Tuesday, 27 October 2015

A Letter for Hiram

Hiram,

I have finally found a second to write about you and to you. At this present moment in time you are staying with us. You first came to stay with us in July. First with Mum, then with Jeanette, Janai and Justine and then with only your little sister. During this time you remained very confused not knowing when or if you were going home. You really wanted to be with your Mum and Jeanette and Janai. I didn't know how to tell you the truth about what Mum was going through so we told you that you could go home when Mum was healthy. It was hard for your to understand, I know this because you couldn't work out why Jeanette and Janai could go home with Mum and you had to stay here with Aunty. You were very unsettled in the beginning and very angry. You would have temper tantrums and with a lot of patients I taught you how to talk about your feelings instead of running away or hurting yourself. I taught you that you could cry. That crying is healthy and actually good for you. And so you cried. I held you as you saturated my sleeve. I held you tight. We began to have family meetings and pocket money was introduced. Your personality began to change. You knew exactly what was expected of you each and every day and worked really hard on following our house rules. You began to be able to share your feelings with us and began making some really good choices. One of your biggest frustrations while staying with us was that Mum wasn't calling enough. You got to spend 3 hours every Saturday and Sunday with Mum and in the beginning she would call you every night. Calls went from every night to once a week. And your one phone call from Mum was on a Friday afternoon. I know this was hard and I want you to know that I raised your frustration with your DHS worker. But apparently the judge ruled that Mum make contact three times a week and a quick phone call on Friday and visitation on Saturday and Sunday was what you kids were entitled to. Anything more was a bonus. We couldn't force Mum to call. I'm sorry this hurt you Hiram. I wish she could have called more too. Visitations became harder as time went on too. This was not because of you but you did get caught in the middle. Mum and I lost a lot of respect for each other. Because of this I wanted to stop supervising visitation. DHS wouldn't allow that and so it was hard and uncomfortable for all of us. While things got harder on the weekend and you must have felt torn between Mum and Aunty. I'm sorry if you felt this way. I know how you felt because I went through the exact same thing with my Mum and Aunty in the exact same circumstances. Your loyalty will always remain with Mum. And so did mine. Hiram. I want to tell you how proud I am of you. Very very proud. Last month I came to school with a heavy heart to tell you that DHS and the Judge had decided that you and Justine could go home. This was so a very emotional time for me but mostly I was shocked. You were so excited and I had to put on a brave face. I had a friend help me bag up your things and when you got home from school you made sure I hadn't forgotten anything. We had dinner together and watched a movie as we waited for your worker to pick you up and take you home. Justine fell asleep and letting you go, in a car, with a stranger, made me very uncomfortable. This lady stood up in front of a Judge earlier that day to tell him/her what was best for you and your sister yet she hadn't even met you both. This along with the judges final decision made me so angry. But I tucked two blocks of chocolate in your bag to share and celebrate your homecoming with your family. I knew how much you wanted to go home and I hugged you so tight not knowing when the next time I would see you guys again would be. With a final wave, the car vanished into the darkness. Jiedyn and Nevaeh both slept with me that night. I was hurting. The next day we went to Pop's. I needed a distraction. I jumped on facebook later that night and saw Jeanette and Janai's status' notifying me that you had been belted up by a 15yo boy. I freaked out. I tried calling and messaging Mum but received no reply. I called after hours DHS to check on you and Mum. I felt helpless being on the other side of the city. I couldn't wrap my head around it. Not even 24 hours after you left my care. That must have been scary. After that Jeanette, Janai and Mum blocked me on FB and it was clear I wouldn't be seeing or hearing from you guys anytime soon. That was hard. I prayed every night that you guys were safe, happy and priority in Mums life. On the 8th on October I received a message from your Uncle, the next day I received a phone call from your Nan in Mildura and that following weekend, after a 5 hour trip you came back. I was so excited and just glad you were safe and well. That was three weeks ago now and while you and Justine came back into my care with more issues than you did the first time you have really settled in and enjoying life here. You couldn't wait to go back to school, your the first one up and reedy in the mornings and speaking to your teacher last week it's like you never left. You have been asking about Jeanette and Janai and have spoken to them once. I know you want them to come and stay here with you and your sister and I'm trying to make that happen. But again things take time and I have no say in what happens with them (or you). But I wont stop trying to keep you guys together. I promise. One of the biggest highlights in your life right now is that you do Little Athletics. And your pretty bloody good at it too. You won hurdles at your first attempt and have been acing the short distant running. Every day you look forward to it being another day closer to Little Aths which is on Saturday mornings. You love it and always give it your all. Yesterday you came home with an award which was presented in front of the whole school! I was too sick to attend but am so incredibly proud of how far you come in just a short period of time. Your definitely not the same kid you were four short months ago that for sure!! Such a well deserved achievement and one you should be very very proud of. While your not going to read this anytime soon I thought I'd write this letter for you to one day know how much I enjoy having you in my world. To know how much you are loved by your Aunty and so you know that this crazy Aunty of yours is looking out for you guys. Not just you but Jeanette, Janai and Justine too. Here are some highlights of your time here at Aunty's..

at the park while on visitation with Mum..

at the school disco..

with your friends..

building cubby houses..

trying out for aths..

doing long jump for the first time..

my new hair cut for you boys..



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Sunday, 25 October 2015

Finally, The Wait is Over..

In 1990, 25 years ago my mother and father lived together on a farm in Tynong. My sister attended her first year of primary school in Garfield and was in grade Prep. I was two and my brother would have been one and while Mum worked as a house cleaner for a couple who owned the Milkbar she used to keep me quiet by having me watch The Wizard of Oz on Video as she cleaned and helped around the shop.. It was my favorite movie ever! Some of my earliest memories are of this time when were were a family living on a farm with a few cats, a dog (Molly), chickens and a Ram (Rambo). 

Unbeknownst to me at the time, while Mum was working at Clives Shop she was also collecting the FABBRI'S CLASSIC ADVENTURES BOOKS each week and unbeknownst to her, these books would become one of my most treasured memories as an adult. 

These Green, Red and Blue books sat in the bookcases at every place we called home while Mum and Dad were together. In 1994 my sister wrote her name in her favorite titles. I know this because she also wrote the date. She would have been 10yo and it would have been right before Mum and Dad split up. These books stayed with with Mum initially but somehow ended up with Dad. 

click photo to enlarge.
Since I was 10yo and I could read really well, I have been asking for these books. 
17 years later they're mine all mine!

Such sentimental value..

There were 52 titles in all and Mum had collected them all, but over the years some have got lost and ruined. Even the ones sitting on my coffee table at the moment are old and moldy but I am again collecting them all. Good copies which will one day be past on to my kids. 

18/52 so far..
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Thursday, 15 October 2015

September School Holidays {in pictures}

Late last month the kids received a much needed break from school. I hadn't made plans for their time off and so we took things just one day at time.. 

We took a trip to the library.. 
and played some chess..


We went out for lunch..
and ate cake..


We went to the wave pool in Melton..


and swam the day away..


Hung out with friends..


and enjoyed sleep overs..



We went Fishing with Pop.. 





and caught rainbow trout..







Enjoyed some time together on Grand Final Day..




earning tokens for prizes..




We went on a real life pirate ship..

and went into the captains quarters..







So I guess it's pretty safe to say that these guys got completely and utterly spoiled these school holidays! So many memories jam packed into two weeks!
~
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