* I was going to post this yesterday, but in the interest of HOLY LONG POST, BATMAN . . . I broke the post up in two pieces . . . here is piece two along with a funny video that relates to yesterday's post. Introducing ticklish Mini:
At the hotel, I gave Harry the choice of what fruit he would eat at lunch. I gave him an incredibly small portion. One day I discovered that he'd put his fruit in the pocket of his shorts and told me that he'd eaten them. When I discovered it, we talked about lying and the importance of telling the truth. I asked him if anyone had ever lied to him and how that made him feel.
Harry: Yeah, my parents lied to me. They told me that they'd see me again.
In case you are just joining, or in case I haven't shared - the boys went into foster care and for about 6 months, I think, they still had visitation with parents, when they showed up. Ultimately the mom and the dad voluntarily signed off to terminate their parental rights. Of course this was the right thing to do, since neither were in a position to care for their children.
Well. Harry said this through tears. He and I both cried. I hugged him and told him how sad that made me feel. I validated his feelings, but that didn't feel like enough.
Also, the boys laughed or something at one point and I commented on how much metal/wire was up in their mouths.
Larry: Yeah, our parents didn't buy us toothbrushes, so we had to brush our teeth with our fingers. They could've gotten us back. They just had to fix the stuff they were doing wrong, but they didn't fix anything so they can't get us back.
|Coach and boys messing around in the |
non-spa, unheated hotel pool. That's
my toe - happy to stay far away
from the unheated pool.
Tip of the iceberg.
JULY: As soon as I got back from Arizona in early July, I started constantly asking Jo when we might be able to pick up the boys. Indiana was waiting for a guy to sign the contract, and that guy went on vacation and no one knew when he would be back.
I can't make this stuff up.
I hatched a plan with Jo and Debbie. If we got word that we could come get them, we would drop everything and come. When we drove Ed back to school mid August, we would get the rest of their stuff then.
Late morning on July 21st,
Jo called and told me we could come pick them up.
Contract (that our worker said was one of the worst contracts ever. She apologized that she couldn't get them to budge on anything) was signed. I called Coach. He shuffled a few patients around, stopped home for a lunch I'd packed for him, and started driving.
Coach and Larry
racing on scooters.
I stayed home and rid the house, particularly the upstairs, of the WELCOME TO THE SHIT SHOW vibe that we were dealing with. We figured it might be nice if we lead with more of a WELCOME HOME feeling.
Coach said the pick up wasn't easy. The boys were upset. Larry wouldn't get out of Debbie's car. The boys later told us that Debbie had complained openly that she didn't have enough time to gather their stuff. I'd spoken to her a few days prior and told her that we'd grab them last minute, if that was OK with her. She said SURE -she'd start packing.
Me: Anything of theirs that's kind of beat up, you can toss. I have a bunch of Reg's old clothes saved, and I like to shop, so we'll fill in wherever they need stuff.
Debbie: She's is raising a 3 year old granddaughter because her daughter flaked out. She has a very messed up back and needs surgery. She was in constant pain. Coach even looked at her x-rays to see if he had another opinion. He's helped many people avoid surgery. He looked at her x-rays and was like, NOPE. GO UNDER THE KNIFE. Additionally, she was also going through a divorce and she works full time. She wasn't hoping to keep the boys any longer than necessary. They were tight with her. As much as we knew they wanted to live with us, this was going to be tough. She was the first person who ever cared for them in their lives, but she was not an adoptive parent. Who knows what they were told the last few days as we were begging Indiana to sign stuff and let us bring them to Chicago.
I was bummed that she'd told me she was poised and ready to move them quickly. She admitting that she was ready to move them along, and was barely sleeping because of her back, etc. Why put a negative spin on it for the boys?
Curly playing with boys at the beach
4th of July weekend - just
before the fire alarm.
They hadn't opened a book all summer and were stuck at her sister's house during Debbie's work hours. The sister was a grouch, according to the boys. They had nothing to do at her house. We were like DANG, LET'S GET THEM HERE AND HAVE THEM MEET THE NEIGHBOR KIDS BEFORE SCHOOL, PRACTICE READING, GO TO THE POOL, PLAY BASKETBALL, GET ON A DECENT SCHEDULE, ETC.
Let me point out one thing here: WE WEREN'T EXCITED TO GET THEM BECAUSE WE WERE ALL GOING TO HUG IT OUT AND ALL THEIR TROUBLES WOULD GO AWAY. WE WANTED TO GET THEM SO WE COULD DIVE IN AND GET STARTED AT THE TOUGH ROAD THAT LAY AHEAD. THERE WAS WORK TO BE DONE, AND I'M NOT ONE TO PROCRASTINATE. PLUS, I DON'T WORK IN THE SUMMER.
Are you ready for the next chapter . . . the boys living here? If you had people move into your house (even if you knew they were coming and you could only control so much because of SO MANY BODIES) would you describe your place as SHIT SHOW or WELCOME HOME?