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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Super Hero

I couldn't help but giggle this morning when my little guy tied his Spiderman shirt around his neck like a cape this morning. Today is the big birthday party day and he is excited. Of course life happened yesterday which means that Jelly Bean will not be participating in the moon bounce at the party.

Here's the thing I HATE that she can't. I had this awesome picture in my head of all of us jumping in it together and some amazing candid shots for their photo album. I knew Friday would be hard as their Mom cancelled their visit. Whennpushed their case worker told me I could tell the kids she was sick. I don't know if it's true or not. She cancelled therapy Monday. An if it was because she was sick I would think by Friday night she would be better. Of course Little Mama pointed out that if it was her she would have has the visit anyway. Buy I digress...... So Friday morning Jelly Bean was having a great start. No issues getting ready and I reminded her on the way onto day camp that she needed to be good in order to go to the party. When my husband picked her up he was handed a report that she BIT another kid.

Seriously? You are 7. Were you trying to be funny? This is usually the case with her. She does seething outrageous thinking the adults are going to laugh and instead she gets in trouble. So my husband have her a choice: write 200 I will use my words and will not bite people or miss out on the surprise tomorrow. She picked the surprise.

Now because I have a family that doesn't always listen to me and the party is at my parents house I left a message for my parents that she would not be participating in the moon bounce. Fast forward to a phone call from my dad telling me he wasn't going to allow that child to be tortured at his house. Torture? Not letting her go in a moon bounce because she bit someone after being given the chance to choose her punishment Passes for torture? Well geez. What's he going to think when he finds out that I made her wear her hair in a pony tail all week because I was tired of yelling at her to brush it. Cruel and unusual punishment?

I'm sure it will suck for her watching the other kids play in the moon bounce. But hopefully it will sink in that biting is serious. As is hitting which she did earlier this week. And writing sentences and being grounded apparently were not effective enough. She made a choice and she will have to live with the consequences. It's a valuable life lesson and if she doesn't learn it now she will be stuck in the cycle of bad judgement and legal consequences like her mother.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

This is what my family looks like....

Blogger land has been EXTREMELY helpful to me this past year (my GOD its been a year!). I began following and reading some really articulate and interesting blogs by other Foster/Adoptive Parents and I can't thank them enough. I don't know any of the personally but none the less they have each helped me in some way even if it was just to know that there were other woman out there who go through the same things that I do. (Many of them have much, much more on their plates.) Jen over at A Nickles Worth of Common Sense is one of these wonderful people.

Race and ethnicity are sometimes complex issues but as Jen pointed out they can make life more beautiful and interesting. And despite having been with a hispanic (Puerto Rican) man for the last 10 years, five of which I've had a hispanic last name, I never really FELT the difference until my Mexican kids showed up. My beautiful dark haired, brown eyed, tanned kids who are a stark contrast to my fair Irish skin, Blue eyes, and light brown hair. The kids who speak an entire other language that I desperately wish I could remember from all of those college classes. And while there are times we are blown away by how similar they are to us I am well aware that they have lived in a world that is the polar opposite of mine.

They have been beaten and preyed on. They have been homeless. They have moved more times in 6 months than I have in my entire life. They have witnessed their mother being attacked and alcoholism in action. They have had family murdered and shot at. They have been on food stamps and shared 1 room in a house with 5 other families.

I have no idea what people think what when they see all of us together. My husband is hispanic but is most often mistaken for Italian. (I'm the Italian.) And I'm not sure I care what they think. But I do wish I could peal back the curtain and take a glimps to make sure they SEE that we ARE a family. We may not be from the same culture or socioeconomic status, or even cheer for the same baseball team but we are a family, even if it is "Just for now".

Saturday we are having a birthday party for Mr. Mohawk. He is turning 4 and we have invited the family and friends that have kids. In an effort to avoid any additional confusion or "kids say the darndest things" moments we talked last night about the guest list. This includes their previous foster family who's make up is of biological, adoptive, and fostering. And my cousin who's family is made up of a transracial international adoption.My Godchild who has half brothers who have half siblings and step siblings. It will be a mixed bag and as we were discussing it my heart was happy understanding just how much uniquness our family has. We aren't traditional and I wouldn't change that at all.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Who do we see tonight Mom?

Ok. I knew being a parent would be crazy and demanding. But when I pictured the life of a foster Mom I never imagined we'd have so many appointments. The two oldest have therapy with their mom on Monday, Tuesday their support therapist comes and the two younger kids therapist comes. Thursday is trauma therapy and Friday is there visits with their mother.

So Monday when Mom cancelled family therapy (and what could be more important at 8 pm on Monday night when you aren't working OR parenting) I was relieved. I was tired and really just wanted to hang out with the kids instead of sitting in a waiting room for an hour wondering what information I was going to have to unravel and explain to the kids. I didn't want to deal with trigger behavior or attitude. So when Gabby asked me, "Mom who do we see tonight?" I said we have a free night. And while there was initial excitement it then sank in that they were not going to see their mom. I could hear her brain turning. Starting to worry that her mom had gone to Mexico. Or was hurt. Or didn't care. She asked why and I answered honestly that I didn't know. I added that I was sure everything was fine and that no one cancelled the visit.

But I had triggered behavior anyway as she started to seek attention in the dorm of very low tolerance of her ADHD sister.

And I am exhausted. I wish nothing more than a day to sleep in but between work and weekend birthday plans I don't think it's in my cards.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

I am writing this post on my new iphone. It makes me excited to be able to blog more frequently. Perhaps you are wondering how the permanency hearing went. The goal stayed return home in 12 months. A review hearing was set for three months to see how family therapy is going. (Currently the girls therapists are trying to stop therapy until Mom can admit responsibility and stop using the time for the kids to feel sorry for her and sharing with them that their Grandma was raped....Don't even get me started on it...wrong on so many different levels.)

So we celebrated Fathers Day with breakfast and handmade cards. It was nice to see the kids so excited. And before we get the day started with a BBQ at my parents house I just wanted to take a minute to acknowledge my husband.

I love him more today than I did when I married him. I didn't think it was possible. He is a fantastic Dad. He does dishes and laundry and takes time to explain how things work. He works hard to provide for us and pays the bills. He is fun and silly and he makes us all laugh. So on this first fathers day my prayer was that he gets to have lots more days where he gets to be a Daddy.