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     What a week it's been! I finally feel caught up on sleep after my horrid week on-call, we started gymnastics, we had our first soccer practice AND soccer game (Pat has no idea who won after watching the entire match.... men.), and we sat through an all-day training on the enjoyable topics of "common mental illnesses in foster children" with the added fun of "deviant and normal sexual behaviors in children". Although the information was very, well, informative, it wasn't exactly a bring-on-the-party-hats kind of day. But all of this has been for one thing....the benefit of the kids and to make them ours forever....
     Only there's one small hitch. I'm pretty sure the kids hate me. Ok, maybe they don't hate me, but I'm certainly not the love of their lives, or even the like of their lives for that matter. I'm nothing more than a stand-in mother they were given when all of their other mother-options were taken away. (I'm pretty sure it's not technically a pity-party if there's no cake involved....)
     Cameron got in trouble the other night after he blatantly lied to my face and then emptied half the bottle of shampoo out (after this being a REPEATED offense with REPEATED consequences). I scolded him, told him I loved him, but that it hurts my feelings that he doesn't even feel the need to apologize for lying to me. I also informed him that he missed snack while he was busy dumping out the shampoo and that he can try again tomorrow. This brought on gut-wrenching sobs that sounded like that "tired cry" I've heard tell about from parents with babies and small children. I figured he'd wear himself out and fall asleep.... but after almost 40 minutes of unconsolable weeping, he pulled himself together (well, sort of), came to my room and apologized. I hugged him and thanked him for making such a good choice. I told him I loved him once more. He left my room and returned minutes later to ask if he could move to a new foster home. (Ok, well that hurts.) When I asked him why he wanted to move, as calmly as I could muster the question, he responded that he just doesn't like being here and it makes him sad. I told him that all parents would send him to bed for lying and emptying the shampoo out, but that even besides that, this isn't a foster home, this is HIS home... the home where he is going to stay forever when we adopt him because we LOVE him and would be heartbroken if he left. Tears ran down his face as he said, "I just think I want to live somewhere else, ok?" I told him we were all tired and we would talk about it in the morning.... And then I cried myself to sleep.
     But at least I have Taylor on my side, right? Afterall, she's been super-affeactionate the last few weeks, barely talking about her biological family, and calling me "Mommy" fairly regularly. (Yes, I recognize it's selfish, but I do LOVE the title of Mommy.... I didn't have them call me that until I knew we were going to be keeping them, but it's been a struggle to make the switch to this new title/name, one that I wasn't quite sure how to broach....one that I apparently failed at.) Taylor informed me this evening that she hates calling me "Mommy". (Ok, seriously kids? Space out the heartache a little more for Mommy...oh wait, Shivonne.) When I asked her why she hated calling me that, she wouldn't look at my face. She told me that maybe when she gets big she will call me Mommy, but she doesn't want to now. I told her that's fine and that she could call me a different name if she wants.... Mama, perhaps. She thought about it for a second and gave me a "Maybe" that didn't sound very hopeful. She went the rest of the evening being completley un-affectionate and she didn't even ask for a tuck-in at bedtime (something that would normally induce an all-out tantrum if missed).
     So, after the last few weeks of doing nothing but pouring myself out for my two kids, I realize that my "Super Mom" efforts were in vain. Not only am I not a Super Mom, but I'm not even wanted as a regular mom. I'm the rule-maker, the woman that makes dinner, and the one that tells them to brush their teeth longer than 3 seconds.... I'm the person that spends so much of her time trying to heal their rejected hearts that she end up feeling rejected herself. (I know, tonight's blog needs a black box warning. Maybe we can all go scream at the elderly or kick some puppies to feel better, as my husband would suggest.) But have no fear, I will continue my efforts at winning over the hearts of my children.... such a task most mothers are blessed to never have to endure. It's the path I'm on and the one that I will continue to treck until we truly are one, big, happy family. In the meantime, maybe I can pretend to be a Mommy for Halloween.... gotta start somewhere, I guess!

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