Sunday, April 22, 2012
And so it begins!
Where to begin?! How do you explain this crazy life? Baby steps. That pretty much describes much of our life, so that's the approach I'll take here. In the beginning..... I'm Cari, head lemonade maker. Then there is Steve, provider of the lemons! We have been married 24 years, looking forward to the big quarter of a century celebration this summer. Going on our first cruise! We have 3 kids by birth. E, is 24 and married to J. They are going on two years married and are just too cute. E is finishing a short Naval career and is looking forward to going back to school. That'll mean moving back to the hometown area! L is beginning her senior year in college, we'll soon have our own CPA in the family! H is 17 and home with me. She has been my lesson in how to turn a lemony life into lemonade. She has long term Lyme disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and POTS. Through this mess she has been virtually home bound for going on 5 years. She has never, ever, complained. She is my walking (okay, reclining!) lemonade girl. She inspires me. And then we began our adventures as a foster family. We have been fostering for almost 3 years now. We have had 25 children stay with us. It is an rewardingly challenging job. Right now, we still enjoy it more that we have become jaded so we'll keep going. February of 2010 we received a call to pick up a baby girl from the hospital. At the time, we were told it would be a simple placement. Bioparents just needed to work out a living arrangement. In December of 2011 we adopted baby E. No, adoption was not our plan. We were the only family this little girl had ever known. We had no idea how much we needed this little angel. She is our sunshine. She has by far been the best medicine for H we could have ever hoped for. Now, it is funny to see the looks from strangers trying to figure out who's kid she is..teen mom, young couple. Nope..it's us old people! We have an open adoption, and see her birth mother regularly, which brings many nuances. What is in baby E's best interest is all we care about. And finally we come to A. A is 8 and technically a foster child. She has been in care since she was 4 and with us for going on 2 years. She has been diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), PTSD, Mood Disorder...a full alphabet soup. She has rocked our world. She has made me question my sanity. She has brought me to my knees. But, she is also a little girl who needs a family, even if she has no clue how to function within a family. She has come a long way. She has a long way to go. We are fighting harder for her, in ways we never imagined. So there we are, lemons and all!