I got an email last night from the kid's Aunt that the parent's bought the kids a 4 wheeler. At first I was mad. I thought they were crazy b/c they are homeless, jobless, and their van is always breaking down then I called the Aunt as she requested to tell her I have to see what DFCS thinks and hopefully put it all off on them. She is such a nice lady, the first thing she said was that she tried to convince them not to do it but they insisted. She would totally support us if we wanted to reject it. I explained I thought it was inappropriate for their age and we live in the city with no where to ride it but if DFCS said it was ok I would do it. We talked for an hour about the parents constant bad choices and how she was so happy we had the kids. She really misses them but she knows we will make good decisions for the kids and protect them.
Then she dropped the bomb, she thinks the parents are going to drop the appeal. She was feeling me out to be sure I will open the adoption and how the kids are doing w/o the family visits before saying what was on her mind. I was honest, the kids really worry about their parents. They want to be sure they are safe and have food. She wanted to know how open we would be. I told her I will not pin down a schedule and felt it would be slow with lots of weekly phone calls until we could establish a trusting relationship. We will do what is best for the kids even if it hurts every one's feelings. We discussed our relationship with Emma's Mother a lot. What our rules were, what we expected from her, how often we see her, and her role in our daughter's life. She was completely blown away and started crying. This is the best thing for their parents b/c we are so comfortable being honest and laying everything out. We do what we say and say what we mean. I see a great relationship with her in the future, we really click.
She was able to relate to the kids feelings of betrayal to their parents. She discovered as an adult that her Dad was her step dad and now has a relationship with her father as well. She had a great deal of guilt about finding him and caring for him and what that meant to her Dad. He approved and encouraged her but she still has a hard time with it. She vowed to help the kids deal with this issue and help the parents understand their role in this guilt. I feel that will help so much.
We laughed over C's choice for a name change. She is 4 and originally wanted to be Tinkerbell but has changed her mind now to Ella. We are still uncomfortable with them changing their first names and try to down play it. She refuses to answer to her name and insists on being called Ella. My DH has changed it to Smella due to her constant smelly emissions. It has stuck and this adorable child is now known as Smella in our home. Her Aunt thought it fit perfectly and loves it. She was very happy to hear they will all keep their current last names and add ours.