Jack-Jack has now moved to his new home, and although it hadn't been planned this way, we ended up meeting the little boy we hope will be our next placement the same day. Peter is four years old and has a high level of additional needs, but we're confident that we would be able to help him blossom and reach his potential. He's lovely, sociable and talented, and at the moment is functioning at around the level of a very young toddler, with all the frustrations and tantrums that go along with that. It's not definite that he'll move in with us yet as all the social workers are still involved in negotiations around the arrangements for school, contact and support services if the move was to go ahead. Fingers crossed, we have his room ready for him.
When Jack-Jack left, we started to get the house ready for the next child. With Peter in mind, we packed up all the baby toys, got out bits and pieces for older children like jigsaws and imaginative toys and reorganised the living room. We cleared out the larger spare room upstairs (it had been Andy's room but had turned into a bit of a dumping ground over the Summer,) made up the bed and put out a few books and ornaments to make it look welcoming. We took down the blackout blind from Jack-Jack's window, aired the room and moved the furniture. Overnight the house felt strange and empty, but it really helped that when we woke up, Jack-Jack's room wasn't just how he left it and there weren't loads of reminders around.
We've coped surprisingly well - we held it together throughout introductions and the final handover, and had a big cry whilst sorting through the old baby toys once it was all over. I'm sure we'll have many more over the next few days and weeks, but it's lovely to have someone new to focus on. Lady has actually been the most affected in the household in many ways as we couldn't explain anything to her - she was extremely unsettled over the last few days of introductions, and has been moping since Jack-Jack left. It feels very odd having so much freedom again (we took Lady for a walk after 6pm today which was absolutely unheard of whilst Jack-Jack was here as we were all about the bedtime routine), but we're trying to enjoy it and rest as much as we can before we embark on the next great adventure.