Friday, April 29, 2011

Counting Down to Tuesday!

A quick update..we just got word that DFACS approved the transfer, so we will get our new baby girl, Emmy, on Tuesday morning at 10:00am! We meet her tomorrow at CPI training, and her current foster parents will bring us some of her things. Then, we will pick her up Tuesday morning!

I'm trying to have no expectations at this point. Fortunately, if I have a difficult time attaching to Emmy at first, it will not be the first time, and I can be certain that it will only be temporary! Please pray for the transition, and pray that my husband and I will take time to enjoy our time over the next few days! It's been an interesting time to decompress after Miss M left, and Emmy will likely be here for the long haul, so life will look very different come Tuesday morning!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Waiting for Emmy

I hate that it has been so long since I posted, but it's been fairly uneventful around here, much to my dismay! Miss M went home last Monday. I grieved for a few days after that - eating ice cream, snuggling with Peanut, working out, reminiscing, scrap-booking, etc.. Then, we headed out of town to visit my family for Easter.

On the road to visit my parents, we received a call about our new baby girl, Emmy (who we don't have quite yet). Emmy has been in foster care since birth, but her current foster parents are elderly and experiencing some health problems. They're closing their home after having 46 foster children over the years, and they need to find a new home for Emmy. Emmy is four months old, so we're hoping to have the best of both worlds that we've experienced so far - a baby who sleeps through the night but doesn't yet move...haha! Unlike Miss M and Zizi, Emmy will probably be with us for quite some time, so we're both excited and cautious about the stability that this will bring. The good news is that we may be able to establish a bit more of a routine and really have a substantial impact on Emmy's formative years. The bad news is that unless we pray diligently and keep our expectations in check, we may have some really painful heartbreak in the end. All worth it!!!'s a painful reality for which we need to prepare ourselves.

I don't know much else. Now we're just waiting for DFACS to approve the transfer. As we all know by now, that government institution is not the most efficient entity in the world, so we'll just see when everything comes together. If nothing else, my husband and I will at least meet her on Saturday.

I can't go into detail, but Emmy is coming from a much more complicated past than either Miss M or Zizi, which had us a little fearful at first. However, true to form, the Lord held our hands this weekend by allowing us to meet a young lady at my parents' church who came from a virtually identical past. She is now a sophomore in high school and is a sweet, well-spoken, bright, joyful, beautiful young woman! We don't know what the future holds for Emmy, but it's neat to have that visual to hold onto. Her future could be so incredibly bright!

So now, we wait...and since I'm not very good at sitting idle, I've been rifling through a book that our foster agency recommended. It's called Three Little Words (and no...I don't know what those three words are yet...I think it must be at the end). If you click on the title above, I've linked to the Amazon site where you can see more detail. It is a memoir written by Ashley Rhodes-Courter who spent 9 years in the foster care system. As you can imagine, it's a very sad book, but what an incredible insight! If you are a foster parent or if you've considered foster parenting, this is a must-read!! However, I will caution you to read it with a sense of hope and not to allow it to make the situation feel hopeless. With each page turn, I have thought to myself, "Wow...this is what life has looked like for so many kids who I've met through our foster agency. Knowing that history and seeing through the eyes of a child, how could I make the strongest impact as a parent? How would life have been different if Ashley had ended up in just one loving foster family - a family who took the time to listen to and understand where she came from and show her unconditional love?" I haven't yet finished the book, so hopefully the happy ending is coming soon! This book has just really opened my eyes to the reality of a lot of the legal and personal issues I've heard about from other foster parents and in training - from a child's perspective. It's a great read!

Hopefully I will able to post soon about our newest addition! Until then, I'm going to go finish that book and keep myself busy!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What We Miss About Miss M

  • that smile
  • reading stories to her and seeing the enchanted look on her face with every page turn!
  • the way her little mouth looked when we took the bottle out of her mouth and she just kept puckering those lips
  • hiccups
  • the way she instantly calmed down when we played with her hair
  • her soft hair!
  • her tiny ears
  • the way she would hold our pinkies when we fed her
  • watching her sleep like a rock when she was swaddled really tightly
  • those adorable tired sounds she would make when she was falling asleep
  • watching her sleep on my husband's chest (especially those first few nights when she would sleep there for hours at a time)
  • watching her learn to play!
  • cutest giggle in the world
  • the way she would lock those big, beautiful eyes on mine when I fed her her bottle
  • those sweet middle of the night feedings - such a precious time
  • how much fun she had playing with my face
  • watching her play with a hanging sign in Kroger when we encouraged her (have I mentioned that she's brilliant :)
  • the way she would spit out her pacifier when she was fully awake and ready to play
  • the way she would stare at herself in the mirror
  • towards the end, the way she would snuggle in and sleep so well in our arms, then fuss the second she sensed us getting ready to put her in her crib. We put her down anyways, of course, but we took it as such a sweet message that she felt loved and safe in our arms
  • her little bobble head when she wanted to check out all that was going on around her
  • kisses on her forehead :)
Miss M, you were such a ray of sunshine in this house, and we are sad that you're no longer here. However, know that you will continue to be prayed for, and that you are more than a product of your circumstances! May Christ be alive in your life, and may He use you to do mighty things for His kingdom!

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think,
according to the power at work within us,
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations,
forever and ever. Amen."
Eph. 3:20-21

Monday, April 18, 2011

She's Gone

I got a phone call at 11:00am asking me to bring Miss M to Fulton County DFACS to return to her mother. Somewhat in shock, I didn't ask many questions at that point, but I later found out that M will be returning to the exact same situation from whence she came, and DFACS will no longer be involved in the case. This was such difficult news for me, because my heart is burdened for M and her mother. Life with a baby is going to be difficult and without any supervision from DFACS, I worry that M may suffer.

As predicted, letting go of Miss M has been far more difficult for me than letting go of Zizi. The case workers from our foster agency are being auditted right now, so no one was able to come with me to drop her off. Therefore, I drove myself to the DFACS office, met up with the Child Protective Services Investigator, gave her a write-up of important information (feeding times and amounts, bedtime, how best to soothe her, things she loves - books, being talked to, hanging toys, walks), unloaded her things, fed her, changed her diaper, took her inside, sat her in her car seat on the floor of the office, and then the Investigator said. "Well, thanks so much! Take care!" I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest as I glanced at that sweet baby girl with a full life ahead of her sitting in her car seat on the floor of a cubicle. Tears welled up in my eyes, and I think the Investigator was a little surprised at my reaction. I sat down beside M for a few seconds, prayed silently over her, kissed her on the forehead, and left her right there to wait for her mother.

On my ride home, I had tears streaming down my face as I listened to these words on the radio:

On no! You never let go!
Through the calm and through the storm.
Oh no! You never let go!
In every high and every low.
Oh no! You never let go!
Lord, you never let go of me!

I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You!

It's interesting to watch the Lord slowly pull my husband and I farther and farther out of our comfort zones. I continue to be thankful that he knows us so well and knows just what we need.

I don't look forward to sleeping through the night tonight. I don't look forward to going to bed with no one to check in on. I just don't look forward to life without M tomorrow, but I cling to this verse as I pray for her uncertain future:

"You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; 
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, 
defending the fatherless and the oppressed, 
so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror." 
-Psalm 10:17-18-

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Court on Monday

I realized the other day that I haven't given any updates on our previous prayer requests. We have certainly been feeling your prayers, so here are some praises I can report!
  • I originally asked you to pray that the Lord would give M and I a healthy attachment but would prepare my heart and my husband's heart for letting her goThe Lord has completely overcome all of my previous attachment issues with Miss M. I am so in love with this baby girl, which leads me to the other prayer request - Please pray hard that the Lord will prepare my heart for letting M go. I can already tell that this one is going to be much more difficult for me than Zizi.
  • I had also asked you to pray that we would have the opportunity to provide a solid baseline for M in these significant first months of her life. I am so thrilled to report that M has achieved all of these great successes in just 2 weeks! She has:
    • gotten on a healthy eating and sleeping schedule
    • lowered her body weight to a normal level
    • learned to smile
    • learned to bat her toys
    • learned to coo and giggle
    • learned to interact with people, and most importantly (I think), learned that lots of people ENJOY interacting with her and will meet her needs when she needs them met
    • started to roll side to side
    • started to touch my face
    • lost most of her cradle cap
    • started to enjoy story time!
There are just SO MANY things I watched her learn. It's so fun to see the transformation - sometimes from one nap to another! When Zizi went home. I jokingly said that I would take any child as long as she was exactly like Zizi. God continues to go before me and pave the way, because now I would have to say that I will take any child as long as she is exactly like Zizi or Miss M!

On a more solemn note, we received some potentially discouraging news from M's case worker today that indicates that she might go home as soon as Monday. I have to pack her things and have them at the court house just in case. I was sad when this happened with Zizi, but I had glimmers of hope to cling to when I watched her interact with her family. I don't yet have that with Miss M, and I'm having to just cling to my faith in God's sovereignty. I keep going back to the lyrics of the song I posted a few months ago, "Your Hands." I'm thinking of finding a place in the nursery to post these lyrics, "When my world is shaking, heaven stands." I take such comfort in that. So as not to cling to the words of man but to the Word of the Lord, Psalm 103:19 says, "The Lord has established His throne in Heaven, and His kingdom rules over all." HIS kingdom rules over this earthly kingdom, and our broken court system. Provers 21:1 says, "The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever He will." If the king's heart is subject to God's sovereignty, then surely the judge who will preside over this case is also under that same dominion. Here are my prayer requests - some new and some repeats:
  • that the Lord would provide opportunity for M's mom to rehabilitate before accepting M back into her life
  • that the Lord would protect Miss M from physical and emotional damage if she does return to her mom sooner than we would like.
  • that the Lord would direct all of the court proceedings on Monday. If there is a reason for M not to return to that house, let it be revealed! If not, let me rest in God's sovereignty and not my own.
  • that the Lord would help me to see M's family with His eyes - filled with grace and mercy, with no condemnation - despite any judgment that they might pass on me.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sacrifices this is less of a "foster mom" post and more of just a "mom" post. Today I have learned many lessons, but mostly a lesson in making sacrifices. This past weekend, I had several of my girlfriends in town, and we wanted to get out and about, so we did, and we brought Miss M along with us so that my husband could get some things done in the yard. I thought she would nap as beautifully as she did last week in the Bjorn and in her car seat, but she didn't. She missed or shortened several naps. Miss M also had a parent visit yesterday, which interfered with two naps. Then, this evening, I had planned a meeting at church from 6pm-7pm. I have left my job, but I'm still having a hard time stepping away from one piece of it.

She had a great nap this morning, but did not nap well at all this afternoon. She was clearly overtired already from the disruptions up to this point. Nonetheless, I had made a commitment to be at this meeting, so I went. Since then, I have listened to her cry for about 45 minutes before she finally fell asleep. The inner turmoil has been awful! Being the decision maker in the life of this precious child is tough work!

Should I go in there and help her fall asleep?
She spit out her paci...should I go put it back in? I know it will help her sleep.
I know babies cry! I'm not concerned about that, but is my decision right now going to affect the way she sleeps tomorrow...the next day...a month from now...when she's 25??
If I just pick her up for 2 minutes, I know she'll fall asleep. Would it be better for her to get that sleep, or is it better for her to remember how to fall asleep on her own?

Wow! What a weight I feel! I still don't have a good answer to any of these questions, and I feel pretty terrible about listening to that pitiful cry, but alas...she's asleep...she's going to be just fine...and so am I :)

I think the lesson I have taken away is that I'm going to have to toughen up and learn to make sacrifices. There is such a fine line, I think, between making sacrifices for the well being of this child and making this child the center of my universe. I sure wish someone could show me that line and how to walk it, but for now, I'll give up most anything for the next several days so that I can let that sweet baby sleep!

Monday, April 11, 2011

What We Miss About Zizi

This is a post I hope to repeat each time we have a child in our home. We've realized lately how much we miss that sweet girl. This way, we'll record some of those fun memories we'd like to hang onto.

  • The way she crinkled her nose just to make everyone laugh.
  • Her smacking.
  • The sight of her in a shower cap when she ate in her high chair.
  • Her obsession with peas.
  • The way she waved both of her arms and breathed really fast whenever she got excited.
  • Patty cake! (Throw it in the pan!)
  • Her love for being held upside down.
  • Watching her reach her tiny hand out to Peanut.
  • Cuddling with her when she got scared of Peanut's bark.
  • When she slept in my arms.
  • Her huge smile when she woke up rested.
  • The way she slept with her bottom sticking up in the air.
  • Teaching her to find her "shake, shake, shake!"
  • Her love for the wooden rings she carried everywhere with her.
  • Getting her dressed in her cozy pajamas, snuggling, and feeding her her bottle before bed.
  • Celebrating with her when she stood on her own for a few seconds.
  • Babbling.
  • Her sweet face as she reached for me to pick her up.
  • Watching her intentionally drop food for Peanut from her high chair.
  • Her pure bliss when she was in her Johnny Jump-Up.
  • Her great laugh when we sang "I like to eat, eat, eat, eeples and beneenees."

We love you, girlfriend, and there's a hole around here since you left!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Family Team Meeting

Yesterday was a big day. It was Miss M's first FTM (Family Team Meeting). She, thankfully, didn't need to be present, so she spent her day with Mimi. I did attend the meeting, and I was so thankful that I did. I won't be able to share a whole lot of the details of the meeting, but I'll try to give my general impressions.

The people who were present at the meeting were:
  • Miss M's Biological Mom
  • A DFACS Supervisor - not directly involved with the case, just overseeing the other DFACS workers
  • The DFACS Placement Case Manager - this is the lady who visits our home once a week for 8 weeks to ensure the welfare of Miss M in our home.
  • The CCFA (Comprehensive Child and Family Assessment) Coordinator - shearranges mother/child visits, supervises those visits, and assesses the family situation
  • The CPS (Child Protective Services) Investigator
  • A case manager from my foster care agency and myself
  • A facilitator
Everybody sat around a big square table, and the facilitator stood at the front with bit sheets of paper taped on the wall. We went over the agenda, then as we went through the meeting, the Facilitator documented everything that was agreed upon.

The agenda:
  • Introductions
  • Decide on rules for the meeting
  • Family History - this was an opportunity for the biological mother to tell everyone her history, the child's history, and how she has gotten to this point
  • Family Strengths - this was where we all identified strengths that the biological mother has and strengths that Miss M has
  • Areas for Growth - this was a time to identify areas for improvement for both Miss M and her biological mom
  • Family Case Plan - this was when we took the areas for growth and established an overarching goal for the family and steps that need to be taken in order to reach that goal
  • Then, the facilitator & CPS investigator worked together to complete some paperwork in which they outlined these proceedings, identified family members who could potentially be contacted to care of the child, etc.
Those are the nuts and bolts of what happened. Let me just take a second to share some of the inner turmoil I struggled with in the meeting. First, when we arrived, the biological mom seemed very angry and stoic, but before we started the meeting, she just started to weep. She is a very young mom who has some mental health issues, and she just seemed very overwhelmed by all that was going on. It really made me sad to watch her struggle across the room from me.

Shortly after that, she was called upon to give her family history, which really hit me hard. I wish I could share some of it here, but I just can't. It was the most pitiful life story I have ever heard, and listening to her share it in such a matter-of-fact way, using her elementary vocabulary just literally broke my heart. I wanted to say, "No wonder!" No wonder she's at this point now when the first 21 years of her life have been the way they are. Who wouldn't have trouble controlling their anger?? Who wouldn't have trouble finding shelter and employment?? What a depressing few moments that was, and I felt so helpless in the corner. I wanted to just go over to her, hug her really tight, and make everything better, but this was such a bigger problem than any of us could fix. "Poor baby," I thought, and I just prayed hard as I stared into her pitiful eyes.

I was so glad that I went to this meeting for several reasons. First, meeting the biological mom really helps me to keep my role in perspective. It's a nice reminder to me that I am not the mother of this baby and that she will leave me someday and go to live with a different permanent family. Second, it was nice to get some glimmers of hope as I watched a couple of the other people in the room treat Miss M's biological mom with deep respect and encouragement. And last but not least, I have come to the conclusion that this system is a huge rumor mill, and most of what I hear ends up being at least partially (if not entirely) untrue. It was so nice to be able to look into the eyes of Miss M's mom and hear her story. It really helped me know how to pray for her, and it helped me to see her with the eyes of Christ rather than with the judgmental eyes we have a tendency to rely on.

They have identified a godmother who has indicated an interest in taking Miss M into her home, and they'll begin a home study for her today. That means that any day next week we could get word that we need to pack her things and give her over to this woman. It was sad to lose Zizi, but I think this one might (ironically) be even harder for me. Even though it took me a bit longer to attach to Miss M, we have been through a lot together over the past week and a half. I have seen her improve dramatically, and I've gotten to know her so well. Handing her over to someone new after all of the progress I have seen will be very difficult for me, but so worth it.

I think the most common response we have gotten to the idea of foster parenting is, "We've thought about doing that, but I think it would just break my heart. I don't think I could handle giving the kids back." Amen, I say. It is hard, and we haven't seen anything yet as we have only had short-term placements so far. However, I was reminded at church the other day that often that is exactly what Christ's calling looks like. He rarely calls us to do things we feel completely comfortable doing. See Paul's words in the book of Acts:

"And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace." - Acts 20:17-38

I can't even begin to compare this journey with the hardships Paul faced in the name of Christ, but it's a challenge, no? Is this caring for orphans thing about us and our comfort level? Or is it about stepping out in faith to get involved in what the Lord is doing in our community? With 13,000 orphans needing homes and only 5,000 homes available, I find it hard to believe that the Lord isn't knocking on the hearts of many more Christians to step in and decide that our lives are worth nothing to us - that it's worth the heartbreak to be the hands and feet of Jesus to hurting people.

Sorry...I know I'm mostly preaching to the choir here, but I've become pretty passionate about this these days. Thank you a million times for all of your prayers. We have really felt them powerfully with Miss M.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Praises & Frustrations

Today is a day of mixed emotions. Let's start with the good!

The good news is that Miss M has fallen right into a great schedule, and life is a lot less chaotic than it was a few days ago. On Sunday night, I read several articles on this blog. These two, in particular, were life-changers for me this week:

Getting A Consistent Schedule

Sleep Training - The Four S's

She's fallen right into a great schedule that leaves out a lot of the stressful guesswork and gives me some good time to get things done. She's also sleeping much better at night. Two nights ago, she slept for about 6.5 hours straight, and last night, she slept for over 7! She's only woken up once both nights!  You go girl!!

This would lead you to believe that I, too, have gotten a lot more sleep, but that would be a false assumption. We're dog-sitting right now for my husband's sister, and two nights ago, he woke up in the middle of the night whining and howling. We put him in his crate downstairs, but our walls are so thin that it hardly made a difference. Then, last night we had a terrible thunderstorm with tornado sirens. My dog went crazy on us and paced back and forth panting for over an hour - terrified of what was going on outside. We just went to sleep despite her concern, but a little while later, she woke us up by having a nice accident all over the carpet. I'll spare you any descriptives. After the hour it took to clean that up, we went to sleep and my sister-in-law's dog again began to whine and run around. About an hour later, Miss M woke up for feeding. By the end of the night, my husband and I were just doubled over on the bed laughing out of sheer exhaustion!

But I digress, the real frustration revolves around our plans to go visit my family in a neighboring state. We had planned for a while to do that last weekend, but the court refused to give us permission to do so. We were bummed, but we made a plan to go this weekend instead. Today I found out that, yet again, we probably will not have permission. The need for permission to leave the state was something we were aware of, but we had been told that "it's usually never an issue to get permission to go out of state." I've learned by now that "usually" doesn't hold much weight in the world of foster care. I can't wait until the 18th, when Miss M will return to court, and we will have some answers and some finality about what's going to happen in her future.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


On Friday of this week, I went to a Bible Study with the most amazing moms I know. It was a group of moms who have children with special needs, and it's one of the most authentic groups of women I have the privilege of knowing. I arrived late, but was able to hear one hour of J's testimony. J is the coordinator of the Prayer Ministry at my church, and she has more of a story than I think most people realize. Sitting in that room were women who represented some of the most difficult faith walks I know of, and Jan was no different. Her story of God's faithfulness and His mysterious ways was an amazing reminder to us all.

For me, this brought to the surface some of the fears that I struggle with, and it was only one of the many ways that the Lord has shown up and spoken to me over the past several days. The first came on Thursday morning. I had heard some frightening stories from other foster parents We had also received discouraging news about Miss M's court case and what the future might hold for her. These were the thoughts running through my head:

Maybe I should just stick with fostering infants. It would be way too difficult for me to love older kids with some of these challenging behaviors. I'm not sure I really believe that God can put the pieces back together in the lives of some of these broken children. Lord, honestly, are we really making a difference, because it's hard to believe it sometimes. And, possibly most shamefully...What would other people think if I brought a child to church or to school, and that child bit, hit, spit, or cursed at other kids and adults??

I'm just trying to be candid about my thoughts and my doubts along the way. It is so easy for me to revert back to my worldly eyes and lose sight of the call of Christ. As I was running all of these thoughts through my mind and jotting down notes about Miss M's previous night of feeding and sleeping times, this story came on the Today Show...

I'm not one to say that the Lord speaks through coincidences or through the Today Show of all things, because I think that can put you in dangerous territory. However, what an encouragement this was for me to hear this week! It's hard for me to tell you how much fear subsided and how my faith in the Lord was renewed because of this woman's story.

Then, on Friday, J shared her testimony, and I cried with some of those moms as we left. So many of them struggle with accepting the belief that God is good when they face such turmoil and injustice that seems to go unanswered each and every day. Hearing some of their heartbreak again brought doubts and fears into my heart. God, what are you thinking? Do you really care about us like you promise that you do? Why won't you give these women answers to the prayers they have been praying for years and years?

Then, later this weekend, my heart broke over the news from another dear friend that yet another infertility treatment didn't work for her and her husband. ...Really, Lord? I have a baby girl in my home who was born to a mother who may or may not even care about her child, but these godly parents are going through this struggle again?? These are not new questions, but they've been dropped in my lap repeatedly these past few days.

In the midst of it all, I went to church this morning and heard a beautiful sermon entitled, "Is God's Care Strange?" It was taken from Habakkuk, which is an account of God's conversation with Habakkuk regarding God's seemingly strange plan to raise up the evil Babylonians to destroy Judah. Habakkuk asks in chapter 1 verses 2-4,

"How long, LORD, must I call for help, 
   but you do not listen? 
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” 
   but you do not save? 
Why do you make me look at injustice? 
   Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? 
Destruction and violence are before me; 
   there is strife, and conflict abounds. 
Therefore the law is paralyzed, 
   and justice never prevails. 
The wicked hem in the righteous, 
   so that justice is perverted."

I won't even attempt to recap the sermon here, but it was such an encouragement. Looking at the situation in Habakkuk, the crucifixion of Jesus, and the circumstances that surround us today, it's clear that to us, yes, God's care is so strange, and we need to be careful not to try to apply our logic to these difficult circumstances (or any of life's circumstances, really). Our response, is simply humble submission and a life of faith.

I'll finish with one quote that stuck with me from this morning. The pastor said, "Stop trying to dethrone Him by attempting to control your own circumstances." What a freeing concept and one that I will cling to as we watch the Lord's plan unfold for Miss M's life. Who am I to say that my plans are better than the Lord's? Who am I to think that this broken government system is exempt from God's sovereignty? As odd as the outcome may seem, I will rest in the knowledge that He is sovereign.

I hope I haven't rambled too much. I'm running on fumes these days...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Miss M

So sorry it has taken us a while to post an update this time. Life has just gone through another major adjustment, so fitting in blog time has been a challenge.

On Wednesday night, we went to pick up M, a sweet little 7 1/2-week-old girl. When she came to us, she had been overfed, so she weighed 13.5 pounds, only 5 pounds less than Zizi at 9 months!! Her stomach was churning constantly. She was spitting up all the time, and she just looked bloated and uncomfortable all the time. Contrary to our first meeting with Zizi, I didn't instantly attach to M, and that was somewhat difficult for me over the first couple of days. I didn't feel the same adoration I had felt with Zizi, but I really just had to pray through that, and the Lord has been faithful as I have fallen more in love with this girl each day. Yesterday I even caught a few smiles that melted my heart.

Over the past 2 days, she's gone down to 4 ounces every 3-4 hours (rather than the 8 ounces every 4 hours that she was getting), and it's remarkable the difference. She weighed in at 11 pounds 10 ounces yesterday, and she looks much brighter and happier. Her stomach still seems a little unsettled most of the time, but we're making progress!

The first night we had her and last night, she woke up every 3 hours on the dot. On Thursday night, however, at one point she slept for 6 hours!! There was much rejoicing in our house! I hope we can return to that soon!

We don't know how long we will have this precious baby. Unfortunately, the court system does not seem to be working in her favor so far, so she may return to a pretty rough situation in the next week. Please join us in praying for God's provision in this. It's so hard to make sense of it all. Our specific prayers are:

  • that the Lord would provide time and resources for M's mom to rehabilitate before accepting M back into her life
  • that we would have the opportunity to provide a solid baseline for M in these significant first months of her life
  • that the Lord would protect her from physical and emotional damage if she does return to her mom sooner than we would like.
  • that the Lord would give M and I a healthy attachment but would prepare my heart and my husband's heart for letting her go