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Showing posts from July, 2012

Are you asking me?

So walking out of daycare today we were stopped by another Mom. She has a daughter in Mr. Mohawk's class and a newborn.

"Do you know if this is normal?" she asked as she held her daughters arms out and pointed to a red spot between 2 band aids.

Several things went through my head: Normal? How the F would I know what's normal?!? I live in flippin chaos

Oh wait she's talking about the marks. She thinks I'm really the Mom of 4 kids. I come across as experienced! Yeah! Focus, focus.

They look like shots. Think, think what did that sheet say when you took Gabby- oh yeah

"I think there could be redness. It's not swollen and isn't painful or itchy. I would put some ice on it and check it in the morning. Also if you think the redness is getting bigger you can mark where it is and check it before bed. If its still there tomorrow then I'd call the pediatrician."

Relief crossed her face. "Thank you so much I just wasn't sure."

I fe…

Handling Updates

As we gear up for school to start I'm trying to take a more laid back approach to how I normally document what's going on in the case. Generally, every Monday when things are rough I send an update. If things are going ok I will send an update every two weeks

Since lately I feel as if no one cares what I have to say I'm not sending an update this week. I kind of want to see if the CASA worker will reach out to me. She has only called a handful of times and really hasn't asked me much and I'm wondering if that is because I send the updates or if she doesn't care what my opinion is. The kids don't report her asking any questions beyond getting to know you type stuff and I know that she calls Mom. Which I'm sure gives a totally skewed version of whats going on but she's been a CASA for like 15 years so I'm hoping she knows what she is doing.

Normally, I would have emailed and said that both Jelly Bean and Mr. Mohawk wet the bed the night they wer…

Friday Night

Concert and movie in the park. The glowing spots are the kids. Lol

Made it to Friday

This week was long. It was full of farewells and the summer is wrapping up. I'm emotionally overwhelmed. Saying goodbye for now to the girls' trauma therapist was hard for me.

She was a support to our family. She knows and shares their history. Not seeing her means our Thursday nights are free but it also means the end of guaranteed alone time with the girls. this makes me a little sad. I realize I can always schedule time with them but as they get older they get more and more homework. LOL

I also had to say goodbye to my boss today. While I have only worked with her for 15 months I've learned a lot from her and I respect her and I'm sad to see her go. She's another person who cared about my kids and also was a support to our family in that she gave me flexibility. I held back years all day. I refused to say goodbye. I'm stubborn like that. When I hugged her I told her to knock em dead. I hope our paths cross down the road.

I'm nervous about what lays ahe…

A diversion of sorts

We had our monthly meeting with our caseworker and one of the therapists is here so I'm sure I will have more foster care centered posts to come.

But I thought tonight maybe I would venture off topic a bit. Something has been bugging me even though I know it shouldn't. Even more silly it's because of something I read on Facebook.

Now I love Facebook. I have family and friends cross country who I've been able to stay in touch with because of Facebook. But I can't stand the drama. Cryptic messages which scream "ask me what's wrong" or pot shots at people disguised with a generality. I'm all for venting at times or asking for prayers or support but not every post. Not all negative. Generally, I unfriend those people.

But what happens when Un-friending that person is going to cause MORE drama?

So instead of taking to Facebook and posting my own cryptic comments about keeping private stuff private I decided to take to my blog an give everyone an oppor…

Why was I teary eyed?

Yesterday we attended a birthday/going away party for the foster family that had Mr. Mohawk and Jelly Bean before us. The kids had a great time and enjoyed themselves. As we were saying our goodbyes I couldn't help but feel really sad and teary eyed.

I couldn't understand why the kids seemed happy and I was feeling sad. Was I sad for the kids because it is more people they've had to say goodbye to? Was it the fact that we were loosing the only other foster family we hang out with. Was I sad because this budding friendship we were forming was in essence ended? Was it because this was the only other person who knew what it was like to live with Jelly Bean and all of her special needs?

Probably the answer is all of the above. I know with face time, Skype, Facebook, and travel it possible for us to keep in touch and see each other again. Although they are moving cross country so it will not be an easy thing to see them in person. But I'm still sad this morning.

I am grate…

Thankful

Often I read posts about the loss of a support system to foster and adoptive families. Friends and families don't understand the chaos and confusion. They don't understand behaviors or mental illness and that often the best way to deal with these difficulties is the opposite of what makes sense to the majority of parents. They don't understand why you can't break routine "just this once" or why a babysitter may not be a possibility. Or they may not feel they can let the children into their lives to watch them walk away. We've been fairly lucky in this reguard. I had already lost the people who would have bailed when I went through my depression. The family that hasn't really understood what our lives are like now had already started to grow away from us. The hurt and confusion of people you love walking away had already been dealt with before the kids got here. We also have some pretty wonderful people in our life that cheer us on and worry with …
So if Mom can't be on time the best solution is to cave to her demand for a later time and move the visits to her home so that there is no travel time, right?

Back to visits that consist of eating, watching a movie, and finger nail painting. With an 1 1/2 hours of travel for the kids.

Stolen Chips, A Visit and a Thunderstorm

As predicted the visits are going to be moved back to accommodate Mom's schedule. I had to laugh though because the same day I got this news Gabby came home with a birthday party invitation for a Saturday afternoon. When asked what she wanted to do she told me it was a really hard decision. Apparently visits the park don't have as much appeal as a gymnastics party.

Jelly Bean presented me with a co-parenting opportunity by stealing chips, bringing them to day care, getting caught, and calling the teacher an idiot and running her mouth. Of course the chips that she took were the kind her Mom sends home weekly so I sent her a text told her what happened and asked her to not send chips with her this week. Of course she sent a text back about a different kid.... Did I mention these texts are in Spanish? And her grammar and spelling are so bad Google Translate doesn't work?

The visit they had today was later afternoon and unfortunately Mom was late by 5 minutes. Just long eno…

Cancelled Visit

So the drama that is foster care visits continued. 15 minutes after the visit was supposed to start I got a call from the driver. Mom hadn't shown up. They have a 15 minute rule. If she didn't show up in the next few minutes she was bringing the kids back.

15 minute rule? This was new. She's been late before. In fact just a few weeks ago that was the explanation I was given as to why they came home so late. I had never been told that a visit could be cancelled for punctuality.

So the kids were brought home very upset and sad. Then I got a call and a text from Mom. Did I know what happened to the visit? I told her what I knew then she said she was going to call the case worker. Great idea. I texted the case worker. Who then texted back that she just found out visits were going to start at 10. Umm no. In fact, the visit provider confirmed 9 little more than 16 hours before.

Then the texts and messages began. Every. Two. Minutes. How are the babies. I need to speak to the b…

Planning Ahead

So Mom needs to start proving to the kids and the state that she can take care of them. She was granted multiple visits per week. Saturday and Wednesdays she has all 4 kids for 3 1/2 hours supervised. The point is to practice parenting skills and build trust. Unfortunately, Mom is too paralyzed by fear and does everything she can to avoid situations in which she actually has to discipline. This is starting to backfire though as now that she sees them more frequently she is failing to plan the visits and communicate so the children are prepared.

I got a call from the visit supervisor confirming the time and asking the kids to wear flip flops as there will be a sandy beach there. So I tell the kids. Little Mama's first question - should I bring towels? No. Your Mom should take care of that. Can we swim? If you can your Mom needs to call and tell me you need to wear your swim suits.

We wake up this morning- thunderstorms. Cant be outside in the rain. My guess is they will end up at …

Apples to Watermelon

I had a comment yesterday (thank you! I LOVE comments!) that bio mom sounded like a jerk. And while I agree and can see why she sounds like a jerk I feel it necessary to point out that measuring her against the people who take the time to read and learn about foster parenting and trauma is a lot like trying to compare apples to watermelon.

Sometimes they are both green. Sometimes they both have seeds. They are both fruits. That's about it.

I don't think Mom is trying to be a jerk. I think she truly doesn't know any better. She's not ever had someone model for her appropriate behavior. She is a victim herself and as such she has put protections and walls in place for her to survive. And these survival methods are what come across as jerkiness to the rest of us - including her kids.

It's hard to keep this in mind in the moment because answers, decisions, and responses can be quite maddening. Asking someone to VOLUNTEER their free time to your cause and then turning…

I took a little break

From blogging this past week. Truth be told I have some serious emotions going on and blogging while upset only leads to complaining. I don't want to complain.

I realized that being in limbo has started to really scare me. I'm frustrated. I'm tired of going up in down with the roller coaster. Its hard to put on the brave "everything is going to be ok" face every day for my kids. Some days it's even harder to do it for myself.

I went to family therapy with Mom this past week. Her and I and the family therapist translating. The case worker was there to observe. I'm not sure what I expected but I did not expect to come out upset. I'm not sure WHY I didn't expect to get upset. My kids come home upset - but they are confronting their abuser, their fears. Maybe it was because their abuser was confronting me.

Mom asked if I had ever spoken badly about her. She told me she felt I was over protective of Gabby after the incident that stopped visits. She t…

Happy 4th of July

I'll write some this week about all that's going on but for today I have some pictures!

Other Foster Parents

Today we spent the afternoon with Jelly Bean and Mr. Mohawk's former foster family. I feel so blessed that we have been able to continue that relationship. It's important that the kids learn that people in their lives don't have to disappear forever. It's been really cool to see the bond that MM has with his former foster sister is still strong. It's cool to see this gaggle of kids running around having a blast and thinking of each other as family. Even the older girls who never lived with them treat this family as if they did. Happy to see them, feel at ease in their home, hugs goodbye. Very cool. We had some rare time to talk without little ears. It was nice to talk to another family going through the same things we are. And understand me as they lived it with the same kids too. We also got to discuss some of the guilt they feel for giving notice on the kids. I get it I do but I thanked them for making the choice that they did. If they had not these four woul…