So life chez-Lina is pretty good. Still crazy, still heart wrenching, and certainly full of social workers but good.
Spunk (now 5) has sort of figured out that we're sticking around. She's full of statements like "You are MY mom" or "You will be MY mom forever". Toileting has improved tremendously, she's finally going to school all day and generally thriving. She's able to read a bit, print well, and academically closer to her peers that I'd expected given all this emotional upheaval. Her struggles (school wise) are more learning social skills. She's so fearful of rejection, she has a hard time asking others to play or letting them control the game.
Clover (now 13) has had a rougher time I'd say. In my last post, I mentioned she slipped and called Mr. Lina Dad. That was the start of her brain going "Holy fuck what is going on??? We don't trust MEN!!!". I spent the fall saying she was sliding, she needed help, she hit a bottom in December which opened us up to more help. We've added more medical professionals to the team, sorted out an alphabet of diagnosis and we're working on treatments. Somehow through bleak months where she couldn't do more than mumble to Mr. Lina she still managed to have 5 grades at 90%. She has a boyfriend so I now get to talk about sex and worry about what's happening on that 45 minute walk after school on top of the usual mental health/parenting concerns.
Legally speaking, the girls are still our foster daughters. There was a lab in Toronto that did hair analysis to find historical drug use. There was a false positive in a divorce case (so impacted custody but nothing to do with adoption) which led to an inquest. Because of the inquest, they are now opening up every single case where the lab was used to see if it played a factor in the apprehension of children. Until that is resolved, all adoptions for cases where the lab was used (even distantly - like in the case of an older sibling who is now an adult holding back the younger sibling from being adopted) are on hold. I cannot control the government, I know our case and I know I have nothing to worry about. Birth mom is actually in a good spot now and she recognizes the girls are better with us. But it does mean I have to adhere to more social worker visits and paper work for much longer than expected and I still can't post pictures.
My parental leave came to an end March 29th. We spent the whole month getting the girls ready for Dad taking over (Mr Lina has been on parental leave since November). 2 days one week, 3 the next and all 5 days after March Break, Mr. Lina did the whole morning alone and I usually tried to find somewhere to be after school. With social worker visits and therapy being as frequent as they are, the after school part didn't always work out, but it showed them he could do it. The night before I went back to work, Spunk climbed up in my lap asking for "help" to finish the last few bites of food. We used to do this all the time and she hadn't asked for weeks. Mr. Lina asked what that was about and she said "Tomorrow is going to be a very tough day and I need extra cuddles from Mom." Kudos to her for being able to articulate her feelings.
My return to work lasted 2 hours. I was given a severance package. While I was off they sold the software I specialize in and my position was not there to return to. Never mind the fact there are presently 5 openings I could fill in other divisions. Not my problem, we're leaving that to lawyers. For now, I will casually look for work and enjoy more time at home.
This past weekend, Clover's best friend had her birthday party. Her dad travels for work a LOT so they have points up the wazoo so they book 2 hotel rooms in Toronto, let her bring 4 friends and essentially hang out in a hotel room for the sleep over. Her mom asked me along. I'm game for bonding with another mom who has known my daughter longer than I have and seeing Clover interact with old friends I don 't know myself. I had to drive myself, there were 7 in total and their car holds 6. I didn't mind the drive and paying for my own parking but I was wanting to go home with Clover, have a little time 1:1. She wanted to go with her friends.
Rejection is the hardest part of living with Clover. She does it over and over again. In little things, like not eating brownies I made, not eating vegetarian food I made for her (she's the least healthy vegetarian I have EVER met, breadetarian would be more accurate). She pisses Mr. Lina off by putting her feet on the kitchen table and leaving lights on. The bigger deal you make of it, the more it happens.
So I said I was disappointed but let her go in the other car. I couldn't manage my own anger to turn it into a fun afternoon with her at that point. It's not fun if she doesn't want to be there.
I went to Queen and Spadina and thought of past times shopping there. I only bought one piece of linen (I have insane stash to work through still and Sunday is not a good shopping day), but I remembered the fun blogger shopping trips. It was inspiring and calming and made me feel good. I went to a European grocery store that is no longer convenient and stocked up on mulled wine tea and garlic sausage for Mr. Lina. I went to Starbucks just so I'd have a cup to put in the recycling bin.
Me petty? Never.
Not petty when I told her about staying in Toronto for a few more hours, how I forgot what kind of a great vibe there is around Queen West and times I spent there with Mr. Lina...
I also finished up a t shirt I cut out a week ago. Just a clone of a retail shirt I have that I like, nothing crazy, pretty much a big rectangle rayon knit that drapes nicely and is long enough for jeggings. And don't you know I put it on this morning and slop egg yolk down the front of it. I didn't even wear it for an hour before needing to wash it. On the plus side, it is wearable, the yolk came out and I have cut out another shirt from navy modal I bought in 2012.