Archive for February, 2012

February 27, 2012

Surprise

Again.

Mom had a baby.

Again.

A healthy little girl.

Again.

We got the call.

Again.

Except this time she won’t be coming here.

I’m going to go rock my baby to sleep and then crawl under the covers.  And cry.

 

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February 22, 2012

In Peace

My Nana passed away yesterday.  It was quick, painless, and came at the end of a good and full life. She was a sweet and special soul.  She will be dearly missed.

Christmas 2011, Nana and Daisy

Probably above all else, she loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She often referred to us as her angels.  My father was with her shortly before she passed and though only a small part of her was left with us in this world, he showed her this picture on his phone of our silly Rosebud and she smiled:

It was her last smile after a lifetime full of them.

February 15, 2012

Wake up Call

The other day A came home with some hand-me-downs from a woman she works with whose children are all grown up now.  The haul included a big bag of baby dolls, clothes, bottles, and other baby-care items (including a bj.orn type baby carrier!). 

The kids were in heaven!  Every day since they’ve been playing babies and its been very interesting for me to watch as so many of the words that come out of their mouthes as they play with the babies are words that have come out of mine.  There have been sweet and heartwarming moments like when RB was putting her baby “nigh nigh” but the baby wouldn’t stop crying.  Sprout said so gently to her, “Remember, we don’t let our babies cry.  Do you want me to rock her?”  Oh dear goodness, I had to leave the room to wipe away my tears. 

But there have been eye-opening moments too.  One that really stuck out in my mind was when the children were role-playing the same scene but handled it differently – indicative of the different ways we speak to each of them. 

Both children were pretending to be in the car with their babies when, uh oh! the baby has to go potty!

Rosebud’s response: “I’m sorry honey.  We are almost home.  You can make it.”

Sprout’s response: “You should have gone before we left the house.  Now you have to hold it a little longer.”

hmmmm.  Nothing wrong, per se, with either response…but I sure do like Rosebud’s better.

February 13, 2012

Insight

As I mentioned before, Sprout is really excited about his new name and loves to sign it on everything.  So when he was signing the beautiful valentine he had made for mom, his first instinct was to say, “Oooh! I can sign my new name!”

uh oh…how exactly do I handle this delicately?

I started with “Well…” and paused to think of the right way to word it.

But there was no need.  He read the expression on my face and came up with the perfect words himself.

“Maybe I shouldn’t write my new name.  It would remind mama of the Judge’s decision and that would make her feel sad.”

wow. exactly. 5 years old with the wisdom and insight of so many more.

February 10, 2012

Rumor Has It…

That a certain someone might be pregnant again.

I know, right?

Crazy, head-spinny, overwhelming, my worst nightmare, sad, sad, sad.

Well, that was my initial reaction anyway.  I’ve had a few nights to sleep on it and its brought me slightly more peace and slightly more perspective.  Slightly.

Now I’m mostly just feeling sad – sad that there is a good chance we will be put in a terribly hard position.  One with no good solutions.

So to answer some questions:

  • I don’t know how far along she is.  I don’t even know for sure that she’s pregnant.  But I’ve got this gut feeling that she probably is…
  • Since TPR has already been granted and the adoption paperwork filed, it will not impact the kids’ case.
  • If the baby is born drug exposed, we will get the call.

And of course, the biggest question of all: What will we say?

It breaks my heart, but we will probably say no.

It’s no secret that A is maxed.  Without some major life changes (like winning the lottery and hiring a live-in nanny…or taking in a sister wife…), she does not feel she can handle 4 young children with 3 under 3.   And that is valid.  There are days when I’m maxed too.

And then there are the children.  I can’t even imagine how emotionally draining it would be for them Sprout to re-open all the craziness of foster care, visits, uncertainty, ect when we had just barely closed it.  I believe we will foster again, but now? and his sibling? It’s too soon. too close.  Not to mention the pain and confusion of watching his sibling go on visits with his mom when he may or may not be continuing his own relationship with her.  And what if the baby is reunified?  He can handle hard things – but that could be too much.

And then there is everything else.  The fact that we’d need a bigger house. And have no time off for “maternity leave” after using all our vacation for Daisy.  Also, we are tired.  I haven’t slept through the night in 2 years – I was kind of looking forward to it.  3 straight years of infancy?  ugh.  And forget ever getting a night out again.  There is a very short list of people willing to handle our crew now, with another baby? forget it.  Our family might actually disown us.  Or have us committed.   To be honest, we were so looking forward to putting babyhood behind us for a while.  To travelling and exploring and going on adventures that are so much more doable without a baby.  We were also looking forward to actually fostering – that is what we got into this all for, ya know?  I could go on and on.

But then there is the guilt.  It is so gripping.  I look at my Daisy.  My angel, my miracle, an amazing addition to our family, and I think “what if?”.  What if we didn’t say yes to her?  I don’t know how I will live with myself if I say no.

So here is what I pray:

I pray that this is the one she keeps.  That she continues in rehab and finds the strength and support to be the parent I know she can be.  I pray that she lets us help.  Somehow, some way, there could be something beautiful here.

February 9, 2012

The Final Visit

Well, its come and gone and I’m happy to say that it went as well as it could have.

I sent the children with their homemade valentines that they were so excited to give.  On their own they had determined that “mommy might be sad, but these will make her happy!”  And they were right – she loved them.  It was actually perfect because she had brought valentines for them as well!

She also brought bags of adorable new clothes for all of them.  Unexpected and wonderful! She bought Sprout a nice pair of boots that I’m pretty sure have not left his feet since Monday.  Perhaps I should remind him to change his socks.

Even better than all of that, she gave Sprout some wonderful keepsakes I know he will cherish.  Like a note describing his babyhood – when he walked, talked, first words, favorite foods, least favorite foods, her memories of him always wanting to be held and looking just like his father from the minute he was born.  Speaking of, she also gave him a picture of his father – the first one he had ever seen (his father passed away when he was a newborn).  So amazing. And for the girls, she gladly filled the 2 disposable cameras I sent with pictures of her and them so they will have evidence of this time even as their memories fade.  I can’t wait to see how those pictures came out. 

She also wrote them all a note reminding them that she will always love them and that they did nothing wrong nor was anything their fault.  She wrote a beautiful note to A and I as well.  Keepers for sure.

Jury is still out on whether contact will continue and in what form, but like I said, this “final” visit really couldn’t have gone any better.

February 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Thank you for your thoughts on my “last visit” post.  I ended up having the kids make valentines for mom…

Glitter glitter everywhere!!

And I made her a card using the kids’ handprints.

ps – The photo album would have been a wonderful idea…but I had just given her one for Christmas 🙂

February 3, 2012

No Pressure…

The day of the “final” visit is fast approaching and I’m kinda freaking out.  There are just so many different ways this could go. 

I’m on draft #2987234587 of the letter I want to give to mom. I need it to say everything that I want to say to her since I’ll have to pass it to her through Sprout.  Then there are all the little questions like handwritten or typed? (to answer this question you should  know that I have terrible handwriting)  Send a gift or is that too “final visit”-y?  And what in the world would I send?  I’d also love to send Sprout with a camera since I have no pictures of mom with the kids, but could that come off wrong?

Oy. It’s just not easy navigating such an important relationship with a woman I hardly know.