I keep waiting

And waiting for the day to come when someone asks me to stop bringing bubs to work.

First it was Jade when she was tiny and now it’s Harry.

After Jade started getting more vocal and restless during rehearsals it was time for day care, but while she was little like Harry is now, she came to school with me.

I wait for someone to ask me not bring them, but it doesn’t happen.

Today when I went to school I was stopped twice on my way to rehearsal with Harry.

Twice stopped so people could look at him and goo and gaa over him.

Twice people told me how lucky he is to have us.

Twice I expected the “please don’t” comment and got the opposite.

In fact, the first lady to stop me runs the Children’s Centre at the school. A centre where they support parents with advice and classes and a playgroup. Harry and I were invited to come on Wednesdays for baby massage sessions. Amazing right?

Like so many other people, she told me what an amazing thing we are doing for the children and I just replied with “I’m actually selfish. I can’t have children so I’m doing this for me”.

Her reply “What you are doing is anything but selfish. It’s selfless.”

Feeling so blessed.

The support from so many people is awesome, but the support from total strangers is the greatest gift of all.

What a day

Some days are hard because it hurts so much not having Jade here with us.

Some days are hard because I have to wash and pack away her things.

Sometimes it feels like a death in the family, even though our little poppet is just an hour down the road. But for it only being an hour sometimes it feels like she might as well be one light year away.

The first week was so difficult. Packing away her things and wanting so desperately to call and see how she was going.

The first morning over breakfast I was in tears asking MM if he thought she had slept ok. He said to message and ask, but I don’t want to pester them every time I think about her and wonder how she’s going. I’m pretty sure the amount of text messages would be close to stalker quota.

So we waited and waited to hear.

By Thursday of the first week I was starting to think we wouldn’t ever hear. We hadn’t heard from the social worker either. And then I came home from work. There on the answering machine was a message from the social workers supervisor telling me that Jade was doing well, was settling in nicely and she thanked me for making the transition go so smoothly for her. Wow! Not bad seeing as only a few short weeks earlier they basically told me they didn’t think I would be able to transition her because I was emotional. Emotional!? really? You’re taking away ‘my baby’ and you think I shouldn’t be emotional about that?! But, that’s why her thanking me and telling me what a great job we had done was so important.

Later in the afternoon we were scheduled to go and see some photos of Jade that I had had taken. Our plan was to buy one nice photo and have it framed for her first birthday. Well, that plan went out the window because…..later in the afternoon it came.

Finally.

A message from New Mum.

Jade was doing well, and she raved about how she is such a beautiful happy baby. How she spends her time laughing at her brother and he spends his time trying to make her laugh more. She sent me a gorgeous photo of Jade posing in the bath. And better……she wants us to have a play date in a few weeks. Right before Jade’s birthday. Yah!!!

So we went in to look at the photos after receiving these messages. As in, we were driving there as the messages came in. Well, as soon as they laid out all these beautiful pictures of our little poppet I teared up. No, that’s a lie, I started crying. MM teared up. There went our plan to get just one picture. We then wanted a couple for us and one for my parents and a couple for Jade and next thing you know we’ve spent $400 on a child and we don’t even have the child.

There are so many children in care that have no photos of themselves as babies it must be so hard for them. But little Jade is going to have a beautiful keepsake of herself as a baby. Hopefully something she can treasure and know how much she was loved by us.

Florence Nightingale

Tuesday was the big day.

Harry had to get his first round of immunisations.

I’m surprised they took us in. No medicare card, no verification of a child in care card, no baby blue health and development folder that is given when a child is born. Nothing but a baby and a lady wanting to get him immunised.

The medical centre were fantastic. I showed them my foster carer ID card and was able to provide Harry’s full name and date of birth and they did the rest. I left with a number to call to get a new blue book for him and they even found out his medicare number, which I have now given to his social worker who thought I was amazing in getting it when she hasn’t.

Nurse Nightingale was the most fantastic.

I am always concerned that I’m doing something wrong with our children…self doubt, don’t you love it! So, I like to be able to get a professionals opinion. Well, it seems Harry is doing just fine. We talked about his snack feeding, from co-sleeping with tummy mummy and getting milk on call and about foster care and Jade came up in conversation as well.

It was from my point of view a great appointment. Imagine my surprise the next morning when the nurse called me.

I can tell you I started worrying. Was there something wrong? Did I leave something there? What a I not doing right for this little man?

None of the above.

Nurse Nightingale told me that as Harry is aboriginal I should make contact with an aboriginal health worker. Someone that can help me with any specific needs Harry might have. She even said that there might be extra help or support available for us while we care for Harry. Fantastic!

And if that wasn’t enough, someone had just dropped in about 6 weeks worth of formula to give away, and, well, she thought that as foster carers we might like it for Harry! Would we! Wow!!!

I called MM in tears and tried to explain what had just happened.

Since Harry has arrived we have had 4 bags of ‘hand-me-down’ clothes arrive from different people with instructions of, “Keep what you want and donate the rest to charity”. We are constantly blown away by people’s generosity. MM explains it as “people can’t all do what we do in foster care, but they want to help in anyway they can, so if they can support us, they have helped make a difference in this child’s life”. MM, my man of wise words.

To Nurse Nightingale, thank you for the extra help and advice. Your “job” stopped after you had checked out Harry and immunised him, but, you thought about us in your own time and called me with help and suggestions. Thank you.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I thought when I started on this adventure as a single girl, that I was in this by myself with my parents support, but I couldn’t be more wrong. Family, friends and strangers all help us where they can and it makes me so happy to be surrounded by such amazing people. To all of you, a big heart felt thanks for your kindness, generosity and support to both us and the children.

10 things we love about Jade

In no particular order here are 10 things we love about Jade and will miss ever so much.

  1. The big gummy grin greeting you in the morning when it’s time to get up and when you walk in the room.
  2. The was she licked everything before eating it to see if she liked it, this includes her blocks, bath toys, and basically anything she could get her hands on.
  3. The way she flaps her arms in ‘thunderbird’ style when she is excited about something. From us walking back into the room she is in, to listening to her favourite music.
  4. The way she claps her hands when at work with me while watching the students sing and dance. Rehearsals won’t be the same without her and her infectious smile and bounciness.
  5. The way she runs around in her ’roundabout toy’. It’s a play table with a seat attached that she can sit in and walk around the different activities. But, she liked to run around it and loved to play chasey around her table.
  6. Her Sheldon Cooper laugh when she started laughing.If you’ve seen The Big Bang Theory, you know the laugh. It was so funny to hear it from her. As she got older we got a real chuckle, and there is no better sound than her little laugh.
  7. The way she slapped me in the face before calling me Mama for the first time.
  8. How when she was tired she would pull any available fabric over her face. Her blankie, my shirt, anything she could use.
  9. Bath time. Jade’s love of the water, the splashing and kicking in the water.
  10. Her love of animals and spending time at the farm. So much so that getting her to nap at the farm was next to impossible. Just too many things to do, and one of her favourite, Papa’s horsie rides.
  11. The beautiful little girl who travelled over 2000 kms with us with almost no complaints. Such a beautiful happy baby.
  12. The was she loved a snuggle. Even the nights when she had me up because she wasn’t feeling well and all she wanted was a snuggle in mums arms.

    I said 10 things didn’t I?
    Oops. Well, I did stop at 12, I should get some credit for that.

Jade, you are loved and special and missed. The house is so quiet without your chatter and laughter.
Miss you.
Love you, to the moon and back.

The Baby Diaries Part 16

The last 2 weeks have been busy. Last week a lady kept coming to visit me. She’s nice, we play, she fed me and the milk lady gets her to give me a bath, which is great because I LOVE the bath. This week I’ve been going to visit the lady at her house. I still get my bath from her, yeah! and we play. And guess what?! My brother is there. I love to watch him playing and it’s nice to get to see him not in some boring stuffy office building. There are nice toys and yummy food at this lady’s house and even some of my things are there too.

I’ve had a party at home with the milk man and lady. Lots of my favourite people came to visit me and give me cuddles. I even got some presents and it’s not even my birthday yet. They said they were farewell presents. I’m not sure what they are, but, it can’t be bad because I got some great things.

The milk lady has been extra snuggly this week and sometimes she has a little cry when she’s cuddling me. I’m not sure what that’s about, maybe she’s tired because of little Harry keeping her awake. I like little Harry. I like to pat him and share his blanket when I’m tired.

Today the milk lady and man packed lots of my things in the car including all my new presents. I put on a pretty outfit and we went out to visit the new lady. Milk lady did a lot of crying, milk man even got teary and so did the new lady.

The milk lady tells me this is my forever home. That I get to live with my brother now. With the new lady and man and their daughter. I think I’m going to like it here. They are nice people and they love to snuggle with me, just like the milk man and lady. So, it’s good bye from me. I’ve had lots of fun with the milk lady and man but now I have to go and make more people smile with my cuteness and play with my brother.

Hello Harry!

Is caring for two children under one insane?

Possibly.

Is doing it to yourself on purpose crazy?

Probably.

But, we’re doing it any way.

The theory is that by getting a new bundle of cuteness before Jade leaves, it will help ease the pain.

So, we made the call on Monday and let our support worker know we would like another bub.

The answer? Pink or blue?

There was no questioning our decision. It’s awesome to know our support worker has that faith in us to make the right decision for our needs.

There was a placement meeting the next day so she was going to let the team know that we were available for another one.

Wednesday when I rang about a Jade transition issue, Support worker asked if we were sure we wanted another one.

Yes we are sure. Why?

Well….there was talk around the office and we should expect a call later in the week. The placement team were just sorting out a few logistic problems.

Later in the week? you ask. But it was already Wednesday.

Yes, Thursday the phone rang. Would we like a little blue bundle? Would we be free the next day?

Of course and of course.

So. Hello Harry.

A four week old little blue bundle

Our first night was a tough one, but we’ve worked out the poor little man hadn’t been sleeping well because he was cold, so cold. He came to us just wearing a onesie, and it’s winter here. No singlet underneath, no socks, no mittens, no beanie. Just the one layer of clothes. We snuggled him in layers and more than one blanket and today, a different baby. Less crying, less shivering lower lip and more sleeping like he should be doing.

A few days in and Harry seems to be settling in and to be the beautiful angel she is, Jade has decided that she might try sleeping through the night so I only have to get up to one bub…bless her.

Getting ready in the morning to leave the house still feels like a mammoth task, a bag for Jade and day care, one for Harry to come with me and my bag. Bottles and more bottles and nappies. Other than being tired, oh so very tired, it’s nice to have another bubs, especially with only 2 more sleeps until Jade leaves.