Sunday, September 7, 2014

Foster Mom

The boys have scheduled visits with their birth mother. Two hour visit, every other week. So far, this is the hardest aspect of fostering, for me. I can't speak for Jake or the boys, but for me, this is tough.

I am with them day in and day out.. I love these boys very much. It's been a gradual love, and it grows every day. Here's the truth, when we brought Carson home, he was our son, we loved him immediatly. Read about it here. That's how private adoption works. His birth mother chose an adoption plan for us, she chose us. There wasn't a legal risk for his adoption. He had a different name for the six months before we were able to finalize, but we knew we would finalize. Fostering is completely different. We loved them as soon as we pulled them out of the CPS investigator's car. We loved them instantly, but it was a different kind of love. We love them because they are precious boys who need a home and crave love. We love them with hope in our hearts they will be our sons. But they aren't. Not yet. So, here I am, caring for these boys, I am not just a care giver, but I am not their mom. I am their foster mom. I didn't understand the meaning of this phrase when they first came home. Today I love them so much it hurts, I love them, in many ways, like Carson. But, I do love them with caution. I am afraid I won't be their mom. I pray for the strength to love them to the best of my ability, and the Lord is growing that love. He is showing me what it means to love them without fear. Little by little these boys are stealing my heart. My guard is dropping, and I'm beginning to imagine them as Piatt's. I know I can't get ahead of the process, I know I am helpless, but one thing I refuse to be is afraid. These boys are family, and they are my sons. They are my dear foster sons.

So, that's where I am. I want to be their real mom. But, the goal of CPS is reunification at this time. Which is why they have visits. So, they had their first visit and the CPS transporter brought them back and said "it went well, they pretty much fought over a phone the whole time. They are very aggressive." Sigh. They aren't really that aggressive anymore. They do hit a level of frustration faster than most toddlers and it escalades very quickly, but they are making major strides. When they first arrived everything was a huge tantrum, lots of kicking, hitting, biting, screaming. Now, those things happen a lot less and aren't as extreme. Well, they came home from visit #1 in a very agitated state. They completely reverted back to day one behavior. Whistle was screaming and crying and really aggressive towards me. He kept screaming "mama" and he was not talking about me. Smash was really upset, but didn't want to be left alone. Whistle kept taking his clothes and diaper off in his crib and screaming. He didn't want me to hold him. Smash wanted me to hold him, and he cried off and on all night. I sat in bed and wondered if we'd lost all the progress we'd made. But, they woke up the next morning in the best mood. It was a total reset. Praise the Lord.

Visit #2 I got them dressed, packed a lunch, and some of their new favorite toys. I tried to send a lot of things for them to do so they wouldn't have to fight over the phone this time. It's weird to send them off to a visit. I wanted it to go well for their sake. So, I did my best to set them up for a good time. Transporter said it went a little better. But, their behavior was exactly like the last time. Whistle tried to bite me multiple times. Smash just cried all afternoon, they refused a late nap and we put them down early. Smash had an asthma attack that night, about 30 minutes into bed time I heard the worst scream of my life.. I ran in there and he was freaking out. I gave him the inhaler and rocked him for about 45 minutes. *yea, I gave him the inhaler, even though Whistle is the one with asthma (remember the whole foster mishap) * But, turns out he does have early signs of asthma, so it was a good call. I went to bed that night with a broken heart. I hate seeing them so stressed. They are doing so well. They are thriving off the love and consistency we show them. I wish they didn't have to go.

Which brings us to visit #3.  CPS didn't call to confirm their visit, so I spent the morning hopeful it wouldn't happen. But, I decided I better call and check. Yep, they said transporter was on the way. I cried as I packed their backpacks. I didn't want them to go. I prayed for protection over them, and for the strength and compassion I would need when they returned home. They were so excited to get dressed because they thought we were all going somewhere. But, when the doorbell rang and the transporter walked in, they both backed away from the door and into my legs, Smash started crying right away. He did not want to go. I loaded Whistle, kissed him and told him I'd see him soon. Then went around to the other side of the car to try and calm Smash down. He reached for me, like please don't make me go. So tough. I kissed him and got him to calm down, then told him I would see him later. As they drove off, I was just sick to my stomach. I hate what she did to them, I hate that she still gets to see them, I hate that she said we can't cut their hair... Okay, I'm getting into a post I'll need to write later. My struggle to love their birth mother and find a way to forgive her. I know I need to, and I'm asking the Lord to help me with this, but I'm not there. Back to the visit. I put Carson down for his nap, picked up the house, crawled in bed to take a nap, and my phone rang. The transporter called to say birth mother didn't show up and she was on her way back with the boys. I'm not going to lie, I was thrilled. I was so relieved they didn't have to see her. I was hopeful they'd be in a better mood when they got home. They came home and were so happy to see me. We played for a bit, lots of cuddles, and they went down for a late nap because schedule was a bit off. It was a great evening.

They have a visit this week. I don't know what will happen. I do know if she doesn't show up a few more times they will require her to get there early and won't send anyone to get boys unless she's there. I don't know how many "warnings" she gets. I hope not too many, because it's hard on the boys to travel to dallas and back if she's not even going to show up or call to say she can't make it.

We still don't know much about the case or which way it's headed, or when we will know anything. So I continue to learn what it means to be a Foster Mom. I'm not perfect, I've never claimed to be, but I know I'm exactly what these boys need, and I know I need them. These things don't happen by chance. The Lord is gracious and He's called me to mother these boys. I hope it's forever, but I'm thankful for today. Today I am a mom to three beautiful boys.

This precious Pistol

 Sweet Whistle

 and Mr. Smash

See y'all soon. 

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