Saturday, March 10, 2007

I experienced my first time watching my husband parent. We had our friend's boys over last weekend, Saturday to Sunday night. They are 6 & 8 and pretty good kids. So although it doesn't match directly with what we should expect with 3 and under, it was fun to witness.

I learned my husband is a yes man. Can we watch a movie? Yes. Can I have a fourth helping? Yes. Can we stay up late? Yes.

I learned I am the heavy. Well, ok. I already knew that. I am now referring to myself as the Boundary Queen. Sounds better~

But by Sunday, his yesses were fewer and 'honey what do you think' were more. There is hope yet.

The shower is scheduled and invite list prepared. I haven't gotten any further with the nursery or toddler rooms, although I had the boys working on an art project for the toddler room. Going with a fish theme so I took them to a craft store and we bought a paint by number underwater scene and another you complete with markers. Of course mr 8 year old is not into coloring anymore, so I ended up finishing most of the marker picture myself (which I admit was fun and I am 30 something and still like to color). These pictures will be framed and hung in the fishy room, as they were calling it.

When discussing the fishy room and what it's purpose would be, the boys had such very different viewpoints from which their questions derived. The 6 year old is very focused on other's viewpoints of himself, the more touch feely of the two. He asked if I thought the new babies would like him. He wanted to know if they would be his cousins, and if they would love him. 8 year old wanted to know about what adoption meant, and if we were getting a boy or a girl. If was a frequent discussion over the weekend and it was good talking about it on a child's level. It's sometimes easy to discuss with adults who already know what adoption means, and foster care, and understand we're not sure what's happening next or who will be coming through our door. To break it down to a child's level was much more difficult. It was a premonition of sorts on the conversation we will have with the children we adopt in the future.

I am starting to count down the days until I quit my job. After almost 7 years, I think it's time. I have a case in which I have been the case manager for the mother for 5 1/2 years, since she was removed from her mother's care at the age of 15. She was pregnant at the time and recently had her 4th child at the ripe old age of 20. I have had to remove each of them from her care, 2 of them twice after failed reunifications. Her rights have already been terminated as to her oldest girl, age 4, and she is doing really well in the foster/adopt home she's lived in since birth (with the exception of 3 months in which we tried and failed to reunify with bio-mom).

Things have been going well. I returned her 9 month old in December.
Last Saturday I received a call from the weekend team letting me know mom had her fourth and tested positive for meth. She reports she was stressed out b/c 9month old has been teething and crying all night and keeping her up and she's exhausted. Boyfriend works nights and sleeps all morning, so she feels alone. She took the opportunity to walk down the street, but meth and a pipe, and smoked a bowl and a half. This threw her into labor the following morning and she had a healthy baby girl. The silver lining is the baby tested negative and was not exposed.

So here we are 4 years later back at square one. I am exhausted. I am reminded how tedious this job can be, and no matter how good at it you are, the parents will make their own decisions.


wzgirl said...

Time for a break. DH & I were talking about this very thing last night. All along I'd envisioned & planned on having a break (even if only 6 months) from work. Every person I've worked with that became a mother and then went on maternity leave -- always came back to social work as a different person. I'm feeling sooo burnt out. Working full time in SW is damn exhausting. We're looking at some alternatives right now & maybe...maaaayyybe if the perfect storm comes together I might be able to take on a part time opportunity.

The thought of it feels soooo incredibly hopeful.

My Reality said...

It makes me so mad to hear about people like the girl who you have been following. I can't believe that people can have such little regard for their children and then there are some of us who would do anything . . .

Bea said...

My husband is a no-man. Well, he's a yes-and-no man, really, but he's certainly got a list of no-no's and when he says "no" he means it. Of course, when he says "yes" he means it, too, so that's ok.

I can imagine how badly you must need a break from work like that after all these years. There aren't many who could keep going.


OHN said...

This story is the "same" as when we were trying to adopt. Baby after baby born to drug addicted, completely unfit mothers and the irony that we couldn't conceive wasn't lost on me. At one point I remember telling hubby that to get pregnant I had better start smokin crack and live in an empty warehouse-surely it would happen then.

Honestly I am surprised you have stuck to your job for so long. It has to be one of the hardest, saddest jobs around.

Stephanie said...

Hey Steph,
Yes, I am in the phx area...scottsdale. Man, it is freaking hot here! Way too hot for this time of year...must be getting close to time for me to head back to MN! :)