My days with him could be numbered. I’m pretty sure we will have him through Christmas, but with foster care there are never really any guarantees. I’m doing my best at not thinking about the future and just enjoying and spending time in the now. I love The Baby. I love T. They are both so precious to me. The goal of this whole thing is to heal this broken and sad family. The goal is to reunify them all after certain goals are met. That is the plan. But, I can’t help but feel like this baby has been saved. He has never known neglect, abuse, or any type of violence. He has never wanted for anything that he needed. He is happy, content, and perfect. He is new. He has his whole life ahead of him and at this point will never experience what T and Sad Eyes have experienced. He was saved. But, reunification is the goal. I must and will support this. So, for now I’ll just rock The Baby.
I could hear a sound coming from the boys’ room. I walked down the hall and listened at the door. I could hear whimpering. As I walked into the room I could tell the sound was coming from the lower bunk. “Mama… mama… mama…” Over and over his little voice called. “T, are you awake,” I asked. He jumped. “I was dreaming,” he said. I sat in the room until he was able to fall back asleep. I told him that I was so sorry. I told him that we love him and that we will love him and take care of him until he can be with his family again. And tonight I will pray. I will pray for his mama! He NEEDS her to succeed. All of her boys need her to succeed. I’ll pray for their mama.
A worker from an agency contracted to help the family showed up at my house at 7:30 a.m. today. She took The Baby and T to see their mother for a two hour visit at DHR with a specialized worker there to supervise and work with their mom on proper parenting techniques. She told me that she has been doing this kind of work since 1997. I packed the boys each a bag. I included snacks for T and money in case they needed to stop at McDonald’s while on the one hour drive. I wrote a note to their mom about The Baby’s schedule and included pre-portioned formula and pre-measured bottles. And… I sent them both off with a stranger. It felt so weird to do this. I would NEVER in a million years put my children into a car with a stranger, but this woman is contracted to do this for the family and I had no choice. So, off they went and they will be back here later today. This case is so different than Little Man and Baby Girl’s case. This mother will see The Baby at least two days a week and she will see T at least twice a month until the next court date where reunification is expected to happen. We will all be very busy during these next three months working with so many people’s schedules and making sure that everyone is getting to where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there. God bless this family. I really really hope and pray they can make this work. These four brothers deserve to all be together again. T deserves for his mama to be his hero. He NEEDS her to succeed.
Yesterday T, The Baby and their other two brothers all had a visit. I met the the foster mama of Sad Eyes and she is perfect for him! I almost cried! When he saw me, he ran to me and hugged me. Then he played with T. They chased each other around the halls of DHR and threw bouncy balls for each other to catch. Their two year old brother was there too and he is a ball of energy. He babbled and yelled and happily played with his brothers. But, back to Sad Eyes and his foster mama. They walked into the building together, he clung to her leg. When she told of the adventures they’ve had together so far, her eyes sparkled. She loves him! She loves him so much! She’s a single mama and she is trained in theraputic care. Sad Eyes is her one and only and it’s just the two of them and three loving dogs at her house. They like the same things and really enjoy being around each other. Does Sad Eyes still have his rages? Yes, he does, but his foster mama is trained in how to handle them and I’m happy to report that Sad Eyes is getting amazing care along with living with a mama who really really loves him! My heart is so happy!
Tucking him in and reading a book. Saying, “goodnight.” I do it every night. Nothing new. Nothing has changed. Only tonight when I said, “I love you,” T said, “I love you too.”
Around 10:00 a.m. yesterday, I got this text. It was from T’s social worker. It said, “I don’t usually do this sort of thing via text, but mom had the baby and he is being released from the hospital today. Can you be ready for him by this afternoon?” It took me less than two seconds to text back, “YES!”
So, “The Baby” is here with us now. Good thing our master bedroom has room for two cribs! He is healthy as far as we can tell and although he didn’t sleep much last night, his precious little sounds were so adorable and totally made up for any lack of sleep! God is good! I am praising the Lord that T and his brother can live here together at our house for now.
After I read him his bedtime story last night and prayed with him, T looked up at me and said, “You know, I could go live with my Dad’s girlfriend. She and my mom talked about it, they’re friends.” A little surprised I replied, “Oh, really?” “Yea,” T replied, “but, you have an Xbox.”
She has officially missed two out of four of the weekly phone call visits with T. It totally stinks being the foster parent in these types of situations. He fidgets, he acts silly, he engrosses himself in something trying to keep his mind busy and he waits. The phone rings and he jumps up only for me to answer it and talk to a friend for a few seconds before hanging up again, because its her time to call and I want the line to be available. I walk back and forth past my phone and check it for missed calls. Two hours go by and I officially give up. Parents have been late with their phone calls before, but it is bedtime now, so I assume it is probably not going to happen tonight.
I put T and Oldest Boy to bed. I read them their stories. I ask them if they have any prayer requests before I say their prayers with them. My son asks for his foot to feel better and then I look at T. I already know what he’s thinking. He is worried about his mom. He asks me to pray for her and of course I say that I will. We pray to God and ask for T’s mom to be healthy, happy, and safe. I hope that my words ease his mind now that he knows our Heavenly Father has heard his prayer.
Tonight as he ate his last bite of lasagna T looked at me and said, “you’re different than my real mom. Whenever I ask her to do something for me, she just never does it.” I was quiet and listened as three seconds later he continued, “you cook dinner food for us, my mom doesn’t cook.” We all just kind of sat there. There wasn’t really anything to say. It’s good to just listen and allow T to make his own observations.
It really brings me to my knees in prayer though, for all of the children out there who go without what my children take very much for granted. My children fully expect a warm yummy dinner every night and don’t think twice about it. Many kids go without dinner or maybe have to figure out how to provide food for themselves. Tonight, I’m really happy he is here with us eating what he called, “the best lasagna ever!”
Baby Girl came to us two years ago! Two years! So much has happened in the last two years, but one thing has always remained the same and that is our love for her and desire to be there for her forever! Our long journey to wait on her biological family to figure things out or make a decision about her future has come to an end. The state and the judge ruling over the case have decided that two years is enough time for her to live in foster care. Permanency is what she needs. We are the permanent solution. In less than one month we will go to court and be present as the judge terminates parental rights. After that we will be allowed to adopt Baby Girl! I cannot even express in words what this means to us! After 2 years of being her mommy and daddy and sisters and brothers she will finally get to share our last name!