Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Family visits are difficult

I'm grateful that Dude & Dolly's CPS worker is willing to actually tell me what's going on with their case. She shared with me details of today's visit.

For lack of a better way of describing things, I guess Mom has been a little bit "better" lately. She's not hanging around with some of the bad influences she has associated with in the past. In fact, she called yesterday to set up the visit today. She even spoke with the case worker right away this morning. However, Mom ended up being nearly an hour late anyway. And when she showed up she brought with her a whole slew of different family members.

The visit was somewhat awkward. (That's how the CPS worker described it.) Different family members were thoroughly inspecting the children and calling into question every single scratch or bug bite. They twisted around everything the children had to say. For example, when the kids talked about playing the adults in the visit got upset?!!?? Not even the worker understood what the issue was. But she explained to everyone that we've got a swing set in the backyard and toys in several different rooms in the house. The worker had to go in several different times to redirect conversation that was inappropriate.

It broke my heart to hear how Dude was confused and then somewhat aloof during the entire visit. I spoke with the kids this morning and told them that they were going to go see their mommy. I was confident that Dude understood what was going to happen. However, when he went in the room, Dude literally went looking for me. They had to explain to him who his mommy was. I guess he was OK with things but stayed to himself most of the visit. Thankfully I sent him with a bag of toys so he would have something to do. (Unfortunately not all the toys made it back to my house. Hopefully Cherubs 2 & 3 won't miss their things that didn't return.) Their worker said that the kids actually seemed more attached to several of the other family members that came. It appears that Mom hasn't actually cared for them much and that they were passed around a lot before coming into care.

When it was time to leave both kids handled the transition OK. They just said goodbye and left without issue. However, both kids are particularly clingy to me this afternoon. I recognize that visits are necessary and important. But they are so emotionally draining on everyone. (Especially when they happen so infrequently!)

I asked the worker what she thought (looking into her magic crystal ball of course) what would happen next. She's confident the children will go to their grandmother across the state. The mom wants her kids out of "foster care". I can't wrap my brain around this kind of thinking. With her kids all the way across the state there will be no way for her to see them. In fact, I guess some woman in the visit commented that if the kids do go up there Mom will never get them back. Mom just shrugged this off but I'm sure there's a lot of truth to that statement.

I'm trying to prepare my heart for these cherubs to move on. I'm not thrilled to death with the idea of them going to Grandma. Whether it's right or wrong for me to feel this way, I'm sad. I'm not convinced that this is the best move for them. The kids don't know Grandma at all. They have no established relationship whatsoever. And, to top it all off, the grandma doesn't speak English. The little cherubs still know some Spanish. But it is no longer their language of choice. It breaks my heart to know that they will not only have to move in with a stranger, but they will have the whole language barrier again. They won't be able to tell Grandma anything about their time in our house so basically, they will be starting all over.

CPS is trying to get a picture of Grandma for me. I've introduced her as a character in the cherubs' lives. When we pray at night we pray for all the family members in our home, plus Mommy and then Grandma in D***. (I've identified her by where she lives as the children don't know her by anything else at all.) I'm hoping I can help the children with the future transition by at least giving them a face to the name. A photo will help if CPS can get me one. It's just a little thing but I only want to do right by these kids.

Nothing is happening right away. Court isn't until the second week of November. In the meantime I'm just going to love on them as much as I can. My heart is going to be in a million pieces when they leave though.