It’s been MONTHS since Mary’s mom has shown up. Last time was sometime in early March to be exact, but just once and Mary didn’t even get to see her. Before that was mid January. We’ve dealt with meltdowns, turmoil, questions like you wouldn’t believe, and really, thing that shouldn’t be asked by a 7 year old.
“Is my mom dead?”
“Is she sick in the hospital?”
“Who’s gonna take care of my mom when she’s old and sick?”
“Did she have the baby yet?!”
“Is my baby brother or sister gonna be a foster too?!”
“Did my mom forget about me?”
“Does my mom not love me anymore?”
These shouldn’t be things that a 7 year old should be concerned with. Does my mom still love me, should NEVER be a question that a kid asks, let alone even starts to think about.
Friday, Mary’s mom showed up. It took about 100 emails, countless phone calls, visits to her home with no response, and a ton of prayers, both silent and outloud, with Mary leading, before FINALLY! last Wednesday, she showed up to the caseworkers office. She left a note stating her new address. No number. No time to be contacted. No, “Hey Lady! I’m alive and well!” Nothing! Smart on her part, considering EVERYONE who has ever dealt with the foster care system in our county KNOWS that the workers ALL have court on Wednesday. Super smooth.
The worker shows at her house. No answer. Karen (our worker) sends a letter to meet her Friday in her office. Surprisingly, mom shows. “I love my daughter and I want to see her! When can I see her?! I didn’t f*ck up too bad, did I?” ( Im pretty sure she batted her eyelashes a little when asking). By law, she is entitled to visits. By our judge, she has to take a toxicology test and not test positive. Our caseworker claims that when she saw her, she “didn’t look intoxicated”. I think looks can be deceiving.
Mary has completely been a different child since we have been getting more honest about the outcome of her case. 180 different! The therapist says the not knowing was causing severe anxiety. We agree. “We may be your forever family, honey” we say to her.
“You’re just my real moms,” she says.
“I’m gonna be a Mendez too!” she’s vocalized.
“What if the judge makes me go back with Mom and I wanna stay here?!” Good question my CooCoo. Really. Good. Question.
She has a visit with mom coming up on Thursday. Her next Tuesday therapy visit was cancelled. Not good. She has no idea she might be seeing mom. We have no idea what will happen after she sees her. We’re scared we have to start all over again. My heart hurts to know that she’ll cling to her mother and probably cry most of the visit and I can’t cuddle her and tell how much we love her and love having her in our family. We’ll have to wait until she gets home, in a fit of resentful rage, wondering why she has to come back to our house, and not back with mom. It’ll be hard. Really hard. With lots of tears and snot, and that’s just us! Poor Mary will have nightmares, not want to go to school the next day. Need more attention than we can muster with me working full time and Callie watching 3 kids until I get home, 2 of which are hardly 5 months old.
Will mom hate us and will it taint our “relationship” when Mary tells her mom we said she’s “sick in her brain”, because you know, you can’t always see “sick”, our child friendly way of saying “dealing with addiction”? Will it be more difficult to see Mary and spend time with her if, you know, this screwy system ends up sending her back home? Will the caseworker defend us when mom is flabbergasted that we would “badmouth” her to her own flesh and blood?!
We are unsettled today, gearing up for this visit. We are considering a conditional surrender just to get it over and done with, even though that’s not really what we want. We love the shit out of Mary. She’s our one and only daughter. She’s our baby. She’s our heart. She’s Mamá’s best bud. I’m nervous, and I can’t shake it. It’s gonna be hell in a day and half a time.
We’ll be strong, we’ll push on and keep on trucking like the family that we are, but someone will be angry, someone will be resentful, someone will be jaded, and I just hope and pray and wish that it’s not Mary. That it’s not us. I never thought I would be *that* foster parent. The one that wishes that the bio family will screw up so royally, that there is no other option by adoption. But I am, because now (and always) we love her. So fiercely. So wholey. So…with everything! We worry about her. And we want the very best for our little girl….