Archive for May, 2014

Published by PaintingChef on 30 May 2014

Getting ready to say goodbye.

My heart is shattered. There is no other way to put it. I feel like I am standing in a field watching a train wreck happen (not even in slow motion anymore) with my hands tied behind my back and duct tape over my mouth. Never in my entire life have I felt this level of helplessness. Irrelevance. I’m drowning. I love this little girl with everything I have. She is my heart. And in July, we have to pack her little life that she’s built while she has been with us and tell her good bye.

What do I say to her? What piece of wisdom do I try to leave her with? Is it more important that she know how much I love her, that I would do anything in the entire world for her? Or do I remind her, one more time, that she is smart and strong and capable and that her dreams are never too large, no matter what anyone tells her or what she sees around her every single day? How do you leave that with a four year old?

The child welfare system is broken. When I compare the hoops that Patrick and I had to jump through to become foster parents with the very few boxes that birth parents have to check to get their children back, my head hurts. I don’t understand. The rights of birth parents are sacred. They are placed above even the welfare of the child. No. They are not physically abusing her. I don’t think that they ever have and I pray (in my own way) that they never would. But isn’t there more than that? Shouldn’t there be more than “are you PHYSICALLY safe?” How about are you providing a nurturing home? A place for her to grow and learn and explore her potential? Are you feeding her healthy food and letting her run and play outside every chance she gets? Do you read to her and play games with her and sing silly songs? Do you let her mind grow in every direction and build her self-confidence at every opportunity? Are you moving heaven and earth in every way that YOU are able to give her a better life? How are these not questions that every parent should say yes to? And how are these not things that are factored into the decision to return a child to the home they were removed from?

You, my dear friends, have seen every bit of this motherhood journey. From day one. In July, when my sweet girl leaves us, that journey will be over. We are done. Our hearts are tired. Yes there are other options. More fostering. Adoption. But I don’t want another child. She is mine. She was the child the universe meant for me to have, for however brief that time was. I desperately hope that we have made some difference in her life, shown her that there are other ways to live. That someday she will remember something about being with us and it will encourage her to keep striving to break the cycle that she will grow up among.

I’m not sure what is next. For us. For this corner of the internet. For anything. I don’t know how to describe it other than I’m walking in a cloud of nothingness right now. I am so very numb and in other ways, every second is excruciating. God… that’s so fucking melodramatic. I have to keep reminding myself that we knew what we were signing up for but I’ve learned that we had no idea. DCS is a nightmare. This whole experience hasn’t made me want to keep fostering and helping these kids. It’s made me want to go to law school. The only way these children can be helped is if the SYSTEM is changed. These children deserve so much better.

She deserves better. I Love you chicken little. With all of my heart. And I will always be cheering for you and wishing good things for you.

pc.com Abi Beach

Published by PaintingChef on 05 May 2014

On inadvertant life skills and why sometimes Michael’s trumps Lowe’s.

We remodeled our kitchen. It’s almost done. We didn’t kill each other.

Yet.

But that’s where I’ve been.

Such a lie… I’m a lazy and terrible blogger and just between you and me… I’m a little sick of being like “parenting is hard and four year olds are assholes and seriously… what did I used to DO with all the time I wasn’t putting someone in time out?”

Pictures of the kitchen to come, I promise but first, let’s talk about tile and why I can’t lift my arms above my shoulders anymore.

Out of the two of us, in our little world, Patrick is by far the handy one. He can build shit. Whatever I need, he can build it. He knows how to do things like change out sinks (which he did) and convert a can light to a gorgeous pendant light (which he is about to do) and install a garbage disposal (check). He can do wiring and plumbing and carpentry and painting and installing wood floors. He can change the size of a gorgeous built-in entertainment center so that it never stops looking like a gorgeous built-in. He can do all these things and I’m really damn lucky.

But this weekend? We learned that he cannot tile a backsplash. I’m not sure who was more shocked by this revelation. Him, when he realized that there was something seemingly simple that he was just struggling with or me when I put two and two together and came to the conclusion that I was going to tile the backsplash.

Life skills translate in funny ways. Patrick had all the right tools and followed the direction exactly on how to spread that tile glue gunk but it just wasn’t happening. It was clumpy and awkward and he was getting really frustrated… really fast. But the more I looked at it, the more it looked familiar to me and then it dawned on me…

Dude. This shit was just like icing a cake. I took a look at all the tools he’d gathered, laughed my ass off, and dug through the boxes that have become our kitchen over the past couple of weeks and found my favorite icing spatulas. Yup. Offset icing spatulas. You can do Lowe’s and Home Depot all you want baby… my tools of choice? Fucking Wilton.

wilton

**Image stolen from www.wilton.com

We managed the project with only one really big fight and nobody broke anything. I only dropped tile mastic on the dog once, we made 5 trips to Lowe’s (I only forgot to change out of my pajama pants for one of them) and had hamburger helper for dinner at 11:30 Saturday night.

You’re jealous. I know you are. Sometimes I can’t believe that nobody has wanted to make a movie out of my super exciting life yet.