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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Update

So I heard from LM and Gabby last night. Apparently the babysitter quit and Mom lost her job. Sound like it happened last week at least. The babysitter (23) didn't like that the kids wouldn't listen.

I know that was a concern of the state. Not sure how it will impact the case. I'm worried the phone will get shut off. And that they will get evicted. I'm praying that she finds a new job.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Spoke Too Soon

Ok so none of the case workers ever called me back.....

Which is fine and probably for the better. We'll just continue to enjoy our time off from parenthood.

Despite my Mom's statement that the kids were "perfect" and she couldn't see herself loving other kids she was fairly disappointed no one called us back. She surprised herself. She started to picture being grandma with other kids. This made me feel tons better. She was beside herself saying goodbye to the kids.

The non-response gave me more time to come up with my list of questions for whichever case worker does call me back. It includes way more questions about visitation, time in care, providers, and history. Gone are the days where age and race/ethnicity were my main concern.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Reverse Situation

You know how foster parents always complain they came never get case workers to call them back? I have the opposite issue going on.

I have 4 vacant beds. Came home from our trip to a message about 2 boys, 5 & 13, then the email, and then another message about 4 siblings ages 3-7. I guess the additional bed that we were granted approval for under the special circumstance was not taken away.

These people are flipping crazy if they think I'm taking on 4 kids under 7. Hubby's response was I don't even want to know unless termination of parental rights is happening or there is some serious charge (like murder).

My message back to the lady was- you can call me but we are recently vacant and I'm not sure I'm ready to sign up for 4 yet.

Was not prepared for the influx of kids within our age range and so soon after the other kids moved! I still have half their stuff in their drawers....

Too Soon?

So the licensing worker sent me an email about two little boys. Complete with pictures. Very effective way to pull at err strings. I happened to Internet search for more of the background. Parents charged with murder of their younger sister.

Sounds like a lot of drama but a very likely chance of parental rights being terminated.

I called to get more info. I promise that was my only goal. Two weeks might not be enough down time to make a decision.

For all I know they already found a placement for them.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Greetings from Italy

Well kind of. I'm sitting in the Italy Pavilion in Disney's Epcot park just chilling before dinner.

Yes. The weekend after I moved my foster kids I jetted to Walt Disney World.

Now some might question the sanity of this decision. I've only questioned it once. We set the date in February way before the pause in visits and the ultimatum of notice. We have annual passes that are still good until May, we stay at our time share and flights were cheap.

But as our plane descended to land I began to cry. I don't know if I finally let go as the trip signaled the end of our plan. I don't know if the stress of the last two weeks finally caught up to me. I don't know if it was missing the kids or relief that I didn't have to be responsible for a family of six. Maybe it was all of it. Either way the plane was landing and I was crying.

I'm not sure I understood the term heart ache prior to this. There are moments where I am fine - an then my heart yearns to know how they are. What they are doing. And the text from LM about her missing us was really hard.

And being in the place is at the same time painful and therapeutic. So many memories of our trips a a family. And at the same time learning I can survive it. Dream about taking other kids.

I also got to spend some time with my best friend and her family. Which was awesome. Especially the little boy hugs I got. I think it mended me a bit.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Moving On

We moved the kids things today. We still have a ton of stuff but got most of the clothes they have been wearing, the majority of their toys and took it to their Mom's apartment.

It was good to see them. They seemed happy and I didn't feel sad at all. MM was a little confused because he asked if we were taking him home. I explained again that this was now his home. I'm still not sure he fully understands.

The kids' rooms were very cluttered and really messy. So instead of dumping their stuff we stayed and helped organize. Mom seemed to appreciate it and I think it showed we were willing to help. To thank is she ordered tacos from the Aunt next door and fed us lunch.

When we left we offered to help if she needed us. So she actually asked us to take a payment to the phone store. I started to say no but then I softened. I know what it's like to have to run errands with 4 kids and she isn't supposed to be driving them so we said yes. It showed I was really willing to help and that she trusted me enough to give me the money.

Maybe this can work out. My prayer tonight is that she will establish more authority with the kids because they still seemed to be walking all over her- which made me kind of mad. I raised them better than that.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Goodbye

There is something about motherhood that gives you a newfound strength. The strength to care for sick children at 3 AM. The strength to soothe the worst of tantrums. The strength to encourage and reassure even when you are scared as well.

I've summoned up that strength countless times over the last 27 months. I've led the way through some very big feelings, scary situations, and lots of ailments. (4 kids=a lot of 3 Am nights.)

And I did it today as I kept it together fairly well. And as I looked into their tear-filled eyes I reassured them that this so what we worked toward. All the time the promise was our house or Mom's house. With a smile I told them it was all going to be ok and that I loved them. And I thanked them for letting me be their Mom.

I don't know where it came from, motherhood is my only explanation, but somehow I managed to quell the fear, the sadness, and hurt within my heart long enough to reassure my kids that their departure was a good thing.

Hubby and I cried together when the door closed. Instantly, the house was quiet. I know it will be ok but it's going to hurt for a while.

Both of us feel like some of our purpose is gone. We don't know anything but parenthood since we were launched into it 2 years ago. We've decided to take a break and figure out what our next steps are to building our family.

I'll write more about our last few days soon. I have to finish packing up their things so we can bring them this weekend. But first I'm going to sleep. Because now its 9:30pm a much more acceptable bedtime than the 6:30pm of when I really wanted to go to bed.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

So Other Than That Mrs. Lincoln, How Was The Rest Of The Play?

A friend of mine used this line on me today and it made me chuckle. Because what can you really say to a person who's just shared with you the news that their kids of 27 months are not forever and are leaving tomorrow?

It's a short list.

There was the "what an amazing act of:love, courage, selflessness."

A whole bunch of: "you've shown them:family, love, peace."

A bazillion "I can only imagine how tough/this feels/how heartbroken.

And a few - No I can't, imagines. I have no words.

Yeah? Me neither.

Because how do you explain loving someone else's child? Protecting them. Fighting for them. And then letting them go?

I know I have them a ton. They gave me a ton back. That doesn't change the fact that this hurts. That as quickly as I became a Mom to four kids- they will walk out my door tomorrow. And I will have no say. No responsibility and no right to know anything about them.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

I'm Running Away

There was a time in my life when I would simply get busy. I would fill my days up with volunteering, organizations, plans. That way I wouldn't think about hurt and pain.

As an adult I learned to say no. I wouldn't sign up for anything I wasn't absolutely sure I wanted to do or had time for. Then I became a foster Mom and I was right back to being busy and doing everything for everyone.

I'm not sure how to be in the middle an I'm not sure what to do when it comes to a screeching halt this week.

So I will be running away. This past weekend we went up to a day spa cottage for our timeshare. I read. I napped. I spent quality time with Hubby and friends. I drank. I sat outside in the woods and soaked all day in water.

In 2 weeks I will be in Disney World. And then back to the cottage a few times in May. I'll be searching for my new normal. One where I'm not keeping everyone afloat. Where I'm not juggling homework and tantrums.

The normal where I am not Mom. I am simply R. Literally, this pains me. I spent a good chunk of this weekend with stomach cramps. Ones I've had before that sent me to the ER. The ones where I was told that stress was the cause.

I have to get through this week so that I can run away....

Friday, April 5, 2013

Saying Goodbye

We took the kids out for pizza last night and arranged for friends and family to meet us there. I believe it's one of the best pizza places ever which is why I would drive 45 minutes to get there.

More than that, this place has meaning to our family. Every birthday, milestone, and even sad days (like the day we viewed my Grandma at the funeral home) has been spent at this pizza joint. A good chunk of my childhood resides in that building.

And as I stood in the tiny dine in room with the 18 of us who were there last night and I watched my kids and family say goodbye to each other, all I could think was: What have I done? How could I cause all of these people so much pain?

The odd part is Hubby had the same thought and voiced it when we got home. I said that I bet if we asked them they would tell us that getting to participate in the kid's lives out weighed the pain now- he remained skeptical.

We both laid in our bed and cried. Discussed our worries for the kids. Recalled funny things from the last two years and tried to ignore than in a few short days this house will be empty of the additional love that filled it.

We are building the list of things to look forward to: no more lock on the TV, privacy, less laundry, lower bills, sleeping in on Saturdays, no need to rush home after work, middle of the week nights out.

It's a small list but its somewhere to start. Because I'm at a loss about how to fix this heartbreak. It's been a long time since I chose something that broke my heart. And I feel utterly responsible for it.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

::Sigh::

Court was continued to Monday... I think the postponed so the regular judge could decide.

We aren't going. We've made it clear. Return home or find another family to torment with no plan and no regard for their emotions or schedule.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Final Four

So the hearing got scheduled with a different judge for tomorrow afternoon. 90% sure the kids are moving Friday.

They came home mostly good. Although its bedtime and I still hear several children awake.

Jelly Bean tried to complain about her Mom's lack of refereeing. We started to break the news about moving home "really soon". Gabby tried to make an argument for finishing out the school year. She's the only one who cried.

LM hugged and hugged us when she got home. MM didn't seem to be affected by any of it.

We managed to explain all of this in a upbeat way. We had the conversation in the car which worked well. Gabby's final request was that she know as soon as possible and we assured her that we would tell her the date as soon as it was final.

It went better than I expected. Hopefully, that will continue to be the case.

Now I've got a massive headache and I'm crying again. I think it's time to take a pain pill of some kind and go to sleep. Somehow I've got to pack 4 kids up in the next 3 days and get my butt to work....

The Kids Come home Tonight

So the kids come home this evening. I'm not really sure what to expect. I didn't sleep well because of it and I'm not focused at work.

I miss them terribly but am not looking forward to the crazy behavior that will follow such a long break from us. I'm also betting that Mom's attorney kept her in the loop and that probably means the kids already have been told about moving soon.

I'm a little scared to be honest.