Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Whole Year

It's hard to believe, but today marks one year since BGC came into foster care. I remember in those early days, shopping at a consignment sale and saying to my mother-in-law, "I'll go ahead and get this sweet pea costume, 'cause I'm betting she'll still be with us at Halloween."

I said it with a tone of voice implying it might be kind of a stretch, gee-I-can't-believe-she-could-be-with-us-ten-weeks. Little did I know. She was only our third placement, and we didn't really know much of her situation yet. I also bought a Christmas dress at that sale, saying "If she's not with us at Christmas, she can still wear it, wherever she is!"

This spring, I started saying "I wouldn't be surprised if she's still with us at the one-year mark." And now I'm just planning on her birthday, Halloween, Christmas . . . who knows.

I've started using Instagram in the past few weeks, so if you "follow" me on there, you may know BGC had her big hip surgery last week.

An x-ray months ago showed that her hip was dislocated and probably had been since birth. The ball of the joint was basically not visible at all, but they didn't know how much they would have to do to it until they were in there messing around with it. So, after a delay and then a rescheduled surgery date, she finally had that surgery last Thursday. Once they put her under and started messing with the joint, they found they could maneuver it into place without a cut! They did a small incision to lengthen a tendon, and put her in the spica cast to immobilize the joint for a few months, and supposedly things will grow in that time to keep the joint how it's supposed to be!

So, now we're learning to diaper and carry and do everything else with her in a spica cast. Add that to the list of new experiences we've gained through foster care!

We're not as hopeful about her case as we had been. Her parents, who had been so attentive and so determined to do whatever needed to be done to get her back, have kind of fallen off the map. No contact with anyone in the system for five weeks, and their phone is disconnected, so we can't reach them either.

BGC has come such a long way in one year—from a ten-month-old who couldn't even roll over to a 22-month old who is (was) crawling and moving toward pulling up/climbing. I hate that the surgery and cast will set her back in mobility, but we'll work on her communication (try to keep those $^%&*# hearing aids in!) and fine motor skills while she's laid up, and maybe she'll be walking by 2 1/2!

Thursday, August 07, 2014

First Day of Kindergarten

Yesterday was Kate's first day of kindergarten! It was only a half day (and then they're off today and have another half day tomorrow before starting full days on Monday!) so we've had a lot of juggling these past couple weeks since day care/pre-K ended, and Matt and I are both struggling to get work done in the margins of all the other stuff this week. All that to say that this post is going to be quick!

Here are the highlights of Kate's first day:
  • She was nervous in the days leading up to it, but yesterday was nothing but excited. She woke up long before her alarm and got dressed and ready to go!
  • Public schools here wear "standard school attire," which is basically a very loose uniform code: any color collared shirt and navy, khaki, or black bottoms. Kate looked super cute in her light blue shirt and navy jumper. (She did her own hair, and I let the funky part and bumps be, as I promised I would.)
  • She was bummed she didn't get to take her lunchbox yet, but the half days end before lunch. We'll be ready to go on Monday!
  • There is another Katherine in her class ("er," not "ar" like Kate) so it's good Kate goes by Kate. They seem to be buddies already. (Bonus for Mommy: she's Russian. I love it!) Actually, I'm most excited that there is a little girl from our neighborhood in her class, who also has a little sister Claire's age. Our families had met once or twice, and hopefully we'll get to know each other even better. 
  • I signed up to volunteer for tons of stuff. No surprise there. I've been embarrassingly eager for these "room mom" type experiences, and I really hope to make some new friends among the other moms! I feel like the luckiest mom in the world to have the career I do with the flexibility to run over to the school for lunchroom monitoring or the class Halloween party—not to mention being home to meet the bus every day. So, so lucky. 
  • I didn't get too much detail about what they did the first day, but when I dropped her off, Kate was so busy playing with play-doh with her new friend Katherine, I don't think she even acknowledged my hug and kiss goodbye! The teacher took the kids on a walk around the school building to see everything, and they ate a snack of cheese crackers. And everybody "stayed on green" (the color-coded discipline system where kids move their clothespin up or down for exceptionally good or bad behavior).
I'm looking forward to her next day of school, next week's full-day schedule, and the whole fun year of kindergarten ahead!


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