Jacob, M and I began our holiday celebrations last weekend. E was with us all weekend and a joy. The behaviors I was concerned about last spring are completely gone. While she is far from perfect adn still has some challenges, she is doing much better.
It snowed about 10 inches on Friday. M played inside (in a safe confined space) while E and Jacob helped me remove the snow from the driveway. The roads were clear by noon so we headed off to McDonald's to burn the rest of our energy. By the time we left, E was falling asleep at the table and Jacob and M were just as tired. Naptime was a breeze and we spent Friday evening relaxing at home and playing.
Saturday was a very busy day. We started by watching a free concert celebrating Hannukah. While none of our families are Jewish, I thought it would be good for the kids and me to learn a little about the Jewish culture. We all had a great time and learned all kinds of fun things. The kids enjoyed listening to the music and dancing. I enjoyed watching the dancing latkes. Who knew potato pancakes could dance?
Saturday afternoon we braved more snow to visit Santa at the mall. Jacob and M had their picture taken. Jacob asked Santa for a new house for mom again. I keep trying to assure him that our house is fine and that he should ask for something for him. He keeps insisting that he wants to buy me a larger house. Someday we will get that bigger house it just won't be now.
We left Santa and headed out to church. The snow was continuing to fall but that just made it the perfect festive mood for some Christmas carols. Jacob had sung Ruldoph the Red Nosed Reindeer at his school performance on Thursday and E had recently learned Jingle Bells. Church was also fun. E had never been to Church School before and loved it. She came home all excited and telling me about the birth of Jesus. She appeared a little confused at the prayers but sat quietly and even bowed her head for the last one. I really hope that E's forever family takes her to church so that she can continue to learn and enjoy it.
Sunday morning we went to my parents' church for some Christmas activities. Once again, we had to battle cold and snow to get there. The kids were able to make Christmas crafts and then played in the nursery. I attended services and enjoyed them. Saturday night services are contemporary while Sunday morning is more traditional. I really have fun at the Saturday night services but enjoy the relaxing atmosphere at the traditional services as well. It's also fun to see all of our friends at both churches. I get so much support at both places.
E left Sunday afternoon and we already miss her. I assured her that I love her and will always love her. I have told her and her current foster mom that she is always welcome at my house. I have told human services that I would welcome her back as my daughter if they decide I am the right home for her in the future. In the meantime, I have volunteered to provide respite services for her new foster home anytime they want. Now, it is in God's hands. I can only pray that wherever she goes she is loved and finds a permanent forever family soon.