Almost July??? How is it that half a year is gone in the blink of an eye? As I put the embellishments on the kid's scrapbooks tonight, I could see why. There is a lot that happens in our lives. So much so that keeping up with the scrapbooking is always an undertaking in and of itself! LOL The last time I had a lull in the piece work I printed all the pages that I needed--um nearly 6 months worth! Tonight I put them in each of the three scrapbooks and jazzed them up with gew gaws. I am set for a few months now!
I had a good email today from Jane regarding Fiona. She wrote to the whole team and said that she has picked August as the month we will visit next. OK that is fine, I just want a DATE but I will model patience for Jane and my daughter! She also said that Fiona will have a phone call with Dee, their brother, who now lives with Cousin N. She wants to craft a narrative that will help Fiona deal with the murky and painful reality that all the other siblings were adopted and/or live with biological family. (though in Dee's case there was an adoption and a disruption and Cousin N is not adopting him but pursuing guardianship. And in Crystal's case, Cousin N. adopted her but she lives far away down south and not with Cousin N at all).Those finer points don't help how Fiona feels of course. Jane had two suggestions.
1. We focus on the fact that Fiona is 19 now and will be 20 this Christmas. This is typically a time when young adults start to live more independently from their family and to focus on that angle.
2. To acknowledge that Fiona as the eldest did a good job taking care of her brothers and sister when they were younger but that now it was time for her to take time to take care of herself.
I voted for scenario #1. Course i am partial to that one as I suggested it to Jane a long time ago. My issue with the second concept is that for Fiona the underlying message there is that if she had really taken good care of her sibs that they would all still be together. DSS would never have shown up and life would have been far different from the reality of how things turned out. On a good day, she will let me gently suggest that it wasn't her job to try to rescue her family and that she did all she could and all anyone could ever expect of such a young girl. But I know that despite the nodding head, she still thinks "if only. . . "
I also saw at the awards night that many students in the Great School who were graduating were speaking of the excitement of first jobs, living in a more independent setting and so on. It makes sense to me to build on this, and also to keep reinforcing that we are not going anywhere. That we will still be her family and be there as much as she wants us to be. I also mentioned in the email that many kids, and lots of adoptive kids in particular have increased anxiety over growing up and that it was extra important that Fi understand that we were going to love her just as much at 20, 25, etc as we do now.
Meanwhile I am looking forward to the holiday weekend. I love holiday weekends. This is going to be an odd 4th of July for us in some ways. We always spend it with the kids god parents but are doing our BBQ on a different weekend this year to accomodate an unforeseen obligation that they need to handle. If the kiddos are healthy enough, we will maybe see some fireworks! I love fireworks. They are so magical and transient and surprising.