I went to my counselor's appt an hour early by mistake. Which gave me 45 min to walk around down town. I ran into a bar that served lovingly made microbrews. I would've loved to squat there, have a pint and be on my way. But smelling of hops before a counseling appt is well, gauche.
Then there was the hipster barbershop. The workers resplendent with full sleeve tattoos. There was laughing and kitchy decor. I longed to get a good hair wash, deep conditioning treatment or maybe a new funkaliscious cut. Go a bit wild and embrace my own heavily tattooedness. But no. I go to the salon at walmart. Where my roots are well cared for and the price is just right.
I walked in the sun and being popped by chilly autumn air.
Then I saw 4 gigantic black tour buses. Not the old people on tour buses but high end buses. The Chicago Bears were in town for the game. DAAAAAHHHH BEARS! There were folks with white binders milling about. At first I thought they were survey takers or political 'sign my petition' people. But no, just folks with baseball cards, except with football people on them. They were autograph seekers.
I live in a town where Da Bears are much maligned. When I told folks I had seen the tour buses I was asked, with no sense of irony and with the straightest of faces, "Did you slash their tires?"
Meanwhile my milling about continued because Da Bears were long since in their hotel and the crowd was dribbling away. There was a man, holding a specially made street sign, emblazoned with orange lettering. He donned a baseball cap with the teams logo. His boy and girl, both school aged, wore identical hats. I thought to myself, that's a lot of special ordering. And for what? Their team isn't that good. And their home field faces one of the great lakes, making games unrelenting with the beer freezing gusts of tear your lips off wind. Why would you take pride in this?
Which leads me to my greater point. The Packers is a religion around here. I'm not kidding. At my old church, we had a guest speaker who was a humanitarian of the highest order, feeding starving children in Mexico, building schools and digging wells to sustain entire villages.He made an ice breaking about the Packers and us Christian folk, usually so friendly and welcoming with coffee and cookies, we booed him. Subtly and quietly, but his face went white and he made a quick apology.
I think we are on month two of welcoming back Melody. With all bonus kids (aka foster kids) there is a honey moon period where love is everything. Then the trauma based behavior rear up. Stuff like holes in walls, screaming, breaking remotes and arguing. We skipped the honeymoon I think. She was with us from age 4-7. Now she's 9.
Tonight was rough but better. The screaming and fighting was minimal and defused. I worked really hard on holding my upset. Not taking the bait to argue and give more rules. I am not perfect. It started with me taking the remote because it's bed time. Her shrieking and crying began. Howls of it's not fair and you give me nothing.
I made warmed up oatmeal for Max and tried my hardest to ignore. To calmly repeat, I feel bad for you. I love you too much to argue with you. I know you hate me but I love you no mater what. Over and over. AND OVER AND OVER. Like the love and logic folks say.
But it's not fair. It's not fair Melody is here when she wants to be with mom. It's not fair that I need to help clean up and calm a mess her mama made.
It's not fair I am working up the nerve to make small talk with a woman that scares the hell out of me. AKA Melody's mom. It's not fair that her daughter is becoming my daughter AGAIN. I am becoming friendly with a woman I have ten thousand emotions about. But I want to create something between her and me. A bond. Is there such a thing as sister moms?
I want to just scream at the mom. I want to say look, this isn't going end anytime soon. Melody has been in foster care since age 4. There are things that are going to make this better and things that make things worse. Help us.
Help us by not going on spending sprees and buying air Jordan's. Help us by not putting make up on your nine year old. Help us by getting a job that doesn't involve shaking your money maker because you are older now and dollar dollar bill ya'll ain't a life plan. Help us by not going to jail on probation holds, because you won't provide a urine drug screen.
But I can't scream because she's kind of deaf. Deaf to planning. Deaf to reality. Deaf to all of it because all of it is going her way. The county pays her rent and she has a benefactor that pays for the rest of it. And we are providing 24/7 child care and doing the hard work of being her baby's parents.
She did have a job interview and I guess it well.
Maybe she'll rise up. Work hard. Get the stuff she needs to be a mom that Melody can come back to.
If not. I'll ask she help us by stopping with this wild fantasy that eventually, she'll live with her mom.
Melody is settling in, our boomerang bonus kid. She is a lot easier in some ways. Last go round she didn't have a lot of words to express her upsetness. So our drywall and car doors got carved into. She's a lot more aware now. She understands she's in foster care and says no thank you.
I work on my reactivity to her. Like her momma, getting everyone riled up is a skill she's mastering. My theory is that this allows her control in a world where she has very little. But she can't be in control, she's a kid. So we allow choices whenever we can and hug her as we say no.
Her mom is baseline from what I can tell. Working as an pole technician and buying her air jordans. WHAT is with the air jordans? Why must every foster kid have these expensive shoes? Honestly, I didn't know they existed before I was a foster mom.
We are in a pattern much like 2 years ago. Her mom doing 35% of what is needed to reunite. I am doing better with her mom. I'm not afraid or reactive to her like I use to be. She's not aggressive with us about doing her baby's hair right. Which is actually kind of sad. I hope this means she is not letting go.
So folks ask if we will adopt her and we have the same answer. Which is not at this point. In fact, I'm still hoping mom will pull it together and be able to take Melody back full time like for realsies. Mr. Hall believes she will continue to get better then crash.
Really, in reality, it doesn't change anything. Even if we do end up adopting her this will be the life. Having this relationship with her mom. Visits and whatnot.