Monday, August 19, 2013

Love good news

A few posts ago, I mentioned that my friend had been in a serious motorcycle accident. It was quite scary, as he had to be taken by helicopter & placed in an artificial coma in order to relieve pressure off his brain. Having had a couple people that I've cared about NOT recover from similar injuries (one made a partial recovery but is now dead from complications a year or so after the accident, the other is in a persistent vegetative state), I was quite concerned.

I am happy to report that the medical interventions were successful & he has made excellent progress. He was released from the hospital just over a week ago & is being cared for by family while he heals up. A couple of days ago, I spoke to him briefly. He is grateful for everyone's prayers & is thankful to still be alive. He also plans to get a helmet & to not take so many chances (fingers crossed on this one). :-)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Marriage & babies

"Am I going to have to move again & live with another family?" These are the words that my daughter sobbed when she found out that her father & I were divorcing.

Apparently, she had been told, both at church & by family members (I'm a PK, if you remember) that people should be married before having babies. To her, this meant that "I can't be your kid anymore, if you guys aren't married. You're supposed to be married to have kids...Since my mother is in jail, so I can't go back to her, does that mean that I'll have to be adopted by some other family?"

You try explaining that one to a five year old.

Now, two years later, she understands that I will be there for her, no matter what. Her father's current choice to be largely absent from her life is glaring. It bothers her, a LOT. She has asked me why I couldn't just stay with him, so our family wouldn't have broken up. She has asked me to find another man to marry so that she "can have a dad".

I've tried to explain to her that, even if I were to marry a man that was active in their lives & played that role, it still wouldn't replace her Dad. "But I love you & you sorta replaced my mother..."
Yeah...it gets complicated.

Adoption is complicated. Divorce is complicated. The two together is confusing. But, we get the added twist of the whole sibling foster placement.

At 7, she's old enough to realize that Lil Sis is a foster placement (as opposed to being adopted), which means that it's conceivable that she could go back to live with their mother at some point. Given the circumstances, it's unlikely, but it's possible. This, of course, confuses her because, if Lil Sis could go back to her, why not me. The reality is that adoption is an artificial construct that doesn't really make sense to a kid her age.

The only thing that is certain is that this house will see many, many more open, honest discussions in the future.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Update

I've been rather disconnected from most of the world for the last few weeks. Lil Sis's acting out has been a bit worse since the other kids have come back home & it's a little bit exhausting. It's not that they don't get along. It's the fact that she feels like she's not the center of attention, so she tries to make sure that she is...in any way possible.

I hardly invite anyone over because it's awkward when she is literally demanding they watch her do whatever she thinks is amusing at that moment. The therapist has told me to ignore this behavior & not even aknowledge it. I can do that, but guests usually can't. So, our world tends to be very small. BUT, things do seem to be improving; so, we'll just keep working on it.

In the meantime, my garden helps me keep my sanity.



Friday, August 16, 2013

Some things will never make sense.

Tonight I spent 10 minutes scrubbing ink off of a dollhouse, because the toddler found a marker & thought it made a good canvas. It's a small, plastic dollhouse that doesn't get played with often. However, it belongs to the 7 year old; a gift from her dad. So, it means a lot to her.

It's strange how small things like that bring thoughts & feelings to the surface...

We were supposed to have court earlier this week, for the Contempt of Court charges for him not paying his support (among other orders in the divorce decree). He is now over $29,000 behind in combined support (plus interest). The hearing got postponed, so there's really no new developments at this point, other than the fact that he now has an attorney. However, in preparing for the hearing, I was doing the computations for the proposed child support modification & realized something: during the last couple years, when he has been claiming that he "can't afford to pay support", he has actually been earning more money than he did during most of our marriage.

I admit, when he first started using the excuse, I felt a lil sorry for him. I knew that hiring was slow at that point. However, after a few months, when all my other friends who are also welders started leaving for various shut-downs & new construction jobs, I gradually became less sympathetic. As the months passed, I finally realized that not supporting our children was a choice, rather than the result of a financial hardship. Then, as the visits & phone calls became fewer & farther between, it became even more clear...& baffling.

How is it the same man who assisted while I delivered our first child at home can now go weeks without talking to our kids? How does the same man that took turns comforting our daughter while she went through the terrifying process of transitioning into the home of strangers, & staying up with her when she had nightmares after visits with biofamily, now spend an entire summer merely a few short miles from the kids, but only visit them once?

Every time the house phone rings, once of them runs to answer it, hoping it will be him. Lately, it never is. It bothers them. They spent the summer at my parents, just a few miles from his home. He went and picked them up once. They aren't little anymore, they understand how close he was, so it was a choice to not see them. It gets to them sometimes.

I don't understand. I never will. I also know that, if it's this confusing to me, it is more so to them. I only hope that what I can give them is enough. Also, I continue to pray that he will find his way & become a loving, involved father again before it's too late.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Bar Exam

Thank you to everyone that sent prayers, positive thoughts, vision boards, chi, good vibes, or whatever it is that you do to get right with the universe, for me during the Bar Exam. It is officially over & I won't get results for a couple months.

So, from this point forward, there will be NO Bar related discussion. At all. I will answer the questions that I have been asked at least 50 times in the last 20 hours here & then will ignore future questions or attempts at discussion:

"How did it go?": I don't know. It sucked. It's basically a sadistic hazing ritual, but I'm glad it's over.

"How do you think you did"?: I don't know. It doesn't really matter how many I got right or think I got right. The essay grading is subjective & the overall score is scaled (on a curve). So, even if I did spectacular, if enough people did better than me, I'm still screwed.

"Well, how do you feel about it?": I feel tired. It was 14 hours of testing in 2 days. At this point, it all just runs together into a big blur & I'm just glad it's over. Though I do take it as a good sign that I wasn't one of the girls hiding in the bathroom crying (yes, it happened...more than once).

When I get the results, I will let you all know if I pass. If I don't, I won't say anything because I won't want to talk about it.