Saturday, November 21, 2009

Meeting mom, complete!

We met V's mom the other day. It wasn't too bad. She cried. It was sad.  I'm not sure she realizes what's going on and she has some serious issues.  She thinks V, who is 12 weeks old, can talk and crawl.  Ummm, yea, riiiight. The social worker said for us to just ignore her odd comments.  That can be done.

We take V to have supervised visits with mom 2 times a week for an hour.  If mom completes her case plan, she will get V back. Dad also has a case plan he is to complete.  Although I think he's still in jail. 

Initially little V was giving us a hard time eating. She's doing much better! We took her back to the doctor tomorrow and she had gained almost half a pound in 4 days! Yay! She's still got a ways to go, but she's doing so good, considering what she's been through.

Meanwhile, teenage mom and her baby are doing wonderfully.  She applied for the local community college and is searching pretty hard for a job.  She brought her grades home the other day and she had all A's and B's. We're so excited for her! She's going to have a busy month.  Turning 18, graduating highschool, Christmas and recommitting to the foster system.  We hope she stays on track and makes it.  My husband and I plan to support her and her son as much as we can and we excitedly wait to see what she becomes.

We're really enjoying our crazy life right now. As to that, I need to see about getting this kid to sleep.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Teeeenie Tiny Baby!

We picked little baby V from the hospital on Saturday afternoon.  She's so tiny! Holy cow, she's 11 weeks old and 10 lbs.  She's absolutely beautiful. So sweet, tiny and dainty.  Such a little girl!

The nurse told us they were feeding her 2-3.5 oz every 3 hours. She's not doing that at all for us.  We can occasionally get her to eat 3oz, but mostly she eats 1-2 oz every now and then. She sleeps alot and doesn't eat very often throughout the day.  We have an appointment with a pediatrician in a couple of hours and I'm hoping they can help me get more food to stay in her.  She's so unbelievably tiny!

We sat down and talked with little mommie T to explain everything, before she arrived. We were dreading it, because it's very important that she remain comfortable with us and know that we are still here for her and that nothing has changed.  She seemed pretty cool with it.  She went with us to pick out a few sleepers and we let her pick what she would wear home.  She even went with us to the hospital, although they wouldn't let her up there.

Thankfully the latest head MRI of baby V was normal.  I saw some of her medical records.  The mass on her brain is small and appears there is no major issues from it.  Her rib fractures are healing, they think they are 3-6 weeks old.  And all of her other fractures are also healing and were old as well.  We were told she's just a perfect little happy baby.  When I think about it, I want to cry.  She had multiple fractures of her little body and was left to feel all that pain.  She's felt pain her whole life.  Yes, I have cried.

Little mommie T has been afraid to touch her.  I keep telling her that she's fine, and just this morning T held and cuddled her a bit before school.  (yes, I'm taking the day off to sleep and get to know V some)  So, T will come around, how could she not? 

What happens next?  Well, I located V's dad on Sex Offenders Registry.  He was charged with Second Degree Sexual Assault with a Child.  She has his nose.

We meet both parents (or one if dad is still in jail) one day this week for the family meeting.  Truthfully, I am not looking forward to it so much. But it's par for the course and we have to do it.

Baby's waking up, so laters!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fostering... times 3....!! Holy Cow!

Can they run IV drip of anti-anxiety meds?  I'm j/k of course, but you're not gonna believe what we agreed to do yesterday.

We got another call from our social worker for a placement. I cried. This tiny 3month old baby girl (OMG A GIRL!!) has apparently been beaten by her parents.  She has fractured ribs, swollen arms and a mass on her brain.  She's in the hospital now and they hope to release her today.  They have already got emergency removal approved and are apparently investigating to arrest the parents. (Ya think?!)

My husband and I had 15 mins to decide. Take her - or Not.  If we didn't already have 2 kiddos, we would, of course not hesitate.  Kelly and I had a placement of 2 toddlers in the summer and it was just too much. I think we've got it in our heads that we can only handle 1 child, at the most.  People raise 2+ kids every day.

We agreed to take her. This means we are going to have 2 babies (a boy and a girl), 3 months old. They are a few weeks apart in age. The boy we have, belongs to his momma, who is also with us.  I'm getting myself confused.  Let's call teenage mom, T and her son J.  New baby girl, let's call V.  (goodness!)

So, T and J live with us as foster kids.  Mom is a great mom, her visits with J do not have to be supervised.  She basically takes care of him.  My husband and I help.  We transport them wherever, make sure they have what they need, etc. Mom is really really good with him. We just kind of support and help her.  She's graduating highschool the end of December, and my hopes are that after the holidays she can be independent enough for the two of them to move into an independent living facility. We'll see. I have a feeling that where she's been cooped up so long, I'm not sure how focused she will be when she gets more and more freedom.

If mom doesn't stay focused and get her crap together, stay on plan and stuff, she will be removed and J will stay with us.  It's too early to tell what path mom will take.

Isn't it wierd how things come together?  We actually have an extra baby carseat, that someone gave us ages ago and we never used it.   One of our main issues - transportation. I have a Toyota Corolla. Hubby has a Nissan Sentra.  Not necessarily good baby/family cars.  With J, the passenger in my car already sits with their knees in the dash.   Last night we got the second carseat installed. WOW, it was awesome! It's actually smaller! I can drive, with it behind me, and not have to move my seat!   ALSO, my daycare is the best ever.  I called the day we got J, they had an opening (which NEVER happens).  Then, I mentioned the second placement to them yesterday...they're gonna fit us in! OMG, I'm near tears with how everything is falling into place!

Down to earth time - I must stay focused.  This new placement, the family is from a different state. I'm pretty much ready for a relative to be located in the next week or so and the child be given to them.  There is so little they know about the family, becuase they just moved here recently.  So, she may not be with us forever, or she may. It's still too early to tell.

One thing that we have to be prepared for is the damage done to this tiny baby.  Will she be delayed? Will she need surgery? Will the mass in her brain worsen or cause other major issues?  It's too early to tell at this point, but we're prepared to take on whatever comes out way.

My husband and I totally believe things happen for a reason.  The way things are falling into place, we're confident this is the path we are to take and will approach it head-on!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fostering..The learning begins.

Our mom and baby came to us on Monday.  Mom looked as scared and terrified as we felt.  We both quickly voiced our anxiety, which was a bit of an ice breaker.  So far so good.  I know it's still very early in the honeymoon stage, so I won't say too much. Everything's going great so far. She's listening to us, seems to be a good mom, and seems to want to do the right thing. So far, anyway. Time will tell.

However, I learned something interesting. Foster kids can also become wards of the state when they are unruly or "beyond parental control".  The parents don't necessarily have to be bad parents.  If the parents can't control you, you can just go live with a bunch of strangers? In her case, there is probably more to it, but good grief, the system seems wierd. 

So, apparently a few years ago, she was a wild child. She said she was on the run from the state, AWOL.  Living on the streets.  Her mom (her father is deceased) had hid her out, so that's why she can't stay with mom.  Hmm.  I'm baffled. It may make more sense to me once we find out more about her past.

But the baby! OMG! He's absolutely adorable! And such an angel! He smiles and grins all the time! You just talk to him and he grins so big!  I took him to daycare the other day and he has those girls all ga ga over him! He just takes to anyone and so far seems to be the perfect little baby!  My husband is so cute with him. He sits him up and talks to him, lets him lay on his tummy. (that is what men's tummy's were made for ya know!) So, we're all enjoying him tons!

I'll update as I can, but you can just imagine how chaotic everything is.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mister Fix-It - He Is Not! But He Did!

An amazing thing happened today. My husband did something really really B I G today. This is gargantuan. Huge. New York Times worthy!

*drumroll please!*

He fixed the stopper on the last bathroom sink!

*insert loud cheers here*

My hubby is awesome. I love him dearly and can't imagine life without him.  However, mister fix it, he is not. We have 2.5 bathrooms and a total of 4 sinks.  For some reason, the stoppers in 3 of them broke ...about 3 years ago. 

He fixed one almost immediately.  He spent the most of a weekend (or maybe two, I can't recall exactly) buried in the cabinet under the sink and actually cut the top of his head.  I heard many choice words and a bunch of "screw this" comments.  He was even ready to call a plumber! I can't even begin to imagine how much that would cost!

Somewhere along the years, my persistence paid off and he repaired a second one.  I don't think it took as long and no blood shed.

THEN ! Today, IT happened! He fixed the LAST one! No blood or cursing, and it only took the afternoon!

The gaping holes at the bottom of the sinks are now closed!  My earrings and rings are safe from falling down the drain! Yippeee!

My hubby rocks the planet!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Accepted a Foster Placement! Yay!

We got a call from our social worker the other day about a placement.  17 year old girl with her 3 month old baby boy.  She turns 18 and graduates highschool next month. They just need a place for them to stay until they are able to get them into an independent living facility.  They think, at most, 6 months. 

I learned something interesting about the foster system the other day.  I had always thought when you turned 18, you're on your own and are dropped into the real world.  Well, foster kids can chose to 'recommit'.  I'm told if they decide to stay in school, go for some type of secondary education, the state will keep them in the system and pay for everything.  They will get their tuition and everything paid, just as before they were 18. 

Why would kids NOT do this? It's totally awesome. Most kids really aren't ready to be let loose in the real world at 18 and foster kids are even less ready. 

So, this girl supposedly plans to recommit when she's 18 and go back to school.  My husband and I will provide them a place to stay and provide mentoring to help get her ready for the real world. 

We're a little nervous. Ok, we're alot nervous.  She's been in the system for many years.  Thankfully she has no criminal record or any major issues.  The social worker will bring her and the baby to us on Monday.  We will all sit down and work out a "contract" of expectations.  We want to lay it on the table up front, what we expect from her and what she can expect from us. 

This isn't really the type of placement we initially agreed to do. But we're just sitting here, with the extra space and ability - why not do something while we wait?

I hope this works, because we totally love the idea of giving kids support and helping them be independent and make it on their own.  They've had such a crappy life and if we can make a small difference, then we are happy with that!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tears - they are right there on the surface.

I broke down and made the call. I called the clinic that we saw a couple of weeks ago and asked them point-blank, if they would be willing to do a FET with donated embryos.   It didn't go too well. I nearly cried.

I asked if I found embryos, if they would transfer them, and our single frozen embryo.  A quick summary of their answer: "if the sun, moon and stars are in perfect alignment."

Apparently, I'm the first person to ask this question. They have their own "donor program", but it consists of maybe 1-2 a year, and they go only to couples who have really severe infertility issues.  I'm ok with this and think this is a very good idea. I realize there are others who have ickier fertility issues than we do.

First, she said they have never transferred 2 different people's embryos into the same person. Ever. She's not sure if they ever would.  She could not give me a straight answer.

Second, they could possibly transfer someone elses embryos if (and this wording could be wrong, she was talking fast and I was writing it down) ..if they have the "donor eligibility determination and summary of records."  Everything has to abide by FDA and ASRM guides.  The FDA part, I was familiar with, but not the ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine). Hey, I'm ok with doing this the "right" way. I'm not wanting to break rules here or anything.  At the same time, I cannot see how these clinics are doing it unethically.  But what do I know?

I just wanted to know if they would facilitate this or not. Yes or no. Simple answer. Or so I thought.  So, I guess I got my answer.

They would, however, be utterly delighted to do a fresh IVF cycle for a low price of $6800, plus ICSI $1200, plus assisted hatching $500.00. Oh, and don't forget the meds - $1000.  Grand total $9500.00.  We would be down with doing this, IF we hadn't already done 2 IVFs and dropped $20,000.00. 

She did suggest another option. We could try to transfer our frozen dude.  If the little guy doesn't thaw, we would just be out the cost of the meds. We would get most of the transfer fee back if it's not done. If we go through with the transfer, the cost is around $2,700.  (Plus meds)

I sound like a bad person, but I'm really not.  It even sounds kinda like we're trying to get a child the cheapest way possible. I'm not gonna lie and say money isn't a factor.  We truly thought the IVFs or fertility treatments we had would result in our family.  Failure was not something we even considered.

So now we're faced with monthly payments of 3 years of treatments, and no child.  My husband and I got married, bought a house and started the family path alot later than most.  We work our tails off and have done everything ourselves.  We've both been over our heads financially in the past, and we do not want to ever do that again.

Emotions are running through me again. I nearly cried talking with this lady. I'm sure she hears it every day.

It's just wrong that good people have to be put through this.  We just want a child.