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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My Village

Hubby suggested taking the kids and Bio Mom with us. (She needs a Blog Nickname- I'm open to suggestions.) I rejected it at first and then Gabby went with my Mom and Bio Mom allowed so I thought, well maybe it would be good.

She has reached out. She really does want help. I really want to give it to her but since its more along the lines of parent coaching we need to be in the parenting moment for it to happen. 

This could be a terrible disaster. But it also could be the most helpful 2 days for my kids' family. And we did set out to help the entire family.

Even my Mom is looking forward to this. She's making her famous spaghetti and meatballs. My aunt practically cried when I told her. Relieved, that she does get to see the kids again. My brother ever the protector- worried that we would somehow get hurt but was all for spending the weekend with this extended family.

I never thought we would get here. I never thought I would get here. In fact, nothing scares me about this weekend. I'm so excited. The guilt about hurting my family with such a loss is fading. 

Maybe I'm naive. I certainly see where pitfalls could be. But I'm choosing to stay positive and remain a support. To pass on the tools I've learned to a person who doesn't have the skills to get them on her own. After all, she chose to share her kids with me when she didn't have to.


Monday, May 27, 2013

If you thought I was crazy before...

So we decided to invite Bio Mom up with the Fabulous Four to a water park get away next weekend. She said yes.

And here I was worried about blogging material...

Friday, May 24, 2013

Aww Schucks

So I missed some comments on my Mother's Day post and just saw them today. Anonymous gave a great suggestion for Cherub Mama's Blog (I have links to blogs on the left side of this page I believe you will find her there because as you say she's got a great blog) and also cheered me in.

First, I want to say thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you for affirming me. Thank you for your wonderful suggestion. It came at a perfect time as today was kind of a tough day for me.

I spent some time tonight speaking with a co-worker who adopted from foster care and who had/has children with severe PTSD and Reactive Attachment Disorder. It was nice to have someone who understood. I am struggling to find my footing. And that is really, really hard.

To be honest I'm not sure what the future holds. I'm at a true fork in the road and I may find that my life in September will be 180 degrees from April. I'm praying for wisdom and healing for myself and those around me.

At the same time the Fab Four are still very much present. My Mom got a call from Gabby who asked her to bring her to a function at her old school tomorrow. My Mom readily agreed. That was fantastic in so many levels. It shows how far their Mom has come, the coping skills Gabby has, and how far my Mom has come. The village approach seems to be happening. I never would have believed it.

I keep coming back to being able to see them and knowing they are loved being key to handling this. The majority of the time I am fine. I can talk about them and to them and have no issues. It's the moments where the silence is loud or the focus is elsewhere that are hardest to handle.

I know that time will help. And that ultimately, it will be ok. I will be ok. Often when things seem the most grey, a rainbow is just around the corner.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Phonecalls

This week Jelly Bean called just because she missed me. She was calm and regulated but said she really missed me and wanted to tell me about having to go to summer school.

She called me by my first name. Which I admit, stung a little coming from the kid who got the most of my energy. But maybe that means she is attaching some to her Mom and that will mean she will be better regulated.

We've also gotten more placement calls. Lots of kids from one town over and lots of placements of 4. The call last night was for a 4 month old, 1, 2, and 4 year old for what sounded like medical neglect. Sadly it was another "intact" family case where the department is already involved giving services but the kids are still living with the parents.

I have to admit I cried when I hung up. I wish there weren't so many kids who need foster parents. I wish I could shake their parents and scream- wake up! Do you have any idea how precious they are? Do you understand what some women put themselves through to become mothers? Seems so unfair at times.

We see the kids Monday. And while I'm excited it also makes me sad. I think I'm coming to terms with the shift in my life and how much it's changed. It's hard to re-set and figure out how life works without such a large focus and piece.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

This weekend we saw the kids. For the most part they are doing well. Jelly Bean is struggling though. And her Mom is at a loss as to how to handle. When we arrived at their house she said she needed to talk to me. She needed my help.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think we'd reach this place. A place where I am helpful. Not the enemy. Part of her team.

I listened to her talk about how helpless she felt. How she didn't know how to help her daughter. In what was one of the most sincere moments of my life I told her - its really, really hard to be Jelly Bean's Mom. She sat as we modeled how to handle a trantruming JB. Who was confused and angry we had shown up like we said we would. Several things he screamed at me were very telling: why are you still acting like my parent, why don't you just leave my life already, you don't love me.

She's been kicker her mother and her actions are what caused the babysitter to quit (although why a 23 year old with no experience with children was approved as a night time babysitter I'm still not clear about). It got so bad that the police were called to diffuse the situation. But from we're I stand it sounds like Mom is doing a really good job.

At least she reached out. I offered to help and she took us up on it. She called me the same night to see if I could get JB calmed down. She called me again Saturday night too.

Hubby and I finished packing up their room today. A pretty odd choice for Mother's Day but it the first day we've been home.

And in a really random turn the CASA emailed us with some information about a friend of hers and an adoption agency they had worked with. We didn't ask for it and had not heard from her since before the kids left.

For the most part I was ok today. I missed being treated to special tokens and attention today but I was glad that the kids were with their Mom for a change and that I had seen them. Knowing we are welcome in their life is a huge relief.

Happy Mother's Day to all the First Mom's, Last Mom's and all the Mom's in between. Thank you for all the wisdom you have shared with me and for all that you do for your families and children in need.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Different Type of Grief

Our first day to see the kids after reunification is tomorrow. Their Mom asked me if they had shorts and could I bring them? We had intended to bring their summer wardrobe and bicycles. With her having no job I was hesitant. My head filled with what ifs.

What if they get evicted. What if she seeks all their stuff. What if they have to move back to us.

If I'm being honest I was thinking fairly selfishly. Which Hubby pointed out. If she needs to sell their bikes to make rent so they don't go through the trauma of eviction or moving into a foster home- I should understand.

My Mom agreed to sort through their summer clothes and pull out what fits. Because our A/C died this week this morning was the first opportunity I had to go over to our storage locker.

The moment I opened the door the grief hit me. It was like I was punched in the gut. The tears hit so fast I actually cried out loud. I sobbed as I took in the view of the car seats too small for an almost six year old. The box of jackets from the space center. The Easter baskets unused because we didn't celebrate that holiday.

In that moment, my heart ached for them. Ached for me. Hurt because my life looks foreign to me.

I think the damn broke for several reasons. 1) We see them tomorrow and I'm worried about how they are. 2) We've said no to kids, babies. Kids who needed a family like ours. 3) Those around me are in pain dealing with this loss and I don't know how to help them. 4) It's Mother's Day weekend. I am no one's Mom. And while I agree some distance and time is needed the fear has crept back up about EVER being a Mom and brought with it the feelings surrounding my health and fertility.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Hitting Pause

So after a week of several more calls about kids who need a home we decided to say no for at least 3 months.

We've always approached the decisions with the lesser of the two approach. We only go as far as the person with the lowest comfort level. Neither of us can parent without the support of the other and so that is how we will proceed.

We are still running away. Going out of town every other weekend until June. We are talking about starting a running program with the goal of completing a tandem 1/2 marathon. Dreaming of travel. Focusing on work. On us. The decision to hop back on the roller coaster of foster care will be one given much thought.