A thought keeps recurring to me each day: the only event that could possibly feel akin to this one- accepting a 2-year-old into your life as a first time parent- is getting hit by a bus. Last night, Rae and I started a yoga session together after Sweetie was asleep, and we had to bust up laughing at the first sitting pose- we groaned simultaneously from the sore quads. My goodness, we hurt in so many places now. Sore legs, sore arms, sore back, sore feet. Yeesh. But, I think we have a plan for this little ball of personality. We just got our first information about the circumstances of the reason that placed her and her siblings in care, and it's not good. Imagine how impossible it would be to understand any kind of normal routine if you're a toddler who's spent her life in a car. Combine that lack of routine experiences (meals, baths, bedtime, rules, etc.) with a toddler's sense of the world ("no!"), and combine that with a bright, vocal, and persistent personality, and you've got a little girl who's having a hard time fitting into life. She cannot fit her puzzle piece into the puzzle unless her piece has limits in the right shape. So, we've made ourselves a plan with a daily schedule, and our own set of rules and consequences, and are trying to implement it on the basis of very firm limits combined with tons of love. She might not like it all that much, but at least she's learning (hopefully), and we feel better having more of a plan, as it helps us to be more patient and feel more in control. And the sweetness makes it all worthwhile- of course, I never want her to be upset, but it was nice to be wanted today as she had to leave me for day care.
My Dad also appears to be smitten. When he and my Mom came over to meet Sweetie the other day, we tried to introduce him with his name, but she proclaimed him "Daddy!" anyway. And yesterday he showed up grinning, with two new toys for her (which she loved- I think we need to have him do the toy shopping now), and was disappointed to realize she was still at day care, but said he might come by again later to see her. He also brought a frame for my diploma from last year. My reward, I guess. Ha. Anyway, I called him up later to get his information for CPS so that he can babysit (with Mom, I'm sure) if he wants to. Ah, the joys of spoiling grandchildren! I hope he won't be heartbroken if/when she goes home to her parents- I know I will be- but so far it looks like that won't be happening anytime soon, if at all. The next court date is coming up, and given that they're still living in their vehicle and that they both seem pretty noncommittal, we're pretty sure the judge will continue the case for several months. The biggest trouble with this part of the system is that if the judge sides with the offending parents, which they sometimes do, the decision is usually immediate with little or no transition for the kids (or their foster parents). While we're pretty sure this will not be happening at this court date, it's still a part of the system that doesn't serve the interests of the kids and that stinks.