I took LM shopping for her birthday last night. There was a misunderstanding and I think I let her down because she didn't get to spend the weekend with us. She did manage to thank me several times and I think she enjoyed the one on one time. As did I.
When I arrived at their house JB was in the middle of a tantrum. She instantly tried to get me to see things her way and complained loudly that her Mom was ignoring her. When I told her her Mom was doing the right thing she tried to escalate the tantrum.
Somehow, my magical meltdown powers were still intact and after a few minutes she calmed down. She tried 1) you are not my mother (to which I replied, "Correct but I am an adult and you will be respectful to me.") 2) My Mom doesn't want me to learn about God ("You can't learn about God while you are crying") 3) No one listens to me ("I'd be happy to listen and help you talk with your Mom when I come back but I have some rules. 1- this mess you made needs to be cleaned up 2- you need to be respectful. We all have choices. You can choose to calm down and use your tools or you can choose not to, but if you choose not to, I can choose to go home.") she stopped crying by the time we left and when I came back the mess was cleaned up and we had a nice chat.
She was triggered by school starting Monday. LM had told me what was going on before the tantrums started this week (she hadn't been trantruming every day) and it was getting ready for school. So we talked about it with Maria and went over what she can do to keep calm. Then we made plans for a phone call next week.
The language barrier is sometimes hard. I think Maria was trying to ask me to take the kids for an overnight visit. I'm not sure she feels comfortable asking but I want to be able to respect her role as Mom. So I think we are going to over taking them next weekend.
I cried while I was there when I was talking to JB about the possibility of another placement in the future. She told me it would make her sad and I was overcome with emotion about my love for her. I had no problem having the same discussion with LM she told me she would be happy for us that there would be kids in the house but sad because they had so much fun and the other kids would then be having fun and not her.
When I got in my car a flood gate opened. I cried for them. I cried for the kids they would have been in my home. I cried for the things I was missing out on. I cried because as I walked in I thought about how depressing the building was and then as I sat across from Maria how jealous I was of her for being able to be a Mom.
Hubby called and he was missing the kids too. We both agreed that while the situation is fairly ideal, in that we still get to be part of their lives, it's still really painful. It was a way more productive way to manage the emotions though.
I finished throwing my pity party and am going to focus on the things I love about this. I have this giant family full of unconditional love- and I wouldn't imagine it any other way.