The Twins and Baby Girl go to the same preschool where I also work two days a week. It’s fun because from my classroom window I can look outside and “spy” on them while they are on the playground. It’s free time and there are three classes full of friends they could play with, but over the past few weeks when I look outside they are always together! They really are like triplets now. Baby Girl is only a few months older than K and J, so I really do have three three-year olds, “foster triplets.”
It makes my heart so happy to look out the window and see that even though they could literally play with anyone else, they still play with each other!
I’m throwing it out! I HATE that dress! It was something I bought right before court a year and a half ago. I wore it the day I took my precious Little Man to be reunified with his birth family. The family that had made absolutely NO effort to gain custody of him, but because “blood is best” as far as courts are concerned, he was gone. My little boy! My heart! The one who clung to me and wouldn’t get out of my truck that morning. My baby who called, “Mama, no go! Mama, no go!”
Oh how I hate that dress! I wore it that day. The ugliest dress in my closet. It has hung there for a year and a half just staring at me and making me sick. I’ve kept it just in case these”feelings” went away and I could wear it again. It cost money, was my rational. It makes no sense to just throw it away. I’m being silly. The dress if fine, it is basically brand new. I’m being wasteful. BUT, TODAY I DON’T CARE! I’m tossing it! Not in the trash, but in the donation pile! Someone else can wear that dress. Someone who doesn’t know about the heartbreak. Someone who doesn’t feel the pain. Someone who doesn’t ache for the little boy who was mine. Someone who didn’t see him in the distance getting into a stranger’s car at the courthouse with all of his earthly things, as I rode away. Someone who didn’t sob and sob and sob as my friend drove me home. Someone else can wear that dress. I hate that dress!
Dear Future Foster Son or Daughter,
We are waiting for you! We are praying for you. We are praying that God prepares us and makes us ready to be exactly what you need! I have your crib and/or bunk bed all set up and ready for you. We talk about you and hope to get to take care of you soon. I don’t know how you’ll come to us or why, but we feel ready. I know it will be tragedy that brings you to us and for that my heart hurts. We promise to love you fully, speak up for your needs, and do whatever it takes to help you in your time of crisis. We don’t know you yet, but we love you!
Your Foster Family
Last night I cried my eyes out after receiving a text and a pic from T’s new foster mom. She had gone into his room to check on him before going to sleep and there he was, asleep holding our picture on his chest. She took a pic of him sleeping peacefully like that and sent it to me. Before T moved, I had printed out a pic of all the kids playing in the pool together and typed the words, “We love you T!” on it. I put the pic in a frame and as we moved him into his new bedroom yesterday, I placed the picture frame on his new bedside table. Falling asleep for the very first time in his new home, he held our picture and our message of love to him to his chest as he fell asleep. My heart just broke! He did love us after all. He loved us. And we love him! We love you T! You will be in our hearts forever! We are so happy you will get to grow up with your brothers, ALL of them! We love you.
Our fostering agency is in trouble financially. They are no longer training new foster parents in our area. They cut our social worker’s hours to part-time. And T just left to be with his brothers today. I’m no longer a foster mom.
Driving home after moving T into his new house, I felt weird. Going from six kiddos in the backseat to only four in less than two weeks time is kind of a shock. Yes, we knew it was coming. Yes, I’ll see The Baby and T again. But, I’m not their foster mom anymore. I’m not anyone’s foster mom anymore. Baby Girl is adopted and as of today my title of “foster mom” is gone. I’m just “mom.”
I LOVE being just “mom!” Love it! It’s just strange that I’m not also a foster mom anymore. 2 1/2 years as a foster mom and just like that, it’s over. Will I ever get to be one again? I don’t know? We shall see what God has in store for me, for our family. We shall see.
Tonight it is quiet, too quiet! My Little Man should be here. He should. My life will never be the same after being his mommy. When it gets really quiet and the noise of the busy day is gone, I will probably always sit missing him. He was and is “my son of my heart.” I wonder what he’s doing. I wonder if he still remembers us. I wonder how I will ever even begin to explain to Baby Girl why her brother had to go. I made my family promise when that day comes that they will tell her how hard we fought to keep them together, to raise them together. I made them promise. The house is too quiet. He isn’t here. I miss my Little Man!
Sad Eyes and T haven’t seen each other since Thanksgiving. The boys live 3 hours apart. So, today we’re meeting up, just the boys and their foster families for a Christmas visit! If I haven’t mentioned it before, I will now. Sad Eyes has the BEST foster mama! She seriously is amazing! She and I talk via text almost every single day. We share pictures of the boys and stories of what they are doing. Best of all is the support she and I can give each other as we care for boys who have been through trauma. It is overwhelming sometimes to parent children from hard places. Having her to talk to has proved to be a kind of therapy for me as I listen to and help a little boy very hurt by his first family. The boys each are so different in how they handle their emotions and feelings. T holds a lot inside and hides his feelings. Sad Eyes lets it all out and acts out his feelings. But, even though the boys react very differently to life, they have experienced life together for the past 6 years, so getting them together is of a high importance. Remaining close and sharing new positive experiences is a goal for both foster families. So, we’re off! Driving three hours to get these precious boys together!
This is likely our only Christmas with T and The Baby. I want to make it special. Special for them and special for us, their foster family. We love them as if they were our own, but they are not. They will have two Christmases this year. One, at a two hour visit with their biological family and one on Christmas Day with us. Both should be filled with love and laughter and fun, but one will be observed by social workers and therapists and one will be with our family, one that T does not consider to be his own.
So, to make things special, we have gone to see Christmas light displays, made gingerbread houses, decorated the tree, made fun “holiday” snacks for school classmates, bought gifts for T and The Baby’s other two brothers, and participated in two different Christmas play productions. It’s been quite a busy and wonderful season! No matter where these precious boys are next year, I wanted this year to be special!
Yes, yes we did! We took six children ages 14, 11, 8, 7, 2, and 4 weeks old to see Santa this morning. Boy, am I glad that I made reservations online this year! We got to the mall and literally had to wait less than 10 minutes while others were waiting two hours to see Santa. They all smiled! Nobody cried and The Baby slept through it! It was a Christmas miracle! I just love this time of year!
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.