So, we have dealt with the back and forth with DHS. I’ll spare you the two and a half months worth of DHS drama, but essentially, they told us initially that Boo would need to be separated from her little brothers because she had become too “parentified”. We immediately requested an ICPC to bring her the 1500 miles to our home, and DHS agreed to it. Bad sign for Wren.
Husband and I are, in theory, all for keeping siblings together, especially those who are already so strongly bonded. But the kids’ county didn’t put up too much of a fight when we requested Boo, and in fact, never even asked us to take the boys. So, now we’re preparing for our Boo to come back to us after all these years. She was my first baby, when I was just 23 years old, and was with me from when she was 12 months old through 24 months old. I’ll never forget how my arms ached after she left. I would lay down at night, and they would literally ache from not carrying her during the day, from not hugging and loving on her. Her and her brother’s departure launched, in retrospect, the most trying two year period of my marriage and my life. And now she is coming back at ten, almost eleven, years of age. The little girl who once knew me as Mommy will be back in our home.
My feelings about this are nothing if not ambivalent. I mean, I’m so excited she’s coming back- BEYOND thrilled. But why did she have to leave in the first place? I was the only Mom she knew. Why couldn’t she have stayed and been saved the heartache and grief this recent removal and termination has begun and will be sure to bring? Were those 8 years with her mom worth it? What about the last year or so? Does she even recognize her mom as a different person? Did she sense anything was wrong? Will she grow up and resent us for adopting her? I realize I am assuming here that Wren’s rights will be terminated soon, and while I know nothing is certain in Foster Care, I am relatively sure this will occur swiftly due to the severity and sensational nature of this case.
I wonder if Boo will grow up thankful for the time she DID have with her mom? For the happy memories she’s sure to have of a better time, when her mom was loving and present? How can I possibly be so selfish as to covet those years and wish to steal them for myself instead of Wren? Especially when I know that if J and Boo and stayed with us, we never would have had Little Lady. I’m a walking contradiction of feelings and emotions.
Our house, once perfect for foster kids, has changed significantly. The office has become Little Lady’s nursery and the office has moved out onto the dining room table. The two back bedrooms, once upon a time two kid bedrooms, are now a room for finishing wood projects and holding materials for husband’s business that can’t be left out in the cold garage, and a storage/guest room filled with off-season clothing, old books, extra blankets, and hand me downs from friends for Little Lady when she gets older. Generally, this would not be a problem if we had a basement, attic or a garage to store all this extra stuff, but we don’t. I’m going to have to start working on clearing out the guest room and trying to figure out what to do with the rest of the stuff. If I pack it all up in storage bins, I’m hoping my mom will let me store a lot of it at her house. ‘Cause my mom rocks. Hope I’m as awesome a mom as mine is.
…And I’m back. With another post. Kind of a crazy one.
Husband and I had a talk. It didn’t go the way I expected it to. He told me he was done fostering, but wasn’t ready to close our home, whatever that meant. He said that after Blue Eyes, he just couldn’t see himself fostering again, but he wants kids. So we started pursing fertility treatments like we’ve never pursued them before. And lo and behold… for the first time in my many many many years of TTC, I got to see those two perfect pink lines.
And things haven’t been the same since. Baby Flora was born the last week of May 2014. She is the light of our lives, the love we knew was possible but hadn’t fully experienced. She is ours, and we’ve fallen in love. As of today, Little Lady is 13 weeks old. (13 WEEKS!!)
I LOVED being pregnant. I loved being encouraged to eat a lot. I loved the special treatment I received from folks, offering me their seats and opening doors for me. I loved the special knowing that there was a life growing inside of me. -OUR life. Feeling her kick was amazing. Each time she had a bout of hiccups, I became ecstatic and had to share it with whoever was around me. She got the hiccups at least twice a day, every day.
Four weeks before Little Lady was born, her cousin came into this world. Wren, my sister-in-law, birthed her fourth and final child. Wren had been instrumental in our becoming foster parents ten years ago, when her first two children, J- age 3 and Boo- 9 months, were removed from her care. We lived in an adjoining state at the time, so an ICPC was conducted in order for us to get custody. We became licensed and were granted temporary custody of the kids. Wren wasn’t getting herself together, and even though the case was a concurrent placement, we realized after seven months that we were in love with the kids and completely ready to adopt. DHS was ready to go for TPR. Wren must’ve smelled the time running out, because she threw herself into one final attempt to work her case plan… and did. 4 months later we were making the painful transition of sending her kids back to her.
At first, things went great. Wren wasn’t as attentive a parent as I would have liked to see, and she harbored a lot of guilt that kept her from being the disciplinarian she could’ve and should’ve been. But the kids were safe and happy, they adjusted well, and we were able to continue a wonderful relationship with them, and developed one with Wren.
A few years later, Wren, enrolled in nursing school, fell in love with a man. They moved in together, and she became pregnant. This time, she said, she would do things right. A few months after Brother was born, Wren and her boyfriend were married. She was close to graduating from school, was working full time, and a full time mommy to three kids. We heard over and over from Wren and other family members that her husband was ‘lazy’ and ‘useless’, but we, being 1,500 miles away at this point, weren’t really sure what that meant.
Just a few months shy of her graduating, right around the same time I had my big news -IT’S A DOUBLE PINK LINE!!-, Wren shared her big news- IT’S A DOUBLE PINK LINE!! Now, I’m one for always celebrating a pink line, but even for me, this was a toughie. She and her husband were barely able to support the family they had now. How would they support a new baby?? Her reaction when I told her I was expecting and would give birth right around the same time as her? “Oh, wow. That’s great. I was going to ask you guys if you wanted to adopt this one, but I guess you don’t now.” Um, what? She and I both kind of laughed that comment off, but I couldn’t help but wonder why she said it in the first place. That was my first clue that something wasn’t right.
My next clue was that when I would ask her how things were going at school, how tests and homework and working all while pregnant and caring for 3 other kids was, she would say fine, but she hadn’t slept for 2 days. I’d laugh and then say, how is that possible? All I DO is sleep. Sleeping was my job the entire first trimester. But she was serious. She hadn’t slept for 2 days. Then, after graduation, she suddenly dropped from our lives. Gone.
She didn’t text or call about the gifts we sent for Christmas, and neither did the kids. She stopped answering our calls. She just… disappeared. Family would tell us she and the kids were alive and well, but we would hardly know it.
Days before Baby G is born, she starts communicating with me again via a few text messages. She has decided to get her tubes tied. After she is released from the hospital, I hear nothing. I give birth to our first daughter. I hear nothing from her.
In order to make a long story a little shorter, I’ll get to the point. She’s been using again, and this time it’s bad. The kids have been removed. J’s father has custody of him. J, who was just 3 when he lived with us, is now 13, a TEENAGER, and NOT in foster care, Praise God. But Boo (now 10), Brother (now 4) and Baby G (newborn) are all back in care. And DHS is moving to terminate rights immediately. This is how far gone Wren is. It’s bad.