Well, I've been here all along. Sorry to leave you with a post that sounded so down and dire. That really is the honest truth about foster care, it's a roller coaster ride and be sure that you have a support system in place for those twisty turny dips that leave your stomach churning.
A quick recap. Our precious 12 year old did leave us shortly after that last post. It was probably the hardest thing I have ever done. I felt like a failure, like I was giving up on her, and no amount of justifying could get me away from that feeling. But what was done was done. I was told she was going to an awesome home that has raised many teenagers, had a house boat and all kinds of wonderful, I found some comfort in that. ...It didn't work out... We took her back, reentering that crazy roller coaster ride. This time, at least, I knew a little bit more about her and I knew a LOT more about myself. Fast forward 7 months, we came to that same hard place, but a little more realistic this time. I love her dearly, always will but she needs to live in a home where she can be an only child.
With this new understanding, I began the desperate quest to keep her out of a group home, I began the search for a home where she can be an only child, (in foster care a.k.a a miracle). A search for a home where the focus can be on her, a home where her positive behavior could be reinforced positively and her negative behavior can be ignored appropriately.
My miracle came just a short time later, in a dear friend who was not even a foster parent. Knowing my precious girl as long as me, knowing all of her amazing qualities AND many of her challenges, she agreed to take her in. In record time, in less than 3 weeks she was trained, certified, and we were having a celebration pizza party as we transitioned her into her new home. It was light, it was happy, it was wonderful. That was four months ago and it hasn't been all roses, but it's been good. We still get to be a part of her life, a true rarity in this system. She goes to the same school, the same church, the same youth group.
I finally have come to realize; happiness and resilience is a choice she must make. Life has been tough, believe me, beyond tough, but now we have given her all we can, we want nothing but the best for her and will support her in any endeavor, and this kid has some serious potential to soar among the highest mountains, but she must choose that for herself. I hope and I pray that some day I can watch her soar out of this mess and high as her dreams will carry her, and I can say, "hey, I know that kid, I was blessed to be her mom for a time." <3