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Showing posts from December, 2013

Name Calling

LM is spending the week with my Mom. I met them for lunch and while at the salad bar she said, "Mom, what is this?"
I hate to admit it, I got teary eyed. It felt so good to be called Mom. Even over something as silly as a spinach. 
It was never a question for the Fab Four. We were Mom and Dad before they moved in. It was easier to remember than the myriad of care givers they had in foster care. It didn't have any special meaning. It came to mean the same thing as the rest of the world knows it: love, protector.For these kids it's different. The foster mom of the youngest two prefers her name. The other foster parents used Aunt and Uncle.
I hate it! Last night I got called "Miss R". In my own house. Ugh! I'm the Mom in this house. I take care of you every day. I handle all the bodily fluids and bath time and dinner and homework. And since I have a feeling these kids are going to be here at least two years, I'm having a hard time adjusting to being "…

Now Starring

So I'm going to call the oldest of the new brood Stella. She is a dreamer. Her mind is always in the clouds. This child has the biggest imagination of any kid I have ever met. As in, if she could have one wish it would be to eat Santa so that when she dies all the gifts go to heaven. Yeah, we are going to have a tough time reining this girl in and channeling all that creativity.
The next eldest is going to be known as Sarah, as in Sarah Bernhart the actress. This child is all drama all day. And for a kid who acts timid and shy most of the time when she wants to throw a fit she really puts on a show.
I'm hoping these two fall into the fold of our family as quickly as Simon and Smiley. They fit right in and haven't had much trouble adjusting. I think coming from a home with very similar rules was a big part of that. Sarah fell apart tonight when I asked her to get her pajamas ready for her shower. She told me that she only ever had to get her panties out of her drawer. Everyth…

Riding a bike

Oh.my.goodness. I seriously just had a flash back to when Gabby and LM moved in and Gabby fell apart at the dinner table. This time though, it was my new oldest middle kid and she went full on Jelly Bean. As in, stomped up the stairs. Told me no and then screeched at me that she needed tissues. Yes darling. I can see the snot coming from your nose but screeching is not going to be how you get what you want. Neither is stomping. It will, however, get you sent to bed earlier than your siblings. 
Apparently therapeutic parenting is like riding a bike. This time around I don't have to ramp up to the skill set so that's a plus. I am however hoping that the crying at the dinner table is a short lived thing. One of my favorite parts of the day is sitting at the table talking with my kids about our days. The eldest dropped into tears instantaneously when she was teased about a boy. Yeah. The tears at dinner need to go.
Oh and have that pesky Foster Mama Drama going on. (Yes still. This …

Tears on Christmas Night

These big brown eyes looked up at me. The bottom lip quivered, she bit down on it. What's wrong I asked? Are you missing someone? A nod. Who?
The tears spill and she says in this small voice, my sisters.
Two more nights kiddo. Two more nights. 
************* Tomorrow my sisters are going to live in my room, right?
Yes sweet pea, tomorrow.
*********** Tonight my sisters are going to live with us? 
********
She may have asked Santa for a princess bike but I think her real gift comes tonight.
I will remind her of this when she complains about having to share a room with said sisters....

Official

When Willow handed me the paperwork for Simon and Smiley this week I got teary. It was pretty surreal that 11 days before the year was to end she was sitting on my couch. I really thought when the Fab Four left in April I would never see her again. And yet, there she was handing presents over to me. Meeting with the kids. Discussing a Mom. 
I have know for months now that the Fab Four were not going to come back into my home. That's what I wanted. I wanted them to succeed. Their Mom is doing well. But actually filling our beds up, still shook me more than I was expecting. I instantly missed them. 
I feel myself being a little guarded. This new case is going to be a long road due to the history with the System. So far we've had some tears and normal pushing boundaries stuff. We've slipped right back to being parents.

A New Take

A friend and foster parent posted the following on my Facebook page:
I know it gets old hearing "you guys are amazing", so I'll just say: you guys are on the good side of average.
Made me laugh.

Grrrrr

So this week I was the target of another adults emotions. I don't enjoy that role. In my personal life if that happens one time too many, I just avoid you. In this instance though, I can't avoid that person for a few weeks.
One of the foster moms of the kids is having a really tough time with the decision her family made to 1) not take all 4 kids 2) have them move sooner than later. And while I am glad that she came to the decision to move them sooner than later to my home, I'm really tired of hearing "we would have gotten there eventually" "I really wish we could have taken all 4" "had you not come along" and variations on that theme.
Now, I get that she is grieving. If you've been reading my Blog you have an understanding of how hard I grieved this past year. But I did not take that grief out on the mom my kids were going to. I did not lash out at her and tell to stop pushing me into letting them go too soon. I did not try to take them awa…

Growth

Often times we talk about progress and growth in terms of our kids. Being able to cope with a birthday or an outing. Today I have my own progress in mind.
Yesterday was a tough day in terms of transition planning. The other family came back and said they wanted to keep the kids longer than Christmas. As their new request made it hard to give the kids a good chunk of time to adjust before school started we presented a plan that we felt was accommodating and fair to everyone.
Apparently, that was pushy of me. And it went on from there and got pretty ugly. I took the high road. I didn't take the bait of an argument. We calmly asked the case worker to make the decision and despite the fact that she still threw what I would equate to a temper tantrum, we still offered up the fair version of the plan.
Three years ago I would have been the one throwing the tantrum. I would have written this long email about how unfair this woman was being. I would have made a demand, given an ultimatum. But…

Not Legally Free

Anonymous asked: Are the kids legally free for adoption? 
The answer is no. The goal is reunification. They are still visiting with bio parents. 
There was talk of expedited termination a few months ago when we were first approached. I don't know if that was looked at yet. I do know that this family has already been reunified once by the same judge and that intact services were in place and failed. I also know that Mom does not seem to be doing much and missed her last court date. Dad is only showing up 1/2 the time to his visits. Both were involved in DCFS previously with their kids. And in our state before termination can be discussed kids need to be in an adoptive resource home.
The other foster families are convinced this will lead to adoption. There is a greater chance that it will, given the history. We were chosen as a good foster placement because if the case turns that way, we are willing to adopt all four children. We've also brought back together children who were sepa…

Today is Brought To You By The Number 4

Two years ago today, I was having what I believe to be, the 2nd worst day I ever had with the Fab Four. JB was being admitted to the mental health hospital and LM had to testify at a pre-trial hearing. 
Today just may go down as one of the best days I ever have as a foster mom. I learned today that all four children will be coming to live with us by the end of the month. The foster mom of the oldest two decided it was in the kids best interest to move them now and not risk a mid-semester move. Her only request was that they get to spend Christmas with their family. 
I recognize the difficulty in making the decision she did. It's a heartbreaking thing to say: these kids need to be together and they are not meant to be mine. I know because I made a similar decision last March. I said the back and forth is insane and we have to do what is right for the kids. 
It was an act of a mother. My prayer today is for that mother. That she can find some comfort knowing she did the best she could …

My Mom

I need to brag about my Mom for a moment. Because not only did she drive over an hour to see Gabby's band concert this week,she also exchanged a dress for Maria, and picked Gabby and LM up.
I remember very clearly the week before the kids went to overnight visits for a week my Mom swearing up a storm that there was no way she could ever forgive this woman. She called Maria every name in the book and prayed for her to fail. She  told me she had no idea how I could be in the same room with her. And I told her I needed her to at least talking about that around me because it wasn't helping me move forward.
Now look at her! My Mom is amazing. She shows up for me no matter how crazy my idea. Walk a 5K with 2 new foster kids in the freezing cold? Pick me up at 7 am. Dinner with 6 kids? As long as they are showing the hockey game. Quality time with a woman who speaks a different language? What's the word for good, is all she has to say! 
My village is pretty amazing!

FAQ

The questions I've been getting often are- What about the other kids? And - How are they doing?
What about the other kids is in response to us taking on a new placement. And it's becoming annoying pretty quickly. It's annoying because it implies that somehow we've abandoned or forgotten the other kids. It's a different twist on the "don't you get attached comment". Kind of like, "didn't you get attached?"
I know the question is well meaning. I know it's mean to be of concern. But it comes across as a dig at times. I want to say, "What about them? They have moved on. I need to do that too. This is how it's supposed to work. What am I supposed to do? Quit because my feelings got hurt?" But I feel like I owe it to the kids to give a better explanation.
The other kids are excited for us. They've met the new kids and had a great time with them. We are still here to support them as much as we can. We are here to support Mari…