More games

The representative from the sending town had suggested that Mickey and I become the educational advocates for the children. This person is someone assigned to represent them in school related educational meetings since it would be a conflict of interest for the state to represent them against another part of the state. Make sense? Anyway, I got a call from our caseworker this morning that she thought we should not be the educational advocates. She was extremely vague as to why, but said it could be “misconstrued” by some others in her department. Misconstrued as what? Caring about the best interest of our children? Wanting to gain the most information that we can for when they are adopted and the full responsibility falls on us? All I can do is shake my head. She did say we could take the classes so at least we would have the same information when we attend all educational planning meetings. I suppose thats something, but I will never understand the state.

We scheduled a visit with Donald for this weekend at the same time as Daffy will be attending her friend’s birthday party. I made the decision that with Donald in the midst of a major transition and off all meds (including homeopathic) that it would be better if Mickey & I visited alone for this weekend. We will plan to bring Daffy next week, hopefully when Donald is slightly more stable.

The reports from the group home so far are that Donald is doing really well adjusting. I know its a very different structure than his previous group home, this facility is a lot more laid back. He isn’t typically the kind of kid that does well in a laid back environment so it will be interesting to see how it goes, but I am happy he is getting a few good days under his belt anyway. I think it will help the staff to have some “good moments” with him before they see his worst.

-Minnie xo

[All names have (obviously) been changed to protect the privacy of our family.]

Book Review: The Adoptive & Foster Parent Guide

The Adoptive & Foster Parent Guide, by Carol Lozier

I have been following Carol on Twitter for some time now and have always found that she shared valuable tips and information regarding foster parenting and adoption. When I realized she had written a book, I just knew I had to read it!

Carol’s book, “The Adoptive & Foster Parent Guide” is perfect for those considering foster care or adoption as well as for those with more experience! Just in reading through the Tables of Contents, I could see that she would cover some of the burning questions I have found myself asking over the past few months since we transitioned a sibling group in to our home. In reading through the book, she provided many examples, questions and exercises to uniquely personalize the experience to our own children.

This book is written in an easy to understand format, making it more relatable. Some of my favorite topics included:

  • Defining the 4 Attachment Styles– This is the #1 struggle I feel I face as an adoptive parent. How will I know when my adoptive children have attached? Carol’s thorough list of examples for each attachment type has helped me to more clearly see where we are in this process.
  • Roles of Family Triangles– I know its common that adopted children will naturally become closer to one parent over another, but are there things I can do to change that? To build both relationships simultaneously? Carol has give me some new insight and tools in this chapter!
  • Behavior Plans & Charts– This terminology rolls off the tongues of the staff in group homes but meant nothing to me until I read Carol’s book. I feel like I now know how and why to implement a behavior plan!
  • Defining the Team Roles– Our team is at an almost unmanageable size between the two children in our care. This section clearly defines who should be involved and what their role is. This is definitely a reference tool I will refer to over and over.

I would highly recommend this book to any foster or adoptive parents looking for a practical idea-driven approach to parenting foster or adoptive children with complicated traumas.

Carol Lozier is a psychotherapist in private practice who specializes in helping foster and adopted children and families. She graduated from Florida State University in 1989 with a Masters degree in Social Work. Carol can also be found here on Facebook and on the web.

Have you read this book? Please feel free to leave me a comment with your thoughts!

Would you like to have your foster or adoption related book reviewed on my blog? Please contact me at!

More transitions

Donald was moved to the new facility yesterday. We met for lunch with his current and new caseworkers and then headed over. We were able to see his room, school and some of the facility. Its set on a hill and its cooooold up there so we didnt ask for the full tour! Donald seemed really nervous, barely speaking two words. Because we arrived mid day, no one was on staff at the dorms, so he was required to go directly to his classroom. There seemed to be 5 students and 3 teachers- not a bad ratio.

The decision to remove Donald from ALL homepathic remedies was made by the state and those meds did NOT transfer with him. He stopped cold turkey. I dont know if I believe they even assisted with anything, but if they did, well this new facility is in for a real surprise! He is currently not medicated in any way. Its just a matter of time until he assaults someone there.

We raced off to our local school for Daffy’s Special Ed referral meeting. The “team” was resistant to testing her, saying that they dont diagnose ADHD (which we knew) and that they feel her school issues are solely from the transition in January. I was surprised at the resistance since our school is NOT the one who will pay, but rather the “sending” district, the district they lived in when they were taken. That district whole heartedly agreed with full testing. The testing is supported by the caseworker, therapist and social workers for the agency we work with. What more does the school want?? Ultimately our local school did agree to test, but in the mean time we need to get her reading glasses (the lowest prescription on the planet was prescribed last week and not recommended to be filled by the dr) so they can confirm that sight is not part of her issue while she tests. Honestly, its a waste of money, but we will do it to humor them. Testing will not begin until the appropriate paperwork is signed by the state. Lets hope they feel like hurrying about something.

Our social worker will be back next Monday and while I love the family support specialist we work with, I really need our social worker to be running the show. She is so organized. I feel like I am trying to juggle all the balls right now and something will slip through the cracks. April is going to be a busy month of meetings and a time of more transitions as we are hoping that treatment teem meetings will now be held separately. Should be interesting to see how this plays out!

-Minnie xo

[All names have (obviously) been changed to protect the privacy of our family.]

Where we’re at…

I told Mickey last week “I feel like we live one crisis to the next.” It’s really a draining place to be, but it’s my life, so I do the best I can. What other choice do I have?

A few updates from the past 10 days or so:

  • Donald has been kicked out of his current school. He physically assaulted 2 of the staff members to the point that the police needed to be called. The staff determined that they are not able to meet his needs.
  • The group home that Donald returned to has determined that they are not able to care for him without him in the local public school so they requested that he be moved.
  • The state attempted to find a high level foster family to take him (with no pets, no siblings and a strong adult male) and were unsuccessful so Donald is moving to another residential facility.
  • This move is to take place tomorrow.
  • Daffy started her gymnastics lessons. She was extremely nervous on the first day, but made it through class and seems to be looking forward to continuing!
  • A special ed meeting has been scheduled for this week for Daffy since her case worker requested testing as a result of the ADHD discussions. I am eager to see if she has any learning disabilities (I am thinking in the area of math) as well as get the ball rolling to resolve her attention issues.
  • I finally got around to nominating our social worker for Caseworker of the Month at!
  • The blog update I previously mentioned is underway…. fun new look coming soon!

Guess thats all I can muster for this Monday morning!

-Minnie xo

[All names have (obviously) been changed to protect the privacy of our family.]

The first of many times….

Today we were asked about Daffy’s medical history when we brought her to the eye doctor. I know this will be the first of many times we are asked about her family history and the first of many times we will have to explain whey we dont know.

I am familiar with this process. As an adoptee, I spent my life saying “I dont know” about diabetes, about heart disease, about cancer, about hypertension, about mental health… I just didnt know… and I hated it. I hated having to explain that I was adopted. I hated the way they looked am me with sadness in their eyes, because they knew I had been rejected. Rejected by the very person who should love me the most.

When I eventually reunited with my birth family in the late 90’s, I was elated to be able to provide medical information when asked. I recited it plain as day, without explanation…  and without the sympathetic looks to follow. As time has gone on, though, since contact with my biological mother ended (a mere 5 months after it began) and my biological father passed away (4 years ago now), I have stopped being able to recite that information. I have *some* medical information, but many things could have changed or developed in my family over the years that I am not privileged to know, so I am back to explaining why I don’t have all the facts.  And getting the sympathetic look. And I hate it.

I hate it for me but I hate it even more for Daffy. All she wants is to be a part of a family. To have a mom. And a dad. And brothers. And sisters. She does not want to be singled out. She does not want to be different. Yet every time we go to the doctor’s office, she will be. No matter if she adopted and no matter how much we love her, she will always be the one with missing pieces of her past. She will always feel that same raw rejection when asked. And there is nothing I can do about it.

I found out “Whats next”….

I might as well have asked “Whats next?” because I found out anyway. I got a call from the group home at 3:30pm yesterday. The long story short, Donald attacked 2 staff members at his school, then ran away from the school. The group home was called, then the police. The police didnt end up getting involved because Donald agreed to leave with the group home staff. However, Donald can not return to school until further notice. The group home staff mentioned that it will take 3 weeks or so to get a tutor set up and the caseworker (who later called) mentioned potentially moving him to school for those with mental illness and behavioral issues.

I have to say, I felt a little euphoric when I got the call. FINALLY, they are seeing what we saw when he lived here. One of the 2 staff members attacked visited Donald in the hospital and frowned at the fact we couldnt manage his behaviors, looked down on us for giving up. I feel so validated that she now “gets it” and they have learned that even in a school setting where they have an abudance of staff and deal with him only a small portion of the day, he can not be kept safe nor can those around him.

We already had a school meeting set for Monday so we will attend that and help determine what happens next for Donald. I want for him to be mentally well but this is one more reminder that we did make the right choice in not letting him return. He is simply NOT safe.

I received the list of homoepathic supplements Donald is now taking. The total cost per month is in excess of $200!! I still need to do some research on their effectiveness and risks/side effects, but I can say with certainty that transitioning him here while still on these unapproved and unorthodox supplements for mental illness can not happen. As I mentioned before, we do not have benefactors to cover that monthly expense. And I havent failed to notice that they dont seem to be effective, either.

Mickey and I attended a foster parent support group last night on Loss & Grief. Its interesting to think that just a few months ago we were the “newbies”…  but I couldnt get over some of the questions foster parents were asking… “How are foster children different from biological children?” … “Why do children need to be aware of their history?”… I was dumbfounded that these foster parents are considered “prepared” to have foster children in their homes! Maybe their children arent as complex as Donald & Daffy? I just dont know.

Anyway, we left Daffy at home with Pluto and Goofy during the meeting and I am thrilled to report that they had a GREAT night! NO issues! I made a point to lather her with praise! 🙂

-Minnie xo

[All names have (obviously) been changed to protect the privacy of our family.]

The Former Fosters

Yesterday I finally was able to get the number for a former foster family of Donald & Daffy. The kids were with this family when they were very young and then again at another point after they were taken from their biological mother for a second time. I had wondered why this family did not adopt Donald & Daffy since I knew they had adopted other kids. When I asked this at a recent team meeting, we were told this family wasnt interested in adopting them and just in foster care at that time.

Last night we called them and Daffy was able to talk to them. When she was finished, they asked to talk to me and gave me some brief info including the fact they had a lawyer and fought to keep the kids!!! Can you just imagine the old wounds that I opened? I feel so tricked by the state who led me to believe that this family hadnt wanted to adopt them when CLEARLY they did. They put on brave voices but I could sense the pain that THEY were not the “forever family” at the end of the day.

The call was very close to Daffy’s bedtime and she literally hung on me the entire time I talked to them. When I asked her to get back on the phone to say goodnight she started melting down because she would not have time to finish  the movie she was watching before dinner. I hung up with promises to keep in touch. Mickey followed Daffy to her room to read a book and she started screaming that she only wanted me. It breaks my heart that she is not able to connect with Mickey right now. As much as I wanted to be stubborn, I did go “chat” with Daffy and she was able to calm down which gave me a chance to remind her that she does not have to be out of control. She does have choices.

This morning, I woke to a series of irritating emails, some good, some bad.

First, the state is now recommending that the SCHOOL do Daffy’s testing for ADHD. They dont believe the powers-that-be will approve a neuro psych exam or a visit to the nurse practitioner. I suggested going the school route 2 or 3 weeks ago and was told to wait. While I dont mind having her tested through the school, this totally creates a new delay since the school will have to go through the entire formal process and in the end, they dont have the ability to diagnose ADHD. WHO exactly is looking out for this child’s best interest??? Its certainly not the state despite what any paperwork states.

Second, I got an email from the group home that due to “personal commitments” none of their staff of 20 or so is available to meet the first week of April for a meeting our social worker requested to discuss the mixed messages being sent to Donald. Are you kidding me??? If I showed that little level of commitment, my foster parenting days would be over. I am a VERY fair person and hate that they are held to a different standard than I am!

Third, I got an email stating that Daffy can write a letter to her biological mother than will actually be mailed. It will need to go through her caseworker and any return letter will as well which is comforting, but I am still nervous. I am nervous her biological mother will still not take responsibility for her actions send confusing messages to Daffy. I am nervous that her biological mother will not give any sort approval or indication of acceptance at Daffy being adopted which will just add confusion to the transition and attachment work. I really do want Daffy to have the information she is seeking (which is whether or not her bio mom is safe) but I fear what else may happen as a result. I do want to be supportive of her quest for information because I know how important my own quest was an adoptee. I really felt like I needed to know… and I DID need to know…. but  I wasnt nine. And I wasnt in foster care not yet attached to my adoptive parents. *sigh* I never would guessed how complicated this would be.

In Donald news, his liver tests are showing great improvement. We also learned that yesterday one of the staff took him to a local park to take photos of nature and he fell in the RIVER! Apparently she had to go in after him, even though the water was only a couple feet deep. Between that and the horse stepping on his foot, I’d ask “What next?” but trust me, I dont want to know.

-Minnie xo

[All names have (obviously) been changed to protect the privacy of our family.]

Daffy is NOT going to high school. Ever.

Last night Daffy and I had one of our “chats”…. its our nightly connection that I honestly could NOT live without. No matter how I angry I am about things that have happened throughout the day with her, this time cools me off and reminds me why I am doing what I do and how madly in love with her I am. She is genuine, sweet and innocent. Anyway, somehow we got on the top of high school and she told me she really doesnt want to go. I assured her that by the time she needs to go, she will be ready. So we counted the years…. wait…. 4 years from now she will be almost done with 8th grade and ready to go to high school???? Noooooooooooo…. I can’t take it! Four years isnt long enough. I need more time. I need more cuddles. I need more silliness, the kind of silliness that only little girls can provide. Sure, I thoroughly enjoy my biological kids and their quite adult sarcasm and sense of humor, but its not the same. Its just not the same as little girls who still believe in fairy tales, little girls who love unicorns and reading stories to their stuffed animals. How can that all be gone in 4 years? *sigh* Its too depressing to think about.

Yesterday we visited with Donald at the group home for the first time since he has been back in residential care. It was interesting at best. He and Daffy seemed happy to see each other but were are also equally as happy as when one of the staff took her to play with her former friends. We stayed with Donald  (& a staff member) and played a board game. Interestingly, losing is one of his PTSD triggers. WHY on earth would we think playing a board game would be a good idea??? LOL Anyway, he was “winning” the whole game. As he was just about to cross the finish line in the game, he said “Wait, no, I need to go back here” and moved his game piece next to mine. As I rolled, he insisted that he roll the same number so that we would evenly move to the finish line together. Honestly, I wasnt quite sure what to make of that. We headed outside at the staff’s suggestion (I am always in flip flops even in the winter and and would have been just fine to stay indoors thank you very much, LOL). We were throwing a tennis ball around. Donald was purposely throwing the ball out of my reach and often trying to sneak over and get ice chunks to throw in its place. Um, no. You will NOT throw ice chunks at me. He did take that correction and put it down, but I was very fearful every time I needed to turn my back. I was very glad Mickey was there with me to, literally, have my back. Later, we said goodbye without incident.

The staff reviewed the new “behavior” plan with us. It includes a points system and doesnt make complete sense to me yet. (I was able to find loop holes in the system around safety). They also went on to say that he will be OFF this plan this week because the worker who understands it best will be away for 4 days at a training. What the heck? If its so complicated that the rest of the group home staff cant handle using it for 4 days how the heck is this supposed to translate to home life? Ugh.

They also indicated they will be starting a collection of sensory items for him for when he needs to cool down. They suggested that they dont have “approval” yet (not sure from whom) but they want to include a MP3 player with classical music. They asked if WE would pay for it!? What?? How does that make sense??? I mean, none of this is about money for us, but they are PAID to cover his needs. We are not even receiving compensation for mileage (the round trip is 2 hours in the car each time we go) anymore, let alone any sort of compensation to provide for him. I am DUMBFOUNDED that they would ask for us to pay for this. I feel like this is some sort of test to see how invested we are and I resent it. I drop everything at 7pm every single night to call him. I write him letters. We set aside other plans to make the trek up to visit him. I attend all meetings I am alerted to when it comes to him (which is MULTIPLE times per month). I am in NO WAY compensated for my time and you want ME to pay for this MP3 player that YOU select????? Our sw says we are not responsible for such costs, but for me, its much more than that. Its the audacity that the staff has to expect we will pay yet give us vague updates and leave us out of any planning/meeting/appts they feel we would not be beneficial to them by attending.

My goals have not changed. I am still in this for the long haul and my goal is still to keep two siblings connected (although I cant say I know what that means at this point), but I have to say that this is FAR different than what I ever would have expected when we started this journey. Maybe the lesson in all of this for me is to learn to roll with the punches? To expect the unexpected? I dont know and I am determined to figure it out.

-Minnie xo

[All names have (obviously) been changed to protect the privacy of our family.]

Burning Mad

Tuesday we had our team meeting. There were 12 of us in attendance and that was a “small meeting” relatively speaking. My grandmother used to say “too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth.” I think the broth around here is definitely rotten.

The meeting started with clarification from our cw’s boss that they do not have plans to move Daffy. He said that he has never seen a child stay in a home for a year and then be moved so we really dont have anything to worry about (providing we continue with the current plan). I was quite relieved until I realized he was only talking out one side of his mouth. Later in the meeting we discussed permanency goals and Daffy’s desire to be adopted in December, and he readily agreed that was a good goal. That is, until he realized that Donald and Daffy might not be “ready” for adoption at the same time. Our sw and WWK’s worker both said that daffy should not have to wait to attach and move on with her life simply because her brother was not ready. He completely disagreed and said that it would be too detrimental to Donald. Nothing like putting Donalds needs ahead of Daffy’s. Again. So, all in all, we ended up at the very same place we started. Wait & see what happens.

The therapist brought up the need for Daffy to receive a psych eval or at the very least be evaluated for ADHD meds. The state reps of course hemmed and hawed. A psych eval requires a court order. Why on earth would they want to go through all that work to determine what issues face this child when they have far bigger fish to fry? Ugh. Right now we are in a holding pattern waiting for the therapist to write a formal request to the cw and we will go from there. There is absolutely no sense of urgency for Daffy’s needs.

The update from the group home regarding Donald was interesting to say the least. They started with 2 points:

1. Donald’s primary objective is to attempt to scare and intimidate people. He wants to see their fear.

2. Donald wants to be in control.

The consensus at the table was that this is “classic” domestic abuse. (No kidding. I just LIVED it with him in our home.)  They went on to say that he is agitated all the time and that “this time around” his behaviors are far more willful. He is not simply raging and accidentally causing harm, he is very purposeful in his actions. I took the insinuation to mean they they believe that in the 13 days he lived with us, we single handedly ruined the 2.5 years of work they did with him during his previous stay. Get real. He was ALWAYS purposeful, they just turned a blind eye because they did not want to believe someone so young could be so damaged and so dangerous. They commented about 2 incidents: one where he threw a sled at another child and one where he kicked a hole in the bathroom door (neither of which resulted in restraints). They also noted that he is using vulgar language. (Ya dont say!)

We set up visits for the next 2 weeks (one day each week) and I was told we can add more when “we are ready”…. wait, I thought this new plan was to go on HIS timeline to determine when HE is ready to move forward??? Honestly, I dont know when we will be ready. From what we have been hearing about his behaviors since fully coming off the meds, I dont even feel comfortable seeing him THIS weekend, especially with his sister in tow.

During the meeting the group home also mentioned the new supplements they have Donald on and mentioned they have a “benefactor” who is paying for them. What? They are so expensive they need a benefactor???? Way to set us up to fail. Need I remind them that we are a FAMILY and we dont have BENEFACTORS to pick up such expenses? It was also interesting when the cw asked them confirm they had gotten approval from the medical part of the state and no one seemed to be able to do that. Who ARE these unmonitored out of control people and why are they allowed to make these choices? Ugh.

So, it turns out, while the meeting was going on, Donald was deciding he had enough of school. This was only his first full day since the end of January, after all. He refused to do his spelling and when he was removed from the classroom, he threw a chair at his sped worker. They decided to “send him home” for the rest of the day. WHAT??? Its okay to physically assault school staff and all he has to do is go home which is what he wanted in the first place???? Its no wonder this kid has these types of behaviors, there is clearly no incentive to change!

More irritating to me, though, the school did not call me. The group home did not call me. I learned of this incident from Donald himself when I spoke to him on the phone that evening. Are you kidding me???? I was totally taken by surprise. I do not feel I can be an effective parent if I am not respected as a parent. I immediately sent an email to the group home (copying the cw) and to our social worker. I was ticked!

My emails spawned a new conversation about what kind of communication is necessary and we are still in the throws of working those details out. My social worker asked for a daily report and the group home replied they would do their best to provide a “weekly report”. Not acceptable. They have a freakin staff of nearly 20 people. SOMEONE can send a 2 sentence update daily. Heck, as a high level foster parent, *I* was required to keep daily notes on Donald myself and *I* didnt have assistants to help me with such tasks! (Can you tell I am pissed? Just wait, I get angrier….)

So yesterday, I got quite a nice update via email with some details about what happened on Tuesday. I also learned that 3 incidents required removal from the class on Wednesday (only a few details were provided about 1 of 3 incidents). At least I knew what I was in for when I called last night. I put Daffy to bed at 7pm and picked up the phone and called Donald at 7:03pm. He was LIVID that I was “late” calling him. Seriously? THREE minutes???? We were told we had a 15 minute window in which to call him, so 3 minutes is NOT late, in fact, its on the early side. I was able to change the conversation fairly well and the call went as usual.

Today, I got an email from the group home stating that Donald threatened to “punch” and “kill” 2 of the children in the group home shortly before our call last night. Apparently while “processing” his behavior, he told the child care worker that he made the threats because I was late calling him! The email from the group home basically insinuates that its MY FAULT that he made these threats. ARE YOU FREAKIN KIDDING ME?????? My head almost spun off my body when I read this! To make matters worse, its copied to everyone on the team, even people I have never met. I immediately wrote back and requested confirmation of the 15 minute window we previously had discussed and indicated that Daffy’s bedtime is at the same time as the scheduled calls. I asked for their suggestions on how to resolve the issue. And then I promptly swore out loud. The group home called me twice after receiving the email. I know its not a very grown up thing to say, but I bitch buttoned them both times. I was FURIOUS and knew that I could not speak in a kind or rational manner at that time. Hell, its been nearly 6 hours and I STILL have no interest in talking to them. I did talk to my social worker and vented about my frustrations. She was, of course, soothing and said we can work to create a better plan tomorrow as to what kind of communication we are requesting.

I put Mickey up to calling Donald tonight. The passive agressive side of me wanted to call late, so it seemed like a better choice to simply let Mickey handle the call while I put Daffy to bed. The staff spoke to Mickey prior to the call and indicated that Donald had a “good day” which means he did not need to be restrained. Thats a GOOD DAY???? Lets be honest here, folks. Throwing things, swearing & threatening peoples lives are NOT behaviors of a good day whether they result in a restraint or not. These people need to GET SERIOUS about the  issues that Donald faces. HE NEEDS MEDICATION! This nonsense of having him on a homeopathic course is NOT a good choice for a child who is truly mentally ill and suffering from so many different and complicated disorders. HE IS DANGEROUS. I dont know how many times I can say that or what it will take for someone to hear that. He is going to seriously harm or kill someone if he stays on this path. How can they not see this???? How can they be doing nothing to protect the other children he is on contact with (at the group home and at school)? I would be LIVID if I had a child in contact with him and was not made aware of the seriousness of the situation. I honestly believe we are headed towards a Dateline episode after something horrible happens. My face will, of course, be in the shadows and clips from this blog will roll across the screen in an eery foreshadowing of things to come.

I dont feel like I can trust anything or anyone at this point. There is no guarantee that Daffy will stay with us. There is no guarantee that Donald will ever be well enough to live safely in a family. I feel very discouraged.

-Minnie xo

[All names have (obviously) been changed to protect the privacy of our family.]

Our Chats

One of Daffy’s favorite things is to “chat” each night before bed. We got home later than usual last night because of her Girl Scout meeting and I told her we only had 15 minutes to chat. Somehow she always manages to weasel extra time out of me with her charming personality and heartwarming talks. I stayed in her room almost an hour last night. First I read a story and then we talked. I reminded her about her therapy appointment for today and our team meeting. She said “I wish I was being adopted tomorrow!” It KILLS me that she has ZERO concept of time because she JUST told the social worker last week that she wanted to be adopted in December! She has NO CLUE how far away December is. Honestly, I dont know that she gets time beyond yesterday, today and tomorrow. *sigh* Later in the conversation, she mentioned telling a previous  therapist that she didnt think she should live with Donald. She said that over time she would go back and forth and that the therapist told her she could take time to think. She said she has mentioned this to her current therapist as well. I didnt want to say too much or ask too many questions because I didnt want to plant any definitive ideas with so many unknowns and variables right now. At first I thought she might be feeling me out to determine if Donald is really coming back, but as the conversation went a little further, I realized that she was trying to determine if SHE would leave if she didnt want to live with her brother. Without saying too much about him, I assured her she is here to stay. I hope I am right.

-Minnie xo

[All names have (obviously) been changed to protect the privacy of our family.]