Space for Older Foster Children: The Importance of Space of Love

November 21st, 2012

unicornRumor warned against becoming foster parents of older children while having younger children. That's the advice I'd heard for years. Younger children can't always express their feelings or what's going on, and sometimes it's just easier on everyone if the ages of the children in the home either match or you become a foster parent after they have all gotten older. Sadly, that was my mindset for quite awhile. And with a toddler and two elementary school kids, I stuck pretty firmly with that. But then everything changed with just one phone call. One Phone Call, One Emergency My best friend, Cassie, works at DSS, monitoring foster care cases. At times, Lake and I had thought about becoming foster parents. After all, we have this… [more]

Calling Out the Greats

September 30th, 2012
Posted By: on Foster Care

1207125_promiseI think that one of the most amazing people I have ever had the privilege of watching was a foster mother who intentionally opened her life to foster teens in her area. I have never seen a  woman so willing to deal with the issues and baggage that a teen brings home in order to change a life. This woman used to tell me that her goal was to ensure that the teenagers in her care were given the opportunities that they needed for success. She not only made sure that they got the services that they needed, she also sat with them and made sure that their fully understood their responsibilities. This was good for the teens in her care because… [more]

Touching the Life of a Teen

June 27th, 2012
Posted By: on Foster Care

1095865_happy_time_1I am sitting in a very hot room waiting for a pack of teenagers to head my way. I am their teacher. I look forward to every moment of that teaching time but I have to admit, I am relishing the quiet of this room to collect my thoughts before I am overtaken. Teens are an interesting bunch. They have so much energy and a certain power that resides in their youth. I think that is why many people covet the teen years and wish them back. If the teen years are good, they are very good. If they are not- they are terrible. This is where foster teens struggle. They are in what some would call the prime of their lives and… [more]

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]

I Carry On

March 27th, 2012
Posted By: on Foster Care

850745_rainy_eveningWe have lost our sunshine. All of those posts about how beautiful it was outside and how happy I was that summer had come early this year- we are supposed to get snow by the end of the week. I had to laugh at myself for how downhearted that made me feel. I should expect this type of weather but somehow every year it sideswipes me and leaves me feeling as though someone took away my birthday. Perhaps that general feeling of desperation comes from the fact that when it is cold, the kids are inside more. I know that sounds terrible but it is so true. When they are outside, they make their messes out there. They work and play outside… [more]

Reading= Success

March 25th, 2012
Posted By: on Foster Care

899943_girls_read_bookI heard the saddest news yesterday when I was talking with a local third grade school teacher. She said that out of the 21 kids that she had in her class- 10 of them read at a first grade level. I really had to pity her. She is required to teach these children third grade material when over half of her class is not able to functionally read. This is not good. The area that she teaches is a lower income area. There are many children who are in and out of foster care in the town. Even with all of those reasons, my heart was still affected. These kids deserve better. That is where the foster families that are dedicated come… [more]

The Right Thing To Do

January 14th, 2012
Posted By: on Foster Care

3264_nutsI have found myself in a difficult position that greatly resembles the situation many people who are involved in foster care are in. In order to bring a child into your home that you have no history with, you either have to have the patience of a saint or the ability to take things as they come. I do not lay claim to either of those traits so I am struggling. I wish it were different. I wish that I could say that I can open my home to anyone for an extended period of time and enjoy it. This is not the case. I am not patient. I get nervous when things change. Many people involved with fostering feel the same way… [more]

Future Legacy

November 18th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

813780_thumbs_upIt is nice to sit tonight. It seems that our family is busier now than it ever was. Sometimes I think about pulling out of some of the kid's activities just to get a little free time but then I think that in four years the oldest two will grow out of their activities and move on (and perhaps out.) It is hard to believe that the boys have gone from the 'twins' to young men. When my middle child (whom I refer to as Orange Shoe Guy OSG in other blogs,) came he was a busy, fun-loving kid. He brought great joy to the family. Yet, he came with his own issues. He was a premature baby- born at 30 weeks… [more]

Broken System – or Unrealistic View?

September 18th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

redrose-gfairyLately the news media here in central Texas has been focusing on the issue of kids aging out of foster care.  One statistic is that while foster (or former foster) children in Texas get a free college education in any state school, only 3% take advantage of that opportunity.  More pressing, one out of 4 kids who age out of foster care are homeless within one year.  That is a shocking statistic. The news media foists the blame squarely on Child Protective Services or uncaring foster parents.  Reporters blame the state for not making sure these kids get access to transitional programs and ultimately succeed.  It is a little less straightforward than that.  Most of these reports are failing to look at… [more]

Summer Reading

July 20th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

495427_mother_reading_a_book_to_kidsOne of the best things about summer is the extra time that it allows for reading. My family has always been avid readers and continues the tradition of sitting down on those long hot afternoons and enjoying a good book. There is nothing more rewarding to this mother than seeing the desire on my children's face for a good book. At the summer reading program last week, I met up with a fellow foster care mother. She and I were talking about the importance of reading for a child and how difficult it was to figure out how to make reading enjoyable for the children who come 'through' her home. She believes (as I do) that in order to be successful, each child… [more]