Sunday, May 30, 2010

keeping on

Still having a bit of a tough time around here. T got suspended for the last day of school and has pierced her eyebrow. I told her to take it out and she refused. She is currently grounded. And I'm frustrated.

On a positive note, Lil M is doing well. She and I went to see a movie the other day, by ourselves, which was nice. I took Tuesday off so that we could spend the day together, but now T is not in school. I don't know what we'll do now. Probably stay home, since T is pretty well locked down right now (not allowed to go anywhere or see BF for at least 2 weeks). She'll be that way for awhile, especially since she refuses to take out her new piercing. Which is just irritating because a) she did it herself and could get an infection... affecting the baby, since she is also pregnant and b) she did it after i told her she shouldn't since she's supposed to get a job.

Speaking of her getting a job, i have no idea how that's going to work now. But, if she doesn't find something, she'll have to go somewhere else. She can't stay here all day by herself every day for 3 months. I won't allow it.

Anyway, I'm just trying to go ahead and get some things done around here and spend quality time with Lil M (since T won't come out of her room... her choice, not mine).

I don't see this getting better for awhile, if at all. I'm guessing she is feeling overwhelmed from the pregnancy, though, she won't admit it. I do not feel like I'm helping or doing anything positive right now, either. Frankly, I'm disappointed and need some time to process, I guess. I started this process to try to build a relationship with a child... then I accepted a teen... and hoped that would still happen. Right now, it doesn't feel like it is. I'm trying to contend with 17 years of history that I know nothing about, and clearly can't fix. So, prayers are welcome...

Peace.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

interesting

We went to T's choral concert last weekend. There, I met a family who had clearly adopted from China. 4 children, and one on the way from the Ukraine. What was interesting was that the Mom looked at me and said "is she adopted", referring, obviously, to Lil M. well... yes, she was adopted (as an adoptive parent herself, I was surprised she said it that way, but whatever).

She said... Where's she from? Guatemala??

Uh. No. She's Chinese. (me thinking... duh, can't you tell?! lol)

Really?? She doesn't look Chinese!

Well... she is. To which I decided to tell her about where Lil M was from... and could see the woman zone out. If I had 4 kids sitting with me, I'd probably zone out, too.

You see, Lil M doesn't have the traditional Han features. Which is totally ok, 'cause she's beautiful just the way she is. The thing I wonder, though, ...is where do people really think she's from? Most people don't come right out and ask.

Then the dad came to sit down, and he must have told me and Lil M how beautiful she was about 15 times. It was all very interesting...

Peace.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Better

I had a rough few days there, trying to come to terms with my foster daughter's new situation. But this week has felt better. We'll get through it all. I'm thankful for all the encouragement that I've received from my friends and family.

Sis and I have our birthdays tomorrow. Looks like we won't be spending it together this year, as she's taking nephew to the movies. I'm going with T and Lil M to dinner with some friends. It's sort of sad we won't be having dinner together. But I think dinner will be nice. Glad I double-checked the reservation today, 'cause they had it down for the wrong day.

Big giant piece of cheesecake here I come. :)

Peace.

PS. we did get to spend our birthday together and had a GREAT time!! there were 15 of us at dinner and most everything went well. it rained cats and dogs on the way over... but we all made it and had that big giant piece of cheesecake at the end!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Some days

Some days I just wonder what the hell to do with everything. This past week when T's anger got the best of her, we had to deal with all that. Now... well, she and the boyfriend might have gotten themselves into a situation that isn't really good for either of them right now.

So, I'm having a little poor pity me talk in my own head. Knowing full well that I need to just get over it and help her move forward with all this the best way possible. And to be as supportive as I can.

Days like today being a foster parent are really tough... emotionally. I can't change the decisions she makes and I can't seem to help her make better ones (that's how I feel today)... and I'm going to be honest, some moments I feel like why am I doing this? (i didn't sign up for this, i wanted to foster-to-adopt, remember?) Why not just give up... but then I realize that she needs someone to help her through, even if I don't agree or understand why she's making the decisions she's making.

They say being brave isn't doing something without fear... it is moving forward in spite of it. So, move forward I shall try.

I'm sure this will all work out and be OK, and most of it is only indirectly really affecting me (so far). I just need to process it all.

Then, on top of it... my Kaz option doesn't seem to be a real option now.

Peace.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Just because

...it's Mother's day doesn't mean you stop doing Mom duties. Yesterday was Mother's day and we went to church first. That was nice. Then we went to see Aiyee Mimi, and went to have Indian food for lunch. Her treat. YUM. :) Then we treated ourselves to Starbucks, just Sis and I, not the kids. They went with us, but no treats for them there. After that, we took Grandma Janice some flowers and Granny Gail some flowers. It was all good.

Unfortunately, after that... someone had a bit of a meltdown.

As Sis and I were talking inside (her house), Nephew and Lil M were bugging T. So, T yelled at them to stop. Which made us both run outside to see what was going on. T yelled at Sis. Sis yelled at T. T punched my car window (at least twice), and then walked off. All Sis wanted was T to tell her what was wrong so we could fix it, and instead got yelled at disrespectfully. So, I followed T, and got her calmed down a bit.

After that, apologies all around. We are family, even if temporary, and respect must be shown. Then Sis got T some ice for her hand.

On the way home we realized that T might have done more damage than we first thought to her hand. So we went to Urgent Care, where they put a temporary cast on it. She broke her 5th knuckle on her right hand. She goes to an Ortho Dr this week for a perm cast. Oh boy.

I'm going to back up for a sec. On Saturday this weekend I had a mandatory foster class regarding de-escalation and how to handle someone who might come at you (and how to re-direct them in a protective kind of way). Now, these classes are important because they help us to know when a situation might get out of hand and how we might be able to handle it. Calming the situation down is essential. Yesterday, T did not come at one of us, but she did get upset and cause herself harm by hitting the window... and, for me, my objective was to de-escalate the situation as quickly as possible, for all our sakes. I was able to do that, so that part was good.

Now, the bigger thought for the day is... foster kids are different in some ways. We don't always know their entire stories. I don't know all of hers. And, so even though they may exhibit behaviors we'd rather not see in our own children, they are coming from a different place and sometimes that place is extremely sad/lonely/depressing/difficult - to the Nth degree. What we have seen or experienced in our lives as negative or hurtful is 10 times worse where they came from, because there are some just-plain-awful people out there who abuse their children. Yes, abuse. And when they come to us, they are fragile in ways we just don't think they appear... and one little thing can send them over the top all the while seeming completely ridiculous to us.

Yelling means you're just on the first rung of normal chain of events for them. They expect that the yelling is going to turn into hitting or punching or pushing them out the door. Leaving them. Giving them up. Not loving them. Everyone gives up on them. And so, something that we take for granted... yelling at our own kids when they make a mistake (when, we shouldn't then even, probably, but hey... we're all human) means something entirely different to a foster child. Even if they are a teenager. Even if they are going through their own hormonal stuff. Especially because of those things.

It is very difficult to remain calm when it seems like something happens that is so 'normal' that it could (and might even be) typical teenage behavior. Actually, it is damn hard. But remembering it is ALL couched in fears, denials, abuse, neglect, hatred (of themselves, from others, to others, all of the above) and failure can help to keep perspective when something happens that makes you want to react.

My thought is that her behavior rapidly escalated this weekend due to it being Mother's day and all her feelings around her own situation. I can't expect her to be 'grateful' to be at my home when all she wants is to be with her 'real' family. She is 17. She has a family. They may be broken in ways... but it's still her family. And, for better or worse, all I can do is to try to help her in this spot in her life. Though, it did disappoint me that she didn't even wish me a happy Mother's day.

I've taken myself off the list to have more than one foster child at this time. One is enough right now. She needs more than I know how to give some days... adding another would just make that even more difficult, IMO. And, then there's Lil M. So between the two... I've got my hands full.

Back to T. Her previous foster parents stopped placement when she punched their dash in their car. Somehow, I am wondering if she thinks that's what I'm going to do - send her back, though we haven't talked about it. But I'm not. I wasn't happy that she punched anything, but she didn't go after anyone (if she did, that'd be different). She did walk away. So, this is just something we're going to have to work through. Prayers are welcome.

Peace.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

pretty in pink

I received these gorgeous and yummy strawberries today from my friend... they were for a foster care article I was interviewed for last week (that I was nervous about but it went alright), plus Mom's day. YUM. So thoughtful.

So, speaking of the article, apparently my agency's received a couple of referrals from it already. Which is just amazing to me. :)

Lil M had her program last night and here are a couple of pics... She and her friend MK2 got to play twins because they were supposed to wear pink, yellow or white "plain" t-shirts... They are so adorable together.



Here they are contemplating the hopscotch... with their leaf-switches, that they also "swept" the sidewalk with. LOL

And, finally, here's a teeny video of the program. :) I didn't cry this year, but I imagine when she 'graduates' from DC next year, I probably will. lol.

video

Peace.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Glad it is Friday

My little one has a year-end program today at school and that's going to be neat to see. It'll be her first... and they are singing 3 songs as a class.

I've been working my butt off at work this week trying to get some test cases uploaded and will hopefully get to start testing on Monday. It's sort of been mind-numbing and a bit frustrating. But it'll be fine.

T got herself a detention at school, and then proceeded not to go to it. She'll likely get more added to it. Why do kids do that?

Thank goodness it is Friday! The weekend is almost here. :) Though, I do have a mandatory class tomorrow for my agency.

Peace.