Labels

ACR (1) acupuncture (1) adoption (30) Adoption; RAD; emotions; tantrum (1) adoptive families (4) Amazing people (2) anger (6) Anxiety (1) appointments (1) Attachment (4) Attachment therapy (1) babies (1) banging my head (8) Bed wetting (1) beds (3) bedwetting (3) behavior (25) bio families (2) bio parents (26) biological parents (5) Biological parents; adoption (3) Biological parents; adoption; co parenting (1) Bioparents (1) birth families (21) birth moms (1) birth parents (5) birthdays (3) blogging (5) Boundaries (4) CASA (1) caseworker (9) challenges (4) change (2) Changes (2) co-parenting (16) confessions (15) Consequences (2) Court (20) crafts (1) CW Visit (5) DCFS (9) decisions (3) diary (1) dicipline (1) drama queen (2) emotions (130) Fab Four (14) Fab Four: Post Reunification (2) faith (10) family (12) Family fun (9) family outings (7) family support (15) family therapy (4) feelings (7) fertility (2) flowers (1) food (1) foster care (25) foster parenting (83) Foster parenting; permanency (3) fun (1) Gabby (4) grief (9) healing (5) Holiday (8) Holidays (5) Homework (1) honesty (1) Hubby (2) husbands (3) If I'm being honest (5) illness (1) investigation (1) Jelly Bean (4) laughter (1) legal issues (4) licensing (2) Little Mama (2) loss (5) love (8) lying (1) marriage (1) meetings (1) meltdown (1) Mental Health (3) migraine (1) milestones (1) Mommy Humor (5) mother (1) motherhood (46) Movie review (1) Mr. Mohawk (7) music (2) names (2) Neglect (1) neurosarcoidosis (6) Nostalgia (1) nothing to do with foster care (8) Open adoption (2) organization (1) other people's reactions (7) Overnight visits (2) parenting (12) permanency (10) perspective (6) photolistings (1) photos (2) pictures (5) placement (1) Placements (23) Post Reunification (26) Post visit behavior (2) Post-reunification (5) PRIDE (1) progress (1) PTSD (5) puberty (1) Quartet (3) Questions (1) RAD (5) relationships (6) return home (1) reunification (11) safe haven (1) Sarah (3) sarcasm (1) school (10) Sexual abuse (4) shopping (2) sibling (1) siblings (5) Simon (6) sleep (1) Smiley (1) Social Media (2) Solana (5) Stella (1) stress (9) Suicide (1) support (5) tantrums (3) Team Work (1) Teamwork (5) Thank You (1) The Quartet (1) The System (2) Therapeutic parenting (2) therapy (19) TPR (7) training (1) Transition (10) transition plan (10) trauma (9) triggers (4) typical kids (1) Urine (1) verbal abuse (1) Visit behavior (3) visits (38) waiting (2) where to start (3)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Confessions

• I secretly wish for more followers and comments- I need encouragement too
• I wish my kids therapist were girl friends I could plan nights out with
• I wish their Mom would flee to Mexico so we can move on.
• I sometimes hide in my bathroom so I can catch up on reading.
• My children had cereal for dinner tonight because I didn't feel like cooking.
• My anxiety level is so high that I took an anti-anxiety pill today.
• I have several drafts of posts written but finishing means tapping into my emotions and I don't want to think that hard today.
• I was excited to learn that my kids don't have a visit this weekend maybe some peace for me.
• We scheduled a visit with the girls first foster Mom I don't have high hopes that it will go well.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving

As I reflect on the past year I realize how vastly different the list of things I'm thankful for this year compared to last year. The day before Thanksgiving last year my grandmother passed. I was thankful then that she was no longer suffering but that was pretty much it. I was angry and scared and I wasn't happy about much. The year that has followed brought me motherhood, a better relationship with my husband, a new job that I love and many new friends. I'm am thankful for all of these things.

As we spent the day with family my foster kids who were not with their family did pretty good. It was a long day and they held it together pretty much until the end. I only handed out 1 timeout which is a pretty good day for us. I'm bracing myself for tomorrow and Saturday's post visit behavior but hey I'll take for now. I'm glad they got to see how caring supportive families interact. And they felt safe and comfortable most of the day.

I don't know if this is the only Thanksgiving they will spend with us. I hope not but that isn't for me to decide. I remembered today that there are those who do not have what I have. My kids have taught me that. I pray for those who go without - without food, clothing, shelter, employment and especially those who went without family today.

Tomorrows adventure? Chopping down our own Christmas tree.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Oh the B word

This is the new thing in our house. Calling your sister the B word and then hitting her so she cries and attention is directed at the pair of you. Can I just say it's really getting old. So I tried a new tactic tonight.

We were having a tough evening to start as the girls had family therapy tonight. They go from 5:15 to about 6:15 every other Wednesday. This new therapist promised to keep me in the loop so I could be prepared for what is walking in my door. She has not kept this promise. In fact no one seems to want to even communicate who is supposed to be at therapy as she was expecting Mr. Mohawk tonight and no one picked him up for therapy.

We've had some false starts to family therapy as it is at Moms home and she insists on cooking. And therefor the kids get confused and expect to eat. They are to bring the food home but because of one issue or another they have eaten dinner there (during therapy) 3/6 times. So you know what comes home? Kids who act like they are coming home from a visit. Which lead to the fighting over the pencil (yes the flipping pencils AGAIN) and then proceed to use the B word and hit each other.

So I thought well maybe it's the prohibition of the word. So I gave them 10 minutes to swear as much as they wanted. You know what I heard? Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Cero. Nada.

I am so tired of this. We are increasing time spent with Mom to let her prove she can handle or not handle her kids but it might kill me in the process. I am sick of breaking up fights after time spent with Mom. I knew JB was angry the second she came in the house. But she spun out and had a tantrum before I could do anything to settle her down. Frustrated doesn't even begin to cover it. The case worker already got a text from me that we need to talk. The lack of communication and the behaviors are really driving me up a wall.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

We had quite the week. We had a mid-week visit that didn't go so great. We had a boatload of attitude and a lot of re-directing mainly because of the midweek visit. I also stumbled across the county clerk website and finally found the case listed for Jelly Bean's abuser. I felt like writing a post on this because child molestation and sexual abuse have been in the news all week due to the allegations at Penn State and their alleged cover up. To be honest I don't know all the facts. I can't read the articles about this because it makes my stomach turn. Which is also how I felt when I heard from the victim advocate this week when she told me Little Mama was going to have to testify at a pretrial hearing as this jerk isn't taking the plea they've offered him. So because he has a legal right my 11 year old who was also sexually abused now has to testify in open court. And if his creep of a defense attorney doesn't think she's credible enough my 8 year old will have to face her abuser in open court. The foster parent of the 2nd home she was in after she was taken away from her abusive mother.

I'm really tired of these kids being put through Hell and back to protect the rights of the people who have harmed them. And I feel even more weary the people like foster parents and teachers and coaches are contributing to the abuses the children in this country endure. To read about the assistant coach who WITNESSED a child being RAPED and did nothing to stop it makes me want to throw up. It makes my heart ache for the victims and their parents.

I've been parenting a sexually abused child for 9 months. When she first moved I to my house she couldn't sleep. She had nightmares. It took us hours and lots of reassurance before she would settle for bed. I don't think she fell asleep before 10 pm for the first 2 months. And I had to do all the work. My husband triggered her simply because he was a man. Then the other sexually abused child moved in and triggered the you get one and we started from square one. We have girls who are so afraid of anything remotely sexual they can't handle cartoon characters kissing. I'm told on a weekly basis that certain clothing on strangers is inappropriate. Even a routine trip to the doctor was filled with fear when she touched the lower back of a child to check on a mole.

The effects of any abuse are long lasting but sexual abuse is extra tough. I worry that my girls will head in the promiscuous direction when they hit puberty. I worry that they will never be comfortable in their own skin. I worry that they will seek out relationships with abusive men. And I worry that they will never enjoy intimacy with a loving partner.

I don't know what it's like to find out someone you trusted abused your child. Mine came with their abuse but as I head into the trial portion of what happened my mama bear is coming out pretty fiercely. I want this guy to pay for what he did to my beautiful daughter. And I hope he sits in jail while I try to help BOTH my girls recover from making sure his rights aren't infringed on. While they continue as foster kids waiting to make sure their Mother's rights aren't infringed on. (Who also to my knowledge has not asked what has happened to her daughters abuser and has no idea her other daughter has to testify.)

If there is one thing I hope the country learns is that their are countless victims of child abuse and them and their families struggle to heal. I hope the Penn State students carry out their message and promise to raise money for victims of sexual abuse and I hope that this breaks some of the silence.

*abusers are alleged and innocent until proven guilty
**this guy confessed at the DCFS office to what JB says he did but is claiming he was being held against his will. In a DCFS office. With an unlocked, open door.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Then why did she have 4 kids?

This is a question I get asked all of the time. Why did she have 4 kids if she wasn't going to take care of them? People ask me this as if I have some insight into what my kids' Mother was thinking when she kept having babies.

I've asked the question for 9 months and I promise I am no closer to the answer than I was 9 months ago.

But generally, it's not one of HER 4 kids asking me. Until tonight when Gabby got frustrated and broke down. I was trying to explain (Agian. For the 700th time) why it's taking so long for her to move back into her Mom's care. No longer do I try to be Suzy Sunshine about it. I support the goal, I don't bash Mom, but I do give her the facts in an age appropriate manner because she's too smart and protecting her isn't really going to help her. She's too smart. So when she started crying telling me she's been in foster care for over a year and she doesn't want to be anymore I responded that her Mom is still learning how to take care of them the right way she challenged me with "well why did she have 4 kids then if she didn't know how to take care of us?"

These are the moments no amount of Pride classes can prepare you for. No cheesy video teaches you the best way to handle a question with so much weight behind it. I told her that I didn't know. That maybe her Mom didn't know that she should ask her. That at least she's trying to learn. But that doesn't help her. I'm not the one she needs to hear an answer from. I can help her identify her feeling and let her talk through them and tell her she's loved but in the end she doesn't want to hear it from me. She wants to hear it from her Mother.

It's hard to play second fiddle when you do so much work and the other person does squat. Especially when your life is directly impacted by them. But you don't get to be upset about it. It's maddening sometimes.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Just a regular Thursday night

Years ago I spent Thursday nights at choir practice. For 6 years I spent every 7-9 pm in a freezing cold church with people I loved singing my heart out. There was a time were I spent Thursday nights working late at a law firm and cramming for tests and finishing up papers. When I finished college and went back to get my paralegal degree I spent 7-9:30 studying legal writing and litigation.

tonight we normally would Have the trauma therapist who works with the oldest two girls. We've done some attachment therapy and lots of processing. She cancelled tonight. But we still had processing. In fact we had a trauma trigger tonight that we spent 40 minutes trying to get a child pulled back into reality and realize she was safe.

It was heartbreaking. In one movement of the hand to try and comfort the child we managed to trigger the fear of being sexually molested. I watch a normally affectionate happy child back away and cower and then cry because she was so afraid to tell us what she was scared of because she didn't want to hurt our feelings.

OUR FEELINGS!?!? Oh sweetie pie. No one has let you be a child and so therefor you don't know it's not your JOB to worry about our feelings. That's the job of parents. Parents who love you. Who want to protect you. Who did a good job of staying calm and parenting you through this evening with calmness and love.

And that is just a glimps into our Thursday night.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tricky Treat

Jelly Bean did her best to self sabotage Halloween. She tantrumed for the first time on Sunday since starting her new mood disorder medication. All day long she was in trouble. It's so sad that this kid has been so hurt that she tries to make sure nothing good comes her way. In the end we recovered and we went about the festivities.

She was a pirate which fit her very well. Little Mama was a pink kitty cat, Gabby a witch with a pink boa adorned hat, and mr. Mohawk was an Angry Bird. His costume matched mine. The dog was his usual pumpkin which is absolutely adorable. My Mom and I scooped up the kids from daycare (and my little guy was sad since we missed the parade but seriously? They are in day care because we work. Just because it's Halloween doesn't mean it's a half day for me.) and headed to Hubby's office for some cynical trick or treating. The place was a ghost town so it didn't take long. We got home took a few pictures and headed out.

Constant reminders of say please and thank you and help your brother and less than an hour later the kids were ready to pack it in. Then they dumped their haul on the table. Sorted out things they can't have like gum and things they didn't want. They traded and contributed to Mom and Dad's pity pile :)

It was awesome fun. No melt downs. Lots of smiles. No one in trouble. A good day. And I feel ready to handle more of the same. But tonight I'll be snapped back into reality when the therapists arrive and the kids go to family therapy tomorrow.