So I've been debating what else I should share about K's adoption. The whole failure to thrive issue was a little scary. Basically she had been hospitalized three times in her first six weeks of life for failure to thrive and a variety of other reasons I will not go into. So the social worker left me with instructions that K needed to be fed very small amounts every four hours. No problem. We set her up in the craddle in our bedroom and woke her every four hours. I learned all that I could about failure to thrive and basically if I was awake I was holding, reading to, feeding, talking to, changing, bathing that little baby. When Michael was home he was fully hands on as well. Our sibling group of three was only going to be with us for the next eight weeks. During that time we played outside lots and they all loved snuggling in for reading - that worked well for all of us. A noteworthy moment in the first week we had K, I took her for her follow up at her Dr's office. Her Dr weighed her and with tears in her eyes she looked at that sweet little baby girl and said "You are thriving J (birth name)" I was so pleased to get that report, I had no idea it was possible to turn failure to thrive around so quickly. In our experience it truly was a case of "all you need is love." So things moved along from there. We dressed all the kids up for Halloween, I dressed K in a white sleeper and called her a ghost - my mom thought that was a morbid costume for a baby who had been so sick. Look I had three bigger kids to dress for Halloween (Batman , a Princess & a little baseball player) - a ghost was quick and easy for the baby.
As Christmas approached we prepared for our sibling group to go home to their family. We celebrated Christmas early with them at our house and then sent them home about ten days before Christmas. We were blessed to be able to stay in close contact with those three littles and their parents for a time after they left us. I won't go into that too much as that is their story to tell. Suffice it to say we loved them all very much and they have overcome some great tragedy in their lives and we are very proud of all of them.
Christmas of 1994 was a quiet little Christmas with just the three of us. It was shortly after that Christmas when I really started to have questions about K's development. I was curious about her continuing lack of responsiveness - she NEVER cried, at least at home. Her case aide who took her for her supervised visits with her birth parents told me that social workers would check the board and if she had a visit they would book appointments out of the office because they couldn't stand to hear K's cries. The drive to the office was thirty minutes and she would always arrive home still doing that siphoning post cry noise. Any moms reading this you know the sounds I am talking about. The Dr said she was thriving, though still very tiny she was gaining weight and meeting early goals. So as the foster parent with no formal say I shared my concerns, namely Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, with the Dr and K's social worker and I let it go and trusted the professionals.
In April of 1995 another sibling group arrived, this time a group of five. They were a group of blond headed, blue eyed, beautiful children ages five, four, three, (almost) two and (almost) one. As if that crew weren't enough I was three months pregnant at the time. Needless to say things didn't exactly slow down for that year. By October of 1995 baby T was born and K was "unofficially" a big sister. A month later when K was 14 months old we got the official word that the government had been granted guardianship of K. She was now officially available for adoption. Her social worker called me as soon as she left the courthouse and relayed every detail to me. The part of this day that still sticks with me is that K's birth mom was in the courthouse totally unsupported. The social worker said she left the courthouse and K's birth mom was sitting alone on the steps of the courthouse. She had no one. Birth mom would require 24 hour support to raise a child and that was not something she had available in her life. She loved K and wanted her but she was unable to provide a safe home for her. We have always told K that her birth mom loved and wanted her but she didn't know how to take care of babies, not everyone does.
Daddy & K welcoming baby T home.