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    Improving news

    Friday, March 20, 2009, 10:41 AM [General]

    Our little foster son is home from the hospital again and is much calmer.  He is able to keep food down most of the time ... we have added rice cereal, which is too early for normal children but in his case it was recommended ... to the formula, which we changed from the soy-based at his doctor's recommendation as well.  

    He had an electrolyte imbalance and began to show evidence of infant jaundice, which had not presented earlier.  He wasn't seriously dehydrated, which surprised me, but he had to go on an IV for a few days to correct the electrolyte thing, and spend some time under the bili lights for the jaundice. 

    He is sleeping more than an hour at a time now and I am able to bring him to work.  He is also spending a few hours a day in quiet observation, which is a healthy sign.  I wear him on the Snuggli now for bonding, since I can't nurse him, and he is calm enough to be in the pack without arching his back and screaming.

    Thanks to all those who have been concerned.

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    On fostering/adopting

    Friday, March 6, 2009, 3:55 PM [General]

    At the request of Lonesentinel, I am writing a blog about our most recent adoptions.

    First, a little background.  My husband and I have been married 25 years, and have one biological son, who is a graduate student right now.  We adopted four children so far, and we will soon adopt a fifth, most likely.

    Most of our children were adopted years ago. The first was a toddler boy, whom we started with as foster parents.  Our son was four, and Jeremy was two.  He had been physically abused, neglected, and abandoned by his birth mother.  He was picked up by DHS when neighbors noticed him crying and hadn't seen mom for several days.  He still loves his mother.  He is in college right now, but had great difficulty attaching to us and needed therapy for many years.

    The next two were sisters.  They had happier stories.  One, Annie, was taken from her mother at birth and placed with an aunt, who had a stroke and couldn't care for her anymore.  She came to us at the age of three.  Six months later, her mother gave birth again and her little sister, Chloe, was released to us from the hospital.  Chloe was drug exposed and we had undergone several months of training to deal with newborns with drug exposure.  Luckily, Chloe didn't suffer the worst possible effects, and she and her sister are also in college ... Chloe just started last fall.

    As we were getting older but had an empty nest, we decided to take on a pre-teen next.  Kim was 12 and is almost 13, and was free for adoption when we brought her home.  She has serious trust issues, and isn't quite sure we aren't going to send her away when she acts out, which she does with regularity ... testing us.  

    We weren't expecting the call we got last week, that her mother was giving birth to a drug exposed infant and would we accept him?

    What could we say? Yes, we'd take him.  We had to scramble to get baby things, because it had been years since we had a little one, and when Tyler came home, it was immediately clear that he had more serious exposure problems than Chloe did.  He cries almost constantly, except when immersed in a warm bath or on top of a warm dryer. He shies away from comforting, can't stand the Snuggli or the baby swing, fights like hell being put in a car seat, and throws up almost every time he feeds. 

    We are taking him in for a doctor visit on Monday and it is entirely possible that he will have to go back to the hospital for intravenous feeding, because he is unable to keep anything down.  I am worried about dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, and so is his doctor.

    Anyway, that's where we are now.  I hope that we are given greater direction on Monday because Tyler appears to be quite medically fragile.  His sister is also very worried.


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