Friday, December 29, 2006

Part 2b: the fosterening continues

when we left our intrepid gang, they were stuck in Shelbyville for Christmas and New Year's, living in the basement of a foster home, and missing their ancient cat....


One night, we went to the son's school Christmas play. It was a public school but they did a full-on Santa and Elves deal with no attempt to pretend they were down with non-Jesus December. I thought that was a little weird. Isn't it? Don't most schools stay away from the red and the green, because of all the kids that will feel left out? Or is everyone in Shelbyville a Jesus Christian? Weird.
Another time we went to the mall. This was the site of our very first (by no means last) super dumbass parenting trick. We totally forgot the diaper bag. I was so ashamed of this I didn't mention it to the foster mom or the other adopting family because, hello, I didn't want to be reported. We were still under surveillance! Now that I think about it, the other mom would totally have shared her kid's diapers and milk with us. As it was...we were standing in an enormous Shelbyville Mall (which had no bookstore, by the way.) with a starving hungry baby who was screaming. Luckily, we have other ways to feed the baby a little bit. So I stood in a bathroom stall, not touching anything, feeding the baby to calm him down. He didn't get a full meal but I was very pleased. Always prepared! like a boy scout!

Another time we went to the zoo! Shelbyville has a big zoo with all kinds of animals. The foster mom's sister in law works at the zoo and not only got us in free but brought out a snake for the kids to pet! Sadly, the kid is a bit young for snake petting. But the older kids enjoyed it. They had a whole "Herpaquarium" which comes from "Herp" which means "Disgusting" and "Aquarium" which means "Revolting". I am hoping to not pass on my crippling fear of creeping, crawling, swimming, sliming creatures, but I absolutely could not open my eyes walking through there. Shiver.

We went to walmart (did you know I had never been in one before this trip? Well, I hadn't. But it was not that interesting.) and bought Connect Four, Don't Break the Ice!, Barrel of Monkeys, and Set. We later realized that perhaps the young children of the house might also enjoy the games. That is how we ended up spending entire days playing Barrel of Monkeys. At which I kicked the asses of everyone under 10. HA!

I was desperate to eat something that had not originated in any type of pouch, and the foster mom told me she hated to cook, so I made pizza with the kids. It was hilarious but not as crispy as I like really. We also made cookies which was the messiest mess that ever messed. I wish we could have done it twice. It was fun.

In Shelbyville, the parents have to go to a judge in order to relinquish. This is where the judge asks if they are OK with this etc. I don't really know exactly how it goes down. All I know is that the day was the 20th, at ten AM. We talked with Suzanne the night before. We didn't talk about the adoption at all...just about her other kids, and Christmas, and stuff.
The morning of the 20th I watched the clock creep closer and closer to ten. I kissed the baby one million times and whispered that I would miss him if this didn't happen. The four year old made me sit still while she did my hair (six bows! I looked hot, I tell you what). I was sitting still when the phone rang. It was the social worker calling to tell us that it was complete. Suzanne and Richard were still certain that they wanted to do this and had declared such to the judge.

The big part was over. I cried. The four year old asked me why I was crying. "Like your mom was talking about, grownups sometimes cry when they're happy. I'm happy because Godot gets to come home with us," I said. "You mean the birthmom and birthdad decided?" "Yes, they decided."

A couple hours later, we got a call that the Shelbyville agency needed one more piece of paper from Massachusetts. HOwever, the Massachusetts social worker was in an all day meeting and could not be reached before 1:30, when they needed this magical paper. A pissed-off Octuplet Dazzle set out for a long walk, since this would mean we were definitely here for New Year's. Our one percent had evaporated just like that.

About thirty minutes after Octuplet Dazzle left, I heard the phone ring upstairs. Foster mom answered. "OK, I'll tell them," I heard her say. Then she came down the stairs. I thought she'd update me on this magical piece of paper (never did hear what that was), but she said "It's done. You can go home."

I was stunned. After all that angst? We could go where? I looked around then remembered that OD was gone. "She went out for a walk," I said lamely. (Octuplet Dazzle Loses Her Cell Phone Days Before This Trip is a different story)

I invited the family out to dinner but they had plans, so I ordered in CHinese for them. I waited and waited desperately by the door for OD to return but she was out walking around, probably still pissed off. Finally I left the baby with the foster mom and drove out to find her, which I did not.

Two hours after she'd left, she came back. "We can go home," I said, "it's done!"
She did a total cartoon double take "Whaaa?" thing. I had to explain a couple of times.

"We have a flight at ten AM. We're going home."

1 comment:

afrindiemum said...

oh, oh, oh. every installment is making me tear up.