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Showing posts from April, 2014

Yours?

Serves me right for thinking that thus far, people hadn't really commented on the fact that I'm white and my kids are tan. Always a hot topic in Foster Care and Adoption are the things that people say to families that look different. I imagine this applies to families that are made up of two moms or little people or those with physical disabilities as well. But people really have no idea how to mind their own business.
Often the questions or comments come from a place of genuine curiosity or admiration. People are impressed with a family of four children since large families aren't as common. And my kids are beautiful and have adorable personalities. And because they have had multiple caregivers and attachment issues, they are also very outgoing towards strangers.  So people can't help themselves. 
While at the wholesale club tonight we had our first encounter with a stranger exclaiming, "Are all four your kids?" in front of the kids. Now the Quartet doesn'…

Chicago Blackhawks

It's Stanley Cup Playoff time. And last year it saved my sanity. Last year as I tried to figure out how the heck to move on after losing my kids, we met up after work to drink beer and watch hockey. Okay, I drank whiskey too. I was tucked safely in a bar, now regulars, at a table with my parents and their neighbors and we had something to cheer about. 
I got to yell. It felt good. I got to drink without raised eyebrows. I had something to look forward to. And then they won. Win the Stanley Cup for the second time in my life. 
Hockey was a family event growing up. And it's a family event now. We've been following the team. The kids have team gear. We watch together, with my parents and their neighbors. I got a parenting compliment last week. Do you know where? The sports bar. (And before you start flaming or judging its a neighborhood family friendly place and my kids were working on math workbooks and spelling flash cards in between periods.) The compliment? How much I inter…

Ouch

We are in the process of starting therapy. The kids are all undergoing a full blown trauma assessment, complete with questionnaires and activities designed to show their response to stress. Simon and Smiley completed theirs a few weeks ago and now Sarah and Stella are undergoing theirs. 
The assessment is going to take longer for the older girls. They have been slower to open up about their feelings. They are each reacting very differently which means we are going to have the same at home when they start attaching and healing and feeling safe with us. 
To be honest, I'm not really looking forward to that. I know that angst will be directed at us. And a large amount at me because I'm the safe Mom. I'm not the Mom who isn't working her case plan. I'm not the foster Mom who ceased contact. I am the stable Mom. The one who shows up every day. 
As we were waiting for their session to begin Sarah was playing "Guess My Favorite" with Stella. She asked, "Who…

We are still here...

So I've been a tad neglectful of my blog here. We are in the mundane, "every day is work and the kids are trying to express themselves and I might go crazy" phase of this placement. We are starting therapy and we are heading into trauma anniversary season for the kids and our typical everyday life is busy.
I'm not writing much about visits for a few reasons. The first is they are only four hours so not much can go wrong. The second is that the kids don't discuss them. I can't tell if its because they've been coached not to or because they really dissociate that much from Sheila. I also am not placing much value on how they are going in terms of reunification. Sheila's parenting skills are to placate and please. Which is a step up from the neglect they suffered. And she has so much other stuff to accomplish the visits are the last place they will start caring.
I was annoyed that the answer to one child's upset stomach last week was a snow cone, which…

A Year

Thursday marked one year since the Fab Four lived with us. I called Maria to congratulate her and tell her I thought she was doing great! We chatted about our upcoming trip to a water park. 
It was strange. I cried buckets of tears before, during, and after this day last year but there was only one brief moment that I felt sad. And then I thought about how differently the year turned out from what I expected, and I felt joy.
Reunification for the Fab Four worked. Their Mom learned what she needed to keep going. Is it hard for her? Yes. But she is working through it and reaching out when she needs too. The kids are all speaking Spanish and doing ok. I'm so glad they didn't have to lose their family.
We went from wanting to close our home to being foster parents to four new kids. Hubby and I have a must stronger relationship. We feel better prepared for what is ahead.
And in what I consider a pretty big deal, I managed to wrap Baby Shower gifts tonight without feeling jealous or sad…

A call from daycare at 5 pm is never good

Today was one of those days were all hell broke loose right around 5 pm. Simon fell at daycare and was bleeding enough that stitches might be in order. Stella and Sarah were to be at their trauma assessment at 6:30 and I couldn't reach Hubby to switch who was picking up which kids. (I was originally headed to the therapist office and he was getting the other two. Generally, I handle everything medical.) 
But when Hubby did pick up his phone he volunteered to handle the ER visit. I arrived at daycare to check on Simon and was told that he didn't cry. And that's when the trauma stuff hit me square in the face. A six year old falling on concrete and breaking his glasses which cut his face, should induce some tears. 
I then sat in on the initial get to know you session with the therapists and heard Stella very clearly tell the therapists that she doesn't feel she has anyone to ask for help and if she woke up in the middle of the night because she was scared she would just la…