Today was a momentous day. It was Gabby's 12th birthday party. And we got to be there. I remember sitting across from Maria at JB's IEP meeting last year and her asking me to be at the kids' birthdays. And today we completed a years worth of birthdays.
It might make the other guests raise an eye brow or two at my broken Spanish. It might seem strange that their family members call me Mom but its our normal and I wouldn't change it. I never thought we would get here but here we are. Nearly a year later and still going strong.
The kids played together. MM asked if Simon could stay. They giggled. I got home made tamales and chile rellano. We watched as Gabby's face was smashed in her cake. LM was full of sarcastic comments and eye rolling and JB had a few meltdowns. But we helped her get over them.
After the birthday party, we left with the Quartet and headed to a St. Patrick's Day party. We spent time with family and friends of the family who have known me since I was a little girl. One of them said, "watching the other kids go must have been hard but I imagine what you are doing is very rewarding". I actually thanked her for saying the right thing. No angel talk. No poor kids. No isn't that hard. I feel like taking her words and handing them out to people like business cards. Here- this is what you should say to foster parents when you meet them.
There was a guy running for congress there shaking hands. My Dad mentioned I was a foster parent. I told him to think of the beautiful kids he just met when he gets elected and votes to cut funding for social service money to our state. Maybe it wasn't the nicest introduction but it was honest.
We ended the night dancing up a storm. We had such fun! When we got home Simon asked me the same questions Jelly Bean asked me when we got home the 1st year we took her to this party: Will I get to go to the party next year? Will I still be living here?
Foster care, never far from their thoughts.
I told him if I had to guess, that yes he would still be living here. And if not, maybe his Mom would let him come.