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Friday, June 28, 2013

Legally Free

Q: Have we considered kids legally free for adoption?

A: Yes. We don't have an official adoption home study though an I just have never called our licensing worker to get a copy of our foster care home study. 

This all started with Adopt Us Kids. I scoured the website and fell in love with two brothers from California. Then I started to learn about the steps and we landed here in Foster Land. 

I appreciate the compliment that we seem like great parents- I hope so. 

Hubby at one point said he knew we would be okay after all of this when I told him I had searched the site after we were told the overnight visits were going to begin. 

BUT

I'm not sure now where I am at with that option. I guess I would say I'm a little gun-shy. A lot of those kids will require a pretty intense course of therapeutic parenting and I'm just not sure I'm ready to jump back into that. I'm sure for the right child I would but right now I kind of like not having tantruming and crying school aged children.

Perhaps that sounds harsh but that is the reality for me right now. I LOVE the Fab Four. And would have crawled through glass for them (and at times it felt like I did) but that's not my role anymore. I don't have to sooth anyone daily. I can make plans and not have to worry about canceling them due to behavior. Nothing got broken or peed on in my house this month. I know where the scissors are. There is no toothpaste on my wall. Or chocolate. There is no court.

This is what burn out looks like. I'm burnt out at work too and so that's not a good combination.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Q&A


So anonymous writes:

I check your blog aLL the time waiting for updates. Was curious when youd take placements again- since its been 2 months. Any prefer on age, gender, or amount of kids you want to take next?


Has it really been 2 months? I'm not sure I had realized that until I read it! 

The short answer is I have no idea.

But you guys don't read for the short answer!  I've not been blogging some of the aftermath in an attempt to respect the privacy of my family. Not everyone in my life loves the idea of all this information out there for people to read. And committing to more kids is a family decision.

I think we are taking the summer off from foster care. We are discussing selling our house and moving closer to my parents and our jobs. It's been really nice to have the freedom to decide what plans we want to make and stay out late and travel.

So if we were to take a placement it would have to be after a move because there is no way I'm trying to keep my house available for showing with children in it. (I'm going I have enough trouble with the dog. Today I came home and he knocked the couch cushion completely off.)

When the calls were coming, I was still open to multiple siblings. I like the idea of keeping siblings together. A lot of foster families don't have that room. But now with some space and time I'm thinking maybe 3 would be the limit.

Having had quite an age range I'm not sure it's as important to me as it was before we had the Fab Four. I think if we don't move and stay here, a baby is out of the question just because of the number of appointments they are bound to have. If we do move my Mom could help. I definitely think 9 would be the oldest age. 4 the youngest. But I think it would depend on a lot of factors.

What brought them into care.
What the goal is.
What the visitation schedule looks like.
Length of time in care.
Abuse history.
Educational needs.
Medical and mental health needs.
Case worker background.

Oh yes. I know what it's like to have a lousy case worker and I wouldn't sign up for it again (knowingly). 

The idea of just wanting kids hasn't changed. Neither is my desire to be a Mom. But coming out of a stressful, high trauma parenting situation makes me pause. 

I'm also hoping that maybe I'll get pregnant and end up with a big blended family. So far all roads to that scenario have turned out to be dead ends.

But Hubby isn't ready to discuss his ideas about foster parenting. I'm not sure he wants to continue and chance the heart ache again. When he is ready he will let me know. 

I think we'll probably take another placement at some point. But probably one with a higher chance of adoption. While this reunification has worked out quite well I'm not sure that's usually the case. And it was a tough, tough journey to get them there. Bio family visits are hard  on foster kids and I don't know if I want to experience years and years of them.

I ran into a friend of mine from high school on Monday while watching the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup (yeah!). He introduced me to his girlfriend and said, " This is R. She was Mom in high school. She took care of us."

Not was like a Mom. Not sort of. Not motherly. Was Mom. 

And it wasn't a dig as in "she was no fun." It was a proud, almost grateful description. And I had forgotten how true his statement was. I've always taken that role. Always took care, offered advice, taught by example, came prepared. 

I'm a little more okay with "was Mom". 

Great question anonymous. And I'll try to update/post more. I'm actually seeing the kids for MM's birthday this weekend. 

Anyone else have questions? Or a topic you'd like me to write about? A scenario you need help with?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Phone Calls


When the Fab Four moved home we were constantly getting calls for placements. I don't think we've gotten any this month. This is probably best for us right now. Trying to figure out where we are heading is tough and we should probably keep going without the influence of kids who really need parents. I'd help them all if I could.

And just tonight as I was missing the kids I got a text from Little Mama. Telling me she missed me, loved me, and knowing it was okay because we will see her next week.

Kind of cool! I'm glad they are doing well. I'm excited we still get to see them and talk to them. It's been hard to recognize they don't miss me as much as I miss them- but that is how it should be. They are settling in- having sleep overs, going to camp. I'm so happy for them and so glad their Mom turned it around. 

And being without kids has allowed us to spend a ton of time watching the Stanley Cup Finals with friends and family. I have to admit, I'm really enjoying that. If we had to have a summer without the kids, this has been the best one so far.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Home by The Piano Guys

If you've been reading for a while you know I love music. Even my blog title is a nod to music. You also know that I turn to music to express feelings I can't always articulate.

The below song has touched me since I first heard it. It makes me think of my husband and my kids. We are struggling to find a new groove. Going from two to four to six back to two has definately been a hard road. Finding a balance and a new routine makes me feel like I'm being bounced in a life boat on the ocean. I'm hoping we reach solid ground soon. Its probably going to take some more hard work and to be honest I'm just worn out. "If you get lost, you can always be found" gives me hope.

So when I found this version by The Piano Guys and I saw the raw musical talent and the beautiful scenery I just cried and cried. It gave me a moment to see beauty when all around I see dark. It was a day when I need a moment to let go. To feel the pain. To appreciate others. So if you are in need of a similar moment; here it is.




Home by Phillip Phillips

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Ooo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo. oo-oo-oo-oo [x2]
Aaa-aa-aa-oh-oh-oh-oh. aa-aa-oh-ohhhhh [x4]

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home
Ooo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo. oo-oo-oo-oo [x4]
Aaa-aa-aa-oh-oh-oh-oh. aa-aa-oh-ohhhhh [x4]
 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Tomorrow....

So I had this really beautiful post that I cried while writing and I just deleted it on accident. It was about the rough day I'm having and the inspiration I found on You Tube. I give for the night....

I appreciate those of you still reading. I know I need to update about how the weekend co-parenting went. I'm just kind of bummed at the moment (surround by babies and pregnant people) and feeling the emptiness right now. The feelings about infertility and life choices bubbling up to the surface but not wanting to discuss because, really, I'm quite blessed.

I am trying to remember that often when it seems to fall apart it's because change is happening to allow other things to come together. I don't feel whole anywhere in my life right now and that is very unsettling.

So tomorrow I will share the beautiful video that made me cry. Tomorrow I will not throw a pity party. Tomorrow I will put my big girl panties on and some bright lipstick and prepare to make some changes so I feel stronger.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Blown Away


A lot of people looked shocked when I told them about this weekend. I'm sure nearly all of them were thinking I had finally cracked up. I mean who would chose to spend an entire weekend with a woman who fought so hard against what I wanted?

I'm sure people said the same thing to her. After all, I fought against her too. Both of us mothers believing we were right, neither of us seeing that down the road maybe we could share.

Truth is we need each other. She needs my help and I need her kids. And tonight, several times, she asked me for that help. She said- I'd like to get closer to you because I really need your help. I don't know what to do when this happens.

Of course she does. I needed help too. I read books and forums and blogs and joined support groups to figure out how to help these kids. I had a fantastic Mom who showed me what safety and love were growing up and I had a support system and a husband to help me help these kids. She has none of that. N.O.N.E.

If foster parenting classes don't prepare foster parents for foster kids- then why would we expect parents who needed their kids in foster care to be any more prepared? Ask anyone involved in the triad- the system is broken and many, many people don't get it.

So on the last day of May- Foster Care Awareness Month I began a weekend of co-parenting with the biological mother of my re-unified foster kids. She said- I'm happy they have two Moms and a Dad.  I said she's stuck with me for life. 

And as we spend the weekend in a place the system forbid me from going the last time I asked, I can't help but tear up. Because I never thought I'd get to see them go down water slides again. I never thought I'd get to see them enjoy my Mom's cooking. Or see my God Daughter call kids her own age her cousins. And now I'm picturing their quinceneras and graduation and weddings. And perhaps a Christmas or two for good measure. 

We set out to grow our family and we certainly have. I never expected that to include a woman my own age but it did. And my heart is so happy. 

And one of the coolest things that happened tonight? Mr. Mohawk took his Mom out to the balcony and said, " Mom! I want to show you the stars."

Oh the possibilities in the stars!