Sunday, September 30, 2012

A year

Primo celebrated his first birthday in foster care. He has now spent over a year in foster care.

In some ways he is one of the lucky ones, he has no idea of a life any different than the life he has spent in our home for the last year. In many ways we are not so lucky, we know that he will probably leave us sometime during the next year.

Primo is lucky that we are all completely bonded to him, we are his peeps. He loves us and we love him. But he has other parents who want him back, he knows them and he likes them too.

Right now I feel that I will be able to handle my feelings when he leaves. However I feel sad for the pain that is coming for my children. The day Primo leaves will be full of tears and sadness.

I feel even worse for the sadness and pain that is coming for Primo. I feel like a fraud, like I have perpetrated a great scam, I have been his mother in every way possible all the while knowing that he will leave us. All he knows is that I'm his mother, Mike is his father and he is surrounded by beautiful, caring sisters. Primo's life as he knows it will simply disappear one day, evaporate into thin air. Every routine, every kiss, everyone he depends on, the pets he adores, the only bedroom he has ever known will all be lost to him.

The hardest thing for me will be knowing that Primo will feel rejected and abandon by me and my family.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Another benefit of going to court

was that I got to spend some time with Primo's parents without him being with us. This really has improved our relationship, which was already pretty good, but this brought us all a little closer.

I know the foster care system in my city involves a lot of exposure to the parents of our foster kids. We see them at every visit, before and after in the waiting room.  Because we also wait for Primo's siblings to arrive at visits sometime we spend quite a bit of time together caring for Primo. So far this has worked for Primo's parents and Mike and I.

I have also observed, while hanging out in the agency waiting room while Primo has his visits, that sometimes all this contact between foster parents and bio parents doesn't work well. I have seen shouting matches between foster Moms and bio Moms, and after one such event I noticed that the next week those foster children were with a different foster Mom.

I bet all of us who spend time in the waiting rooms of our foster care agencies or county offices have witnessed some interesting interactions, and by interesting I mean good, bad, scary, happy, sad and loving stuff.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The practical outcome of court

is that there will only be one visit a week to take Primo to.  This is a huge relief to me and frees up a lot of my time during the week.

Driving downtown twice a week was getting very old, so here is to the new schedule, I like it!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

an alternate universe

That is what court was like.

All I had heard from DH$ and my agency during the past two months leading up to court was that they were looking for permanency for Primo and his brothers. The kid's lawyer went so far as to say their goal for all three children was termination of parental rights (TPR).

Because of this, silly me went to court thinking the case would be heading towards TPR.

You could have knocked me over with a feather when DH$ recommended to the judge that the case continue towards reunification. This coupled with the fact that so many visits were missed this summer struck me as very odd.

Now, this was my first time in a big city court house. The whole place was GINORMOUS. I mean really, there were at least 100 people in our waiting room and this room was 1 of 6 waiting rooms, there were people waiting for 4 or 5 different courtrooms in each waiting room, and that was just on the first floor. The noise was crazy, you could barely hear the person next to you speaking, so holding a conversation was difficult at best.

As large as the waiting room was the court room was teeny tiny, and our time in the court room was equally as small. 15 min, yep that was it, and the judge kept reminding everyone of that fact about every two minutes.

I loved the judge, he did not put up with any crap and was not afraid to shut down a lawyer or witness if he felt they were too long winded. He was practical and fair.

All in all despite the shock of the DH$ recommendation to the judge I felt it was worth while to go to court. I gleaned some important info that I otherwise would have never know about and I realized that it is important for me to attend every court date in the future.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Total and complete hypothetical question here, honest ;}

Have any of your foster child/children's bio parents hit you up for money?

Were you so stunned you were not sure what to say?

Did you turn beet red?

Was your stomach churning?

How did YOU respond, hypothetically of course?

Friday, September 21, 2012

I'm not going to apologize

During the last year I have spent more than my fair share of time in "baby" stores. Searching through all of the new and exciting stuff they have for babies today that they did not have when my daughters were babies.

One thing I noticed about 6 months ago was a baby proof case for smart phones. I was aghast. What kind of parent would cover their smart phone in bright colors and teething stuff and hand it to their baby? I truly did not get it.

Fast forward to my life now with a very active and coordinated baby boy who cannot keep his hands off of our phones, laptops, remotes and ipad. He is OBSESSED!  Primo is at the age where it is hard to keep him occupied in public, especially if you are trying to eat or watch your children play sports. The "pretend" phones, remotes and baby computers do nothing for him, he knows imitators as soon as he lays eyes on them, he is not buying the fakes, nor will he spend any time with them.

So, I bought this the other day:

Needless to say Primo and I are both extremely delighted with my purchase.

My baby loves him some iPad.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Monday everyone!

We are enjoying some long awaited fall weather here, and I LOVE it.

It is amazing what lower humidity and moderate temperatures can do for the body and mind.

Primo and I have been to the park, where the three year old set has loved leading Primo around and showing him the sights of the park. The slides are still too hot to slide on, but I can feel Fall in the air and am ever optimistic that someday soon we will get some temps below 85.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What I did during the first day of daycare...

Pedicure (This was the most decadent thing I've done in over a year!)
Haircut (first one in 6 months)
Ate lunch alone (HEAVEN)

Those three things pretty much ate up my first 4 hours of daycare. Primo did surprisingly well, I think he actually enjoyed daycare. It was one of the only chances he has to see folks his own age as my house is usually crawling with teenagers.

I have committed to two half days of daycare a month. What do I have planned for my next few half days of freedom?

Teeth cleaning

You know, all those pesky little appointments that nobody wants to take a baby along to.
This second list is not as fun as the first one, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Seriously dudes!

I have gained 25 pounds since I started foster care.  Talk about stress. Not sure what to do, but something has got to change.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Do you know what I dislike more than driving to two visits a week, each of which are a 4 hour round trip?

Canceled visits.

There is some relief on my part that I don't have to spend 2 hours driving and 2 hours waiting, but I also feel like I'm not doing my job if I don't take Primo to his visits.

Some of you may think I'm crazy but I feel sad when Primo's visits are canceled.  He needs his parents and his brothers, and there have been more canceled visits than visits lately.