t's been about 2 months since my last post.
I was gong to curl up with another crappy murder mystery (ok, not so crappy. She's great.) tonight and fall asleep with my glasses on, but I was inspired to get back on this horse.
There's a reason for my silence. It's hard to write about sad things.
My intention, however, is to get back to pretty regular posts, though maybe not once a week. These posts will mostly be research focused, highlighting news articles and other things of importance. I'll put in updates on the girls as I get them.
This post, however, is just one big update.
The biggest news is that both Grace and Jill are no longer with us. Hmmm. Good news or bad news first?
Jill is doing GREAT. Her placement isn't ideal, but she says she's dealing with it. I took her to an adult store for her 18th birthday and it was lovely to have that kind of an interaction with her as an adult. She's plugging away at school and sees the goal of being put into an independent supported living program when she finishes High School. She's hoping to finish by December. I want to hug her every time I think about how responsible she's being with all this!
Grace isn't doing so well. As readers may remember, she really went off the deep end after Jill left the house. She said some pretty mean and hurtful things, and I think some part of her knew that in that moment a bond was broken. She certainly tried to talk about it and apologize, but I think there's a part of her that didn't want to admit that she was so incredibly wrong in handling things the way she did. Once she realized that things were tenuous here at best, she just went for it full speed ahead. She was skipping school, late to school, late home, out past curfew, hanging out at her terrible boyfriends, cutting up and I'm pretty sure she came home high at one point. Totally understandable reactions from a hurt teenager. The hard part for us was deciding when we'd had enough.
That came when it was clear my job was in jeopardy. I'm still working my way out of that mess, which keeps the stress of everything that happened in the last year nice and fresh. When it was clear that my ability to bring in a paycheck was being compromised by dealing with Grace's issues, we had to make the decision that we couldn't keep being a placement for her.
This was, of course, a terrible blow for her. I can't begin to imagine how hurt she was by it, and the whole situation brings tears to my eyes whenever I think about it.
She reacted in the way that girls in her position often react- she got pregnant. Shortly after getting pregnant she was kicked out of her temporary placement and sent to another home. She lasted there about a week, and then went AWOL from DHS custody. Last I heard she was staying with their Mom in the terrible flop house she's renting a room in. DHS is naturally not happy about this, but they don't forcibly drag kids out of their homes anymore.
I hope and pray and pray and hope that she will see reason and try to get into another placement or go to a mother/baby group home before the baby is born. I fear that she will not be allowed to bring the child home from the hospital otherwise. I worry that not bringing the baby home will result in a spiral of depression in Grace from which she will have a hard time returning.
The Also Bad:
Our plans were dependent on Leonard getting into graduate school. He had all sorts of reassurance from various officials that he would be let in, and so we were banking on it. In the end, he's in limbo. He doesn't have a BA, so this was a bit of a coup. The Provost didn't exactly say "No", but he won't be allowed in until there's an official policy from the University that covers accepting students into Master's programs without Bachelor's. So it's not a "no", but it is a bureaucratic limbo.
What this means, and why it's relevant, is that we're totally unable to be foster parents. Because of the strict guidelines about financial solvency, we're not considered acceptable foster parents. My income just barely covers the three of us. We need just a bit more to be able to be financially sound and have another full time foster kid.
We'll have to see how things shake out. If we're lucky, Leonard will get into school and we'll have some income there to support him. That will give us the flexibility to take in another kid. If we're not lucky, he'll have to go back out on boats, which means being gone for 2 weeks at a time or so. That's a pretty glum prospect for fostering. I'll have a hard enough time managing me and Zig, not to mention another kid.
In either case, we'll probably start picking up some respite. Having someone stay with us for a week or so at a time sounds like fun to me.
The ultimate goal is still foster/adoption. Ziggy is our one and only biological child, but I'd like one or two more. At this point we're biding our time and seeing what the hurricane we're going through right now churns up.
In the mean time, I'm going to use my little soapbox here for advocacy and research. Please feel free to let me know if I need to fix something!