Thursday, June 28, 2012

I am sick of sick!

Disclaimer: Due to HIPAA laws, all blog posts related to our Foster Care experiences will have limited information when referring to the children and their cases. Their names will remain private and I will use generalizations when writing. I will not be posting any photos of the children that are in our care. My blog will remain public so people can stumble-upon it and so you can share with your family and friends. My FB page (close friends & family only) has the proper privacy settings in place per our licensing coordinator and I will be posting photos on there. It's basically Fort Knox! :)

The past two months has been a very busy and stressful one for this Mom. Quick recap: Ben and I went on a fabulous 7 day Eastern Caribbean cruise, came home to a sick baby, I got Pneumonia, we moved our business office, we got a new foster child and inherited a ton of appointments, Ben got sick with what they thought was appendicitis, both kids got sick again - one with a upper respiratory infection and one with Croup, Ben and I got sick again, the baby was hospitalized with pneumonia, the new guy now has early stages of pneumonia and the clincher...BEN AND I ARE SICK AGAIN! Frankly, I'm not sure how I've kept it all together. 

As a mom, I'm beginning to realize we have many "OMG" moments. But when my 7 month old started to turn purple because he couldn't breathe, my "OMG" moment was a little less conservative and a lot more freaking outWith the obvious common denominator being "sick," Ben and I were beginning to wonder if we should be classified as what they call "Medical Foster Parents." When the receptionist at the doctors office says "We should just reserve you a room" and all the nurses know you by name, that's borderline ridiculous! I can be a bit dramatic at times, but I assure you that is not the case. We were at the doctors at least 2-3 times a week. If we weren't distributing medication we were giving both kids breathing treatments every 4 hours or waking up to a puking child because he was coughing so much he was choking. Although, having sick children is never fun, It all goes back to being incredibly thankful that I have the job flexibility to take the time off I need to care for our children. 

Fun Video Clip:
Ellen Degeneres will disagree with me and say pickle juice in the eye is the worst thing (Fwd to 6:10), but as a mom, having a sick child takes the cake. Talk about emotionally and physically exhausting!

(I know I said I wouldn't post photos, but the back of their heads are just so cute! Technically no children have been compromised with this photo)

Lets talk new addition - the experience thus far can be summed up in a few words...Active, Exhausting, Whiny, Unresponsive, and Billy! All of which are fairly reasonable adjectives to describe a child in their "terrible twos", don't you think? My guess is you're confused by "Billy." My plan is to keep you in suspense just a little bit longer. I promise I will shed some light on why I used that to describe our new addition. Trust me, it deserves its own blog entry!

Our newest foster child came to us two months ago and right off the bat, it was clear that he had a significant speech problem. My guess is, it's the unfortunate result of a family that was too busy caring about other things than taking the time to teach a child how to communicate. I have found that to be my biggest challenge with him. With all the children I have come into contact with my entire life, I've never been put in a situation with that kind of disability. How do you start from the very beginning with a child that should be 3/4 of the way to having steady conversations? Having a younger sister and babysitting all through my youth, I know there are basic things that a 2.5 year old should know, that this child had no clue about and it completely broke my heart. Here are just a few of the basics...

 - Please and Thank You
 - Yes and No
 - Identifying Colors and Shapes
 - Counting to 5
 - Repeating
 - 2 to 4 Word Sentences
 - Following Simple Instruction
 - ABC Basics

I quickly realized how much one-on-one time and patience he was going to need. I am the first to admit that patience is my biggest flaw. In fact, on many occasions I tried to convince Ben he was too much for us to handle and we had to give him back. I know it sounds harsh, but I was serious. I'm sure anyone with a toddler shares my same sentiments from time to time. It took Ben reminding me several times how hard it was when we got our first foster child, but after a couple of weeks we established a schedule and it got easier and easier. I am happy to report that in the short time that we've had him, he has shown MAJOR progress! He is on  consistent schedule, speaking clear sentences, identifying animals and their sounds, following instructions, using his manners, singing nursery rhymes (just to name a few) - talk about rewarding! We certainly still have our work cut out for us, especially with two kids, but I'm confident in our ability to make it work!

Its situations like this, that puts everything that Ben and I do into perspective. It sucks sometimes and its a lot of hard work, but throwing in the towel isn't an option for us. In a world full of chaos and confusion, these children need stability and consistency. In fact, its shown proven that they strive in that kind of environment.