I don’t know how it is with you, but things just seem to work out best when I’m not actively planning the outcome. Don’t get me wrong…I try to be prepared for everything, but I don’t follow a rigid playbook. I know quite a few people that need to be in control of every aspect of their lives, from the exact job and salary they require and the gender and spacing of their children, to the one and only acceptable shade of paint on their walls. These people seem stressed out a lot.
Then there are people like Big Daddy. He’s a good Catholic boy who goes to Church every Sunday, volunteers at the County Home for the aged, and thinks that there is a God up there that actually saved that prime parking spot on a busy Pittsburgh street just for him.
I fall somewhere in between these two ways of thinking. I’m happy to strive for something great, settle for something good enough, and work to make it better. None of the things I would have wished for would have turned out as well as the surprises that have happened to me. I do believe in the forces of good and evil, and I do believe these powers affect our lives. I just don’t really think that God gives a flying fig whether we drive around the block 20 times in the pouring rain, although…
I know I’ve left you hanging for a while in my foster care saga of miscommunication. Sometimes I forget that not all of my blog readers know me personally or see my Facebook status updates. The perfect storm of miscommunication was countered with a freaky series of coincidences that may be indeed the work of Divine Providence. I’ll let you decide.
We thought about the girls often while we were in California for my oldest son’s wedding, hoping that they were enjoying finally being in a home with their other siblings. When we got home, we found a letter in the mailbox from Bonus Child with pages of colorful drawings for me and heartbreaking pleas to “Please write back Mom” and “I love you Les.” It also included a phone number and return address, written no doubt by the foster mom, where we could reach her. I had promised before I left to call Bonus Child at her new home as soon as I got back from my trip, and so I did. Bonus Child seemed very quiet and withdrawn, but since I had never talked to her over the phone before, I figured perhaps this was just her normal phone etiquette. I asked her if she was having fun playing with her brother and sisters, and then I almost threw up when she told me that she wasn’t there with them. “What?” I inquired. “Why not? Where are you guys?” I gasped, trying not to convey my panic and nausea. We had finally come to grips with losing the girls, but only because we thought they were going to be together. Worse yet, the girls had been led to believe they were leaving our home to go live where their brother was staying. They believed us, they trusted us, and we were all lied to. We had to get to the bottom of this!
After some sleuthing around on the internet, I realized that not only were the girls not at the home where they were supposedly being sent, it was not even in the same county. I had at first thought that maybe they were transitioning her into the school district where she would end up staying (since missing 4 days of school was one of the reasons the county would not approve the respite that our new caseworker had found), but obviously, school was not a consideration at this juncture since Bonus Child had just been yanked out of a wonderful school with caring teachers and close friends into some totally strange school where she knew no one. None of it made any sense.
Big Daddy went to our agency to find out what in the world was going on. They seemed to be as surprised as we were by this revelation although clearly at this point neither of us knew who to believe. All we knew was the children were not with their bio family, and since they had been with us over 15 months and were thriving and firmly bonded with us, they belonged here until they could return home, if that time ever came.
I’m not going to lie. After the stressful year we’d had, it was really nice being able to focus on ourselves. We joined a gym, cleaned the house, slept in, got some big overdue projects done and went out to eat whenever we felt like it. Our agency knew we were upset and said they understood if we wanted a break and would wait to call us. Within a week, they were calling us with other kids needing a foster home. Yeah, right. Neither Big Daddy nor I were feeling the need to ever do this again. We were emotionally drained. We even thought how easy life was without the girls–even though we missed them terribly. But the way it happened–allowing them to think we ditched them, lied to them, and abandoned them–gave us the drive to fight for them. And we knew it would be an unfair uphill battle.