Monday, October 25, 2010

Sabrina went home

Last Wednesday, the judge ordered that Sabrina's dad have custody. (Not actually custody, I think it was called "protected supervision" or something along those lines.) He and I agreed that the transition should occur after school on Friday, so Wednesday after school Sabrina and I had a conversation about how she was going to live with her daddy starting that weekend, and in the evening we started packing her things. (Her dad told me that she didn't need any of her things, as he has clothes and "too many" toys. However, her things are HERS. So they sure were going to go with her. However, some things I had before Sabrina came to live with me, so I let her decide if she wanted them or not.)

Thursday we shared a banana split for dinner (calcium, fruit, you know, not too bad for us!) and packed a bit more.

Friday we took a bunch of her things to school with us, then we went on a field trip (SO MUCH FUN!) and I tried to soak up all the great times. When we got back from the field trip, all the kids whose moms went with us went home early, and I stayed at school with Sabrina, the one girl who went on the trip without a parent, and the three kids from the class who didn't go on the trip. Her social worker picked her up at the end of the day, we all walked to the social worker's car, and then I had almost no opportunity for a good goodbye.

However, I still have a bunch of Sabrina's things, so I am going over tonight to take them. I hope that dad will let me have a few minutes with her. And I hope that dad doesn't get rid of her things.

But you don't care about the logistics. You care about how I'm doing. My friends on facebook have said all sorts of sappy things about how special I am and how much of a difference I made in Sabrina's life and how admirable it is that I did this... Gag me. :-)

Honestly, though, despite the bit of denial, I think I'm okay with this transition. I've known since day two that Sabrina would end up with family. And she spent every weekend and all summer with her dad. So it isn't like I've had an adorable five year old appendage all week every week for the past 11 months and now there's an emptiness in my apartment.

At the same time, though, I was shopping yesterday for a piece of Sabrina's Halloween costume (her dad and I agreed that I would handle the costume) and kept seeing things that Sabrina would like, and had to remind myself that I shouldn't buy them.

I won't be asking to be put on the vacancy list for a little while, as I need to really dedicate myself to straightening my life out, so in the meantime I emailed Sabrina's GAL (who asked me before court on Wednesday, "should we be talking about your next placement?" This before anything was official. I think she has some kids who aren't in ideal settings for them) to ask if she has any kids who would appreciate and/or benefit from a family Thanksgiving. I know that my parents would be okay with an additional guest for the day. So we'll see how she responds.

And that's where things are for now.


  1. Yeah, there are lots of rosy responses people give- it's nice, but it doesn't quite get there. I didn't say anything on FB last time for that reason. One of the best things someone once said to me, when I was talking about our first foster daughter, was to ask me if I would do it again. I said yes so fast I surprised even myself- not even time to think about it- it was just so worth it. Sabrina sounds the same. Take care of yourself!

  2. Ok, I'll try and stay away from sappy ;) However, I think it is those kinds of things that will help me get through saying good-bye to the girls when it is time for them to go home. I KNOW that I have made a difference in their lives and a part of me will always be with them, and them a part of me. Right now I'm in the "thinking" stage because it hurts too much to think about life without them...even though I also have known since the beginning that they were not coming to stay forever and it has "only" been five months. People have asked me what I'm going to do when they go back home. My family has been a HUGE part of these girls' lives, so I think I will have to include them in any decision that I make regarding future placement(s).

    Like Kate said, take care of yourself :)

  3. Wow. Kol hakavod. Dealing with this type of loss/transition is not easy and it sounds like you're handling it well. We are about to lose our little guy, who has only been here a short time but is the younger brother of our older boy which makes it very painful that they will likely be permanently separated by no choice of ours. Sabrina will never forget you.

  4. I haven't gone through this yet. As I sit here on the couch with the little guy two feet away I think I'll be ok and will want to jump right back into fostering when he leaves. But I'm kidding myself.

  5. just catching up on your blog and wanted to say i'm thinking of you. the sap is super annoying, huh? people just don't know what to say (or to just be quiet)...

  6. Sorry to be sappy but that really sucks. I hope you are taking care of yourself