Wednesday, January 16, 2008


"Celeste" has been a real pill lately. Unknowingly following in "Josie's" footsteps, she decided that it would be just a peachy-keen idea the other day to pierce her tongue. She has since been disabused of that notion.

Likewise the notion that she should assume that because she's walking with her new boyfriend, limits on walk time are magically erased (she usually is allowed 20 minutes...MAYBE 1/2 hour, and they took nearly an hour and a half).

Likewise the notion that she should feel free, while out on such a walk with her boyfriend who we've just started to get to know, to stop in at a friend's house. When I was around 19 or 20, I too took a girlfriend to a friend's wasn't very innocent. And at 13, she is (in matters such as this) about what I was at 25. No dice, little girl, and playing dumb won't save you anymore now that we know you're probably at least as smart as us (except with regard to things like wisdom and common sense, of course).

I wasn't aware, but apparently her new day-treatment school--the very same one where The Wife is not working--intrudes into her life more than I had thought, and is wonderfully helpful in keeping her youthful exuberance tamped down, or at least pointed in a direction where it won't hurt anybody. She spent today in in-school suspension. This sounds to me essentially like an all-day study hall, which is something that would be guaranteed to piss her off but good.

And as if on cue, as she got in the van with The Wife to head home at day's end, she decided to vent her frustration:

"Celeste:" "Thanks for the day of ISS!

The Wife: Just a second...(flips down visor with mirror on the back to reflect her innocent young face back to her)...okay, now say that again.

Absolutely priceless. I wish I could have been there.

But you know what? The Wife reports happily that it actually shut her up all the way home. Not only that, but when my time neared to get home from work, "Celeste" asked what was for supper. The Wife asked what "Celeste" was planning to make for supper? "Celeste" replied "I don't know. Let me look." She then proceeded into the kitchen, found some stuff that apparently appealed to her, went back out and suggested that she make that. The Wife (after picking her jaw up off the floor, I imagine) agreed, after which "Celeste" proceeded back to the kitchen and began preparations.

When I got home, supper was on the table with full settings within 10 or 15 minutes. WOW.

I made sure not only to make sure this girl understood that I liked the dinner (which was really quite good) but also that I HUGELY appreciated that she took some of the load off of The Wife. I didn't push it past that because it seems that if you push the compliments too hard her BS detector goes off whether you're trying to feed her any or not, and she just shuts it down. And that's something I'm trying to avoid.

Mom doesn't care for "Celeste" a lot of the time. I think she now likes her better than she used to, but overall I don't think it would hurt Mom's feelings if "Celeste" went back home. Then again, Mom fostered in what seems like a whole other era. Then, maybe 1/4 of the kids had severe psychological problems. Over half of them seemed like kids that could really make a go of it if they just got nurturing, structured support. Mom was very good at providing that, and did it often and well. Better than anyone I've ever seen.

These kids seem...more broken. They need a little more TLC maybe than the kids mom dealt with, and they need someone a little more willing to be abused, a little more willing to look for the good side to them. And they do respond, if you give them a chance. "Celeste" is one of those. "Jill" and "Josie" were definitely NOT. They were both as manipulative as they come, and I suspect they'll both end up in jail or even prison sooner or later (though I still have a massive soft spot for "Josie", God knows why. I won't cry very hard if I never see "Jill" again, as awful as it is to say it.)

I worry about the general trend society at large is taking, though. These kids are starting to come thicker and faster than I've ever seen them. Social workers are burning out. There is now an entire county who we categorically refuse to take referrals from (the same county "Angel" came from, as a matter of fact) because the whole social services system there seems so broken that they don't seem to know or care who is even supposed to be in their care, what those people are doing or what is happening to them. It's hard enough to help fix someone with the right supports, never mind when they decide that they don't have funds after all and we just don't get reimbursed for weeks of good care. Life's too short for THAT, am I right?

But The Wife got off a good one against "Celeste" today, and it seemed to really hit the target. That makes it all worth it. We're learning this thing, bit by bit, and we're helping the kids.

Oh. And thanks for the several private emails I received and the kind comments regarding our adoption situation. It means more than I can really say to know that there are people out there who don't know me at all outside this blog and yet keep us in their thoughts and prayers.

Which just may be working, by the way. The entity known here most frequently as "Auntie J", who would indeed by Auntie J if we are successful in our kidquest, called tonight. She knows someone who's maybe looking for adoptive parents. Finger-crossing exercises shall commence immediately. And, Auntie, if you could just give them a little push, or maybe a clobber over the head if it would help, we'd be most appreciative.

Hard as it sometimes seems, I love my life. Wouldn't trade it, and ESPECIALLY The Wife, for anything at all.

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