Skip to main content

Open Adoption- Visit

I had reached out to Sheila to let her know the adoption would soon be final and to set up a visit so she wouldn't have to ask us. We were a few months away from the year mark of last seeing her and I thought it would be better if she could see all that we are trying to do to keep our children connected to their birth family. She of course put the ball in our court to plan the visit, so we did. 

We picked a garden in her town that the kids enjoying going to. It's the type of place you can only spend a few hours at so there would be a natural break in leaving. It's about an hour away so we also planned on getting lunch at a habachi resturant we really like.

Overall, I think the visit went well. We had prepped the kids at family therapy about things we wouldn't want to discuss (like Solana's permanency) but things that we were sure she'd want to hear about. School, camp, swimming. The kids were really nervous but afterwards they told us it was easier than they expected. Sheila respected our request that she let us parent Solana during the visit and towards the end I asked her if she wanted to hold Solana for a while, which she of course said yes to.

We tried to give her some space with the kids, letting them wander through the paths without us and taking pictures of them together. She also asked me if it was ok if she took their picture and I agreed. I thought is was nice she asked. She brought stuffed animals for the kids and also let each of them pick something out from the gift shop. 

We hadn't really set an end time so when we reached the visitor center we invited her to lunch if she was free. She said she had a prior commitment and we began saying our goodbyes. Then she asked if she could get a picture of us with the kids and I suggested we take one all together. As she hugged the kids she asked if she could hug me as well and thanked me again for letting her have the visit. I told her we would try to do another one before school started. 

I think she did genuinely appreciate the chance to see them. The kids had a hard time conversing with her about anything other than the activity we were doing so there were moments of ackward silence. Sarah was upset about Sheila not coming to lunch. I can't figure out if that's because it felt like rejection to her or if her love language is quality time. Maybe both. Lunch ended up being chaos because the resturant was closed and then other places were busy. So it's better she didn't come with! 

All the kids were happy they saw her. Felt it went better than they expected and we managed to continue on with our day. We even managed to run a few errands with no issues. And dare I say, we've not had any fallout. We've also had a busy week so that probably helped.

Sheila did text to thank me yesterday and also let me know she found lice in Smiley's hair during the visit. It annoyed me but also exemplified the reason why she can't parent. It didn't dawn on her that I would need to know right away to take care of the problem. (Again.) (I actually researched salons that do the lice treatments and not picking for you last night. Either I missed some nits from the last outbreak or there is someone at camp that still has it. I didn't find many big/live bugs so I suspect this is a new infestation. But it was interesting bonding time for hubby and I as he was "helping" me look through her hair.)


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 …