The sun shone brightly on our last trip down the motorway to collect our son, heralding the future that lies in store. We arrived to an emotionally charged house with a bright smile from our little man; the expectant faces of our SWs and the heartbreakingly sad eyes of Pip's FC. My heart broke for her and we hugged. She knows he is coming to a good and loving home but she will miss him. He's been with her since he was 2 days old. I cannot imagine how hard it must be for her to part with him and he with her.
We exchanged gifts and cards. We brought flowers and a coveted 3D DVD of Madagascar 3 for the whole family to enjoy and give us a wave whilst watching. Our card expressed our thanks for looking after Pip so wonderfully and for all the love he has been given by the whole family.
It was hard to know when to leave. I joked with our SW that I half expected her to send a text to HQ saying that the eagle had landed and the package had been collected. I almost didn't want to leave, to be responsible for the pain that Pip's FC was feeling but I knew that she was also happy; that this was how it was supposed to be. She texted me later on to say exactly that.
Daddy loaded up the car with Pip's belongings and the gorgeous Teddy called JuMBLeS that Pip held tightly in his arms whilst chewing its ear. We were ready to leave. The time had come to take Pip home.
We drove home with Katie holding Pip's hand and listening to the CD that had formed the backdrop to our introductions: Taylor Swift's "Red". Driving home we decided that our song for Pip from this CD was "Everything Has Changed" which is a duet with Ed Sheeran
So we now have two family songs. Katie's is "Just Haven't Met You Yet" by Uncle Buble (that's what Katie calls him). I had tears running leaking from my eyes all the way home as we listened to the song, marvelling at how everything has changed and almost wondering how it had all happened.
Pip slept nearly all the way home so I snuggled him in his cot when we arrived and he slept soundly for an hour and a half. He'd had a very broken night, waking up several times and being fully awake, beaming at his FC at 5am. I think he knew that today was a big day and was feeling unsettled. Maybe he wanted to spend some last minute time with her. I'd love to know what he's thinking (apart from "Where's my bottle and who is going to feed it to me?")
My sister and nephew came over to visit this afternoon and were enamoured with the little fella. He had smiles for everyone and was so good natured. The children decided to not argue for once and played with Pip. Katie helped me with feeding and changing and was a total little star. We took him out to the shops in his buggy for a bit of fresh air. All regular, very relaxed stuff.
By tea time he was looking noticeably tired and he struggled to eat his dinner. I gave him a snuggle and put a muzzy that came from his FCs house over my shoulder and he snuggled in and started to fall asleep. Hmmmm not sure I wanted him sound asleep at 5.30pm so I took him upstairs for a nappy change and to get ready for bed to wake him back up again. He came down for a bit of tummy time and to say hello to my neighbour, the Crazy Cat Lady along with her children Boy and George (both girls!). Bless him, he managed to be sociable despite being tired. I had him upstairs with his bottle by 6.15pm with Katie splashing happily and singing at the top of her voice in the bath.
Pip was asleep by 6.45pm and Katie was in bed not long afterwards and that's when we hit a little blip in our otherwise sunny day. Pip woke up about crying about 30 minutes after he went down so I went in to pop his dummy back in his mouth and soothe him back to sleep. Katie was still awake and wanted to be in on all the action. I asked her to go back to bed because I didn't want Pip thinking it was play time. Katie declined and decided she was going to stage a dramatic sit-in - on the chair in Pip's bedroom. Daddy had to come in and remove her in the end and a 20 minute tantrum ensued which, according to Katie, was all my fault (as most things are these days!). Pip was more unsettled by the drama and kept crying. I eventually managed to get Pip settled and back in his cot and went in to deal with my tearful and very angry/stroppy and probably jealous feeling daughter. I eventually calmed her down and we had a chat about what are Mummy and Daddy jobs and what are things a big sister can do. I expect we'll revisit the issue raised tonight (probably tomorrow) but she finally went to sleep. She was exhausted and needs a really good night's sleep after she was also up three times last night. It's a big change for everyone and I expected there to be teething problems.
To help with some of these teething problems a friend suggested a technique that she and her adopted daughter use since her sibling also came home. When she is feeling sad or left out she squeezes her Mum's hand. I explained how to do this to Katie and she has used the technique a couple of times today. Very quietly and without fanfare and I gave her the cuddle we agreed she would have if she did that. I'm hoping that this will continue to work whilst the attention is all on Pip. I explained to Katie tonight that we are all learning about each other and I just need to work out how to take care of Pip and her at the same time but that I will do my best to be there for her as much as I can but that sometimes she might have to wait a little while but that I still love her very much.
So the family of three that left the house this morning is now a family of four. What will the future bring us I wonder? I'm not changing the blog to Four Become Five before anyone gets any ideas though!