Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from June, 2012

Fear

The craziness of the week left me in it's wake this morning as my husband went to the office and my kids left to see their mother. I have 5 hours to myself. 5 whole hours to do whatever it is that I want and need to do without interruption. However, when finally given the alone time and silence I needed to check in on myself I found I was bowled over.

I've always thrived on choas. And it should come to no surprise to me that I had set up a life filled with it. And to be honest I'm a little lost with silence. Maybe thats why I fight so hard to prevent the inevitable. I read a quote on Sophie's Blog from a book she readControl is a survival mechanism, and we only try to exert control when we are scared.
I have to admit I am scared. Scared that my kids will get hurt. Scared that they won't. Scared that they will leave my home. Scared for what life will look if they do. Scared what life will look like if they stay. Scared for them. Scared for us.

I can't live i…

Stopping A Moving Train

So a change was made to the visitation schedule to start giving Mom more opportunity to parent her kids. We were going to put all 4 children together and have them do family visits 2 times a week. The first group visit was supposed to be for this Saturday for 3 1/2 hours per the conversation on Tuesday. The kids were prepped by their therapy team. The two oldest being very concerned about the amount of time.

Wednesday I get a call from the transportation/supervisor company. Can the visit be moved back. Then she tells me it's scheduled for 5 hours with them all together.

I flip out. Time and time again we prepare the kids and something else happens. The adults are loosing credibility fast and it's not helping the anxiety or behaviors lessen in our home. And you know what? I'm tired of being the one having to pick up the pieces when someone decides that the kids and us can handle the damage being done.

So even though we had an opportunity to keep things as they were I got…

Peek Inside my Head

Inhale. Exhale. Grrr.

Patience.

Liquor? I have to work tomorrow...

Pep talk: she isn't doing this on purpose. Her approach the problem is to keep her job. Your approach to the same problem is to protect the kids and keep your sanity. It will get fixed tomorrow. The therapists agreed. They have some say. At least you know before it happens. And if it doesn't get changed that's 6 hours to yourself. Maybe Catch a movie. Go in and get caught up at work. Take a nap. Scrapbook Disney.

Time to tap. This will get better.

Happy Birthday Mr. Mohawk

Dear MM,

Wow! I can't believe you turn 5 today. While I have only known you for 18 months you have stolen my heart forever. I wish I could share with you the story of the day you came into this world. What I can share with you is the day you came into my world. How I anxiously waited for the phone call from Daddy that told me you had arrived. I know you were sad and confused that day. You missed your Mom. You missed your Really Really Mama. And here I was this other Mom who couldn't understand a word you said.

But that was short lived. Partly because we tried very hard to make you feel safe and loved and partly because you are such an easy going kid. You pop up every day with a smile on your face. Your eyes light up when you get excited and the stories you now tell me have detail and structure.

I cherish our talks at night when you tell me where we are to meet in our dreams. Your extra tight hugs make my day. And oh do I love the moments where I get to pretend you are my littl…

Minimum Parenting Standards

Rebecca – I am sorry if you feel “attacked” in any way. That isn’t my intention and I don’t believe the intention of your comment to be negative and I wish I would have been able to see your response. Learning that you are an attorney does give me an insight as to why you responded as you did. I agree with the comments that it is fantastic that you are trying to learn about the different sides of the triad. In fact, I wish Mom’s attorney could meet the children. I think it would give her some insight into how better serve her client. I’d like to invite you to be a guest post if you are up for it. Please email me if this is something you are interested in or if you’d like to respond privately and not on the blog.
*****************
A great point was made about the difference between the legal requirements and actually living them out. Much work needs to be done to bridge that gap. I’m not saying that biological parents shouldn’t be given chances or that parental rights shouldn’t be…

Hard on mom?

I have to say Rebecca’s comment really stuck with me over the weekend. When you put yourself out there you take the risk that someone is going to judge you as wrong and that’s what happened here. I questioned why the comment stuck with me. Was it because I was being hard on Mom or was it because I felt misunderstood? The answer I landed on was a little bit of both. The questions in the comments that Rebecca left lead me to believe that she isn’t a regular reader of my blog or that she has only recently read some of my posts. And she had no information on her profile so I’m not sure how or if she fits into the triad of biological, foster, and adoptive parents. This is a point that NewishFosterMom raised when coming to my defense. I appreciate that someone cared enough about me (at 5:45 in the morning!) to take the time to point out that perhaps the comment pointing out I was being too hard on someone might also have been “being too hard on someone”. So ladies thank you for reading a…

Connections

The kids have started individual visits again. These individual visits began last year before Jelly Bean's Hospitalization and the incident in February that caused visits to stop.  The purpose of this time with Mom is to allow her to re-connect with her children since she hasn't lived with them for 2 years.  One of the "theories" as to why this case had not progressed to return home was because Mom wasn't receiving enough time with her children and therefore could not bond with them. (In reality, she has trouble juggling all four of them at once and was not able to bond with them at family visits.)
Two days a week the kids will alternate 2 hours of alone time with Mom. I was hopeful that this time around with the direction of the team and the family therapist she would really try to use this time to connect.

Mom has a lot of work to do where attachment and bonding are concerned.  If the court could ruled on termination based only on "where the children feel…

Confessions of a Foster Mom

- I considered taking the kids to see a movie tonight just so their Mom can't take the opportunity away.
- Sometimes I wish I could agree with the kids' assessment of their mother instead of simply acknowledging their feelings and trying to help them see the good in her.
- There are days I prefer to spend time with one particular child because that child is fun to hang out with.
- There are days I want to tell the child being difficult to go ahead and call their old foster parents and have them come get them if they were so great.
- Ditto to their Mom.
- Sometimes I dream about dropping the chaos off at their Case Worker's house to watch how fast her tune changes. (Bet those bright ideas about working together and not being given notice about anything would disappear.)
- Ditto to the judge.
- I confess that sometimes when my Mom suggests buying their Mom a one way ticket I could join in instead of shush her.

You Have a Nice Family

Sometimes the hardest part of losing my Grandma is that she didn't get to meet my kids or see me be a Mom. Its hard to explain what an amazing woman she was. She was never alone because she made friends everywhere.  She had a Facebook page. She was notorious for not knowing how to work ANY of her cameras...like ever. She had a laugh you could hear across the house and she had a quirk about sharing utensils. And man she could make the smallest get togethers totally special. She worked hard to make sure her family knew she loved them for being them. Even when we failed, sometimes miserably, she always gave us the encouragement or the kick in the ass that we needed.

I know I'm doing a good job of telling my kids about her because in moments when I admit to them that I wish they could have met her they say to me, "Mom I feel like I love her even though I never met her." And that warms my heart and makes the loss slightly easier.

For whatever reason, today was a day I mi…

Stole the Show

I'm not even sure what to write about this week. The fall out from the park has carried over and resulted in attention seeking behavior at it's best.

True Story- Gabby had diarrhea (no surprise) this morning. After determining that she couldn't go to school or day care I had to figure out other arrangements. It looked like I was going to take a sick day. I get the other 3 into day care and by the time I have signed them in JB has managed to spill an entire water bottle on the floor and ignore the teachers direction to get something to clean it up. So I repeat the instruction and direct her to the sink where the towels are. Towels in hand she runs across the room and gives her friend a hug. Then comes back across the room and starts sopping up her mess.

Me- JB did you really just run across the room to hug someone when you had his mess to clean up?
JB- yes
Me- I can see you are already struggling with good choices please adjust your attitude. If I get a phone call today abo…

The "Talk"

I was always grateful that my Mom was open and honest with me about sex. I always felt I could ask her questions and not feel embarrassed.

But I don't remember being 12 when it happened. LM and I had a fairly candid conversation about sex this week after discovering JB was talking about it at daycare and at bedtime. It was a huge trigger for LM as she was raped by one of Mom's boyfriends. (JB was pretty graphic when discussing such as "you know when the man gets on top of the woman and puts his thing inside her".)

Her question to me was if she could have gotten pregnant if she had her period.

So I explained reproduction. I explained that I hope one day sex is a positive thing, enjoyable even, between her and a committed partner of her choice when she is an adult. I went over hormones and what peers may start to talk about and that she can always come to me with questions.

I stopped short of discussing birth control methods (beyond abstinence) because I'm pretty …

Permanency Hearing

It's not a good thing when the judge's first words are something along the lines of we have slow progress and I'm not sure if we are going to get there at all... The state asked for a ruling on progress. GAL told the judge the kids are manifesting anxiety physically. Judge ruled there was progress and therefore no grounds for termination. She did encourage the group to consider other alternatives such as guardianship.

Normally when I leave court I feel defeated. Hopeless. And even though this means that we are likely in for another 1-2 years of foster parenting that at least DCFS, the state, and the GAL all see that Mom won't be able to parent her kids (she's too busy trying to blame everyone else to put the energy into dealing with her own issues and learning how to be the Mom her kids need to be). I feel validated. And I feel that the court is not going to send the kids home until they feel safe.

The new strategy is to give Mom the time with her kids that she…

Team Meeting #3

So here we are 3 months of "team meetings" and still discussing Moms ability to work with the girls' trauma therapist. LM told Mom at family therapy last night that she doesn't want to live with her because she doesn't trust her but that she trusts the trauma therapist and once again Mom brought up the fictional statement to the girls. This woman is not doing herself any favors. This just served to make the kids trust her less.

So now trauma therapist and Mom are goon to have a family session. Without the kids. And then a session with the girls.

I kid you not. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. Wait... It gets better.

Family therapists says to trauma therapist - is it ok if I tell the kids this is going to happen.

Where is the duct tape when you need it? Seriously someone has got to tape her mouth shut.

No you moron. You do not tell the kids. Did you not hear what everyone said about a need to keep certain information to the adults only and the kids o…

Hubby it's Wednesday!

This was my response to the reprimand JB was getting this morning. Inevitably while I'm drying my hair and I can't hear a darn thing someone is getting in trouble. Usually, her. His response was I don't care what day it is.

She kicked a sibling. I'm not sure which one. Seriously child? You've been up maybe 20 minutes and you have to start. You can't wait until you get to daycare where it is someone else's issue?

The other 2 girls were nervous and withdrawn. LM promised her therapist last night that she was going to tell her Mom she doesn't want to go home today. Apparently, she's made up her mind and ready to get the show on the road. I just hope it helps with the staffing tomorrow and the permanency hearing on Friday.

My cynical side has kicked in. No one wants to poop or get off the pot so to speak in this case. Here we are at 2 years the federal time table kicking in and we have not heard much about what needs to be accomplished for a return hom…

Hubby it's Wednesday!

This was my response to the reprimand JB was getting this morning. Inevitably while I'm drying my hair and I can't hear a darn thing someone is getting in trouble. Usually, her. His response was I don't care what day it is.

She kicked a sibling. I'm not sure which one. Seriously child? You've been up maybe 20 minutes and you have to start. You can't wait until you get to daycare where it is someone else's issue?

The other 2 girls were nervous and withdrawn. LM promised her therapist last night that she was going to tell her Mom she doesn't want to go home today. Apparently, she's made up her mind and ready to get the show on the road. I just hope it helps with the staffing tomorrow and the permanency hearing on Friday.

My cynical side has kicked in. No one wants to poop or get off the pot so to speak in this case. Here we are at 2 years the federal time table kicking in and we have not heard much about what needs to be accomplished for a return hom…

Die it dye it diet

Mr. Mohawk- Mama what color is my hair?
Me- Brown
Gabby- (Rather sardonically) Until it turns Gray.
Jelly Bean- Gabby I think that won't happen for a hundred years. He could dye it though...
MM- you mean kill it? You are going to kill my hair?
Me- no Buddy. Dye it. As in make it another color.
MM- That sound like Diet Coke

Note to self- stop discussing salon appointments in front of the kids and cut back on the pop.

Homesick

So we had all kinds of meltdowns and tears last night. Grandma and Grandpa took the 4 kids to the Kennedy Space Center for the day. I tried to warn my Mom that Jelly Bean wouldn't be able to handle it. That she would drive everyone nuts. So it was absolutely no surprise to me that when we met up for dinner Gabby and LM told me "Mom? Today wasn't the best day."

Mr. Mohawk told us his wish in the car was that Jelly Bean could make good choices and we could then all see the fireworks. Together. He's not yet 5.

Jelly Bean continued to try her hardest to needle me and I finally said to her- I'm on to you. I know it's Friday. I know your afraid of what's waiting for is at home. I know you were away from us all day and that was scary. Talk to me about your big feelings the right way or I will not respond and let me remind you I ALWAYS follow through on my consequences she went to bed.

Then it was Gabby and LM's turn. Gabby mentioned he felt LM was mad…

Wishes

So after seeing the magical Wishes fireworks show we headed home. While almost on the ferry back to the parking lot we witnessed a shoving match between two women.

It got ugly. Men stepped in to separate them. My Dad happened to be next to the shoving and was trying to get them to be reasonable...

As you know you can't reason with crazy.

Of course Gabby, LM and Mr. Mohawk were with me. (Hubby took Jelly Bean home after she told me she was in trouble because she was a B**** or I was...I'm not sure. Doesn't matter swearing is not acceptable. Swearing in Disney World gets you sent home early. With Dad. By yourself.)

So there we are right behind the cat fight that breaks out and grown people are going at it and kids are crying because they are scared and all I can see is what my kids see.

Grandpa near a screaming woman who is pushing people. And I knew it was triggering. So as we get in the boat my Dad starts discussing (loudly) what happened. And I ask him to please talkin…