She's growing big, smiling more everyday, and cooing like crazy!
I won't lie--the first couple weeks after she came were really hard. There was so much going on:
-My lack of sleep (I'm not as young as I used to be)
-Constantly having to put her in the car to drive my kids to their activities-early mornings, late nights, and everything in between.
-Flying solo in Week 1 due to Bill going on a work trip.
-Phone calls and mailings regarding parental visits and court dates.
It was all very overwhelming at first. But then we seemed to get into our groove. J ate more regularly, slept more regularly, and became a lot more predictable in her needs. I was getting the hang of this! Just like riding a bike in a lot of ways.
Throughout it all there have been many blessings that are a constant reminder that God is looking after all of us.
-My friend Eileen. When I got the call about Baby J needing immediate care, I needed to provide a name of a care giver who I could use while I worked my 3 hour a day job. Otherwise, they either would not give her to me or I'd have to quit my job (not something I want to do for many different reasons). Eileen happily said she'd look after J until I found someone permanent. J wouldn't be with us if not for Eileen.
-My friend Beth. Dear Beth. My good friend who now watches J everyday while I go to work for my 3 hours. She has been my right hand gal, confidant, and sounding board for all the ugly that goes on behind the scenes. She loves J as much as we do and has so much invested. I love having her by my side through this.
-Family. Our families loved J from the start and treat her like anyone else in the family.
-Coworkers. My coworkers coordinated a meal train and restaurant gift cards to make our lives a little easier. And although it is food, it was the gift of quality family time that they really gave us.
-Church family- Many friends from our parish came and celebrated her presence in our family and loved her from the start. They came with meals, gifts, and even money!
-Friends- Near and far away friends who check in constantly by text or phone call asking how things are going are a big source of strength to help us keep on keepin'-on.
In addition to these are other people who I've met who have made an impression:
-The stranger in the restroom at my first court appearance. She asked me if I was okay and gave me a reassuring smile. (the look on my face must have given her the clue it was my first time) Just that one question meant the world to me.
-The receptionist on the phone at a pediatrician's office. I had been trying to find a doctor for J and her office didn't take the medical assistance that J had and it seemed this was going to be a difficult task to find one that would. She said, "Give me 10 minutes; I'll see what I can do."
-The nice lady in CVS. it was just a simple conversation, but she encouraged me in my work and gave me a booster shot of confidence.
For our family of 7, we are going on with life as usual. We take things one day at a time. We talk constantly about how she's only on loan to us and that although we're doing this to help her mom, we are ultimately doing it for God. It's all in His hands.
I just love watching Bill and our kids love her in their own ways. It's been a real joy.
That's the update for Jackie. There's more Everyday Happenings with the rest of the kids. I'm hoping to share them in the next couple of days. We have been enjoying a laid back kind of week with all of us home, including Dad!
I'm hoping you all had a very Merry Christmas!