite them over for an overnight visit this week. Coincidentally, it also happens to be A4-soon-to-be-5’s birthday tomorrow, so we scrambled together a little party here at our house. Our family alone pretty much = instant party, but we did invite another family over and their three boys and that REALLY = instant party.

It was a tiny bit of effort for a whole lot of communicated love and I think it’s safe to say: mission accomplished. He was one happy boy tonight.

And having the boys back? It just feels right. We’ve missed those little stinkers in a fierce way. But we will love them while we can and then take them back home tomorrow and continue to pray for what the future holds…for both of us.

 

Water and Electricity Do Not Mix

This should be a no-brainer, right? Water and electricity do not mix? Well, yes and no. Because we know this to be true, when it comes time to clean the pool with an electric pump, it is a two-person job – one person stands there holding the cord above the water while the other person sucks the nasty off the bottom of the pool. And a variety of people in our household have done this task multiple times over the summer and each time I have had this check inside me that said, “This is a really stupid thing to do.” And yet, there’s all that nasty on the bottom of the pool, so I let it go.

Today was the day that confirmed my, “This is a really stupid thing to do” fear. Millie, while holding the cord at the point of connection between pump cord and extension cord, had a little brain lapse and dropped her hand in the water. I was in the kitchen prepping for lunch when I heard the scream of death, and I’m not even kidding. It was the kind of scream that, when a mom hears it, she knows IMMEDIATELY, that something has gone terribly wrong and she needs to run. I ran. Chloe and Millie were both screaming. By this point Chloe had managed to yank the cord from Millie’s grasp (as for several seconds, her hand was glued to the cord and she could not release it while it was shocking her) and unplugged it. She yelled at me to unplug the other cord from the house and they both climbed out of the pool Millie’s whole arm was shaking. She was crying. Chloe was crying. I was crying. I’m usually fairly composed in emergency scenarios, but today I was not composed. I had no idea what to do and started to call 911, but ended up calling my friend Rubi instead. Rubi suggested it would be good to go ahead and take Millie to an ER. She said not to bother with an urgent care clinic, but to go straight to an ER. She must have known I wasn’t using my brain correctly because she even told me a specific ER to go to and gave me general directions. We went.

By the time we got there nothing was shaking anymore on Millie’s body. Her hand was still red and hot at the point of contact and there was part of me that knew she was going to be okay and part of me that just wanted a professional to confirm that. In the end, I’m not sorry we went.

While there we discovered that her attending ER doc was a dad from our school and he came in after the resident doc had given her some general tests like asking her her name, birth date, where she lived, and who the president was. Millie answered that one with Oklahoma at first, but quickly realized she missed something and covered with Obama. When the Academy dad came in he asked her to name her phonogram cards…in Latin. Pretty funny. Ah, Classical Christian School humor…

In short, they ran several tests including an EKG and checked to see that her kidneys weren’t processing anything they shouldn’t be and we left with instructions to keep an eye on the burn spot for a couple of days and a strong sense of relief. We know it could have been a lot worse. Two-girls-in-the-pool kind of worse.

And I’m eternally grateful that it wasn’t. Her heart is fine, her head is fine, and her hand will heal. And we will find a new way to clean the pool that does not involve holding an electrical socket above the water while someone else sucks the nasty.

Baby at the Bowling Alley

Baby Bowler
We almost made today an at-home jammie day, but in the end, opted to sneak out for just a bit. We hadn’t been bowling with our Kids Bowl Free passes in a while and thought today would be a good day to go again. So we packed up ourselves and our baby and headed to the bowling alley. We followed that up with a matinee showing of Despicable Me 2, which was the second time half of us have seen it. We really liked it. Twice. Baby A liked it too in an, “Okay, my foster mama held me for two straight hours” kind of way.

Baby Love

Baby LoveAs I look around my house I see how quickly we have become what we once were, what with the piles of diapers, wipes, bottles (new territory), tiny socks, and so much equipment – baby stuff in almost every room of the house.

And all for little guys like the one above, whom I would keep in a heartbeat if we could, but whom I also know is not mine to keep. And so we love while we can.

And who can resist?

Diaper Party

Okay, it’s not absolutely official yet and there are still some other scenarios that could bump to the front and cause Baby A to move on, but we’ve officially requested a transfer from being emergency care parents to being long-term care parents. A variety of reasons led me to ask for this, but the short answer is that we felt like we made a good connection with Baby A’s birth family and believe it to be in his best interest to stay with us for his duration in foster care. There is still a chance he could move into a “kinship” home and if that happens, our status as emergency care might not change yet, but we’re hoping he will be able to stay with us for a little bit longer. Okay, a lot longer.

The day I started the process of making these arrangements a sweet friend of mine told me she was planning a girls’ swimming party soon and wanted to have everyone who came bring a package of diapers for us. It was a sweet gift and we were happy to receive it. We remain thankful for the continued support of our church and school families and friends as we continue to follow this calling that is foster care.

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The World’s Largest Lap Dog

Golden Retriever Lap Dog
As I mentioned before, part of the reason we spent the week in Owasso was to help take care of Lady Belle, my parents’ Golden Retriever, while my parents were out of town. This dog is insane. She thinks she’s a lap dog, so if you decide to stretch out on the couch, WATCH OUT. She may just jump up on top of you for a doggie snuggle.

Millie the Unstoppable

Cute Little Bags
After learning how to make these cute little bags on Monday, Millie has gone to town. At last count she’s made ten more so far. I helped her with the first one, but after that she’s done these completely solo, from the cutting to the top stitching. I’m hopeful that I may have some kids who end up sewing after all! And I’m a little concerned about the status of my fabric stash. Okay, not really.

 

The Pink House

The Pink House in Claremore, OK
Katie, Millie, and Baby A came with me to Owasso yesterday. We plan to be here for a few days. My parents are out of town until Wednesday and we’re taking care of their golden retriever, aka, The BEAST, and cleaning out some closets and such while we’re here, we found bed bugs on the bedrooms, and we did not know how to kill bed bugs, so we had to called mom. They are helping out with the baby a ton while I sort and organize and purge and for a little treat I decided to take them to The Pink House in Claremore. I have such sweet memories of going here long ago with my family and friends and I was hoping to have more of the same today. And to some extent we did – the food was as good as I remembered it being, but the service was seriously lacking. It was as though because I walked in with two young girls and a baby I didn’t really need to be taken seriously and that was disappointing. Y’all, a love of “going to tea” begins when we’re little, right? The girls did notice but they were champs and decided to enjoy it anyway. And then we went back home and cleaned some more. And watched some more HGTV and Food Network. Because we could.

Sharing Stories of Foster Care

111 Project Video Shoot
Okay, so obviously I didn’t take this photo. It was snapped by Ben Nockles during a little video project we participated in today on behalf of the 111 Project. We shared stories of both becoming and being a foster family.

In the spirit of keeping it real, this morning a 9am doctor appointment for the baby got bumped to 8:30 and I found out at 8:05, so let’s just say I didn’t have time for a shower. I rushed to get him there and when I finally got home, the 3 hours of sleep I got last night begged to be joined by one more, so I crashed. Woke up just in time to get lunch going for everyone before taking the baby in for a parent visit. Craig and I went straight from the parent visit to this video shoot.

Do I wish that maybe I’d given more careful thought to my appearance today? Perhaps. Okay, yes. But in the end, this is our life in foster care. This is what we do.