God ordered every step I took in the days before they left.
-I had been doing laundry for days so it was all done
-We had my son's big birthday party on Memorial Day, 2 days before they were returned, and everyone got to see then that I would have wanted to see them before they left
-The day before they left we had our normal play date with my sister's sons
-We all went to church (and they were all dressed up as usual!) for their last Sunday with us
-If this had happened on Tuesday my husband would not have been able to leave work to say good bye, but on Wednesday it was no problem for him to leave
-I had had a normal morning with the girls and timing wise it worked out well that I got the call when I did
-The other foster mom was called first and she had told them that she could NOT have the brother's up there before 2:30 pm (I guess at first they had wanted the kids at the agency at 11 am! half an hour after they called me!)
-We got to go pick up my son from school so he could spend the rest of the day with them
-Our last day with them ended up perfect
-Our agency knew on the Thursday before that a hearing had been scheduled for Wednesday...and NEVER called us to let us know. (Even though I think this is AWEFUL, I am so glad that I didn't know over Memorial Day weekend because it would have put a damper on things, we really had a wonderful weekend with the kids and I wouldn't trade that for anything)
-The girls were returned to mom who had only seen them once in the past 6 months based on the fact that the two states could not come to an agreement. It was NOT based on what was best for the kids
-It is a long story, but regardless, the other foster mom and I packed up TONS of stuff for the kids. The vehicle that mom brought to pick up the kids barely would fit all the passengers let alone a TON of luggage...mom only took one regular sized duffle bag that I packed (it only had Tina's clothes in it) and the diaper that I packed. She didn't take any of the baby's clothes, no toys, nothing. When the social worker asked her if she wanted their belongings she said , "They have clothes at home, just donate everything else."
I know that she probably feels like everyone was in the wrong who took her kids from her, but seriously...your kids have grown. Nothing fits them that they had before I got them and the state had given me well over $600 for clothes for the girls, which I spent on clothes - really cute clothes! - and she didn't take them. I know she wasn't thinking about it, but what if the kids wanted their toys...ugghhh it just makes me ill thinking about them not having their belongings. Thank goodness I put their favorite shoes on them...
So, that is the good and the bad.