We've got two weeks until Christmas and my first holiday season with a foster child aware of holidays is underway.
Thanksgiving was very smooth. The holiday itself was a blast and Cricket was surprisingly comfortable at my parents' house. The car trip there and back had some miserable bumps, but I think that has more to do with car trips and not holidays.
We did a Christmas photo shoot at a department store and it went surprisingly well. The photographer was kind of weird and baby-talked to Cricket, but she ate it up for some reason.
Christmas brought excitement. Cricket loves the lights, and she and Rhinoceros have been pointing out wreaths, garlands, and lights by yelling, "Look, it's Christmas!!" for a few weeks. But now I think it's starting to build up and possible trigger bad memories. The past week we've had some behavior that I thought had been settling down, and I think the holiday excitement might be part of it. She's sometimes afraid of the lights, sometimes not. In general there's a bit more fear expressed lately. Plus she's met a lot of new people lately: my parents, grandparents, and sister's family over Thanksgiving, then B's parents the next weekend as they came to visit and open a few presents with us.
Also, I know most kids have post-visit negative behaviors, but I think Cricket has no-visit negative behaviors, and she has had few visits lately. She misses her mom and sister so much and keeps asking to see them. I hope someone makes a visit before the holidays. She will get to see her sister before Christmas, as her sister's relative placement (a paternal relative not related to Cricket) is doing respite for us as we go to a wedding. That relative is working on getting licensed so she can have all three siblings. That is not a done deal and may take a long time, but it is in the works.
We won't be traveling for the holidays, but some of my family is coming here. We'll have Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with just our immediate family, so I think that will help give us time to take the holiday slow.
Finally, we took out the ornaments for the three foster babies we said goodbye to in the past year. It's bittersweet. I hope they still have theirs with them. I am sure where one is living, but unsure about the other two. I can't believe they're all at least 11 months old, tearing away at wrapping paper this year.
I'll just wrap this up with what I have the kids say every morning with our advent activity calendar: "Hallelujah! Christ is coming!"