Not flesh of my flesh
nor bone of my bone
but still miraculously my own.

Never forget for a single minute
you didn't grow under my heart
but in it!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Third Call to Gariella's Foster Family

Gia and I called Gabriella's foster family this afternoon for the third time. I didn't post last week after speaking to N. because although I knew Gabriella had been sick, I found out that her sickness had been serious enough that she had been hospitalized two times for three days each time in August. I was quite upset and spent my time investigating why I had not been contacted about this. It turns out that she was hospitalized for the effects from her lactose intolerance and it was during the time in which the referral was being made and before the referral had been accepted by me. It turns out that my adoption agency did not know about the hospitalization either and I was told that we certainly should have been contacted and received an apology.

Gabriella's foster mom, N., stated that she had many sleepless nights while Gabriella was in the hospital. N. said that she placed her hand on Gabriella's stomach and prayed for her to get better. N. stated that Gabriella had a strong will to live and fought to get better. This is quite disturbing news for a mom to hear, especially when I have absolutely no control and cannot do anything to help her or to ensure that she is well. I just have to trust that God is watching over her and taking care of her.

N. stated that Gabriella is feeling much better and is prospering now. She said that Gabriella is gaining weight and her weight gain is visible in her cheeks, thighs, and belly. She also said that the formula is not going through her like it was. She has a monthly doctor's appointment on October 4th at which time I will get her weight and new measurements.

I had sent my first package to Gabriella through another adoptive family who picked up their son on Friday. The package weighed 17 pounds and contained tons of clothes sized 0-3 months and 3-6 months, a Build-A-Bear teddy bear with a message that I recorded in it, a microcassette player with a cassette of "Gabriella" songs and a cassette with recordings of me reading her books, a blanket that I slept with, a doll, 3 disposable cameras, photos of me and my family (it was amazing to me that stores sell photo albums designed for babies and many baby toys in which you incorporate photos), pacifiers, books, and lots of stimulating toys, plus a few items for the foster family. While I was shipping the package, the bag was so packed that anytime I bumped the bag the Leap Frog toy would start singing the ABC's and other toy's sounds would activate! I was nervous that the bag may be considered suspicious because of this and not make it the full way, but it did!

N. stated that Gabriella loves the music and cries when the cassette stops! She said that she sleeps with the teddy bear and the doll. She also said that she stares at the photos of me and my family. N. stated that she prayed that Gabriella would have a mother that loved her and is so happy that Gabriella has a mom that loves her so much.

N. stated that they will be going to the attorney's office on Monday for new photos, so hopefully I will be receiving the new photos and posting them in the next couple of days.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Another Beautiful Handmade Gift

I received a beautiful knit blanket on Thursday from my great friend Katie, knit by her for Gabriella. The blanket is precious and I can't wait to snuggle Gabriella in it. I am amazed by the talent of people like Katie. Thanks so much Katie!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Beautiful Gift

I received a beautiful quilt today from Jackie, a lady who I work with, handmade by her specially for Gabriella. It was a wonderful surprise. Thanks Jackie!

Monday, September 17, 2007

1st Phone Call to Gabriella's Foster Family

I had my first conversation this evening with Gabriella’s foster family and it went wonderfully thanks to Gia’s skillful translation skills! Thanks so much Gia! It is such a blessing to have a Spanish translator in the family!

Gabriella’s Foster Mother, N., was not available, but N.’s 18 year old daughter, S., was and S. spoke to us. There is one other foster baby in the home, a baby boy who is about 20 days older than Gabriella. S. told us that she has bonded the most with Gabriella and that she is Gabriella’s main caretaker and N. is mainly the baby boy’s caretaker.

The phone conversation started off with a bit of bad news. Gabriella has been sick. They switched her formula, and then switched it back to the original one after she got sick. I believe the formula she is on is Insomil. She goes to the doctor every 4th of the month and was the same weight as her birth weight on September 4th. S. said that she seems to be gaining weight now, though, because her legs and cheeks are getting bigger.

Gabriella gets up every three to four hours and needs a diaper change each time she gets up. She eats every one to two hours during the day. S. said that Gabriella didn’t want to eat in the beginning.

Gabriella looks around with her eyes and responds and makes little sounds. The family says things to her to get her to smile. S. says to her, “You’re so beautiful” (obviously in Spanish!) and Gabriella responds with coos.

S. said that Gabriella is very pretty, has a pointed nose, a small mouth, shiny hair, and big brown eyes.

S. sings to her to get her to sleep. Gabriella sleeps in the bed with S. Gabriella doesn’t like to sleep on her back so she sleeps on her side and S. said that during the day when she can watch her she lets her sleep on her stomach.

Gabriella uses a pacifier and pacifiers were the one request that S. made for the package that I am sending to them.

We asked if people know that they are a foster family and if they feel like they are in any danger. S. stated that they don’t feel like they are in any danger. She said that when people ask about the babies she tells them that they are hers.

We told S. that we would be changing Astrid’s name to Gabriella Astrid and asked if they would mind calling her Gabriella. S. said that they wouldn’t mind and would begin calling her Gabriella.

We set up weekly calls for Monday evenings at 8 PM.

I left the conversation feeling worried about Gabriella being sick, but feeling more at ease because I believe that Gabriella is very loved in her foster home.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Kisses In The Wind

I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams,
You are here each day with me, at least that's how it seems.

I know you wonder where we are... what's taking us so long,
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.

Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.
I promise you, my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.

Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.

--Author Unknown

Saturday, September 8, 2007