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Showing posts from January, 2012

The time is now 9:00 pm.

And I have just sent my 4 children upstairs to bed. For the first time in over a month we had a full day without tantrums, melt downs, tears, or time outs. We got homework done, some of tomorrows homework done, ate dinner where my kids volunteered to eat salad and even snuck in 30 minutes of relaxation time. If only every night were like tonight. But tomorrow starts ice skating lessons for Jelly Bean. Therapy and more therapy. And caseworker left me a voicemail that she'll try to forward me the new family therapy/visit schedule. I hate to say it but I don't put a lot of stock in it now. Will it stay this way a week? Three?Whatever. I am just going to carry forward with what we have to do. What's meant to be will. Right now I'm just going to bask in the peace and quiet of today.

Could we just pick one schedule please?

You'll have to forgive me. I had two of these at our date night tonight and I'm a little sleepy. It is 8 pm and way too early for bedtime. We have been trying to get some normalcy in our lives. And by trying I mean desperately seeking it out. One of the things we need is time to be a couple. And after a lot of bickering this week I decided to book a babysitter and plan a date night letting Hubby see a movie he wanted. We treated ourselves to the fancy theater where they allow cocktails in the theater, your seat is a recliner with a pillow and a blanket and a waiter will bring your food to you. It's so comfortable that I fell asleep for a few minutes. Maybe it was the drinks. I don't know. Nor do I care. A nap is a nap and since I only had three hours of sleep last night I needed one.

The kids had their visit today. Gabby went. The family therapist who we thought was going to be saying goodbye was there. For 5 minutes said the kids. Then she said she would see them on …

That's the Story of Love

I've always been a fan of Bette Midler.  The Rose is one of my favorite songs. And her version of In My Life beats the Beatles hands down in my opinion. I've even seen her twice in concert. My Hubby played hooky worked from home today so I got to take his car which has an IPod jack in it.  I was feeling kind of down.  I think Friday's court date had a lot to do with it. As much as I help my kids process and deal with emotion I also sometimes need some space to do that too.  As the Mom you don't often get the chance to rage and cry to let it all out.  And since I listen to raging and crying on a daily basis sometimes I'm jealous that I don't get to do the same. My kids have not seen their Mother in over a week and had three appointments with her cancelled last week. 

So listening to this song on my iPod this morning on my way to work I sang my HEART OUT.


You've got to give a little, take a little,
and let your poor heart break a little.
That's the story o…

Crushed

So we had the status hearing yesterday. I bravely told the judge what Gabby was feeling- she's done. She's vomiting. She doesn't want to go home. She doesn't want to have visits. The judge basically said too bad. The goal is return home. Despite a psychiatrist recommendation and her therapists supporting her assertiveness she told me the child doesn't get to hold the power and will need to see her mother. The judge feels Mom is doing well and is making progress. Although we found out the changes to the therapy schedule are due to a job Mom got-3 hours away and she will be staying with a friend and coming back on the weekends. So no more Friday family therapy and no more individual visits. The only day she is now available to see her kids is Saturday.

But the judge made it clear. Goal is return home. So now shell be spending less Tim with them. Family Therapy will have to be put on hold until a weekend provider can be found. Isn't that stepping backwards?

So we…

Playing Nice in the Sandbox

Sometimes it's really hard for me to not play dirty in the sandbox. The "team" approach to foster care is more than a little one sided and in my opinion the weighted side is not the right side. Maybe it's because I deal with (on a daily basis) the result of severe abuse. Maybe it's because when my 2nd grader asked me if she could join Girl Scouts it broke my heart because it would interfere with therapy and visits. Maybe because for a year I've been jumping up and down going please help these kids and the people who are supposed to be in charge of doing that have no problem ignoring me. Maybe it's because the person asking me to go above and beyond and play in the sandbox is also the one not including me in play time.

Because they way I look at it-4/5 of the family affected by these decisions are in my home. They are the reason that DCFS is in charge. They were the ones that got hurt and from my view they are the ones being asked to give up the most and d…

Line in the Sand

Friday night I worked late. Hubby handled the kids and it was just about bedtime. I kissed them all good night and when I got to Gabby I noticed something was wrong. I asked her what and she replies "I'm mad at Dad."

So I take her downstairs to talk to Dad.

Gabby why are you upset with me?

You hit me in the head with the carrots.

(I imagine carrots being chucked across the dinner table.)

I was trying to get you to talk and laugh. You were ignoring me.

But it hurt. You hit me in the head.

At some point I interrupted this exchange and found out it was a bag of carrots. Gabby was mad because Hubby asked her to stop asking so many questions while they were watching a cooking show. Then she decided she wasn't going to talk to him the rest of the evening. So he playful swatted her with a bag of carrots and she felt he had hit her in the head with the purpose of hurting her.

Dad apologized (swears to me later the bag hit her shoulder) Magie started crying. I pointed out t…

A glimps

Here they are waiting to see Santa.

Wait, I can write about other stuff?

In one of those "Ah Ha the Light Bulb Went On" moments I realized today that this is my blog and I can do what I want with it. Genious, I know. I don't know if I've shared this here before but I actually write two blogs. This one about my adventures as a Mom and another one about living with an incurable illness. Today, I was brain storming some ways in which to make my much too hectic life a little less crazy. Mainly because yesterday when I was planning to go to the grocery store I instead had to be a Mama helping to heal trauma. That's the thing about trauma - it tends to creep up out of nowhere and steal our moments away. Can't get to the grocery store? Ridiculous. But see I worked 8:00AM-6:30 PM with a 40 minute commute. Hubby picked the kids up and I arrived home at 7:15 to help finish homework and eat dinner. Case Worker and therapists come over tomorrow so I had to straighten the house and then it was bed time and then 30 minutes later it wa…

Foster parenting IS different than parenting

A lot of the time people (co-workers, therapists, my mother) try to reassure us that our kids act and do things just like other kids. Sometimes it's hard to know/realize/remember that a lot of the time they do act like kids who live with their natural parents and who didn't get severly traumatized. And then we have days like today when it becomes glaringly obvious that the 4 kids in front of me ARE different and so is parenting them. My husband and I just finished watching the "Freakonomics" documentary on Showtime based on the best selling book. We both read the book and this was kind of a visual aid to the economist view of the world. For those of you who know nothing about the book the authors explain interesting theories by analyzing data- success rates for kids with decidedly "black" names vs white names, a case study of brothers named Winner and Loser, that Roe v Wade may have been at least half responsible for a 30% drop in crime in the 90s, etc. Th…

Visit Days

We are just about to hit the year mark of being parents. People often remark about how much our lives must have changed in such a short period of time. They are correct. Weekdays used to consist of work and volunteer activities, evenings of tv and reading. Weekends were lazy days sleeping in and running errands before movie marathons at the theater and nights out with friends. Poker games and sporting events. Yearly trips to Las Vegas. Today (Saturday)I woke up at 6:15am after going to bed at 10:30pm. The dog annoyed me until I got up to let him out at 6:30. I had 30 minutes to kill before I had to get the kids up for their visit. Saturdays they get picked up between 7:15 and 7:30 to drive an hour to their Mom's house where they spend 5 hours with their Mom and the supervisor and then drive an hour home. The kids get cagey if the driver is late. She didn't show up until 7:45. LM was able to kick up quite the attitude by then. First, I made her change because what she w…

Reaching Out

I read quite a few blogs. These people that I have never met have become my life line in a world where I feel totally alone at times. One of them Last Mom, was awarded a blogger award this week because what she writes is awesome. One of the blogs she chose to highlight as a stipulation of her award, was Gold to Refine who is creating a "Find a Friend" program for people to connect who might be near each other. I loved this idea so I signed up. Thank you both for reaching out to help others in their journey. You touch the lives of so many more children because of your blogs.

Being a foster parent can be lonely. People who have never been exposed to adoption or foster care or adoption through foster care often have no clue about what my life is like as a foster parent hoping to adopt someday. I admit I had no clue a year ago that this is what my life would look like. Or that I would often feel so completely foreign in places other Moms seem totally at ease. I imagine I some…

When an 8 year old acts like an infant...

Jelly Bean still continued to struggle. Anxiety meds have still not been approved. She woke up this morning with a bad attitude and somewhere between 6:30am and 6:50 decided to hit her sister with a brush (which is unusual as sh never seems to actually use the brush on her HAIR) and then proceeded to battle it out with Hubby in a rousing game of "Melt Down Mania". She told him recently a way to help her when she's tantruming is to mirror her so she can see how out of control she is. I think it's BD and obnoxious but it was a Power Struggle this morning and Hubby and are extremely consistent in our discipline. So she started to wail and scream and he did exactly what she did. 20 minutes later I had had enough and told her her attitude better change getting into the car or it was straight to bed after school.

She was upset because he wanted her to eat breakfast. Now the rule is you have to provide reasonable food and time to eat it. You cannot force the kid to eat. So…

Incredulous

That's the vocabulary word I would use to describe Little Mama over a comment her Mom made at their last visit. The visit where they were "supposed" to celebrate Christmas. At the visit where they painted finger nails AGIAN while Mr. Mohawk watched tv and was ignored. LM was discussing my brother and referred to him as Uncle Serious when Mom stopped her and said "he isn't your real uncle, they aren't really your family. I am your family. You have real family and it isn't them."

When discussing this LM said that this wasn't fair of her Mom to say. She lives with us. We take care of her. She thinks that we feel like family, we act like family. She wants to think of us like family. She later told her therapist that her Mom should be grateful as "they are taking care of HER FOUR kids."

OUCH.

Bio Mom continued this path of proving she really her Mom by discussing tampons with her at her individual visit tonight while they were out at a restau…

New Year.....

Big deal. Nothing in our world magically changed with the calendar turning over Sunday. Our schedule is still crazy, my kids are still struggling, we are no closer to a clear direction of return home or adoption, new medication has not been approved and JB is still throwing temper tantrums while Gabby is begining to throw on days she has to confront people at therapy and visits with Mom.

Then to top it all off I spent January 1st in the emergency room with abdominal pain. Apparently I M so stressed my bowel has decided to spasm. Yeah! He bright side? Closer to meeting our out of pocket and deductible.

Not that I want to start the year as a grump. Perhaps next week I'll be able to write about my hopes and dreams for the new year. Or about the awesome party we went to as a family.

I also want to spend some blog time discussing the interesting feelings the kids have had about their Mom and her actions. This includes her telling them we aren't their "real" family which LM w…