Skip to main content

Stolen Moments

I was able to steal nearly two hours to myself tonight. But Foster Mom R didn't you just go to California last week? Yes I did, but I was not alone and I worried constantly about my family and I ran a half marathon which doesn't exactly equate to relaxation. Tonight I was relaxed. I poured myself a glass of wine, got out my Kindle and read outside on the porch that Hubby just re-did while the fire pit glowed and the wind chimes jingled in the distance.

My mind was able to take a solid break from all of the things swirling. The grad school work, the million things that need to be fixed/put away/cleaned for the house, the family drama happening, the impending buy out of my company and the TPR trial next week.

The TPR trial triggers the next round of "stuff" that has to happen in order for us to officially adopt the kids.  The kids will have been in the phase between return home and adoption for 8 months, despite being in an adoptive home, and despite us signing the intent to adopt over a year ago. It's such a shame that the court stuff takes this long.

The kids knew we were meeting with their Mom and they were excited to hear they were getting adopted. Stella especially shocked me when she did a little happy dance when we told her, her Mom was going to sign the papers that would allow us to adopt her.

The identified surrender is better for the kids but this still has me worried about the baby. During the meeting the subject of missed phone calls came up and Sheila's therapist explained that she looses track of time and days due to her mental health.

If you can't make a 15 minute phone call, how can you take care of a baby?

Smiley said something interesting today. She said that in her other family, she won't be the youngest because her Mom is going to have the baby. I looked at her puzzled because she totally forget she already has a younger sibling in another state. 

At this point it does not seem that Sheila wants more contact with the kids than we are willing to offer. In fact, she really only asked that they be allowed to call her if they want. We told her we would send email updates at least 4 times a year and we would be willing to start with 2 in person visits a year.

We tried to convey we were concerned about her well being. There was a moment when I felt myself softening just a bit, similar to how I did with Maria. It was very much like being with my kids, and perhaps we can coach her in a similar way, that would allow her to parent the baby effectively.

She did have questions for us, all surrounding if we were certain we wanted to adopt all of the children and if we were going to have other biological kids.

When I shared that I couldn't have biological children without medical intervention or a miracle, she began to cry. It was a really odd moment. Maybe she realized how much her children were wanted? Maybe she felt sorry for me? Maybe she saw that I've always just wanted to be a Mom in whatever way I could.

I'm a better Mom when I take time for myself and today I was able to mother my four like a pro. Boo boos and planting flowers, misplaced socks and books.  This is my future, it is certain, and I could not be more sure that it's what I want.  A day full of giggling and playing and yard work and housework. And a lovely ending in which to recharge. This is what self care looks like. And right now, I'm doing a pretty good job of it!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

She Never Cried

Sheila called to wish Sarah Happy Birthday and she shared a story with her that as a baby she never cried. Not when she was hungry, not when she was tired, never. She never cried.
A little later Sarah said to me:
"Mom, my Mom said I never cried. I don't really believe that. That can't be true can it? Don't all babies cry sometimes?"
Oh my sweet girl. The red flag went up for her too. As I listened to Sheila share this story fondly, I felt sad. That was a sign of her RAD. That was because she couldn't count on adults. That was because she cried and no one came so she learned not to cry.
"It doesn't sound right to you, does it?"
"No."
"I know your Mom shared that story because she thinks it's cute you never cried. It made me sad. You are right babies cry so adults take care of them. You know how you had a lot of different adults that were supposed to take care of you as a baby?"
"Yeah, like 10 foster parents."
"Well …

Minimum Parenting Standards - Monday's Post

I can't figure out Blogger's time zone and I may not have time to write Monday evening so here is Monday's post.

This week we are having another "team" meeting. This time to discuss the "minimum parenting standards" that the kid's Mom has to meet in order to be "good enough" to parent them.

Now I have all kids of issues with this entire exercise. The first being that these kids deserve better than the minimum. The second, that good enough isn't going to cut it with their issues. The hardest part though is being asked to write down a guide to being their parent FOR their parent. Putting my commitment to first reunify a family to the test. It is one thing to suggest ways in which she can be a better parent and to support the goal by not bad mouthing her and encouraging the kids to share their true feelings. It is an entirely different thing to sit down and write a guide for a woman who has yet to grasp the basics after two years.

It wa…

Reader Question: Did You change their names?

Yes we did. We actually started using their new names shortly after their good bye visit with Sheila last August. So the only name that really changed this week was their last name (kind of, one of them actually had our last name). We had started using them so we wouldn't have to try to do a name change mid-school year. Plus the kids had only been in the school the last 1/2 of the year so they didn't know everyone yet. The school was great about going with the new first names.
At some point Simon spontaneously asked his teacher if he could change his name tag on his desk to our last name. He was tired of waiting on the legal stuff. He started to write Simon Almost Last Name on his papers. So we asked all the kids and they asked for the same update. Their report cards and benchmarks still had their legal names. 
The name change was a bit cumbersome at first. We sounded like owls because someone would ask for a person by their birth name and we would all answer "Who?". W…

FAQs

I had some questions asked of me recently that I thought I would answer here:

1) How do you keep doing this after so much crap?
I actually had two different foster moms ask me this. One dealing with a false allegation and one in a kinship case with a pregnant, unstable bio mom.

I'm not sure I have an eloquent answer to this question. I think I've reached a point where I see the bigger picture - the kids.  That's not to say this stuff doesn't drive me nuts or make me emotional. I would be spitting fire if we had to deal with a false allegation. I'm really upset about the potential of having to make a decision about another baby. But if not me, who? We are good at this. There are kids that need me. And I probably need them. I am a caretaker by nature.  What would I be doing with myself if I didn't have 15 different obligations all at once? I have no idea because I've always been this way. And right now all of the current drama is related to my children. I s…

It is a process

It's a physical ache. A pain in the middle of my chest.  And it causes hot tears, the kind that sting my eyes.  It settled over me today and I couldn't shake it.

It started with news that more people in our lives are expecting and today, I just couldn't muster the happiness.  I heard complaints of not feeling well and my ability to plaster the smile on my face just vanished from my body. I left the house to "run an errand" but really I just needed an escape.

All week I've been able to communicate and tell people about Solana leaving without any trouble.  I probably sounded like a PSA for "How to be the role model foster parent".

People were asking:

So will you get to adopt the little one? Is she staying?

Well no, actually.  She is going home in a few weeks. That's the goal of foster care. We are really happy for her dad. He really gets it. We've built a relationship. I'm so glad she doesn't have to go through the pain of adoption or …