Wednesday, March 3, 2010
This has meant a hail storm of preparation not only to our home...but also of paperwork, as we rush to fill out forms and attain certifications that you would normally have completed before child placement is even an option. As it is, I am freaking out. Not because of all three kids coming to live with us for a while, that is challenging but I will have Jay home for awhile to help with that,...its getting everything done for the powers that be and the social workers that are now going to be a very frequent part of our daily routine. Medicines and cleaners out of ground level cabinets and preferably locked up, baby proofing, setting up furniture, providing proof that our animals are rabies free, cpr classes, physicals for Jay and myself, floorplan drawings...the list goes on.
"Why the hell are you doing this?", you may ask...
Well, Jay and I have been discussing the possibility of bringing a third child into our life but had put it off because we were unsure what effect it would have on Daniel and Selena...they did come together as a pair after all. However when Jay's niece came to us to ask for help with either the 8 month old baby or the boys we decided we would do what we can. But that was how we were considering it, either the boys or the baby, not all at once. Howver it developed differently and the alternative is that they go to strangers in a foster home.
The kids have no clue why all this is happening to them and I can see after meeting them that its having a profound effect on them....they are scared crazy and angry because they don't know why all this is happening to them. "Why can't mom just come get them?" is their thought. Having them with family would at least help keep them connected to faces they know and not make them feel as if they have totally lost everything they loved....and that loved them. After much discussion between Jay and myself a feeling began to emerge. I started to feel like I was on the last lifeboat of the Titanic trying to decide who got on and who didn't. It was awfull. We talked long and hard about it and about the fact that our ability to care for Daniel and Selena had to come first...we agreed to be their parents not our nieces and nephews.
Not that this decision isn't without its pitfalls. Thinking long term and worst-case scenario, What happens if their mom fails the program and these kids go up for adoption? Would it even be wise for us to consider adopting any configuration of these kids knowing that their mom would still be a part of their lives by vitue of being family? How much resentment and hatred would she carry for us if that occured? So much that it couldn't be contained on this page I imagine. As it is, there is tension in our relationship with her. When Jays niece was young, she was having the exact same life she is giving her children now. At that time, Jay and I had already been talking about raising kids so we approached his sister about the possibility of adopting some our nieces and nephews.....big mistake. She accused us of trying to take her kids away from her and it was a big family drama. The fact that she could not provide her 5 kids did not figure into the equation at all. We just wanted to give them a chance at a better future.
Fast forward years ahead and one of those same nieces that we would have taken into our home is living just as her mother did...and found herself pregnant. At the time she was homeless and rooming at her boyfriends parents house. Again we offered to adopt her baby to give them both a chance at life. We wanted to give her the chance to be a young girl a while longer and to be able to get her feet underneath her so she could care for a baby...and we wanted to be dads, I will own that. But... no....big drama...same accusations and here we are now, two more babies later and its either we take the kids in...or the state does.
Their mom and dad have checked into their separate programs and their is a possibility that mom will be able to take two kids with her into her program...that would help alot if that happens. However, we have to brace for the fact that it may not. We have to do the best we can to help these kids understand whats happening and to keep their spirits alive until they can be reunited with their parents.
A positive side benifit is that, if all goes well, then we will have already have jumped through all the hoops it takes to recertify for fost/adopt. If we truly want to bring a third child into our family we will be all systems go.
The short term reality is that Jay and I are stressed. We are both doing the best we can and know we will get through it...one day...one legal hoop...one reunification visit at a time.
We visited the boys yesterday in their group home to get a feel for how they are holding up. It went well considering the circumstances. The older of the two boys is the little parent for the younger one and the younger boy attaches to an individuall and goes through emotional trauma if they leave the room. Can you blame them? We visited again today to play and to be a consistent face in their routine and it went better. Selena was a champ both times really did well at breaking the ice and becomeing their instant buddy. The only scary part is they have been allowed to play rough...with toys and people...thats not gonna fly at our house.
We spent the rest of that first visit day filling out paperwork as well as shopping for beds and items needed for tommorows big day...aye carumba. So thats why there was no blog yesterday...and I was all set to talk about the 11th hour challenge to gay marriage in Washington D.C. Thank goodness that challenge failed and those marriage are going forward today. Congrats D.C.!
Our lives are crazy right now but we will find our feet. Regular blogging will continue though with perhaps a few more gray hairs....so don't touch that dail!