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Posts Tagged ‘attachment’

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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I am a rule follower – always have been.  Ask Andrew how many times he has asked me to climb a fence or duck through an unmarked door or whatever and every time I’ve said something like, ‘Don’t you think that fence is there for a reason? If we were supposed to exit that way, the door would be marked EXIT.’

I actually take my responsibilities and the laws of whatever land that I happen to find myself in (literal and figurative) very seriously. When I am in fostercare land, I follow the rules that have been set out.  I now know that those rules are mostly stupid, designed to discourage people from thinking – so I push them, I stretch them, I try to make them work for Blitzen instead of against Blitzen, I generally try to follow the playbook and when I can’t, I politely raise my hand and say, ‘I know that we have to do it this way but we all know that it isn’t going to work so could we finesse it in this manner, could we go under instead of over, can we work to find another door marked exit even if maybe it is written in invisible ink?’

Which is why I hate FTCs.  Remember when I said that I wasn’t going any more. Well, I didn’t go -  I called in.  It was still a disaster.  First of all, Andrew and I no longer feel that we can speak openly and honestly about Blitzen’s challenges – we have to speak in code when we speak at all. Secondly, it symbolizes all that is wrong with foster care.  Example – one of the action items was to create a deadline (sounds good right?) to SCHEDULE a meeting – not have the meeting and decide something but to schedule the meeting.  Guess who had to be in the meeting that had have a deadline created by which it needed to be scheduled – everyone sitting in the room and me, there on the phone.  A few other people who decided to just not show up for this first meeting should probably be invited to the second meeting but they never show up anyway so who are we kidding.  The other thing is there is no need for a meeting – just tell the foster parents what you want done, the agency doesn’t really give a shit about our opinions so just tell us the new schedule – we don’t need to set a deadline to schedule a meeting to discuss the schedule.  Yes, you read that right – it is not a typo. The primary outcome of the FTC was that we would 1) Set a deadline to schedule a meeting to discuss the schedule.

And what is most irritating about this little piece of theater of the absurd, is how insulting it is because, as stated above – I follow the rules and in this context, so does Andrew although he is even more grumbly about it than me.  We’ve been following the rules for 2 years, 7 months and 1 week and 6 days. We will do whatever it takes to get Blitzen to her family visits, we understand that is a responsibility that falls to us, so don’t waste my time with this nonsense, just tell us what is expected and we will deliver.  Un-fucking-believable!

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So, the thing with extended unsupervised family visits is that there is no damage control, there is no perspective. Whatever is heard has about 8 hours to marinate in the 11 year old brain and become fact.

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To not leave New York if I go to live with mommy?

I’m not leaving New York but how about I promise not to leave New York until your old enough to come visit me no matter where I live?

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I am really having trouble listening to Blitzen.  It is hard to sit with compassion and kindness while someone tells you how much you suck, even when you know that is not what they are really saying.  Andrew keeps telling me not to listen to her words.  And I know that this streak of awfulness is related to anxiety and fear about 1) moving 2) new summer schedule 3) vacation 4) cancelled and rearranged family visits.

Sigh.

I went out on the stoop to get some space and peace and hang out with my best friends, Ben and Jerry.  Blitzen followed me outside to yell at me some more, tell me that I didn’t need ice cream, proceeded to stick her hand in my pint (yeah, it is that bad – I am eating it straight from the carton – if you see a disheveled woman roaming the streets of NYC trying to eat ice cream discreetly from a carton wrapped in a paper bag, you’ll know that it is me) and I maturely responded by pitching the pint out into the street causing Blitzen to start sobbing and yelling that a car was going to hit the ice cream, flip over and people would die and it would be all my fault.  When I explained that due to physics, this chain reaction was extremely unlikely, she replied that she had seen it happen at her old foster home.  I couldn’t argue because Blitzen has seen a lot of fucked up and unbelievable shit so it might have actually happened.

PS – Dear internet – I know that throwing my carton of ice cream was extremely bad parenting and littering, and I am deeply regretful about both of those things. But no one died in a car flipping tragedy so at least there is that.

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1) I will continue to self-medicate with Ben and Jerry’s every night, ultimately reaching an extraordinarily unhealthy  weight as opposed to my current a little bit unhealthy weight and get diabetes, have to give up the ice cream (my sole comfort in life)?

2) My heart will explode from all the adrenal constantly coursing through my body as it plays out stupid ‘flight or fight’ to Blitzen’s fight and flight every day?

3) I will move to Alaska, change my name Brown Bear Betty and attempt to live with bears until they eat me?  I am deliciously Ben and Jerry’s flavored at this point so it wouldn’t be long before the bears decided to snack on me.

4) Figure out self-care?

I think, sadly, given my personality and 43 years of experience, 4 is actually the least likely to happen.

Also, we have an FTC today.  I know that I swore last time that I would never go back.  But since I am so bad at #4, I will probably go….

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I’ve talked about this before but Blitzen has a really hard time when fun things end.  Andrew and I have tried to keep doing what we’ve always enjoyed doing (well, maybe we’ve started doing what we’ve always enjoyed doing again) with Blitzen.  (I tend to block out that bleak, lonely, awful first year of hibernation when all we could do was make it to the park and library.) So there have been more plays and concerts.  Which is great – we love them and she loves them.  This weekend we saw A Raisin in the Sun and it was amazing.  Blitzen brought a friend and both girls were really engaged, lots of questions and good discussion -  they enjoyed themselves immensely.  Last night we saw Idina Menzel in concert at Radio City Music Hall and again, Blitzen brought a friend.  And again, a super time was had by all.

And then it is over.  And Blitzen tries to pick a fight with me before we reach the exit.  Why can’t we take a cab? Why didn’t you remind me to bring a sweater? Why won’t you take me backstage to meet Idina? You are so mean, I hate you, you never do anything fun with me.

That last one is my favorite.  Really makes me want to transport B back to the 70s when I was growing up.  First of all, my mother who loves me dearly was not / is not what you’d call playful.  You wanted to play, find a sibling or a friend and go outside – away from her. Secondly, I didn’t see a broadway play until I was 22.  I try to do fun things with Blitzen, I really do.  But it is hard for her to see it sometimes.

So I’ve been practicing dropping my end of the rope. You can’t play tug of war unless both people participate and I remind myself each day to ‘let it go’ to quote Idina.

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And was sitting behind a mom and 2 girls. It was late and they were all excitedly talking about their day, how hungry they were and how they couldn’t wait to stop at McDonald’s, how much they had missed their mom during day because ‘we just love you so much!’.  They were maybe 9 and 10. You could just feel the love rolling off the whole family.  It was really sweet and made me smile.  And then it made me sad because the last time I stopped at that same McDonald’s with B it was awful – strangers staring but not in the good way awful.  And it is just a reminder of how much emotional weight that poor Blitzen carries around each and every day.  How fraught each day is and filled with confusion and anxiety — missing her mom or missing me isn’t easy and it is never light-hearted.

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Quoting email from our caseworker:

‘We are finished with this round and the next court date will be in October. There was no resolution this time – foster care will continue until permanency is achieved. The goal for all the kids is still reunification.’

Meanwhile, all manner of shit that I can’t discuss here has gone down and still, we lope along as if we are in no hurry.  These children will have been in care for 7 contiguous years in August, 7 years and numerous placements (and not all the good nurturing kind of placement either).  3 of the children are in unstable placements as we speak.

But no hurry.

Can I say it for the 10,000 time?  Why haven’t these children been returned to their parents?  After 7 years (the entire life of one of the children, by the way — never ever has lived with her bio parents), you’d think given all the resources that have been poured into this, the hours in the court, the case managers and therapists, that someone should have been able to make a determination about whether or not these parents can parent safely.  You’d think.

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‘I dot Like you. I will navel like you again. Sin: Blitzen XXX XXX’

Then 2 minutes later, ‘ I am sore’

I am glad she signed it.  I would be quite alarmed if Andrew navel liked me again.  With Blitzen, I assume it is a passing thing.

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