Well, I most certainly don't intend on counting chickens too soon......... But I must say I saw a true positive sign and a glimmer of hope today. Nichole has been writing to katie for months. I wrote her a couple weeks ago. Nichole had not heard from her for 2 letters, I hadn't heard a peep. I, of course, could easily jump to conclusions of my own as to why she hadn't contacted me back, but I refused to let myself go there. When my mind started wandering in that direction I just reminded myself she does have 3 kids 2 of whom are difficult children, her mom, M........and in short a life. Could be a dozen reasons why she hadn't gotten back to us. But we were both getting worried. Nichole had sent stamps with her latest letter thinking that might be the problem. But she'd told me that if she hadn't heard this week she was coming down sunday evening to pound on her door. Nichole's guy boyfriend from HS works with M, believe it or not and can give her his schedule anytime she needs to know it. Nichole heard from her today. Not a bit of whining in this whole letter. Truly a first in a very very long time for Katie. She apologized for not getting back to either of us sooner, said she'd get my letter mailed out soon as she could get more stamps. She's been terribly busy getting the kids ready for school and taking care of biomom and helping biomom get disability. (which she was just approved) She said that she's terribly worried about her biomom as her rheumatoid arthritis is progressing rapidly and she has other health issues as well. She helped biomom fill out the application (worse than any novel) for one of the single apartments there in the complex but she's concerned biomom is not capable of taking care of herself physically anymore. They have her on the waiting list for an apartment but she has resigned herself that she will be caring for her mom from now on, possibly living with her from now on. Katie just had to brag to Nichole that this was the first year ever she was able to buy all the kids school supplies herself, she bought them all new shoes too. She said it made her feel so proud that she could finally do that for them without outside help. Now I know this sounds like such a trivial thing to most people, but for this difficult child.......this is monumental. This is a woman who just sort of expected (not sure if that is really the right word I want) the needs of her kids to be met by other people/organizations. She might have worried about those needs, in fact I know she did, but made no active moves to meet those needs herself. Katie never asked anyone for anything......but yet never actively met those needs either by buying the stuff or calling people who might help. She's also working on getting Evan back to Children's to get the rest of his teeth taken care of........this I know depends on rides she gets via the county and right now there is a long long waiting list and much need for this service. So although this should've been done long ago, I can give her a break. It's bad here economically and getting worse so fast it is scary. She said we can call her anytime after 5pm thursdays thru sunday (guessing that is when M works). And she gave us two phone numbers! (nearly fainted) Hmm. I have sound reason to believe that everything happens for a reason. I'd like to think this glimmer would've happened without contact with the family being broken off again, but honestly I don't know if it would have. It might have but might have taken longer. I dunno. I know this wouldn't have happened had she stayed in Mo with M because she'd been there nearly a decade and it hadn't happened, she was stuck in a groove she couldn't shake. Maybe it was getting a good long look at "normal"......how people actually handle money and make it last, step up to responsibility and don't wait and hope and pray someone else with fix their problems for them. Maybe seeing the lives her sisters have was a major wake up call to her. She's always wanted those things for herself, maybe seeing it first hand gave her the motivation to try again. Like I said, I'm not jumping anywhere with this. Just this is such an abrupt change from the normal with this child that while Nichole was reading me that part of the letter I got choked up and was grinning ear to ear. I just hope that this new pride she has found coupled with the pride she has in her home, not a run down hotel room, a real home will keep pushing her forward and give her the strength to make the changes she needs to make. Not. One. Single. Word. About. M. And that is astounding as she has never done that. So......will just wait and see on that one. I, being the Nana that I am, had gone out and bought nearly everything Kayla, Alex, and Evan would need for school except bookbags. I didn't spend hardly anything, I hit the awesome back to school sales that no one else was hitting and got them for a steal. I think total I spent maybe 25.00. And trust me, not only is it enough supplies to start them off.......it would carry them through the school year. (and supply Travis too) This is not counting all the school supplies I have from last year tucked away, which is about the same amount. (I'm sorry someone is gonna sell something that normally cost 5 bucks for a penny and I'm buying it!) Even if she didn't want contact with me after my letter, I'd already made plans with Nichole for her to take them to her for the kids. I figured with food prices going up and with biomom there too that money would be tighter than normal and she had no way to get to the places that were having these sales as they were in another city........so it would give her money to put somewhere else, maybe clothes or something. I just wasn't going to moan over 25 bucks. These are my grandkids, I want them to learn and be functioning adults and school is a big deal to me. Now? I'm not going to pop Katie's bubble and give them to her. I'll just hold some here in case the kids need something later and donate the rest of what Travis doesn't use to our school supply drive. I did pick up some really nice clothes for Kayla and Evan at a yard sale where I just could not ignore the prices and walk away. These are like new clothing and good brands. I will give those to them. I'm not going to let myself read too much into this, but it does keep hope alive that she just might be growing up finally. The last time I heard Katie be proud of herself for something was when she got her GED right before Alex was born. So I guess I'll be hearing from katie soon.