TT and Bart are displaying all sorts of anxious nervous behaviors. The non-stop chatter and nonsense gibber-gabber is almost enough to make me scream. But we'll get through this like we always do. It's never easy when a new member joins our family.
Russell came Monday night right after supper. The transition went quickly and smoothly for life in Foster Care Land.
Russell is a teeny-tiny 20 month old little boy. Not only is he recovering from some rather significant injuries, he is also diagnosed with failure to thrive (FTT) and Down's Syndrome (DS). A lot of people have asked questions and made comments on my FB page in regards to his size. I'll address some of those issues right now.
He is 27 inches long and, as of this morning, he weighs 16 pounds. Less than two months ago, he weighed in at only NINE pounds. Let me remind you...he is 20 months old!! He is incredibly tiny. I can put him in some 3-6 month clothes. All the new things I'm buying him are size 9 month and he's got plenty of grow room.
Yes, he is Hispanic. So yes, that can affect his overall size. No, I don't know how tall his biological parents are.
Yes, the Down's Syndrome can affect his height and overall growth curve. I know that his entire development is going to be behind. I plotted him on a DS growth curve this morning though and he's significantly below that (as in entirely off the chart by quite a bit).
He's growing now though like he should be. Russell came into Care February 12 after a stay in the hospital. No foster homes were open and willing to care for him at that time. Russell was moved to a shelter in Central Texas. Once in the shelter he started gaining almost a pound a week. That's pretty significant!!
Russell also suffered a tremendous amount of physical abuse. The cast is off his arm and the doctor told me this morning that we have to wait a few months for the body to, hopefully, realign the bones the way they should be.
He doesn't have cardiac problems that have been diagnosed. Still, the judge ordered him to see a cardiologist so an appointment has been made. We also have an appointment with an endocrinologist for a follow up. The pediatrician I took him to this morning didn't seem too concerned about the FTT. I've been given permission to take him off the Pediasure shakes he was on in the shelter and switch him to toddler formula. I've also been encouraged to feed him solids as much as possible. We have a follow-up in one month to see how he's progressing on the growth chart.
Russell has an older sister, age 3, who is placed with a relative. Russell's mom is also pregnant with a little girl and due to give birth in about two weeks.
As is typical for foster care, I'm sure this case is going to be quite the adventurous roller coaster ride. Bio Mom is in her very early 20's and speaks no English. Her boyfriend (not Russell's father) is in his late 30's and I have reason to believe he's not the kind of guy I want to associate with at all! (Ricky informed me that the gang signs in all the pictures on Boyfriend's FB page indicate that he is a member of a violent prison gang.) I have no idea what's going to happen to the new baby when she's born. Yes, we have room. But I'm not sure I'd be able to meet the needs of an addicted newborn (if she is...I do not know the status of Bio Mom's drug habits) AND all of Russell's needs AND all of the needs of my forever cherubs. I don't know if CPS is going to even remove the baby when she's born nor do I know if they're planning a kinship placement or foster care. We weren't told about the new baby when we accepted Russell so accepting her or not accepting her, if they ask, shouldn't affect his placement.
We don't have court again until sometime in June because all of the initial hearings happened when Russell was in the shelter. So basically I get to just go about getting all his services lined up. Doctor. Dentist. Specialists. Private therapies (PT, OT and ST). Early Childhood Intervention (ECI / Easter Seals). And because I've done this a few times now, I'm not nearly as thrown by all the steps involved to make this happen.
Got any questions?