What Trainings Don't Cover Part 1
It's been about 7 months now since we joined the village and received our first family of siblings to care for. And then we got hit with mom just had a another baby, making this baby number 7. I knew she was pregnant and kept telling the caseworker that she was. I watched her through her interactions with the other children at visits. Anyways, the call came on a Friday instructing me to not leave the house because the DCSF worker will be arriving with the baby and the caseworker will pick the other kids up from school for me. Things were about to get real real fast. Wait I'm jumping ahead. Let me tell you how we were able to prepare for the new arriving or should I say lack of preparation.
Like I said, I knew she was pregnant. As she would come to the visits in the summertime, she would arrive with sweaters and jackets zipped all the way up to her neck. Never move from the kitchen table and that glow I saw a mile away. I kept telling the caseworker that she was pregnant but he refuse to believe it because she was mom working on getting her 6 kids back. Then one day he finally just asked her and she replied "yes." I told you so. So being new to this, I began to ask questions. I wanted to know what this meant for mom, the kids and for me. I wanted to know did the kids know and if not who needed to tell them. I wanted to know when she was due. Oh, I had questions. As days and weeks went by my questions didn't stop. Then finally I was told that the DCSF hotline had to be called by the caseworker to inform them of mom being pregnant and that she was telling the kids at the next visit. I didn't know what to expect nor what I was about to be thrown into. There was mix emotions from the kids. The oldest was concern about mom spending all her time with the baby because she would be in the hospital (reflecting on when the last time mom had a baby). The next to oldest was happy because she thought mom was having a boy (she won't have to compete for attention with another girl) but then she found out mom was having a another girl she lost it. And the 3 youngest they didn't really care since they were 5 and younger. This was just the beginning to the storm.
As the weeks went by, my second to oldest became more vocal about mom having another baby. I'll never forget the night she went on a rant for about 45 minutes to an hour. It was Feb 8, 2018 at 6:22pm. The kids had just returned back to the house from a visit with mom, and she was not happy. As mom left she went stomping upstairs. I called her back downstairs to see what was wrong. Boy, if I knew what was going to happen next I probably would have definitely prayed first. She began to talk about how her mother going to have another girl. That she didn't want another sister. Then her frustration turn to why can't she just stay with me and daddy (husband at the time), why I'm not her real mom, and questions and more questions. I explained to her that her mom loves her very much, that mom didn't say she was having a girl but God did, that if she stayed with us she'll miss her brother and sisters, and God made me her bonus mom so she gets to have 2 moms to love her. She was not trying to hear any of that. As she continue to rant she then begin to start talking about things that she said happen while living with mom. At this point she was letting some much out it became too much for me to handle. I called her therapist who talk us both through her feelings.
Some days or maybe about 2 weeks had past, I met with my team, the therapist, caseworker, and Village director regarding what transpired the night of her rant. I informed everyone that after our phone call that particular night, she calmed down a little but then stated she didn't want to go to anymore visits. Her therapist revealed some things that she had been expressing in sessions along with not wanting to go to visits. We knew mom was not going to like that one so we had to come up with ways that she would feel as if she was emotionally safe at her visits. My nights turned into me having to rock her to sleep like you would an infant, spending more one-on-one time with her, and us wearing these matching special bracelets whenever she went to a visit. I would have never thought that having a new sibling could cause trauma to a kid's life like it had with her but wait this was just the beginning.
Come back for part 2