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Sunday, August 28, 2011

I have several spectacular post ideas

But at the moment I'm spent. The last two weeks have been exhausting. And though I have at least three posts on school starting, being confronted about adopting them, family therapy and an in school suspension.... I.just.can't.

Because these children have sucked the spirit out of me and I have a big project due at 10 am Monday and I'm not done due to the antics of my weekend. Which means I need to be out the door at 6:30am and it is midnight on Sunday.

I need a miracle here. And some sleep. Ooh and a vacation. With a spa. And a beach. And a blue drink with an umbrella...somewhere where I don't have to talk to A.N.Y.O.N.E.
The last two weeks have been incredibly stressful. I have to admit I've cried on more than one occasion out of sheer frustration and because I was feeling beyond overwhelmed. Like this morning after I lost it in the car after JB punched LM before 7AM and my plan to get to work early went right out the window. I cried pretty much the entire 45 minute drive.

School starting brought out all kinds of changes in these kids. NONE of them good. My guess is that it was a tangible marker of time for them. They know they came into foster care BEFORE school started last year and school starting up again means an ENTIRE year has passed. My suspicion was confirmed last night when Gabby asked me at dinner how long they've been in foster care. At one point their Mom made a statement that she "only gets two years and then the state takes you" so their anxiety level has increased big time surrounding the length of time it is taking for them to return home. This uncertainty is driving ALL of us crazy. Sadly, the kids don't seem confident that their Mom is progressing and us involved in the case don't see the progress either. Their case worker told us last week that normally at this point she has a pretty clear idea of which way a case is headed in the next 6 months. She doesn't see them definitely returning home and she doesn't see them definitely heading towards TPR. So Limbo land is where we get to stay.

Family therapy started up again the second week of school. It was decided that we could have a new therapist who was willing to drive to the family but that sessions would take place at Mom's home. I had a big issue with this as I think it has the potential to be super confusing to the kids. Additionally, the only time the therapist could meet them would not allow us to drive them so they need to have their visit supervisor drive them. So what happened at the first session? Mom made dinner and asked last minute if they could stay longer and eat since she went through the trouble of cooking. And would it be ok with me?

Umm no. No its not ok. Because once again Mom doesn't understand the concept of therapy or boundaries or structure. I told the case worker that the kids were prepared for therapy. Therapy does not include meals which is a major issue for them and a big trigger of bad behavior. And sure enough they managed to fool the new therapist into thinking everything went great and then completely fell apart in the car. To the point where the supervisor was near tears dropping them off. (Well except Mr. Mohawk, apparently he was a holy terror at the session and an angel in the car. Funny he's not a holy terror at my house.) So we gave the supervisor support and went over with her what she can, and cannot tell the kids. For instance not ok to threaten that if they aren't good they won't get to go to their visit later in the week. (Yep 12 years of this and she said that. ME? I have 6 months under my belt.) We offered her to call us in the future if the kids were acting up in the car. And our reward? The next 3 days was pure HELL. JB tantrumed about everything. She got so worked about her Spelling homework that I didn't trust her in the bathroom by herself. (She has some other stuff going on that I can't talk about just yet.)

Oh but then came Friday. Where my lunch was interuppted with a phone call from the principal. Who was calling to tell me JB got an in-school suspension for punching another student. Then I got a call from day care. MM had a fever of 103. So I called the supervisor of the visit to let her know that MM wasn't going and that JB had gotten in trouble. Then I left work early. (Did I mention I had a big project due Monday?)And on the way to pick up my sick kid I got a call from the supervisor.

Mom wanted to know if she should still take the girls out to dinner. This was the question the supervisor was asking me. Umm - not my place to tell you. You have to be the parent. I parent your children all but 4 hours of the week. You need to learn to parent your child, especially in instances where they get into trouble at school.

Anyone want to guess what Mom did? If you guessed completely ignored the situation give yourself 10 points. If you guessaed took her shopping give yourself another 10 points. Loaded her up with junk food - add 5 and toojk her to her FAVORITE resturant please add 50 points.

But get this. JB still couldn't behave. And at the resturant neither the supervisor nor Mom could get her to stop acting up so you know what they did? The supervisor threatened to call me. Then when that didn't work MOM, threatened to call me.

And I have to stop there because that puts me OVER.THE.EDGE.

I'll write tomorrow about all the things I found wrong with this parenting technique. Leave your comment to tell me how many points you scored :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Who are these kids and why are they calling me Mom?

We took a day trip to one of those little tourist towns with lots of unique stores that are way over priced today. It was for Little Mama's birthday. We took a boat ride and walked in and out of these cute little art galleries and stores. I LOVE the shabby chic signs that are colorful and distressed and have inspirational sayings. So I was happy to stumble across this entire corner of these cute frames, art work, door hangers, and magnets. The first one I came across was "A girl can not possibly nice and organized." Which is so totally me. Then I saw a magnet that said "Who are these children and why are they calling me Mom" To which my response was to laugh out loud. Hysterically. For two full minutes. Unfortunately we have a stainless steel refrigerator so I didn't buy it. But I found it funny. And then I wandered into the baby section of the store and I got instantly sad. LM came by and asked why I was looking at the baby stuff. Because I have two friends who just had babies and maybe someday I'll have a baby.

But do I really want that? Yes. No. I have no clue. I want these kids...most days. On the days that I don't I really just want a break and my life of no worries back. I want to be a mother. I love being a Mom. I enjoy being thier Mom. But in the end I don't really know who these kids will be and if they will always call me Mom. Or if I'll be Mom of that summer or the Mom who did X Y Z with us.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Daughter

This week there was shift in me. I know that I am a Foster Mom. These children living with me have no other connection than this. But THIS week I caught myself not clarifying for everyone that THESE are NOT MY children. Rather I let go for one week and just lived in the moment.

At the grocery store on Monday the well meaning cashier exclaimed:
C:Are all four yours?
M: Yep
C: They are so cute! I've always wanted to have a lot of kids.
M: It keeps life interesting.

On Tuesday when asked what I was doing later:
M: It's my daughter's birthday dinner.
O: Oh Wow how old is she?
M: 11.
O: Thats a good age.

On Wednesday at the State's Attorney's Office:
M: We will do whatever we can to make this guy accountable for what he did and we appreciate you trying to prevent unecessary trauma to our kids.

Today: I just simply missed them. And my heart broke when the little guy told me he missed his Really Mama. I cried on the phone to my Mom about how angry I am that these people have abused these kids and they aren't being held accountable to the fullest extent. The guy who caused one to have nightmares and fear hasn't spent 1 hour in jail and she will have to face him in open court if he doesn't plead out.
The woman who systematically abused them gets a 1-2 year break from motherhood and all of these support services to get them back and she's telling US that we aren't good enough from her perspective for them to live with because we don't speak HER language.

I knew that there were awful people in the world that hurt children but its different. These kids have become "my" children. And I just want to protect them. And in so many instances I can't. The law is the law. And even those these people who hurt them didn't abide by the law we have to. Because thats what we want OUR kids to learn.