Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from December, 2012

Spoke too Soon

Oh.my.goodness. We are back to ignoring directions. Asking the same question over and over and over and letting the siblings play Mom and overrule what THIS Mom says.

Por exemplo:

Me: Jelly Bean please get up and get dressed. You have your visit today.
25 minutes later-
Jelly Bean why are are still in your pajamas? What are you doing in the basement? The driver will be here in 5 minutes?
JB: LM told me to go get this for her.
Me: Excuse me?
JB: LM told me to go get this.
*************************************
Me: Jelly Bean, leave those boxes alone.
Jelly Bean, I said leave those alone.
JB: Mom can I open this?
Me: Not yet. You can put it to the side and when all the other presents are in the car you may play with that one.
JB: mom, I want to open this.
Me: JB I already told you my answer. Ask me again and it goes in the car too.
(A few minutes later as I'm trying to consolidate the gifts my mother loving picked out for all of us I hear a package opening)
JB What are you doing?

Christmas

We had quite a lot of attention seeking behavior leading up to Christmas but we all survived. The kids got to see their Mom on Christmas Eve and returned home without too much incident except for Mr. Mohawk who was acted incredibly ungrateful and left me very disappointed in him.

They have a visit Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week which will give them a good dose of each other and hopefully allow them to feel more prepared for overnight visits. They will begin mid- January and it seems a plan will actually be in place.

The kids received a bunch of nice things for Christmas and our friends and families astounded me with their kindness. We ended up getting Jelly Bean an iPod shuffle with the stipulation that she had to earn our trust and when she opened it, literally, breathed a sigh of relief and said, "It feels so good to be trusted."

Therapeutic Parenting at your service!

Jelly Bean

Dear Jelly Bean,

I know I could have handled things better this morning. I know I could have handled things better this evening. But for the LOVE of Pete can you please stop driving me crazy with the questions. And the fighting with your siblings. And the "never mind" when I ask you clarification questions to try and figure out what the hell you are talking about.

And please, when I ask you to give me a few minutes to walk in the door and shove food down my throat so I don't pass out because its 8pm, do just that. Give me space. It's not a trick. This mom says what she means. This Mom hated having to remind you that if I've already answered a question twice I will ignore the third time and you will not get what you are asking for. You can try to ask me the same question 15 ways I have my answer and it is the same: No. N.O. And really after 2 years you can't tell when I'm crabby and you should leave me be? Grrrr.

Let's try not to break anything in the …

It's a Good Thing That I Don't Have A Swear Jar

Because if I did I would be bankrupt....." The amount of cursing I've been doing has been on the rise the last few weeks. Are you flipping kidding me? - the favorite.

Because its Christmas and we live in foster care land. Ridiculous abounds. We have attention seeking behavior including plate throwing at siblings heads at 7:00am. We had a caseworker visit until 9:00pm on Tuesday where we laid all the cards in the table and actually asked "what were you thinking with the first overnight ending on Christmas Eve". Sure enough I was right and it was, "They haven't spent a holiday together..." Um BS. What about Christmas Eve last year? When they didn't even celebrate Christmas?

Apparently my angry email stopped the stupidity (or at least slowed it down) so a plan could be put in place. Why we had to explain that this was necessary and wasn't going to happen in 12 days is beyond me.

Oh and then there is that family member who I unfriended and have n…

Our Happenings

As Christmas is fast approaching I'm seeing an increase in attention seeking behavior from the kids. Interrupting. Constant questions. Helplessness. I have not seen these behaviors in quite some time.

Mr. Mohawk came home Friday from his visit covered in what I believe were hives. I have him an antihistamine and it was much better. By Saturday afternoon- post visit he was itchy again. He called the cow spots because that's what they looked like and they were all over his body. Today- no rash. Anyone want to take beta on if it shows up on Wednesday for the next visit?

Jelly Bean has been a pain in my butt. I know she's scared about this idea of overnights and return home but I so wish she'd take it out on her Bio mom instead of me. (Yes, I know I'm the safe Mom. But the court is going to send her home and she deserves to feel safe.)

LM has been asking some really interesting, tough questions. Like why do you and Dad take us places? Turns out that a cousin she's…

Angry Eyes

I actually own a Mr. Potato Head shirt that says, "Don't make me put on my angry eyes." I also own the ladies version of Mrs. Potato Head that says, "I packed your angry eyes just in case."

Which is why it was funny that someone at work today tried to guess the anger level I was at this afternoon. They then told me that despite my smile my eyes give me away.

My grandma used to tell me my eyes were like looking into my heart.

I was a 9/10. Work sucks right now. Foster Care sucks (didn't hear from the caseworker about my email or Hubby's). And we have some family drama going on.

I don't usually talk about the family issues on here but it ties into foster care because it is our perception that this family member can't accept the kids. Somehow their presence detracts from her daughter. And she's angry that we didn't pitch in for a present for her daughter that she was going to also benefit from but not pay her own way. The kids have picke…

Overnight Visits

Oh my. Was I heated at midnight last night. I saw the email the caseworker sent about her plan for overnight visits. Can you guys when she thinks is the optimal time to start them?

Yep. The Sunday leading into Christmas Eve. It's the holiday after all and the children should spend some time with their Mom. She knows we might have plans on Christmas Eve so she can have the service drop them off wherever we will be at. Then she asked me for my thoughts.

My response back was not kind. It was not calm. And at this point I don't care. The idea that they want to rush this and not have a solid plan in place makes me so angry and the fact that she didn't consider how anxious the holiday makes the kids anyway and then wants to add the stress of the first overnight to it mystifies me.

But have no fear- we'll drop them off in whatever condition they might be in at your family function? What about behavior? What about their response. What if Mom totally fails and it ruins Chris…

And Action!

If only it were that simple. The idea that I could make something start or finish by saying so is my dream right now. Instead I'm directing all the drama surrounding me. Well trying to deflect at least....

So after the judge stated that she saw no evidence of the foster parents sabotaging the case Bio Mom goes and tells LM (during the visit) that her foster parents are trying to keep her from her. That we are trying to keep her for ourselves. And then she brought up the trauma therapists alleged statement about "God shouldn't have given her these 4 kids because she doesn't deserve them".

It's exhausting these conversations about the same make believe issue over an over. The kids haven't even spoken to that therapist on 6 months. What does that possibly have anything to do with anything?

How about you take that energy and focus it on your kids? So LM confronts her in family therapy and she tells her she's entitled to her feelings. And then it comes …

A Good Day

I felt the need to write tonight because a lot of this blog is venting for me. Its spelling out the trials (literally) of foster parenting and the challenges my kids and I face.  I wanted to take a moment and celebrate the good.

Today was just a nice day.  Despite the hellish we had with having kids testifying at a criminal trial against an abuser, a permanency hearing, therapy, a mental health staffing, school, and my husbands last week of his job of 10 years, we had a great day with little issue. Little misbehavior. Little refereeing.

You know what we had lots of?

Laughter. Giggling. Smiling. Family time.

Do you know what we did?

Shopping.

That's right. We took our four children (and Grandma) to an outlet mall and went shopping. For clothes for Hubby and a few Christmas presents. And the kids? They were angelic. No, really. They sat quietly. They helped carry shopping bags. They stayed together. No one wet their pants. We came home with all the hats and gloves we left with. I…

Verdict

So the judge in the foster care case granted overnight visits Thursday. And the states attorney defended us from the accusation that we were trying to sabotage the goal. I'm not clear on what the issue was but the idea is ridiculous. 1) I don't need to help mom screws up just fine on her own 2) it would not score me any points with the kids 3) the only issues I raise are ones that have to do with the kids. I don't know how advocating for safety for them could be viewed as sabotage but I suppose someone has to be blamed. Might as well be me. The judge and states attorney defended us and actually stated that they feel "blessed" to have such supportive, loving, dedicated foster parents.

I didn't go. Hubby went. It's probably best. I was pretty upset afterward for a number of reasons but mostly because I love them and I have no idea how to start to say goodbye. And while I can admit that she is trying very hard, I still question if she's got enough tools…

Court

So we got through the prosecution portion of the criminal trial against the former foster parent who abused Jelly Bean. I didn't get to hear any of it because they may need me to testify as a rebuttal witness tomorrow.

From what I was told the kids did a phenomenal job. It was a long day filled with lots of waiting but we managed and now my kids are tucked into bed. They are exhausted and I'm really glad that the case worker granted my request to have the visit for this afternoon rescheduled.

Jelly Bean did a fantastic job of processing this experience. For the first time ever in the county they allowed a witness to testify via closed circuit video so that she would not have to come in contact with the abuser. I prayed that the judicial system would not fail her and no matter what the verdict- I consider this piece a win. She set a precedent and hopefully this will mean less victims will be subjected to the re-traumatization of facing their abuser. Especially kids.

Of cour…

Buckle Up

Happy December! We kicked off our holiday season with our 10th annual wine party. Last year, it fell the weekend Jelly bean was in the mental health hospital and I managed to have a very real meltdown in front of my husband's best friend and his then girlfriend (she is now his wife and I consider her family). The year before was the day of my Grandma's funeral and ended at 4 AM with a whipped cream fight in my kitchen.

Clearly, we don't ever cancel the party...

It was cool to look back over the years and see how much our lives have changed. My girlfriend had her 16 month old there and shared news that she's expecting a boy in April. Everyone at the party was married or engaged. We had a babysitter upstairs with the kids - who I babysat when I was in high school.

I managed to blow off some steam without turning into a weepy mess. And despite my 3am bedtime we got up and had a nice day as a family. Which is good because this could be a long and defining week for us.