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Here we are again. Just a little reminder that depression is still hanging around, waiting for an opportunity to pull us down. It’s harder when Spike and I are both fighting it. Neither of us has any positive energy.

Thankfully we still coo over each other and snuggle and issue kisses, but that’s all we can offer when we’re like this. And it’s enough. I know he loves me. He knows I’m here. We don’t know what we want or what sounds good or what to do, but we love each other. We sleep, we work, we study, we attempt to maintain a healthy diet and keep the house from falling apart… But this weight is always here, pushing both of us into the mud. No matter if good things happen or problems are resolved, it’s always there – like a force.

Sleep brings rest from the fight. I should take more naps.

Legacy

We sat at a picnic table in the park. Across from us, the decision makers. Next to me, he waited to hear what they had to say. He broke the rules. Would it cost him a home? I waited to see if my son would still be mine, or if he would be lost in a system.

“We want him to stay with you,” the decision maker smiled. I pulled my child close to me and whispered something loving in his ear. He smiled with relief. He was finally home.

I can hardly believe that I had a dream about adoption. I haven’t dreamt of babies or being pregnant for over a year, but I’ve never [literally] dreamed of adopting.

We went to my 92-year old great grandmother’s Christmas party last night. The house was full of second and third cousins, and cousins my grandparents adopted into our family when they were pastors. Family that’s always been family without a need for blood relationship. 

Continue reading Legacy

Adapt and Charge Ahead

Life shows no signs of slowing down. My stress level seems to be at a new constant. I refuse to let the river overtake me. I signed up for this madness, so I am adapting. I am building a raft. The raft sounds boring and safe, but it’s going to keep me afloat. It’s made up of “bed by 10:00 on any night I’m not doing homework” and “accept every opportunity to spend time with friends and family”. I am not going to allow this life to alienate me from the people I love, so if it means I work and do homework for 16 hours on most days, I will do it.

Continue reading Adapt and Charge Ahead

Unravelled

miss you, little one by carvingbackbone | deviantart.com

In the past five days I have yelled at both my kids, had a sobbing fight with my husband, reamed one of my best friends for her behavior toward one of her family members, got into one major and several smaller arguments with my manager, nearly took the head off one of my vendors at work, threatened to terminate every vendor working on my portfolio, sent an infuriated email to my school’s financial service office, and came unglued with an undertrained Target employee.

Continue reading Unravelled

Guardians of a Dysfunctional Family

I would say today was bittersweet, but I like dark chocolate, so I can’t. It was more like being handed a giant box of grief as a reward for over two years of round the clock volunteer work.

The guardianship was granted.

In the same breath the court informed us that we would have to drive the girls to and from their father’s house for visitation. He literally lives 500 miles away, and we have now been ordered to drive to and from the filthy city he moved to so he can see them.

It felt like, “Congratulations on being a stellar human being. You’ll need to step that up about 50 notches now.”

Of course the first and most obvious argument is why, if he’s so interested in being part of their lives, do we have to go to him?  But you can’t ask the judge that question when the opposition has stretched the court’s patience to the breaking point. 

In 30 minutes we said a sum total of about 10 sentences. The rest of the time was monopolized by completely useless bantering between the father and the judge about the fact that his opposition was not enough to keep the judge from granting our petition for guardianship.
It was an emotional morning, but I waited until the courtroom cleared to burst into tears. Spike held me and said it was going to be alright. I held him and told him it was going to be alright. We only ate half our lunch. How could the court make us do this? 

We thought having the petition granted would quell the issues, but now we’re responsible for getting the father to compromise with us about visitation. Why won’t the court just decide? Why put us all through this? He won’t negotiate with us. He’s placed the blame for his whole damn life at our door. He can’t see anything past his rage.

We had the bailiff join us in the hall while we were trying to work out visitation, since the father was literally raising his angry, shaking fist in fury over the fact that we had to discuss it at all. He wouldn’t talk about anything except his anger.

Thankfully the bailiff turned out to be part-chaplain (seemed like) and  talked the father down from the enraged ledge he was teetering on.

This is why people give up. Dealing with this kind of pure insanity is the reason people lose faith in humanity. If we were dealing with anything else I’ve ever been given to take care of – a pet, a home, every last dime in my bank accounts – I would have given it up today.

But it isn’t just money or a dog I like. It’s the lives of two girls whose father is more concerned about righting all his past mistakes than about what’s truly best for the kids.

Marriage Scenes

Just a warning… Slightly more adult content. I don’t believe it’s anything graphic, but please accept my apologies if you’re offended.


Sunday

It was six-thirty in the evening. The gremlins would be getting hungry soon and I wasn’t really up for making a full-size meal. I logged off WordPress to see if I could quickly throw something together. Tortillas. Sold!

“Honey, do we have any rice?”

“Yeah, I think so,” Spike called back from the living room.

“Kay, could you make a batch and I’ll put the rest of the stuff together to make burritos for dinner?”

He got up from his desk and wandered over to the kitchen. I was still standing in front of the pantry, so he naturally was drawn to the fridge. He opened the door and stared inside.

“There’s no rice in there,” I laughed.

“You don’t know,” he play-argued back. He tried to reach around me to get to the rice in the pantry, but I didn’t move. His hands started roaming for what they could reach; my waist, shoulders… other places.

My arms reached over my head and I placed a hand on the back of his neck. His lips were on my ear, my neck, my shoulder. I pulled his face to mine and kissed him deeply. Without a word, he lead me back to our bedroom, shutting the door to the gremlins’ room. They were engrossed in a video game, and didn’t even notice. He closed our bedroom door and we wasted no time undressing each other, hardly breaking our locked lips…

When it was over I laughed as I snuggled against him.

“So, should I make the rice?”

Hot Chocolate and French Pastries

Something’s happened. It seems overnight I’ve bonded with the baby of our little family. She’s been going to coffee shops and the french bakery with me when I need some uninterrupted time away from the house to do homework. She sits quietly and sips hot chocolate and reads a book while I study. Both the girls are engrossed with the Warriors series. With their cat obsession, I’m surprised it didn’t start sooner. They were a bit tied up with Harry Potter for awhile I guess.

But something is definitely different. I’ve been trying to put my finger on what might have happened, then I realized something did happen last weekend. We were at church talking to a friend of mine who’s had the girls over to spend the night a couple times and we started talking about last Christmas when she invited the girls to help decorate at her house. The baby piped up: “Yeah, [Mama Spike] made us choose between going to your house and going to the last movie night of the year at school. We were only allowed to do one, even though nothing else was going on.” She looked at me with a big smile like she’d just told on me. I then reminded her that she was actually grounded that week. She was only allowed to do one, but she shouldn’t have been allowed to do either.

Later when just the two of us were in the car together I told her that her comment really hurt my feelings. I explained the last several months have been hard for me because I’ve been accused of being mean and selfish and not having the girls’ best interests at heart. (Of all the people we know, only three people are against us having Legal Guardianship, but the comments from those three have been hard on me.) I was careful to tell her that I didn’t believe it was her fault and I was able to handle it. I am very conscious about maintaining emotional boundaries with both the girls, as in “These are the feelings people have that you’re responsible for, and these are not.” I explained to her that it hurt me to hear that people thought I was mean. It hurt me to hear that she thought I was mean too.

She said she had forgotten that she was grounded that week and asked if she could apologize. My heart melted. Her stubbornness has made her a challenge since early on, but after two years I finally feel her softening. This past week she’s run to hug me when I get home from work. She’s asked me what I think of her drawings. She’s politely asked permission to go on the internet and play video games and make tea. She lets me hug her without pulling away right away. One night she even asked if I would snuggle with her before bed. We’ve done that several times, but this was the first time she knocked on my bedroom door to ask.

With her sister growing up so fast, I feel like I need to savor every little girl moment. I tell the baby all the time that she’s a strong, natural leader. A lot of my parenting her so far has nurtured those things, but now I think we’re transitioning into a more compassionate relationship. She’s lonely without her sister at the same school as her. She’s an introvert and doesn’t like change. She doesn’t like to meet new people like her sister does. She would rather read in the library. I’m a little anxious about her being a bookworm, but school just started a couple weeks ago. I told myself I’d give her some time to adjust and not push her to make new friends right away.

That one has to make changes on her terms. She won’t have it any other way.