February 23, 2011

They Call Me Mom

Dear Tom Selleck . . .

I can't believe I've written you over 20 letters and still have not told you about my girls.  There's just so much to tell.  Let's start with how I became a mom.  And don't worry, this doesn't involve anything sexual. I realize usually becoming a mom starts with sex, but not for me.  No sir-ree.

For me, it started with a phone call from my aunt while out to a leisurely Sunday lunch with my mother back in 2001.  I had moved back from Atlanta to Tiny Town USA about a year before.  I was a successful, professional, single woman living the American dream.  I had a two-story, four bedroom, three bath home with a pool and a pool house for my two dogs and myself.  So when my aunt suggested I go check out a foster/adoption picnic that afternoon, I was game.

Knowing I had so much extra space, I was immediately hooked on the idea of finding a way to give back.  A week or so later I attended an orientation where I decided the perfect fit for me was to become a licensed foster parent and provide emergency and respite care, meaning very short term placements.

I think babies are kind of weird looking and entirely too needy.  Children get on my nerves, generally speaking.  And there's this commitment problem I have too.  This was THE best solution for me.  I could give back by giving a kid or two a place to stay for a night or two at a time.  AND I could always say no.  Perfect.  Sign me up.

After the excruciating process of becoming licensed, I got my first phone call and immediately exercised my right to say no to a pregnant teenager.  I didn't want to end up with a teenage girl, AND a baby, AND a baby daddy!  Fuck no!  Next.

The next call was to take a 2 week placement.  What the fuck did these people not understand about my commitment issues?  I said no again.

They begged.  Literally.

I agreed to meet this little girl and her caseworker at our local McDonald's 'just to see' if I thought I could handle her for 2 weeks.  Did I mention they had informed me she was severely retarded, wet the bed, hurt animals, and as a blonde-haired blue-eyed girl told everyone she was a black boy named Michael?  Something for everyone!

I wish I could explain what I saw in those bright blue eyes underneath that scraggly hair and dirty face.  It was like I saw right into her soul and was instantly intrigued.  I'll take her.  For two weeks and two weeks only!  I could handle anything for 2 weeks and something in her was drawing out the fascination in me.  This would be fun.  Something to tell people when they asked how I spent my summer vacation of 2002.

I picked her up a week or so later.  I was terrified!  I owned no toys.  I couldn't cook.  Bodily fluids grossed me out.  A realtor once told me I didn't have a motherly bone in my body.  Shit.  What the fuck am I going to do for TWO weeks with this crazy kid?!

Enter Miss Thing, aka Mary.

I

fell

madly

in love.

On September 19, 2003 our adoption was finalized.  She's mine.  All mine.

It's been and still is quite a ride.  Mary has Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID and aka Multiple Personality Disorder) and Schizophrenia on top of a traumatic brain injury and a laundry list of other 'problems' coupled with a horrendous background.  I no longer own a home and sometimes have to worry if our money will stretch to our next meal but I'd have it NO other way!  She can light up a room and charm the pants right off of you.  And she's mine.  All mine.

She has three sisters who all grew up together in the same adopted home.  Two of them have moved in with us in the last couple of years and have since moved out on their own.  I'll protect their names, but RC and CC were immediate second and third daughters to me and always will be.  Someday if MC comes knocking on our door, we'll take her too.

I may be the luckiest mom in the world.  After Mary's adoption, I promptly gave back my foster care license and then got my tubes tied.  I've never had to nor will I ever have to squeeze an ugly baby out of my vagina, get crusty nipples, or even change diapers and still I have 3.75 beautiful daughters!

Remind me to go back and read the glowing review I just wrote about them when I start writing to you about how they worry me and piss me off.

true story.

Edie B. Kuhl

6 comments:

  1. My mom just adopted two foster kids, ages 1 and 6yrs. And she just turned 60!
    If my husband and I ever fostered, I'm sure it would be the same for us. How could we ever "send back" a kid that needs us?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Chunky Mama - 60?! Hats off and good luck to them! WOW!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm so happy there are people like you out there because I could never do the things you've done! Thanks for the story... I've never quite had all the particulars and now everything makes sense!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ms. Salti - Glad it makes sense to you because I'm still trying to figure out how the hell this happened. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. i'm so excited for the day mc comes along. i love you edie.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Vittoria - We're excited too! Big loves back at you.

    ReplyDelete

Hit me with your best shot.