Dude and Dolly went to Dallas this weekend again. It was a little challenging for me this time. I was instructed to send even less for Dude and Dolly. I sent one small bag with one outfit each for them to wear home, their blankets that they like to cuddle with at bedtime, and winter coats. Grandma was to provide everything else. I tried not to worry.
Overall though, it was a nice weekend with them gone. However, I wasn't away from foster care as I did respite for Angel (the adorable almost-two year old that came for emergency respite right before Christmas). She's still adorable as ever and so easy to take care of. Foster care drama never seems to escape me though. As I went to bathe her Thursday night I noticed a LOT of scratches on her backside. And since she had a family visit scheduled for Friday I felt the need to report it to Rainbow. When Rainbow came to pick her up for the visit on Friday she looked things over. I have to cover my rear end! After the summer from Hell I will not take chances!! Rainbow wasn't concerned but noted things appropriately. The scratches did look self-inflicted to me. Thankfully I caught Angel scratching herself a couple times over the weekend and I was able to confirm with Rainbow that Angel made the marks herself. But still...will the drama ever end?!
On Saturday I got to meet – in person – a mom I had met online in a parenting support group. It was AWESOME to have some adult conversation!! Hi Nancy! Nancy (code name) has a 15 year old that she adopted from Russia. He seemed to fit in seamlessly with the band of boys that hangs out at our house regularly. They all want him to come back to visit again. Me, I just promise that I'll offer you something to drink if you come again. (I was such a laid back host. I completely forgot to offer her anything to drink. I'm used to folks just coming in and helping themselves. LOL)
But then Sunday rolled around and Minnie never even granted me the common courtesy of letting me know when she was bringing Dude and Dolly back. (I knew it was today...I just didn't know when.) Usually she'll send me a text when they get in to the airport. That gives me about 45 minutes 'til they are home. Tonight...nothing. Minnie was lucky I was even here. I was helping put Angel in with her foster dad when they pulled up. 10 minutes later and I was going to be gone running an errand. I told Minnie such but I'm sure she didn't care. I am here after all to do as she wants, when she wants, where she wants and how she wants. She acts so nice to my face. But really....she couldn't tell me when the flight got in?! I hate being treated as poorly as I am by CPS.
Dude and Dolly were the most regulated coming off a weekend visit ever. For this I am grateful!! Usually they are asleep or crying uncontrollably when Minnie pulls up to my house. And if they were asleep, they start crying uncontrollably as soon as they wake up. It's always so difficult for me. Minnie will tell me the trip went fine. And the kids are so shell shocked that they can barely function.
Tonight was better though. Much better. I don't know why. Maybe they slept more at Grandma's? Maybe they ate better? Maybe they are just getting used to this? I'll take it though and I won't complain. They came in the house and didn't get upset at all when I told them we would start getting ready for bed right away. Their bedroom was rearranged due to the new set of shelves I bought today. Even that didn't phase them like it normally would. They were happy to have access to even more toys. They played nicely in their room after baths and went to bed without any drama.
I'm starting to distance myself a bit. Not in a bad way. Certainly not in a detrimental way to the children. But I am starting to do things differently. I used to hold Dude and Dolly on my lap while we sang and and prayed at night. Now I don't offer this up. I tuck them in and still go through the whole routine. But I don't cuddle them if they don't ask. (Plenty of hugs and kisses and lots of touch. Just less of that bonding sort of cuddling that I would do if they were staying.)
I'm also starting to talk about "when" they go to Dallas. If they say something I will tell them that they can tell their lawyer where they want to stay. But honestly, there is no reason for them to not go to Dallas now. And unless something major happens, I need us all to be ready. So I'm using the word "when" more and more. As the children went through their toys tonight they mentioned how we have some of the same toys out in the playroom already. I explained to the cherubs that they need to keep "their" toys in their room so things don't get mixed up. I told them that they need to be able to keep their toys in a place where we can easily pack them up so they can go with the kids to Dallas. Sometimes talk like this will trigger big feelings. Often Dude will loudly declare that he does NOT want to go to Dallas. Tonight though...both kids seem to understand and neither seemed to mind.
I read the book Maybe Days to Dude and Dolly for the first time this week. Then I left the book out on their shelf for them to look at. Dolly took it off the shelf multiple times and looked at it oh so intently by herself. Both kids are becoming more and more aware of their story each and every day. I'm hoping that Dude can process his feelings in a healthy way and (maybe?) stop acting out so much in school. Dolly is doing well though. She's very curious about her bio family and I think she's very torn about where she wants to live. I do think that Dallas is becoming more appealing to both kids as they become more comfortable there.
I was told tonight by Minnie that Bio Mom is doing NOTHING with her case plan. She informed Minnie that she doesn't want to get a job "because she likes to chill during the day". And she doesn't need therapy "because there's nothing wrong with her". Bio Mom is NOT going to get her kids back!!!
I just have to pray that Grandma N is honestly in a position to raise these kids to adulthood. I don't like it. I don't trust the situation. But it is what it is. Court is May 5 for the next decision. I guess we'll find out then.
Foster care sucks.