Monday, October 7, 2013

On answered prayer

We finally met Grandpa G.  I was so nervous. What would he be like? What would G and N think of him?  He arrived in a very nice SUV with his daughter, an aunt of G and N's. G seemed shy at first but she did remember them and seemed excited to see them. N on the other hand had no clue and cried when we passed him off to Grandpa.  Then they gratefully hurried out the door so they wouldn't see me cry, which I did whole heartily when they left.  When they came back from the visit they were all smiles. Aunt had convinced G to let her do her hair up in a cute braided twist, and they genuinely seemed happy. The real test was hours later when they still seemed content and relaxed. Often a traumatic day for these kiddos shows up later when they become more needy, naughty and restless. By the next day, G was asking when she could go to grandpa's again and see her cousin. She had gotten to see a lot of family at Grandpa's including some half siblings.  In the days that followed she was able to visit again and each time she seemed more excited and talkative about her family. She bragged to us that she had two mommies and now two Grandpas!  N is more huggable with us and a little needy but since he doesn't know them, its expected. His relationship with his sister will be everything for him in the coming weeks.
I can only imagine how it must feel for G to finally be with family again, lots of family! There must be a sense of relief that they have finally come for her. That they love her, and that she is worth enough to them for them to be coming 'back' for her and her brother.
It made me think of one of our Thanksgivings in New York.  We got up early and went to the Macy's Day Parade on 34th st.  We had dinner with our New York family and enjoyed all the culinary delights of a great holiday feast. It was a fabulous day, exciting and fun. But I still longed for my own family. Family is like that. Even a semi-dysfunctional one.
It is not the prayer I prayed, but I feel that the Lord has answered us anyway. We hope the family will let us visit or call. We hope that G & N will know we will always love them and always welcome them into our arms should they ever need us.  As we prepare to say goodbye and let them move on, we remind ourselves that God has a plan for each of us. G and N included.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

We went to court last Tuesday to find out our foster kids' future. Mom is contesting so a new court date was set. The soonest everyone could meet is February 2014.  Yep, almost 6 months from now.  Mom gets her fair chance to be heard, but what about the kids.  GPS believes Mom wont get them back and is willing to move them to their permanent home now, but where is that?!
      We found out today that Grandpa was approved as their permanent guardian. From what I know, he doesn't speak very much English, he is single and only just got his own apartment so he can provide a place for them. I can not even describe my feelings right now. This evening I spent a half an hour crying with our cuties because she doesn't want to leave us. I know I am not saying the right thing. And I know there is no right thing to say.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Roller Coster ride

Things had been going well...  Our little ones have meet their new family, but to them, they have meet 'friends' of ours. They trusted them instantly because the Adoptive Family were our friends. Play dates, sleep overs, fun, gifts. Yep it was a great two weeks. Things had been going well. Then just as we were preparing to get official, we found out that Mom has recruited her father to step in and offer to take custody. 
     Sure, family is always a first choice... a YEAR ago! They have seen him once in that time and he waits till now to step forward?!  But this is normal and so we are on hold. Adoptive Family is still willing but they are on hold as well.  Grandpa has to check out, prove suitable and all that will take time.  We met recently with our 'team' and decided to back off the frequency of the visits and over nighters until thing are decided (again).  All 'parents' concerned came away feeling raw and confused. It was so much to absorb in one blow I found myself playing with our kids during the meeting just to find focus and block out all the feelings squeezing through me.  Just when we had seen them safely into their future, there is a real chance they will be sucked back into the life they had before. 
I've tried to contact the kids very uninvolved legal guardian, I've written a letter to the judge and I've prayed fervently. We are fasting for them on Sunday if anyone would like to add their fast and prayers to ours.
This morning I did something I haven't done in months. I woke up at 5am and went for a run.  I ached in a few old places and some new places but had a great time and felt refreshed. I tried to clean, organize and anchor my self and my spirit. Tomorrow our cuties come back from their visit with their Adoptive Family and we continue on just as we have.  We will be their safe haven for as long as we can. We will give them routine. We will love them. We will deal with tantrums and use each moment to teach. And we will pray that their life lessons wont be as hard as some children really experience day to day.
Pray for them.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

I met Mr. Right...

and Mrs. Right!

We had a Foster/Adoptive Parent meeting this week.  With out kids present and just a preliminary introduction. 
And we love them.
They are a beautiful couple, with children of their own. They were articulate, compassionate, knowledgable and fun.  They asked all the questions we would want our foster kid's parents to know. They have actually been preparing themselves and their family for two years to get everything in order. They were clear up front that they have seen friends go through this and have taken the romance out of this process. They understand that this will probably be the hardest thing they will ever do  and are committed to making the lives of these children better by what they can offer (and that is no small thing)! 
We already recognize that we have little say in the matter but meeting them has really comforted us. We asked what kind of involvement we might have in their future and the family is open to keeping in touch with us. Instant friends!  
And they asked the hard question, the one we dread but think every potential adoptive parent should ask of a foster family.  "Why are you not adopting them?"
This one brought tears to everyone as we explained we always wonder with each placement if this child might be a part of our family but with these two we have felt that there was another family out there meant for them, and we weren't it.
At the end of the meeting, the CPS staff told them they had to take 24hrs to think it over and that we would hear from them the next day. That was Tuesday. Wednesday they called. Yes! Monday they will come and meet the kids at our house  (oh help, I've got some cleaning to do).  From there, play dates, over nighters, and then it will be permanent. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Being Schooled

     A new school year is upon us and with it many new learning experiences.  We will have some changes in our home as well as our Foster Children transition to a new family.  Mom wasn't able to get it together and extended family is unavailable. Recently we met with their case worker, their developmental therapist, and our licensing worker to discuss the new family that has been chosen for them.  Even though I knew this was coming, I sat through the meeting trying to contain all the emotions that bubbled just under the surface.  I can not really express all that I am feeling through this experience. Sadness that they are going, betrayal that I am allowing this to happen, protective over my children's needs, anger, pity and sorrow for Mom who is loosing her beautiful children to her own addictions, impatience at this system, joy for the children's chance with a new and permanent family, what have I left out?
     As I sat in this meeting, I watched this group of people who have chose to make watching out for lost children their life's work. I felt such gratitude that we were taking such care to find a family that would love our Foster Children for the rest of their lives and possibly eternity.  I loved to hear that a couple with stable incomes, and three children of their own, counted their blessing and new they'd been given enough to share. I'm so glad to have known them,and enjoyed their personalities. I feel somehow that I have really lived, experiencing all this and letting all these emotions wash over me as my family has tried to make a difference.  Does that make sense?  Their therapist assured me that my emotions were important and by going through them, would be able to then help our foster daughter through her feelings.
    We will meet them on Tuesday right after meeting our kid's teachers. It will be our job to tell them everything we can about these children and give this new couple the best chance at making this permanent decision.  We will give them all the good (the easy job) and all the struggles that they may face from what we have learned about them in the 10 months they have lived with us. I know couples who take years before deciding on marriage, and these people will have one meeting to decide.  We will not introduce the kids until later and will let them get to know one another gradually. You can't move kids like you move furniture despite what some court says. 
      My prayer is that we are not part of their trauma, but are the bridge to a better future.  We are winging this. But this is the year to learn.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

now where were we...

So, yes it has been ages since my last post. I hope you are not looking at this blog neglect with disdain. Rather imagine that we are two friends sitting at a party catching up on old times when I was called into the other room to help out with something and then was hit by a car, and put into a comma.  What ever conversation we were once having becomes unimportant when you want to ask the bigger question "How are you doing?"
       And I answer, "These days, we are doing the best we can."
What car crash has derailed me so?
 These two little cuties added to my own little cuties and all that goes with it.

Knowing the need was great, we prayed, discussed and agreed to foster a sibling group.We have fostered for almost 3 years now and felt we could try two. Because if one extra was good, two would be great, right?!  Yes....and NOh boy! Our cuties have been with us for 8 months now and through all our experiences and ups and downs we have come to a crossroad. Mom may not be able to 'get it together' in a healthy amount of time and these little ones shouldn't be left waiting for grown-ups to grow up. What happens next?  Your guess is as good as ours! We feel there is a forever family out there for them. While we don't feel that we are it, our hearts are breaking wondering how this will all play out. In the next few weeks we will have an answer but until then, we are trying to figure out how to tell a three year old that Mommy isn't working out and that there may be another family for her. Our 1yr old won't even begin to know what is going on.
Through all this, I am wondering, did we help at all? Are we just another trauma for them? Is this worth it?
 Yes, Yes and Yes.
No, it's not easy. It's not even fair. And on top of all that I have just told you, I am about to try and recruit you. There is still such a need. In Arizona alone there are over 1200 babies in group homes. (A great place to survive, but not a healthy, loving family) But there are so many good kids that need a chance to see normal, even for a little while. It is heartbreaking, but it is the best  we can do. 
So my house hasn't been really cleaned in 8 months and I am tense with the stress of what will be decided in court in a few weeks but again, 'I'm doing the best I can.'

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

#12 Running

I'm a new comer to this sport but I will make up for lost time as best I can. I love the personal challenge running can give you when you are competing with yourself. I love the energy and fitness it gives me and I love the peace it gives when I am running early in the morning and the rest of the world is still asleep. It rejuvenates my tired body and my weary mind.