Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Visit recap

I know I'm really negative about visits. I hope my readers can see where I'm coming from – see through the negativity if you will. There isn't a whole lot going on in this case per se other than these visits. So...that's what I've got to report on. And, to be totally honest, these visits are killing me. Please know that if reunification was even a remote possibility, I would feel differently about this. I would actually make an effort to talk to Bio Mom about her kids. There would be a purpose to these visits. It would be different.

But the children have been in care for 17 months. There is no hope of reunification with Bio Mom or Bio Dad. Yet, we are having to drive an hour away once a week so the kids can see Mom for two hours in the CPS office. (Bio Dad lives in Dallas and is supposed to see the children during their once a month visits to Grandma. He was MIA this past visit and the kids didn't see him.) To the visits here though, Mom is never on time. In fact, even though Mom is required to confirm the visit 24 hours in advance, I believe that Mom has to be called every Wednesday after we arrive to remind her to come. Does she even want to be there?! She missed almost every single visit when the kids first came in to Care. Then she was locked up for 9 months. After getting out, it took her at least two weeks or more before she even called CPS to ask about her kids.

Dolly used to have a harder time with the visits than she does now. I guess I've done a good job of making her feel safe and loved. Whew!

However, Dude is fed up with the process. He's starting to act out in school. He regresses after a visit and almost always wets his pants at school the next day. And now, Dude is starting to throw temper tantrums during the visits. Just today his mom tried to wipe his nose for him and he exploded calling her stupid and various other names.

My own kids have to ride along. (Herman has his own school to take care of during the day and can't easily babysit his brothers in the process.) Bart and TT don't like sharing their siblings with the bio family any more than I do. They understand that the kids are never going to go home to Mom. These visits confuse them horribly. They don't understand why we are going through these motions. (Not to mention that TT is triggered because of his own adoption story every time Dude and Dolly have contact with their mom.)

So basically, visit day sucks!

Today was no exception. All three of my forever kids "lost it" for one reason or another this morning. Amazingly enough, Dude and Dolly played like angels up in the playroom together. (Thank God for small favors!)

But Bio Mom was late. And, despite the fact that she's brought lunch to every visit for the past 5-6 weeks, she showed up with nothing today. And wouldn't ya know it?! Today was the day that I finally decided to not feed the kids a big lunch before the visit. I decided that if Mom was going to bring a Happy Meal or pizza every visit, the kids should actually eat the food. And today, Mom showed up empty handed.

And, because she was late, I was already gone. Minnie sent me a text to let me know. (I had told Minnie to let me know ASAP if Mom didn't bring food so I could bring something to the cherubs myself.) Of course, Minnie's text letting me know that there was no lunch arrived after our order had been placed at Denny's. I couldn't exactly get up leave immediately. Minnie said the kids were fine and could wait until later. (sigh)

At 2:30 I arrived back at the CPS office with Happy Meals in hand. I killed the last 30 minutes wandering the Dollar General across the street. Then I came back to get the kids.

Mom didn't bring them lunch but she did manage to bring them each a tube of flavored/scented chap stick. Because that's what every 3yo boy and 5yo girl need. (sigh) I took the chap stick away – as chap stick is not a toy. I told the kids that I will keep it for them to use but they can't carry it around with them. (sigh)

Memorable quotes of the day:
"Mommy (to me)'s my Mommy C*** (pointing to Bio Mom)." (This still makes me a little uncomfortable and I know CPS doesn't like it that they call their mom Mommy C***. But really, how else am I supposed to handle this?! They barely know their mom anymore. I am their mom now more than anything. And I've got three other kids in the house calling me Mom.)
"Angel couldn't come today." (She typically comes with their Bio Mom.) "She had to go see her boyfriend in jail." (Angel is the teenager that the children were found with in that fateful hotel room 17 months ago. She was passed out on the bed and the children were left to their own devices. She's now quite visibly pregnant. I fear for her future baby.)

Dolly and Dude each slept some on the car ride home. Thankfully Bart and TT didn't kill each other riding in the back seat. And now, I have to go make something for supper. We'll get through the day. I'm just tired of all the extra drama that, to me, seems to serve no good purpose.


The Campbell's Journey said...

I would be venting the same frustrations if I were in your shoes. These children are not "babies" and are unfortunately at a hard age to be able "handle" what is going on.

I don't think we will ever fully understand why CPS does what they do. It doesn't make since and it surely doesn't always seem to be what is best for the children.

You blog so you can express yourself and your feelings. Lord knows the people that need to hear it won't listen.

Mitzy said...

Visit days like these are so difficult. If there is no hope of reunification why does the social worker have to help Mom keep her visits? It seems like they should stick to the 24 hour call-in rule and never call to remind her of visits, that goes way above and beyond.

I believe that until a bio Mom or Dad's parental rights have been terminated by the court all parents have a right to see their children. Where I live bio parents are entitled by law to one supervised hour a week. BUT if they don't call in 24 hours ahead of time, or if they are 30 min late, the visit is cancelled. There are times when a judge will rule that violent or dangerous parents may not see their children at all.

I hope this situation does not continue to drag on for the Cherubs.

Sunday Taylor said...

Even though I was much older than your kids visit with my family/parents were away hard. There were plenty of times that I wished that they would just leave me alone so I can get on with my life. Unfortunately, many of the former fosters I know struggle their entire lives to figure out a way to have relationships with their original families without driving themselves crazy, myself included. I wish there were a way to make things easier for the kids. However, I don't know if that's even possible. It seems to me it's just a hard lot all the way around.

Foster Mom - R said...

Wednesday is one of our 3 visit days and they suck. Hugs! You are doing a great job managing all of the crazy!

Mama P said...

Vent away...I fail to see the good in the visits, either, for this age of a child. Ugh. It's such a hard gray area.

CherubMamma said...

Thank you for not chastising my venting here. But I feel I should clarify -- I believe that visits are a very good thing...a necessary thing...when reunification is going to happen. I read somewhere that it's like keeping a wound open. You have to keep picking the scab off, letting it ooze and stay when the time comes to graft the family back together, they can actually do it. If the bond is broken and the skin has healed over, the graft isn't possible.

In this case though, reunification isn't going to happen. Bio Mom struggles to maintain even these once a week visits. They seem hard on everyone involved. Too hard.

It bothers me that CPS enables Mom. I would rather have Mom blow off the visits and then get them eliminated for legal reasons. It seems that CPS is forcing the wound to stay open. But they aren't going to try and graft the family back together.

And as far as Grandma N goes, CPS isn't doing much to ensure that there is any relationship growing there.

They are fostering one that is beyond broken. They don't care about the lack of one that should be starting.

And so...I vent. :(