One of my old foster kids moved in with me. My little acorn is all grown up and ready to come back to the ol' oak tree. And this ol' oak tree was waiting with open branches for her to come back. She is 20 now. I got her at 12. 12! And she will be 21 in October. Ahh, how times flies when you're not having fun. She is my all time favorite foster kid. I always said that she and the oldest boy we had, with the 3 boys we got, should have been mine. These 2 kids and I bonded and I let the oldest boy go because he was only 3 and I didn't want to separate him from his brothers, even though it broke my heart to bits to let him go, I did it out of love.
When she got to go home she was 100% against it. She wouldn't pack anything more than an overnight bag to go home because she was "going to be right back." I packed up a bunch of her stuff, but she still left as much as she could at my house. After the courts said they could go home, I expected the girls -- there were 3 of them -- to ride with their parents, if for nothing else for their parents' feelings. Both the older girls rode home with me, only the youngest, 7 at the time, rode with her parents and I remember my shock at seeing her climb into the front seat with her parents and drive off with no one wearing a seat belt.
Taking my acorn to her parents' house, we held on to each other and cried and cried our goodbyes. I know it didn't make her parents happy to see how much she and I loved each other, but it was just a fact. The girls were with us for 15 months and when they were finally able to go home, their case worker gave us the option to keep them, but it was a package deal. We kept them all or none, and as the 7 year old was convinced that she "was gonna die!" if she didn't get to go home, we let them go. My acorn -- who I will now call Acorn -- went through a hell of a time with her parents. She suffered through serious depression, and dropped out of school. When they were with us, they were all straight A students. The 15 year old had dropped out of school before she came to us, but I don't play that game. She went back to school and had to do summer school before she went back to catch up, but she did catch up and, as I said, they were all straight A students.
The 7 year old, who is now 14 almost 15, says that if she could go back in time, she would tell the courts to not let them go home, because things were better with us. She says that even though she hated when she got in trouble and got grounded, she needs that. I say what I mean and mean what I say. If I told her to do something or she would get grounded, I meant it and I still love the memory of her telling me that someday she was going to come back and ground me and make me go to bed early. I can't wait for that day! Their parents try, but their mom is working full time and trying to keep it all together. They don't have the resources that my ex and I did. They don't have an extra car for the girls to use to get a job, or even get the practice to get their driver's licenses. I respect their mother for trying so hard, especially as it is exactly as my mom had to do to keep it all together for us. I respect their mother even more for telling Acorn that she shouldn't have made her come back to them, she should have let her stay with us. That to me is a true mother. She loves her daughter enough to want the best for her, even if it was letting her go.
Now Acorn is back with me and one of the first things she said was, "Now I am on my own. I finally get to be an adult!" I'm not so sure of how adult I am, but I am glad that she is ready to spread her wings and get to make her own decisions about her life. I always say that kids need a solid platform to jump off of to launch themselves into the world. It makes it so much easier to launch yourself if the platform is solid. Not that you can't launch yourself on an unstable platform, but I think you will be more successful with something solid behind you. I may not be an adult, but I am a solid platform that she can always count on.
This ol' oak tree is THRILLED to have her Acorn back, and looking forward to seeing her get her life going the way she wants it. I know there will be disappointments and things may not turn out the way she is planning, but that is just part of the game. And I am ready to rejoice or mourn with her every step of the way. Ahh, my little Acorn, how do I love thee? I will have to count the ways in a different blog. As usual, I have blathered on for too long.
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