The kids and I had to say goodbye to a very special person in our life tonight.
It was pretty sudden and we most likely won't get to ever see them again... how's that for a jolt.
The little one in these pictures with Liam is our former foster child "Girlie." She and Liam are four months apart and have always had a special bond.
When her case headed toward termination I prayed about whether or not we were her forever family. A lot. She came to us at 23 months and had been through h**l and back and had the scars to show it. She could swear like a sailor. She was "kicked out" of two different day cares for biting so hard on other children's cheeks to leave huge and immediate bruises... and for no real reason. She had to be put in one piece PJs, inside out and backwards to keep from smearing feces during the night. And the list could continue. At 2 years old she hit every bullet point for a child with RAD that a child her age could hit, and then some. There were only a few she didn't and it was because of lack of exposure to those circumstances, I felt it was only a matter of time.
Though I loved her to death it was the hardest year I've been through as a parent. And during that time of prayer I knew that we were not meant to be her forever family. But my heart hurt for my kids, especially Liam, and having to say goodbye. That was in July of 2008. Two and a half years ago.
The agency I was with did NOT do what needed to be done in finding her a suitable home. She needed experience and parents that we just didn't have available in our area. There was no one. Eventually my friend "J" stepped up and said that she would parent her, that she knew what she was getting into. She was already parenting one with some minor attachment issues, had experience with special needs, researched RAD, and didn't want to add more children to the mix eventually like I did. So Girlie went to live with her new family.
It was a rough road for all involved in many ways, and there is a lot more to the story, but suffice it to say they were on the road to recovery, rights were terminated, and adoption was looming. And then a couple weeks ago the bottom dropped out. She had been going to a public day care and she lost it and got in a huge scuttle with a teacher, threw a toilet tank lid, breaking it into a million pieces, and fought like HECK. She was asked to leave. Girlie was sent last week to a new day care, one that specializes in special needs kids. Today she threw a piece of glass at a teacher, cutting her leg, and spilled an entire jug of grape juice on their carpet. And my friend, upon searching her room today, discovered a nail file in her bed that had been missing for a while. Among other things, these were huge red flags.
They've been in counseling, and the counselor is amazed at some of the things that come out of her mouth. She is ARTICULATE and so so smart. She sounds like a ten year old trapped in a five year old body. Really.
And when J called me today to tell me what was going on with her newest day care, she also told me that she has given the agency notice. They are finding her a new home.
As. Of. Tomorrow.
So tonight after church we went to say our goodbyes. How do you do that?
(Unfortunately I only had my cell phone camera.)
How do you explain to your three children WHY this is happening?
How do you tell your five year old what is going on? That he will most likely never see his buddy again?
How do you explain enough so that your seven year old doesn't want to just look at the things on the fridge instead of being open about how upset he is and joins in a picture?
How do you listen to this 5-going-on-10 year old tell you they're not scared about tomorrow when you ask, when you know inside they are being confirmed in what they most likely have thought from the get go... I'm going to control this situation because it won't last... adults can't be trusted... I have no one to care for me but me... I'm going to act up so they'll send me on when I get too close because I want to control...
How do you do THAT?
Oh how I wish there were a way to take her back. I just can't. I know I can't. It would be a miserable thing for us all... but oh how I wish...
My prayers go with her... I hope yours do as well...