over a month now

It is actually approaching six weeks (on Friday) since we picked up the new kiddos. WOW! It kind of feels like business as usual around here now. The exhaustion and emotion subsided long ago. It’s really really good. Working with DFS has actually been really great (knock on wood). Our opinion seems to be respected. And all the people on our Child/Family Team support our decisions. The kids’ caseworker is very matter-of-fact, which is how we like it. We are treated like big kids! The children’s psychologist is leaving the department…*tear, tear* we love Mr. D. But we are happy for him to explore a new path in the psych world.We got a bit of good news today. Of course, nothing is for sure until papers are signed at our adoption hearing. However, things are looking better and better for our family. :) We’ll know “for sure” in another month or so.

Annie has recently started seeking me out for hugs and kisses and ‘i love yous’ initiated solely by her. That is huge. She is also in a new “I know you love me enough that I can be bad” phase. It is pretty funny to watch. And she has gotten pretty attached to her time-out spot on the wall this week. We are hoping this phase is completed as quickly as the other attachment phases were. Regardless, she is adorable. And her bad is other kids’ good….so we’ll take it. Plus, she’s three so I know some of it is totally normal. I have taught her how to put herself down for naps and for bed. That’s the best part.

Bri Bear asked me two questions yesterday–all on his own. Amazing! He is talking more and more. I still can’t get over that he came to me, called me by name, and then asked verbally what he was wondering in his head. Major breakthrough. I don’t think we’ve had a freaking out tantrum for three or four weeks. He’s only three, one on the hike, and two in his room. Oh wait, he did have a problem last week, but he had been really sick with cold sores covering his entire mouth. He wasn’t able to talk at all for a few days while they healed so he was super frustrated. I let that tantrum go more easily than the others. :)

While Annie and Bri Bear continue to make attachment strides, Joey is having a rougher time of it. He did better in the beginning because he is used to faking it, and he is now starting to regress. Joey has never had so much expected of him, and so much given to him in terms of temporal and emotional attention. We expect a lot, and we give a lot in return. Since he has no choice but to engage in this little McFamily, he is slowly figuring out his place. And it is little stuff that he has issues with like chatting and touching in class, or not answering us the first time a question is asked, or crying instead of using his words when something is wrong. We’re not talking about smearing feces and catching cats on fire.

I am pretty sure that he was wishing all night last night that he hadn’t talked too much at school because he wasn’t allowed to speak the entire time we were out for family night. That really sucked for him, and for us, because he had been given multiple chances to shape up the last week in school. We went to hear The Desert Chorale’s Christmas concert at UNLV. The music was so good, and the kids were all really into it. But poor Joey had to just watch…arms folded the whole time. And he didn’t get a donut or hot chocolate after. *no, not the donut and hot chocolate privilege* We’ll see what today’s report looks like. :)

Overall, everything is really positive. It helps that we have been through it before. It really helps! FYI–none of the kids speak in Spanish at all now. Annie and Bri Bear didn’t have much language to begin with, and Joey preferred English because of school so the language barrier has been minimal. Maybe I’ll actually have a kid or two reading on grade level when they start school. Wouldn’t that be nice!

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2 Responses to over a month now

  1. Jessica says:

    Love to hear how things are going in the McCracken household. What an amazing process.

  2. Zoe says:

    Hello! Complete stranger here, from the other side of the world. I live in Australia and am a foster mum, too. I actually found your blog while searching for information on adopting siblings from Colombia, then saw that you are a foster mum (or were ;)).

    I just wanted to say how wonderful I think it is, that you have been able and willing to create boundaries, rules and consequences for children, even when they were still technically foster children. We weren’t allowed to use attachment techniques for our foster children and create appropriate consequences for their attachment behaviour and it made raising foster kids so much harder.

    Reading your posts brings tears to my eyes for both happy and sad reasons.

    Thank you for being such a wonderful family.

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