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 Maria as much as we can. I feel comfortable moving forward because I believe that they have enough resources and done enough healing that me as foster mom, will not be necessary. It's time for me to open my home and my heart and help a different family.
And how are the Fab Four? They are doing ok. The girls have hit the teen attitude phase. LM got some tough love from me and an evaluation from a psychiatrist for depression and that was enough for her to adjust her attitude. JB is doing great at school and is slightly more stable in her mood swings. She is still tantruming but not as frequently. Gabby included us in her school concert this week. She is as moody as can be and hormones are to blame. MM is on meds for ADHD and he seems a little more focused. He is still not always listening but he doesn't seem to be in the middle of every issue anymore. Maria got hired full time at her job and will begin accruing vacation time. She was actually paid for Thanksgiving off this year. I told her how proud I was of her and that now, I see that she did work hard to get her kids back and she shared the judge sent her a letter to the same effect. We get to seem them every couple of weeks. They still call us Mom and Dad. We are still important in their lives and I have a feeling we may always be.
As we move into this other case I feel wiser. We've really come a long, long way in a shorter period of time than I expected. I feel like I have a lifetime of foster care experience and I'm prepared to put it to use. In 2 weeks we will have kids living in our house again. And I'm sure this case will have quite a few blogable moments.