The kids woke slowly this morning, making their way to my bed one at a time for snuggles, and stay still and quiet for a long time – even the baby!  I enjoyed and appreciated the rest, and soaked in all that time with my little ones. They grow and change so fast!

We had an easy day, watching cartoons while I braided the girls’ hair and cooking lunch in our condo (salmon and rice).  They are very confused by commercials, since we don’t have cable and only one watch movies on family movie night, and are also confused by the game of watching what is airing on the channels rather than picking out whatever movie they want to play!  They were good about selecting appropriate things, even turning off one cartoon because of a bad word. I am glad they think about it, and glad they were able to come up with alternatives to play.

We rested today, did hair, ate lunch, took naps, and went to the castle playground.  Then we saw Great-Grandad and Uncle Kirk for a short time at the hospital, before going to another playground for several hours. It may be that finding new playgrounds is their favorite part of vacation!  It got cold as soon as the sun was down, so we came back for a movie and vegetable soup and crackers and teddy grahams (and maybe a skittles fight):

We had a pretty serious talk before bed, about what I loved about this week and what made me feel sad or disappointed or overwhelmed, about what things they need to keep practicing and what things I need to improve upon, and what special gifts they each bring to our family.

Then, after more tickles and snuggles,  I just laid down and let them talk themselves to sleep.

Listening to their chatter, instead of shushing them, was a window into their world and the intricacies of their dynamic, and I am glad I let it happen.

I was also amused when thy finally fell asleep almost mid-sentence, and I wondered if that’s what it was like when me and my brother and my cousins were little.

Speaking of little, Baby Girl is still losing weight. They think it is because she is using all her calories to maintain her sats, but the pulmonologist wants her off oxygen if she can endure it.  Her therapists are all worried because she stopped doing everything again. I was talking with the nutritionist, though, who has her on 26 kcal, even in her oatmeal and cups of vegetable and fruit purée.  Plus everything has rice in it as well, just so she doesn’t aspirate.

We decided to start putting in an extra entire scoop of formula in all her foods, just to see if we can help her with even more calories.  It doesn’t solve the airway issues, but it might help her until we can get her back to Cincinnati.  Otherwise, she will have to get a gtube and be tube fed again. 

This came to me, the extra scoop of formula in everything,  after much prayer and pondering, and Cincinnati approved it. 

It has been three days now, and she is happy again!  She is happy and playing again! She is sitting, rolling over both ways, and trying to crawl! I think it is working, albeit temporarily, and I am so relieved!

Look how proud of herself she is!

When I was saying my prayers last night, and praying for and about each of the children, I heard Heavenly Father say to me to love the children the way I love Nathan, and to remember we are sealed as one family, as if they were born into the covenant, and that this is eternal. I felt such a peace, and wonder if I was still waiting for someone to come take them away and move them to a new placement.  But they are here, we love their families best we can, and feel love growing for them more and more.

We are trying, all of us, to be a family and grow together.

I am trying to be a mom.

Here’s the good news, though:

These attributes of motherhood—selflessness, sacrifice, and love—can be developed and manifested in all daughters of God as we follow the ultimate example of these attributes, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

That’s from a talk I used to study frequently before I was ever married, and it says that being a mother can be developed.
That’s the best promise ever!

There is hope in that, hope that I can make progress in mothering well by following the example of the Savior.

I don’t have to know it all yet, and I don’t have to give up trying just because I don’t have it all figured out.

My mothering skills are developing, that’s all.

These kids, they are developing, too.

And we can learn together, that’s what I told them.

And celebrating doing so well today is maybe what started the skittles fight.

About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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