Today is the official 1yr anniversary of Baby 4's placement. The county considers the date he was discharged from the hospital as the first day he was in foster care, although we were involved before that. We got the call on March 8th of last year about a very sick child who needed 24 hour medical attention and a family that could drop everything right then and train in his care. Then we got the follow up info that he may not be coming to us after all. When we finally got to meet him on March 22nd, we were so enamored by his personality and great big smile.
Things got dice-y for a moment when local media picked up his story and started sharing way too many details- some that were completely untrue- all over the news and in the paper. We had an ambulance chaser sneak into his hospital room trying to get details about Baby 4 to share with reporters, and 4 started getting recognized in the community. While we still get noticed from time to time, the fascination with him in the public eye has dwindled and we hardly ever think about it anymore.
Having an older (verbal) child made for a rough transition for me- From explaining his move, to processing emotions.
We had to go back to the hospital just a couple of weeks after being released, and spent some time in the ICU getting his breathing in check. Baby 4 has had 8 surgeries in the past year, and was able to completely recover by this February- less than a year after his trauma.
This year we have had Baby 5 come and go , and the same with Baby 6 . We also adopted our daughter this year!
It feels like a lifetime since March 28, 2011. We've seen so much progress and some set backs. I have felt like running away to Mexico with him so we can be together forever. Just as many times, I've considered selling him to the traveling circus just so I don't have to say "go play" 10,000 times before getting 2 minutes alone to brush my teeth.
One year later, I have the exact same information about how 4's case will end. Everyone has an opinion and no one knows what will happen. We've never made it to 1yr with our other children. I imagined there would be some sense of where we are going or how fast we're getting there. Literally nothing has been accomplished in court in a whole year.
I didn't tell 4 it was Gotcha day. In later years, I hope to celebrate Adoption Day with my kids, but the day they come into care is a sad one. It's even more sad when 1yr later, nothing has been done to secure my son's future. In my own heart, though, Gotcha day is a milestone to measure how changed I am since becoming Baby 4's Mom. I will never be the same, and that's a very good thing.