Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hello, blog.

It's been making me crazy that I haven't had time to visit here. I can tell by all the support I've gotten lately that I still have readers. Thank you for sticking around.

Things are picking up in intensity pretty much everywhere right now. We signed the papers at the lawyers last Monday and are just waiting for the call that we have a court date. Unbelievable! The same week we finally got placement, only 3 months after the child moved in with us! Placement means that she is officially in our custody and we get the stipend check for her. It is ridiculous that it took so long. Things are getting harder. M is pushing more and more at Dad and he falls into the argument trap nearly every time. It's frustrating and hard to watch. I made a family appointment with the new therapist, which the therapist and I agreed on the last time I saw her, hoping that she could help him learn to communicate. She spent the whole time focusing on what M could do to avoid getting into arguments with Dad. That's great, I suppose, but she's not the whole problem, maybe not even half. I was really hoping the therapist would spend more time on building their relationship, but she didn't even seem to want us there. She specifically asked that we not come to the next session. I know from the research I've done and some of the blogs I've read that this is pretty much the opposite of what you want with attachment issues, but I think I'm okay with it for now. M needs a safe place to tell someone she is mad at us, or her life sucks, or she just wants to go live with her brother. I'm going to watch carefully to see how things are going with this therapist and hopefully be able to make the right decision in the future. Today highlighted a part of older child foster care adoption that you never hear about. An old friend of M's mother found M on her sister's facebook page. She sent a message to M asking her to call. M asked me if she could and told me that the friend was like a grandmother to her when she was little. I said she could call her and ended up talking to her myself. She sounds like a nice enough person on the phone and seemed to genuinely care about M and her siblings, but she is definitely an enabler. She went through almost the whole story of how the kids were living when she knew them and how they got taken away. Everything was the dad's fault. She glossed over the fact that the mom disappeared for almost a year and when she came back immediately gave birth to a baby that was obviously not her husband's. She didn't mention that the Mom was at a shelter and getting services and chose to spend the grocery money on cigarettes and useless crap. She is still friends with M's mom and I'm worried that if they spend time together M will think she can get back together with her mom. Right now she has a lot of resentment towards her and says she doesn't want anything to do with her, but that could very well change. There was a time when I was her age that I was given the chance to leave my family for good. I couldn't do it. Even though I thought I hated them and couldn't stand to live with them, they were my family and I just couldn't leave. I think most kids feel that way. It wouldn't surprise me if M got mad one day and ran away to live with her mother or the family friend. So all that to say that I'm nervous about her spending time with her mom and the family friend, but I won't keep her from seeing them. I do think it should wait until after the adoption is finalized for her to visit them, and M is very upset about that. She cried and said it wasn't fair, and I told her I know. It's not fair. You've had a very unfair life. I'm just trying my best to protect you and I think it would be a bad idea to see this friend before the adoption is final. She doesn't understand and thinks I'm being mean. I just hope I'm making the right decisions. I don't want her to lose those connections from her childhood, but if they are hurting her we may not have the choice. Her social worker told me that one thing not in our favor for placing her with us was that we lived so close to her mom. They were afraid we would run into her in the grocery store or something. There must be a reason that they didn't consider the mom or the family friend when M was sent back here. I wish they could tell me so we would be prepared. No one ever mentioned how you were supposed to handle relationships with birth families after adoption. I guess they assume in most cases there wouldn't be one. This case is more of a gray area because the kids were actually removed from the father. The mom just wasn't around to fight for her kids. The family friend seems to think they were removed unjustly and also said she would have adopted them. That worries me because I don't want her saying that to M before the adoption. It would really confuse and upset her to hear that she could have had a family all this time when I know it probably wasn't possible or the caseworker would have tried it (at least I hope that's the case). Well, this is already really long and rambling. I need to get to bed. Thanks for listening if you made it this far. If anyone has experience with first moms/families, please let me know.

5 comments:

  1. Does anybody know why none of my line breaks showed up? This isn't all one paragraph when I type it out. Weird.

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  2. The new blogger did this to me, too. I had to hit the edit/compose/HTML tab to get mine to work right. I am thrilled that your court date is close. I think it is really safe for someone who hasn't bothered to adopt M, to say that she would have after the fact. That would hurt anyone to know. Trust your instincts. The extended family can either help M transition, or make her feel that she just missed a magical normal life by centimeters, something that would be hard to have come crashing down.

    I hope that your husband and M can come to better communication terms and that therapy will help. Thinking of you as you go through this.

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  3. We don't have parents in the picture, but trying to find a balance with keeping the sibling connection is a challenge. This is a great blog that you might find helpful: http://rebecca-hawkes.blogspot.com/ They have an open relationship with the first mother of a child they adopted from foster care. The first mom has a blog of her own, too.

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  4. I would write a contract. It should outline the basics: frequency of contact as in, pictures, calls, visits. Topics may NOT include: venting adult conversations (i.e. reasons for being in care), undermining you as parent, money, etc.

    This of course, is non-binding and can be changed by you at any time.

    My kid is a bit too young so I haven't done this yet but when family contact moves beyond emails.

    Here's a link that might help:
    http://forums.adoption.com/foster-parent-support/398644-open-adoption-considerations.html?highlight=contract

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  5. Hi, I went through quite a struggle with my little guys bio parents. It was an ugly five year fight through social workers, court hearings, ugly visitations where parents had DV issues and came intoxicated and so on. The bio mom was released from a three year prison sentence two years ago. She is completely reformed and now is an AMAZING woman. Believe it or not, she now spends EVERY weekend in our home. We are a very unique situation, but for us it works. I do remember CLEARLY how ugly she was for many years. I pray your M, doesn't suffer because of her bio family any more and that she truly cling to you. She will see over time that YOU are her strong, loving, mom. You are building a foundation that she's never known, it sounds like you're doing a great job.

    Sincerely
    Casey
    http://asinglefostermomsdiary.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete