We finally got some news this month on what is going to happen with our foster son and his case--I'll save that for the end and start with the fun stuff. We were still able to fit in some of our traditional Christmas activities this year even with the addition of our new little guy. On my Birthday (the big 28!) we loaded up all three kids into the Flex and headed to Prescott for a nice little day trip. My awesome sister Morrie joined us and was a huge help. I love visiting this town during Christmas time. There is a fantastic gingerbread house display and the courtyard is decorated super cute, it's a must every Christmas season! Ivy enjoyed showing Bubba around.
Playing hide and seek with dad.
Jake and Ivy had a fantastic time watching the Nutcracker at the Phoenix Symphony. It was Ivy's first time and I wasn't sure how well she would do sitting through the whole thing... she loved it! It was fun hearing about her favorite scenes and dancers. Love that this will be a new tradition for the years to come!
Ivy is loving having two brothers. And Bubba loves the new baby too. Still haven't had any jealousy issues, so thankful!
Ivy and some of her aunts and uncle decorated a gingerbread house together a few days before Christmas. Ivy takes this task pretty seriously.
And Maccoy slept through it all, no matter how hard we tried to wake him up! Bubba slept through it too, no surprise there:)
We had a wonderful Christmas. Ivy woke up nice and early and it was fun capturing her excitement.
When Bubba finally woke up a few hours after Ivy we tried to teach him how to open his gifts.
He wasn't very interested... but did enjoy Ivy's new umbrella. He walked around the house with it and a big smile on his face:)
Bubba is in the total toddler stage so I haven't even attempted getting a picture of all three kids, he is constantly on the go. Ivy has been pretty great letting me get some shots of her and the baby, and I love them!
The day before Christmas Eve our case worker finally came over for a visit. The last time we had seen her was in September. We were informed that Bubba's mom is doing everything she needs to be doing in order to get her kids back, which is great news. His mom and I have been e-mailing and she has been asking me questions about Bubba which has been very encouraging. It's CPS that has been slow moving. Bubba finally got a visit with his mom on Christmas Eve and visits in the future have been scheduled. This means things are really starting to happen now. Once again we were told that he should be returning to his mom in about two months. This is what we have been told every month since September but now that visits have started up again I think this could be the truth. So, sometime in February-March if everything goes as should.
At this point we have accepted that Bubba is leaving and are really rooting for his mom and their reunification. It didn't come easy getting here because the case plan changed to reunification so suddenly. Since we were told from practically the beginning that Bubba would not be going back to a biological parent it was definitely a struggle wrapping our minds around the fact that he actually is now. We have had to accept that we have done our part for the little guy and now all we can do is hope and pray that his mom will continue to make good choices and do whatever she can to make him feel loved. Visits will eventually become more frequent towards the end and there will be some overnight visits before he goes to live with her. Hopefully two months will be a good amount of time for them to begin to bond. At this point the sooner the better for Bubba and the beginning of his new life with his mom and siblings.