We took Jelly Bean and Mr. Mohawk and their sisters; Gabby, and Little Mama to Wisconsin Dells this weekend. In case you don't know what that is its the water park capital of the world. Since we did have to say no to taking the older girls as a placement we felt strongly that we would try and have all 4 kids spend time together. In our infinite wisdom as 1st time parents we figured a 2 day trip out of state would be a good way to do that.
Yes of course that is sarcasm. We did have a lot of fun but the weekend was not without the choas of caring for 4 children let alone two who don't know you, one with a 103.9 fever, and the last without a place in the group.
Lots of feelings came out. There were some alarming behaviors (like the girl who took off her pants in front of my husband while the group was sitting in the living room; and purposeful pushing in the water). There were also some really great memories and lots of pictures taken. Unfortunately, for this blog the kids love the camera and I only got 1 shot without a face.
I will write more later this week about the trip itself. Today, though, I want to write about the moments where you just look at these little faces and think how much did these adults do to traumatize these kids so badly that they do x, y and z.
Little Mama is 10 and the oldest of the group. She was a great help most of the trip but in some instances the cause of consequences. When we finally got to the water park and it was time to take cover-ups off she froze. After much coaxing she told me that she didn't want to take the cover-up off "because my Real Mom told me I'm stupid and don't look right and that I'm ugly.".
Crack. That was the sound of my heart breaking just a bit more for these kids. Verbal abuse so bad that removed from the situation 6 months she can't have fun at a water park. Of course the younger girls had followed us and were standing behind me as she was sharing. I dropped down to my knees and gathered them around me and told them while I wasn't positive I was pretty sure the words were spoken in anger. That if they learned nothing else the whole trip that I cared for them very much. That they were all beautiful, special, smart, funny girls. And that while sometimes they may not feel book smart or smart in school they are way smarter than any other girls I had met in other ways.
This soothed the nerves and she got in the water and did have fun. Later that night Gabby was chattering away and repeated to me what I had said. That she wasn't always smart in school but that she was smart in other ways. I could only hope at that moment that they hear the good as much as they hear the bad.
And finally, I was able to find one other picture from just a few weeks ago when our area got hit with a blizzard. I love this picture because Jelly Bean is helping her brother up the mountain. The one she didn't think she would get to the top of....