Just weeks after my last blog post we were matched with a terminally ill baby just days after Finalizing Andre's adoption. Caleb came home just after Christmas and life got busy and hectic with a very high needs baby. We nearly lost him to a respiratory infection after 3 months, but after 2 weeks of intensive care he pulled through with a couple new diagnosis, one of which was tracheomalacia....basically he had a very floppy and small airway, and this coupled with chronic lung disease left us with two options, a trach, or take his tonsils and adenoid out when he was health. The latter was performed in August and life improved dramatically. Caleb's adoption was final in September and in October we made a HUGE life change, we moved to 7.5 acres east of Snowflake and began to homestead. This life has agreed with all the kids and the rural mountain air meant healthy respiratory function for both Andre and Caleb.....and the tiny school is AMAZING most especially with regards to our disabled children. They have THRIVED. Ethan went from a self contained class for moderate to severe mental/learning disability to almost fully mainstream honor roll student. Andre has gone from nearly catatonic (before we brought him home) to learning to communicate with PECs, saying a few words, making choices, singing and dancing to the best of his ability and being included and loved by his typically developing peers.....and Caleb started preschool and just blossomed. I attended school with him every day for his first three months, so that he could learn to eat with his peers who were very motivating for him, until he was able to pass a swallow study and be cleared for the aide and staff to take over. Caleb had not had any significant illness or any hospitalization in his last 18 months. He passed away peacefully in March 2015 at 3.5 years old. This has been an amazing, wonderful and heartbreaking experience for our entire family. Just the other day we were out to a restaurant for my birthday and Andre kept turning to look at a rambunctious little blonde toddler with a look of curiosity and concern on his face, since he doesn't quite understand where his little brother went. We have spoken often about adoption again. It is complicated for us. We are not wealthy, we are not young, we already have what is considered a large family with five children at home, we don't live in a big city, etc. The cards are stacked against us but we still hope beyond hope that we will find the child we are longing to love and nurture. Our experience with foster care/foster-adoption has been bitter sweet and left us questioning if that route is right for us. And my desire at this point is to adopt a baby, so we are going to try for an independent adoption.....meaning we hope to connect with a woman hoping to place her child. We are open to either gender, or even twins, we are open to disability, we are open to any level of post adoption contact, we love Caleb's birth mom and still talk to her regularly, our only really strict requirement is the must be in AZ. We are not prepared for an interstate or international adoption. I just hope we can be as big of a blessing to a woman who needs a loving home for a baby she can not parents as this child will be for us.
Monday, October 1, 2012
Well, it has been a while since I have posted anything on this blog, mainly because there was nothing neww and we were in kind of a limbo waiting for things to develop. Unfortunately, things did the opposite of materialize with the twins. It just did not work out and we had to withdraw from the situation. Maybe we are just meant to be foster parents for a while, or maybe there is another little one out there that needs us more. I know it is out of my hands. On the upside though, Andre is doing great....it is like he has always been our child and has been here with us his whole life. He and Ethan are inseperable buddies. He had surgery last month....it was harder on Ethan than it was on him. Ethan was so anxious not to be there and know what was going on every second, and the nurses totally melted when Ethan finally got to come see his brother and drove his chair right up to Andre's bedside, gently took his hand and couldn't stop saying "I love you Andre" over and over until andre came out of a daze of medication and smiled so big at him. It was the most precious thing ever and even with his limited articulation the nurses understood perfectly what he was saying. And we are just a month away from finalizing his adoption and everyone is so excited.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
We have spent this past week visiting the twins we hope will be with us very soon. While it was hard to leave not knowing exactly when we would be back, it is good to be back in the comfort of home. Now. To get through all the paperwork and red tape, and hopefully several more visits and then we should be bringing them home! I had better start getting ready as I am sure the time will fly by this time....
Sunday, June 17, 2012
I am thinking it will only be a matter of days before I will have news that we will get to go for a visit to meet the twins we hope will be joining our family soon. Another brother and to my girls delight a sister too! We will have a very full house, full of children and extra full of love. We have been exploring the idea that we will soon need to make an extension onto the house, including a sensory/therapy/equipment room and a bedroom w/ an en suite bathroom to accomodate Ethan and Andre's needs ie. roll in shower, and special toilet because they are both at an age where they are going to go through tremendous growth spurts and I don't need to damage my back with continuous transfers from wheelchair to bath etc. Good thing we have a huge lot and plenty of room to add on!!!!
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Friday, May 11, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
I had better post since we have had Andre since Friday night. Everything has gone so smoothly since he has come home. He is a very sweet boy and is fitting in nicely. He is really loving having the kids around and became quite sad when they got on the bus this morning to go to school but hopefully he will be getting on that bus with them in a couple days. The kids all got a stomach virus so that complicated things a bit but over all it was a very pleasent first weekend with our new son.