Thursday, November 22, 2012

Being thankful for the tough stuff

Here it is the morning of Thanksgiving day and I have, after over a year of being involved in Primo's foster care case, awoken to the fact that there will be no fairytale, happily ever after ending to this case.

There may be some "better" outcomes, or a just plain hard outcome, even a bad outcome. All outcomes will be far less than ideal.

After forming relationships with Primo's parents, the two sets of foster parents who have cared for his siblings and the social workers involved in the case I realize that nobody is going to have the ending they hope for. And speaking of siblings, there are a lot of them, as the case has progressed they have multiplied. Seriously, there are such a number of siblings that no one family could take them all under one roof, that is not even an option at this point.

Foster care has also taken a toll on my girls. They are old enough to understand the system and all of it's failings along with it's apparent lack of common sense and this just plain pisses them off. They are angry and scared for Primo and our family.

My children, through foster care, have been exposed to the tragic reality that there are fellow human beings suffering in ways they could never imagine before.

On the flip side my girls adore Primo and love having him as part of our family. Believe it or not these two sides to foster care form a whole that we are all, at this point, still willing to live with.

Despite all of the difficulties and sadness of Primo's case, being involved in foster care is still one of the best decisions Mike and I have ever made. Our whole family has been stretched and broadened by the experience. Foster care gives special meaning to our lives.

So, today I'm thankful for all the beautiful, wonderful, happy things in my life along with all of the difficult and tough stuff because in reality they are all one.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I'm having one of those days.

In my mind I call these days foster care days.

This is a day when my emotions hover close to the surface.

Everything makes me feel like crying, EVERYTHING.

I equate every real life or TV situation to foster care.

I rage inside about how unfair life is while at the same time feeling guilty about all of the support, love, opportunity and community my children have experienced.

I want to wake Primo up from his nap to hug and kiss him, seriously who wants to wake a toddler from a nap!

These are days when the chasm between foster care and my life seems so very wide.

Is there a bridge wide enough?

I am the bridge and on days like today I feel like I might snap.

I need to be shored up.

I need to understand how the so called fluke of birth places some children into comfy homes and lives and for others?

they land in the middle of a big mess.

How can we level the playing field?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Be a blessing

Today is our wedding anniversary.

Today I spent the day:

A. Cleaning the house after a weekend of fun

B. Driving to my sister's house to take her dog out because she was working late

C. Making dinner for a family down the street, whose Dad/husband is sick

D. Caring for another Mother's child

A good and useful day all around, even if Mike forgot our anniversary. (He did remember in the late afternoon, when he had to ask someone at work what the date was)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

When love is away

Mike has been away for work all week. It has been a long week. Primo has been sick,whiny and clingy.

As the week progressed and Primo felt better he still seemed out of sorts. He cried at the drop of a hat. He shunned the sisters he usually loves to see and play with after school.

He screamed in disappointment and despair when one morning while I was getting him dressed Dolly knocked on his bedroom door (you know to be sure she wouldn't brain him when she opened the door) and came in to say good bye as she headed out to school.

This event finally drove home the point that Primo was really missing Mike.

You see this is Mike's routine with Primo: every morning while Mike showers and gets ready for work Primo and I clean up from breakfast and go to Primo's room to get him dressed for the day. Every morning when Mike is ready for work he knocks on Primo's door and comes in to say good bye to both of us. Primo loves opening up his door and leaping into Mike's arms for hugs and kisses.

Primo and Mike are tight. They spend most evenings together and a lot of time on the weekends. Primo LOVES Mike, to him Mike is excitement, new experiences and fun food, you know the type, the parent who lets you empty out the contents of the kitchen cabinets and throw everything you find hither thither and doesn't make you help clean it up? In other words, the fun parent.

This week is the first week that Mike has spent away from Primo, ever. Clearly Primo is not happy about the disruption to his routine and the absence of Mike. He clings to me, but he is unhappy with many of my attempts to comfort him. Primo wants his MIKE!

This whole week has got me thinking about Primo going to live with his parents. I believe I now have a glimpse into how this will feel for him and how it will be for his parents, not easy.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I made it out early to vote. With a toddler this is no small thing.