Are your pants on fire?

I have this relative that I think most people have one of. She’s a compulsive liar. I think there is something deeper going on because she copies what other people are going through. I had a miscarriage and the next day so did she, allegedly. Her sister had a medical issue that fussed two of her organs, suddenly this person has a similar issue with her uterus. This woman lives off other people’s trauma. I’m glad we don’t live near each other because I’d probably punch her in the face.

So, back to me. On Thursday our relatives received their foster parent announcement cards. We got calls and messages and people are happy for us. Thursday night my lying relative posts on Facebook “we have finished our foster to adopt classes. We will meet our newborn son in 3-5 weeks when he is born. This is a closed foster to adopt.” And she included a sonogram photo. Her language for the situation seems inappropriate if she is closed adopting a newborn. There are so many flaws with this story that I could scream. 

She and her husband live in their car on a beach in Florida. Neither of them have steady jobs and he can’t get a legal job. His visa expired 2 years ago and he can’t renew it without risking deportation because he waited so long. This also means, to me, that they wouldn’t pass the background check. They did some shady illegal things last year and most people think there are warrants for their arrest. In what real world would the government approve them for children? I am so angry at her attempt to high jack my life.

My sister tried to probe her with comments but our relative was ducking her questions. Someone else commented “wow, the wait list for babies is very long in America, I’m surprised you’re jumping to the front of the list.” No response from fake-mom-to-be. The worst part that we all see coming is the explosion. What sob story will she create for why she didn’t get a baby in a few weeks? Will the mom change her mind, will the fake baby be stillborn, will she say she and her husband changed their minds? She’s using this excuse to get money and donations right now. It’s really sad. 

Not one relative posted a congratulations to her. That says something, no one believes the lie. Her friends are buying into it but her parents and siblings know better. She’s burned so many bridges by lying, stealing, and spontaneously moving across the country. No one wants to deal with her scams. Maybe I am too skeptical, maybe she is magically getting a newborn baby to adopt next month. We’ll see.

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3 down and 1 to go

It looks like we are done meeting with the family development coordinator until she had our completed profile and is ready for the walk through. This month of sporadic visits was emotionally exhausting. I’m glad we are done with the crying and struggling with our own family trauma.

I am looking forward to seeing what our profile looks like in the end. Everything must be submitted to DHS by July 3rd and I think she’ll be done ahead of that timeline. Then we wait to be approved/licensed and we are on our way! I hope we present as an awesome couple who will give our best selves to help these children in the short or long term. 

Yesterday we sent out “we are foster parents” announcements to our immediate family. We’ll send some to friends who we don’t talk to often later this week when I get more stamps. We included statistics about foster care in Pennsylvania and I think it’ll help people to see the need for foster homes. 

We are going to the  SWAN 2017 Permanency Conference held in the Poconos in June. I’m looking forward to meeting other, hopefully local, foster parents. We need local friends who get it and can be supportive. Plus, it’s at a water park so we’ll be having fun no matter what. Ha ha.

In short: we will meet out case worker one final time before we get licensed. This will be the home inspection which I’m sure week be ok on. Bring on the awesome!

Social media

I recently had one of my clients friend request me on Facebook. This was the first time that had happened. I mean, after 40 years in prison, he gets out and discovered Facebook. He needed friends and who more appropriate than your legal team?! I asked him to respect the professional boundary and he was ok with it. Luckily it’s only happened once.

As we get closer to our foster care license I’m anxious about how accessible I am. This week I changed my privacy settings and Facebook name. Has anyone else done this? Am I being irrational that people (first/bio families) will look for me online? 

Something flipped my switch and I almost deleted Facebook…but I’m in several foster groups that I think are too useful to abandon. Ugh. This is how it starts, right? They suck you in and you can’t leave. Boo. I do feel better knowing my unique name will not be on Facebook. I’ve googled myself several times over the years to be sure there is nothing I don’t want out there. I cleaned up my entire internet identity a few years ago, getting comments on public sites removed, news articles taken down, and long lost profiles deleted. I am vigilant about presenting as a professional and I don’t want anything to stain my identity. Now I have the added concern of having angry people I don’t know possibly being able to find me online. Here is hoping I’ve sufficiently protected myself from stalkers.

How do you feel safe on the internet?

The unexpected trigger

For several years I knew that when someone said “I’m pregnant” I would smile but cringe and once I was alone I’d start to hate myself for not having given birth. I would somehow internalize my loved ones pregnancies as the universe telling me what a failure I was because “everyone else is doing it.” It has only been the last two years that I have been able to take this news and genuinely be happy for people without thinking about myself first.

It is hard initially to not think about the baby I would have had if I hadn’t miscarried, or all the failed IUIs and the huge chunk of change spent on medication and appointments in attempts to bring home a live baby. I feel that losing a pregnancy is not something that you move through in the blink of an eye. It’s been 6 years and I still cry about it, I still feel traumatized by having to wait it out rather than a D & C.

This week one of my good friends found out that they lost their pregnancy, during a routine scan there was no heartbeat. This is her first pregnancy after several IUIs and it’s devastating. We do not live local to one another so I think she felt safe talking to me about being pregnant and now about their loss. I hate that I can’t be there for her as I know what it is like to not have anyone local to you who understands what you’re going through.

I hadn’t expected that finding out someone I know lost a pregnancy would trigger me into feelings of sadness and loss. It’s almost Mother’s Day here in the USA and that’s an awful time to have to deal with a loss like this. I would definitely be feeling some feelings about not being a biological parent regardless but now I feel sucked into the thoughts of the kid that would have been. That loss changed my life. It made it very difficult for me to imagine being pregnant, I was paranoid and terrified. I’d get an anxiety attack whenever we inseminated and I was not prepared to deal with another long wait for a fetus to “expel.” That was when we knew it was over. I couldn’t handle the emotional toll that it took on me and I  was scared to death that I would become despondent if I had to go through another miscarriage.

We moved on. We let ourselves grieve and work through what it meant for us to not to have bio kids. Now we are fully engrossed in becoming foster parents. We are happy with our decision and look forward to welcoming young people into our home. When reading books about foster or adoptive parenting, I learned about addressing your biological kids grief so that you aren’t putting that on the children who you’ll be caring for. The children are not responsible for living up to the ideal child dream we have and cannot be expected to be the kid you thought you’d have. No one can predict what will trigger their feelings of loss but I try to put mine in perspective and not carry that over into parenting future children.

*keep my friend in your thoughts and prayers as she and her wife go through this awful time*