Mostly I Feel Like People Don't Understand Me

But mostly it is because I act a lot different on the outside than how I actually feel on the inside. I feel like Mike gets me. And when I say "gets me", I mostly think that he gets me but he doesn't actually understand why I do the things that I do. But mostly I don't expect anything different. He is a man, after all. And I am a woman, after all.

And I have a lot of people in my life that mostly get me. And I love them for trying so hard.

But mostly it's this world. We live in this world of expectations. We live in this world of censorship. We live in this world of political correctness.

And mostly, I just like to keep the peace. I hate offending people. Mostly to the point of censoring myself. Mostly to the point of keeping up appearances. Mostly, just so I don't disappoint the people around me.

And these days, I'm feeling more lost than ever. And mostly, I wish that people would drop the expectations. Because at this point, I'm just winging it.


Part Deux

We had never actually changed our minds about being on hold. Our most recent placement left in March and we were really enjoying being "empty nested". I had started doing some very flexible very part time work for my neighbor that owns a small business. My workouts were getting better, I was keeping up with laundry, I still hardly got around to making dinner (some things will never change, poor husband). We were happy.

We had started getting emails from our resource family consultant (RFC) about children that had come into care that needed a home. She was sending these emails to all empty, licensed, foster homes, whether they were on hold or not. DCFS is in desperate need of homes right now. Each email that we had gotten was overwhelming. Young sibling groups with behavioral problems. Our last placement really taught me my own personal limits as a foster parent, so accepting sibling groups was definitely not something I was open to. But because of the desperate need that we knew that DCFS was in, we had told our RFC that if they were absolutely desperate and couldn't find a home, they could let us know if a child that fits our profile came into the system and then we could have a discussion. But technically, we'd like to remain on hold.

Well because of their dire need, a phone call came not shortly after. At 5:30 pm on Mike's birthday, September 25, we were just leaving The Museum of Ancient Life when Mike received a phone call. They told us a 15 month old child was being pulled from another foster home and that they needed a home for him that night. Happy Birthday Mike! She told us all the information that she knew about the child. Our understanding was that he cries all the time unless he's being held or has a bottle in his mouth. He hates cribs. He hates baths. Mom is working on reunification. Dad is basically a loser being shipped out of state. There is some family in the valley but they haven't returned phone calls. The child has been in the system since mid-September and is being pulled from the other foster home because the constant crying has become an issue with their other child. So with this mild yet terrifying description, on the spot we decided to take him in. We rushed home from the museum to put the car seat in the car. And then found out we wouldn't be getting him until 7:30 pm so we ran out for a quick happy birthday dinner for Mike. But we were both so nervous and terrified that we probably should have just opted for takeout.

At 7:15 pm the caseworker knocked on the door with the sweetest little boy in her arms. These poor kids, I can't imagine what goes through their heads as they get passed around from person to person. And she was right, when she passed him over to me, oh how he screamed. After a few minutes he calmed down and then I passed him to Mike and the screaming started all over again. It seems so surreal when the caseworker leaves. 10 minutes ago I was enjoying my non-parenting life. And just like that, the caseworker comes and leaves and drops off  a child in the process. BAM. Full time parent.

After we all calmed down a bit, and ran to the store to pick up some of the necessities, we decided to tackle the bedtime routine. Which we were told he hated. Well that kid loves the bath! And we put him in the crib where he cried for maybe 3 minutes and then slept straight for 11 hours! We found out later that the last foster home was a bit chaotic and they didn't speak English. So no wonder he cried all the time.

We've learned a lot about this little boy in the few days he's been with us. Like he is a rock star sleeper, naps and bedtime. He doesn't cry all the time. He is super stubborn. He loves to eat. He also loves to whine. And overall, he's pretty cute.

I'm still learning about myself. Like even though we have a small, mild-mannered child, I'm still not all that quite sure that I'd like to be a parent. Still a lot of self-discovery that needs to be had.