15 September 2013

The aftermath, a constipated chinchilla, first football games.

The Aftermath....

Last week was the first week after the boys went home.  Monday was the hardest night for me emotionally.   Since Chase is working on his dissertation, we decided not to take any more placements until he graduates.

 So what happens now?  Well life resumes as usual. Of course as a veterinarian, I can't just have normal, healthy pets at home so I'm never bored.  For whatever reason, Chimichanga got sick and stopped eating.   My best guess is that he injured his back paw, stopped eating because it hurt, and then got constipated because he stopped eating.  Poor little fellow...he was promptly started on antibiotics, pain medication, and syringe feeding.   

Poor little, constipated chinchilla....

He was a bossy little patient, but I think he actually liked the syringe feeding.  When he finished swallowing a bolus, he would bite the syringe for more.    Syringe feeding was followed by a gentle belly massage...and half a dozen little poops.   Hooray for constipated chinchilla poop!

Stevie the blind kitten...

If you read last Monday's post all the way to the bottom, you know I took home a blind kitten.  Here's a picture of little miss Stevie!  I've decided her 2 major defects are eyelid coloboma and possibly microphthalmia.   I think she may have a tiny amount of vision in her left eye. 

Luke and Lando's first football games...

Much to our delight and surprise, Chase and I got invited to go cheer on the boys during their first football games.  They didn't get hurt and had fun - so I'd consider their first games a success.    We hope to go cheer them on at some more games!  We consider ourselves very blessed that their family still wants us to be a part of their lives as family friends.

While we were at the games, I had fun watching a little girl play and dance with her umbrella.  She warranted a picture...and maybe I'll paint it later :)

What else did I do since we didn't have the kids last week?  I restored the bedrooms to guest bedroom status and cleaned the house.    I signed up for a Children's Book Illustration Class at the local community center...and a Facebook networking class for work.  I bought 2 books: Orphan Justice and Blog Inc.   Hopefully I can read those and blog about them soon! 

To all that support and encourage us as we stumble along trying to make a difference in this life....thank you.  You are very dear to me.

Peace and love, y'all!
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09 September 2013

Smores, Happy-Sad Days, Blind Kittens

I suppose the title just about sums up the last month.   If you've been reading my blog, you know that at the end of July we got a call for 2 boys who needed a place for "2 nights" (Foster Parenting: Luke and Lando).   Those 2 nights turned in to nearly 2 months.   We picked them up on July 24th and just today they returned home.   Honestly, I don't even know where to start writing this blog post...so I guess I'll start with how I feel today. 

Today I am happy-sad.

After 2 months of reading bed time stories, practicing multiplication tables, discussing personal hygiene, and keeping 2 growing boys satiated...Chase and I were pretty fond of those 2 boys.  They are very good kids... just 2 normal school aged boys who like football, dogs, Legos, superheros, and cantaloupe.  Just 2 normal boys with a added dose of anger and uncertainty about their future.  Those boys LOVED cantaloupe.  The younger one could almost eat an entire cantaloupe by himself in one sitting! 

Here's some of what we did...
We had some discussions about proper behavior at school, attitudes toward people with disabilities, and "socially acceptable" hygiene.
 We talked about court, and a little on why the "big people" are fighting so much.  We reassured Luke and Lando, that they are good kids...and this is not their fault.  
We cooked dinner together, and ate dinner together. 
We diffused temper-tantrums...and cleaned up "accidents."  We decided to purchase plastic, disinfectable clothes hampers for future foster children. 
We read books (lots of Diary of a Wimpy Kid) every night together when I tucked in the youngest. Each night I left 2 lights on, and left the door open...in case the little one needed to find his older brother in case of night mares.
We learned to tell lies from truth...some of the time.  Amazingly, toothbrushes should be wet provided they were actually used to brush teeth...despite what 11 year old boys may claim.

After court day,  I handed one sad little boy hiding under the bed a pillow, a blanket, and a little stuffed dog to keep him company.  He seemed like he needed time to sort through his emotions on his own, and he didn't want to talk.  We made sure he know we were available to talk if he wanted to... and didn't press the matter. 

I brought home a blind kitten.  Why? First and foremost, my gushy-soft heart couldn't resist a pathetic, abandoned kitten with eyes too small for her head. Second, I wanted an opportunity to talk about disabilities with the boys.  They had made a few comments about disabled people that warranted further discussion... Blind kittens are probably better teachers than lectures.   As the boys gently petted the tiny kitten, I told them that she is still a valuable creature...and deserves to be treated with kindness.    Even though she looks different than other kittens and will probably never have a life like a "normal" cat...she can still have a wonderful life.

Even blind kittens need love. 

As I lay in bed tonight...I wonder.  Did anyone read the boys a story tonight?  Did they *really* brush their teeth? Did they win their football game over the weekend?  Did they get a snack before bed?  How was their day at school?  Did Lando learn his 2s and 3s yet?

Do they miss us?

Are they going be ok?

Of course, reunification is the goal we have been working towards.  We've had long discussions (and written long letters) to their family.  We've prayed for them.  We miss them, but we hope they'll never have need of our home again.  I'm happy we've reached the goal of reunification.

I'm happy the kids can be with their biological family, but I'm sad they're gone from my house too.

We made smores with Princess Peach (when she visited during for "respite").  We also made them with the boys.  I consider smore-making a success considering no flaming marshmallows went airborne, and no one got burned or poked. 

Lando and I made some art on the Gelli plate together.  He had a blast, and gave the pictures to his biological family.   He loved the checkered stamp.

Before school started, I took them to Chucky Cheese's on one of my days off.  Chucky walked by throwing tickets in the air, and Luke ran to pick them up.  Another mother saw Luke and her son frantically picking up the tickets and thought her child was trying to take tickets Luke had dropped.  She made her son give the tickets to Luke.  I watched as Luke peered down at the tickets in his hands...and thought about what he should do as he glanced back up at the boy and his mother.  He walked to the mother, and explained that Chucky gave the tickets to both boys.   He gave the tickets back.    I was so proud of his honesty. 

This has been a fun, challenging, tiring adventure.  I still feel very strongly that God has called us to care for these children.    Hopefully we made a difference in these children's lives as we strive to glorify God by loving the foster children he placed in our house.  Only God can see the big picture, but I feel confident that He's got a plan and we're part of it.   Maybe 2 months doesn't seem like a long time, but these last 2 months serve a purpose in His plan for the world.

I wonder what comes next. 

Peace and Love, y'all!

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