First Christmas

The kids are still off of school–until Monday. As much as my husband and I prepared for wicked behavior, like we had near adoption day, we prepared for nothing! The kids were awesome on Christmas–a mixture of excitement, anxiety and thankfulness. Madeline was (still) sick and made it through her stocking from Santa before she felt like she was going to throw up. She her and I spent the morning in the bathroom while the other kids opened presents. Therefore I have a video of them coming downstairs in the morning and one or two shot of opening their stockings, but no other pics! They were all on their best behavior and it was actually pretty enjoyable (other than Madeline being sick). My parents and grandmother were in town from Christmas Eve through Sunday morning and we had a great visit. The kids got to play with all of their new toys and we went to a local reptile museum.

My parents and grandmother left on Sunday, headed back to North Carolina, and hubby’s mom and her new husband visited us for the day and brought almost all of Toys R Us with them! The girls are the recipients of a new Barbie Dream House and Huck got a robot raptor that walks the house screeching. My mother in law offered to take the kids for the week back home with her to Virginia because she is off until Monday as well. Hubby and I would have loved to send all four but that’s a lot at one time. Madeline is still sick so having a three year old is tough enough but having a sick three year old is even tougher! So we agreed to have her stay home. We also chose to keep Huck at home. His behavior has been the worst and we felt we could really use the time to work on attachments. His attachment to hubby and to Madeline particularly. It has been great having two kids to dote on and do things that we can’t normally do with four kids. Huck has enjoyed having hubby around and they’ve gotten to do a lot of guy things together. His behavior has been awesome and we’ve been very positive with him about how much he has been a good helper, had good manners, hasn’t thrown fits or cried, and hasn’t had problems wetting his underwear. We are hopeful that this new direction will continue once the older girls get home but we aren’t sure! The girls have enjoyed their girl time with my mother in law. She took them to the store to spend gift cards they got for Christmas. She took them to get their hair cut. She took them to a local children’s museum. They’ve gotten to stay up late and eat a bunch of sugar so they are happy (but exhausted) campers.

It’s been a tough year. My Uncle passed on December 17th and we will have his memorial on January 17th. My mom brought a bunch of his things for me when she visited over Christmas. One thing included a small but deep picture frame that holds a starfish and some sand. On the back of the frame is the Starfish Story. I am sure that most of you involved in fostering and adoption know this story, it’s one they promote often for those families pursuing adoption. It is weird that he had it in his apartment and that my mom picked it to bring it to me! I am grateful.

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