Tough Love

March 31st, 2012
Posted By: on Foster Care

485740_steel_heartSometimes on mornings like this I just want to crawl back into bed and sleep for another three or four hours. Doesn't that sound good? Yet, I know that there is a lot of work that must be done in this house, the lawn and with the kids. I know that my responsibilities for today alone could easily require 30 hours to complete. In lieu of all that I must do, I sit here on this fine morning and blog. Makes sense to me! Responsibility and respect for those under my care keeps me on track. There are many things that I would rather not do. I had to fold and put away the laundry this morning. I did not want to. Some… [more]

Adios, Friend!

February 15th, 2012
Posted By: on Foster Care
Categories: Issues, Short Term

DollyI love the word "adios."  Amongst my Spanish speaking friends, it really just means good-bye but the literal translation is more like "to God."  It seems like the perfect term to send off our latest little charge. “La pequeña muchacha" has gone home.  She was both funny and sweet and we really enjoyed her stay.  Her last day went quite smoothly; she woke up full of smiles and greetings.  She ate heartily, she played hard. Around noon, the social worker called me to say that she would probably arrive in late afternoon to take her home.  After a little debate, I decided to put her down for nap around 1:30 when my kids went to rest time.  She was tired and cranky by then. … [more]

La Pequeña Muchacha

February 6th, 2012
Posted By: on Foster Care
Categories: Short Term

tink and dollWe have a new little friend in our house for a very short stay; it's a long nickname but we refer to her amongst ourselves as  "la pequeña muchacha."  She speaks mostly Spanish which has been a wonderful challenge for me; I have not used much Spanish for a long time, but as it turns out, baby-talk Spanish works really well with toddlers! As we were preparing for her arrival, I was warned that she throws tantrums, does not like to share, and can be unkind to age-mates.  This totally cracked me up because she is 2-1/2.  Sounds about right, doesn't it?  She has been here a few days and must be getting comfortable because yesterday she pulled my 2-year-0ld's hair… [more]

The Good-bye Party

January 17th, 2012
Posted By: on Foster Care

Brown and white handsThe most frequently heard question around these parts is, "How do you do it?  How can you let them go?" I realize most people are "wondering aloud."  They don't really want to know how I do it, they are wondering if they could do it.   However, if you get asked a question frequently enough, you start thinking through the answer. Just as we have plans in place to ease a child's entry into our home, we have plans for "letting go."  Sometimes the kids leave abruptly and without a lot (or any) notice, in that case, we all just have to do the best we can.  When we do have advance notice, though, we can go about it in a way… [more]

From Negative to Positive

December 22nd, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

1145696_presents_for_christmasI remember Christmas at my house. It was very hard. I was a child that was not a foster child but maybe should have been. There were a tremendous amount of issues that inhibited a normal life at our house. I think that is why I focus so fully on making sure that the holidays are casual but busy. The casual comes from trying to help everyone focus on the reason for the season and the busy? That just comes with the territory. It's like a zoo around here. This time of year is a difficult one for foster children. There is so much hurt and want in their lives. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the holidays, they miss the people who are important… [more]

Puddin’ Past, Baby Will and other Loved Ones

December 14th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

santa vintage image graphicsfairy006It must be the upcoming holidays; they make me wax nostalgic.  Anyway, I have been thinking constantly about Puddin.'  She came to us for the first time a year ago.  I thought about sending her "forever family" a Christmas card.  And then I worried that maybe that wouldn't be helpful.  And finally, I came to the conclusion that I should just mind my own business and let them get on with their lives! This is the hard part about foster care.  We do get attached to these kids.  We love them.  We want them to be happy and to thrive.  So, we miss them. All but one of my own kids came to me after foster care.  Our oldest, Pepper… [more]

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]

Warm Memories

October 28th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

1319176_christmas_giftsThe month of November is quickly approaching and with that the rush of the holiday season- what a wonderful time. Family and friends gather. Good food it made and quickly eaten. Life is good. Yet for many children the holiday season brings feelings of dread, resentment and dissatisfaction. The children in foster care often struggle with confusion during the holidays because of the many hurts they have experienced. They (perhaps) want to enjoy where they are but do not have the bonds that are required to do so. This can be very difficult for the child to understand and work through. At holiday time, families that are struggling seem to be under more pressure than usual. Money it often tighter, fighting increases and major… [more]

Puddin’

October 17th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

Brown and white handsYou may remember me writing about Puddin'.  She was a 3-year-old who came to us twice, both times voluntarily placed in temporary care by her dad.  Dad was a single parent who loved his daughter to pieces.  He simply could not make it work.  He couldn't stay employed, he couldn't hold on to housing,  he didn't have reliable child care, he couldn't keep food on the table. In some ways, Puddin' had it easy.  She had probably never been abused, she was loved, she had the stability of her father in her life.  On the other hand, she had been passed around to family and friends, seldom seeing the same people twice, never staying more than a few days or… [more]

Prickly Paperwork Possibilities

October 2nd, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care
Categories: Paperwork, Short Term

Paperworkdiary or planner.  It's such an innocuous word -- and yet a foster parent can shrivel at the thought of it.  So what's a parent to do? First, let's face facts.  If the state is going to remove a child from his or her parent and place them in another home, that act is going to necessitate a lot of paperwork and it is only right and just. The second fact is similar to the first and just as important and inevitable:  There is nothing you can do to reduce the paperwork so the quickest path to sanity is to accept it and do what you can to manage it. I have what you might call a foster care mentor.  She is so organized… [more]