Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I Don't Want You to Be My Mom

This is probably not the best time for me to write-- when I'm a mix of anger and heartbreak.

It can be a toxic combination.

Tears splashing around me as I peck hard on the keyboard.

I'm infuriated by how children are affected by mamas and daddies who don't do the right things.

Who lie, abuse, neglect...the list could go on and on.

I want to scream.

I hate emotional abuse and manipulation. 

A mama telling her kids she's getting a bed ready for them.  She'll have a puppy and candy.

Every time she sees them, she excitedly directs them to start picking out bedspreads and get ready to move back with her.

Lies.  none.of.it.true.

And I bear the consequences of a three-year old thrashing against me at nap time.

Screaming at me, I don't want you to be my mom!  I don't like you.  I don't love you!  I want my new mom!  I want my brothers!

Over and over again.  Words she's never uttered to me in the past nine months.

I don't take it personally.

For over two years, this child has lived in a world where she's been told she'd be moving back to live with her birth mom and brothers.

For a while, that seemed to be true.  But this case is no longer heading in that direction.

As the path of her life bends again, forming another huge bump, there's deep grief and confusion in her tiny heart.

I gently wrestle her kicking legs close and say, It's hard to trust a new mommy.  I know you're so confused.

I attempt to rock her-- part of our normal nap time routine.

She'll have none of it because she's a big kid and big kids don't rock.

I tell her I still rock my big kids sometimes.

She shows me how her other foster mama of two years used to hold her and rock.

When I begin to sway her that way, her head buries deep into my shoulder.  Her tiny form shakes as she cries guttural sobs.

This is hard grief for a three-year old.  She misses her other foster family-- precious people who carved deep spaces in her soul.

And she believes the lies she's been told-- of moving to a new home.

I am angry at injustice.  And lies.

I stroke her fuzzy head, wrap her in a pale yellow blanket, and we talk about the three mamas she's had.  Her confusion over it all.

I sit cross-legged, my bare legs touching the nubby pink wool rug, moving my body back and forth in the still darkness of  her room.  The fan humming and stirring goose-bumps on my arms.

I feel so ill-equipped in the moment.  Holding a child with a deep longing in her heart to be elsewhere.  I try to affirm her confusion and emotions.

I promise to try to find a way for her to see her brothers soon.

And I wonder if she trusts my promises?

She senses a change.  She was visiting her brothers twice a month.  Now they've been moved to another foster home.

They are older and trudging through immense loss and grief of their own.

Little Bitty wants the new house, the puppy, the candy.  Her biological brothers.

The promises were made.  But, they will not be carried out.

I know there is hope.  But, today I just want to cry and grieve this broken mess.

I have no eloquent ending.  No poignant words.

Today I just want to be sad and angry.


Gloria R. said...

Oh girl... I am so very sorry... I understand you well. I have written a long response here, but decided to delete it. If you would like, you can ask me and I will share with you, but for now I just want to tell you that I hear you.
More importantly, the Lord hears you. Hold on tight, hold to the truth, speak it in gentle ways to your little girl and pray, pray, pray. Help truth to permeate, in love and wisdom. Help her know that even though you are not those other women, you are by her side now, today. Combat her struggle with assurance...
Do you mind me asking why she had to leave the other foster home? Don't fear letting her know the truth in gentle ways.
Before I go, I want to share with you the story I told my son once. I called it, the Kangaroo story:
There was a mom Kangaroo, who had a baby kangaroo in her pouch. He wasn't ready to come out yet, but she kept putting him out when he was not ready. She liked to bounce and thought it was okay for baby to be out of the pouch. But baby kanga felt scared, so they found a new place for him, in another kanga mom's pouch. It was just fine for him, but something was not connected just right. When that mom kanga bounced around, baby kanga felt loose. One day, he bounced right out! Oh, he was so scared... Fortunately, yet another mom kangaroo came around. This one was just right. Baby fit perfectly in her pouch. She never took him out too soon, and he was never too lose in there. So she could bounce just fine, and he was safe inside.
With that story, the child's own mind can make the conclusion that where she is at today is a good place to be... And you can help her understand that her birth mom loves her, she just can't have her right now. And the other foster mom couldn't keep her, but you are a safe place, no matter what.
Believe that she needs you to stick around. May you have such a great rest of the week!
With love,
Gloria R.

Melanie Singleton said...

Gloria, such a beautifully simple way to help her make sense of the messiness of it. Gonna try to message you.

Tamara K said...

Thanks for sharing. It is so hard to see children going through pain. All I know to do is pray in those moments as only God can fix it and help them through.

Kristin Taylor said...

God gives hope, even to the broken hearts that seem beyond repair. I'm glad this little one has you. I linked up next to you at SDG.