Friday, October 11, 2013

This week.




I chose this picture to go with my blog post today because this statue epitomizes what I feel like today. Hunched over, weeping, tired, dirty. I'm usually an incredibly positive person. Even when I'm feeling bitchy, I'm bitchy with a purpose and an end goal in sight, but this time I can't even say that because the end goal I've been striving towards has been snuffed out like a candle. 

You all know that my husband and I are foster parents, and that we have been on a journey to find our forever child for some time now. We've planned on adopting children, in addition to the biological children we've been blessed with, since long before we met each other. It was just always in the plan. Unfortunately, it has never been part of our end goal. We just didn't realize that until recently.

As you guys have already heard me gripe and whine about, we lost a child we intended to adopt this past August. We'd had her for 9 months, one day, and 67 minutes when she was taken from us, and returned to a home where she will be regularly exposed to her perpetrator, and the people who allowed her to be neglected, beaten, and developmentally stunted by drugs and alcohol. She is struggling right now, and I can do nothing. She will continue to struggle, and my hands are tied behind my back...my mouth is gagged. I am powerless, and will literally never get to protect her, help her, see her, or touch her again.


I've been told that as a foster mother I should've been prepared for this loss. I've been told that it's been two months, I need to buck up. I was even told recently that my grief pales in comparison to a woman who has no other children to love--when clearly I have four others to enjoy. Would someone say that to a woman who lost her child to SIDS at 9 months? Would someone say that to a woman whose 9 month old child was kidnapped and never returned? Probably not. I think sometimes people need to minimize grief because it makes them uncomfortable to stare it in the face. And you can see the grief on my face these days. It shows. Sometimes I feel like I'm drowning in it. 

My husband's grief came fast and furious. Attacking in our daughters last days with us, rendering him a weepy, droopy mess. It has since then gotten better for him. And though he thinks about her every day, he doesn't cry anymore, or get too upset. He is able to manage his grief by changing his focus or turning to our higher power. Sometimes I think he keeps it together for my sake, because my grief has been like a slow moving tsunami. It started slow, and now it's covered my whole life and I can't get my head above water. I've never been one to chime in when my girlfriends talk about their different varying stages of depression, and how their happy pills help. I don't take happy pills. Aside from post partum depression that is long since gone, I don't have a hard time staying happy. Until now. 

Now happiness sticks in my throat like dry toast, and I have to spit it out. Now happiness feels cardboard and fake. Now I look around and all I see is how awful everything is, and how good everything was before we started on this adoption journey that ruined our lives. Someone asked me a while back if I regretted ever meeting our daughter, thinking I was going to say "Of course not! If I'd never met her, I never would have had that time with her!" But I shocked her when I said--very loudly and firmly--that I regretted ever signing up to become a foster to adopt parent, and that if I'd just left well enough alone, and ignored the nagging feeling that my family was incomplete, I would never have been subjected to falling in love with a child who would later be ripped from my arms, taking my heart--and sanity--with it...

She left quietly after I said that...


Some of my very best friends in the world adopted their son a few days ago, and I was invited to the hearing. It was the greatest day of their lives, the most joyful of all occasions, and a good friend, a good person, would have put their big girl panties on and shown up. 

I stayed home and cried.

Most recently, we had a foster placement whose only biological relative considered a potential placement, announced that they wanted their niece to stay with us. And for a split second, there was a glimmer of hope shining amongst the sh*t that my life seems to have become, and for a split second, I thought to myself, "I'm finally going to be able to get over losing *****. My heart will finally be filled, our family will finally be complete, and we will finally be able to get out of this horrible, wretched world called foster parenting where the armpit of modern society sucks the life out of you like a dementor in the damned Harry Potter books." But that wasn't meant to be.

Because there are now multiple permanent placements available for this child, she will be placed with a relative soon, and permanency with us is no longer possible, unless a miracle happens and 90% of two separate families dies in a crazy electrocution accident, a'la the movie "King Ralph" with John Goodman. 


Maybe I'm the only person who watched that movie. But the scene where the entire British royal family died in one massive electrocution stuck with me, I guess.

To add insult to injury, it turns out one of the defense lawyers in our current foster placement's case is one of the same lawyers who helped to steal my daughter away two months ago. This is a man who stood in front of a judge and lied through his teeth in order to have a two year old child placed back into the home of a dangerous and manipulative man and his dangerous criminal of a son. So in a nutshell, this guy shouldn't be able to sleep at night. Anyway...it has come to my attention that his defense in a hearing next week will be that our current foster child shouldn't be allowed to stay with us because I (me) "lie and exaggerate my foster children's health and developmental state, in order to steal babies from their biological parent."

What. The. F***.

So when I sit up all night with a screaming drug baby, rocking her for hours on end, pressing her to my body because that's literally the only thing in the world that will calm her...that's a lie. And when I have to wake up a little girl out of a dead sleep to give her a nebulizer treatment because her biological mother couldn't lay off the damned pipe for one second while she was pregnant....that's a lie. And when I have to hold a little thrashing body in my arms because she's worked her self into a tizzy and can't articulate what's bothering her because her speech skills are significantly delayed because bio mom smoked, drank, and shot up everything but the kitchen sink while she was pregnant....that's a lie. Or when I watch a little girl walk up to a wall and bang her head on it for five solid minutes because her vestibular needs are so incredibly out of whack due to drug and alcohol damage...that's a lie. Or when a baby's bottom is so raw that it's actually bleeding, and she vomits 4 and 1/2 ounces out of a 5 ounce bottle back up, all because of after effects of drug exposure and no prenatal care....that's a lie. 

We're done.

Something finally went off in my head, like an alarm clock, and the moment I heard that was being said about me, I simply decided "That's it. I'm out." I just can't see myself continuing to be drug through the mud, lied to, lied about, manipulate, coerced, and strong armed into doing something that has ruined my life. Nothing good has come to my family through fostering. Nothing good has come to my life through trying to adopt. And the sick part is, I can't even turn to some of my friends and family members about it, because according to them, I should be over it already. I cannot continue to put myself through this anymore. I need to be a good mother to my four children. I need to be a good wife to my husband. I need to be a good author for my fans who are waiting for my books. I need to be a good daughter to my aging mother, and a good sister to my brothers. I need to be a good person again. Right now I am not a good person. I am a crusty, brittle shell of the person I was a year ago (pink cheeked and full of optimism that I would change the world one child at a time!) who doesn't believe she is worth a hill of beans, let alone another child. Hell, I couldn't save the ones they gave me, that right there is proof.


I'm ashamed of how awful I let things get in my family before I decided to abort this foster/adoption thing. I'm ashamed that I've let myself become this unhappy before finally admitting to people that I'm not doing okay.

So here's the reason for my long, rambling post:

I am having a bad week. This week has resulted in my husband and I turning in our foster license and forfeiting our efforts at adopting another child. In the last two months alone, we have lost a child, buried a relative due to taking her own life, face substantial financial problems, tackled several health issues--some of which involve my CHILDREN, lost our dream of of extending our family through adoption, and I've gone ten rounds with a fake drama teacher who has a serious addiction to his smart phone. I SIMPLY CANNOT TAKE ANYMORE CRAP. I can't. I want to, but I cannot. I need to chill. I need to heal. My kids need to heal. And we all need to be left alone to find some friggin' sense of normalcy at the end of a year that will go down in history as the worst year of our existence.


Now...back to writing Candace's story. It's coming, folks. I promise. Sometimes my books are the only thing that keeps me sane. I wish I could escape into them right now.

P.S. I'm not supposed to do this, but I am showing you a picture of my daughter. What are they going to do about it? Take away our license? Tough. I already turned it back in this morning...

Her name was going to be Holly Sandra, after my husband's mother. We miss her very much,




3 comments:

  1. To those people who have told you that as a foster parent you should expect to have each and every foster child taken away eventually, it is that mentality that is the biggest problem with the foster system. These kids need adults who not only want to keep them long term, but treat them as though they are wanted long term. In my opinion, you turning in your fostering card was an epic loss to the fostering system and to all the children who would have been blessed with a stay in your home (regardless of how long or short). I understand your choice though and back your decision 100%. I know the toll and pain that the foster system can put on a good family that cares. It is always the best foster parents that take the hardest knocks. You and your entire family are in my prayers. *hug*

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  2. So sorry tp hear of your heart breaking, Brooke. I can't even imagine your loss. There was a moment at the end of fostering my daughter in Taiwan for 5 months that I thought, what if the birth mother takes her back now and it felt like the world would end. I'm not sure this helps but we delivered a promised baby in Texas the year before, cut the umbilical, had her for three days before the birth mother took her back. At the time I couldn't imagine where we were being led in life after this heartbreak. But we trusted it was somewhere.
    As for acting, I made my living as an actress/singer for many years and trust me, actors are insecure people, many are self-haters, or they wouldn't spend all their time trying to be someone else. Please tell your daughter that I never got a part in a high school play but went on to open for Jamie Foxx once.

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  3. Yes, you are having more than a bad week. Yes! YOU are allowed to grieve for as long as you need to and anyone saying otherwise can shut the frick up! YES! YOU have the right to take care of your children and do what you think is right! That man is a fool and should be banned from the school. HE has no business talking to you and misrepresenting himself. THAT is completely wrong, furthermore, his wife should be removed as well since she ALLOWED it!

    I have never been a foster parent. I wouldn't know where to begin and I don't think I could take that kind of heart break. I commend you on doing everything you can and could. You are a special individual, you and your husband both, to do what you have done. It is a shame that you weren't treated better so you might be able to continue helping other kids.

    I agree that lawyer...that lawyer sounds like a piece of chit!

    Now, might I remind you of this...(as an author myself I love love love this saying!) "Don't ever tick off an author, they will kill you off in their next book in a most horrendous painful way..." Words my family lives by. LOL Sometimes it helps to verbalize (which for those of us that make our living by the written word is exactly what you did in the above posting) and sometimes we still just need more time. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

    I wish you enough....

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