We've had a few great days with the Quartet. We seem to be a little more comfortable with each other and the lack of cohesiveness is a little less noticeable. The hardest part has been that they don't "feel" like "our" kids. And of course they don't. They've had 3 and 4 different families in the past year. It's just hard to remember we have to work at it too. But we spent some quality time talking and hanging out the last few days and its helping. The kids have some great personalities and its fun getting to know them.
Sarah asked us directly tonight if her former foster parents were coming to our party on Sunday. As a rule, we don't lie to kids in our home. We adjust answers to be age appropriate but we never mislead the children in our care. (This doesn't score you points. If the kids find out that you were not truthful it can sabotage what little trust you may have.) we told her that they weren't invited. Stella of course pushed and asked if we could invite them. (This child I always looking for an alternative.)
We explained that sometimes you meet people and they are nice but you just don't become friends with them. Other times you meet people and you have a lot in common and so you become friends. We assured them it was us adults that were not going to be friends and that they are lived by their former family.
Stella of course asked us to try "again" and to "try harder" to be friends with them. She wasn't accusatory. And when we assured her we had tried as hard a we could she wanted to know if it was the other foster mom's fault. We explained it was nobody's fault and that sometimes you just don't become friends with people. She then told me you should never lose hope. (I really hope she challenges her Mom this way when given the opportunity. Stella is the kid in the family who will hold you accountable.) Sarah spent a few minutes crying but she managed to calm down. Stella then wanted to play "what if". What if they invite you to a party would you go? My answer was that I didn't think that would happen but if it did we would figure it out then.
We didn't mention the no further contact part. We just reminded them how much they are loved by everyone and what an amazing gift their family gave them allowing them to move to be with their siblings.
I felt bad that the girls were hoping their former family would be at the party. I'll have to remember to be more clear about invite lists going forward. And it was hard to walk them through more hurt because of foster care. I hate the path these kids have to journey on.