Tuesday, April 29, 2008
The effects of foster on Snuggle Bug
I've updated you on Baby Bug and Boo and now it's time to update you on Snuggle Bug. In specific, I'm going to share with you the effects I see that our fostering has had on him.

Snuggle Bug has had his life turned upside down these past few months! Having two little girls join our family has been quite an adjustment and one that's not easily explained to a 3 year old.

When Baby Bug arrived after Thanksgiving last year, he didn't seem to mind too much. She was a cute little thing and he was fascinated with having a 3 week old baby in the house. We explained that Baby Bug's mommy and daddy couldn't take care of her right now so we'd be taking care of her for a while. We were careful not to refer to her as his sister or say, "Our baby" as we weren't sure if how long we'd have her. We were trying to prevent him from getting too attached. That didn't really work.

Snuggle Bug has become very attached to Baby Bug, and she to him. He goes out of his way to help her. He comforts her when she cries, he tries to feed her (notice him practicing on his stuffed bear) and change her diaper. He tries to make her laugh and always succeeds. At five months old, Baby Bug seems to adore Snuggle Bug as much as he adores her. They most certainly have a connection and he's quite protective and possessive of her at times.

Snuggle Bug understands that Baby Bug has a mommy and daddy of her own. He has always gone with Oronzo to drop her off for visits with her parents. There are times when she's not at our home that Snuggle Bug will say, "She seeing her mommy and daddy" so we know he gets that.

I do worry about how he will handle the day that we have to send Baby Bug home to her parents for good. I know he'll miss her but how sad will he be? Will he worry that he can be sent away too?

Snuggle Bug's relationship with Boo is a bit more complex, because she's closer in age to him and mobile, not to mention that he never had time to ease in to a relationship with her. One day she just showed up and was in his space!

With the addition of Boo we've unfortunately seen behavior from Snuggle Bug that we're not used to. He's acted jealous, bossy, whiny, and clingy. His laid back attitude seemed to fly out the window for a time. We certainly understand why this has happened but that hasn't made it any easier to witness.

There are days when I want to pull my hair out with the refereeing I have to do because Snuggle Bug is snatching toys from Boo and telling her what she can't do or because Boo is plowing through toys that Snuggle Bug is playing with as she tries to play too.

I often have to stop, take a deep breath, and remind myself to be patient with both of them. They both have had enormous changes in their short little lives and they deserve some patience and understanding. I know that, if we're allowed to adopt Boo, things will get easier as they get older. We're already seeing great improvements just in the two and a half months since Boo joined our family.

There are some very sweet days too. Just the other night we went out for pizza and Snuggle Bug, Boo, and even Baby Bug were playing, making each other laugh, and having a grand time together. Snuggle Bug was helping Boo with her dinner and I sat back and soaked up the happy display of camaraderie. It felt like we were truly a family. For that brief period of time I was able to let go of the worrying about if/when we have to give the girls back. For that moment in time, all was right with the world.

In addition to the adjustment of fostering, I can't help but wonder when the light bulb will go on for Snuggle Bug becoming aware of the fact that he was adopted? I talk to him about his adoption in a very basic sense. I read him adopted related children's books (his favorite is "A Mother for Chaco"). I add his birth parents into our evening prayer routine. I do these things because I want him to grow up knowing he was adopted. I want that to be a natural part of his life, something he can feel comfortable talking to us about anytime he has questions. So far, he doesn't seem to have any inkling what adoption is all about and I'm sure that's because he's only 3 years old.

I still have a good relationship with Snuggle Bug's birth mother, Giselle. I send her updates and pictures by mail and we exchange emails from time to time. I actually got a treasure trove of pictures sent to me by Giselle's grandmother (Snuggle Bug's great grandmother). They're pictures of Giselle from infancy through high school. It's amazing to see how much Snuggle Bug looks like her at the same age! I'm thrilled that I have these pictures for him. Now I just have to get some of his birth father, if possible. We never hear from him.

Other than coping with the effects of our fostering and me wondering what Snuggle Bug will think of his adoption when he's old enough to understand, I'm truly relishing being this precious boy's mother. He's smart, has a great sense of humor, he's compassionate, and he's quite handsome. He loves baseball, cooking, art, music, outdoor activities, taking walks around our neighborhood at dusk, and so much more. Thankfully, he's still willing to give his mama hugs and kisses, he still looks to me to kiss his boo boos to make them all better, and he still thinks the world revolves around Oronzo and me.

We are so blessed to have been chosen to parent this amazing little boy and I thank God frequently for that blessing!

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5:30 AM

At 9:29 PM, Blogger Judith said...

I'm so glad it's this particular
post I took time to visit and read.

What insight and patience you bring to these little one's lives. Understanding and love make up for details you sometimes may not get exactly right. So seize the moments with them, and don't worry too much.
When God's angels look down, to see how you are doing, I am sure they are smiling.

And your making Snuggle Bug's adoption an open part of his life is a great idea.

At 7:17 AM, Blogger Ms. Kathleen said...

What a beautiful update on Snuggle Bug. The little stories you shared between Boo and SB reminded me of my kids when they were growing up. Mom's are always the referee it seems.

I have seen my kids grow close, then grow apart and then close again during different stages of their lives.

God knew before time began that SB was to be your precious son.

I am keeping your in my prayers for the little girls.

God Bless You and thanks for sharing from your ♥


At 2:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your son is adorable. I will have to look for the adoption books you mentioned- I was having a hard time finding any. I have not even heard or seen any dealing with the foster to adopt scenario- if you find any let me know....

At 6:16 PM, Blogger heidi @ ggip said...

Thanks so much for sharing.

At 11:13 PM, Blogger Jacquie said...

What a sweet little boy you have. Thanks for sharing him with us.


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Name: Overwhelmed

My complete profile

It wasn't supposed to work this way...Parts 1 through 10

(the story of the private, domestic adoption of our son)

(Part 1)
(Part 2)
(Part 3)
(Part 4)
(Part 5)
(Part 6)
(Part 7)
(Part 8)
(Part 9)
(Part 10- Adoption Finalization)

Fostering isn't for the faint of heart!

(our journey to adopt again through foster-to-adopt, the good, the bad, & everything in between)

Adoption #2- considering the State
More Adoption #2 thoughts
Adoption #2- Back to considering the State
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 1)
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 2)
Family Foster Home Licensing Prep Checklist
Adoption #2- Long overdue update
PS-MAPP class homework assignment
Our preliminary home inspection went well!
Adoption #2: Licensing update
Adoption #2- Foster Facts
Adoption #2: I love it when things go my way!
Adoption #2- The home inspection
Adoption #2- We failed our home inspection!
Adoption #2- We passed the follow-up home inspection!
Adoption #2- Still waiting
Adoption #2- We're getting closer
Adoption #2- An update & a lead
Adoption #2- The lead that didn't pan out.
Adoption #2- We're licensed!
Adoption #2- We have a tiny baby here!
Adoption #2- Update on this precious little girl.
Adoption #2- Quick update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is staying longer!
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is growing!
Adoption #2- Overdue update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- The latest on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Shopping spree for Baby Bug
Being a Foster Parent Does Not Make Me A Saint
Adoption #2- Another Placement Call!
Adoption #2- Placement Meeting- UPDATED!
Adoption #2- We have Boo at our home!
Adoption #2- Meeting Boo
Adoption #2- I'm angry on Boo's behalf!
Adoption #2- A Birthday Party for Boo
Adjusting to three 3 and under!
Stressful moments in fostering.
Adoption #2- Update on our foster daughters
CPS Workers Jerking Our Chain!
It's getting much worse!
Fostering: Update on Baby Bug
Fostering: Update on Boo
The effects of fostering on Snuggle Bug
The time is drawing near to let go of Baby Bug.
Good conversation with Baby Bug's dad.
Boo has a Permanency hearing coming soon!
My heart is breaking!
Bittersweet news about Baby Bug.
Next Friday is going to be tough.
Packing up Baby Bug's belongings
It's done- Baby Bug is gone.
Working on finding peace, one day at a time.
Referral to the Early Intervention Program
Baby Bug update
Home Inspection for re-licensing
Parole granted for Boo's bio mom
Baby Bug is turning 1 year old soon.
Day 2 of Boo's permanency hearing
A prayer answered today!
Attending Baby Bug's 1st birthday party
Foster news
Good news for Boo's case
Boo's bio family visits
Termination Trial date set!
A new caseworker for Boo
I've been asked to testify in court.
Court hearing for "John Doe"
Contested termination trial begins tomorrow afternoon
Boo's adoption has been finalized!

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