To be fair, it wasn't all her fault. I had to dye up the right green for the backing and binding. I decided to wait on the Do Good Stitches labels I ordered off of Spoonflower. In November, we took in another placement, a 9 year old boy. It only lasted for 11 days, troubled, very troubled. I even questioned the idea of labels in general, feared for my life, and tore the label out of a completed quilt that was going to the boy who had been sleeping under it. He was a good kid most of the time, when he tried to be, but the amount of unknown abuse and issues that arose were too much to handle in a home with young children, girls especially.
The quilt was quilted in orange with a whole bunch of feather motifs. Totally kicking myself there. I swore I took pictures of it completed but I can't find any of it. I remember taking some pictures, thinking the lighting was off, and I planned to come back for it. FAIL!
Now, my questioning labels, in case you are wondering... Labels are meant to date and categorize the quilt, to know where it comes from. Being that it was not a Do Good Stitches quilt, I put in one of my own labels. It applies to the fearing for my life.
See the placement disruption we had in November was a volatile situation. Jo (not his real name) was placed into foster care for an emergency situation after his family appeared in court for some other reason. Jo's family went crazy in court. When he was placed with us, we were given the information that Jo has missed some school and had an IEP. No big deal. We can handle that. We were told he was reserved, didn't talk much. Hand the kids some walkie-talkies and that reservation is over. Jo spilled the bean on everything.
Every single thing that he talked about was shocking. I just kept listening, minimal reaction, and encouraged/comforted/just was there for him. He opened up to us, and gave proof to many allegations against his own family that Child Protective Services had piled up but without proof. Deeply rooted family criminality.
Jo is many years behind in school. He cannot be in a normal classroom because of his daily fighting of classmates and teachers. As one of his teachers said, "he just becomes uncontrollable, he can't stop himself." Jo is now in a therapeutic home with no younger children.
On one hand, he loved us and wanted to spend the rest of his life with us, from his own words. On the other, he wanted to make his family happy and return to them. He had a visitation, his family went crazy, told Jo if he was terrible to us, he'd go home. They wanted to know where we lived. Tried to get him to incriminate us. Oh, and he was going home on Thursday. Thursdays came around, he'd be waiting. I'd do my best to be there.
Our nights were not great because he woke us 4-6 times a night. We were okay with that. Sasquatch was not, so okay. Tired, but okay. After the visit with his family, instead of going back to bed, he started to fight us. Throw punches, pull scissors out to stab, and finally he decided to sneak into my girls room. Knowing that he's suffered every type of abuse and neglect, new signs everyday, finding him sneaking in their room and waking them was not the agenda, I didn't feel safe. Not okay. Knowing that his family could possibly find us through a piece of junk mail, I did not feel safe. So I tore out the label. Covered in bruises, some very real, some very emotional, I tore out the label.
Have you ever been in an abusive relationship? That's what it felt like. In the day, everything was okay, things were almost good, then cruel words, physical attacks, and its all your fault. All of a sudden, things were, maybe, good again. Thankfully, my husband and children don't easily fall into this relationship pattern.
God's blessings in this huge, old house. I know every creak and every squeak of the floorboards. For the safety of my little girls we've decided to reduce our age placements.
I could have kept the quilt for another foster child, but I go back to the moment he came into our home. We showed him the room, the beds. I told him that he could pick either bed. If he wanted that quilt it was his. No question. He wanted the bed with the quilt. He wanted the bed with the quilt.
Who knows where he'll end up. If he'll one day go home. He'll have a warm, snugly quilt wherever he goes.
Green Corners will be waiting for the next child. If you've ever considered making quilts for foster children, this read might make the difference.