He just had a birthday on October 12, he has a silly personality. I get told a lot he is hyper, I think he’s just happy…
Has been into Pokemon cards. Don’t ask me what there all about because I have yet to figure it out? All I know is he loves to take them to his after school program and share them with other kids. He recently had them taken from him here at home because his listening skills have not been up to par. I gave them back to him a few nights ago and he’s been carrying them around like a kangaroo with her babies.
In the early morning hours around four last night. He climbed into bed with us, I barely opened my eye and there he was with his deck of cards resting right beside me. I was still in an unconscious state and was able to fall back to sleep. When I woke up around eight thirty this morning, I was lying on a bed of cards. It has been humid and sticky here lately so when I stood up a few cards fell off me and onto the floor. Barley awake I stumbled to the bathroom and sat down, a Pokemon card fell right out of my undies and into the toilet…
Can anything be funny or are some things off-limits?
In my opinion, there are times you need to be serious and try not to make light of a situation. I also believe in serious moments, humor happens. Here are a few examples.
After our twins were born. The hospital gave us an option to have a visitation, people could come and see Willy and Gabe before they took them. I wasn’t for sure I was up to it or not but my husband had purchased mementos he wanted to give to everyone. That night all my friends, his parents, and brothers came up to visit. I was sitting up in bed, most of my friends were sitting on the side with me. A nurse who was assigned to my room when they first diagnosed my Premature Labor came in to tell me she was sorry to hear about my loss. She did this out of genuine compassion because she was not assigned to me during this time. The whole room was quiet as she expressed her sympathy, which wasn’t easy at all for her to do. The only noise you could hear was people catching their breath and sniffing. My friend Sarah pats my arm, gets up off my bed, walks over and pulls a wad of kleenex out of the box and blows her nose like an eighty year old man in the doctor’s office with a hanky! My friend Allison was the first one to laugh than me and after that there we all were!
I also chose for the hospital to put the funeral on for Gabe and Willy. Which took us to a cemetery here in town, it’s a big cemetery. They have a designated area for the babies, on top of a hill. You have to walk over another hill before you get to the top of this one. My mom, me and my friend Allison were watching people as they were trying to carefully walk down this muddy hill. One lady wasn’t so lucky as the mud got the best of her. To the ground she went and rolled like a barrel all the way down…
My dad is the serious one in my parents marriage. He secretly digs my moms humor, which sometimes involves him. Not long ago we were all out to eat together. We got on the subject of an acquaintance of theres who had a spouse that recently passed. They had found another companion. I asked my mom if she thought it was weird that she was “back in the saddle”. My mom says. “Shelley not at all, I’m engaged to be married the day after your dads funeral…” I laughed hard as my dad sat there shaking his head, rolling his eyes, and not even giving the slightest smile.
We have talked many times about where I work. My residents are Visually Impaired. When one of them passes on its hard for some of are residents to get out and go to their funeral. We have memorials here in the building in honor of the resident who passes away. This allows residents to be able to talk about their “good times”. We did this recently for “Jack” when he died. We had quite a few who came down. They sat in the dining-room. We have couches that make a square all the way around the room, They started from right to left, “Emmet” was on the other side which would make her last. They let everyone know that they had to wait their turn. Each one of the residents were standing up telling the preacher about one thing they remember doing with “Jack” or something funny he said. All the other residents and staff quietly sat and listened meanwhile Emmett was raising her hand, standing halfway up to try to raise it further, she would get tired of holding that hand up and start in with the other, grunting, moaning, whispering pick me pick me…
I call these “hold Ons” constellations to shine down on us in times of darkness giving us hope and a future.
When Childhood Ends, Write about a defining moment in your life when you are forced to grow up in an instant (for a series of instants)
There are a few moments that define when I was no longer a child. I have been faced with decisions in my life especially with the twins, even with that decision I wonder if the state I was in at that moment of my life if it was a rash decision or a decision made out of anger and pain… It may be a topic we talk about one day or not. It’s a controversial subject it would open doors for others to chime in and I have come to far to open all those sores.
My husband and I take drives every now and then to get out-of-town, not to far, far enough where we have time to talk, talk about the things we don’t normally discuss at home during the work week and raising our son. I can’t remember the exact date. What I do remember is thinking “this is what it feels like to be a grown-up) We were on the subject of ex-girlfriends and boyfriends. If you have read my about me, I-am wife number three for my husband. He will tell you the first wife was a mistake. We barely talk about her, as he says “it don’t matter because there is no history” take that comment however you want because it’s for the best.
His second wife is where conversations get complicated. They have children together, he did love her, and enjoyed their friendship. On the day we took this drive, we had just found out some news about her and her husband that was concerning to him. It brought him back to a conversation that they had together before their divorce and her new marriage. I could tell Steve was having a bit of a hard time explaining his emotions he had going on inside, to me. I-am typically a jealous woman when it comes to him but this particular day I told him it was okay to share his hurt and regret with me. I felt led to keep my mouth shut for him and that is what I did. He was able to tell his story without me sighing, chiming in, explaining his feelings and all the other bull that comes along with those certain conversations.
I recently told you about another mishaps regarding the ex-wife and the daughter. (click here) I did take the advice of a few of my readers. I apologized with a brief note and she accepted and told me that she appreciated my apology.
Recently On Life In My Tin Can I have written about conversations I have had with woman who were not ready for motherhood.
I believe some events in life set the sail for who we are and where were going.
I wrote this back in 2010 in a beginners writing class. I have been waiting to share it with you because I felt you needed to see some of my backlog leading up to why I became a Foster-Parent. The teacher asked us to pick a paragraph out of the book we were reading “Dead End In Norvelt” and tie it in with our own life. I choose page 196 paragraph two.
In such a fertile home devoted to beauty, love and understanding only one thing was missing-A child. My sister was a little too old for motherhood but in 1942 after the bombing of Pearl Harbor when Japanese Americans were being rounded up and sent to internment camps, a Japanese couple with a new baby arranged for their infant son to be adopted by my sister and her husband. This way the child would have a loving home and not have to be sent to prison camp and suffer the hardship and shame of that life. I remember that beautiful baby and the love my sister and her husband graced upon him. They had an angelic 6 months together until the federal government tracked that baby down and took him all because he was of Japanese origin An enemy of America in diapers.”
I can relate a bit to this part in the book because six or seven years ago I got my Foster Care license and fostered a little boy by the name of Jordan . He was around six weeks and weighed maybe a little over five pounds. I had only been a foster parent to one other little guy before Jordan his name was Thomas and I only had him for three or four weeks.
When I had gotten the call to see if I wanted an infant, I was so excited! Usually in foster care if you get a call for an infant seven times out of ten you will be able to adopt the child. So I made a few calls before picking him up. I called my mom for advice, did she think I was ready for this. I lined up a babysitter that I trusted for when I had to work. I wanted to be prepared.
When I went and got him at the State Office (DCFS) all by myself all he had with him was this plastic sack full of formula and diapers, and what looked like used stuff animals, and extra used clothing. I could not quit thinking of that plastic sack and how it spoke volumes of his abandonment and how very alone this child was. The things in that sack should have been his, picked out with him in mind new things to welcome him to a new place. He should not have to be checked out of a hospital into a state office, surrounded by strangers. In this moment I realized how sad I felt in a moment when I thought that I would only feel excitement. The fact that he didn’t realize any of this made the lump in my throat so much bigger.
At the time I did not have a child of my own, so this is the path I decided to take, because I so much wanted to be a mother. This is why, while in that state office I was so happy but so sad. Happy to have a baby to take care of but so sad about the cards he was dealt. I decided regardless of how scared I was to take him home, because of his medical history, addicted to crack and methadone, and born from an abruption because his mother decided she was going to do heroine one night which caused her to go into labor. I was just going to love him, spend my entire time holding, rocking, kissing and singing to him and I did throughout his entire detox, which would cause him to shiver and shake. I held him through two seizures. I took of work to stay and lay with him at the hospital. I just knew in my heart that love was the answer for him, and I gave him all of it for the six months that I spent with him.
Then the call came. There was a woman who wanted to step up and claim him. After the DNA testing was done she was his father’s mother. His grandmother had three of his brothers and she wanted him as well. I struggled with the fact that she decided to take him too. I felt that because she had three children already and because I didn’t have any; she should see that I would be the better choice for him. Why couldn’t she see that? Why was she so selfish? She had enough on her plate as it was with the three other boys, a full-time job, plus she was older and couldn’t keep up with his needs the way that I could. I know she felt that he should be there with her and with his brothers. They were his blood family.
Why is “flesh and blood” so important? Wouldn’t the whole process be much easier if they didn’t search for the “real” family? They could save a whole lot of time and money that way. Unfortunately children cannot just be distributed out to people just because they want a child so badly. I know morally that they shouldn’t be, but at the time those thoughts were a way that I could vent my frustration. If the world worked like that it would be better for people like me. In that fantasy, I found comfort.
The day they came to take him away, and drove away just like that, after all the heart that I put into this child, I cried in my mother’s arms like a baby. She just held me and let me cry, lost, powerless, helpless and empty, something you can’t feel unless you are there yourself. Children have a way no matter biological or not, if you let them in your heart you are never the same. The day he left I felt as if I gave him more than just a plastic sack. I gave him a stable place to live, a crib every night to sleep in, cloths that were fresh, food that was hot, and love to hopefully last that little guy a lifetime and with this said I too was also proud of what I gave him. Being a foster parent was bitter-sweet.
I was talking on the phone with my friend Michelle the other day about what I wanted to do with my life. It’s always been a regular conversation piece with us. She’s grounded and always challenges my pipe dreams. I told her I was thinking about changing my career path in school. (which by the way I have never started) to Social work. I do lots of talking and dreaming, please don’t feel like you need to chime in and tell me I can do it or still have time. It’s not what I-am going after in this post.
“Shelley I think you should continue to counsel people like you have been doing most of your life I think once you go into that career there’s red tape, it might mangle your outlook and damage the angle you do take with people.
I would suppose there is lots of truth in what she said
As long as I can remember people have confided in me, not only sharing their ideas or rundavoos but tragedies, mistakes, and what ifs. In my middle-age years I’ve come to think of it as a gift. I believe I was given the gift of love. It’s always been easy for me to do, more than the alternative. I will admit sometimes I fudge up but I try to keep my eye on the ball. I made a pact to myself when I was younger that I wouldn’t call people names for what they looked like or what they did or didn’t have. As I grew older my pact grew.
When your younger it’s all about looks, what you wear, and money. In your older years those things do follow but people start damning you for your choices, thoughts, and mistakes. I-am not going to tell you that I sit and agree with everything that is shared with me. It’s not my place to try to fix or change anyone either. My place in this world is to love and you can never steer anyone wrong with love.
One year in Two-Thousand-Three or Four, I was working with a cook. She worked every other weekend with me. On Sundays it was always just me and her working. She lived right behind the building we worked in. In the mornings from the dining room windows I would watch as she stumbled into work late.
She was tall, skinny and had light-brown shoulder link hair, It looked like she didn’t brush it. I would open the back door for her and she would say, “It was another rough night Shelley”. I would smile, say hello and act like I didn’t hear what she said, not because of conflict but because the heaviness in her eyes and the frown on her face told me a story.
I knew I would hear
We were taking a break in the living-room of our job one fall afternoon. I can still see the multicolored colored leaves on all the tress around the windows that lined the Living-room of where we were sitting. She was on one couch and I was on another one across from her. She slurred asking me “How my day was going” being so long ago I don’t quite remember what I told her, knowing me something light-hearted one of the residents did or said to cheer up the moment of awkwardness, we had going on since we hadn’t had too much conversation.
Her: Do you have any children?
We sat in silence for a few brief moment after I answered my question. Deep down for some reason I didn’t feel lead to return the question but noticed her head dropped down right along with her face as I gave her a look and a smile.
Her: Do you want any?
Her: I have three children my oldest are sixteen and eighteen, they’re in Foster-Care. We get to visit on Wednesdays if they want to see me, which usually they do.
“It’s nice you all get together”
Her: We talk about their sister who is three. She just got adopted. It’s an open adoption and in this open adoption they get pictures of her, and I don’t. They show them to me when we visit. We will spend our visit discussing the pictures. They’re a good conversation piece.
The couple who adopted her lives in the country. Before the adoption went through, they were nice enough to let me come out for home visits. After we had gotten acquainted. They have a nice big yard for her to play in, with one of those big wooden swing-sets, a pool and animals. She’s happy Shelley and that’s all that matters. As her voice cracked tears streamed down my face just like they are right now.
“I’m glad she’s happy”
Her: You want to know something? Some days I take a drive out where she lives. If she’s playing outside, I pull over and watch her. I daydream about getting out of my car, walking up into the field, stand there and see if she sees me. I wonder if she would come running yelling “mommy” Mommy” and remember who I am. I come back to reality. I have multiple addictions and have for years, I just can’t do it.
I nodded my head and told her crying, Thank you for sharing not only a painful but dark-side of your life with me, also for giving me a different perspective to an Open Adoption.
Towards the end of my Foster-Care Class, the teacher was on the subject of Open Adoption and asked the class “Could you be a part of one”?
I raised my hand and told her and the class the same exact encounter I had with this woman “yes I wouldn’t have made a life changing decision to be a Foster Parent without this mother of a child who forfeited her “happiness” for a lifetime of heartache and what ifs.