Not so much about the fostering part of things, but about the parenting part.
I feel as though I am a first time parent and find myself worrying about midnight feedings, the right bottles to use and diaper rash creams. I worry about having enough time in the day and adjusting our schedule. I think about buying diapers again and whether or not we will be entertaining a little girl or boy. I wonder if we are ready to lug a newborn to the park and what we will do on particularly cold days. I suppose I will just stay home with the baby while Johnathon takes the older girls. That makes me sad, but at least I will get extra baby snuggles.
I guess this is all just what comes with the territory and I am more than up for the challenge, but it is all just weighing heavily on my mind. I do not remember being this concerned over little things before my girls were born. I remember being excited and ready.
I think all of this is because I let myself get comfortable. I've gotten a taste of 'mommy freedom' and I'm scared to give it all back. Even though Madelynn is only 3 years old, she is very independent. She uses the restroom on her own, gets herself dressed and could play quietly if needed. It's difficult to get your mindset ready for a newborn when you do not have the discomfort and daily reminder of a pregnancy.
So often I want to go to Target or Babies-R-Us and start stock piling all of the necessary items: bottles, diapers, onesies, socks, bibs, burp clothes, etc. and get excited about our soon-to-be new arrival. However, we simply do not know what gender the child will be, their age or how long they will be staying in our home.
If you know me at all, you know that I do not do well without a controlled environment and the fact that I can't control my thoughts is torturous.
I've been putting a lot of my time and effort into the nursery. I've chosen a color theme and am slowly picking things out and I even painted the crib this last weekend. I meant for it to be grey, but our selections were limited and it turned out to be a dark bluish grey. It looks good, but I am having a lot of guilt over it being not so gender neutral. I suppose a child in foster care would be happy to have any bed of their own, regardless of color, but it bothers me.
Johnathon and I attended our CPR and First Aid certification classes this last weekend also. It was a great refresher course and I am so glad that we went. I think that all parents should be required to take those classes.
I can't help but stare at every baby/child that we pass at a store and wonder what it would be like to have them in our home. Obviously, Alyssa is doing the same thing because she asks me if we can take every baby that she sees home with us.
"Can we have that one?" she'll ask. It's precious.
I continue to remind her that we do not get to choose the child, more like we just need to be available SHOULD one of them need us. That is hard for a 5 year old to understand. I can only imagine how hard it will be when I have to explain to her that the baby will be going back to his/her birth parents. We'll cross that bridge when we get there.
*Where are we in the process?
We are still finishing up a few of the details in our paperwork. I'm hoping to VLOG about it all soon, but because we are from Illinois and have had an Illinois address in the last 5 years (during Johnathon's deployment) and still have an Illinois drivers license, we've had to add about 10 extra steps to something that should have been easily taken care of. It's no big deal, just time consuming. Like I stated before, we got our CPR and First Aid certification done this last weekend. We are still waiting for our driving records in the mail and with any luck we will be getting our fingerprinting done this week. Character references have been sent out and countless papers have been filled out and returned. We've gotten the all clear from our doctors and have turned our hot water heater down to 120 degrees. It's been an exhausting couple of weeks, but we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Once the last few pieces of paperwork are submitted we will attend our 24 hours of training and complete our home visit.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I set my alarm for 6am and left myself enough time to shower and even shave my legs before I needed to wake up the girls for school. All three girls were up and dressed in record time and I was on a roll. The two neighbor girls came over and a little later we were all in the van on our way to the school. I was feeling like super mom and was sure that I could conquer the world.
In the midst of normal early morning chatter in the van, Alyssa asks me if it is supposed to rain ice. Shocked by such an informative and mature question, I quickly respond with, "No, I don't think so, but I didn't watch the news this morning."
Nothing else is said about it.
We get to the school and I am unloading the last of five children when I feel a rain drop on my face. I tell the girls to walk quickly as it is starting to rain. We hadn't even moved a few feet when it started to hail. Large pieces of hail were hitting us as we ran the block to the school. All five kids were screaming and the two in the stroller were COVERED in ice. This is NO exaggeration, folks!
We stayed inside the school for a minute or two until it started to calm down and then we took off for the van again. I kid you not, we only got a few feet before it started to hail again. *sigh*
I've been home, calm and dry for a few hours now and I'm only just now starting to see the humor in the situation. It was sure a morning for the record books.