8

Breaking the Silence in the New Year

I’m not even sure where to begin here … it’s been quite a while (“hiatus” indeed, right?!). I suppose I’m here to reflect. How unique of me to do around New Years.

2013 has been certainly the most memorable year of my life – the highest of highs and lowest of lows. A quick review:

  • January 20 – E proposed, I said yes!
  • February – E and I officially start our journey toward foster parenthood by attending an info session
  • March – MAPP classes begin
  • June 27 – We became parents to a beautiful 10 month old
  • August – We celebrated Monica’s first birthday
  • August 23 – We said tearful goodbyes to our first child
  • August 24 – Our wedding shower
  • November 9 – E and I said “I do,” the happiest day of our lives.
  • Our first holidays together as a married couple

I’ve tried many times to blog here again, and I never quite know where to start. I’m all too aware that my readers (if indeed I still have readers) are a dizzying mix of people who know every detail of what has transpired over the past four months, those who know just enough, and those who know nothing at all. As I’m sure those of you who don’t know have guessed, E and I are no longer parenting Monica. Though I cannot (nor do I want to) rehash the whole story here (I know, I’m sorry), Monica was moved from our home at the end of August. We are no longer privy to information about her, but we believe she is still in foster care. She was moved to another home in our state, and is (per account from a social worker months ago) doing well. I’ve had the past four + months to think about (in detail) all of the broken components of this system that, from our perspective, failed Monica, us, and countless future foster children we most likely will not care for. Despite all of this time, we still can’t quite sort out all that we’ve been through, and why. 

When it comes to Monica’s departure from our care, the most difficult thing for us was how sudden everything happened. From the time we found out about the move to the time we said goodbye was less than an hour. Neither of us were prepared for the total lack of time to prepare ourselves, say goodbye, pack her things … it was a truly upsetting emotional experience. Worst of all, poor Monica was just as suddenly thrust into yet another world she didn’t know, with not one familiar face. E and I are so lucky to have had our amazing support system of friends and family to help us through the loss; Monica had to deal with loss on her own, with only new people around to help her through. Unfortunately, our ability to grieve was disrupted significantly due to our need to deal with the workings of a broken system, including protecting ourselves. We had done so much to prepare ourselves to say goodbye to Monica. In fact, we knew it was an inevitability. Regardless, nothing could have prepared us for the manner in which we eventually had to say goodbye. Only now, more than four months later, have we begun to be able to talk about Monica, laugh about her quirks, bring her up in casual conversation … It was only two weeks ago that we went through all of her things and started the daunting task of dismantling the nursery.

Although all of the things that drove us to foster parenthood still remain, at this point, we are not fostering. I believe we may revisit fosterhood at some point, but for now we need to focus on healing from our experience and starting our lives together. Obviously, we’ve had quite a year! Our wedding was so perfect, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be legally wed (it really does feel different!). We are hopeful that Monica is in a good home, continuing to thrive and to transfer her healthy attachments to her new foster parent. This year saw us become parents, and now we are parents without children. I truly hope (and believe) that 2014 will be a year of healing, of love, and maybe even pursuit of parenthood (foster or otherwise) again. 

0

Day of Rest?

Today was anything but restful. We had a nice day playing inside (we went out for a bit but MAN was it humid!), taking a car ride, visiting with the neighbors, and getting a great visit (and some dinner to boot!) from my cousin and his wife. Honestly, I’m too tired to be witty and thought-provoking, so here are my daily thoughts:

  • E is so fun to co-parent with. I love watching her with Monica. She is definitely already influencing the little nugget’s interests … she got her to watch a little bit of baseball today.

watching baseball

 

  • Monica keeps amazing me with her awesome personality and temperament. The few things that she doesn’t do quite on-target developmentally (crawling, pulling up, cruising, holding her own bottle) she keeps pushing towards. She doesn’t even get mad when I put her toys out of reach. She just lunges and rolls toward them like a champ. She’ll be moving around and forcing us to baby proof in no time.

standing tall

  • E and I definitely feel attached. We are fully aware that that is important and good for Monica, and also very aware of how sad we’ll be to see her go. Of course, we’ll be thrilled for Monica that she’ll be back with her family when she leaves us, but we’re preparing ourselves for the emotional pain that we will feel when that happens. She’s such a little ray of sunshine, it’s impossible not to love her!
  • We’re excited to be thinking about our trip to see family for the 4th. We got permission to take Monica out of state for the weekend. What’s really hard is not knowing for sure if she’ll still be with us on Thursday – it makes it difficult to make plans and get the things we need when there’s the chance it won’t happen! Selfishly, I would love for Monica to meet the whole extended clan and really hope she is still with us then. And then after I think that I feel guilty for hoping that she stays in foster care longer. I know that the fam will be disappointed if they don’t get to meet her either! As it stands, the next court date where her placement could change is scheduled for after the holiday weekend, but there’s a chance it could be moved up. Just another lesson in rolling with the punches!

I’m excited for a Monica and K day tomorrow while E goes to work. It’ll be nice to have a weekday at home to follow-up on the business end of things – scheduling a follow-up with the doctor, calling DCF, working out daycare, tying up loose ends with paperwork, working out daycare, getting updates re: the court date, working out daycare … Can you tell I’m anxious to go back to work? It feels like I’ve been a stay-at-home foster parent for a month. Has it really only been 3 1/2 days?

 

2

Hello

OK so I’ve been lurking around foster care blogs for quite a while now, and have decided it is time to start my own.  I can say with confidence that I have no idea where this blog will go or how long it will last, but for now I’m here!  When I started a-lurking back in October 2012, I was thrilled to find a handful of foster parents’ blogs, and found them an excellent way to get the information that I was seeking – what’s it really like to be out there in foster parent land?  How does this system work?  How do real people handle the ups and downs?  Given my status as a “digital native,” I felt that there just MUST be a bunch of blogs out there that perfectly provide the answers to all of my questions.  I mean, the internet knows all, right?  Well, I was shocked at how difficult it was to find blogs of currently actively blogging lesbian foster parents in Massachusetts (not that they are non-existant, just difficult to find).  So I suppose/hope this blog of mine will serve a few purposes:  to inform other young, educated, gay prospective foster parents in Mass. what this looks like, to keep our friends and family (near and far) afloat of the ins and outs of this family of sometimes three, and to keep a record of this phase in my life for future reflection and general laughing-at.

Well anyway, hello to the nobody out there who is reading this right now.  Let’s all hope that I make it past one post.

-K