It's been a very eventful week and a half. I don't even know where to begin, so I'll just start with the mild stuff.
A store owner in town called me up and asked if I would sell him my tomato plants and so I spent the day transplanting and organizing an order of 100 plants. He wanted three of each variety. Keeping that all straight is a challenge as the names all start to blend together after awhile; Big Boy, Beefy Boy, Big Beef, Super Beefsteak, Steakmaster, Super Boy, etc, etc... until I don't know what is what!! All the plants were doing great and then this heat hit and wow, I could NOT keep up with watering. I was watering three times a day and each time takes an hour or more. I had to get them transplanted quick into bigger pots so they wouldn't dry out so fast. Finding enough pots was a problem though, and then a friend brought me a pile. I cut down each landscape style pot to make it into an 8 inch pot. Tedious to be sure. There's still a hundred or more to transplant tomorrow. Buying pots would eat into the profits therefore we are actively recycling anything that looks remotely like it might do.
BUT here's the cool news. The store owner who called me asked if I would be interested in planting especially for him next year. He would provide the soil and pots. I had spoken to him earlier in the year and he was telling me about how he was renting space in a greenhouse for his plants and he was recommending that I could rent part of it also. My greenhouse is small and unheated... Well, next thing I know I heard from a friend a few hours away that he had inquired about buying her plants because ALL of his had died. She sent him my way since I was local. I asked how his plants died and he said the heat had been turned off over Easter Weekend and all the plants died of shock. It's interesting since we don't use heat at all and only cover the plants at night with a frost cloth. It gets down to 35 degrees and they don't even wilt. If it gets lower than that I carry them all up to the house to be sure, but I haven't had to do that but once this year.
Yesterday James had his first Mental Health appointment. He's been sweet and happy and then suddenly he explodes. He has taken to slapping me along with the name calling. Missy gets to go in a couple weeks. She's not like James, just kind of a miserable and whiny and crying a lot. She stopped eating her lunch at school and I can't figure it out even after talking to the teachers about it. I started just sending her a banana and a pear.... She eats it all now and wants a regular meal, but if I send a regular meal she eats the treats like the granola bar and stuff and the rest comes home in her bag. She also fakes sick after school. The teacher says she's fine at school. When I mention violin practice, or any household chore she's very, very ill. At school she is doing well and she even earned recognition for awesome effort and behavior.
Things really came crashing down around us last Friday. We had been really, really working with the past foster family. We did everything we knew how to help and things only spiraled beyond control and finally I reached out for help and together we planned an intervention. I ended taking the 4 children home with me when it was over. Someone else took the mom home with them. Talk about a stressful event. It was hard and painful. BUT she was not as willing to receive the help as she had us believe and things were much worse than we ever dreamed. The next day a group of us then pretty much forced the mom into a detox center. There was a ton of drama, but I'll spare you. Our family has learned much, oh so much more than we ever wanted to know. The total number of kids in our house was overwhelming and I was quite sick with the stomach flue. By that evening the children's father showed up and he took all but the baby who refused to leave me. From the next morning on he had all the kids and I just helped him when he went left for work . He called me often for advice.
Somehow the whole crazy few weeks and the interventions and the confrontations and the childcare and the disappointment left us all drained. My fb post that day: The
entire family is dragging today. We are fried, burned, disappointed and
grieving. I don't think any of us harbor regret, though, except that we
are now very acquainted with this world's painful tragedy on a new and
deeper level. We did ALL we could when there was a chance we could make a
difference! We gave it everything we had. It's been a day of
processing and figuring out where to draw the
lines and how to help those who can be helped and how not to be a part
of enabling. It is humbling to find out "helping" sometimes was really
just giving opportunity for more destructive behavior. Our focus on the
situation is shifting to what we can do for the kids and to referring
what we have learned we can't do to a third party. This was bigger than
anyone ever realized. We have learned much. Tired. OH SO TIRED.
The mom is no longer in the detox center. She is starting to think more clearly and is attending outpatient treatment. The fallout from everything that went on is they face eviction from the house, and a lot of other stuff.
In the middle of everything our little fosterboys got themselves kicked out of daycare for good just after I had called DSHS and asked them to find a new home for the kids. They understood our exhaustion and our story, but could not find a home. They even went to another agency and there are NO homes available. NONE! They even tried to find respite for us this weekend and failed. As it stands they are probably going to place them with a grandmother who lives with the mother the children were taken from. Not sure what to think about that. Pieter's behavior is painfully difficult moment to moment. He is classic RAD. Today he chopped off his hair at the bangs. I can't figure out what he used because of course, he "didn't do anything." So he won't tell me where he got the scissors or whatever he used. It's all a mirage. According to him there's no hair missing. I laughed and laughed, somehow, though, he didn't find it funny at all.
We have a choir concert this weekend at our church. James is pretty stoked about playing in the bell choir.