T for five days

We went and picked T up today, so that he can stay with us for five days.  We are so excited to have him here and the kids fell right back into their old routines tonight.  There was LOTS of laughing and giggling and my heart is very very happy this evening.

T has known about this visit with us for a few days now, but the look on his face when we pulled into his driveway was priceless!  The grin from ear to ear and the sparkle in his eyes is worth the six hour drive!  He is here!  We get him for five whole days!  The Baby didn’t recognize us when we first walked into the house, but as soon as we started talking to him, his eyes lit up and he reached up towards me. We all held him and played with him and I thought about how blessed I am that even though I don’t get to raise him and have him at our house, I do get to see him and watch him grow up!  I feel so lucky!

So, this weekend with T will be packed with swimming, favorite foods, and lots of playtime!  Middle Girl wants to show T how she can ride a two-wheeler now and Only Boy wants to teach T how to play his favorite new card game.  We’ll watch movies and eat popcorn at night and make a few new memories!  This weekend will be fun!  I’m so glad we get to have T with us for five whole days! 

Missing T and The Baby

Friends of our family came over tonight whom we haven’t seen in a year.  Our two families had fun swimming in the backyard and eating BBQ.  At the end of the night we shared stories and memories from the past year and we were able to show pics of T and The Baby because our friends, living in another state have never met them.  It made me happy to talk about them.  Sad too, if I’m honest.  I miss them.  I miss my VERY full house.  I don’t miss the laundry, but I miss pretty much everything else.  We are hoping for a visit with them soon, probably in the next few weeks.  I can’t wait!  T has asked his new foster mom if he can come spend the night with us and his social worker has approved the visit.  We are looking forward to it!  

Updates on the boys

T and The Baby are doing great in their new foster home with their brother, Sad Eyes.  Their other brother will hopefully be able to move in with them soon.  I get videos, pictures, and texts almost daily and it has made this transition so much easier than I had expected.  We miss them!  But, I still get to see them and hear about them and know how happy they are to be together.  That makes it all worth it!  T told his new foster mama that his “favorite” thing about being at her house is, “getting to live with my brothers.”  My heart smiled when I heard that he said that.  We did the right thing!  These boys are together!  

Their mother has stopped calling and visiting.  She has removed herself from the picture.  I don’t know why and I’m sure T and Sad Eyes notice her absense in their lives, but they have not showed it with any new behaviors.  Years of counseling is in the future for these boys, I am sure.  But, they’re together and enjoying summer! 

The Baby leaves in 3 days.

I’m rocking him to sleep as I type this post with one hand.  I don’t want to put him in his bed just yet.  You see, The Baby leaves in just three more days.  It feels so weird. It feels so final.  I’m happy for his new foster mom.  She is eventually going to have the entire sibling group of four boys with her.  This is a good thing!  I’m just going to miss him.  When you raise a baby from 2 days to 6 months, you get attached, very attached.  And, I love him.  But, loving and letting go is part of foster care.  Sometimes, I wonder if we will ever do this again.  Thankfully, I don’t have to decide that right now.  I just have to rock him to sleep.  

Less than 30 days left with The Baby

We got the text today.  The Baby will transition to his new home in less than 30 days and T will follow him a few short weeks after that.  I believe in this move.  I believe in keeping siblings together.  I agree with everyone involved that this move is positive.  My head tells me how “good” this is, but my heart breaks a little thinking about it.  I have been his foster mama since he was two days old.  I have been there for everything and have spent 24/7 with him and near him.  He and I are incredibly bonded.  I’ve given him a good start, a peaceful home, and a healthy beginning.  I am so happy to have gotten to love and nurture this precious little one for the past five months.  It was a blessing in my life and I am SO glad we got that call so many months ago.  

T and The Baby will leave.

T and The Baby will leave to go and live with Sad Eyes at the end of May.  This is actually a VERY good thing and something I am very supportive of and happy about.  Often times in foster care siblings get separated and never reunified. That is a tragedy.  But, that will not happen in this case.  The boys will live together in the foster home where Sad Eyes lives now and will stay there until reunification or adoption.  Sad Eyes is doing so much better in his therapeutic home and his foster mother has agreed to take all of the brothers, so that they can live together.  This is a success in foster care.  I will miss the boys, especially The Baby.  We have had him since birth and he and I are so bonded, but this is still a good thing.  It will be hard, but in the end extremely good for all of the boys!  

She hasn’t done anything they’ve asked, but blames it on them.

I would be her biggest cheer leader!  I would listen to her worries, talk things out with her, offer help and support, and be “on her side,” but she refuses.  She refuses to do anything positive or take any steps to reunify with her boys.  Foster care is so hard!  I want nothing more than for these boys to go home to their mama right now!  For her to be their hero!  For her to come through for them!  But… She isn’t.  She is going on vacation to a beach resort, buying all sorts of things for herself and criticizing the very people who are trying to help her!  I’m so mad some days, I could just scream!  So, I keep rocking the baby, feeding him, loving him and changing him.  I keep talking to T about telling the truth and helping him with his homework.  I keep tucking them in at night, praying with them/ for them and treating them as if they were my own.  But, the truth is they are not and they won’t be.  There are four of them scattered in three foster homes and they need to be reunited.  One way or another we need to get these brothers under the same roof again.  I will fight for that for them because no matter what they deserve to be together! 

The 1st person I called on Christmas Day

The first person I called on Christmas Day was the mother of the children I am raising.  The person I texted the most pictures to on Christmas Day is the woman with no children to hold, no smiles to see, and no giggles to hear on this happiest of days.  For her, today isn’t happy.  She has lost her children.  They live with me and my family now.  She should be working to get them back, I hope that she is!  I hope she realizes how special they are and how much they are worth fighting for.  They are worth it!  These precious gifts that God has given her.  This morning was wonderful!  The entire day at our house was just plain perfect!  God has been so good to us this year!  But, as I video taped the squeals, the joy and all of the excitement of today, I couldn’t help but think of her, the woman without her children on Christmas Day.  

Making it Special

 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!

6 Kids and Santa!

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!