Comfortable Nights

June 4th, 2012
Posted By: on Foster Care

1158476_rainy_street_at_nightI am sitting in the dark blogging while the rain falls outside. This is my favorite way to unwind after a long day. That and we sure need the rain (this coming from a farmer's wife.) I love to sit with my little family and revel in the warmth of my beautiful comfortable home- I am blessed. My dream is that every child can experience lazy, rainy, comfortable nights. There is something about snuggling with a daddy on the sofa that makes life okay. The safety and stability that comes from the intimate family moments is the reason that foster care is successful in rebuilding a child's life. I have seen children who have learned how to love again by the power of a… [more]

Gratitude

April 23rd, 2012
Posted By: on Foster Care

1167253_love_u_mammaToday, I have been thinking about the mass number of foster children I have routine contact with and wonder how in the world things have gotten to this point. It seems that in my area, the need for foster parents grows on a daily basis and the suitable homes are overflowing with kids. This is not a good thing. I worry about a world that has so many kids in need of rescuing. The good news is that there are many people stepping up to the plate. They want to make a difference in a child's life and are willing to invest themselves in the greater good. I love that. I heard a quote recently that put everything in perspective for me. It… [more]

A Void Look and a Tired Heart

February 18th, 2012
Posted By: on Foster Care

1158464_girl_smiling__4Have you ever noticed that some children have very tired eyes? I have and I always wonder what is going on in their lives that makes those little eyes so very sad and worn. I am a people watcher- it is my curse. I watch young people, older folks and kids- all of the time. I thrive on detail and enjoy gathering the 'intel' that comes with simply observing those around me. Freaks you out a little, huh? No, I am not currently watching you! Really though, I have noticed that many foster children have the most void look on their faces and through their eyes. I am not certain if it is a direct result of the trauma of disruption that they… [more]

Ten Reminders for New Placements

November 28th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care
Categories: Placements, Top 10

Dog on goat-gfairyDo you have a new placement on the way?  Here are 10 things to keep in mind:

  1. Keep private any information the social worker shares with you about the child's history -- it is his or her story to tell
  2. Do share with your spouse/partner whatever the social worker tells you so they are as equipped as you are to support the child
  3. If anything the social worker has told you is concerning to you, let them know your concerns and fears so they can aid you with information and resources.  Share any concerns with your spouse/partner too.
  4. Have something in hand to offer the child on arrival -- a welcome gift (does not need to be expensive)
  5. Prepare other

Tick, Tick, Tick

November 23rd, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care
Categories: Placements, Short Term

alarm clock vintage image graphicsfairy7bOkay, it's part of foster care, at least in my agency.  We spend time waiting.  Our agency began as a maternity home and so are not as well connected to CPS as some of the other agencies.  That means we don't get a lot of calls for "straight foster care."  Since my "forever family" is full, it's pretty much straight foster care for us. No one understands this.  No one understands why we would want foster kids when we have a house full of kids.  It's hard to explain except this way:  It's my calling.  It's something dear hubby and I agreed to do before we even got our first kids.  His parents were foster parents so it's in… [more]

In Their Shoes

November 20th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

babyinbasket-clipart-graphicsfairy007When a child first comes to us, I talk  to the social worker about parental preferences; we talk about clothes, their hair and their skin care. When the Littles first came, they  let me know that we were allowed to cut the baby's hair short, but that their mother liked the oldest boy's curls.  The three kids had been in two separate homes and both the former foster moms pointed out to me which clothes their mother had purchased for them.  At the time, we had weekly visits.  I always put the kids in those clothes for the visits and did the little girl's hair the way her foster mom told me her mother liked it. This drove my friends and family crazy. I… [more]

I Know This For a Fact

October 22nd, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

148735_namibian_students_-_sports_1There are many times that I look at my family and am in awe of the differences amongst us. Each of my children are of a different ethnic race. Each comes from a different situation. Yet, when they are all together- it works. It is not uncommon to be able to spot the foster families because of the obvious differences in racial ethnicity. These differences make many people ask questions. Yet, there are so many similarities amongst children that it comes as a surprise to me that people think raising a child of another race would be so scary. There are things that are done differently. One example is haircare. If a Caucasian foster family has an African-American child they need to know how to… [more]

Foster Care Redesign

September 14th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

Thanks to Senate Bill 218, signed into law last June, foster care in Texas is undergoing some needed changes. While these changes may make life different for those of us who provide foster care, I think they will vastly improve the experience of the children in state care.  Perhaps the positive outcomes of these changes will encourage other states to follow suit. As recently as 2008, 60% of the foster kids in Texas were placed outside their home county.  If you don't happen to be from Texas, you may not realize counties in Texas are big! Sometimes that meant children were placed hundreds of miles from home and their support systems.  The program called Foster Care Redesign addresses that issue and many others.  If you are interested in the complete plan… [more]

New Placement Practicalities

August 31st, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

front doorI'm nothing if not practical.  My hubby would probably say I'm practical to a fault.  Nonetheless, I thought I'd share a few of those practical tips today.  They are all on my mind since we were expecting a baby this weekend. Paperwork can be an issue.  What works for me is to keep all my forms in a binder.  I have it divided in sections and in the first section, I keep one of every form I need for a placement.  I know that with every placement I will need a medical check up, a belongings inventory and sometimes a medications form or "baby's first days" form.  I put their placement papers in the second section and this way, I can just… [more]

The “Box” of Desire

July 18th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

baseball_gloveLast weekend "Sunshine" had a softball tournament in San Antonio.  It's an hour and a half or two hours away;  too far to commute to a 7:40 a.m. warm up, so we decided to stay in a hotel.  This is a big deal for our family of seven, both emotionally and logistically. We kept Friday open for errands, knowing we'd head out of town just before rush hour.  We had to make a couple of stops on the way.  In the discount store, my phone rang.  I decided to ignore it since the three little ones are a handful in a store.  Sunshine fished my phone out of my purse to see who had called. "It's the agency, Mom."  She looked jubilant.  "Call them… [more]