Monday, December 19, 2005

Two Kids Full Time (Temporarily)

So, a week ago I get a call from the placement coordinator. There were four children to be placed -- three of whom were boys -- and we could "take our pick". She had kind of pre narrowed it down to two. One was a kindergartener who would likely end up being adoptable. The other was a 3 year old that would likely eventually be placed with his siblings. We opted for the 3 year old. Actually, I made the decision based on the little background information I was able to get. My husband didn't have much say in the matter this time. Woops.

So it turns out that the 3 year old is more like 2.5--the youngest kid we've ever had in placement. And he's adorable. And I know this is going to be a tough one. He came with the clothes on his back. So I had to go and stock up on clothes, diapers, etc. It was kind of fun. Though it was sort of weird checking out his clothes' sizes in the middle of the stores. I felt like a kidnapper or something. And my husband and I had planned to celebrate our anniversary the day we got him, so we ended up having a very interesting dinner with three. Actually it was a lot of fun (though we still do need that time alone together sometime soon).

So the first hearing was Thursday. And the next one is this Thursday. So we just wait between times and love this little guy up. It's good to get the "parenting practice" (how many parents get a trial run?" and we're learning a lot in the process--like how to get the stroller up and secrets like parking next to the cart return so you don't have to travel so far to the store. But there is something to be said about knowing that it's not a permanent thing. Don't get me wrong. I'd love to "keep" this little guy. But I know he's not mine to keep. It will break my heart to see him go, particularly if the decision that is made is not the one I would like. But there's only so much you can do. There will be more cute kids down the road and sooner or later, I will have a son again.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Part-time Boy

So, we have a part-time 4 year old. I'll call him Bob. He's very cute, and very "country". I met him for about an hour one afternoon. Then we had him for a day. This past weekend was our first chance to have him overnight. And we did it with style.

Friday night my 14-year old and I had to work at a dinner at church, so we took Bob with us. Apparently, he had never been in church. So his behavior was quite precious. He asked if this is where God lives. When we told him that it was indeed God's house, he called out for God, "God? Where are you?"

Later, when he saw the microphones on the stage, he asked if God was going to sing tonight. When we prayed, he told me to "Wake up." And then he asked if God liked children. When I told him that He did, Bob replied, "I love Him!" Too cute.

As the night was drawing to a close, Bob decided that he didn't want to stay overnight. I knew this might be an issue. He got tears in his eyes and said that he wanted to go home. He threw up. I was pretty sure it was due to nerves, although by the fourth bout, I was wondering if we should let him go home (though I knew if we could just get through the night it would make the next time that much easier). I did call there twice (they said they were going to be home and that we could bring him home if there were problems), but there was no answer. Needless to say, he made it through the night. And when he woke up on Saturday, he was so proud of himself for making it through the night.

We took "our girl" to work and visited the doggies. Bob played with Eric and they did some jumping in the leaves. Then I took Bob swimming. I had purchased some swim trunks on clearance at Wal-Mart ($1/each) at the end of the summer in multiple sizes. Bob had worn the 4Ts to bed on Saturday night, 'cause he forgot his pajama pants. But when it was time to go swimming, it was clear that he wasnt' going to make it in those. The next smaller size I had, however, was 24 months. But guess what? They fit perfectly. So that's what he wore.

I don't think this little guy has ever gone swimming in a real pool before. I took him in the small therapy pool (which is heated and shallow). He could just barely touch the bottom, but preferred to cling to me instead. We did get him to practice kicking his legs without bending his knees and also to blow bubbles in the water. He even tried a lifejacket for a short while. He had trouble walking around the pool, but even that improved as the time went on.

So we had a good weekend with him. He's full of energy and cute. He should be back in two weeks :)

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Full-Time Mom At Last

Five years ago (October 6) I became a full-time foster Mom for the first time. This coming week, I will have the privilege of becoming one for a second time.

Since my first foster son, I have been doing respite-only (while I was dating and then for the first year and a half of our marriage). The first child I respited through the county will now be our permanent foster child. It's funny. I thought we'd be getting a little boy. And here we're getting a teenage girl, and I couldn't feel more "right" about this process. She's a great kid (who has some not-so-great moments which I've been able to witness over the years) and has a lot of potential.

We're looking forward to walking through life with this youngster, helping to prepare her for adulthood! And someday, we'll also be looking forward to getting that little boy that we thought was going to be our "first". God knows what He's doing. I don't know why I even bother spending time trying to figure out what's going to happen!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Potential Developments

For the past two and a half years, we have respited a little girl who I will refer to as "B". She was 12 when we met her (now 14). Over the summer, things at her placement weren't going too well. So she came to us for a visit. My husband and I had the opportunity to discuss the "what if" scenario if CYS asked us to take her full-time. He said he wasn't ready for a teenager. I agreed, but said, "But it's not just any teenager--it's B". Well, things worked out that she could return to where she was. The night of that decision, my husband and I took a walk. I told him that if things had turned out differently, I would have fought him for her. He said I wouldn't have had to fight him. That was reassuring.

Well, the day before we were supposed to get the six-year old boy, she was back. I thought for sure we'd get her this time. But they ended up sending her to a temporary place, until they could figure out a permanent solution for her. They didn't ask us if we'd be willing to take her. I didn't argue much, as we were busy preparing for the six year old. I later found out that it was because we had previously said "no" to a 10 year old, so they assumed we'd say "no" to a 14-year old. That's typically true, but again--not for B.

So this week I went to foster parent training, and talked to the placement coordinator. I told her of our willingness to accept her a month ago, and told her that if they'd consider us, we'd probably still be interested. She was optimistic that this would be a good placement. However, meanwhile B has been doing some work of her own, and has had a caseworker check out a friend's home that said they'd take her. When I went to visit B yesterday, she said that the home investigation had went well, and that she was going to be moving there. My heart sank. Well, it's definitely a POSSIBILITY for her to go there, but everyone else thinks it's best for her to come with us. She doesn't know, yet, that we're a potential placement as well. They're going to tell her that next week. If she adamently refuses to come here, we won't force her. But I hope that she will be willing to accept us as her family. I don't know if I can deal with another hearbreak (I mean, I know that I can--but I don't want to!).

Anyway, during our visit, she said she thinks of her current situation as "kind of like being away at college, and we're her parents coming to visit her." She also told me to tell my parents that she says hello and was predicting what kind of dog we'd get someday. So there's hope there. And she knows that we're on the list to get a little boy, which would make her a big sister (she loves that role). So maybe that will play in our favor. I just don't know what to think.

So we're back to waiting. I'll have to post the final result here next week, if we find out.

**As a side note, I got an opportunity to meet the six year old boy that we were slated to get in August this past week in school. He didn't know who I was. He was a little scruffy, but had a cute personality. I am completely okay with not having him at our house, though. God knows what He's doing!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Part-Time Mom

You know, I never thought I'd consider myself "blessed" to be infertile. But tonight I had the opportunity to appreciate things in a way that I know wouldn't be quite the same if I had just easily gotten pregnant. Things like: taking a walk down the street after school, looking at bumps on an oak leaf, being amazed at dinner-time choices (combining root beer and Dr. Pepper and choosing banana peppers and mushrooms on a salad over pizza), running bath water, teaching a child to play croquet, catching a mischievous 8-year old as she tries to "pull one over" on the new lady, and tucking her into bed tonight.

I am amazed that she said "thank you for saying that" when I told her that I noticed a couple things I liked about her (that she used manners without being asked to and she was careful when she put ranch dressing on her salad at the salad bar). I couldn't shake the smile on my face as she donned her newly purchased "FBI gear" to go into Giant (though I made her keep the whistle and toy gun in the car, and still wonder about the gun--though she's much more interested in the walkie-talkie, the badge, and the whistle so I think it's best to not make a big deal out of it).

And I am saddened that my husband is out of town and is missing this experience. We've had some pretty unappreciative kids in the past that weren't willing to entertain themselves to any degree (this one played Lego's for at least 1/2 hour) or just put up a lot of resistance. I think this quick two-day stint would help him have a more positive experience (anyone can be on good behavior for two days). And he likely won't get home tomorrow night in time to meet her. She leaves Saturday morning.

But I'll take what I can get. How fortunate I am to be able to provide a safe place for her for two nights. And I get the pleasure of her company while I otherwise would have been quite lonesome. Being a foster parent is so rewarding. You get to catch glimpses of some pretty neat kids. And it's neat being a substitute teacher, because I'll likely run into this little gal again in the schools sometime.

So I head to bed, pleasantly exhausted with the events of the day!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A Little Hope

So, the same day that I wrote the last post, I got a call from Children & Youth. It wasn't for a full-time kiddo, which is probably best. But she called with the possibility of two separate respite situations -- with two children in each. One has a four year old boy and his two year old brother. They would come one weekend/month. The other is a four year old boy and his one year old sister. They would come one day or evening (not overnight) every other week. So I'm hopefull that this will give us a little practice with littler ones while we're still in the middle of Eric's chaotic schedule. He's away on business again this week and next week we both are going on his business trip Sunday - Thursday. So, this isn't the best time to introduce a full-time child into our family. But I was reassured that we're the next ones on the list. There is one other couple without kids, but they want a girl. We have requested a boy this time around, so that works nicely.

It's easier to wait now (although I haven't heard from the caseworker about details/dates of the respites) knowing that there will be something in the meantime to keep me focused. And I know it won't be long until we get a full-time kid. Until then, I'm enjoying my time as a wife. This is easier now that school has started up again and I can work a little (I'm a substitute teacher). I already got called, and it was only the third day of school!

I'll let you know the update on the respites when I get more information!

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Well, it's been nearly two weeks since our let-down day, and we've heard nothing from Children & Youth. You just never can predict how frequently kids will come along in the system, and can predict even less frequently when you've specified age/gender, as we have this time. So I will continue to wait.

The next couple weeks are looking a little hectic for my husband and I, and that helps me keep my mind off of the child obsession. It doesn't help that we just learned ANOTHER couple is pregnant, due in March. I have long since got past any desire to be pregnant, but I do want to be a Mom. Certainly by March? Only God knows! I trust Him, though I've not been particularly fond of His methods. He's known what He's doing in the past, and He hasn't changed, so I believe in His decision-making abilities this time around, as well.

Today is the first day of school, and I do have a little pang of ick thinking I could have been celebrating that. Instead, it's just another day. And tomorrow we're going camping, and I had been looking forward to the possibility of taking a kid there, too. So the weekend will be very different with just five grown-ups. But that can still be fun. Just a different kind of fun.

The waiting is hard. It's one of the hardest things for me. But I'm learning to make the most of each day. I try to see the things I'm doing in light of what I wouldn't be able to do if a kiddo was here. And I'm trying to accomplish stuff that I want to have finished and not have to worry about when we have children. I go to continue quilting, etc.!

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Life as a foster parent can be quite challenging. This blog will help me process some of the experiences we encounter along the way.

I have been a foster parent for almost five years. I got my first foster child when I was 24 years old. He was 7. He lived with me for one year, one month, one week, and one day -- exactly.

While I was dating my husband, I had two teenage foster daughters on short-term placement. Since we have been married, we have provided respite for three others.

This year we have decided that we are ready to commit to a full-time foster care responsibility. We have narrowed our options, for the time being, to younger boys (to take a break from the five teenage girls we've had). We were called a little over four weeks ago and told that there was a six year old boy that they were going to request custody for on August 19th (this past Friday). We told them we were interested in accepting him as a part of our family, if he became available. The last four weeks have seemed to drag on. Friday morning was even worse. When the caseworker called and told me that the judge had decided to let the child remain with his family, I was a little disappointed.

Later Friday afternoon we got a call saying that the County was at a home with a baby boy that they might be placing. We said, again, that we would be interested in helping out. Once again, the child was not placed in the custody of the County.

Needless to say, it was a very emotional day (thus the "Roller Coaster" title on today's post). But I am sure that it won't be long before we'll be welcoming another child into our home. Until then, I am keeping busy with other things. This is just part of the foster parenting process. It's not the fun part, but we'll be okay!