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]

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]

Cold and Rainy is My Favorite

October 13th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

1359070_rainy_dayThe sunshine has left the Midwest and in its place is a muted, hazy feel with rain on the horizon. For many this shift in weather brings gloomy feelings. The children are in the house more, the mess seems to pile up and the fighting increases. Yet, I have to admit this is my favorite time of the year. I love it when sweatshirts are needed to go outside and the sun doesn't really shine. Perhaps that sounds silly to you? Let me tell you a little secret. My personal workload reduces about 50% after the cold and snow of fall and winter come. I begin to have the time to read to the youngest, talk to the older two and clean the… [more]

Learning By Doing

August 21st, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

215606_hard_at_work_2When I got to the end of last summer, I said to myself, "Wow, where has the time gone? This has been a busy summer." Now as I teeter on the edge of another summer gone- I have to repeat my statement, "Where has the time gone?' It doesn't seem possible that two summers have come and gone without my notice. Busy, Busy, busy. Everyone's lives are like that I think- especially when children are involved. For us, the busyness came in the form of 4-H projects and activities. We are so involved in our local club that it seems we go from point A to point B, then back to A. Yet, I have to admit, I love the time invested with my… [more]

Taking a Breather

August 17th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

deerThis time last week, I was sitting on a rock at 9400 feet looking over Alberta Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park.¬† 4 of my 5 children were with me; the oldest was on a more strenuous hike with her daddy.¬† As I sat there with the three youngest, my 4-year-old said, "Baby went to his momma." "Right," I said. "Baby too little to climb," he reflected. Yep.¬† As it turned out, the six-week placement turned into 9 days and the baby moved on before we had to leave him in respite care for our vacation but I had reluctantly agreed to do it.¬† It is one of the quandaries of foster care.¬† We take children into our homes; we love them as if they… [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]

A Picture Legacy

June 6th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

705715_photoalbumI have a summer project for all of us foster parents to do. I know you are thinking, "Wow, a summer project. Just what I needed. I have nothing else to do..." I wonder though, if it is something that can be done in the little extra snippets of time? I will backtrack here and tell you that when my son first came to our house as a foster child [adopted now,] he came with an envelope of pictures. In it was about fifteen pics. Pictures of him with Santa for the first time, pictures of him on Halloween. There were all of the major holidays and milestones in that envelope. It was great. I have thanked that foster mom (in my head)… [more]

Perhaps

April 29th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

1340435_time_for_coffee_3I love being able to sit down and 'chat' with you on a regular basis. It is almost like we are in the local coffee shop drinking our favorite latte, nibbling a baguette and having that much needed heart to heart discussion. One of the most important things that we can put into our lives is that fellowship with others. It is one of the most neglected areas in a lot of people's agendas, especially those people with children. It is hard to carve out the time amidst all of busyness that children bring and foster children bring a whole different form of crazy. There are meetings, school requirements and visits with bio parents on top of the basic care, emotional dealings¬†and… [more]

Good-bye Rituals

March 14th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

1163392_loveWe recently said good-bye to a cute little boy who stayed with us in foster care for a few months. It is always difficult for me let a child go out of my life. I manage to console myself with crying, chocolate (lots) and writing. My children however, often do not have those same releases to help them cope and so I have developed some rituals, which hopefully help them to deal with the transition. The first thing I try to do is give them as much notice as I can. Sometimes this has been hours, sometimes weeks. I have been known to excuse my kids from school so they can come home and say good-bye to a dear friend. Although, these children… [more]

A Way of Life

February 16th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

749316_dollhouse_family_portraitsI read an article the other day about a boy whose parents were also foster parents. It talked about a day in his life, which was particularly hard because of the choice his parents had made in becoming involved in child welfare. He became upset and said, "Well, I didn't sign up for this!" The part of the article that got me thinking (and chuckling) was this quote, "For Nathan, 16, finding his home "invaded" by strange children with their forceful demands on his parents' time, who ripped at his childhood toys and picked fights, who stole from the house and sometimes behaved shockingly by exposing themselves and even offering sexual favors - although, of course, many others fitted in well and… [more]