Anyway, I often get asked if it is harder than I expected, and I assume that people mean "Is it harder than you expected to have the kids go back home." Well, first of all, I have yet to experience that. So, I don't really know the answer to that. The thought of S going home is different for me everyday. That is where my denial seems to come in. After a friend asked me "If it was harder..." I told her that everything seems to pretty much be the way I thought it would but I am terribly surprised about this weird denial that seems to follow me around. I know the plan is for S to go home. I know that, as far as I can see, it may take a long time for her mom to get her act together but the chances are that given enough time she will have things together just barely enough to get S back. I know this but I don't feel this.
On a daily basis our life is our life. We do all the normal things everyone else does and having S with me is just like having Kobe around when he was 2. For the most part I don't have to do anything "foster care" related during the week accept the literal taking care of S...and her visits. For 2 hours out of the week S feels like a foster child to me. The rest of the time she feels like my child. So, it is really weird to think about the fact that she isn't mine. And when you think about how many hours in the week she feels like mine vs. how many hours in the week she feels like a foster kid...well, I think you can see why my mind would not feel the reality of the situation, it just feels the daily life. So, I was explaining to my friend about this denial I see myself having and she smiled and laughed with me and said, "That is funny because you are so down to earth and..." and I chimed in that "With me usually things are what they are and that's that." It is so weird to catch yourself living a life that is not what it feels like it should be.
I have always been worried that I would set myself up for a huge disappointment in the end of all this. I try so hard to live in the reality of the situation but it is hard to when most days these kids feel like a part of your family. It is just like when you have a baby and it feels like they have always been here. That is how it feels with S, like she has always been here and always will be. So, that is one thing I am surprised about. I thought I would have a better grasp of the going home part of all this, but until it happens I think it won't be real to me. Real is what I have going on day to day. Her going home right now is future plans that will or will not happen.