As I have mentioned time has just flown by since we heard that Kaycey was joining our family. I will never forget the day we got the call from our social worker to say that Jayden was on his way and I will never forget it with Kaycey either.
From about August last year I just had the feeling that something was going to happen as far as our adoption placement was concerned, but I squashed the feeling down because I just thought I was being silly. Our social worker had told us that our wait would be long and so that is what we expected. It turned out that other people had the same feeling as me, my mom kept saying that she also had ‘a feeling’ and at Jayden’s birthday party a fellow adoptive mom said, “I just have a feeling that SHE has been born”.
On the day that we got the call I sent our social worker an e-mail to ask her how our profile was doing and if we needed to update anything. Her reply was that we just needed to be patient and wait until we had been chosen. Then, at about 3pm my phone rang! It was our social worker and I honestly didn’t think it was good news because I had received an e-mail from her that morning. As you know now it was indeed very good news and I was totally elated that it was a GIRL. We hadn’t specified that we wanted a girl, but I was REALLY hoping it would be. I wasn’t given any more detail at this point as we would receive all of the info at a matching meeting TWO DAYS LATER!
So now I had to make some phone calls! I phoned hubby, who was extremely excited (Of course) and then I tried my mom. She was at work and answered her phone but asked if she could call me back! I paced up and down my hallway a few times and decided to call Sharon who was thrilled for us! My mom eventually called back…..I called my Dad and then I called my Stepdad….everyone was thrilled…….and everyone was also sworn to secrecy. We didn’t want to tell anyone until after the matching meeting in case something went wrong.
Following the matching meeting we had to wait ten more days until we met our baby girl. It was exciting and daunting at the same time. I loved the shopping, especially the clothes shopping. I stood in front of the cute girl stuff in Edgars one afternoon and shook (seriously) with excitement and disbelief that I was actually buying girls clothes.
We cleaned all of Jayden’s old baby stuff and planned to put our baby girl in a camp cot in our room until she had settled in. At the time she was with a kangaroo mom and I had been in contact with her. She would send me daily pictures and I could see that she was being looked after very well. The kangaroo mom advised us on the Thursday before we met Kaycey that she was a very light sleeper. She said it was probably best to put her in her own room right from the start. So on the Saturday before we flew down to Cape Town we painted and set up her room. By the Sunday we were as ready as we could ever be to fly down to Cape Town and meet our second child. Or flight was the next day!!!!
Its been nearly three months since I wrote a blog post, and I am sure you are all wondering how our second placement went. The last three months have been absolutely hectic and they have flown by in a whirlwind. We are gradually getting used to our family of four and getting comfortable with new routines. It hasn’t been a walk in the park, but we are getting there. We have had many fantastic moments and some dam difficult ones.
I have lots to update you on, but some topics definitely deserve their own posts. Like……the actual placement day.
So for now I’ll keep it light and general…..
Our daughter! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Our beautiful little girl, Kaycey is nearly six months old and she has been with us for nearly three months. She has a sweet, soft personality and she is also a very happy child. She smiles A LOT and is rarely in a bad mood. Physically, she is very strong and I think she is going to be mobile sooner than later. She sat with assistance at 3 and a half months and can now sit up perfectly by herself. She is also moving herself forward on her tummy and can balance on her knees and hands in a crawling position. We reckon she will be crawling soon, which is a bit daunting because once she is on the move ……….we run!
We started solids at 20 weeks and she is now eating like a champ! I can’t tell you how happy this makes me!!! Jayden was and still is a TERRIBLE eater…………and so I am chuffed! She is not sleeping through the night yet and we have had some really restless nights over the months. At the moment she will wake once for a bottle and to have her dummy put back in her mouth, which is not too bad.
Generally she is a happy easy baby and the three of us have all fallen in love with her…….I reckon she is quite happy with us too.
Something weird happened a couple of weeks ago…..
It as about 2am and we heard Kaycey crying over the baby monitor. I went into her room to check on her and she was fast a sleep with her dummy in her mouth. Ten minutes later, it happened again, and so I went in to check ….same thing, sleeping baby…..dummy in mouth. Ten minutes later, we hear crying again. So hubby goes in and encounters the same thing, but this time he checks the nursery unit of the baby monitor.
People…..the nursery unit was not even on!
We still don’t have an explanation for what happened! The weird thing is that the sound was exactly like Kaycey’s cry. It happened again two days later……in the morning ……while Kaycey was sitting on my lap!!
It hasn’t happened again since….
I have officially been back to work from Jan. This meant that we had to retrench our domestic worker and find a nanny. We haven’t had a very good track record with nannies, so this time I vowed I would interview at least five people and that hubby would interview two of the ones I liked. Thankfully we found a magnificent, wonderful nanny to look after Kaycey, which is such a relief! Previously, I have ended up with someone I don’t like…..or someone I don’t trust, and with Moyo I both like and trust her. Happy days!!!
Jayden has been great with Kaycey. Obviously there have been moments of jealously and he has had to adjust to sharing our attention, but generally things have been fine. He is quite possessive over his sister, only certain people are allowed to hold her and he gets a little upset if he sees someone he doesn’t know with her. He loves it when I bring her into his school when I collect him, and he will then show all the teachers and his friends that he now has a sister.
I wont lie….its been quite an adjustment and I do think that I have a little post adoptive depression. I had it with Jayden too and so I recognize all the symptoms this time. Obviously I love my family, but I am owning the fact that this has definitely been an adjustment for me. Its one of those things that you only know about when you experience it and I do realize that in time I will find my feet and get into the flow. I am slowly getting there and I am taking care of myself…..well as much as you possibly can with two kids.
I have been meaning to write a post about this for a long time. There are lots of reasons I haven’t, but I really wanted to share my experience after Sharon’s posts this week. You can read those here and here, but I am sure that you have.
After we had finished our screening for adoption number two earlier this year we decided to start speaking to Jayden about baby number two. We simply asked him if he would like a brother or sister and told him that maybe he would have one soon. We didn’t make a huge deal of it, but we felt that it was a good idea to just speak about it casually. We started to notice a lot of aggressive behavior and he became very clingy. He would also have melt downs for the smallest things where he would sob for ages; it was very difficult to console him.
At this stage we thought he was just going through a stage and we tried to implement stronger boundaries. This only made it worse and we found ourselves in a place where we didn’t know what to do or how to handle him. We were at our wits end!
Then we got a new puppy for my hubby’s 40th. Jayden’s reaction wasn’t really positive and we thought it would just take time for him to accept the new addition, but that wasn’t the case. He began to speak like a baby, which drove us up the wall. I remember tweeting about it and being reassured that this was normal, but this quickly progressed to not speaking at all! I am serious! As I remember, there were about ten days with not one word. The only way he would communicate with us was through grunts and gestures. Of course we were very concerned and an FB friend suggested we try some play therapy.
I booked an appointment and after two session the play therapist confirmed that this was a case of selective mutism. Selective mutism is an anxiety disorder where a person experiences such high anxiety levels that he or she makes the decision not to speak. She explained to us that this was linked to the trauma he experienced as a result of his placement. It was a way of controlling something when he felt that the world around him was out of control. He was feeling anxious because of the talk of another baby and the arrival of the new puppy and was worried that he was going to be replaced and rejected.
I was quite surprised at the diagnosis because we met Jayden the day he was born. He was alone in an incubator for only an hour and I never left his side once we had met him. She further explained that the trauma of placement happens on a cellular level. He was born via cesarean section and his BM was fully anesthetized so his first experience of this world was coming into a cold sterile hospital theater and then taken straight to an incubator to wait for us alone. No cuddles, no kisses and no familiar voices. This effects the reptilian brain and in turn also effects the limbic system which means that Jayden was experiencing anxiety as a result of trauma. She also explained that he may have sensory processing disorder and attachment disorder. The recommendation was that we do four sessions of play therapy to help him cope with his sense of loss and anxiety.
We went for the four sessions and it made a massive difference in Jayden. He was talking again, in fact he was a complete chatter box, and he was happy.We ended up going for about 16 play therapy sessions. They helped Jayden, and they also helped us as parents. We found ourselves in a much happier home. Of course, we still had days where we wanted to pull our hair out …..and we still do, but we didn’t have that intense feeling that something is wrong. Its helped us understand what Jayden is feeling and how we should react to that.
We feel that we have honestly done the absolute best for our boy, and I’m actually glad this has all happened before number two arrives; because we feel we are prepared to deal with any anxiety he may be feeling. We did a lot of attachment work with Jayden through out the play therapy and we can see that he has responded well to this; but this is something that we have to constantly work at. I think that we will probably have to do some OT work with him in the future because he is orally defensive, which is why we have such a hard time feeding him. He also still has times where I can see him shutting down if he is anxious. He will then revert to using one or two words, but with a little reassurance he comes out of it.
I have seen the signs once again this week as we prepare for our daughter to come home. He screamed for 45 minutes when hubby left for work on Wednesday morning and we are once again battling with food in the evenings.
I know that there are lots of people who would say that this is just normal behavior and its actually really difficult to explain just how much I can see the hurt in him in a blog post. We have only discussed the selective mutism and attachment disorder with a few people and we have had various reactions. But I must mention, that our play therapist says she sees this in a lot of adoptive children.
We will not let this define him as a person, but we do feel that we have to parent him gently while still instilling strong boundaries. I honestly believe that adopted children do experience trauma as a result of placement. This plays out in different ways and it also varies in severity…..But its definitely a thing!!
I don’t even know how to describe what I am feeling right now. Joy, excitement and a little bit of fear.
You may know that we have been waiting for baby number two and last Wednesday WE GOT THE CALL! I haven’t been able to calm myself down since and there has been lots of celebrating with our friends and family since. I am absolutely over the moon because we are going to have a little girl and I was really really hoping for that!
Our little one is three months old and currently staying with a Kangaroo mom. We will join us in her forever home early next week and I just cant wait.
When we got the call for Jayden we had four days to prepare and now we have ten days. I know its going to feel like a lifetime, but i am also thankful for the time so I can prepare and get my head right.
We told Jayden that he was going to be a big brother on Friday and we didn’t get much of a reaction, but by Sunday he began to show a little more excitement.
Guys and gals, I am tingling all over!
Our journey is finally over and our family is complete!
I have written about how this year has been a particularly bad one for me. It hasn’t been the worst year I have ever had its just been a battle. There have been lots of problems and hiccups and its been so frustrating. I feel like I am pushing against a wall that wont budge. I’m struggling to stay motivated and focused. I’m really hoping that 2016 will be a bit easier
I suffer from depression and anxiety. I was first diagnosed with depression when I was 16. I have come to accept that this is part of my make up and I need to manage it accordingly. I have found that the pressure of this year has really accentuated my depression, I have felt low… a lot and I also find myself constantly worrying.
Now, if you have ever experience chronic depression and anxiety you will know that its like being in a deep dark hole (depression), with constant voices whispering in your ear ( anxiety), telling you that everything is not OK. Its not something that you can shake off and its not a case of just having a bad day. I cant recall a time in my life when I didn’t carry these little ‘friends’ of mine with me. Its just a matter of how heavy they feel at a particular time.
And so I have found that this year I have worried….A LOT! I worry about anything and everything.
I worry that I am not working hard enough or that I haven’t done a good enough job. Even though if I really dig deep I know that I am doing as much as I can do.
I worry about my weight, and keep beating myself up for gaining four kilos of the 16 I lost.
I worry that I am not bringing in enough money.
I worry about other people. My mom, Jayden, my friends, my hubby.
And then I worry that I worry too much!!!
Sometimes its quite an overwhelming feeling, its all consuming and I struggle to focus when my anxiety is at its height.
There are certain people that I have in my life that I can vent to. I treasure these souls, but the relief is temporary. My other friend, wine, also helps to a certain extent……but that’s temporary too!
I honestly wonder when I will stop worrying and if there is anything that I can do to stop my worrying.
Its definitely not pleasant!
Are you also a worrier? What do you do to reduce the amount of worrying you do?
Just over a week ago (on heritage day), Jayden turned four. FOUR!!!
I now understand what parents mean when they say “You will always be my baby” I know he’s only four, but still……
Jayden has had an excellent year and I am so proud of him. He has become an independent, clever little sausage and his personality is just blooming. We celebrated his birthday with a party on heritage day and his best friend from school came along too. J was so excited to see her. He took her on a tour of our house and garden and they honestly stuck together like glue until it was time for her to go.
We hired a massive crocodile jumping castle with a bubble machine, which quickly turned into a water slide. The kids loved it and it was awesome for them because it was seriously HOT!!
Its my fourth year of kids party planning and seriously there are a few things that I have learnt. The party was a great success, but I reckon that I can still tweak a few things for next year. We have always had our parties at home, and each year we swear never to do it again purely because of the mess. Thank goodness I thought ahead and asked my helper to come in the next day to help me clean.
Here are a few of the other key things I have learnt.
Kids don’t care about the decorations
I spent a lot of time on handmade decorations for J’s first, second and third birthday party, but this year I went low key. I got a Minions banner and table cloth from a party shop and some yellow balloons …..that’s it! Honestly the time I spend on decorations for previous years was wasted…..nobody cares! Especially not the kids.
Sweets, chips and party packs!
This is what kids actually care about. I put out kiddies chips and sweets, as well as some cool drink……everyone helped themselves and everyone was happy. And then of course there is the essential party pack on departure.
Order snack platters for the adults
This is something I will do next year. It was heritage day so we decided to braai some boerewors rolls. They went down well, but snack platters would have been much easier. This way mom and dad can both sit down and not worry about preparing the food.
A jumping castle is always a winner
Jumping castles in all shapes and forms are always a success…..finished!
………..and those are my tips!
Phew, I have a four year old!!!
It’s October already!!! There are about eight properly productive weeks left of the year in my industry and then SA will start shutting down and going to sleep until mid January. At this time of year I start thinking back over the events, achievements and frustrations of the year and doing a bit of an evaluation.
Last year was a great year! I lost a lot of weight and I felt positive about the future. I felt like I got stuff done! I made big confident decisions and I felt very sure of myself. I entered 2015 with a great big positive attitude, ready to tackle life and grow my business……and then somehow everything fell apart! March, April, May, June, July and August were all a battle!
I have put on 4 kg’s!
I haven’t achieved what I set out to do with my business!
…….I kind of feel like this has been a year of false starts and pure survival!
Being the type A person I am, I have been quite hard on myself about it.
I find myself asking why I haven’t ……………Lost more weight, grown my business etc.
It all feels a bit meh! And a bit blegh!
How has your year been?
Happy Friday! I have had a good week!
Thinking: Jayden’s birthday is at the end of the month and all the planning is complete. Our birth mother is in my thoughts a lot lately. I wonder how she is, and I hope that she is doing well. I can’t believe its been four years!!! I came across this post on FB yesterday and it really hit home.
Watching: We reconnected our DSTV for the world cup and I have been indulging in a little bit of cheesiness. Have you ever seen “Who did I marry”? Holy cow some of those stories are horrific. The one woman discovered that her husband was messing around with under age girls and the other that her husband was a rapist. Other than that we are working our way through the entire series of Frasier which I really enjoy.
Feeling: Brooooooody! I was talking to someone on Wednesday about how I hope baby number two arrives in early 2016; purely because I have a lot of work to do before the end of the year. She commented that when you say things like that the opposite happens; and then I realized……baby number two could actually have been born already! Shivers!
Running: I have been enjoying my exercise so much! I have been running between 3km and 5km around our neighborhood. It makes me feel more focused and motivated and last night I was considering doing something I thought I would never do again…..Joining the gym! I swore I would never do it again because every time I do I end up not going, but I would like to add some variety to my exercise routine. I plan to go and check out Go Health Club today!
Anyway, have an awesome weekend bleeps!!!
This is a bit of a ranty post, but I want to write about it because its been on my mind a lot lately.
None of us can claim to be without judgment when it comes to life in general. I try my best to have an open mind, but I do have my flaws. For example, I cant stand it when I see a child in a car that is not strapped in, or someone talking on their cellphone while they are driving.
When it comes to the topic of parenting there seems to be even more judgement;
Natural birth vs Cesarean.
Breastfeeding vs bottle feeding.
etc etc etc Blah Blah Blah and Blah!!!
Lately, I have been feeling a subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) judgement from people in general (no one in particular) on how I choose to discipline MY child.
Discipline has been a difficult area for us to navigate as a couple. I was smacked twice as a child and that was it. My parents used other methods to keep me in line and quite honestly I listened to them because I respected them and I didn’t want to disappoint them. Hubby on the other hand was smacked, you would have to ask him how he felt that worked for him, but I suppose it did. As a couple we have had many disagreements on how to approach discipline with our son and we have come to a point where what we are doing works for us.
We use smacking as an absolute last resort. J has probably had three smacks in his four years on this earth and for us….it simply does not work to smack him. We use other methods and it works very well for us.
What I don’t get is why people are so judgy about that?
There is an implication that we are going to have a problem child if we don’t use smacking as part of discipline.
There is an implication that our child wont know what the boundaries are…..
The focus of this post is not on our methods of discipline, but on the subtle implication that we are bad parents because we choose not to smack. There are boundaries in our house and we choose our battles. My child has his moments, as all of us do! After all we are human right? I have seen many adults behave like children in my life.
Let me be clear…..I don’t judge you if you choose smacking as part of your parenting, unless it becomes a case of physical abuse. So I’m not sure why some people feel that our choices are any of their dam business. Aren’t we all just trying to raise our kids to be the best that they can be? Aren’t we all just trying our best to navigate this parenting thing and do what works for us?
Parenting is hard, its not easy at all, and it just makes it harder when we feel judged by others!
I would love to know your thoughts!
Its officially Spring!
Its going to start getting gorgeously warm and before we know it we will be starting to plan for Christmas! It always seems like the year just starts to slip away from this point on, and so I have already starting planning for 2016 as far as business is concerned. 2015 has been difficult so far, it just hasn’t felt easy, and I am really hoping for some light at the end of the tunnel from now until the end of the year. I have learnt how resilient I am though, resilient or stubborn……take your pick.
I love the warm weather and this weekend was awesome. We had some family around for a braai on Saturday and on Sunday we decided to go to the Zoo. Jayden loved every minute and I must say I am so enjoying the time I get to spend with him. He is nearly four and even though he is pushing the boundaries a lot lately, his personality is blossoming and I’m loving it. He is full of the ‘Why’s’ and I love seeing him explore more and more of his world. We had a very ‘interesting’ conversation the other night while he was sitting on the loo. It was about what would happen if you ate poo or vomit and how there are some good vomits because they make your tummy feel better. i really don’t know where he gets this stuff!
He loved the Zoo and had two specific requests of what he wanted to see….a hipamopotamiss and a froggie. Which we did get to see…..
With the renewed energy that spring brings I also have a renewed energy as far as my weight and fitness are concerned.
I ran my first park run ten days ago and I was so impressed with myself. I didn’t manage any running last week, but I went for a 30 minute run yesterday. i thought I was going to suffer, but it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I love it because its something I never thought I could do. I love the flood of endorphin’s I get as a result of the exercise and it really gives me a chance to push myself.
So, what are your goals and plans for the rest of the year?
I love you Spring! Goodbye winter woes.