Happy Mother's Day

Growing up, Mother’s Day was simple. It was a day to celebrate your mother. We’d wake up excited to give her the cheesy gift we made at school and she pretended to love it. Then we’d go to church, pot a plant or something and hand that off to her again. She’d smile and thank us all while wishing we’d help her clean the house once we got home.
Mom’s are worth celebrating. They do so much to ensure their children’s well being while their children do not even notice most of it. They play the roles of taxi driver, cheerleader, cook, nurse, maid, friend, and so on.
Happy Mother’s Day to my mom (and my grandma).
But, I grew up and even though I still love my mom and my mom is still very much worth celebrating, Mother’s Day brought on new meanings.
Now I get to play the role of mom.
But I do it to children who first had a mom that they no longer get to be with and that breaks my heart every day.
Since being in the foster parent role, I have gotten to care for 12 children as if they were my own.

One Year with J and A

Today we celebrate these two living with us for a year. It seems crazy to think that a whole year has passed by. I didn’t know it yet, but I was grieving when I said I was ready for more kids-6 seemed like such a small number. In ways I could have never planned, and ways these two will probably never know, they have helped me heal.

A was eight months old when he moved in. We started with his crib in my room because he was so young and we really wanted to promote good bonding since he had had so many different caregivers in his life already. So many nights I’d hold him way past him falling asleep, staring at his handsome face, thanking God for this blessing. Ever since then A’s favorite place to be is in my arms. He has a lot of love to give. We have loved watching his personality come out lately. He loves to have other people chase him, play peek a boo of various varieties, and surprises us with new words every day. It has been so fun to watch him grow and learn over the last year. K…

The Aftermath

If you missed the previous post click The End

There are nights when I still hear the constant beeping of machines.
Sometimes I turn over in my bed and expect to be able to look down and see Keven next to me.
If there is a noise outside my window, I often instinctively want to jump out of bed and check on Keven and make sure he is okay. It takes me a moment to calm down and remind myself that he is not here. 
Occasionally when I hear something beep my heart rate rises and it takes a moment for me to realize I do not have to jump into action. I have to calm down and tell myself that this noise is not my responsibility. 
If beeping alarms go off and they don’t get turned off right away I can’t focus on anything other than that. It’s a constant internal struggle between the feeling of needing to do something and telling myself that everything is fine, nothing needs to be done. 
I have developed an ear for the feeding pump. I can hear it’s beeping from a distance before anyone near me even notic…

The End

To read the previous post click The Celebration

When Keven’s feeding machine went off at 4am on December 10, 2016, I turned over, put my glasses on, flipped on the light and saw him. He was leaning over in his chair, with his head resting on the side of my bed. As fast as I could move at that hour of the morning I kneeled down in front of him and pushed his limp body back straight. 
He was already a little cold. He was already a little hard to move. I wasn’t ready. Not yet. I put my hand on his chest, willing movement. I held his wrists, his ankles, anything to feel a pulse. Nothing. There was no denying it anymore. 
I played this moment over and over in my mind so many times in the months prior to it actually happening. None of them were like this moment. No matter how you prepare for it, you are never ready.

I called Courtney (our nurse). “I think he did it.” (imagine getting that as a wake up call at 4am, sorry Courtney) “Did what?” “I think he died.” 
Saying think was my last hope. I k…

The Celebration

If you missed the previous post click And Then He Got Worse

It was almost surreal.
I found myself stopping and staring at Keven multiple times throughout the day making sure that this was real life. He was still with us. It truly was a miracle. We were so blessed to still have Keven with us. 
Just a week after we thought we were going to lose him, we instead got to celebrate Keven’s 4th Birthday. It had to be huge.
I was waiting on a Paw Patrol feeding pump backpack to come in the mail for him, so I decided to use that as his theme. One of our stateside staff was coming down the day before his birthday so I had things shipped to her house so she could bring them down with her. Scooby Snacks, Cocoa Pebbles, decorations, Paw Patrol party hats, and new Paw Patrol books. Here, I made puppy chow from corn flakes, a giant dog bone shaped cornflake rice crispy treat, and gathered up all of the shaving cream I had. It was going to be big.
On the day of the party we decorated, had all of the “dog t…

And Then He Got Worse

If you missed the previous post, click Home from the Hospital

On September 25th, Keven’s breathing got “weird”. It wasn’t the first time in this sickness—I had made several trips in the middle of the night to the exam room to borrow a pulse ox to check if his oxygen was still good. But somehow this was different. I had been concerned about him all morning and the nurse had even checked him out. He wasn’t amazing, but he was okay. I was in a meeting and a nanny brought him over to where we were, near the exam room. His breathing had gotten worse. His oxygen stats were not great so we gave him oxygen and a couple of nebulizer treatments. At first we thought a little bit of oxygen would be fine and he would be okay, but each time we tried to take the oxygen off it didn’t take long for that labored breathing to come back. 
He must’ve had pneumonia again. Each time Keven threw up, there was concern that he inhaled some of it into his lungs. He threw up just before his breathing started to ch…