Not okay

I continually learn new and interesting ways that humans are scum. My poor girls have been abused in ways that are just evil.

Putting out cigarettes on a twelve year old’s skin as punishment for the child’s self harm

Forbidding a second grader to speak for days, and then beating her if she slips up

Prostituting out a nine year old to all her male relatives

Rape. Starvation. Violence. Abandonment. Torture. Incest.

I let my kids tell me because they need to tell someone. They need someone to listen to the worst of everything, and then assure them that it wasn’t their fault and they are not worthless because of it. It hurts so much to hear it, but they need me to hear it. They shouldn’t have to carry it alone.

But after hearing so much of it tonight, I’m crumbling under the weight of it all. My poor sweet ones. When they are all in bed safely, I will go to my room and cry. I’m not okay.

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AE the Inventor

In many ways, AE reminds me of the good times with ML. Most notably in her tendency to say ridiculously hilarious things out of nowhere. Today she was sitting and painting a sculpture she had made from cardboard. It looked cool, and she said that it’s for her sister. We then had this exchange.

Me: Hey AE, that paint job looks awesome! You’re very creative.

AE: Thanks. I’m an inventor. I invented a rocket once with just firecrackers! I also invented a flying hot dog.

Me: ….a what now?

AE: I invented a flying hot dog using only a hot dog and firecrackers.

Oh. Flying hot dog. She…isn’t wrong I guess?

I love these crazy kids. 😂

Here we go again….

Tomorrow, the short term stay ends and we’ll officially be taking AE on a long term basis. I am freaked out. AE is a really sweet kid with the craziest sense of humor, but she’s also really high needs. R and I both truly feel that God has called us to this kid…but I’m scared. T and H broke my heart. We did our absolute best by them, but their needs exceeded what we had to give. We are not, after all, a 30 person staffed residential psychiatric program. The fact that they could go to those programs and get some of the structure they needed was a good thing, but it hurt so much to let them go.

Now, with AE, I’m afraid of it happening again. Will this kid spiral out of control? Will we be able to parent her the way that she needs, and still give our other three girls what they need? Will we be able to help her break down her walls and feel things again?

Probably not. I’m just hoping God will.

The Cutest Reprobate

Never a dull moment! A2 is the sweetest, cutest thing…but oh dear. she does not make good life decisions. Last night A2 was VERY late coming home from her best friend’s house. Very, very late. So R goes to get her while I attempt to herd AE towards bed….

And R comes back carrying an extremely drunk A2.

Apparently, in the span of four minutes, our tiny 100lb daughter slammed a drink with the alcohol content of six beers. I have never seen anyone so completely out of it who was still conscious. We were angry and worried and frustrated.

But we were also laughing our asses off.

It’s very difficult to maintain anger and not laugh when faced with a tiny drunk person who keeps forgetting how many fingers she has. Or is surprised that she has legs, and is visibly thrilled when she finds that she can move them. She reminded me of a toddler!

The good news is that she didn’t take anything other than alcohol and she stayed safe. So, while consequences shall be handed down, we can’t be too mad at our little reprobate.

Especially since we took videos of her licking the dog. This one is going down in family legend!

I F**ked Up

Me: *telling a funny story about T from when he was here*

AE: Wait…and you still see him?

Me: Well, yeah. We couldn’t keep him safe here, but we still love him. We try to keep up with all our kids if we can.

AE:……I thought foster parents weren’t allowed to see the foster kids again.

Welp, go me for inadvertently telling a child ON HER BIRTHDAY that multiple adults who should have cared about her, didn’t. About an hour later she was crying in her room, saying that it feels like she always loses everyone.

My heart hurts. I’m going to bed.

Introducing AE

Oh, have we had a time! For a bit of background, R and I have some criteria for the kids we take, but our BIGGEST most INFLEXIBLE one is that we will never take a kid who is a safety risk to other kids or pets. We’ll take kids who lie, cheat, steal, manipulate, cut, and hallucinate, but we will not put our other household members in danger.

So you can imagine our displeasure, after AE arrived, with being informed that she has a history of beating up younger kids. On an anger scale of 1 to Bruce Banner, I was hulking out. I just wrote a post about misinformation on referral sheets too!

Luckily for us, it seems that the majority of AE’s issues with other kids were over a year ago, and almost exclusively with her younger biological siblings. That’s what is called a “trauma bond”. Where siblings who have been through trauma together essentially turn into PTSD triggers for each other. Trauma bonds don’t happen with every kid, but they don’t make for great behaviors when they’re there. It doesn’t mean that she won’t get violent, but it seems unlikely at least.

Thus far, AE is doing wonderfully. Honeymoon stage for the win! She’s been very sweet with little S, gentle with all the animals, and A and A2 seem to have taken a shine to her. They were all playing video games together, which was adorable. AE is smart, expressive, and has a dry sense of humor that has me cracking up. We’re having fun, and I’m interested to see how things go when the other shoe drops!

Lord knows that I’ve learned not to trust the honeymoon stage….but I think we may end up keeping this kid. R feels VERY strongly that we need to give her a chance, and R connecting with a kid quickly is pretty darn rare. Will we soon call ourselves parents to four girls instead of three? Time will tell. Wish me luck!

Emergency Placement!

So when I woke up this morning, I planned to try and fix our broken washing machine. And possibly to hand-wash some clothes if I couldn’t fix it. Instead, I’ve been zooming around preparing for an emergency placement! Her name is AE, and she is 13. We’ve got her until Monday, and then possibly long term if we feel like she’s gelling.

Oh, but her 14th birthday is in two days. So there’s that. So now I’m gonna do a birthday for a kid I don’t know. While trying to figure out if she might fit long-term. Amidst my regular mom stuff.

And I’ve got to get the damned washer working.

Wish me luck!