…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.