I apologize for the dearth of serious, tear drenched posts lately. Tis life, I guess. I promise to follow them up with hilarious anecdotes and adorable pictures. Soon.
But Today was such a HUGE day in my life. One I will always remember, I wanted to blog what I'm feeling so I won't forget it. It all started with this crazy summer, and my short temper, and then remodeling the house, and me going crazy and being a bad mom, and then having respite for a week, and after that week I was still a nasty mom. Basically I was on burnout. I am so spent from life right now that not even a WEEK of respite got me back on my feet.
Okay, in reality I'll tell you what it really was, the Department is so crazy, so psychotic . . . I was using up all my patience with them that there was little leftover at home for my husband and children. I mean, in one week we go from 'we're probably moving the kids with their foster grandma soon' to 'we'll need you to keep them for about 6 more months from today' . . . then the very next day the caseworker said, 'well, we think we might just take two of the kids and just send them home for a 30 day visit with their mom.' What?!?!! They have absolutely NO idea what they are doing. It's nuts. And when they said they were moving the kids I asked, "ok so it's already decided that there's no way I'll get to keep them?" they said right, no possibly way you'll keep them. We've already decided to move them we just haven't decided when yet. So I'm on burnout and I'm now strongly suspecting the people who make decisions at the department are on drugs.
And I'm a way grumpy mom. And I could probably make it another month or two before I lose it and drop kick one of the kids across the room -- not advisable. So I tell the dept I probably am reaching the end of my road and that they have probably a month or two left in me. This morning for the stupidest reason I lost my temper with Stina and took her shoe and bonked her on the head with it. I immediately felt guilty and called Darik and said, "I can't do this, Stina doesn't deserve this." Then, coincidentally, the caseworker calls me 30 minutes later and says, "I talked to the department head and we've all decided that if you aren't able the keep the kids the whole time and you'll end up moving them, you need to do it now."
So . . . the tears come. These two little rugrats, if I could keep them forever I could. I was literally ready to adopt them forever. But I can't. And I know how hectic active reunification is with TONS of visits and the schedule, especially during the holidays. And when I crack I take it out, well to be honest I take it out on Ellie and Stina (the most) because they are the naughtiest and easiest to find excuses to flip on. I talk to Darik on the phone (he's on a business trip out of town, go ISU!) and he lets me know that he supports me in whatever decision, but that we know we are going to have to say goodbye sometime, and if it's better for the kids to have that awesome little family in Inkom that loves them to pieces for the rest of this case, than whatever you call the version of mothering I've been doing lately, that's what we should do. Both are good decisions and both are bad decisions.
That was about 12 hours ago -- and I think I've cried for 10 of those last 12 hours. I broke the news to Bubba when he got home from school and we cried together for a little bit. And then we bucked up and had cousins come over and have pizza & they left and just us had a movie night. After the movie I sent the girls upstairs for bed and I turned around and there is Christian, just falling to pieces. "I promise I won't stay up past my bedtime, or come home late for dinner, or ever leave my toys out again!" Oh boy if I thought infertility ripped my heart out I was just kidding myself. Here is the most perfectest 7 year old boy on the planet that Heavenly Father has EVER created and he thinks it's HIS fault? And really it's just that I can't hack it without spanking his sister? He told me that actually he never wanted to leave, not even to go back with his mom. He just wished he could choose this family and stay here forever. What can you do when you can't grant that wish? That's not even a possibility anymore. So we spent the next hour just crying together. And I start second guessing myself and thinking that no matter how hard of a time I'm having I can't do this to him.
I was finally able to get Darik to call me back (he was in a meeting during the meltdown) and he reminded me of why I made the decision in the first place. It really IS better for Stina to be in a different home, and we ARE going to have to say goodbye sooner or later. And the new foster family is going to keep us in their lives tons: playdates, sleepovers, babysitting after school and while she does her weekly shopping, etc. This definitely is NOT a goodbye. The end goal is even to still have him move in with his mom and his mom has told us she wants us to stay in their lives, she has no problem with us at any of his functions for the rest of their lives. So this kid couldn't get rid of us even if he tried. Definitely NOT a goodbye.
After both of us calmed down after talking to Darik, we talked to each other and I asked him what a good choice for him is, "to stay here." What is the best choice for Stina, knowing that you know Ally doesn't spank or lose her temper with her? He said, "it's best for Stina to be at Ally's". He's right. Then he sat up and said, "Plus I remember that I have more friends there!" He's gonna be just fine. And so will I. Kids are tougher than you think they are. And maybe so am I.
But for now just know that this weekend it's Heartbreak Hotel at the Andersons. Lots of tears. Lots of Love.