Liam came to me at nine months old. As is often the life of a foster parent, I received a call at work midday and asked if I "wanted a baby?" Of course I said yes! I had parent teacher conferences that night, but being a special educator, unfortunately I had no conferences lined up except for one and a friend across the hall who said she would watch him during that time. So he showed up at work, driven by a CASEWORKER, at nine months old, not properly strapped into a car seat at all, and facing forward. I couldn't believe it! Well, yes, I could as I've seen similar many times, but it still didn't cease to floor me. Anyway, I digress from the point of my story, system ranting for another day...
Prior to coming to live with me, Liam had lived with his birth mom and then with another foster family. He was at the previous foster family's home just over four months and the agency was concerned that he wasn't developing properly. Upon coming to live with me at nine months old he couldn't sit up, crawl, stand, etc and was making only one true sound.
This was Liam within one week of being placed in my home...
Such a blessing to be able to see such obvious progress in such a short time!
He has caught up in many ways, still lacking a bit in the area of speech, and he's kind of a little peanut, but what a personality! :) And his eyes are amazing! He is certainly a member of our family and we love him to pieces!
Today we had originally planned on going to the zoo with our membership, but the frigid temps and the fact that he's been sick the past three days made that unable to happen. Instead we found a few things to do around town...
We first went to a local candy shop the kids had not been to. I gave them each one dollar and they actually found a fairly good sized bag of goodies amongst the 10 and 20 cent candy! :) (Gotta love the bday decorated Krispy Kreme hat my parents sent him!)
Next we headed to the grocery store to finish picking up his bday dinner supplies. On their bdays the kids each get to pick the makings of their bday dinners.
From there we went to Barnes and Noble to read some books, play with the trains, and help Liam pick out a little something from Grandma and Grandpa. They sent him one "large" gift and wanted to still get a little something else as well. He chose a reading Mickey light from the $2 clearance table and a Max and Ruby Valentine book.Next it was home for his bday meal...
For Liam, we had McDonalds cheeseburgers, pancakes, cheese (The kid could LIVE on cheese!), orange pop to drink, and frosted cookies for dessert!) He was in heaven! :)
He then opened his gifts. I give each of the kids one toy, one book, and one outfit on their special days. Liam got this Buckaroo game I had found which I think he'll love, we're planning on playing it tomorrow, a cute summer outfit, and a wiggles book.
Liam felt so much better today than he has the past three which was such a blessing! I did NOT want him to feel so yucky on his birthday! Especially since he really understood this year that it was his bday and what that meant. He was just too cute about it! Now we have a week off, then it's Braeden's bday on the 7th! :) (Hope he liked Liam's outfit today because his matches!)
We were blessed to have professionals from the International adoption clinic, HIV practitioners, Pediatric Neurologists, Neuropsychologists, social workers, etc. There were four families who together are adopting 7 of the girls on Reeces Rainbow from the Ukraine who are HIV+. One of these had driven in from OHIO! It was great to be one of the few parents present who was currently parenting a child with HIV, to be able to share the everyday life experiences with these wonderful people. The ease of parenting a child with HIV, the realization that still many today, including many pediatric physicians, are in need of correct information when it comes to the spread of HIV, the fact that for many of us, our HIV+ children are actually our healthiest in our home! :) How many of us decide to NOT keep HIV a secret, in order to help alleviate the stigma, in order to help educate others. There is a lot to take into consideration when venturing into adoption, and HIV doesn't have to be a negative aspect at all.
I am so completely not someone who is comfortable speaking in front of peers, especially peers I don't know. Give me a room of students, I'm good. But a room of adults, I practically hyperventilate! My hands turn ice cold, and my train of thought is NIL. I shared a few thoughts today, but had more on my mind I would have liked to have shared. I need God to be able to step in and use me in these times, I am not a good speaker! :)
But, speaking aside, I was in awe of God's work today. In all that those at U of C have done, and would like to plan for the future. Project Hopeful, Carolyn, are wonderful advocates for HIV adoption! This is something that is needed country-wide. It sounds like these workshops may be made into webinars at some point to get this wonderful information out to anyone around the country, possibly even the world, who would be interested. Praise God! :)
Can't wait to see everyone and find ways to pray for and help families thinking or starting on the road to adopting HIV+ children.
It's doable! It's easy! It's a child who desperately needs a home! Love it!
For Christmas, Santa gave the kids a gerbil cage set up. The one thing they each asked for was a pet. We didn't get the actual animals as Santa said that they needed to learn how to care for them and travel back to IL first. Tonight was the night that we decided to look for our pets. We went to one chain, to find NO GERBILS! :( When we stopped at the second I was sure it was going to be the same result, but we were blessed to find a grouping of six young sisters, cute as can be. I let Olivia and Braeden each choose and name one, and while I would have chosen the adorable tan one and black and white one, Braeden picked the white one, and Olivia one of the three browns. :)
Sorry for the poor pics, I only had my cell available tonight. The kids are enamored and can't wait to hold them. We're giving them time to adjust and acclimate. :)
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What you should know about HIV
Other Awesome Blogs
• 50 million orphans in Africa
• Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS
• 16,000,000 have been orphaned by AIDS
• Every week, AIDS claims as many lives as American fatalities in the Vietnam War
• 854 million people do not have enough to eat
• Malnutrition is associated with the deaths of 5 million children under the age of five
• Every 2 seconds an orphan dies from malnutrition
Hence the title of my blog
Little did I know that the road would be so rocky
Little did I know that the trip would take so long
Little did I know that my heart could hurt so much
Little did I know that God is never wrong
Little did I know that love could be so powerful
Little did I know that a dream so far could go
Little did I know that God would place the right ones
Little did I know that my heart, so large, could grow
Little did I know that a dream has it’s own timing
Little did I know that this day would finally come
Little did I know that four souls would be sent to guide me
Little did I know that they would choose to call me mom
But God knew all along and He had a plan to follow
God knew all along that my dream would soon come true
God knew all along that we five should be together
God knew all along that I’d share it all with you