Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tiny baby and a Friend

Last Saturday, we four girls attended a baby shower for my nephew Justin and his wife, Juliet.  It was Tink's first comprehension of pregnancy.  She wanted to know was it Juliet's birthday (?) and I explained that, no, she had a tiny baby in her tummy so these were presents for the baby.    Juliet sat quite near us so Tink had a lot of time to examine that tummy.  As we were saying goodbye, Tink said to me, "Ju-wee not fat.  She had tiny baby." 

"Right," I say, "Tiny baby."

Nothing further is mentioned and all Tink will tell The Captain about the party is that it was really fun, she had cake! and there were stairs!!! 

Wednesday morning Tink is sitting in her high chair examining her arm.  I figured she was looking for a "Boob-boob" to complain about.  Instead she says, "Mama, come here."

I walk over.  She points to the chubby part of her arm.

"Guess what, mama?  I have a tiny baby in here!"

Speaking of babies, Tink is having a ball playing babies with our foster-friend.  That's right, we got a new friend yesterday.  She turned 3 recently and she is the same girl who was here in December just before Christmas.  She walked right in and called me "Meemaw."   It sounds like a foster parent's dream, but it is actually pretty sad that this little girl can so easily re-start life in a new place.  Daddy signed relinquishment this time so she will get a "forever family" soon.  Bless her.

Pepper had her third track meet on Thursday.  She runs the 800 and the 1600 (the race formerly known as "the mile.").  She has been struggling a lot with running as she has had one virus after another this year.  This time around she shaved several seconds off her 800 time and thirty seconds off her mile.  She looked good and passed three or four people on the way around.  So proud of her!

My camera hates me this week so no pics today!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Mutiny Rages On . . . and a Breakthrough

Two days in a row last week, The Captain's teachers did not call.  A glimmer of hope surged in me;  was the mutiny over?  Had the teachers regained control of the classroom and were The Captain's attempts to overthrow the authorities thwarted once and for all? 

"Nah," as Tink would say.  It was a temporary truce.  On Friday I sent cupcakes so he could celebrate his birthday which would occur over spring break.  True to form, the impending celebration pushed his buttons and he had what was, arguably, his worst day ever.  He pulled it together just in time to wear his birthday crown and share the cupcakes and chocolate milk we'd sent.  Poor baby.

After a challenging weekend in which Dear Hubby's Grandma went to meet her maker after 100 years, 1 month and 2 weeks on earth, we headed north for the funeral.  We passed through The Littles hometown on the way and I saw a glimmer of recognition in The Captain.  He hardly slept our two nights away from home, and laid awake for hours on Wednesday night, back in his own bed.  This is the behavior we saw when he used to have weekly visits. 

I considered the attachment therapist's concern about the (now) quarterly visits.  I recalled The Captain's behavior after the last visit.  I pondered CPS' concern about agreeing to the visits in mediation.  I remembered the mediated agreement is non-binding and not enforceable by the court.  I took all of this to Dear Hubby.  We decided bio-mom will not see The Captain again.  It is too hard for him.

Yesterday, as if somehow knowing we'd made this decision, this boy exercised all sorts of torture on his siblings.  Finally, after numerous interventions, I pulled him aside to ask what in the world was going on.  I did not expect an answer.  He said, simply, that he missed her. 

This is both a tremendous breakthrough and the most heartbreaking thing ever.  I am well acquainted with the heartbreak of knowing your parents chose not to raise you. We've have and are experiencing this with Sunshine and Pepper.  But this heartbreak is different.  This is the heartbreak of being bonded to someone who is so ill-equipped to raise you and who makes such poor choices that the state has decided they must not raise you.  How do you help that heartbreak?  And how do you express it to a just-four-year-old who has little mastery of the language?

I simply told him the truth.  That forever I was his mama, and the other one would not be in his life.  I also told him I was so sorry it had to be that way and that he was in pain.  He seemed satisfied with the response and ran off to play.  Last night he slept soundly and today he is a charmer.  I know it won't last forever, but for now, it's enough.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


 Pepper and Sunshine are creative in coming up with ways to entertain The Littles.  On a recent 84 degree day, Sunshine got out the hose.

We probably didn't think it through.  It was 84 degrees, but the water was not.  Two days later, The Blitz was out of commission with a cold and fever.  Mommy really didn't think that one through. 

Poor baby.  Couldn't finish his lunch!
He connected the dots, too, because on the day he was the most ill, I sent Tinker and the Captain out to play with a stern admonishment to stay out of the water because it was too cold.  The Blitz looked at me sadly and said, "Cold.  My nose.  Sick."   He is clearly a lot smarter than I am.

Pepper loves to play makeover with the kids.  On this day she used tape and turned them into the three little pigs.  They all thought it was hilarious.  Enjoy the photos because I should probably destroy them!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

You Can't Hurry Love

A few days ago during nap time my phone rang and Sunshine, reading the caller ID, yelled, "It's The Captain's school."

"Hmmm," I thought, "time for the ARD review already?"

Not quite.  The Captain, it seems, had been falling apart at school.  Can you say, "Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, BING!?"

This child could be a cover model for a story entitled,  "What to Expect of Your (Former) Foster Child."   Poor boy.  I'm sure that his teachers, who at least on one occasion have read my blog, have wondered why we call him "The Captain."  Because up until now, at school he has been an angel.

Here in the trenches, we know he is a perfectly normal boy and a fairly bossy one, at that.  At school, though, he has been wearing that halo.  Then, like clockwork, he began to test their true love for him.  We will never be sure what has caused this sudden rash of testing -- it could be the natural progression of relationships in the life of a fairly broken little boy.  However, we strongly suspect that it is closely related to the now very obvious pregnancy of one of his teachers.  He's been through 3 pregnancies with his birth-mommy;  it's a lot for a little guy to take on.

I've had the opportunity to discuss this with his teachers on a daily basis now for several days.  Yes, I said every day.  God bless his fabulous teachers.  They love him and have great compassion for him which is certainly helpful when a defiant 3-year-old is systematically tossing your library into the middle of the room.   On Monday, though, I felt perplexed.  I thought we'd had a couple of real breakthroughs over the weekend.  I'd taken care that he was as well rested and well fed as he could possibly be.  And yet, another break down.

As I hung up with his teacher, and started making lunch, I pondered possible interventions.  Suddenly, I found myself humming a Motown oldie, "You Can't Hurry Love."

"I need love, love
To ease my mind.
I need to find, find
Someone to call mine . . .
But how many heartaches
Must I stand
Before I find someone
To call mine?  . . .

No, love, love,
don't come easy
But I keep on waiting
For that soft voice
To talk to me at night
For some tender arms
To hold me tight . . .

You can't hurry love.
No, you just have to wait.
She said, love don't come easy,
It's a game of give and take."

Thank you, Diana Ross and the Supremes.  This could be the theme song of his life.  Thank you, Holy Spirit,  for reminding me once more, that although this precious little spitfire has been in our home for a whole year already, he's spent two-thirds of his life being moved from one caregiver to another and having his little heart broken over and over.  He's still un-moored.  So it's not terribly surprising that he's coming a bit unhinged.  You can't hurry love.