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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Caseworker #4

So we met with CASA and Caseworker #3 who introduced us to Caseworker #4. The new supervisor never showed - something about a miscommunication. 

Whatever.

I actually cleaned the house. So I guess the supervisor missed it. (Like up until 1 am type of effort.) I NEVER clean for DCFS people so I guess the bonus is a cleaned house before the weekend. 

Anyway, Caseworker #4 was just as young as I imagined him.  If he was 24 I'd be shocked. He also happens to be good looking and have tattoos. Bio Mom is going to eat him alive. Exactly the kind of guy she goes for. (Except this one is employed and presumably has no criminal record.) He seems smart so I'm hoping he is. As long as he protects my kids we will have no issues.

Smiley was smitten. "I'm going home with Mr. Caseworker." Not until you are 30 kid- go get your pJs on.

The monthly visits are kind of silly. We are fine, no one has anything to add. No news on the adoption or the baby. The kids are doing fine. We would have been done in 15 minutes if we weren't trying to reiterate to the new guy how long a history the case has. 

I also told him listen- we will be so easy because we really won't bother you unless we have to. So answer my emails in a timely manner and we will have no issues. You know, but slightly nicer.

I'm over my initial annoyance. It is what it is. The kids seemed unphased by the change so that's what is important. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Dear Fab Four

Dear Fab Four,

I think of you often. Probably daily but so entwined in my heart, you are, that I don't notice the thoughts as special. Today Sarah said something just like Jelly Bean or Gabby would have and we told her so. 

Our visits are becoming less frequent. I think that is okay. I think that's how it should be. Maybe the reminder of us is painful at times, LM has said as much. We will be here for you always, whenever you need us. We love you. That will not change. We look forward to fulfilling our promise to your Mom to become your God Parents. 

But I think it's time for me to let go a little more. When we moved I packed everything away as it was. The moments of your time with us frozen in frames.  2 1/2 years of pictures that decorated our home to make sure it felt like yours. As the Quartet came we added to what was there. 

But those walls are not the walls in this house. The home that belongs to the Quartet. This is their forever home and their pictures should hang on the walls. Not added to make them feel welcome but hung because this is their forever family and that is what families do.

It took me a long time to consider taking out your photos and replacing them with theirs. More than 2 years. But it's time. Time to let their photos and our frozen memories be the focus of the walls in our new home. I hope you understand. I hope you see that you are represented too, just not as prominently. 

With love,

Foster Mom R

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Birthday Call

The call with Sheila went pretty well. She told each of the kids she liked their new names and made an effort to use them. She told each of them she loved and missed them. When she said that to Smiley, Smiley looked up at me and said "I don't know what to say". I told her just to say I love you back. I think their conversation maybe lasted 2 minutes. 

We have to come up with some talking points because asking the kids if they like school and what there are doing produce one word answers and "standing in the kitchen talking to you". 

Sarah was happy to be remembered on her birthday. Simon smiled the entire conversation but also didn't say "I miss you" back. Stella was most excited but when she actually got on the phone, she was laying on the couch and mumbling and acted like she didn't care all the much. Sheila said to her she could go back to playing if she wanted and Stella said "I don't want to, well I kind of do". Which surprised me a bit. 

When the kids got off the phone Sheila and I spoke for a good 20 minutes. She said she is glad they are here and when she finds herself sad about it she remembers how happy she was when she found out there was a home that would take all four. She also tells herself how great they are doing here and it helps her get through the moment. 

She also told me that BioDad was making noise to his family that he was going to fight to get the kids back. I haven't heard an appeal was filed so I don't know if he was saving face or serious. Sadly, he didn't call us to talk to Sarah but "liked" the birthday post on Sheila's Facebook Wall. 

We had a rough week leading into the birthday, mostly over homework. But the actual weekend was nice. We kept things low key and I think that helped. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

More New People

Let me say this- as much as Caseworker #3 and I had a rocky start, I actually really like her. She laughs at my comments, cares about the kids, and tends not to be up my ass about stupid rules.

I'm sure she found my snark funny. After her response that she understood and we set the date, she emailed back asking if we could schedule another week out because Caseworker #4's supervisor would like to come meet everyone.

(Insert forehead smack here.)

Apparently this was a supervisor on the case when they had Caseworker #2 (which I didn't know and at the same time, it doesn't surprise me.) I suppose it's good that she wants to meet us but I can't figure out why. In 5 years I think we've only ever had 1 supervisor meet with U.S. And that was on our request because we were having issues. 

I'm trying not to read into it too much. But it did cross my mind that maybe they want to see if we really are serious about being an adoptive resource for the sibling. Let's also hope these two new people won't be up my ass either. 

Meanwhile Sheila texted to ask to call Sarah for her birthday. We talked withSarah  and she was excited to have the call. I'm glad Sheila reached out and I think this will be a good step. We did share that the kids were going to share their new names and while she did ask if it was all four she didn't comment about it at all. Fingers crossed that we don't have major behavior response to this call. (If we do its Hubby's problem I'm going to book club tomorrow afternoon!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Snark

I maaayyy have been a taaadddd too snarky today. I actually sent a response to Caseworker #3 to the question "When can I come this month and introduce the new worker" that read:

How about never because I don't want a new one.

Then I realized that could be construed as unproductive so I sent a follow up: 

Under protest because really this is ridiculous seriously 4 caseworkers in 2 years for kids waiting for adoption? It's not their fault Mom got pregnant again by some dude who doesn't fluently speak English. 

It may have been a tad too honest. Even what I sent was somewhat censored because I really wanted to write "knocked up".

It's just like come on! 

So of course then I go to my therapy session all riled up. I'm seeing this therapist and giving commitment and acceptance therapy a try.  As I understand it, it's similar to cognative behavior therapy except that instead of trying to move past feelings, you acknowledge them and sit with them and let that be ok. You aren't accepting the behaviors that make you feel a certain way but rather allow yourself to have a feeling and decide that it's ok. 

My therapist pointed out that maybe I could have stopped at "this change is really annoying" and not feed the fire of "this stems from the unprotected sex that Sheila had that keeps resulting in added stressors for my family".

Yeah maybe I could try that...because harping on it isn't really helping me. 

So I processed some stuff and then came home to a bunch of girls crying about homework. Hubby had run out of patience about math homework and despite the fact that I was told yesterday that "you are not my real Mom" I really, patiently, helped breakdown the steps to rounding. I would have called it a day 30 minutes into the tears but we skipped it yesterday due to the monster fit she threw so I felt like we needed to work through it.

When Simon came to say goodnight I asked him if he was sure he didn't want to cry since he was the only one. He smirked at me. Love that kid!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Worry Monsters

A few months ago when the kids were really anxious due to Sheila not signing, they made Worry Monsters in therapy (we do a ton of art during therapy).

I thought I'd share because they are so easy to make. The kids can write their worries on paper and feed it to their Worry Monster. You can decide together if they want you to clean them out or if they want to.

Materials:
Empty Kleenex box or small box
googley eyes, feathers, magazines, foam, glue, paint, permanent markers, string, stickers- whatever you can use to decorate.

Simon made teeth out of green foam and added a bunch of eyes. The feathers are hair.

This is Sarah's.