2009: Our first foster child is granted a 2 night visit with her bio family (her FIRST overnight visit ever mind you). She left on Christmas Eve and returned the day after Christmas. We didn't see her at all on Christmas. This child that lived with us and on every other day that year and was treated as our child did not get to spend Christmas with us.
We also had our second foster son living with us at the time. He was 4 years old and very potty trained, but during his nap on Christmas Day he decided to pee his pants and not tell anyone (and we did not notice) until we had arrived at my in law's house for dinner...with no change of clothes of course. We ended up driving back to our home and missing most of dinner so that we could get him changed.
Welcome to caring for traumatized children.
2010: We had 3 foster children living with us (none of which were with us the last year) and one child that we thought we were going to adopt visiting with us. One of our foster children was allowed to go visit her bio family for Christmas, but many stipulations were in place. Number 1 was that she could NOT spend the night with them and if we were not willing to transport there would be no visit. Her social worker (we are talking about Lizzy by the way) called me after the lawyer had already called me and told me what was really going on and tried to tell me that Lizzy was going to have a 3 hour visit on Christmas. I said no. I was NOT going to spend my Christmas transporting her to and from a visit. I told the social worker she could either go very early and come home very late so that it did not effect my other children's Christmas or I wasn't doing it. She kept trying to make me do what she wanted me to do, but I just told her no. She finally gave in and said I could do what I wanted. I met up with her bio mom and dad early Christmas morning (which they also tried to get me to do it later, but I told them no) and then picked her up when they called and asked me if I could pick her up early (because it ended up working out ok for us to do that, other wise I would have said no).
That was the first time I ever told anyone "No" when it came to these crazy visits that they came up with.
2011: This was our first year doing foster care that we had to do nothing concerning visits or anything. It was REALLY nice. Lizzy's bio dad texted me and I just texted him back and told him I was too busy to talk. He texted me later in the evening and I ignored him. I'm sorry, but I am having issues with him right now. When my husband called him to tell him that Lizzy was not allowed to see anyone now that the visits were canceled and he tried to give my husband an attitude when my husband told him "We will NOT be doing anything that could jeopardize Lizzy" I am not as sympathetic towards him as I have been in the past. He needs to worry about what is best for HER, not how he wants things to be. Anyway, Lizzy's mom called the morning after Christmas. I spoke with her briefly. Mostly she wanted to know what Lizzy got for Christmas. I have noticed that she has a "thing" about this. Last Christmas and at her birthdays she seems to get a lot of satisfaction from all the loot Lizzy gets and I think she tries to brag about it to her family...as if it shows how well taken care of she is or something. I don't know.
Anyway, It was nice to have a visit free Christmas...after the last two we needed it.