Miss Supervisor called me this morning. She was firm...but polite. She asked if she could come between 1:30 and 2:00 today.
I must be the strangest woman in the Valley. I must be the only person that has her three year old and four year old take a nap.
But...I knew I needed to play nice. I really want to take these babies on vacation with me and Miss Supervisor holds the initial "yes" or "no" card in her hand. Also, I do recognize that social workers are balancing a TON of cases. If I can, I try to accommodate them when they need to visit each month. Besides, I knew she'd probably be late so I planned on napping only Dude and would just put him down early. I figured he'd get enough of a nap before she'd feel the need to actually talk to him (if she even did).
Sure enough, Miss Supervisor sent me a text at 1:00 telling me she was just getting out for lunch. She was going to be late. I said, "No problem. I'll be around 'til 3:00 when I have to leave to pick up a cherub from camp." After a pregnant pause, she came back to me and said that might be cutting it too close. Could she come at 5:00?
Call it blasphemy, but I said that Wednesday is church night. I wasn't sure who was going to be around.
The truth is...Wednesday IS church night. But at 5:00PM Mr. Amazing is getting in the door from work, the cherubs are usually stir crazy waiting for dinner, and I'm trying to cook. We leave for church at 6:15. It just seemed easier to give her the condensed version and blame it on church in general.
I said I'd be back at 3:45 if she wanted to meet then. She agreed to that.
I was a nervous wreck from the moment she called. Not because of the visit entirely – I'm still reeling emotionally from all the Pumpkin's case has put me through in the last couple weeks. With Miss Supervisor though...I wasn't sure "who" would actually arrive at my doorstep. Would it be NICE Miss Supervisor? Or would it be the Miss Supervisor I want to strangle?
Well, Miss Supervisor sent me a text at 3:41. She was at my home waiting for me to arrive. My stomach turned as Bart and TT decided at that moment to begin an epic-sized fight in the back seat on the way back from camp. The last thing I wanted to do was pull in to my driveway hollering at kids who were trying to beat each other up. I pulled off the side of the road and expressed my frustrations with their behavior. Thankfully they shaped up enough.
Dude wouldn't look at Miss Supervisor. He ignored her completely as we walked in to the house. She got all sing-songy and asked if he was sleepy. It took every ounce of self control that I had to not respond, "No, he's scared to death of you. Last time you were here you told him he was moving to Dallas. You told him you were taking him away from me." I managed to hold my tongue though.
Miss Supervisor sat down and got to business discussing....Pumpkin.
That's right. She wanted to hear all about Pumpkin. She used to be the supervisor over Pumpkin's case so it was natural. But honestly, I really didn't want to have to tell the story all over again. I played along though and we talked for quite awhile about Pumpkin. I also told her that I gave my 30 day notice. It's much better that she hear news like that straight from me. She was incredibly disappointed and did make me feel guilty. NOT guilty enough to change my mind. But I do feel horrible for Pumpkin...like I'm letting her down too.
When Miss Supervisor finally opened her manila envelope with the notes about Dude and Dolly, I was super stressed out again. (Talking about Pumpkin is wearing me thin.) I tried really hard to stay calm though and let her lead the conversation.
My jaw nearly dropped when it quickly became apparent that NICE Miss Supervisor was in my home!!!
She's approving the out-of-state travel. Her supervisor signed off. All she has to do is get a judge's signature on Monday but she's sure it won't be a problem at all.
She thanked me for offering to do the visit with Grandma N in Dallas.
Then...the part that really set me aback...she said, "I don't mean to be disrespectful..."
My throat tightened up. I felt like that schoolkid being sent to the principal. What on Earth did I do that she needs to correct?! Accckkkk!!!!!
"I don't mean to be disrespectful. But....Grandma N hasn't called me to check on the kids."
Whew! It's not me she's talking about.
My internal dialog went haywire. "Of course she hasn't called. She's never called. She doesn't really seem to care about these kids at all!!!"
Actually, I allowed most of my internal dialog to be vocalized. I just tried to be as respectful as possible in the process. We had a conversation about family reunification in general. I reiterated that I am very much in favor of keeping a family together. It's incredibly important to me. But...in this particular case...there is something not right in sending these small children to live with Grandma N in Dallas for the rest of their lives. It doesn't seem to be in their best interests. I then tried to tow the party line and I followed that statement with, "But I do know that's what is going to happen."
Miss Supervisor's response, "It doesn't have to."
My defenses were down. I decided that I don't have a damn thing to lose! I made sure to tell Miss Supervisor that I never went in to fostering to adopt. But sending these kids to Grandma's doesn't seem right to anyone. Grandma certainly doesn't act like she wants to be their mom. However, I am completely in favor of open adoption and I'd love to let her remain Grandma to these kids. I would make sure they didn't lose that connection.
Miss Supervisor then took the cherubs up to their room for the monthly talk "with the kids". It was during this part of the visit a month ago that she was so horrible in telling the kids about day trips to Dallas, and moving to Dallas, and seeing their "real real" mom. This time around, all she did was talk to the kids and play with them a little. (I'm kind of pathetic and I'll admit it...I spent some time at the monitor downstairs trying to eavesdrop.) Never once did she say anything about Dallas, or Grandma, or visits, or...anything. They just made nervous small talk like preschoolers that are totally freaked out do.
Miss Supervisor came downstairs with the kids. Made them hug her goodbye and took off.
I was reeling from the complete change in her attitude. I barely knew what to do.
Then Dolly came up to me. I picked her up and she wrapped her legs around me. She spoke right into my ear, "I told Miss Supervisor I don't want to go to Grandma's. I told her I stay with you!!"
"I know baby girl. I know. I want you to stay too."