Tuesday, February 05, 2008

So, where were we?

One of the worst parts of the foster care experience (for me, personally) is all the waiting. Small bursts of activity followed by weeks or months of nothing.

Well that, and the whole I-am-a-control-freak-and-can't-really-do-anything-to-impact-anything thing. That bites, too.

But, I digress. I talked with PGM last Wednesday, the day that Biodad cancelled another visit. She had just received the report from the SAR and was processing all that information. Apparently she didn't know how small Lily was when she was born or the fact that she was addicted and on methadone. She seemed very interested and concerned, which is good. She was very nice to me, said that speaking with me made her feel better because she had worked in a domestic violence shelter and heard horror stories about foster families. She thanked PB and I for taking such good care of Lily, which I appreciated and she seemed really happy to know that we both have large extended families who all love Lily. She was cordial, well spoken and seemed pretty together, all good things.

I've held off writing this post though, because the more I process the conversation, the more irked I become. I'm sure it's a selective replaying of the parts that bothered me - those parts are taking on more weight. That said, here are my impressions.

Overall, I think PGM is probably a big enabler for her son - she talked a lot about his issues, and expressed her concern about how everything will work out because "he gets so excited about things, and then when they don't work out, he's really hard on himself." She also mentioned that she takes care of setting up visits and canceling them for him, because he's "so busy". She said they canceled the visit on Wednesday because he was taking a course to "improve himself", though the visit was canceled about an hour before it was scheduled, which makes me feel like it was some kind of excuse making. But I could be wrong.

I also have to admit that I was really annoyed when she stressed, repeatedly, how family is everything to her. This from the woman who knew she had a granddaughter for 9 months and didn't lift a finger to visit. I know paternity wasn't established yet, but she told me that the first time she held her (which was when they tried to establish paternity the first time - when Lily was about 2 months old) it was like holding her son all over again, she was so in love. And people who have met biodad tell me that Lily looks a lot like him.

So what happened? If she is so besought and if family is so important, why wasn't she beating down doors to see Lily? Why isn't she now? Why haven't her parents been fingerprinted so that visits can be extended and moved to their house? The answer, I think, is that for her family = her son. He is, I think, all important to her. She sees Lily as something her son wants, something that might disappoint him in the end, if it doesn't work out. And of course, Lily is beautiful too, and she is lovable, so that's a bonus. But really, I think it's about her son.

And I kind of get it. For me, this is all about Lily, who (for the time being anyway) is my daughter. Of course, it's secondarily about me and PB and our families, who all adore her. But first and foremost, I try to consider what's best for her and put that above everything else. So I can understand, at a very basic level, the drive to do whatever it takes to keep your children happy and safe.

I just wonder if helping them get back a baby they aren't healthy enough to raise is where you have to draw the line.


Susan said...

It isn't so much your job to "help" them get her back. It is just your job to go along with what the agency decides. If they are still on the fence, you just don't get in the way, if granny likes you, so much the better, you don't have to like her back. If she was so terrific, the agency could have placed Lily with her right away, they didn't so it seems the jury is still out. Keep your focus on Lily.

I am so hesitant to jump back into the no-control-over-anything boat right now. I too am such a total control freak, I hate the out of control I get with a placement.

JUST A MOM said...

you are right I use to say that if a parent wanted their kid bad enough they would push peas with their noses down main street to prove it. hang in there.