It was HELL the day they took "my" children away from me. Here I am two weeks later... and I have good days... and I have bad days.
I have to force myself to look at the bright side of things. The house is cleaner for longer stretches of time. The children I do have are capable of almost all their own self care. The physical part of parenting is easier.
Leaving for vacation wasn't easy. Sometimes it feels wrong having fun right now. But I'm very, very glad I'm here. I cannot put my life on hold while I wait for CPS to finish this blasted investigation.
For starters - I have NO idea how they are conducting this investigation! Are they asking people in these children's pasts about the "pow-pows"? (Of course they aren't!) Are they asking the people at our licensing agency about my husband and I? (I don't think they are.) So how exactly are they investigating anything?! (They aren't.)
What they are doing is taking an outcry seriously. What they aren't doing is actually finding out the truth. Even if they determine that we as a foster family did no wrong, they never really investigated a thing. It's bothersome to me.
So I left for vacation with all this crap still hanging over my head. Everyone has told me to "relax" and "enjoy myself". And in fact, I am going to! The drive up was as easy as it can be when you're traveling as a single adult with two elementary aged children (that aren't allowed to spend the entire trip playing video games). And now that I'm here it's great spending time with my mom and dad and with my sister and her family. I hate living so far away from the people I'm closest to!
It's a little rough playing with my 3yo nephew. All those toddler things remind me painfully of Dude and Dolly. But, if I am going to look on the bright side of things – Dude and Dolly had never been on vacation to Iowa with me before. At least I'm not spending all my time remembering them "the last time they were here". In fact, it's almost just as difficult being away from my oldest son right now as it is being away from Dude and Dolly.
My vacation is easier than it would have been. I can literally just turn my two boys loose in town and relax for the day.
I am eagerly awaiting notification of the investigation later on this week. Surely they'll tell me something soon?! I know I won't immediately race back to Texas. (I will not deprive my forever children of the vacation they were promised.) But I will be anxious to get back home and in the thick of fostering again.
I don't know why I really want back in the thick of things again. It sure is easier without all the extra "rules" and parenting issues. I looked at my sister tonight as we sat around the table after dinner. Her two kids were running around outside with my two kids. I had to acknowledge that this vacation would have been a LOT harder for me if Dude and Dolly had been able to come. While they are 3 and 4 years old chronologically, they are not emotionally. They would not have been allowed the amount of freedoms the other children were experiencing. Not to mention, as a foster parent I'm held to a much higher liability standard so I just plain couldn't have let them run around without me present.
But I do want back in the thick of things. I want that difficult parenting back. It feels so wrong ending everything with an investigation on my home. I feel guilty - even though I'm not. I feel responsible for the additional trauma the little ones have had to endure. It's awful! I guess more than anything I want to reassure these precious children that adults they love aren't going to abandon them the rest of their lives. Somehow though, I doubt I'll be able to fix the damage that has been done through this in the short time they likely have left in Care. (I can't dream about adoption anymore. That's so far removed from my reality now it's unthinkable.)
I don't really have a clever way to end this post. I just figured I'd let y'all know I'm still doing OK. I'm enjoying time with my youngest boys. It's great seeing my mom, dad and the rest of my family. And I'm constantly praying for my three foster children. I hear about Pumpkin regularly and it's good to know she's doing just fine. Those other babies though...well, all I can do is pray. And I'm doing a lot of that!!