Yesterday, around 4pm, Callie and Mary met the new adoption worker. She called on Monday to set something up to meet Mary for the first time. It was pretty informal and it was just to give us a little more information about what the termination and adoption process would be like. From what Callie told me, it was pretty uneventful, but with situations like this, we like to wait until the last minute to inform Mary because otherwise her anxiety goes through the roof, waiting and ruminating about how it will all turn out. Usually we don’t even tell her she is having a visit with her birth mom until the morning of, nonchalant, as she is grabbing her backpack and walking out the door. “Oh CooCoo, you might have a visit today with your mom! Have a great day! We love you!” She spends most of the day distracted at school, and then she only has 20 minutes to worry on the bus ride to see her mom.
After school yesterday (3:30pm), Callie let her know that the new adoption worker was on the way and that they were going to get to meet her. Immediately, Mary shut down. About 5 minutes later, she told Callie what was bugging her. ” If I get adopted today, I’ll never get to see my baby sister!! Will I ever get to see my mom again?” (When Mary had her visit last Thursday, her mom was supposed to bring her new baby sister to the visit but didn’t because it was raining…I know! Don’t get me started! Always breaking promises!). She shut down because she thought she was being adopted right then and there. Callie reassured her right away that the woman was not there to sign the adoption papers that day. She was there to meet her and start to get to know her better, because we will be working together for a long time while all of the court and adoption things are going on. Probably until all the way to 3rd grade! She seemed to calm down a little after that, but the whole time that the adoption worker was there, Mary wouldn’t even look at her. She kept her nose buried in a book pretending to read. She didn’t make eye contact, she was shying away from all of her questions, and acting like the shy girl that we haven’t seen since the first week she came to live with us 18 months ago.
When the worker left, Callie asked Mary how she was feeling, and she refused to answer. She said she was reading her book. When Callie asked her what she had read, Mary gave her the “oh shit! She knows I wasn’t reading!” face. Callie didn’t push it. She knew it was a lot for a 7 year old to take in. A few minutes later, Mary asked, “Am I going to therapy this week?!?” I love that she understands that therapy is where she can talk about these things and her feelings in a safe space, especially when she isn’t ready to talk to us yet. Hopefully she’ll be able to sort some of those things out, and come home and pour her heart out, which is what she usually does.
How do I really feel about this whole situation? Honestly, and I’ll be really candid here…I can’t wait for this whole shit to be over. I can’t wait for my daughter to understand that everything that has happened so far in her life is not her fault. She holds onto every. Single. Little. Detail of her past like you have no idea. It’s her fault she was taken away from mom because “mom always listens to what I say and she didn’t listen when I told her not to go to Florida. I TOLD HER! I told her they would take me away again! It’s my fault because she didn’t listen to me and she always listens to me!” And then there’s the, ” I told mommy I really wanted a baby and so she had a baby for me. Now they took the baby away, and it’s my fault! I told her to have a baby and she always listens to me.” This is what this parent has done to her child! It’s frustrating and infuriating. I wish I could help her see that none of the circumstances of her life are her fault AT ALL! In fact, they are completely, totally, and 100% her mothers fault, for making poor choices and having terrible parenting skills. I wish that this adoption would move quickly, or that her mom would realize what is really best for her daughter, and just sign over her rights. Callie and I are THOSE foster parents, the ones that always side with the bio-parents. We really have no reason not to, because hey! Let’s be real here! We’re all human, and people make mistakes, but when is enough enough!? Callie and I were supportive and encouraging, and behind mom 100%. We WANTED her to get her daughter back. We’re not in the business of breaking up families, but it got to the point where we couldn’t support her choices and bad decisions any more. We refuse to let Mary get hurt any more than she already has. We refuse to continue to let her be a victim of poor judgement any longer. We will fight, with everything that we’ve got, to give her a normal, stable life, with a family who loves her and does everything in their power to make good, strong, powerful choices for her and guide her life in the best direction we know of. We love the hell out of this kid, and it kills us to see her go through the ups and downs of knowing that her mom loves her (she really does and they have a very loving relationship) but can’t seem to do the right thing often and long enough to give Mary what she needs. I mean, imagine, you are on your way to adoption and mom misses so many of your visits, but has a new baby with a new dad that loves her, and gets to see everyday, and promises you that you’ll see the baby and then doesn’t show up? THIS friends, is what we are contending with…I really hope our love is enough…