I have tried to contact Mom in rehab several times and to no avail. I always had to leave a message. She asked the Case Manager to please have me try again. She is on lock down and will be home for sure. I try and again “Can I please take a message” Oh well I think I did try and hopefully she gets the message. I send a note to the Case Manager about the time I called so she knows I tried.
Today the kids had a visit and as I pull the lunch containers out of their lunch boxes a paper falls out. I go to hand it to Little Bit assuming it is a picture she drew when it dawns on me it is a hand written note. I open it.
” I was home all night I am sorry they did not let me talk to you. They think you are one of my using friends. Can you please tell them when you call that you are the foster mom. They said I can talk to you if you do that”
Ummm, OK but that is not information I usually give out but OK if she is telling them her kids are in foster care then I guess I don’t have the confidentiality concerns. Part of me honestly dreaded calling; what to say, how to phrase it….sigh…sometimes fostering is hard. Oh well put the big girl pants on and lets go.
I get her on the phone and she sounds SUPER stressed. I know I make her nervous so we make small talk for a minute in hopes of relaxing her a bit. She is trying to placate me and tell me what a good boy Little Man is and I am confused. I know he is where is this coming from so I ask her point blank. Her response saddened me “I am just really scared that if he is so bad you will stop wanting to care for him.” I am shocked…yes he is a challenge but NO I would never do that. I say to her “J-, honestly I have been doing this for nine years and was respite before that. I have seen many kids going down a dark path whose hearts are turned because of their situation. Little Man is not like that at all. I will not stop caring for him until you can.”
We talk some more and I try not to press her. She talks about being afraid she is being judged. She feels she is being unnecessarily punished and claims she is on lock down because there were graham crackers in her room. I say nothing really as what can I say so I remain supportive. Finally she admits she has broken some rules and that following rules has always been her issue. She goes on as to how they are control freaks and she isn’t going to do this again because she has had enough. I am worried her plan was to go to another extended placement with the kids, would she toss this plan? The last time she did this she only remained clean for two months. The staff chimes in she has to go.
I promise to call again soon now that I know what to say and she says “I don’t want you to think I am upset with you. I really appreciate you taking really good care of the kids. I know they are safe.” I thanked her and was overwhelmingly grateful that she felt the kids were safe with me.
What a blessing and a compliment.