Tag Archives: kids

Suddenly it’s a great idea to foster…

…because it’s his idea. I have been very vocal about my desire to have more kids, just as I have been very vocal about everything important in my life. When Jay came to me almost 2 months ago with the suggestion that we should become licensed foster parents my first thought was “Yes! Of course! Finally!” That night, I couldn’t sleep. The foster process is long and difficult, but in my mind totally worth it. I started to get angry. For years I have tried to have more kids, using donors, looking into adoption and fostering…but I felt so alone. Everything I tried, every step I took, I was alone. Growing our family was important to me, and it was painfully clear that it was important to only me. It was clearer with ever effort that he wasn’t a willing participant in any of my attempts. 

After my hysterectomy last November I worked hard to overcome the extreme depression I fell into almost immediately after surgery. It was so painful to accept that I will never again carry a baby inside me. It was even more difficult to accept that our family, as it is now, is only going to grow when our kids have kids of their own. We already have 2 grandbabies, and I love them so much, but I don’t think I feel the grandma connection to them that i probably should. They are his kids kids, and his kids don’t like me…I feel distance is better than yet another heartache…that is on me. I was finally finding happiness with our situation. Our youngest is 18, and will likely leave us soon, making us “empty nesters”. I was as ready for it as I could be. Then he suggests we retake the foster classes (we took them almost 6 years ago, and never finished the process) and get licensed.

I asked him the next day “Why now? Why not anytime over the last 13 years when I suggested it? Is this your way of keeping me from leaving?” He said that when he got the email from the regional guy with the class schedule for May, he felt like we should do it. And he said that if I still want to leave, he understands. But now I’m really mad. I have had dreams for years about a boy that is supposed to be my son, and I know his voice, his face, even his name. Wide awake and all alone I would hear him say “Mom”. I knew that he was helping me to remember that he is supposed to be with us. My personal revelation meant nothing to Jay for over 13 years! I was beginning to think I was going crazy. The dreams stopped months ago. I stopped hearing him call for me. Now when I am wide awake and all alone…I hear nothing but silence. 

I needed time to think. I didn’t know what to do. Suddenly that yearning to have another child was back, but the anger and utter disbelief that he would bring this up like it was his idea all along, had me in an internal tug of war. I went back and forth on the idea for days. I didn’t know what I would decide, although I knew immediately what I wanted to choose. The realization that we successfully co-parented our nephews and we’re able to work together was so clear. I had finally made up my mind. 

Our marriage is broken, but the one thing that makes us communicate, work together, and support each other is taking care of kids for someone else. When we had T, and R, we were able to be happier around each other and work better together. Fostering a child will not fix our relationship, and I’m not saying it will make things better because in all actuality it will add more stress to our family. But that fire inside me was reignited and I want another child. 

We took the classes. 32 hours of uncomfortable chairs, lectures, suggestions, ideas, stories, making new friends, growing our support system, asking lots of questions and not always getting clear answers. J even went to all the classes with us, which helped her too why T and R behaved the way they did. Jay and I made a deal. I would find a way to pay for licensing costs, and he would handle all of the paperwork. We are in the process and waiting for the next step. The decisions about which placements to take will be on all 3 of us. Our hope is to adopt, but if we can’t, being a temporary stop to help children who need us will be enough. 

I can’t put into words how strongly I feel that doing this is what I need. More importantly…it’s what the children who will come into our home need. I am at peace (at least I think I am) with whatever happens. Is divorce still on the table? Yes, kind of. More put on the back burner for now. Not because I’m finally getting what I want, but because I know what the possibilities are. 

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We’ve been adjusting…

…to a new family dynamic over the past few weeks. T left for a “visit” with mom, and now lives with her parents, R is being homeschooled while we wait for the court date to arrive (where hopefully Jay will be granted shared custody). For a boy who probably never enjoyed school, homeschool is a big struggle. The classes don’t fit his needs and testing for an IEP takes time. We see the frustration building in him as he tries to complete his daily lessons. We try to reassure him that all we want is for him to try his best. If he does that, then we don’t care about grades. At this point it’s just about learning better study habits and work ethics. 

Work has become more difficult and stressful for me. I need my job. I love working with the kids (most of the time), and I’m learning so many great skills that are helping me at home. The drama at work brings back bad memories of high school though. I feel like I’m a pretty good employee. I work hard, am self motivated, I know what my bosses want from me, and I try to live up to their expectations. I’ve only worked for my boss around 2 months longer than the others I work with. My boss and I being the newcomers, I knew there would some issues, but I didn’t know how many. I’m requested by others, which I love, because that means I’m doing something right. My boss trusts me to do my job without wasting time or being on my phone. I see a need, and I do my part to fill it. It’s simply common sense in my mind. My coworkers all feel jealous and have made their jealousy known to myself, my boss, her boss, and others…many others. I don’t feel like I’m getting special treatment, but they see it differently. I’m given extra responsibilities based on my work ethics, and because I ask for them. My coworkers don’t see this. I feel like I’m always under a microscope with them. I’ve learned a lot of great techniques from my coworkers. I try to show appreciation to them for helping me when I need it. 

I have certain lines I won’t cross on the job. I will not be behind a partition alone with a child, and I won’t go into the boys bathroom, because in my line of work lies are often told by children as a means to control the situation. I’ve had children threaten to tell their parents that I hit them, called them names, said they stupid, etc. My response to these threats? “Please do!” I can safely respond this way because I have witnesses to attest to the untruthfulness of these claims. 

I had a recent incident that involved a young man going into the boys bathroom by himself. After he had been in there for quite some time, I knocked on the door, pulled the door open enough for my voice to be heard inside, and asked the boy if he needed help. He indicated he was on the toilet and didn’t need help. After another bit of time passed I asked a male employee to go check on the boy. He said the boy was on the toilet but completely undressed from the waist down. I thought to myself “Great! Now how am I supposed to handle this?”

With my boss waiting with me in the hallway we decided it was time to have another male employee clear the bathroom so I could go in and help the boy. When I finally got the all clear I got a look from the male employee that said “brace yourself!”, and I went in with the employee and found the boy had been waist and elbow deep in urinal and toilet water. His clothes were soaked and I was the one that would have to clean him up. Over an hour of him kicking and screaming through the cleanup process. I was exhausted, missed my lunch break by over an hour, and I felt like I couldn’t get myself clean enough. I told my boss that I was leaving the boy with her so I could take a timeout. The loudest thought in my head after that incident was “If they’re still jealous of me after this, then I’ll gladly go get one of them to handle any future situations that are similar to this one.” 

The environment I’m working in is becoming more and more unbearable as my coworkers hostility towards me grows, I’ve decided it’s time to put a stop to it. I’ve conferred with my boss, and am scheduling a meeting with her boss. None of my coworkers should be concerned about days that I have scheduled off, what my work schedule is, what my assignments are, or what I do during my lunch break; after all, I’m not concerned about theirs. I don’t clock in early, and I dont sit around on the clock. I have to stay late more often than not, and it’s not by my choice. I don’t always get to enjoy a full lunch break, and I go to work regardless of how big my migraine is, or how crappy I feel (unless I’m contagious). Not my coworkers though. 

I am doing my best to show up to work everyday with a smile on my face, leave worries of home outside of work, and be involved and engaged while I’m on the clock. It is difficult, but not impossible. 

Update: My patience at work is beginning to pay off. Staffing changes were made and it was made clear to everyone involved that it is only because of my boss and myself that we have the program available to help the kids, because of the 2 of us we have a strong foundation on which to build. Things are looking up, although we are still seriously understaffed.