Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Guess what you get when you combine an adorable, scampish three year old with first time parents/grandparents/great-grandparents/aunts/uncles/great aunts/great uncles/great cousins? Witness the insanity that was my parents' living room. However, to be fair,they weren't all for Huckle.

In all, it went well. This is Huck's fourth Christmas, but last year was in another foster home, and the years before that he was too young to understand if there was or wasn't a Christmas, so for all intensive purposes, this was his "first" too. He unwrapped his presents first. We don't do a rotation in our family, we just all wanted to watch him.

We emerged unscathed, unless you count the two inch cut to the palm of my hand from when the kitchen knife slipped as I was slicing English muffins/poaching eggs/slicing avocados for Christmas brunch at our house. Multitasking on mimosas=bad.

This above photo shows Huck unwrapping the Rock and Ride Lucky my mom and dad climbed the produce aisle for -- Lucky is also the reason for the puke decorating our family room curtains. Huck loves this bouncy/rocky pony so much that we've had to put a moratorium on the bouncy-rocky unless he's got an emptyish stomach. My idea of a good morning does not include scraping omelet off the drapes.Huck was wired and wiped by the time we left my parents' house on Christmas Eve, and asleep in the car before we hit the highway. No time for "Twas the Night Before Christmas" this year, no sir, just a full-tilt run for the tree. (More on SD Three, btw)My family arrived around noon, and the first thing my mother said was, "What happened to your house?" Yes, there had been a toy explosion, fueled mostly by my mother herself.

Now I'm ankle-deep in Little People circus, preschool, and zoo pieces, Littlest Pet Shops, and remote control cars. I've been ignoring it as best I can as I learn to do a double crochet stitch. Yay merino wool on sale for $3 a skein. I'll figure this stuff out yet.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Almost there

Huck is doing much better than he was, even though he's sore from the two shots (one in each leg! Had no clue that kind of stuff went on) and the holding-down it took to administer said shots. He woke from his nap around five and and let me cuddle him (!) and make a nest on the couch, complete with chocolate chip cookie and white grape juice. he dozed for a little while with Finding Nemo on in the background, and he wiggled his toes against mine as he snuggled in.

I know he is sick and that is bad, but it was nice for him to relax into me, to be calm, to drop his barriers a little more. He so often rejects me. In fact, the only other time he's wanted to sit in my lap is when it is occupied by other kids.

I sent Hubs back to the ER to get the medical provider paperwork filled out. He talked to the doc again to find out if he'd done a strep test. The doc said no, and that it would have been negative until tomorrow anyhow, and that he's been doing this long enough to know not to make someone come in two weekend days in a row when he could just prescribe antibiotics. Guess we can thank Dr. F for a slightly-not-as-frantic Christmas.

In holiday news, I've made and packaged four kinds of hot chocolate mix (very easy, actually, just make the base and then add peppermint or more chocolate or spices or whatever), peppermint twists, chocolate covered oreos, and peppermint bark. Babywatch last night derailed the plans for truffles, but maybe I'll start those soon. If not, meh. We've already told everyone we're not shopping for presents with Huckle in tow, so gifts for everyone beside Huckle comes down to sweets and cash, maybe checks if we can't get to an ATM. We're still facing a bit of uncertainty regarding The Hub's job situation (fack you very much, Hooz Allen Bamilton for forcing out the little fish before the buyout turned him into a big fish), so no balls-out consumerism. I'm a very impatient shopper under the best circumstances, and retail irks me to no end, so saying, "Here, eat candy," is no skin off my back.

Merry Christmas, if that's your bag. Be well.

Home again

They're home. Whatever is wrong with Huckle is nasty, but in the early stages. Maybe strep, maybe bronchitis, but nothing pinged. We've got antibiotics in him, a prescription for robitussin to pick up, and aside from shots in the legs, he's not too worse for the wear. He came home so tired that he snuggled into my body when I picked him up -- usually the only time he truly relaxes into me is when he's just woken from a nap. I put him in bed, tucked the covers around his chin, and asked which stuffed animal he wanted. Huck's only response was a snore.

102.5 is high, right?

Blah! Grrr!

Huck woke up last night with a 102.5 temperature. We gave tylenol and liquids, wrapped him in wet towels for a bit, rocked and sang. I took the first shift, The Hub took over around 6 am. I woke up at 11:30 to a quiet house. Hubs and Huck gone, my car gone, both cell phones sitting in their chargers, a website for an urgent care clinic up on the laptop. My mom first tried calling us at 10:30 (Last night was my first sick-baby night -- I wanted to take him on a midnight trip to the ER, my mother talked me down.) and there was no answer, so they've been gone at least that long -- 3 hours as of now.

In the written shift change instructions from me to Hub, I specifically stated that I should be woken immediatley when he was able to get ahold of either Huck's doc or the urgent care clinic(figuring they'd either open at 8 or 9 on a Saturday), and I even made a little chart with times on it where he could track Huck's temperature and note any further doses of tylenol. Leaving with the baby but without his cell or the state's stack of paperwork was NOWHERE in my instructions. And no, although the thermometer is sitting here next to my computer, he did not fill in the helpful and informative temperature chart.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Random Aside

(Huck is stealthy, as I've mentioned before, and I swear that he knows what time my alarm is set for and he wakes up three minutes before it goes off -- I've tried moving it back.)

Most mornings, I wake up to a little voice saying, "Mommy, I'm huuuuuungry."

It still takes me a moment to realize he's talking to me. The same joy and panic wash over me every morning. I still wonder how I got here, looking back at the last three years, the last ten.

By noon, though, anytime a kid calls for his or her mom, my head snaps up, even if Huck's holding my hand.
Huckle's social worker is transferring to another city, and likely won't see him again. She and CPS consider his case closed, even though we're still in the appeal window, and at some point we'll be transferred to an adoptive caseworker.

Huckle's social worker has been on his case for a bit over a year. She loves him. She adores him. But she also identified with his mom, trusted her too much, and because of that she feels that she failed Huck. Add that to the 3-moves-in-2-weeks drama that Huck might blame her for, and she was wary of coming out to the house to visit with him one last time. She really wanted to see him, plus there were gifts from CPS and a bag of clothing from his family to be given, so she suggested that we come into CPS.

Huck freaked the minute the building was in view. I did the best I could throughout the visit, and I don't think it was as bad as it could have been, but he clearly associates the building with a number of scary things. He asked at least five times if he'd be going home. He asked where our dogs were. He asked if he had a bedroom. He told his SW that he wasn't tired and didn't want to take a nap (he's slept on the floor of her office before). He had a "sit down potty" accident in his pull-up, the first he's had since The Hub let him drink a pitcher of apple juice in one day.

After about five minutes of face-burying and behind-leg hiding, the SW's boss said, "Oh, he's scared you're going to leave him here!"

I was not amused.

There has been much reassuring in the past twelve hours, including a suprise visit to my parents' house to drive home the idea that he's here to stay and that there are lots of people who lurve him. But his brain is overloaded, the old panic is back, and there've been more tears today than in the last two weeks. It took him three hours to fall asleep. He's crying in his sleep as I type this.

I should have just stopped the car the second he said, "Me is not going in there!" instead of telling him his SW had presents for him. I shouldn't have hyped the visit, or how much fun it would be when his SW came back around to see him. As much as I've told him that he's styaing with us, that he's safe, that he won't be going anywhere, his brain rejects those ideas, rejects me, and goes with what he knows.

It is rough.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

In Search of Bob the Builder

Today was the last day of preschool before the holiday break, and tonight was the recital. Huckle sat in the front row, took his costume off three times before his teacher gave up and let him go hatless, and he was a wiz at shaking the bells. Thankfully, his school kept their recital short and sweet -- five songs on stage, then a ice cream social for the students, parents and guests. Somewhere around song two, Huck decided sitting wasn't for him, and he laid on his tummy, head in hands, feet swinging back and forth to the music. Tell ya what, he was the most involved of all the three year olds. Most of them ran into the audience looking for their parents, lifted their skirts over their heads, or picked their noses. Yes, it was adorable.

The Hub and I got our first Christmas present from Huck. In class today, the teacher took polaroids of the kids and put them in cards the kids made. Underneath the photograph, the teacher wrote a message to the parents from the child. When she asked Huckle what he wanted to tell us in his card, he said, "Mommy left my blue truck at Grandma's house." He's got his priorities, you know, season's greetings aside.
The post from last night was a reaction to all our Christmas party goings-on. When we began adopting, we thought that telling just our closest friends was enough, we didn't want thousands of people asking us, just dozens, blah blah blah. As a result, we've had some explaining to do when we show up with a child. And the ladies at Huck's preschool! What a bunch of biddies. Things I thought would be kept in confidence between me and the director regarding our safety cnocerns are all over the school. I didn't share much, but I did have to tell the director that NO ONE other than The Hub or I should ever be allowed to pick him up, call the police if someone tries. Because of the added paperwork, it was fairly clear that he's in foster care. Blech.

Yes, Margaret, it is fun. Muzzling my inner June Cleaver is good. Welcome back, Calamity Jane.

Yesterday was our monthly foster parent meeting (through the agency), and it was held at an indoor playground. Two hundred foster kids might not sound like most people's idea of a good time, but I loved it. It was surreal to recognize so many kids from the state photolisting, I'll admit. However, they were kids being kids. Foster kids or not, they run, jump, play, laugh, chow down on pizza and fruit punch, and open Angel Tree presents just the same as any child. At one point, a little girl got the wind knocked out of her, and she laid on the floor for about twenty minutes while she recovered. She recovered without too much intervention, don't worry, but in a way it was nice to see the nearest thirty adults rush to her and care for her. I know this little girl, and three months ago, there's a good chance no one would have acted if she'd been bleeding from the head, but in this environment, even though she doesn't really belong to any of us, she's all of ours.

More happy news for the foster family Huckle was with for a week while we did visitation with him: they've taken placement of two brothers, ages 7 months and 15 months. Their future is uncertain, of course, but if they aren't reunified, they'll stay with this family. Yay for the "one child, one placement" motto and seeing it (potentially) work out.

And now for the "Learning Self-Control" portion of my post. On Thursday, we have another foster parent meeting and holiday party. Present at this one will be the foster family that had Huckle for eight days, then threw him out. They said that Huckle was unadoptable, wild, cruel, non-verbal, and that the only way they'd keep him is if he were put on a variety of medications. Huck's social worker told them to, um, Blow Her, that Huck was traumatized from being removed from his mother again, and to give him time. The next day they basically put him out on the front step with three t-shirts and a pair of shorts and said, "Come get him out of here." I met these people last month, but I didn't know they were That Family until the next day when Good Foster Mom called me (she'd been at the meeting too, her hubby is the president of the group). How do I keep from punching them in the face? Should I request his toothbrush and the toys they didn't send along with him? Maybe ask for the package of pullups they kept? Inquire about the emergency clothing allowance they received? Really, I'm leaning toward punching them in the face, though.

And regarding trauma: I'm still sort of waiting for Huckle to melt down. He's been through so much, how can he maintain? Admittedly, I have no firsthand experience of what it is like to go through what he's been through -- maybe repression of memories is the best for him now -- but I'm waiting for something to happen. Maybe this is still a honeymoon phase, though he doesn't seem to have any trouble stating his mind. Maybe I was just prepared for so much worse that I don't yet believe that this is how things are.
I've hit my limit. After five weeks of (perhaps) well-meaning but unbearably nosy people asking questions or making inappropriate comments about Huckle and his circumstances, including a nurse who said, "Oh, you poor little abused boy! I bet you're happy now," I'm done.

I was raised in the tradition of Minnesota Nice, with a dash of Southern hospitality, so my response prior to today was, "Isn't that an interesting way to look at life?" or, "Hmmm, you know, we just don't have that information," or, "Pardon me, but I must go feed the dogs/pick my nose/poop in your shoe."

Now, not everyone who pries says terrible things, but the questions and comments come often enough for a canned response, so I've come up with one.

Starting today, my response to the worst offenders, those who lack any sense of decency, is now, "Blow me."

So far, I've said it twice, and it felt good.

I'm sure I'll regain my manners in a day or so. But until then, the people around me will learn to tread a bit lighter than they have been.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

My parents are totally outdoing us on the dedication-to-mass-consumerism version of Christmas.

Example 1: Last week, my mother asked me what sorts of things Huckle would like for Christmas. I told her he likes dollhouse style things, like barns and castles and stuff. The next day, she showed up with a castle, pirate ship, dragon, and a small cavalcade of knights on horseback.

Example 2: The day of the above phone conversation, I took Huckle to the store with the intent of walking him down the toy aisles and seeing what he liked. We don't usually take him to the store, things just show up here, and he doesn't pay attention to television commercials, so we had no clue. After saying "no, not today" for the fiftieth time, I decided my foolproof plan was pretty stupid. Basically, he wants everything, and I'm the big schmuck. I didn't even buy him Moon Sand.

Example 3: Yesterday, my mom read about some of the "hot toys" this year, and decided that her grandchild must have one, specificallly a plush rocker pony named Lucky. Mom and Dad went from T0ysRus to Targe7 to Targe7 to Wa1mart in search of Lucky. At the last store, they were directed from the toy aisle to the produce section (dunno, have no clue). When they got to the fruits and veggies, they looked around, and another woman asked them if they were looking for Lucky, too. While wandering, my dad spotted the last Lucky on top of the lettuce watering cabinet thingy. My mom boosted him the four feet it took to reach the box, he pulled it down (without breaking any bones, I might add), they threw it in the cart and hustled toward the checkout. Just as they deposited Lucky in their cart, the other woman came round to the lettuce section with a store employee and a ladder. Mom and Dad hauled it out of there, trying not to make eye contact.

Example 4: We haven't bought him a single thing.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Last night the hub and I went out to dinner and shopping while my mom watched Huckle. We got home at 9 PM, and were suprised to see Huck's bedroom door closed, his light on, and my mom nowhere in sight.

I opened the door very slowly, there was Huck wide awake on his bed, my mom laying next to him.

Maer: Hi Huck! What are you guys doing?

Mom: Well, he told me he likes to sleep with the light on. But I don't know, we've been in bed for an hour.

Maer: (blink, blink, pause) Would you also have believed him if he told you he sleeps in the family room with his eyes open while Nemo is on?

Mom: I just got played, didn't I?

Maer: Oh, yessirree.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Thanks for all your comments on that last post. It made me feel a lot better.

My first reation when he says/asks those things is to throw up in my mouth, quite honestly, and I've been scared that I'm causing it by something I've been doing wrong. It is so hard to hear him say that I hate him. And it was scary to mention it here. Perspective was hard to come by.

I agree with y'all that he's a smartypants, of course. Maybe that was part of the big shock this all was -- I wasn't expecting that stuff to come out of a three year old's mouth. Hard to remember that six weeks ago he was labeled as nearly nonverbal by the foster parents that threw him out -- look what love and attention and nutrition does to a child. That he's thinking these things and able to make himself understood bowls me over, but I guess that at three, he's not developed a filter -- he just says what he's thinking when he feels like saying it. This works in ways that don't horrify me, too, as he asks to be held, he asks to be fed (it started when I began scooping the last few spoonfuls of yogurt out of the container, and he really likes it), he wants us to stay in bed with him while he falls asleep, whenever one of us is gone (and when he's at school) he asks where we are even though he knows, he asks for hugs, he wants to call my mom on the phone and tell her about his day, he insists that we sit down at the table with him while he has a snack, and he loves to feed ice cubes to the dogs.

I showed him the photograph of his mom again today after my last post. I talked with him about her beforehand and asked if he'd like to see it. This time he was into it. This picture frame has been at his bedside for most of the last three years, from the time his mother was investigated and he was placed with a family member for the first 18 months of his life. It went with him to foster homes, it went back to his mom's with him, and now it is here. It is a talking frame with a short recorded message. He pushed that button at least thirty times to hear her voice. When he started to lose interest, I told him to say bye bye to her and give her a kiss. I put it away in a safe place (he's three, it is made of glass, I dont want it broken and I'd feel horrible if the message were erased) and told him he could ask me for it anytime. He seemed satisfied with that. For the next few hours, he called me by my first name instead of calling me Mommy, which I think is a pretty good way for him to reconcile the dueling moms concept. That picture frame and the photos of his mom have been with him ten times longer than his mother has. I think he associates "Mommy" more with those photographs than with the person, if that makes sense.

So, yes, thank you for your comments.


While Huckle has not yet asked outright about his mother or grandmother, he mentions them in his own way.

We were at the store a few days ago, he was in the cart, and I couldn't push it between the clothing racks, so I was out of eyesight for about fifteen seconds while I found his size on the clearance racks. I talked to him the entire time so he could hear my voice, and when I reappeared, he said, "You hate me and you going to leave me." I assure you, I tell him he's safe and loved.

Later that night, he got grabby with the dog, and I told him to be gentle (words I repeat about twenty times a day -- he's three) and not pull the dog's tail. I don't think my tone was any different than usual, but he stopped and asked, "You hit me now?" I assure you, the most painful thing he's experienced at my or my husband's hand is scrubbing dried tomato sauce off his forehead.

My mother spends the day out here once or twice a week. When Huckle first moved in, he would scream bloody murder whenever she left. After a week or so, after another traumatic departure, he was finally able to say, "Mommy won't feed me." I assure you, I make food for Huck once an hour, and there is always a bowl of fruit on the kitchen table, should I be in the bathroom for more than forty-five seconds.

I know all this, and the other instances I haven't listed, are his way of asking for reassurance. He's testing me, and I just have to keep on keeping on. But it breaks my heart. It has escalated in the past few days, ever since I showed him his mom's photograph, and I'm kicking myself. Here's me, serving my traumatized boy a mindfuck in a black plastic frame.

OK, something just occurred to me after writing that -- maybe I didn't debilitate him with that photograph, maybe I made it okay for him to talk about her and his past, and that's what he's doing? Maybe he's starting to work it out, and in 3 year old terms, this is how it happens?

If only I had the time or energy to reread all those adoption books, but I can't even remember to wash the conditioner out of my hair during my shower. Quick, someone give me a page number.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Before Huckle came to us, we weren't planning on using daycare, since my work is done from home. Actually, we weren't planning on needing daycare or preschool because we were focusing on kids in the 6-16 range. So when Huck came around, we had our own little paradigm shift.

Huckle's a very social kid. We've yet to meet another boy his age in our neighborhood, just frilly little girls who look at trucks like they're the devil's rollerskates. The park is waaaay too cold right now to spend six hours a day there like we did a month ago. And Mommy is boring.

Hello, preschool! Two days a week, from 9 to 2:30. He starts today. We know he's enjoyed daycare before, so we're not too worried about his reaction. We spoke with him about going to school (he's very upset he won't be riding the schoolbus, but he needs something to look forward to at 5, right?), and so far, so good. The curriculum is based on the project approach from Reggio Emilia, Italy. We're going on the reccommendations of three PhDs in education, so if it sucks, I have someone to yell at.

I have no idea what I'll do with alone time. I can't tell if I'm looking forward to it or dreading it. Maybe I'll go back to the antique store we took a hopped-up-on-wassail-Huckle to on Thursday and buy some things from the nice people who didn't make us pay for the things that came-a-tumblin'-down when Huckster ran headlong into a display.

Monday, December 11, 2006


I've gone through this blog and hidden a lot of posts. Hiding 100 or so posts took a long time all by itself, I'll work on editing or transferring them at another time when it isn't 3:30 in the morning. I got some strange blog action yesterday, and the timing of it was unnerving, Mr. or Mrs. SWBell kinda freaked me out, I guess.

The long and short of it is that I have a family to protect, and the sheer number of times the word "fuck" came up might lead to creepy search engine results, or whatever. Right now, I'm skittish, a worried filly.

And in total dischord with that above statement, I feel badly that someone took me off their links. She was a waiting a-mom, SDT was there the last time I browsed her blogroll, and now I've been removed. Silly that that hurts -- it is as if I thought we were pals or something. Isn't that goofy? I worry too much, clearly.

Good Monday to you all.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

One Month In

As of today, Huckle has been here for one month.

I can hardly believe it.

We are so lucky to have him here with us. Huck's spirit is amazing. He is resilient, loving, considerate, and smart. The bonding and attachment is coming along so well -- The Hub went to the butcher today, and Huck wondered about him, sang "Daddy's shopping," to the Frere Jacques tune, I went shopping later and when he heard the garage door open, he ran through the house screaming, "Mommy's back, Mommy's back!" My family members are his favorite toys, to be sure, but they can now leave our house without causing a full-blown anxiety attack. Huck's learning that all of us come back.

Have I mentioned what a sneaky little bugger he can be in the mornings? During the week, he'll often wake up when The Hub takes a shower, and I'll notice him crawl into bed next to me. There've been times when I open my eyes and see him sleeping, then there are times I wake and there he is, sitting up in The Hub's side of the bed with a dozen stuffed animals set up all around me. The second I open my eyes, he says, "Mommy, I'm hungry for yogurt now," and pats my hand. See? Stealthy. This morning we woke up to find him sleeping between the two of us, under the covers and everything, with a hand touching each of us. (When we notice him getting into bed, we bring him back to his room, by the way. He does get past us sometimes, but we don't encourage him to sleep in our bed, we're always fully pajama'd, and we try to reinforce that he is safe in his own room.)

Huck hasn't asked about his mother or grandmother. He hasn't asked about any of his other foster parents, not even the ones he was with for a year (I am so grateful to them, by the way). On Thursday we received a package from Huck's mom (via CPS) -- a talking frame with three photographs. Huck recognized the photograph of himself at 15 months, but didn't say anything about his mom's pictures, just seemed to lose interest. It didn't look like the pictues upset him, he didn't get quiet or sad or angry, he just wanted to read a Carl book and snuggle up.

In unrelated goings-on, one of my girlfriends is very upset with me. She and her husband have been trying to have a baby for over 2 years, and around the same time we started fost-adopt training, they began paperchasing to adopt from China. My friend and her husband haven't even been able to get all their paperwork together to send to the CCAA yet, and now we're on track to finalization. I think it is too much for her right now, that she chose the "safe and stable" path (why is the China program touted as that? It changes just as much as any other program) while we were the crazy risk takers, and now here we are with Huckle (the most wonderful child to ever exist, of course), and there she is waiting on a dossier translation. So I guess I'll just wait until after the holidays. Christmas is rough when you're sad.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Part of the master plan

In another freaksome turn of events, it appears that The Hub will be getting his PhD while overseeing a research project for his current company (to figure out ways to apply a currently military-only technology to the private sector, essentially) at the school he received all his other degrees.

Not tracking? S'ok, I'm not either. Very confusing, especially since his current employer is being purchased by a very very large F500 at the new year, and it seems to me like there's not much of a shot that his current company can make that promise, as the technology he'd be working with is one of the reasons for the buyout by unnamed large company. *cough* N1m1tz-class @1rcraft carriers *cough* N3w Iraq! @rmy *cough*

Anyhow, if it all happens the way it is being presented, we'll keep two homes. Four days a week he'll be here (and oi, working from home), three days a week he'll be 170 miles away. IF it works out the way it is being presented, I can handle it.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Today has been alternately happy and sad. I'll let you know lots more soon, but the question asked most often has been -- What Now?

Now, The Babe stays here. Once 30 days for appeals is over (behavior at trial today makes the an appeal a not-a-shot-in-hell sort of thing), his case is transferred to an adoptive caseworker. After 6-12 months in our home, we'll be able to adopt him.

The waiting period isn't a big deal to us. What is important to us right now is that, barring The Hub and I both being killed in a fiery plane crash, The Babe will stay with us.

From here on out, it is the three of us. The days of Mae and The Hub are really, truly a thing of the past. Freaks me out.


We have termination.

The family members that showed up for the hearing this morning were supposed to testify after the break, but they never came back. Their lawyer didn't even come back.

We have TPR. We have it, we have it, we have it.

I feel like I'm not getting enough oxygen to my brain. I've never inhaled airplane glue (well, with the purpose to get high, I mean), but I bet this is about what that feels like. Oh, I know, this feels like the time I had to use the really nasty Kilz primer to put 3 coats of primer over the wallpaper in my parents' laundry room and I almost fell off the ladder, I was so dizzy. Yup, that's about it.

Round Two

We're about halfway there. Because this is merits, the judge wants as much information as he can gather before he makes a decision. The fact that he's the one who ordered The Babe back to his family a few months ago isn't lost on him -- he's said already how disappointed he is to see this case back so soon.

The court heard the case for about 40 minutes before calling a recess, as other cases were waiting. If everything is on track, they've now been back at it for twenty minutes, and I'm expecting the phone to ring again before noon.

There are many unbloggable things going on right now. Some of them might mean I have to go dark/scoot around/hide lots of posts, as our family's physical safety has become an area of concern. Terroristic threats in a court room do not make for a good impression on the judge, and right now I'm glad I didn't show my face. As hard as it is not to hear everything as it is spoken, the nuances aren't worth the risk.

In summary: nothing for sure yet, but CPS's case is strong and persuaisive.

And Now, We Wait

Today's the day.

I can't recall whether I've mentioned this before, but today's the day.

The earliest we'll hear anything is ten o' clock. When I know something, I'll pass it along.

It is just past midnight as I write this, and I'm doubting sleep will come tonight. The Hub sacked out while putting The Babe to bed -- he doesn't keep stress alive in his brain the way I do. Lucky bastard.

Good thing Alias is on TNT from midnight to four on Thursdays, or else I might clean the house, iron clothes, or do something else productive with my reactionary insomnia.

I've calmed down since last night. Can't change the past, look to the future, can't make a horse drink, blah blah blah. Right now, we don't have to look past today. Soon enough, of course, we will, but right now today is our goal.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Today I Lost the Guilt and Found the Rage

I have felt terribly the last few days. I felt like I was kidnapping The Babe from his family, from people who want him, from people who love him.

After hours of meetings with many people involved in The Babe's case, those feelings are gone. Instead, I am furious.

As far as I'm concerned, the hearing can't come fast enough. I won't be going to the hearing. My attorney will be there, three social workers from my agency will be there, The Babe's attorney ad litem will be there, The Babe's case worker and two of her supervisors will be there. We'll get word right away -- my lawyer has three cell phones, one line goes to a phone that is courtroom-permitted because it doesn't have a camera.

My emotions tonight are ugly. I'm proxy-mummy enraged. There are MANY extended family members with the stability and ability to raise The Babe, but none of those people want to do it. As far as his relatives who desire to parent him, the least objectionable is a person who is currently jailed pending trial for a "third strike."

The Babe will never be (all sorts of horrible things deleted). I might be making this mommy stuff up as I go, and sometimes it feels like I really suck at it, but even at my most-clueless, this child will be safe. We will protect him. We will love him.


I will regain my equanimity. I do want the best for The Babe's family, but now, and for the last three years, they haven't put him above themselves. I am so sorry this is happening to them, but I am more sorry for the things that they have done to (and not done for) The Babe. I wish this weren't happening, that things hadn't happened, but now I need to focus on what is, in my and the state's mind, the way to keep this child safe, and his family cannot do that. They've treated him worse than a junkyard dog, and they can't even see it. Mom thinks that, since The Babe was only removed from her (this last time) five weeks ago, she's still on vacation time before she begins to work the plan again in another seven or so months. She wants to be a mom for two months out of every eighteen, and she's about to be (most likely, that is) disabused of her perception that CPS is some sort of live-out nanny.


I just got a little angry again while typing that. I've been holding it in so I don't worry the baby. On Monday I cried in front of him, and he thought it meant he was leaving ("No go! No leave me!"). I've got family coming tomorrow, which will give me a few hours on my own so I can work on really releasing or reforming these feelings.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Strawberry Crap Milktoss

I want to crawl into a hole and ignore the entire world for a little bit.

After carrying a 67 pound dog from car to vet's office, then being pooped all over by said scaredy-cat dog, after The Babe dumped 12 ounces of strawberry milk all over himself, his carseat, me, and the windshield (he took the top off and threw it at me while en-route to the vet -- the kid has range from the backseat passenger side, I'll tell you that), after crying for 45 seconds on the phone to my mom and then realizing I have to Buck Up, Buckaroo for my darling Hubby, after not being able to get The Babe's attorney ad litem on the phone, after being lectured by the vet tech on the distemper vaccine the dogs are overdue for, after an hourlong wait at the post office to pick up a stupid copy of a form we picked up our stupid selves three weeks ago, after putting together, wrapping, and shipping 15 special orders, I've decided that, yes, moms can make themselves a vodka and frangelico with a twist of lemon at four o' clock on a Monday.

Then I'll see about getting the strawberry milk off and out of my iPod. And the steering wheel. Maybe I'll even go so far as a shower to really wash the dog poo off my arm -- I can't see it, but I think I got a whif.


The letter from CPS was only a copy of a medical eligibility form, which we'd already gotten.

My social worker's opinion was that I should go to court, just in case the judge would like to hear from us.

Now that The Hub doesn't have to worry about slacking on the job, he'll probably come, too. Before the "no job" news, we were worried about already using 15 hours of personal time in the last month, but now that there's only three months max left to use 130 hours of sick leave and 107 hours of vacation, well, party on, Wayne, carry on Garth.

Now I'm going to go earn my Mom Badge and get two dogs and a three year old to the vet. I've got strawberry milk in my bag o' tricks, so fear not. We've already survived an hour-long trip to the post office today. Wonder how much longer my luck will hold.

Oh, holy crap

The Hub's job just disappeared. Poof. Gone by February.

DC is the last place I want to move right now, but to stay with the company he's been with the last five years, that's where we'd have to go. Without The Babe. DC is not going to happen.

A month ago, I would have agreed to two households for a little while, but with The Babe I couldn't do it.

There are a number of firms within an hour's drive that he has relationships with, the feelers are being put out, he has some leads already.

This is a shock. We will be fine.

But, you know, Shit.


The Babe's court date is coming up. Soon.

The state is asking to terminate rights on the parent who still has them.

Relatives have come forward and stated they would like to gain custody, but they have failed to keep The Babe safe over the last three years, and The Babe was actually removed from their guardianship (not The Babe's mom's custody) and placed into foster care way back when.

It is up to the judge. I know this judge. I've been in his courtroom a few times for work -- but I have no clue which way he'll go.

My family's lawyer will be attending the hearing for us, if only because I'm the first person he'll call when the judge issues a decision, and also because his spending a morning sitting in court for me will pay off some of his debt to us. I wasn't going to go to the hearing, then I was going to go, and now I'm not sure. Maybe I'll just go to my mom's house with The Babe that day and try to "sit tight."

I thought I was handling this very well, but I'm a shivery bundle of nerves right now. What if I get a phone call saying, "pack him up, I'll be there to take him home in two hours." I want to throw up on my keyboard just thinking about the possibility that might happen.

I'm just getting used to this "mommy" thing. The new espresso machine seems to be the key to parenting. Those of you who are childless and waiting, you need an espresso machine more than you need a carseat. Without a carseat, you just can't leave the house. Without an espresso machine, you can't leave the bed when "a night's sleep" = 37 minutes.

Nothing in The Babe's case has changed in the last month, but it still feels like a crapshoot now, whereas 33 days ago, it seemed like a sure thing.

And while we were out Saturday, the mailman tried to deliver a certified letter from CPS. I can't get it until 9 AM Monday, and it has me a bit stressed, the not knowing what the letter is.

I have to tell myself that whatever happens, it will be for the best. If The Babe goes home, I hope it is because real, lasting change has occurred in the last five weeks. I hope he stays home, and does not re-enter the system. I hope that if he does re-enter the system, he will be only a little more damaged than he is now.

Crap. I was going to write a bunch more, but now I'm quite-a-bit upset, so I'll just sign off instead.

Good morning, dears. Have a good Monday.