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Friday, September 30, 2011

The Notebook

So our CW suggested the moms of the kids start a notebook to help make communication more constant. I had flash back to junior high where my friends and I would pass a notebook back and forth. Let me tell you not much good came of these. One week into the notebook I'm already starting to feel this way. But hey I'm being asked to do it to help the kids so I will.

There is just one teeny tiny problem. Mom doesn't really speak English and she does not have much of a formal education in Spanish. I am not fluent in Spanish. I took it through junior year of college and despite brushing up on it I'm still pretty rusty. I started the notebook at our court date 2 weeks ago. I nicely wrote out the family rules and wrote several paragraphs in Spanish. The case worker was impressed but Mom asked me to print because she can't read cursive. The idea was for her to take it home and write questions in the notebook. The notebook was supposed to come back with the visit supervisor.

A notebook came back but not the one I started. Lord know where it went. And you could tell not much thought went into the paragraph she wrote. And I have to ask myself how badly does she want to learn this stuff? She is not parenting her children. It seems she is not working full time. Why on earth can't she put in more effort? It so frustrating. So I came home after working almost 12 hours today and wrote a full page in a language I'm not fluent in. I had to look up a bunch of words but I got the information down. But I can't help but feel annoyed.

After tomorrows visit I'm taking the kids to see their GAL before they talk to the judge Thursday. Should be an interesting week.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

She Yelled?!?

I have some thoughts to put down about the legal aspect of the case but I want to blog those from a real computer and not my iPhone. Since it's 6:30am on a Saturday I only have a few minutes since there is a reason I am up at this unsightly hour for the second day in a row. Apple picking today and friends coming over afterwards to watch the Bears beat the Packers and my house is not exactly in a state of clean.

Clean is the wrong word. Organized. But I have 4 children in a 2 bedroom/loft townhouse so really you can expect much but the clutter is driving me and the kids bonkers. So yesterday we cleaned and cleaned but still aren't 100% back to what my house looked like before it's occupancy tripled but we are close.

I got up yesterday to wake the kids so they could go to their visit which switched from Friday nights to Saturday mornings. Of course this was not a welcome change by them and they grumbled about it and came home saying their visit was awful. JB barometer for the group that she is had major attitude and broke out the swear words. At least she used them in the correct way. If my sister slathered mole sauce on me at the dinner table I would have called her a *itch too. Although not until I was an adult and probably not out loud. But of course she got caught and since Mom isn't understanding the dynamic punished only the one and not both.

We struggled at times all day. Nothing too severe but lots of eye rolling. Which is almost as annoying as "it wasnt me, I don't know ". At about 8:30 I could tell they were all done for the day so we sent them to bed but the girls had laundry to put away. I stood in the hallway and watched as LM kicked something across the floor that wasn't hers. I asked her why and she rolled her eyes.

So I shouted. And she shouted back. My wall of stoicism shouted back. Finally. I guess the attachment therapy is helping. I walked away but I was no longer mad. She let something out! And that's when you know your spending way too much time in therapy! Lol.

A little while late after we were done dealing with JB and another inappropriate comment LM came to talk to me. To apologize! She was so afraid I didn't love her anymore after she yelled at me she couldn't go to sleep. Aww my poor sweet lovely girl.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Over the Edge

I joke with the kids Tuesday therapists (two of them come to the house) that one day I'm going to write a book about this experience and I come up with new titles for this book all the time. This week I named it Pushed Over the Edge. Because this is how I feel. In the last week or two I have been pushed, poked, pulled, and pinned to the edge of reason, patience, common sense and my limit.

I have been asked to go against every hope and wish in my heart and help the woman who hurt these kids that call me Mom in order to HELP her get them back. And I did what was asked of me. And then I turned around and listened to one of the very same children accuse me of not caring or loving them for 8 hours as she tantrumed and acted out, threw things, and bruised her sister. Then I woke up and did it the next day. And while all I wanted to do was cry I instead laughed about it.

The Tuesday therapists asked for a shout out in my book. Anonymous of course. I told them I'd call them Night and Day (because despite their partnership they are totally different). So until I a) find the time to write a book and b) get a resolution to our situation the following will have to do:

To Day And Night thank you for everything. The late night texts helping us through the drama, the cheerleading for alone time with each other, the laughter, tears, and goosebumps while we tried to untangle the web of trauma and issues between this family. Thank you for always making us feel like we were doing a great job and that the state of our house was "normal". One day well get that drink and let it all hang loose.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

You know what they say about all therapists?

That they need their own therapist. Which makes me wonder what that means for foster moms with chronic illness and a psychology degree. For me it means I have 5 therapists in my life. My own. JB's therapist, LM & Gabby's therapist, LM & Gabby's trauma therapist, and the new family therapist. It means that I am CONSTANTLY talking about feelings and techniques and trying to analyze and figure out where feelings are coming from. It means that at every turn we stop and talk about the feelings even if its in the middle of Target.

Which was the case the day before school started. We finished getting the last of the supplies and sat down to eat at the Pizza Hut in the food court at Target. School starting was/is a big trigger for my kids. It is their big obvious marker of time (even though they came into care at the end of June). And it finally dawned on them that "oh hey I've been in foster care a year. My Mom said she only gets 2 years and that doesn't leave much time." In entered the anxiety and fear and along with them came rage and tantrums.

So Little Mama turns to me in said food court and says "Mom I have a really important question to ask you and I need you to be totally honest with me." Uh WOW. Can we just stop and recogonize how well she model this? So I said ok. And she says if we don't go back to my Mom would you and Dad adopt us. And no joke the food court lights were shut off since they were closing.

Its a good thing she asked me this BEFORE school started because the following week I'm not so sure I would have answered with conviction like I did. I said Yes if this was something the judge would allow us to do. And then of course reitterated that this wasn't the goal...Everyone's working hard.... But apparently this is something being given a lot of thought since Gabby asked if she "stayed with us" if she could still go to her doctor.

Unfortunately, the case worker doesn't see a clear direction for the case. We go back to court for an update next week. We are waiting for a pysch eval on Mom and to see how family therapy goes. This weeks adventure was unsupervised time eating and putting on makeup after family therapy when the therapist left and the driver/supervisor never came back in the house.

In an effort to calm the craziness I'm reading Beyond Consequences Logic and Control which talk a lot about being in touch with your own emotions. I've been made painfully aware that Jelly Bean is a trigger for me because she brings up my childhood issues. She is my brother living in my house agian. My ADD brother who was always getting in trouble which meant I was constantly being overlooked. It also meant I feel tremendous pressure to overachieve and be perfect as to not add to the yelling. Don't worry about Foster Mom she's so independent she can do x, y, z on her own. Which meant I didn't know HOW to ask for help or SHARE with others that they were hurting my feelings. And I spent the year prior to the kids arriving working really hard at overcoming and healing. And I have to admit I'm having a little trouble with that lately.