She Knows…


Tuesday evening, the elevator climbs up the 3 floors to our apartment.  Before I put my key in the door, I take a deep breath and prepare myself for what will possibly be a tough night of explaining what happens next and trying to manage loads and loads of tears, but before I turn the key, I hear squeals and laughter.  I slowly open the door, and the boys are sitting on the floor stacking a few boxes and knocking them down, thinking it is the most hilarious thing they have ever done/seen.  I hear voices in the kitchen…more laughter.

Mary and Callie are talking.  Mary is sitting on the step stool, elbows on her knees, chin resting in the palm of her hands.  She looks…happy…which is not really what I expected.

Hey my two favorite ladies!  How’s everything? What are you talking about?!

I have a lot of feelings.

Hmm, you do?  Well, what are they?! Wanna talk about it?!

I was talking to mommy about it.  I was telling her I went to parenting. (Mary goes to parenting for an hour once/week.  Her and her mom meet with a therapist who monitors and corrects/applauds/helps with positive and appropriate interactions)

Oh, yeah!  And how was it?  Did you and your mom play games?

No, we just talked.



Oh!  Well, that’s important stuff to talk about!  And what did she say about it?!

She said that I’m getting adopted.

SHE DID! ::GASP:: And how did that make you feel when she told you that?

It made me feel really happy and really sad at the same time.

You wanna tell me more about that?  Why happy and why sad?

Sad because I won’t see my mom so much anymore.  I can only see her 4 times a year, so that means I can only see my baby sister 4 times a year, and I won’t be able to see my family, like my Titi (mom’s sister) or my grandma (who passed away right before Austin was born and mom still hasn’t told her) or my cousins in Florida, that I forget their names, and that makes me sad.  But happy because I never have to leave again and I can stay here with you and mommy and my brothers, and we can be a family. Oh, and I can sleep over Wita’s house with Izzy whenever I want!!!

We didn’t think that Mary would be able to absorb this huge news and process it so quickly, but it’s 2 days later and all we see is the hugest change in her behavior and her demeanor.  She’s always been upbeat, funny, helpful, but lately it hasn’t been at the level that it’s always been.  She’s been dragging her feet a little more, being a little more whiny and complainy about the tiniest things, short of patience, lots of errors on her homework from being careless and uninterested, but just in the past 2 days she has somehow, in some weird way, flourished.  It’s like she became a whole new kid, literally overnight!  She set the table without being prompted.  She’s not only been brushing her teeth, but FLOSSING without having to be told.  Her bed has been made the past 2 days before I am even up in the morning.  Not a single mistake on her homework in the past 2 days.  She can concentrate.  She’s been sleeping (she was having severe anxiety and hasn’t slept soundly in a couple of weeks).  I mean, who would have thought that just KNOWING that you aren’t leaving again can make such a huge difference.  That same afternoon she came home with a Green Card from the after-school program.  I don’t know, but it can’t possibly be a coincidence that Mary hears the news that she is going to have a forever family after 5 years in foster care and gets rewarded for EXCELLENT behavior.  I don’t know why we were expecting her to be beside herself, and lost.  She has expressed over and over again that she wants to be adopted.  We should have known that this news would flip her life around, but in an amazing way.

When Mary went to bed, Callie and I talked.  Mary and her mom met with the parenting therapist from 2-3pm , and then Mary went on her own to touch base with her individual therapist from 3-3:30.  Mary’s therapist had called Callie and told her how it went down.  Lisa, Mary’s mom, explained that the judge had made the choice to make Mary adoptable.  She told her that she would only be seeing her 4 times a year.  She also said that Mary could see her whenever she wanted as long as we thought it was ok, and the parenting therapist cosigned that ish!  Callie and I were pretty upset about this, but luckily Mary had told her individual therapist that it was said, and she corrected it right away telling Mary that the judge said it was only 4 times and that was it, and also confronting the parenting lady and telling her that it was inappropriate to agree with that.  We aren’t really fans of the parenting coach.  This is the same lady that let Mary’s mom tell her that we aren’t her parents and that those aren’t her brothers, and Mary came home really hurt and upset about it.

Mary asked mom some hard questions.  “Why didn’t you do the right thing so you could get me back?  Why didn’t you make good choices?  Why is it so hard for you to make good choices?  Don’t you love me?”  I can’t imagine being a mother and having my kids ask me questions like that.  But the interesting thing, the one thing that we absolutely did NOT expect…Mary didn’t cry.  The whole time.  Not once.  In fact, when she got home, she shed about 3 tears, probably because she felt safe and comfortable enough with us to do so, and just because we know her so well, we knew that they were forced, almost like she thought that was what we expected.  It was like she was fighting to keep the smile OFF of  her face.  Friends, this kid is so, so happy, despite it taking her away from her biological family, it has cemented her place in her, permanently, in ourd. Her chosen family.  The place where her heart is.  That is all we wanted for her…safety, happiness, and permanency.  We’re almost their friend…we are almost there…

Day 4 of Operation No More Bobo’s is a success!  They haven’t asked for bobo’s once today and they are both currently napping!  Thanks the bobo gods!



23 thoughts on “She Knows…

  1. This is wonderful news for your whole family! I’m not surprised by Mary’s transformation. She knows she’s staying exactly where she’s safe, loved and has consistency. I’m sure it helps her to know that she’ll still be able to see her mom a few times/year and that connection won’t be severed.

    You all must be so relieved!

    • So so relieved! The best part is that she is ok with only seeing her mom 4 times a year. After we explained how lucky she is to still be able to see her mom she was much happier. We know loads of foster families that adopted and their kids NEVER get to see their birth families and she knows that, so I think it was special to her to still have that relationship. The goal (at least for me, I won’t speak for Callie) is to foster a great relationship with her birth mom and be able to do more things together because really, how is your kid getting MORE love a bad thing?!

  2. That is amazing. I’m so happy to hear that you’re moving forward with adoption and that Mary is SO amenable to it. This has been such a long journey for all of you. How long will the adoption process take now?

    • They said it takes anywhere from 3-6 months, sometimes earlier, sometimes later. Luckily for us, we are on it, and have already spoken to the adoption worker and have an appt with her next Tuesday. We want to get the adoption done before the end of the summer so we can take a huge family trip to Niagara Falls on the Canadian side with all of my siblings and parents, but she needs a passport and also Canada has winter for like 9 months! We were shooting for Disney but 4 kids is tons of money! And it’s weird but i keep seeing August 22nd in my head. It keeps flashing. I feel like that might be the day somehow. Here’s hoping at least!

  3. I am so happy right now!! This is just such wonderful news for Mary and I am not in the least bit surprised that she’s handling it so well – she wants to be with you and know she’s being told she really will be. It must offer her such a huge sense of relief (and the whole family for the matter)!

    • It does! She’s been sleeping well, cuddling more, and just generally more happy! It’s so wonderful to know that that she is ours, so I can only imagine what it feels like to her knowing that we are hers! If it feels this good and she technically hasn’t been adopted yet, I can only guess what that special day will feel like!

  4. I’m so happy for you all; this totally made me cry. It must be a huge relief after so much uncertainty.

    Also – you inspired us to ditch the pacifier! She’s currently having her second pacifier-free nap, so we’ll see how it goes… Glad to hear things are improving for your two!

      • Okay, so far… She cried a lot going down, but slept fine once she was asleep. We only
        ever let her have it at nap/bed time, so I’m hoping it won’t be too too bad… The night will be the worst, I think, because she wakes often and usually uses it to get back to sleep. And I have no idea how we’ll make it through the night without caving, when we know exactly what she wants and we could so easily give it to her. I feel so mean! And also, like I want whatever sleep we can possibly get…

      • I hear that! We tried not to give Austin the paci at all, and he started sucking his thumb, and the paci is DEFINITELY the lesser of two evils, so paci it is. But we’ll start trying to take it away before he’s 9 months, but if he’s gonna be sucking his thumb, YIKES! Glad it’s going ok so far. day 2 is the hardest I think, so you might just be over that hump!

  5. I’m getting weepy again.

    I’m so excited about the future of your family! I can’t think of a better place for her to spend forever – you guys and your extended community is ridiculously lovely.

    I’m so happy her birth mom stepped up and gave her this selfless gift. It will be the best thing she’s ever done for all of you. I know this has been a long, winding, difficult road for you all and I’m glad it’s coming to a happy end. 🙂 (Or, I should say, happy beginning!)

  6. Congrats! Though you’ve been a family for a while now, it’s so GREAT that others are FINALLY starting to recognize it as well!

  7. I am so happy for all of you! I really love reading about how happy and confident Mary is feeling about it. It seems like everything is turning out perfectly.

  8. So many tears of joy for your family! I am so happy for you all. I can not even begin to imagine the way Mary must be feeling. Bless you and Callie for bringing her in to your family and making her one of yours.

  9. I’m so glad she is processing it well! It sounds like she got most of her sad feelings out before, when her mom wasn’t showing up or working her case plan…now she is ready to put that mess behind her! Maybe you could do more than 4 visits a year, down the road, if bio-mom REALLY got her act together, but I agree you should not promise anything like that! People hear what they want to hear sometimes.

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