We still have four kids:
-Oldest son is 18, I cried some on his birthday for all the time that has gone by and all the mistakes I have made and in joy for having him - he is a fine and thoughtful young man with a hilarious sense of humour and he is deeply connected to his brothers and sisters
-Oldest daughter is 15, the road is so rough sometimes for her - as sadness and self doubt grab at her and leave circles under her eyes but we grown ups know that this is a tumultuous time as bodies grow and hormones flow and we do get the other side when she shines and sparkles and laughs and shines. She teases her youngest brother with a truly gentle affection and wraps herself around her youngest sister both physically and emotionally to try and offer her comfort from the hurts of the world both big and small
-Youngest son is 13 and truly a joy, if that is a word that can be applied to someone who points out that he is gaining on me in height in hourly updates, rolls his eyes like they are loose in their sockets, can stretch out a whine for hours, his voice cracking, and make me laugh while he does it and flips his bleached hair out of his eyes as he leans in to hug me good night as he does every single night - he is ours, he is mine
-Youngest daughter is 9nearly10, oh so nearly. If you ask her right now she can tell you how many days it is until her birthday, they are dwindling away quickly and she is growing and maturing so much. Smart? Oh that child is smart! And strong! I tell her how tough and strong she is all the time and also try and let her know that she doesn't have to be all the time, that is a job she can share with me and her Dad. The other day she told me that her thoughts know that I won't leave her, it is just that her feelings aren't sure yet. That is big stuff for her. We still have some serious stuff to try and figure out around birth family and especially birth Mom - right now we have decided to put that stuff in an emotional box, away from us and take it slow and just deal with it a little at a time.
We are happy and lucky to have two good therapists to work with, the Play Therapist that has been with Youngest Daughter since she first came to us is still there every second week and their relationship is a good one and a helpful one. Family Therapist is a newer find in the last Year or so and has been very useful to the rest of us, singly and in groups. I think of him as being on retainer for us for the next few years and am very grateful that we can afford him - appointments with him help smooth the rough patches in life and really show the kids that their Dad and I take their feelings and our family very seriously and that is priceless.
Birth Grandma still shows up, either by phone or in person, usually about every six months or so. That will probably be her pattern in the future too. There is upheaval when that happens but it is worth it because the youngest kids really do appreciate the contact, she is a touchstone of who they were, where they came from and I think it reassures them that we welcome her and embrace her as much as possible - it shows them that we care about where they came from too.
Birth Brother - we don't know where he is, we haven't heard from him since before Xmas, when he blew out of his placement in the first foster home he has had since he was 12 (he has been in group homes since) and it was with the fosterMoM that he had at the time - he is now all of 16 and both my youngests were terribly upset during his birthday month - and probably are even now...
BirthMoM is a tough subject for me right now. The last letters we rec'd were in January and the one to our youngest daughter triggered some difficult behaviours and I haven't been leaving the house much on my own since then. Before my eyes, YD became the cold, emotionally distant 7 yr. old who moved in with us and OH how powerless felt to stop the transfomation! I have yet to write the letter that I need to write to her, I have been putting it off but the time is coming soon. I want to do it right. BirthMoM needs to understand that although five years may not seem like a long time to an adult for YD it has been over half her lifetime and that things cannot be picked up where they left off, it doesn't work that way and it is unfair to YD to expect it to.
But I have to, and want to, say it in the nicest....no....in the most productive way possible and with input from YD, YS and therapists - hopefully I can.
So that is where we are right now.
I am afraid for my children in the future, at least a little, but most mothers probably feel that way...I want to protect them from hurts, big and small and at the same time let them grow and find their way...
I don't write here anymore for a couple of reasons, the biggest one is that I am trying to allow them to be themselves and not characters in my story.
And I have been exploring other parts of myself, the artist, the athlete, the writer, the woman who realizes that 42 IS the answer to the ultimate question of life the universe and everything (thankyou Douglas Adams) and I want to make sure that every number afterwards is too.
I still would like more kids.
Really and for true.
A baby lifts my heart into my mouth, any baby and I look with yearning eyes at my husband.
Toddlers have the same effect, okay almost all ages of child do....but it wouldn't be fair to the family we have right now, there is enough on their plates...but maybe someday this bigger family will become bigger still.