It makes me nervous to write it out, as if that might somehow bring everything crashing down around us again, but right now things are looking up.
It has been seven weeks since Midge left. Things are settling in to a new routine…I don’t like it as much as the old routine, but it is what we have. We have been seeing her about once a week. We didn’t want to confuse her, so we were careful to have our contact with her go through a natural progression over many weeks. We started with several playdates with her father present while we played. It was awkward at first, especially for Greg who hasn’t ever supervised a bio parent visitation. But her father was very happy to have a little bit of down time while Midge ran around and played with Greg and the boys. I would sit and talk with her father and find out how things were going and give him parenting and attachment tips, as well as advice on how to advocate for Midge with the county (and of course, I played with Midge, too!) Then, after some prayer and thought, we decided to invite them both over to our house for dinner. I thought it would help Midge if her father was there the first time or two that she came over, to avoid the confusion of her thinking she was home to stay. We waited until we’d had several successful playdates at neutral locations and until Midge wasn’t crying to come home with us at the end of our time together. It was very strange giving her father our real address and having him playing in our house with our own kids! You fellow foster parents know what I’m talking about.
It is strange to see how Midge accepts the knowledge that she’s not living here anymore. When she was over to our house the first time, I made sure to tell her several times that she was going home to her new house with her father afterwards. She didn’t cry when it was time to leave. With the time that’s passed and all of us reiterating it to her, she seems to understand that she will visit but will go home to her new house when she’s done. Most importantly, she knows she will see us again. Last week, I got to watch her all day at my house without her father! They moved into a new place last weekend, and he needed some time alone to get things done there. We were thrilled to help out! And best of all, Midge didn’t seem at all confused or upset to be at our house, or to go home at the end of the day.
Her father has told the social worker that Midge does great when she has visits with us, and says she is polite and happy afterwards. In fact, he and I have talked about the possibility of me being her day care provider when he goes back to work. I can’t even imagine how happy I would be to have her back in my home with me and the boys on a regular basis. My hopes about that are already up too high, but that can’t be helped. He needs to find out from the social worker whether that is an option. It is legal in our state to do daycare for one other family without a license, but if the social worker insists, we will go through the licensing process if there’s a chance of us being her primary care provider on the days her father works. Wouldn’t that be bizarre?
I wonder if this is God’s way of answering our prayers for our daughter to stay in our lives, even if it’s in a very roundabout way and certainly not the way we were hoping for originally. Would you pray with us as things in this area develop in the coming weeks?