Monday, November 5, 2012

Month of Thanksgiving 2012 - Day Two

Day Two - Today, I am thankful for every second of the past 18 months that I have been blessed to be this little guy's Mama.  When you become a foster parent, you expect loss and a broken heart many times over.  You certainly don't expect to remain your child's Mama eight months after they have returned home.  You don't expect to be typing a blog post late at night and hear your little guy snoring over the baby monitor eight months after he was supposed to be only a memory.
When that sleepy little 2-month-old came through my door 18 months ago, I never could have imagined what the next year and a half would bring us.  At three months old, Monkey was giving me a run for my money with reflux to the point of aspirating and choking and almost total hearing loss for nearly two full months.


Eventually we found the right combination of medications, things began to straighten themselves out, and my Chunky Monkey's true personality shined through.  Always smiling, my happy little guy never failed to make my heart melt.

By 5-months-old, we were quite the little family...  Monkey, Kitty Cat Tommie, and me...  We had hit our stride, got into a groove, and were moving right along as a happy threesome.  :-)

At 6-months-old, my Monkey man was becoming quite the "big boy."  Popping out several teeth and doing his very best to sit up straight and tall.

In October, Monkey finally got the hang of getting up on all fours.  He was quite proud of himself, but got frustrated when he couldn't figure out how to move forwards

F'real...  I've got a cute kid!  How on earth am I supposed to choose only one picture a month!?!  I really hope I'm not one of those annoying moms who thinks my kid's adorable when in all actuality, they are really unfortunate looking.  I'm fairly certain I'm not.  I mean, really!  Look at this smiling happy baby!  :-)

I was blessed to have Monkey with me for his very first Christmas.  He was all about the bows.  Apparently, no present stood a chance against the power of the shiny bows.

At 10-months-old, Monkey was finally pulling himself up and crawling around like madman.  His greatest obsession was Kitty Cat Tommie.

By February, I was so completely in love with this kid.  I knew that court was coming up in a month, and I was preparing my heart for the loss.  I started taking him to his visits with his dad myself so I could do my best to make sure his father learned every possible thing about our baby boy.

In March, we celebrated Monkey's first birthday.  I soaked up every second of his sweet little face.  I gobbled up his double chin.  I loved on my baby as if every day would be the last.  I also made a decision that would change the course of my life...  I (and my mom) offered to continue to keep Monkey four nights/three mornings a week for his daddy so he could continue to work his night schedule and not have to put Monkey in overnight childcare with strangers.

Last morning w/Mama
I spent my last morning with Monkey, laughing, cuddling, and taking lots of pictures with my baby boy.  When his daddy came to get him after court, all of our lives changed, but I think they changed for the better.  That week began what has been eight extra months where my baby boy has two parents and a Nana who love him like crazy.

The move back and forth between daddy's house and mine never once phased Monkey.  He is always thrilled silly when his daddy comes to pick him up and is just as happy to launch himself into my arms when he comes back.  Proof that an infant/toddler can form a bond to a bio parent during one hour a week if that parent is dedicated, loving, and consistant.

Mother's Day
"That's not Monkey," you might say!  And you're right...  Those are my Mother's Day flowers that Monkey's daddy brought me.  "Thank you for being a mother to Monkey," he said.  Thank you for letting me be his mom!  I'm the lucky one!


Monkey's personality shining through...  At 15-months-old, my boy could crack me up!  He could crawl 50 miles an hour, but still flat out refused to walk.

One week before he turned 16 months, we had a playdate with Banana who has been running since she was 10 months old.  He took one look at her and must have thought, "Well crapfire!  I can't let that girl out-do me!"  He stood up and ran across the room like he'd been doing it for months, and has been running ever since.

Pictures of my little gooberhead begin to get more and more scarce as this kid is always on the go!  Every so often I luck out and get his attention long enough to capture the cuteness on film.  :-)


Me and my Monkey Man...  At 18 months, he began to hit the Terrible Twos.  Monkey's "Terrible" Twos are more the "I'm Just Going to Be Contrary, Mama" Twos.  For the most part, he doesn't pitch the usual fits that a normal toddler pitches.  He just matter of factly tells me "no" in a calm, cool, and collected tone.  :-)


At 19-months-old, my baby isn't a baby anymore.  He talks to me in "toddler" conversations.  He sings songs, dances, uses his manners by saying "thank you," and cracks me up by making funny noises that he knows make his Mama laugh.

Today - 20-months-old

I have been blessed beyond measure with the relationship that I have with Monkey and his daddy. Monkey has a Mama who would walk through fire for him and a Daddy who loves him so much that he did the same to ensure his little boy would continue to have the only Mama he's ever known. The past 18 months of being Monkey's Mama have taught me more about self sacrifice and the unconditional love of a parent than I ever could have imagined.  This little guy is my heart in human form, and I am unbelievably thankful that I've been given the opportunity to continue to be his Mama.


Anne said...

He is sooo cute!! :)

The Campbell's Journey said...

How awesome is this story. I'm sure it is only the beginning. It warms my heart to see a successful foster care story. I can't wait to see who will be coming to your home soon! They will be one blessed little person!

lj66 said...

I am so happy for Monkey, you and his dad. You have created the healthiest outcome for that little boy. Thank God for people like you.

wrightbabysteps said...

How wonderful! This gives me hope as we are in the planning stages of fostering to adopt. I know that there will be heartbreak and loss, but stories like this are a salve to my soul. Thanks for sharing!

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