On Friday the 14, after two brain surgeries, I was told that Daisy was to have another supervised visit. Mr. CW was not going to be able to supervise it himself but he did say that someone else from CPS would be there with Bio Mom. We chatted via text making the plans.
I asked him, "Is there a plan in place in case the visit distresses Daisy like the last one did? It is not good for her to be upset right now."
Mr. CW said that Bio Mom was not going to be allowed to carry Daisy or hold her at all. She could only see her, pray over her and minimally touch her hands and such. It was going to be at my discretion. I do believe that I was going to be allowed to stop the visit if Bio Mom upset Daisy. I thanked Mr. CW for keeping Daisy's best interests at heart.
Bio Mom came into the room. I moved a chair over for the supervisor to the center of the room (who, by the way, never introduced herself or said a single word to me the entire visit).
I did not leave the room this time. It simply wasn't an option. Miss Daisy was in the middle of a hospital crib with two bags of blood draining out of her head. I was going to protect Daisy from any undue stress! The PICU room was much larger than the room up in general pediatrics. I climbed up on my bed and played with my phone.
Bio Mom asked me a few medical questions. I used words like "permanent damage" and "lifelong problems". I did not hold back. I was very tactful. I didn't try to be mean in any way. But Bio Mom was asking questions and I gave answers. She needs to know that this is not Daisy's last brain surgery. Any child with shunts in their head will need further surgeries to repair, replace or remove the shunts. I also made sure Bio Mom understood that even though Daisy isn't showing signs of seizure right now, it will be a concern for the rest of her life.
Bio Mom turned to Daisy again. There were tears. This time they were from Bio Mom. She stood over Daisy's crib and cried. And cried. And cried.
Then the Holy Spirit spoke to me. I'm going to share the entire "conversation". I'm not proud of my initial response. But I do try to paint a picture of what fostering looks like to me. Interactions with the bio family are part of fostering for sure. I know I'm capable of supporting reunification. I fostered a beautiful little boy when we were in Iowa and he went back home. I even helped his family out by babysitting a couple times after reunification. But in Daisy's case, it's a lot harder for me to have compassion.
Mom was crying and I was "told" to offer her some tissues. I looked over at the counter and saw the box of them.
I resisted. I told myself that she wasn't crying that bad. If she wanted the tissues she could ask for them to get them herself.
I was "told" again to offer Bio Mom the tissues.
I argued. (I don't always like to obey.) I tried to say (in my mind of course - I'm not that crazy) that she didn't need them. That she could get them herself. That I didn't have to get involved.
Then I was reminded of a sermon. Pastor said that if you're being "told" to do something and it's not illegal or immoral it's from God and you had better do it.
Oh did I want to continue to argue. I did not want to show that woman compassion. I wanted her to FEEL the pain. I wanted her to feel so horrible for everything that had happened to that innocent baby. Oh I was angry.
Reluctantly though, I obeyed. I got up, walked across the room, got the tissues and walked over to Mom. I handed her the box and then I asked her if she wanted a hug.
She didn't really say much but I put my arm around her. I patted her back while she cried and cried. After a few minutes (that felt like hours and hours), I walked back across the room to my bed and picked up my phone.
Bio Mom cried a bit more. Then she calmed down and just whispered things to Daisy. She was saying things like, "You're going to get better. You're getting so strong. You're so good."
Bio Mom must have mustered up some more courage because she started asking me medical questions again. We talked about Daisy's vision. Bio Mom said that she's not been told much by anyone and (obviously) she doesn't talk to the doctors - so she's been googling her questions. When she asked me about Daisy's sight I confirmed what she had found out, we simply don't know if Daisy will recover her vision or not.
I'm sure that had to hurt. But Bio Mom did OK.
We talked for a bit more about things and then the visit was over.
Daisy hadn't cried at all. She handled things perfectly. And Bio Mom got a huge dose of reality. I can only pray that some of it sticks.