Unfortunately, it has put me in a hard place. I now have 6 children to care for instead of 3. We've been doing just fine for the past week, and I assume it will only get easier from here on out. But I am struggling to get G enrolled in school. Because I don't have court ordered custody, the school is telling me that they can't enroll her. They spoke with their lawyer to see if there was a way to enroll her, and he said that they need to contact Grandma (who has court ordered custody) first and ask her a few questions. It's been about a week now, and grandma still hasn't called the school to talk to the principal and lawyer. Without that, I can't get her in. I was able to speak to grandma today, and she assures me that she will call tomorrow morning. I am hoping that once she calls, the school will call me and tell me that G can start the next day.
There is a lot more to this story, but the details are rather hazy, and some don't quite make sense. All I can say for certain is, someone messed up big time, and I'm trying to clean up the mess. ACS, CPS, DSS, etc ... everyone is involved, and I may end up seeking court guidance for custody of them to ensure that they are safe and in a place where they are well taken care of. The alternative ... well, if something were to happen that I had the power to prevent, I would never be able to live with myself. So, I'll endure the hardship for a bit, to ensure that my family, immediate and extended, are safe and together.
I spent all day today running around to get some things together for them. Appointment with Child Support at the local Department of Social Services to locate their fathers and (hopefully) receive some sort of support from them. Then to a car seat check to get new car seats for them (free of charge, thank God), and then to WIC so that I could at least have some basics to keep them fed. It's not a lot, but keeping milk in the house is important now. Cereal has become a main staple as it's fast and easy, and just about everyone enjoys it. I am looking into other programs I can check into for additional help until we adjust to our new norm.
The girls' mother is up here as well for a few days with her youngest children, J is 17 months, and T is almost 4 months. The girls are ecstatic to have mom around, but I know they will be devastated when she needs to go back home. I enjoy having her around as well, since she clearly knows her girls better than I do. She and I go way back, and have always gotten along great. I'm thrilled to spend some time with her again. I am slowly gaining confidence in my abilities to become a mom to 6. Especially in having them so close together in age. The older girls are a great source of help, when they want to be. Seeing that they're 9 and 10, they get along great, and mostly keep to themselves. AJ and the 3 year old don't quite get along well, but I believe that's because they are much too similar. Both are hyper, loud, in-your-face type. I am hoping that they soon learn to get along, since this situation isn't going to change in the very near future. The 4 year old is a little singer. She loves to make up her own songs and dances all the time. If I had the extra funds, I would get her into dance class. Lord knows she would love it!
At this point in time, our biggest concern is making sure we have enough food in the house to feed everyone. I have a friend who has been very generous in getting some clothes for the girls and also some formula for baby T. There are still some things that we are in need of. G will need a backpack for school and school supplies for when she is FINALLY enrolled. Food is always a concern. The girls still need a bed of their own. Sheets, pillows, etc. I do have a Walmart Wish List set up, as I have been asked repeatedly if there was anything specific we need for them. If you would like to help, please feel free! Gift cards for groceries are always appreciated!!!
All three girls- S on the left, G in the middle, M on the right
The three toddlers while waiting at WIC
Girlies in their new carseats. (We were parked at the time of this picture)