This day started normally enough:
Even for those who work hard to redefine what is “normal”:
The kids got themselves dressed:
We all had paperwork to do on the computer:
It was all as normal as could be, you might think.
And then my father’s father, my last grandparent, passed away.
Evening plans were cancelled, and we loaded up in the van to drive to Arkansas to meet Uncle Kirk.
He was a veteran, I told them.
He fought for our flag? They asked.
Yes, I said, and he also liked to fly planes.
And he loved Grandma more than anybody:
My brother and I were the only grandkids until we were grown, when my aunt – who was younger than my father – had her kids, and then they got to grow up on their own, overlapped by my brother’s kids. My children came too late to know my grandmother, who also passed away from cancer (like too many from our family), but they knew my grandfather from these recent visits since our family has settled and had adoptive placements enough for permission to travel.
We drove over to see my aunt, and to hug my brother, and to eat a meal together as a family.
That’s what grandma would have made us do anyway.
We drove back late, because we can’t really stay with the baby, and because she and Mary have pre-op appointments tomorrow, plus our (last?!) quarterly DHS visit.
Besides that, Mary finally got her final approval for adoption, and we sign paperwork tomorrow. It isn’t final, but we should get a court date now! She will officially graduate foster care tomorrow, and she could not be more excited.
This is the roller coaster of our life, from the hard day of yesterday being the anniversary of mom’s death to the good news for Mary today, to the difficult news of my grandfather passing.
We don’t know yet when the funeral is or any details, but we will know tomorrow.
In the meantime, we have an adoption, Mary’s second cochlear implant surgery, and the baby is in pre-trial next week, and we have the baby’s surgeries in Cincinnati to prepare for – with more reports that they are concerned surgery will not go well, and that we need to be prepared for that.
She’s trying so hard! Watch her here, where she is supposed to be doing her therapy – moving into a crawl position and back into a sitting position – with her needing a “minute nap” in the middle because she just doesn’t have enough air to have that much energy… and then also using it to try and manipulate her way out of having to work so hard! She is such a character!
We are all doing our best these days, I think.
The Elvis hair below, caused by her pulling out her ponytail, is just a highlight: