Sunday, 20 September 2009

Vagabonds No More

Well, things are never quite as easy as you might hope they will be. We were supposed to move in last Monday, but when I went to take the first bags over, I noticed the carpet was dirty. Very dirty. And it had a funny smell. I knew it had been cleaned, but it was soiled beyond even the magic that professional cleaners can work.

If you know me well, then you know that my apartment is rarely "professionally" clean, so if I was disturbed by the level of dirt in the carpet, you can guess how bad it was. However, our new landlord is a gem. I called and mentioned our concern, and he said he understood because we had the little one crawling around, but that he would have to see if it could be cleaned again. Later in the afternoon I got a call from his wife, saying he decided instead to replace the carpeting, and could I let the carpet guy in to measure. They couldn't install until the end of the week though, so we stayed put until yesterday. We were staying with extremely hospitable and loving people, who understood and offered to let us stay the extra week instead of camping out on the dirty carpet.

Yesterday we moved! It was fast and easy, and we are so happy to have a place of our own. There will be pictures as soon as we can unpack and set up our computer.

Tommy had his first shots this week- horrible to watch, but no reactions at all. We also found out that he is now in the 25th percentile for height, weight, and head circumference. He grew 3/4 of an inch in a month! This week we start with IEP evaluations, things will be very busy. Last week he also started a one day a week program at our church, and he did great. I am a bit worried that he had a great time and didn't miss me at all, but we'll talk it over with the attachment specialist and see what she says. I hold firm to the (probable delusion) that he understood what I was saying when I said I was coming back...

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Stop Three

We have moved once again.

Tommy with Grandma Janie in the parking lot of the lab guest house

Playing with some new toys in our hotel room

Tommy with Dad and Grandma Janie exploring DuPage County

We dropped Jeff's mom off at Midway on Sunday, went back to the guest house, loaded up the car, and moved to Downers Grove. We will be staying with a family here until our place opens up, which will hopefully be on the 15th or thereabouts. Tommy has, once again, transitioned well. He has found a new love- extremely large dogs. We are staying with two labs, and he is smitten.

In the backyard with one of his two new friends

At first he was curious, but a little afraid, but now he is tentatively extending his fingers to give the dogs a pat or a poke. He throws back his head and laughs whenever he gets smacked with a tail. He has begun stalking the dogs through the house, gingerly approaching them, then backing up quickly when they start to pay attention to him.

Playing in the backyard

Excuse me while I pose for this one


Good standing

Time to dry off

Jeff and I are hanging in there. God has really blessed us by placing us with families that he has gifted in the hospitality department. He has also seen fit to place us in homes where we can benefit from the examples of some very good, experienced parents, and families who understand the complications of adoption. Still, we are excited about establishing our new home, and waiting for that is hard. Living out of suitcases gets old. There are things that got packed that we should have kept with us, and it is frustrating to keep "making do."

Our boy

But we have a roof over our heads, a comfortable bed to sleep in, and plenty of food. Best of all, we have our boy, and life is good.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Our Nomadic Adventures

I am writing this update from the lobby of the guest house at Jeff's lab. I am waiting for our social worker to arrive for her first post-placement visit. I have baby-proofed our hotel room in an attempt to prove that homeless parents can be good parents too. We are completely out of our apartment and almost done dealing with our management company. Hopefully negotiations over the security deposit will go smoothly. We left the apartment very clean, so they should. Jeff stayed up all night on Monday spackling and cleaning and moving the last of our stuff.

We spent a few very restful days with a family from church who generously opened their home to us, fed us, and cared for us. We had been feeling so weary, but their hospitality refreshed us. It also didn't hurt that the dark shades in our room inspired Tommy to sleep in. I am planning to buy some similar shades as soon as we move into our new place. Also, Tommy was in heaven playing with all the kids (nine!). Seeing the older kids run around really encouraged him to stand up and do some serious walking. He is so close to giving up baby is growing up!

Yesterday we packed our bags- our many, many bags-stuffed our little Corolla to the gills, and drove down to our new county: DuPage. We looked like the Beverly Hillbillies. I know it is sick, but I am so happy to be in the suburbs, and not just because sales tax is somewhere around seven percent. A very small patch for gardening awaits me at our new place, along with a scrap of grass for Tommy to play on. The houses are far apart, and there aren't apartment buildings wedged in every vacant space. Every place I could ever want to go or shop is within easy driving distance (no more LONG trips to Costco or Trader Joe's). I feel just like I am at home, and by home I mean Torrance.

Jeff's mom has arrived for a visit, so we are all staying together at the hotel. Thankfully Tommy is behaving very nicely for his Grandma. I was a tiny bit concerned that he might not allow us to all get enough sleep, or that he might not adjust well to yet another change of scenery, but so far so good. Today we took a nice walk at Waterfall Glen, the forest preserve that surrounds Jeff's lab. We never made it to the waterfall; since it is man-made we weren't excited about it enough to walk six miles to see it.

We still have no idea when we can move in to our new place. The best case scenario we were given was the 13th, worst case, the 19th. Hopefully we will have some idea soon.

An update on Tommy's health: all his bloodwork came back clean, and his parasite tests came back negative. The only problem they found was very mild anemia, which means we will have to test for sickle cell, but anemia is common in orphans and could be caused by his diet/former parasites. I am optimistic on the parasite front, but still cleaning up very carefully as false negatives are common. His stomach issues are intermittently ongoing. They could be caused by a parasite we did not detect, exposure to new foods, stress, or damage caused by his former parasite. It will probably be some time before he is normal in that area, but things have improved a lot, especially since he started his no fruit except bananas diet.