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Night 1 Down, 24 To Go

The transition plan we created has 25 nights with Bio Mom. We start with 1 night a week and work up to 2 and 3 nights and then we hit 8 nights during spring break. All in its about 25 nights that they will sleep at Mom's house before they officially move in.

Friday was tough. I cried when I left them at school. MM asked for me to write down the police's phone number for him. LM dissociated the night before when talking about her concerns. Then Gabby cried because she still wants no part and Jelly Bean started asking if she could just be adopted.

I kept it pretty much together. Hubby and I went to a fancy steak dinner and mostly talked about non-foster care and non-children things. It was nice to connect. When we got home and there beds were empty that was hard. And the poor dog was so confused. He kept going to their room to find them.

They came home mostly ok. Actually much better than I thought. Jelly Bean did cry in the car on the way to the psychiatrist. She said she didn't want to move.

We tried not to ask too much and let them talk. Instead of no one being at the visit as was discussed with their therapists. They took a trip to the store with their aunt and cousin in which not all children were belted and no booster seat was used and Mom didn't notice. Then the cousin (the same one who told LM that foster parents try to buy love) spent the night and slept in her bed while LM slept on the couch.

Which yes- family is great. It's great she has a support system but the kids need to trust in their Mom and mom has to show SHE can do this and that's hard to do with all of these other people around.

Ultimately, this really isn't our concern. We know Mom has trouble handling all four on her own. It's one of the reasons I'm concerned that this isn't a long term plan for the kids. At some point she's going to have to do this on her own and if she can't, then she's likely to chose an unhealthy person to help her. (The two ex boyfriends that abused her kids and the four that abused her are why I say that.) The fact that on her first overnight she allowed a 17 year old to stay with her makes me raise my eyebrows. The fact that she didn't notice her youngest wasn't buckled and that the driver of the car didn't notice also makes me raise an eyebrow. All in all nothing major.

I'm glad for the kids sake that it was successful. As we continue on though, it will be interesting to see what happens. If there are visitors every weekend I think that will be very telling. And maybe it's an issue of confidence. But as Mom to four kids you need that in order be in charge. She'll need to practice that if she is to be successful.

We've made peace with the fact that the kids will be getting permanency that doesn't include us. And we've started letting those around us that our time with the kids is going to be limited. And I know everyone means well, but it's really hard that their response is usually to tell us they hope that's not the case. It's also hard to be told what a wonderful thing we've done. It's uncomfortable. It's almost like it minimizes what the kids have given to us. I've gotten to the point where I just don't want to talk about it. And I can't handle the emotions that hit me when people ask.

But at least the end is near and that's what we've been longing for.

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