Meeting Little Lulu and her Mama

This post is a bit past due but I wanted to share my thoughts of our first meeting with Lulu and her Mama…

April 1, 2013

Today was the day.  The girls and I excitedly (nervously…anxiously) drove to OCS this morning where we met Ron and headed inside to meet Lulu, her Mom, the case worker and her G.A.L.  I did not know what to expect from Lulu or from her Mother (I simply cannot imagine handing my baby over to a stranger to love). 

I was fighting nausea all morning (as I have been for the past 3 mornings…nerves) but managed to keep it together as we waited for Lulu and her Mom to come out to greet us.  Finally (after what seemed like an eternity but was more like ten minutes) they all came out.  Lulu’s Mom was extremely nervous (shaking and trying not to cry) and my heart ached for her.  I suddenly felt like I needed to comfort her to somehow let her know we were going to love Lulu and that we do not want to ‘take her away’ from her Mother.  I introduced myself and shook her hand (what do you do?!) and just as things were getting awkward, asked her if she had any advice to share regarding Lulu’s likes or dislikes.  At this chance she beamed and proceeded to tell me in great detail ALL of what makes Lulu… Lulu.  She said that she likes to be talked to “Don’t be quiet around her” she said.  “She needs to be talked to” (no worries there, I assured her…as the girls were bouncing around trying to get a peak at the baby).  “I clip her little nails so that she won’t scratch her face and I don’t like to use gloves because they make her hands smell”…”She will go to sleep around midnight after drinking about 1 oz then she needs to be burped and she’ll drink 3 more ounces.  She’ll wake at 5AM and eat again go back to sleep till about 8:30.” “If she licks her lips that means she’s hungry.”
“She is trying to crawl and needs more time on her belly making her stomach stronger and my Mom taught her, her first word ‘Hi’!” She excitedly shared with me how Lulu’s Grandmother had repeated it over and over till Lulu did the same. “She does not like to sleep during the day because she doesn’t want to miss anything and you really need to talk to her, she likes to talk.  She’ll look like she is going to start to cry but really she’s just getting ready to talk”, “She is starting to like bright things too.”

During the meeting the girls did wonderfully (both so excited about this precious baby in front of us) and Lulu’s Mama had made the comment a few times to the girls referring to them as Lulu’s big sisters (I totally appreciated her doing so as I was not sure of her feelings about us and our intentions, etc).  She was very nice…Amazingly so, considering the circumstances.

At one point during our talk Lulu needed a diaper change and her Mom hopped right on it “I don’t like her to sit too long in a poopy diaper so I change her right away” she said.  The caseworker and Guardian had left for the moment and apparently she wasn’t sure if she was supposed to get Lulu out of the car seat or not (she looked all around unsure if it was okay) but she proceeded to unbuckle her from her car seat, lay her down on a blanket and change her (hands shaking and fighting tears as she talked to me with a forced smile).
She said that Lulu likes to be held and talked to all the time and that even when she is sleeping she will stroke her back and say “Mama’s here”, just so she can hear her voice.
She also said her middle name is Lou and laughed saying “When she’s older the kids will call her Lucy Lou!  Charlie’s Angels is my son’s favorite movie so he loves it!”  She said Lulu was 8.14 oz at birth and was born January 18, 2013 (making her just 2 months old, not 3 months as I was told which explained why she looked so tiny)!
After she finished changing her diaper she put her back in her car seat and stroked her hair over and over.  She told Lulu that she loved her and at one point leaned in close and whispered “I’m sorry”.

She took a few photos of Lulu on her phone so I asked if she would like for me to take one of them together and she did.  I took a few photos of them together on her camera and also asked if I could take some on mine as well and she didn’t mind.  So I snapped a couple of photos as well.
As things were wrapping up we could see that her Mom was having a hard time.  Ron knelt down next to her and said that we were going to take good care of Lulu and hugged her.  She then handed me the car seat with Lulu tucked into it and we all headed out to the parking lot together.

When we got outside I gave her a hug told her “God bless you” and we headed to the car.

Wow.

I had no idea that my heart would ache for this Mom like it did.  She obviously loves Lulu.  She cares about every nuance and wants to be sure that I know just how special this baby is.  She had her schedule down like a pro and appeared to care for her as I did my own.  As we left, I felt that God wanted me to really pray for Lulu’s Mom and to keep on praying for her as we love Lulu.  Ron felt the same way and so our focus has somewhat shifted though we’re still hoping to adopt, we wonder if perhaps God is going to use us in another way.  Perhaps we are instead called to just love little Lulu while we pray for her Mom’s healing…If her Mom cannot get well than we will see if we can love her forever but for now?  One day at a time.
The car ride home was totally (surprisingly) uneventful (I had expected screaming from Lulu and crying from the girls to make her stop…silly me).  Lulu fell asleep and the girls were just beside themselves with excitement over their new sister.  I could hardly get into the house and get her out of the car seat before they were surrounding me and begging me to hold and feed her.  Sorry…Mama first.  😉  I had not held her yet and I was dying to smell her baby smell and feel her teeny little self in my arms, so I did.  Yup…smelled wonderful!  I did my best to breathe her in, to try the “Roberts’ bounce”, whisper sweet nothings and to kiss those soft cheeks before I finally shared with the girls.  Madison did the honors of photographing our first few moments together (she’s awesome), so when Lulu got hungry I started her off on the bottle and then passed her on to Maddie who awkwardly attempted to feed her while sitting on our bed (it was pretty funny).  Olivia was pretty indignant over this…after all she had signed up for bottle feeding and Maddie had chosen diaper changing but she got over it and we let her have a turn to (it totally reminded me of Maddie feeding her at about the same age)!  We changed her clothes (like dressing a dolly) and I took loads of photos and video of our first day (her Mom had also asked for me to take photos and video of her) and spent lots of time cuddling, rocking, bouncing and chatting with little Lulu.  At one point I had her in the bouncer seat in the living room and we chatted up a storm for a good 20 minutes (smiles, coos and all)!  She is definitely the talker her Mom said she is.

Feeding Lulu for the first time

Feeding Lulu for the first time

She only cries when she is hungry and loved talking to the toys on the play mat while we ate lunch.  She has a totally easy going personality and if you bounce her at all she falls asleep (1 point for the ‘Robert’s bounce’!).  She’s also a heavy sleeper…TV on, kids talking…sound asleep.  Awesome!  My girls were not this easy!  She fell asleep on my chest while in the carrier and didn’t even wake when I transferred her to the bed.
I was able to do a load of laundry, have lunch with the girls, eat dinner with the family and watch TV with Ron, no worries.  God is good!  My prayer had been that she would fit easily into our family and that I would have the strength to get through each day.  So far day one has out shown my prayers (Thank you Lord)!

 

She is sleeping now though she is kicking about a bit…11:10PM and I’m thinking he might be getting ready for that midnight feeding her Mama told me about.  Better get ready and get myself to bed so that I can handle the 5AM shift too!  Actually it’s totally welcomed.  I’m looking forward to some quiet coos and sleepy cuddling in the morning with precious Lulu.

Good night for now.

We thought we would bless the life of another but found we are the ones who are blessed by her.

Today marks two weeks with little “Lulu” and I remain awestruck by the blessing God has given this family through this little one.
Each day we spend loving her, the more she seems to blossom…full of smiles, giggles, full on ‘belly laughs’ and lots of snuggling in.  She is absolutely amazing and we’ve quickly fallen in love with Lulu.

Before she arrived, I had expected the worst and tried my best to plan and prepare our family for what (may) be to come.  It seemed that everyone had an opinion to share and even more so a fear of the unknown that they assumed we had not yet considered.  So we took it all in though in the end we trusted that the Lord would provide regardless…  I’m sorry Lord for entertaining any fears, for not trusting that you would provide fully, completely and overwhelmingly so. 

Lulu arrived with big eyes that would lock on with anyone who would give her the slightest look and a smile that you couldn’t help but return in reply.  She would quickly start ‘talking’, as though to keep your attention (which is something she has learned she need not beg for around here)!  The girls took her in with open arms, no questions asked, no holding back.  My little Olivia proudly became in instant ‘big sister’ (something she has been begging me for since we lost the baby in January) and in the short two week span of her new-found role, she has matured leaps and bounds, insisting on doing it all ‘herself’ and no longer being called ‘the baby’ “Lulu is the baby!” she says.    🙂

Madison is my right-hand Mama, offering to feed, hold, entertain and love on Lulu at any time.  She is very protective and extremely proud of her new little sister (introducing her to anyone who offers a smile).  Both girls have humbled me in how well they have opened up their hearts to this little one, knowing fully that she may not be with us forever.    The faith of a child.

Lulu’s arrival has also shown me a new side to my Husband and has brought us closer as a couple.  The same man who procrastinated a full year before finalizing our foster application…who was for, then against, then for, then against, then for going forward with it is now fully certain that God placed this little one here to bless us all.
Recently a close friend of mine unknowingly planted hurtful words and doubt about Lulu’s future health and though I do not think it was intended to hurt, it left me fighting tears and entertaining fear of what may be.  So, I called Ron and shared my feelings.  His response was immediate and faithful. “There is nothing wrong with this baby.  She was out of line to suggest it…God has His hand on Lulu!  Don’t let her words give you fear.”
His solid faith was exactly what I needed to hear.  It’s been wonderful to lean on my Husband and know his faith is unshakeable. 

We pray daily for God’s will to be done for Lulu’s life and for her Mother.  We pray that His perfect will (not ours) would be done and that His hand would remain on her, throughout her life, wherever she may live it.
Sigh…Let me tell you, it’s hard.  It’s hard to pray for her Mom, when I know that if she is open to God’s will and gets help, that we would in turn lose Lulu.
The words seem to catch (for just a moment) when I ask for her healing.  Selfishly I want to beg God to let us keep her forever.  But in the end I know God’s will is greater (far, far greater) than my own and that ultimately, her life is best left in his hands alone.
So I am just thankful for today…another day to smile down at her little face, to lock eyes with her, to whisper how loved…oh how very precious she is to us and to Jesus.  To kiss those cheeks and snuggle in and to pray over her as she falls to sleep in my arms.  I am thankful, absolutely blessed to be a part, even a small part of this baby’s life and I am beginning to understand why many adoptive parents say “We thought we would bless the life of a child when really they blessed ours”.  Such a gift.

Getting ready to meet our newest family member!

3 hours and counting till we welcome little Lulu into our home. The anticipation is almost too much! (Getting ready this morning, it felt absolutely surreal.)
It’s been 20 years since I first hoped adoption would be a part of my life. God is good. His timing is perfect and though I do not know if Lulu will be ours forever, I am more than ready to love her as my own and excited to see how God is going to work in our lives through this new chapter.
The greatest blessings most often come through the greatest trials…