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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 languishing in foster care. 

Isn't it hard?

Well it is. And of course the kids are taking it pretty hard but we have more support this time around and we have a better understanding of what to expect.

I don't know how you do it! God Bless you. I raised __   kids and they were my own!

Well my kids are my own.

I bopped along same busy Foster Mom R. Smoothing everything over. Happy for everyone.

And then BAM.

More people who you have to be excited for are expecting and your baby is going home. And all the feelings about infertility, and failings as a mom, and frustration with the system, and loss, deep, deep loss hit me.  And I'm feeling the memory of sitting in another baby shower, smiling and pretending that everything was fine, when nothing was fine - and I just couldn't hold it back any longer.

And then tonight she just wouldn't go to sleep.  She's been doing this all week. Screaming at bedtime. The same primal scream she uses at daycare when I drop her off.  And without fail the teacher murmurs - "I know, Mommy is best. Mommy will be back. Mommy always comes back."

Except I don't. And she knows it. She knows her weeks aren't the same. She knows she's been disappearing and staying somewhere else. And I have all this guilt and the real mind f*ck of it is -

I DIDN'T CAUSE ANY OF IT.

I didn't do this. Her mother did. The same mother who called in sick to her visit last week.

CALLED IN SICK. She gets 4 hours a week and she opted out.

W.T.F!? Parents don't get sick days. In fact my work "sick days" are typically used when my kids are sick. My ass was at a 7:30 AM meeting to discuss potential support services for a child she neglected - but she wasn't feeling well so she went ahead and cancelled?

I must have missed where that was an option when I signed up for the things I'd have to do as a parent.  Must have been under the check box of catch puke in your hands, clean poop off of hand towels, argue about why "we won't be going to Starbucks at 9:15 PM on a Sunday".

And YO! It's the Christmas Season! The month where everyone you haven't seen for like the past 10 months decides you need to be at their function for festiveness. And your kids have several layers of trauma and some teacher decided that the Elf on the Shelf was great fun and now your child won't shut up about it. She only wants an Elf on the Shelf or an iPad. Heads up child - you must be on the "fantasy list" because neither one of those things are going to happen. You will be lucky if Mom gets the darn tree up. And I'm not so secretly excited for next year when we can stop this whole "Santa" thing because I don't agree with your father that Santa gifts should be wrapped and I just spent a small fortune taking you on a flipping cruise.

So clearly, I'm just a tad bit out of sorts and not very "foster care positive" on this night before Solana's next overnight visit.

So I did some self care.

1) I shared with all of you.  We aren't alone. I know that. I appreciate everyone of you who take the time to read, comment, and like my Facebook posts.
2) I bought some LuLaRoe today and I ordered a fun petticoat for underneath it for one of the obligatory parties I mentioned above.
3) I watched TV tonight even though I still have "real" work to do and some thesis writing to wrap up for the semester.  I watched "This is Us" hoping it would make me cry so I could get it out, but the mid-season finale was so good I was just left on edge. - If you have not seen This is Us, I urge you to check it out. Bi-racial adoption, reunification, body issues, family drama, grief. It's all in there.

Tomorrow is a new day. As I hit save, I will recommit to my heart that going home is best for Solana and that her address doesn't matter. I will stop the timer on this grief, and I will resolve that others' happiness does not have to trigger my pain, nor do I have to feel guilty that my pain is triggered by their happiness.

Comments

  1. Simply sending support and understanding ... and ever so much caring to you and your family. Thank you for loving children.

    ReplyDelete

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