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A friend of ours named T has been one of our most important resources during the Blitzen years. T has experience with traumatized kids and is the mother of three, including a girl Blitzen’s age. Blitzen loves T, and wishes we cooked as well as she does.

Last week, T was asked to care for three more kids, the grandchildren of her recently-deceased best friend. The kids’ parents filed a petition in court asking for a temporary custody order to give T custody.

We’re learning a lot about temporary custody — shout out to friends who have shared expertise with both T and us. The short version of the story is that T and the three kids she’s caring for don’t have access to resources that kids in care have. No insurance, no board rate for clothes, etc.

If any NYC readers have hand-me-downs they could share with T, we’d really appreciate it. The kids are 3, 4 and 9 years old. Here’s a list of things that would be appreciated:

Double stroller
Riding toys (tricycle, truck, little girls bike with training wheels)
Size 3 or 4 clothes for the 4-year-old girl
Size 2 or 3 clothes for the 3-year-old boy
Size 12 clothes for the active, athletic 9-year-old girl (Blitzen has some hand-me-downs to share, though they’re a little too pink and purple)

Feel free to email us at fosterwee at gmail dot com. Thanks!

 

 

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Blitzen’s friend said to her as we were standing in line at Cold Stone Creamery.  Blitzen, ever competitive, said, “My mom works more.”  I listened, wondered where this was going.  Blitzen’s friend, “Really? My mom has to work weekends. Does your mom work on the weekend?” Blitzen considered this and said, “Yes, she does and sometimes she has to take really long business trips and she has to help the President (of a University – not THE president). ”  Then she looked up and said, “Don’t you, Carrie?”

These moments never fail to surprise me — after almost 3 years, you would think that I would remember that in certain situations, I am ‘mom’.

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Since our move, we’ve been decorating, really getting Blitzen engaged in her room but also in the decor of the apartment at large.  We’re adding some photos of her and her family in addition to the many that we have of her, putting them in  frames and hanging up around the house.  We’ve always had lots of photos on the fridge and the bulletin board but we’re stepping it up a notch, going for a fancier presentation.

We had some lovely frames from back in the day (actually wedding gifts! so waaayyy back)  that we removed the photos from and offered to Blitzen.  This is the email that Andrew sent to me about what happened when he presented them:

***

Blitzen loved the picture frames. I showed them to her without photos in them, and invited her to find photos to put in them. She chose a picture of her, her littlest baby sister and one of her brothers for one and our wedding picture for the other. You can choose a picture with you in it, I invited. She pointed to our photo, then to the words “Loves Me” on the frame. Both frames are now in her room.

Love ya,
A

 

 

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Back to work

How many days do I think to myself, ‘Oh, Blitzen!’ Well, Blitzen was pretty mad that I have to go back to work. Andrew doesn’t, so why do I? Why can’t I take the whole month of July off too? It is certainly not for lack of wishing that I could.

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Seashells

Blitzen, upon gathering a gallon ziplock full shells, was told by Andrew that perhaps she didn’t want to carry them all home and maybe she should consider discarding the broken ones.

Blitzen, in true Blitzen style, said, ‘sometimes broken shells heal themselves. And the broken ones always have a story.’

Indeed.

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Whale watching

Blitzen, as we pull out of the harbor, ‘This is amazing!’ I will say that Blitzen is very much in the moment when we do new things and enjoys herself quite a bit*. We saw a blue whale, a super pod of porpoises and a hammerhead shark. And it was a calm and peaceful boat ride with my family. Really really fun.

*transitioning from fun new thing to real life can get rocky but is improving all the time.

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I am freakishly relaxed as is Blitzen. We took Blitzen, my niece and a kid that lives in my mom’s neighborhood to the water park.

Once we staked out our territory, laid out our towels under an umbrella and got ready for the water, Blitzen thought she might want to have a fight. ‘Are you coming in with me, Carrie? Probably not, you never play with me especially not swimming!’ And I replied, ‘I am happy to come. What do you want to do first?’ Blitzen looked at me said, ‘Oh, never mind, I forgot – there are kids!’ And off she went.

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Vacation time

We are heading out on vacation this week.  Blitzen and I are a little bit anxious.  Neither one of us does well when we are out of our routine.  And while we’ve had a better couple of weeks, Blitzen is still pushing my buttons and by pushing, I mean something similar to playing whack a mole on my each and every nerve.

Last night, I made one of Blitzen’s favorite dinners which she, of course, refused to eat.  She then flipped over my favorite photo (of all of us) so it was face down and said some mean stuff.  Folks, I realize this is not that bad and in fact, is probably typical 11 year old shit but – more info than you need  – frankly, I am a little PMS-y so I got a bit teary.  I turned to Andrew and said, ‘I am really dreading vacation.’  Blitzen, who has the hearing of an owl, whipped her little head around 180 degrees and glared at me from the living room – where she was sulking on the couch and pretending that she wasn’t hungry*.  Then announced to Andrew, ‘Carrie is so-o annoying. She is so-o sensitive. Any time I am mean to her, she just gets upset! She always has her feelings hurt!’  I do wish you all could hear Blitzen in these moments — intonation really is everything.  That said, it was meaningful that she was able to acknowledge the course of events, even though she remains (deliberately) mystified about why her actions impact me, I will call it progress that she was willing to admit that they do impact me..

* Even though she was starving, having walked in the door 15 minutes earlier saying, ‘If you don’t want me to come home hungry, you should think about that before you send me to spend the day with Mommy!’  – regular, balanced meals are not yet part of the full-day visit routine, unfortunately.

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Future Planning

Blitzen, as I picked her up from family visit:

“I’m sick of being in the system.  I want to move back home with my family, after I get a dog and go to college.”

 

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Tours

Blitzen has been giving her friends tours if our new apartment on FaceTime, it is quite amusing.

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