We went to court last week to see about getting a schedule for our phone calls. So far, the "schedule" has been about worthless.
On Wednesday the phone rang in on time - 7:00PM. However, there was some sort of problem with Grandma's phone. The call dropped twice. I spoke with Dolly long enough to find out that Grandma was making them eggs and potatoes for supper and that Dolly doesn't know if she gets to do Halloween or not. If she gets to, she wants to be Ariel, the Little Mermaid.
After we got disconnected the second time Minnie got all quiet. She acted like she didn't know what to do. I told her that my boys really want to talk to Dude. She said something about trying to call to Grandma again but I guess it never happened. I spoke to Dolly for less than 7 minutes. Minnie never contacted me again that day.
On Saturday Minnie sent me a text at 10:09AM telling me she was having problems connecting with Grandma again. I'm quite sure that Grandma isn't putting forward any effort toward this phone calls. She might not have even been home. But missing these calls will never be enough to change anything in this case.
I responded via text to Minnie saying, "Do what you can. Just keep me posted. If we don't talk that's OK. I just don't want it reflected poorly on us – that we didn't want to talk or something." Minnie never responded to me.
At 10:47AM I got a phone call. Of course by then the family had all gone their separate ways – I only had TT with me. We were in a place where I could barely hear anything. It's not like I can just sit around all Saturday morning waiting to see if Minnie is going to connect us or not. It's so frustrating!!
Dolly and I spoke for about 7 minutes. She didn't have much to say. It's starting to get very awkward. I feel like I have to be very careful about what I ask and Dolly volunteers nothing. Basically Dolly tells me she colors at school and she's fine. I try asking open ended questions like, "What did you eat for breakfast?" I tell her what things we're eating and doing. But really...those are stupid questions. The conversations are short and painful. Dude won't come to the phone at all now! He won't even talk to his brothers. I'm betting he likes having that control. I can't even speculate if he's angry or not. I mean...I'm sure he is. But I know nothing anymore.
They've been gone over a month now. My home is no longer in compliance with many of the safety rules my agency requires. I moved my dishwasher detergent back under the sink. I've pulled all the plug covers off. Nothing is locked and my kids can easily get to the cleaning supplies. It's nice having my house back to "normal".
We're not taking any more kids. My husband is going to actively start looking for a promotion which will mean a move for our family. I know there is no way we could see another case all the way through and I'm not going to bring a child into our home without being able to assure them that we wouldn't move them out to another foster home.
My grief is still incredibly intense. It's very hard to explain though. I've moved through my grief over the children themselves...I think. I'm sure it will still come in hard to deal with waves. But I'm pretty sure the worst of that grief is over. Now I grieve for The System that fails so many children everywhere. I'm having a hard time reconciling the fact that I'm taught "God can work all things for His good" AND the fact that children get hurt daily. I want to help. I want to make a difference. And yet I feel perfectly helpless and worthless. I'm still so very angry. And anger is a hard emotion to hang on to. It does some pretty devastating things to the body. I've got to figure out how to let go.