Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A Disturbance in the Force

And so it begins. This morning I had the rare treat of being able to sleep in a bit, as I had to work late tonight. The Wife was going to attend a foster training session tonight, but that was scuttled by a call from "Josie's" school. She never showed up this morning.

She had asked for some money to pick up an "energy drink" (read: something to make her climb the walls) and The Wife complied. We're still a little soft-headed over our first Little Darling, I suppose, and she's been so good we made the mistake of trusting her prematurely.

Anyway, she somehow just wasn't able to make it to school, and we got wind that her boyfriend (a whole separate post on that snotty, pasty-faced little creep coming your way soon) also just coincidentally somehow couldn't make it to school. Several calls between social workers, school representatives and "Josie's" PO later, she was back in school and the first Nelson Family Council was scheduled for after dinner, with most of the outcomes predecided.

I got home a little after 7, and "Josie" was once again on her best behavior, having gone so far as to help out with dinner. She had obviously confused The Wife, as she was already going soft on our previously firm decision of a 2-week hard grounding.

Oh, my, but this one is smooth as a wet popsicle when the pressure is on. She had a ready story about how she wasn't feeling well at all this morning, having not slept well all night (that part is actually true) and she felt ill to the stomach (color me skeptical) and how she just went to her mother's house to lie down for awhile (coughbullshitcough). More of the usual (the teachers all hate her, the other students don't like her, blah blah blah), but it all came to naught. Grounded, sister. 2 weeks, with exceptions for school, walking the dogs and going with The Wife to the church youth group.

But you know, this is really the best thing that could have happened...because home visits are now off the table, and she didn't get sent up, though I'm thinking it was a very near thing in her PO's mind. It's exactly as I was hoping for a few posts ago.

We have her to ourselves until further notice, and you can bet we're going to use that little gift to start chipping away at her defenses in earnest. She's going to have structure in her life, she's going to be made to understand that we are HERE for her every single day, and we're going to do everything in our power to indoctrinate her into a much healthier way of living than she's ever known.

And you know something? I think that even now she knows that this is exactly what she needs to come out of this with a good life ahead of her. As The wife and I orchestrated our brilliant tag-team against her, she looked like she was more relieved than angry or upset. I could just see her thinking "finally, something I can count on". And then she dropped my jaw on the floor with the comment that she had never been grounded before.

15 years old and never been grounded. I was a veteran at being grounded by the time I was 10. Her mom is just too busy with her boyfriends and the bar to spend time on petty things like a daughter who's desperate for her love and for someone to fully recognize her existence.

This girl was made to understand (or at least hear) that we already care deeply about her, and we plan on drilling that into her head until she can feel it really and truly in her heart. I also told her straight-up that we are not just there for her now, but for the rest of her life...or at least ours. You see, we don't know how to do this fostering thing any differently. The only model we really have (at least that we care to follow) is Mom and Dad, and they still have their collection of Little Darlings dropping in and calling with their problems and news from time to time.

That's the only way you can make a mark on the world that's worth making. By scooping up every ounce of love you can find down to the deepest reaches of your soul, pulling it out and splattering it across the world. I know it won't stick everywhere we fling it, but I'm positive it will stick. Maybe it'll even be reflected back later when they can see how important love really is in life. That's the best we can hope for and even just the hope of that will be enough for me.

We're also not worried in the least about running out of love to give. There's lots more where this came from. Bring 'em on.


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