Celebrating Daffy

Daffy has celebrated her very first birthday with us…. she  has officially turned 10 years old!

Saturday morning a friend of mine took her out for a special birthday breakfast and to get a pedicure! Daffy was planning to get balloons painted on her toenails…. imagine her surprise when the woman doing the pedicure showed Daffy her own toes with Hello Kitty on them…. the exact theme of Daffy’s party! Aren’t they adorable??

Saturday afternoon we honored her special day with a party with many of our closest friends and family. Among the guests were her Fairy Godmother  (@abuggleslife), Jessie, Woody & Buzz (her former pre-adoptive family), Mickey’s parents and many of our closest friends and their children. Daffy had a fabulous time being the center of attention and received many beautiful things. We had bought her an iPod Touch which was definitely a HUGE hit. In fact, she told me the next day that when she blew out the candles on her cake, she had wished for an iPod!

On her actual birthday, I had set up a call with her birth Mom…. the first time they have spoken in more than 3 years! I was a little worried the call would be overly emotional for both of them, but I felt that of all days for them to connect, Daffy’s birthday was it! The call went fantastically! Neither of them cried and her birth Mom was totally appropriate in all she said. I was really happy for the both of them. A few hours after the call, a package arrived for Daffy from her birth mom. She had gotten Daffy the Nintendo 3DS game that she really wanted and sent a few other things that belonged to Daffy as well, including 2 of her jewelry boxes and some pictures from when she lived with a foster family in 2004. Daffy was thrilled to have these things back. I wish I could have read her mind as she looked through each item, I am sure remembering days gone by.

Overall, I think her birthday went as perfectly as possible and I am thrilled for her that she was able to share her special day with so many people who love her so intensely! She is blessed … & so are we!

A few random updates

Daffy’s Art from Summer Academy

A few random updates from the trenches…

Donald

It’s been an up and down week for Donald. He did not return phone calls Friday or Saturday. He did not call on his “call day” (Monday). He screamed at me with disgust on Tuesday that he didn’t want to talk to me . Yesterday we had a pleasant conversation that lasted a whopping 13 minutes. In fact, he talked to Daffy (at her request) and told her he loved her as they hung… the very first time he said that to her since he left at the end of January. Weird.

Donald’s birth mom visited with him last week and reported that things seemed different. She said he hadn’t acted as loving as he had at prior visits and that she felt he was conflicted. She & I are currently trying to schedule a visit together with him so we can have an open dialogue about what his hopes for the future are. We feel like he tells each of us what we want to hear and are hopeful that if he sees us as united for him that he will be able to finally be honest.

As far as I know, no therapy has been set up for Donald yet. As much as I feel his case worker understands his needs, I feel that there is no sense of urgency for him now that his sister is being adopted. I have no leg to stand on as his “former foster mom”, but feel that a fire needs to be lit to encourage the state to work to get him help and get him to permanency. I will definitely be bringing this up at the next team meeting in September.

Daffy

Daffy starts school in 6 days. She isn’t thrilled to be going back, but I feel like she really needs it (not that she has a choice, LOL). She does so much better with tasks to complete than with an abundance of free time.

She is extremely excited about her birthday party tomorrow! I have some concerns that this could be a very overwhelming day for her with so many people here for her, but I am going to try to keep things light and positive. Mickey and I made the decision to allow a phone conversation between her birth mom and herself next week on her actual birthday. Her birth mom has been very appropriate and I am confident that she will not do anything to destroy the relationship we (birth mom & I) have been carefully building with her.

Alice

I learned Wednesday that Alice is being evaluated at a psychiatric hospital and her next destination is unclear at this time. I’m disappointed that things did not go in a different direction, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since respite didn’t “save” us either. If Alice does return to her foster home, we will be ready and willing to support them.

Other posts currently in the works: My Adoption Story Part IV and an update on Tink, so check back soon! 🙂

Birthday Wishes

Daffy recently shared a story with me, one that I feel compelled to document here. During our chat time, she told me that on her last birthday (while celebrating her birthday for the 3rd time at the group home), as she blew out the candles, she wished for a family. She said “And then a couple months later, there you were!” If only life were really that simple… if only kids in foster care could wish to go home, or wish their parents would not be addicted, or wish they had not been abused. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Each team meeting that I sit in reminds me of this fact. Daffy is encouraged to write letters to the team and attend meetings herself, but at only nine years old, not much weight is given to her voice. The team- consisting of foster parents, former foster parents, social workers, case workers, therapists, Guardian Ad Litems, bosses and more- makes choices for her. They decide where she will live, where she will go to school, who her therapist will be, what programs she can enroll in, what medications she can take, what evaluations can be done and what sibling and birth family contact will look like. Sure, the team, cumulatively, has a lot of experience, but the one thing they lack is a crystal ball.  They have no way of predicting the future and no way of saying whether those choices are the very best ones for Daffy. And historically, if you look at the decisions of Daffy’s team, their decisions have kept Daffy in care 4 years longer than necessary.

As Daffy’s 10th birthday approaches, it gives me a measure of peace that she is safe and loved knowing she can finally go back to being “little girl” who wishes for things like a horse or a diary with a voice protected password or a trip to Disney or the latest Littlest Pet Shop set!