Friday, May 29, 2015

Life update

While I've given you some sort of update on our little peanut, I realize that there may be a few things in my life or Nick's life that you are unaware of. And since all of my family and many of my friends live 2000+ miles away, I figured I would share it all here. 

-- Earlier this week, I accepted a new job as the kindergarten teacher at a public charter school near Providence. The school system already has 2 elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school. They are launching a third elementary school in August, which is where I will be teaching! There are a few reasons why I am excited about this new opportunity. First, these schools demonstrate impressive diversity that is not often seen. They accept children from 4 different Rhode Island towns, two of which are urban, and two of which are suburban. This creates a demographic diversity that is often uncommon in public schools. Second, I was very impressed with the culture of the school. The teachers work very hard to create warm, caring, and joyful learning environments while maintaining high expectations for the students. The other charter school I had toured at seemed so harsh, even at the kindergarten level. This school was different. Third, I truly believe that a child's early learning experiences shape not only their later education but also their lives in general. Having the opportunity to help create building blocks for the rest of their lives is such an honor, and one I do not take lightly. 

-- Speaking of teaching, I earned my Rhode Island teaching certificate this month as well. I started the process in 2013. I am also halfway to earning my MEd in Early Childhood Education!

-- On to something a little less exciting. After months of allergic reactions with no common cause all over my skin, I discovered that I have chronic hives, an autoimmune condition that is rare, difficult to treat, and has no known trigger. Basically, my body is attacking itself. It's been a very frustrating few months, especially when the hives break out all over my face. My allergist and I are working toward getting approved for allergy shots that have proven to be very affective with this disease. Chronic hives can last 6 months or even 5 years... It's very random. While I'm not happy that I have developed such a strange condition, I am relieved to now understand why I am breaking out in rashes with no obvious explanation. At least now I can say, "Well, I have chronic hives." 

- Nicholas has been at his current job for a year now! Not much is new for him other than he is rocking this fatherhood thing. 7 weeks down and he's a pro. :) 

Our lives have definitely been rocked by becoming foster parents. It's changing our hearts and attitudes in ways I never could have prepared for. We met our little's mom yesterday. It was an emotional experience for both of us. That's another post for another day. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

seven weeks

It's been seven weeks since we officially began our foster parenting adventure.

Our little 13 month old is now 14 months old.

When she was first placed with us, she wouldn't stand on her own, even with us holding her up. She could pull herself up on the furniture, but she couldn't stand on her own. Now, she is standing on her own, and slowwwwwwly deciding to fit some steps in there.

She's seemed to decide she can be more picky with what she eats. For the past few weeks she ate almost every single thing we gave her. The exception was raspberries. However, this weekend, she decided to go on a little food strike. She likes to drop pieces of food over the side of the high chair, or reach out and feed what she can to the dog. They seem to have a mutual understanding of how things should work.

Once completely petrified of water, she now takes baths without any issue, splashing and playing until we pull her out.

When she first came to us, she wouldn't mimic anything we did. She would smile at us, but she wouldn't clap, wouldn't shake her head, wouldn't mimic our sounds. Now she plays peekaboo and gives us high fives and claps and plays her little piano. She's a total ham, flashing cheesy smiles with her eyes squeezed shut during meals, shaking her head when she knows she's doing something she shouldn't, sneaking dog food out of the bowl. She smiles for the camera because she totally knows her picture is being taken.

We just received an update from her caseworker. An update that basically said nothing has changed. Which can be good, it means we get more time with her... An undefined amount of time. But also left me heartbroken for this mom who has no support and few healthy relationships. So many miracles will need to happen for this little girl to be raised in a healthy home. I hope you will join us in praying for those miracles.