I am not sure I ever mentioned how on earth I came to be with M1 and M2 so let me back up a bit to lay the ground work. Nineteen years ago, I was drowning in a sea of despair. I was in and out of depression like it was my home town. I would go to work, come home and sleep. If I did not have work that day I never got out of bed. No not kidding, yes seriously seriously depressed.
So I had a therapist suggest I become a big sister so I could focus on something other than myself. Well I interviewed but they were not really my style. They basically insulted people who would need a big sister and I was not too impressed with how they handled things. My therapist then asked if I ever wanted to teach kids things. I make jewelry and of course bake so why not teach kids to do it. I thought sure that sounds fun. I do like to teach and of course love crafts and baking. I went to interview at a group home for girls to come in on weekends and teach the kids. There were 7 girls in the home and they were from tough, tough backgrounds. Since my parents were foster parents I was not as naive as many so I was not too overloaded as to what might happen. I talked with the social worker for awhile and got a tour of the house. A few of the girls talked briefly to me and then we went back to the social workers office.
The worker looked at me and said “You know ANYM I know you signed up to teach but would you ever consider being a community resource for just one teen in the house?” I was confused as I had never heard this term before and she explained my focus would be one child and to teach her life skills. Teach budgeting, cooking, using public transportation and how to carry herself in public. Basically everything you need to be self sufficient in society. I thought sure why not and with that I was introduced to E. The biological aunt of M1 and M2.
So the next week I started to form a relationship with E. Over the years I would teach her all the basics of functioning in society, how to hold a job and eventually pressure her into graduating high school when she dropped out. As I interacted with her she introduced me to her family. Her sister S is the mother of M1 and M2. When M1 was little she would come to my house to spend weekends because her Mom struggled and lets face it everyone needs a break. Eventually M2 would be born, they would come into care, their Mom asked me to adopt them and here we are. Flash forward 10 more years
Many people in my kids first family are NOT healthy. The oldest, their Mom struggles with mental health issues. Their two uncles, 37 and 25 are more focused on video games than real jobs. Two of their aunts have had kids removed and that left two still functioning in society. Yes of course E is one of them. I made DAMN sure of that. So E and I would talk about getting together. We never quite connected though until today. Today I had a cook out and both E and her sister L came to the house for a cook out complete with their families.
My kids were like the night before Christmas as they did the count down. They finally got to meet their “real” cousins and their “real” aunts. Now mind you no one says this because both L and E consider me their family so there really is no us and them, really it is just us. They had the best time and it was great to see them bonding so well with all of them. It was also nice for me to get more information on things like yes this is a family trait and yes my kids do that too. Overall a good time was had by all.
When everyone left M1 looked at me and said “Mom I really am glad you did that thank you.” and she sounded sincere. I was surprised but relieved. Yes her family has some wonderful people but yes there were some magical thoughts were destroyed. Good news is that overall it was positive so that they can take away. Better news, she got to hear from HER family that she needs to graduates high school or work will be tough to come by. E graduated and can find work. E’s husband struggles with day labor and has no HS diploma. L struggles as a cashier with no HS diploma. L’s husband drives a bus, no HS diploma and M1 got to hear first hand how “rich” we were compared to the entire family and they lectured her on graciousness and gratitude.
We lit fireworks and called it a night. M2 fell asleep the second she hit the pillow. M1 was out 20 minutes later. Yep good all around. Oh and here is the desert I cooked!!!