Last weekend marked a milestone for my last placement. She went off to college!! It was an exciting time for her, I could tell by the way her face lit up and how fast she spoke as we drove up to her school. Both her social worker and I were very happy to share this milestone with her. BUT in true fashion, my “home” girl showed OUT her final moments in my home. It is comical now, but it wasn’t at the time… thank goodness I was not in her cross hairs this time!
So let me explain how this happened. When the young one returned from her orientation last month, her social worker told me that the department would provide luggage for her to move to college with. As time went on, I asked her (young one) where the luggage was and how she was progressing with getting ready a.k.a packing to go away to school. She stated everything was fine and the luggage was on its way. About a week before she was scheduled to leave, I asked her again where the luggage was and when it was supposed to arrive…. if she is supposed to go pick it up or if her social worker would send it to her. She had zero answers, but kept telling me that she was not worried. On the Wednesday before she was scheduled to leave, my mom and I took her out to dinner to send her off and we asked her again about the luggage. Her exact words were, “Ms. _______ (social worker) said she will bring it with her when she picks me up on Friday.” Okay…. that doesn’t sound right, but…. what do I know? Apparently…. a lot…
So the big day finally arrives. I have my 9 year old goddaughter with me, Jayla, just to travel up the mountain and spend some time together. Jayla and I were waiting for the social worker to arrive so we could get the show on the road. All of a sudden, the young one storms up the stairs and announces in a very frustrated shrill that she just spoke to her social worker and there will not be bags for her to move with. I was confused… why would the social worker wait until move out day to tell the young one there was no luggage? Ahh- hahhh… (all my Coming to America fans) she DIDN’T! LOL!
When the social worker arrived, immediately the young one WENT IN on her. I mean she started yelling and screaming and having a major meltdown about the luggage. Jayla and I were upstairs, so I don’t know exactly what was said… but it was a lot of drama on the young one’s part. I commend the social worker because she kept it cool, calm and collected. It was a marvel to watch. LOL! I came down the stairs (Jayla followed) to greet the social worker and young one was still arguing with her. The social work then says that she sent her an email the week prior letting her know that she should start making arrangements because the department didn’t have funds to purchase the luggage, BUT the young one replies that she didn’t read her email. Hilarious! The social worker did bring a trunk with her and told the young one that she did have something that she could could put some of her things in (remember that). So, the young one stormed up the stairs to START packing. The social worker turned to me and let me know everything that happened. I told her that this is what myself and the prior foster home tried to tell her about the attitude exhibited (because the social worker would always tell us that she has never seen that behavior… (well you saw it today… didn’t you!). The young one is going up and down the stairs slamming her belongings on the ground, forcefully opening and banging my screen door, and slamming the van door while she packed her things in the car. The social worker told the young one that there is a trunk for her to put some of her things in and the young one replies, “I don’t want that.” The social worker tells her that there are good things in the trunk that she could use at school (feminine products, towels, soap, etc.) and that when she comes back during breaks she could get the supplies replenished. The young one then says, “I won’t use any of that, just throw it away!!” The social worker lets her know that she’ll never know if she would need this stuff so she should keep it just in case. Young one says, “I’ll just throw it away later!” Then I heard, “I don’t have to take this… I drove all the way here in the rain to drive 3 hours to take you to school. Keep acting this way and you will have to find your own way up there.” Girlfriend rolled her eyes and looked at me. I looked at her like, I’m not taking you if your social worker does not go! LOL! So she calmed down a little bit. Thank goodness Jayla and I were riding up on our own in my car, so we enjoyed a peaceful ride.
I’ll fast forward through the monotony of our evening. But it involved Jayla swimming, dinner at Burger King with the social worker, and watching TV before bed. The social worker and I had a long conversation and she let me know that young one did not speak to her for 2 hours in the car (the ride is only 2.5) and she only came around after food and a talk about behavior.
The next morning, it was like the clouds parted from the rain (did I mention it was pouring rain when the young one was packing up the car… like buckets of rain) and attitudes were MUCH better. We ended up having an enjoyable move in experience. The young one laughed and smiled… interacted with her suite mates (I was so proud) and even exchanged numbers with other incomers to link up with. This is the same young one that told me that she didn’t want to really make any friends. I was so proud of her. We took her to Walmart, bought some more crap stuff for her room, went back to the university and headed to the bookstore for small mementos and then dropped her back off at her dorms. While in the bookstore she mentioned that she was touched we would buy items to support her college. I told her I bought the magnet for my fridge so that every time I got something to eat, I would remember her. I never saw how her final room decorations turned out because I wanted to get down from that mountain in a hurry. I texted her at the end of the first week to see how it went. She said she had a lot of homework, but she was going to the football game over the weekend since there were no classes for the holiday. That made me happy. So, my adventure with a 19 year old has come to a close. I am so happy that I was able to see this placement through until the end.
Am I an empty nester? LOL! Not sure. Does it sound like I am celebrating? I know that I voluntarily signed up to be a foster parent. I have enjoyed each child that has been in my home and even though I am sad when they leave, a small part of me is happy to get back to doing my own life. Is that bad? I have no clue, but I am enjoying my “me” time. Even though I didn’t have to “parent” this placement, it was still a lot emotionally (drama) for me. Although in the beginning my preferred age group to foster was 0-5… I am now not totally opposed to older children (gasp) :-). So back to life as I know it… for now!