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Last Sunday was Grace’s birthday. We offered to host a party for her, and I made a cake. It was the first time she’d had a birthday party. Despite telling her all week to invite friends, the only people who came were her Mom and her sister, Jill. Grace did leave to got and meet a friend, but the friend never showed up to meet her.

All in all it was sweet and intimate, but for someone as social as Grace it was clear that it didn’t fulfill her fantasy of a birthday party. After the pizza, cake and presents, Jill and I were talking, Mom was playing Candy Crush Saga, and Grace was watching Vampire Diaries. 
After they all left, Leonard and I were talking about the emotional train wreck that was unfolding in front of us. While I don’t doubt that Mom loves her kids, she is pretty incapable of keeping her addiction and other issues under control. Generally parents of foster kids fall into two groups- involved and making an effort or too wrapped up in their problems to be able to make it work. Their mom is an unfortunate combination of the two- just involved enough and just loving enough to really mess with the kids’ heads, but not involved enough to make hard changes in her life. 
The good news (sort of) is that Jill was very friendly and very chatty. We talked about paperwork and getting her board extension filed. While she’s not technically our responsibility, it seems that the home she is in is giving her minimal support. That makes sense on one level… why put a ton of effort into a kid who’s only with you for 2 months? But apparently her grandfather is pushing her to get the board extension and at least have the option when she turns 18. I think she’s still holding out hope that by the end of January Mom will have it together and get a house
Court is this Friday. We have no idea how it’s going to go. I’ve written an impassioned appeal to her service team (made up of DHS and agency workers and the attorney) to try to keep her out of a group home. We saw with Joan that sometimes the court just makes a decision and that’s that. So we just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best outcome for everyone. On some level, we’re still not sure what the best outcome would actually be…