Saturday, May 24, 2008

Today

Whew, what a day......

The last 24 hours has been the craziest roller coaster ride imaginable; no class could have ever prepared us for these experiences.

Let's circle back to 11:00 AM yesterday, the girls were dropped off by their first Foster mom "M" who I'm quite certain is doing foster care just for the money. The girls arrived with 4 trash can size of black bags. M stated that she had to leave at noon and birth mom "L" phoned at 11:45 AM to remind M about the arrangement they made regarding the girls for Friday. Apparently, a family member passed away and L had received approval from the County SW to have them for 4 hours to attend a memorial service. M asked me if I had been made aware and I stated no and the only way I would proceed was with approval from the social worker. M left and gave me Birth mom's number. I phoned our agency and they apologized profusely and I confirmed the 4 hour time increment. They were clear that it was only 4 hours and no more.

I phone Birth mom who is PISSED OFF, apparently didn't know that her children were being moved and was upset when I called to introduce myself and confirm the 4 hour meeting. She had the NERVE to TELL me to bring the kids to her. At this point I'm beyond blown away and wondering how the hell I'm going to get 2 kids fed (M dropped them off hungry and NO FLIPPIN DIAPERS for the 2 year old) and find clothes for this Memorial thing. Wow, ok, you have balls (is what I'm thinking). I'm legally responsible for your children that you have neglected and now you are telling me to bring your kids to you because you have no car because you can't get a job. Hmmm, NO. But instead it went like this... Unfortunately, that will not work for us, I would like to have as much consistency for the girls as possible so I would recommend we met where you used to meet M. She was hot, totally pissed and I didn't care. At this point, I'm thinking (and continuing this feeling today) Dude -lady, I'm not making this ANY kind of easy for you. Choices and consequences and BTW, I was not mentally prepared to receive these girls, have them for an hour and turn around to not only meet their parents but hand them over for some 4 hour unscheduled visit. L stated that they would not make it from Perris to our meeting place by bus and make it to the Memorial in time to which I stated, Ok, then we will see you for your regularly scheduled Sunday visit. She got pissed again and in a huffy voice said, no we will make it work. Ok, great - see you there at 2:00. D arrived at 1:00 with diapers in hand, we got the girls dressed and that is about it. Got in the car at 1:30 and was at the meeting place at 1:45.

At 2:04 I phoned birth mom on her cell ( no job, no car and living with parents and you have a cell? How do they pay the bill?) and she stated they just got off the bus and asked where we were. It is a very busy public parking lot ( Hey, I wasn't going to meet them somewhere where there wasn't a million people around). We met the birth parents and they were nice (FRICK, not what I wanted but Ok I kind of figured they were nice because the girls are total sweetie pies).

We did the hand off and gave the girls to them, that was rough. No that was just plain sucky ass craptacular, is what that was. We came back to the parking lot later - at the designated time and they made it on time. Dam, you know I was so secretly hoping I would totally get to bust them. I did get a chance to look birth mom right in the eyes and very soft and stern say - I promise I will take very good care of your daughters while they are in our home. They will not go with out food, clothes or love - EVER. They said a quick good bye and turned and walked toward the bus stop.

Erica, the 2 year old was the only one that cried. Big girl is tough as nails and is Erica's protective big sis who tonight as Erica was crying said " Don't worry Erica, I will always be here to hold your hand". Yep, D and I were both in tears. Anyhow, the birth dad who is my age (35) handed Erica to D and the birth mom steered Big girl in my direction. I held out my hand and Big girl accepted. We got in the car, got everyone settled and I immediately whipped out the juice box's and snacks I had packed for the ride home. Food is love, the girls who stated they were full when we got them - inhaled everything I had in the diaper bag. During the drive home I asked how the Memorial service went and Big girl stated that they didn't go. I calmly whip out my notebook and decide it is key to document this. Inside, I'm thinking about not so nice words to call their parents. I didn't dig about why they didn't make it but told her that I knew she was looking forward to going and seeing her other relative and I'm sorry to hear that there was a change of events. I will be calling our case manager and the county social worker about this and a few other things that have happened with the first foster mom. I'm not sure how much I can *reveal* here but I will say Big Girl needs a lot of tutoring for school and I will be having a meeting with her teacher on Tuesday. Her teacher was very happy to hear from me as she has been trying to contact M for some time now.

We drove home, made pizza with a nice green salad which the girls LOVED, watched Alvin in the Chipmunks, took a bath and hit the sack around 9:45. Much later than a normal night we will be having, they were in bed by 7:45 tonight and lights were out at 8:00.

Tomorrow is their 12 hour visit with Birth parents, yesterday was rough and I'm not sure today was any better. The 2 year old is calling us Mama and Dada. I love the moments where she cuddles with me, I love seeing my husband who I knew would be a good father in such a different way, he is accepting fatherhood whole-heartedly and is even more kind and patient than I can begin to describe or ever imagine, such a loving father figure. Then there are moments like when Big girl looked at me and said I reminded her of her mom, in the face. - aaack. She also asked if they wanted a baby instead of a big girl and I looked at her and said, we just wanted some kids to love, we didnt care how old they were. I'm constantly reminded that I'm NOT thier mom.

I got choked up several times today when my father visited and was disappointed with how he acted. Amazing at 35 I'm still looking for his fucking approval/happiness/excitement about what I'm doing. I headed for the shower and balled after he left and all I could think of was - I can't do this. I was able to pull my head out of my ass and get it together for a visit with my mom and nephew and felt awkwardly like I cheating on him with these two other kids. My mom visited twice today, the first time bringing the girls Hello Kitty bathroom accessories (shower curtain, tooth brush holder, towels, washclothes and matching bathroom rug) and an abundance of snacks and toys. The girls were so excited, you would have thought it was Christmas. They were so grateful and politely thanked her.

I went to put Little girl down for her first nap and she screamed bloody murder, you would have thought someone was trying to harm her. I rubbed her back, got her water, changed her diaper and told her I would be here when she woke up from her nap. I set the timer on the stove for 10 minutes and let her cry it out. She ended up falling asleep and we went through the same thing this evening at night time. D reminded me, she doesn't know anything else but her core people leaving her, no wonder she is freaked out about this. She started to bond with us today and is worried we might leave.

I just killed the bottle of Ragapple lassie Syrah from Kate, I think I have had one glass every night for about a week or so and I'm going to start homework.

We had a long talk last night before we went to bed and agreed that the girls will probably go back to Birth parents in July. Parents are clean and working their program, though they still have to overcome their other challenges of securing a job, housing (girls have a separate bedroom so living with grandparents or a hotel doesn't count - THANK GOD) and a car. Our case manager ensured us that if the parents arent cleaned up by July the court will probably start the termination of reunification services and that means no more free bus passes and treatment programs. We'll cross that bridge if A) it really does exist and B) it falls in our path. If the girls get reunited, we will contact the agency and explain that we are only open for straight adoption. We are even toying with the idea of private adoption.

I can't do this again.

6 comments:

kate said...

Woah. What a crazy 24 hrs. I'm alternately furious with the former foster mom, hopeful for you, and at the same time hopeful that the birth parents can get their shit together. I KNOW that you and D will be FAR superior parents, but there's this tiny piece of me that always hopes that people can overcome addiction problems and be better people. Unfortunately, when they fail (and true addicts always seem to fail at least once), if they have kids, it's a terrible situation for everyone.

It sounds like the girls are sweet and are adjusting well. I sincerely hope that you get to have them around for as long as possible. And if not, then I totally understand saying that you will only do straight adoption or private adoption. What a gut wrenching thing to have to do- raise children, only to be told, "Thanks for doing an awesome job, but we're taking them away to give them back to these people who neglected them so terribly that we had to take them out of that home for their safety. " Yeah, way to make you feel awesome... Grr.

Anyway, I am totally appalled at the former foster mom. She is very obviously doing it for the money. Who the fuck drops off a two year old with no diapers??? And drops off two kids at lunch time who haven't been fed? Ugh, it just makes me so mad.

I'm sorry that your dad wasn't better, but I'm happy that your mom seemed to know what to do. I think there must be some sort of facial recognition key or something, but practically every little girl on this planet LOVES Hello Kitty. I know I did when I was 7.

Anyway, it seems like you have your head on straight with this situation, as hard as it is. You are paying attention to what is best for the girls in this situation. You are making sure they are well-fed and educated. You are making sure they have a happy and loving home, and you are ensuring that others that have contact with them (birth parents and other crappy foster mom) follow the appropriate rules. It has to suck terribly, but I know that if this placement ends in July, you will have made these girls' lives so much better. And in some way, that means that you will kind of be at least a voice in the back of their head as a parent to them for the rest of their lives.

Whew. I'm hoping only for the very best for you guys. (And at some point, when you get a minute that isn't better spent elsewhere, I'll have to get your opinion on the syrah so I'll know what to send you next!)

Emily (Apron Strings) said...

Oh sweetie ... that was definitely a rough 24 hours. But you know what? You and D survived it and that's the most important thing. That and knowing that the girls are safe in your home.

You know, you might not think of it right now when you're tired and worn and emotionally exhausted, but ... Kara, you are one H*LL of a strong person.

Give yourself time and credit for surviving the first 24 hours. I can't tell you it will get better, but I can tell you that your strength will carry you forward.

Hugs to you and D and the girls ...

Io said...

See, Kate writes the long fabulous comments and says EVERYTHING I want to say! Damn Kate!
My heart is just melting over how sweet these girls sound. You are so strong to do this. I know you DO have it in you and I hope everything works out, though like Kate said, there is no easy solution.
You are amazing.

Amanda said...

it is so hard. every single moment. but so, so, worth it and even though it sucks, I promise it does get a little easier with time.

but it still sucks.

Emily said...

I don't now what else to add aside from "WOW!"

I don't know how you do it - but those two girls are so lucky that you do!

Hang in there!

Barb said...

Wow. What an honest, hearfelt post. The girls sound amazing, but I'm sorry for all your struggles. Some of the things you said just broke my heart.

I think I feel much the same way you do, but you have been much stronger than I could be. Let's keep each other going through this craziness ok? Although I'm still too chicken shit to even start.

A wonderful thing that has come out of this is that it's showing just what good parents you really are. It was already inside you. That makes me feel good to think it may be inside us already too.

Lots of love and strength.
B