Friday, July 11, 2014

The day that didn't

Today was supposed to be a huge step forward for us and our adoption and getting to our little girl. Instead it wasn't. Our home studier got sick and could not make the trip down here. We have spent this week cleaning closets, organizing our cleaners on high shelves, figuring out how to "double lock" prescription medicines and learning the difference between the variety of fire extinguishers. We also wrote out a fire escape plan which we practiced multiple times. Turning on the alarms and having our kids walk to the "meeting place" raised lots of questions. What would we take? What would happen to Hershey? What if I couldn't wake up my little brother? What if I don't wake up? Where would we live? It went on and on, until I finally just told them.. It will never happen. This is just in case, but our house is safe and new and will. not. burn. up. This on Sunday. Thursday morning I wake up to my husband saying "honey wake up, the old lady's house is on fire."
Sure enough, two doors down, our neighbor (who is actually middle aged, but looks 20 years older than she is) was found dead in her upstairs bedroom after firefighters put out the fire. There is much we don't know about what happened, and we did not know the neighbor. We only met one time but avoided her home because of her two aggressive dogs. They were also found in the home after the fire. There were warnings that her world was not simple. Police cars on multiple occasions, shady behavior, only going out after dark. Our street was filled with fire trucks and fire marshals and crime scene investigators all day long yesterday. Police and reporters came to our door asking questions. I was prepared for the kids to have more questions, but other than saying that it was sad they haven't. But I have. I had a hard time falling asleep last night. Is there a flaw in our electrical wires? Are our power strips safe? Did I turn off the stove? Are the paints far enough away from the water heater? Should I park in the garage? Is there an evil arsonist burning my neighborhood?
Our entire perspective feels like we are still looking through smoke today. I woke up to noise and expected more trucks, only to realize it was a concrete truck for a new home going up. I've refused to cook today. And driving past her house? Well, its just hard to get past seeing police curtains covering your neighbors windows. My dad said "people live secret lives" and it is true. There is so much we don't know. Somehow this has made all the inconveniences of a home study a little less inconvenient.  If I could know so little about a person I have lived 100 feet away from for the past year, then how can people know me from a few short interviews? Children who have been traumatized should have the right to be safely placed in quality homes. EVERY effort should be made to do that. So if the state needs to know that I have doors on my fireplace, cool. Ill cough up the cash. Because we should be willing to PROVE that we will do everything we CAN to protect these little people. Tomorrow we will attend our second foster training class. We will turn in our long form application and hopefully they will schedule their own home study soon. And I sure hope they do, because we are READY.

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