Monday, August 29, 2011

Foster grandma

Hezekiah is very fortunate in so many ways, but one way is that he was born in Iowa. I know that to many of you- especially you Minnesotans, that may not sound like something that would be fortunate. Doncha know that we Minnesotans and Iowans have a rich history of making fun of each other? But the reason that Hezekiah is fortunate for being born in Iowa, is that he gets to visit his state of origin with more ease than his sibling, and we have been able to stay in touch with his foster grandma.

We knew about Hezekiah when he was one day old, but it took the longest to get him, 10 1/2 weeks. We got to meet him when he was one week old. Michael and I drove to Clear Lake, Iowa and met him and his Foster Grandma, a beautiful lady named Von at a Perkins. On a recent trip to a family reunion, we stopped at his "foster Perkins" and ate dinner. We took pictures in the same booth and had Hezekiah sit on our laps. They are in the other camera, so I will have to upload them a different time.

But today, the 3 kids and I drove to Albert Lea and Grandma Von drove there and met us at what he calls his "foster McDonalds". We have done this I think 3 or 4 times, about every 2 years or so. We have lunch, and then drive to a park. And Hezekiah absolutely loves it. Grandma Von is an amazing woman. She is a retired teacher who fostered 13 babies.

I don't know how old she is, she must be in her mid to late 70's I would guess. But what always amazes me, is that she gets out of her car, and knows each of my kids names, and how to pronounce their names- and she hasn't seen them for 2 years!!!!! I know people that are 30 that see them weekly that can't pronounce their names. This is an elderly white woman from a small town in Iowa, and she has no problem with their names. Now, that is amazing!

I made the decision not to bring Akila this year, which was hard but I know was the right thing to do. She is just too challenging right now. I brought her with to a bridal shower for my nephew's fiancee last weekend which was a little over an hour drive away and it was not fun. It was Akila, Imani and myself, and I had to pull over on the interstate as Akila was hitting and kicking both of us so much as I was driving.

Zeke was really sad that he can't go and visit his foster family, and he thinks it is really unfair. I had to explain that he actually doesn't have a foster family. He is the only of my four kids that we got right out of the hospital and I explain how cool that is and how the others don't have that story. And I got out the photo album of he and I in the NICU at the hospital. He just isn't old enough to get it yet.

We have always told the kids that when they are teenagers, we hope to do a driving tour of the southern states and visit their birth places. Akila was born in Georgia, Imani North Carolina and Zeke Florida. We can check out all the hospitals, take pictures. Maybe visit the foster families if they had ones and if they are willing to be visited. I have told them all that they will have to wait until they are adults to seek out their birth famiilies if they so choose to do so.

Of course, Akila is OBSESSED, with this idea as she is convinced that her birth family is way better than we are and that her birth mom is literally a queen and has a wonderful fantasy view of how grand they are. I of course do not say anything mean about them and let her think this about them. She is fully aware that her birth mom drank alcohol and used drugs and caused her brain damage. We have talked about that before, but have also talked about how she did not do it out of a mean spirit or anything like that but that she loved Akila. But when Akila is mad at us, over something really horrible, like I put her hair cap on and it is touching her ear and she doesn't like this, or I suggested that she and I go for a bike ride and she doesn't like that idea, I am the worst mom in the world and she wants to go live with her "real mom" in Georgia who is a "queen". Some moms might need to turn away so she wouldn't see them cry. I have to so she won't see me laugh. Sound cold? I don't mean it in a harsh way. I'm just not hurt by this as I know that it is the brain damage talking. 10 minutes later she is going to want to cuddle.

1 comment:

the johnson crew said...

That is so cool that you go she his "foster grandma". That is really special.

Our family goes to a camp in Clear Lake, IA every summer. Such a cute little town. :)