It’s March Madness around the ‘S’ household!
But I haven’t watched a single game of the NCAA tournament.
Instead, I have been distracted by our own version of madness; a month full of both upsets and triumphant “wins”. We are deep in a spiritual battle where some days there are victories and others I just want to crawl up in a ball and scream at God that this is all TOO MUCH.
Here is what our March “tournament” has looked like:
- “Opponent”#1: A Surgery—
Our foster son finally had a much needed surgery a few weeks ago! This had apparently been in the works since he was in his last foster home & I am so happy that it finally was able to happen AND that it is now behind us. It was a REALLY long 24 hours in the hospital (for both of us lol) but like everything else, had moments of hard AND good. I felt privileged to be the one nursing him through all the steps of healing and to be there for him pre-op, inpatient, and post-op. It saddens me to think of all the kids out there going through scary procedures and illnesses without their mom or dad.
The anesthesiologist let me hold him in my lap as he drifted off to sleep for surgery and that moment will forever remain with me. I started to sing him a song in his ear and less than a minute later he was completely asleep. The moment I felt his body collapse into mine and handed him over to complete strangers was so emotional. I prayed like crazy for him, his mom, and the entire situation while I sat in the waiting room listening for them to overhead call his last name (HER last name… mom… another reminder of the brokeness that is foster care).
Once the surgery was through, they called out his last name and I met the surgeon in a tiny room to discuss how it went and necessary next steps in healing and follow up.
Then there was more waiting until they called once again overhead to let me know he was ready in PACU and eager to see me. He was terrified and it broke my heart. I rocked him in a rocking chair as he cried and moaned until he fell asleep once again in my arms.
When he awoke, I offered him a drink of gatorade from his favorite sippy cup from home and he held onto that cup and wouldn’t let it out of his sight. A familiar cup in a very unfamiliar place that brought just a tiny bit of security, along with his blankie.
Next, transport arrived and took us to our inpatient room where we would stay overnight to monitor for bleeding and to ensure he was able to maintain oxygen saturation levels through the night. He was placed on heart rate monitors, pulse ox, and IV fluids and thus unable to run about the room like he’d have liked to once he was fully awake and himself again. My job all night long was to keep him from getting tangled in all the lines, from pulling out his IV, pulling off his O2sat monitor, and kinking his fluid lines causing his pump to beep occlusion. Needless to say there was no sleep for me (lol).
The nurse came in at 22:30, 02:30, and 06:30 to give pain meds and a PCA in at midnight and 0400 to do vitals. At 02:30 I made the remark to the sweet night nurse that the night actually went pretty fast (!…. i thought it was 06:30) and she said, “Yeah it is already 02:35” (ughhh).
At 06:15 the doctor came to round and told us we could be discharged after breakfast and after he could prove he could drink an adequate amount of fluids. He’s never been a HUGE drinker to begin with so it took some time to prove he was drinking enough but by 11:30 we were on our way home.
My husband was my sanity saver as he visited bringing both dinner and breakfast (and a chance to pee). He’s the real hero in all of this. I could not do this journey without him. Which brings me to my next topic….
- “A Win” (and winner):
A couple weeks before the surgery my husband informed me that he was sending me on a girls trip to Florida just 4 days after the surgery. I told him he was crazy and he told me the plane tickets were already purchased and I WAS going. I was so hesitant to go but it was EXACTLY what I needed. He gave me 3 days and nights where I had no one to feed, change, discipline, bathe, wake up to (multiple times a night), or worry about. He held down the fort and I spent time feeling like a real person again and reconnecting with cousins, aunts, and my mom. It was the best gift ever and he knew I would have never gone unless he forced it. This whole fostering journey has made me realize what a great teammate I have in my husband- I’d have totally lost (my mind) a longggg time ago without him on my team.
- More “Traveling”:
I got back from my trip on a Tuesday and my husband left town Thursday for a trip. SO I quickly snapped back into my reality that is 4 kids under 5 (solo now) and it was somewhat of a rude awakening (lol). They say there’s always payback after you leave your kids and boy is that true… I think I am still paying for it!
- Numerous “Turnovers”:
We aren’t sure if it was the surgery or the changes that came along with our 2 trips away but we have had now weeks of back and forth on behaviors with our foster buddy, “Little Man”. We had made SO much forward progress and now we are back to dealing with behaviors we haven’t seen very much since the first month or so of his placement with us. Like “turnovers” in basketball, it is all very frustrating. We just pray for more forward progress and hopefully more healing with time.
- “Full Court Press”:
We are trying to fit in as much therapy, healing, love, cuddles, and fun as possible as the next court date approaches mid-May. We don’t know what the outcome will be but we ask for prayers for His will to be done in it all and a “victorious” life for these 2 little ones. It has been 5 months since the day we got the call and we just never know how much time we have left on the clock. If I am honest, some days I am not sure I can do it all much longer. Some days I am sure I am out of energy. But the idea of saying goodbye to a sweet little baby girl I’ve loved since day 2 of her life and a foster buddy that has been through so much in his short life already and has attached so strongly to me over the past months is HARD to think about. It is our job to see it all through and to be their voices, their defense, and that is what we plan to do (prayers PLEASE!).
My hope lies in trusting His plan for these precious kids of His… He won’t ever leave them and He is in control (even when I cannot see).
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.