After almost 5 weeks off of work, I headed back to work last Monday. I left Vanessa in the very capable hands of herself, her older sister, and my parents stayed with them two days (they have the Tuesday and Thursday shifts which is also when Vanessa's homebound teacher comes over). It was hard to leave that first day, but I do believe that the three of us (Jessica, Vanessa, and I) were ready for a break from each other.
God has been the great provider to us. He provided peace during the time of chaos in our lives, provided comfort when I felt that I was not able to do anything else, and He restored Vanessa's health much quicker than we could ever imagine.
To say that Vanessa is doing very well on her road to recovery is an understatement. She is anxious to get back to school, but she still needs to be released by the doctor. I suspect that she'll be back to school by December. She is slowly building her strength and stamina back up, however, her incision is not healing as well as it should be. We have two areas that are of concern. I took her back to the doctor just to have it looked at last week and he agreed that these two spots were not healing like he would expect. We are now working at trying to keep any infection at bay. We're cleaning it, keeping triple antibiotic ointment on it, and covered at all times. So far, so good. She goes back to the doctor next Wednesday for a full examine (this one was just an incision check that I had called and requested). I am hoping at this visit he will be able to clarify exactly what Vanessa's limitations are and to help her understand these. It will take a full year for her recovery and she will have some limitations during this time.
As far as work goes, my employees did great while I was gone and I believe that they were glad to have me back. I say were because I have come back with a new perspective on work and my expectations for them. I had quite of bit of time to think upon the challenges that are facing us at work while I was off and tomorrow I will be raising the bar for them. The feedback I've gotten from them so far these past few days is "do we get college credit for going back to school?" I've given them several assignments that we will be discussing at our staff meeting tomorrow. I don't think that they are looking forward to this. Especially since one of their assignments was to give me their definition on Customer Service as it relates to their job. It's going to fun, at least, I think it is. I'm trying to keep it positive as I work to position us into a place where no one can compete with how well we do our jobs so if (when) the time comes for us to defend our work, we will be ready.
While I am "Back in the Saddle" at work, I'm still needing to balance work, school, home, etc. and I just haven't been able to find my "rhythm" again (yet). I also managed to get TJ's cold and that wiped me out for three days. I rarely call into work sick, especially on a Monday, yet I had to this week. The children enjoyed the three days that mommy didn't have a voice. We're praying that Vanessa doesn't get it. We are trying to keep her as healthy as possible by limiting her exposure to others. Fortunately for us, TJ stays away from her right now for the most part, so I'm the only one so far who caught the cold he brought home from preschool.
We are working through TJ's continuing medical/psychological issues, which have all of us very frustrated. He does have a diagnosis now, anxiety, but at this point, only time will help. That, and us being consistent and loving him. It is so sad to me that a barely three year old could suffer from anxiety. He had a very rotten start in life and I really wish that all of this love that everyone in this family pours onto him would make it all better (NOW, PLEASE!). But, patience is required (darn it! Here we go again, Lord, trying to teach me patience. I thought that I had already had this lesson!). We hired an attorney to assist us in the adoption paperwork, so we're hopeful to have his adoption finalized in early Spring. We have many issues to work through before the adoption is finalized to make sure that he has all of the support in place that he needs to continue dealing with his medical/psychological issues once he's officially ours.
As we look forward, we are so blessed as a family and are looking forward to spending time with extended family over these next several weeks.