Dude has pitched a tent and is taking up residence in Big Feeling City. I feel so bad for him.
He and Dolly had a visit today. Because it was Mr. Amazing's day off, he volunteered to do the driving and the waiting. The other cherubs had a lot of school work to do so I gladly took him up on it. (Mr. Amazing is a terrific dad and a wonderful teacher but he's still learning how the online school works on an intimate level.) Dude and Dolly said goodbye without too much fanfare and they took off for the hour long trek west.
Once in town, Mr. Amazing swung by a fast food joint to pick up some lunch for the cherubs. I didn't want to rely on Mom to bring food and this particular visit was scheduled from 11:00 to 1:00 in the CPS office. I told Minnie ahead of time that we would provide lunch. Mom wasn't there for the visit yet – she was late. Mr. Amazing must have a certain presence about him though. When Mom is late for me, I'm told to wait in the front waiting room and to page back to CPS when she arrives. Today, the worker took the children back with their lunch and let Mr. Amazing leave. They agreed that Minnie would contact Mr. Amazing if Mom never showed.
Mom arrived late. But she arrived. Great Grandma P was there too. I guess she was disappointed to see Mr. Amazing instead of me when the visit was over. But many hugs were shared. GGP is a happy hugger. :) I guess the transfer back to Mr. Amazing went fine.
Then the drive home...
Dude announced to Mr. Amazing that he wanted to stay in his home town (RGC).
And because Mr. Amazing is just that...amazing...he totally rocked the therapeutic parenting. He validated Dude and said, "OK. You want to stay in RGC." He then followed that up with, "Who's going to take care of you there Dude?"
It's always good to keep the kids thinking. Dude jumped in with both feet and answered, "my caseworker". Mr. Amazing explained that Minnie's job is to make sure he has somewhere safe to live. But it's not her job to take care of him all the time. Dude followed that with, "the police". Again, Mr. Amazing explained that the police keep us safe but they don't take care of us all the time. Then Dude started grasping at straws. His answers got just plain silly. He said that the trees would take care of him. The buildings. The trucks. Mr. Amazing never lost his cool. He played along with Dude and simply explained that none of those things could take care of him. Dude then looked out the window and started saying, somewhat defeated, "The fireman won't take care of me. The store people won't take care of me. The restaurant won't take care of me."
Finally, when asked again who would take care of him, Dude answered, "Mamma L***".
Mr. Amazing said, "Well then, we had better go home."
Never once did Dude say his bio mom. Or his Grandma N. Or even Great Grandma P.
When it comes to who actually takes care of Dude it's me and Mr. Amazing.
Great Grandma P (GGP) asked Mr. Amazing to tell me to call her. I did. She answered right away. We chatted for quite awhile. She's upset that the children have another visit scheduled in Dallas next weekend. She's frustrated that Grandma N gets to see the kids in an unsupervised setting. She doesn't want the kids to be moved to Dallas at all.
I explained to GGP that Grandma N in Dallas gets to see the kids unsupervised because she passed a home study. The children's dad doesn't get to see them unsupervised. And...obviously...neither does their mom. GGP tags along with Mom's visits so GGP only gets to see the kids in a supervised setting.
I don't think she's upset about her lot in life. She's happy to just get to see the kids. But I know GGP doesn't think the kids are safe in Dallas. GGP doesn't think the children should see Grandma N unsupervised.
The conversation was an interesting one. I think GGP knew the realities of everything I was saying. She too (just like her great grandson) was grasping at straws. Finally I asked her, "What does Bio Mom want? Does Bio Mom still want the kids to go to Dallas?"
GGP didn't know the answer to that question. So, stepping out on a limb I told her, "Bio Mom could change her mind. She could say she doesn't want the kids in Dallas with Grandma N. I'm not sure what would happen exactly but they do have to listen to her wants here. Her say still matters. She could say that she wants us to get PMC instead of Grandma N."
I then explained to Great Grandma P that Grandma N is likely to be granted PMC in January. This is permanent. And the only way Bio Mom would get the kids back is if she hired a lawyer. I told her that Bio Mom could ask that the children stay with us and that we be granted PMC instead.
Honestly, I have no idea if Bio Mom were to "wish" this instead of Dallas if the State would change their goals or not. But I felt like I had to toss it out there.
They are not going to terminate rights. But Bio Mom is not going to get her kids back...ever.
So tonight, we all have big feelings.
And like I told GGP on the phone, I just want the kids out of foster care. Foster care sucks!