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!