Tuesday, November 21, 2006

It's an illness!

This foster parenting thing, that is.

Almost every day I think, yeah, maybe we should get back on the list earlier than we had thought we would. As if 3 weeks of good sleep, time for cooking and cleaning and hanging out together...is just too much (or enough) and we should mess it up with a new foster placement.

Since we're doing the private adoption route, too, I should KNOW that once we get that placement, that's it. No more sleep. No more "just us" time. Parenthood 24/7 for infinity.

Why do I want to mess with this special time we have now? Why do I want to take in some unknown baby sooner?

Because they're CUTE! and CUDDLY! and, for the time they're with me, MINE!

It really is so very weird to be parents without a child. I spend time trying to figure out what it was that I did with my free time before we became foster parents (2 years ago). I truly can't remember. It probably wasn't anything all that exciting.

Really, we're enjoying our time off. We're cooking, baking, cleaning, reading, visiting with friends, helping out our friends with kids, etc. It's really great.

But we will be ready for our adoptive placement starting in mid-December. And if we don't have one yet, we'll be getting back on the foster placement list around Christmas or New Year's. That's not very far away, really.

I just want to snuggle a baby, dress it up, sing it to sleep, play on the floor.

I guess I'll have to make do with our cats. Who really enjoy all those activities...except the dressing up.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Riding the Grief Train

So it's been almost 2 weeks since Niblet was legally returned to her dad. We've seen her once a week since, on the weekend. The first day was just the afternoon and we brought her back after dinner. This weekend we took her for the afternoon and overnight.

She is wonderful and continues to amaze us with her constant learning and her extreme cuteness.

At first, we were very happy to have the whole process over with. Her dad finally has her back and the county doesn't dictate little Niblet's life any more. It's a good thing. Her dad is very willing, even happy, to have us in her life, and we don't lose out on seeing her. It has really gone as well as could be hoped for.

But (and you knew there was a but, right?) it has still happened. We have still lost our baby girl. We have still lost the dreams we had. Lost the right to have her 24/7. Lost the right to be her moms. We will always have had that and we will always have lost it.
This apparently takes about 2 weeks to settle in and now that it has, well, it hurts.

We are sad. And since there's really nothing we can do about it, it's kind of aggrevating to be sad, so we're upset that we're sad. Helpful, I know.

I certainly don't want to cut off visits with her. I love her and want to see her as often as possible. It's just very hard to be with her and not be her parent. To put her to sleep and know that, in the morning, we'll be bringing her back to her parents.

Oh, yes, I said parents. Because her mom is back in the picture. Released from jail, I'm assuming, and seemingly living with Niblet and her dad. We have no idea what to think of this and can't figure out a way to ask someone if it's a good thing or not without it getting back to the parents and having them cut off our visits because they think we're narc-ing for The County.

The best thing I can come up with is asking the counselor here at work who the dad worked with. She has no connection to the county at all. But confidentiality really keeps her from saying anything to me. I just imagine that if I went to her crying and asked her to just tell me if she thought Niblet was safe with her mom around, she might tell me the truth. And, really, I want the answer to be yes. I think that it would be a good thing for Niblet to have her mom around. She's way younger than the dad, more "with it", and it reduces the chances that he'll get fed up with her. Sharing the load is always better.

Anyway, so this adds to the stressful feelings regarding Niblet. Not helpful.

It's just hard. I've never really had anything like this happen and I don't know how to grieve and move through it, while still maintaining a relationship with Niblet and her family.

There's no Wikipedia entry for this. No book I can get from the library. Hopefully time and friends will cure all. Until then...this sucks.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Visits for us!

On Saturday morning I called Niblet's dad and asked if we could visit with her some time soon. Turned out he was going out during the day on Sunday, but we could take her for the afternoon. We did, for about 3 1/2 hours. And it was awesome! I was afraid there would be some weirdness, being with her but not being her parents. And there was not. It was perfect in every way.
And afterwards, fostermommmy asked him if we could set up regular visits and we all agreed that we'd come pick her up every Sunday at 2pm, and then either bring her back that night or keep her overnight and bring her back Monday morning.

We are so lucky. And so is she, to have a dad who seems to be doing a great job taking care of her and isn't too threatened to let her keep this strong bond that she's had for the past year.