Friday, September 30, 2016

Circling Fiona with love

I read often about adoption.  It is my duty to do so. To be vigilant and to remember that my joy--the children I love beyond measure--carry a pain that I can not heal.  I believe that adoption is something that means I welcomed more than my children to my home and heart.  I welcomed their first families, their extended families and they too should and did become people I love.

Some we see often. Some we text or communicate via social media.  Some I am closer to than others.  Most especially I have worked very hard to build ties of love and friendship with Mom J, my Rob and Fiona's natural mother.  I have never known for sure how she felt about me.  She always says how grateful she is for the life I have helped the kids to build.  But I don't want gratitude and I don't know if those are words that she thinks she needs to say to me. I hope not.  I have tried to show that she has much to give the kids and that relationships can be healed and recalibrated at any point in life.

And I think she took it to heart.  Today Fiona was at J's for a day visit.  The group home drive her to and from J's house which is a long way away from us.  While I was doing piece work tonight J called me. She said Fiona was trying to get a hold of me and that the worker who was driving her was ill and they didn't know what to do.   I called the group home and got ahold of assistance and when Fiona called me I explained to her what was going to happen and reassured her.  She had for the most part remained very calm, although the reason that she had not been able to contact me is that she was trying to video chat me via Facebook and I was not on line.

I was able to get back in touch with J after all this had happened and  reassure her as well.  I am grateful that tonight we were able to enfold Fiona in a circle of love and safety as she handled a stressful situation.  It is the very best of family building.

Monday, September 26, 2016

KC joins the big leagues!

KC is 12 and in full tween mode these days. But he just made a huge leap (pardon the pun) in his dancing.  He also began his Coming of Age year at church and had his first mentor/mentee event after services yesterday.

In the dance area, he has been promoted to the group 3 dance group for hip hop. He was previously in group 2.  Group 3 is made up of much older kids.  One 8th grader, but most are 9th and 10th graders. KC is 7th grade.  What prompted the boost was the fact that there were only 4 kids in his group 2 hip hop this year.  2 were bumped down a level and one other class mate was promoted with KC.

I worried that he would be nervous but he rocked it.  He could keep up with the class and the class members accepted him warmly.  Saturday our city has a big fall festival. The dance school has a booth there and dances periodically in the streets through out the day.  KC worked from 9 to after 1 and danced multiple times.  Most of the dancers and volunteers were the older girls from group 3 and when they were on break I would see KC walking around the fair with one or the other of the young ladies.

This was KC yesterday morning before church.  Last year at the end of the RE  program the kids made tie dyed shirts to get ready for COA  For each coming of age event they will wear this shirt. KC had a blast. He loves his mentor, with whom he shares a passion for the arts and was proud that during the question and answer period, there was very little about her that he did not know.  Like wise, she knew a lot about him.  For some kids, that might detract from the experience.  For him, it is a key foundation piece for him.

He enjoyed the canoe trip and came home happy and tired eager for the journeys and explorations that will happen this year.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Ties that did not bind

It never gets easy.  Social media is good for lots of things and for an over all feeling of connectedness.  But tonight when I popped on, I saw a post from my BIL.  He was posting about how thankful he was that his father in law was visiting from AZ.  Um, way to find out your father is in the state and not seeing you.  Again.

Most of the time his absence in my life is not something I think about.  It has been so long.  I have so much that is good and loving and right in my life.  In my head, I know that I am pining for something that never was.  Our relationship was not one where I felt loved, and I suspect he felt let down by me.  He must have, since he moved without warning, without farewell.

I'm glad for my sister.  She and my father are very close.  But I am glad I am camping this weekend.  We'll be by the ocean.  It will be cold but there is amazing restorative energies for me at the seaside.  And we are with about 150 friends from two churches.  The kids always have someone to hang with and I have time to chat with really great people.  I always treasure this time.  Today, I feel like more than anything, I need this time right now.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Life Guarding

Things have been going well for Fiona of late.  She has been less violent, and more able to talk through an issue.  Sadly I expect there will be some rough patches in the near future. The house manager is leaving for another position.  This seems to happen regularly with the house managers in this home and I find it frustrating.  I get a working relationship and just as things start to level out--communications are good, mail is properly sent to me, Fiona's needs are being met. . . bang they are on the way out.  There is always a hiatus while they try to find another house manager and this is the worst of all.  People covering the house rarely know the occupants well.  They are often over worked, over tired and uninformed.  For Fi this means there are going to be hurt feelings and outbursts.  Trust me, I have been to this rodeo far too many times.

Yet if I am frustrated, I know my daughter is frightened and angry.  Tonight she called me almost manically happy which is a sure sign that she is going to crash and burn behavior wise.  The house manager called me shortly thereafter and said he had told the ladies today of his impending departure and that Fi was very angry and upset.  I said I knew as she had all ready called and told me he was leaving.  (side note she was not happy he is leaving. She is deflecting this by mentioning his departure and talking about a bunny rabbit she has been trying to acquire for about 6 months.)

I know too that for Fiona  the change in preferred staff underscore the fact that their presence there is a "job."  She is work to them. And while she needs to be there, and while I know in my heart that there are days and times when being with her is so challenging that it is really HARD work, this has to all feel really ugly to her.

Even though I have been through this many times, I don't know anyway that makes this any easier for her.  I always feel like I am trying to help her tread water till the new manager is hired and then I can at least have a sit down and try and get a feel for their style and how to enlist the best assistance possible for Fiona. But for now, back to treading water.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Relationship Blooms!

It has been a long time since Rob had a girl friend.  His first girl friend was an intense 4 year relationship that at times I liked and at times petrified me.  The young woman was very bright but ery very intense and I worried privately that things would spiral to a place that would damage their futures.  She broke things off as they entered college and he was devastated.

He didn't date anyone seriously since then and we are entering year 3 of college.  He had an active social life and many "girls who were friends" but gatherings were groups and not dates.  Privately he told his younger sibs that he was not going to settle for just one girl.

Late this summer he met Moe.  Moe lives in the neighborhood, is a bit younger than he and they began hanging out after Rob got out of work. He would go to her house and they would sit at a picnic table and talk and she came to our house and they had a fire in the fire pit. I actually thought they were going to part ways a week or so ago though as Rob complained that she was texting him too much.

While the comment made me laugh (he is like so many 20 somethings with the phone constantly at the ready!) I was hoping that he would give the relationship a bit more of a chance. And apparently he did, as last night he announced that they were a couple.

I hope they are good to and for each other.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Chet is 31

Today is Chet's birthday.  My eldest is 31 today! We actually are not having his party till Sunday due to various family member work schedules.  However I wanted him to have something festive for supper tonight so here he is in the picture on the left with his home made waffle sundae.  Freshly made waffle, topped with chocolate chip ice cream ,whipped cream caramel sauce (just a drizzle) and fresh blueberries.  He was thrilled and very surprised.

The picture of Chet on the right is him at a party,though which one escapes me.  I love his zany joy and exuberance. But, his autism means he gets overwhelmed with sensory easily.  I think these two pictures show that the most clearly.  His face is so relaxed in todays shot.  Lots of tension and the grimacey smile in the second one.  The shot on the left is precious to me as I can count on one hand the number of pictures I have like that .

But regardless of the pictures, my love for this guy is unchanged.  He is zany, whacky and will sometimes drive me round the bend, but that is all beside the point. He also has a true deep caring for large issues of injustice a desire to help people in the wider world and definately believes in not wasting our planets resources.  Happy Birthday Chet!