A week-long roller coaster ride

Well, it was much harder than I thought to post daily updates on how things were going with our visitor. I will try to sum up. For privacy reasons, I will call the little girl Lis, as before, and her mom …Mom.

Mom did not make it to our house last Thursday as we had anticipated. We didn’t hear anything from her until Friday morning when she came to the door. We were headed out the door to pick up our 2 high-schoolers and our car that had been in the shop. We did not feel comfortable leaving Lis with Mom after 4 months of being apart, so we invited mom to go along with us. She did not accept and tried to get us to leave Lis with her, but we insisted that we felt it was in the best interest of the child to NOT just suddenly leave her – especially when HER expectation had been to pick up the girls that day.

We had fun at McDonald’s and were disappointed that Mom had not come along, but it was easier that way. In the afternoon Lis began looking around, saying “Mama?” and shrugging. When we returned home, Mom had gone to town to see about fixing her motorcycle, so we did not see her. We waited for her at Lis’s aunts house, and she finally came. Lis spent some time there, but since Mom was on the phone most of the time, she ended up coming back to our house.

Lis gradually got more comfortable spending time with her mom, which was good. We asked Mom to try to spend a lot of time at our house. At first she did that, but then she began asking to take her over to her aunt’s for a few hours. That became from after breakfast until nap time and then again in the evening. Many times Lis asked to come back to “the house” in the evening. It occurred to us today that this week she was pretty much able to decide where she wanted to be and Mom would follow her around. That works for a visit, but in real life, it just doesn’t happen! I have to do laundry and can’t just hang out over at her aunt’s house. It’s just not possible with normal responsibilities to always be where a child feels like being, you know?

Well, Mom has decided not to continue in rehab, but has told us several times she’s not ready to take care of Lis full time. We said we would be able to continue to care for Lis, but NOT with things as they are. We would need ground rules that would have to be respected. Because none of the former … treatment of Lis was ever reported to the authorities (and we were unaware of it), Mom has every legal right to take Lis away. But we’d like to come to an agreement that is helpful to Lis without enabling Mom to be irresponsible. We don’t know what that looks like. Our hope is that Mom will get the help she needs, but she does not seem to be interested in doing that. So what do you do with the child? We’re praying about that!


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