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.
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.
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.