Category Archives: Fostering

Becoming a foster parent isn’t actually that hard. You take some classes, fill out some paperwork and, if you’re a relatively decent human being “BAM!” Now you’re a foster parent.

However, once you have a foster kiddo and you’re “in the system”, there are a lot of situations to navigate.

I am a first-time foster mom and I’m blogging about my experiences. I write about everything from how much school foster kids miss to getting doctor’s appointments scheduled.

Honestly, it’s a little risky. The reason it’s hard to get “real” information, is because everything here can be used in court. Often, words get twisted.

However, when people know the truth, steps can be taken to improve the system.

So many of the “resources” out there don’t fully prepare people for what it takes. I’m trying to change that, with one blog post at a time.

It may just change your mind about fostering altogether.

 

Letting Go

[October 5, 2019 | 11:42 PM | an internal monologue]

“How long can you cry before your body runs out of tears? Surely I must be close.

Should I text her and tell her when he says he wants a peanut butter and jelly sandwich really he means peanut butter and honey?

He also says he wants hamburgers when really he means cheeseburgers.

I should have put this in the binder. She probably won’t even read the binder… maybe she will.

On Monday, I should ask someone on the foster page if they know of any Pre-k openings in the area. He really needs to go to Pre-K. Maybe if I just find one for her…

No. I don’t want to annoy her. Besides, I already texted her and asked how their night went and she said it went great.

I wonder why it went great, since he’s thrown a fit for us every single night for the past 2 weeks. Maybe he’s just excited. Or really tired – he didn’t sleep much last night. Or nap today.

Maybe he just won’t throw fits with them because these are his people (…and we never were).

I hope I don’t cry at breakfast tomorrow. I hope he doesn’t.

What if he thinks he’s coming back with us and cries when he has to stay?

What if he sees us and thinks we are taking him back but cries because he wants to stay with them? That will hurt even worse, I think.

God, I hope they get him into Pre-k.

I really should sleep.

If I could just. stop. crying.”

Saying Goodbye to Your Foster Child

Saying goodbye to your foster child is never easy.

And so ends another chapter. We’re 2 hours in to a 6-hour road trip with a 4 year old. H’s placement with his grandparents has been approved so we’re driving him up to Georgia this weekend. It is time to say goodbye.

We knew this was coming and we’ve been talking to H about it for about a month now. On Thursday, as he was leaving from speech therapy with Thomas, he turned to the teacher and said “goodbye! I’m going to see my MeMaw now!” Then this morning he gave Thomas a hug and said “I’m sorry I’m leaving. I think Sierra’s sad because she knows” and gave her a pat on the head.

On one hand, I don’t think he really understands. But then, I think I’m not giving him enough credit. I forget that although he is only four, he’s had more experience moving than some adults I know. In just one year he’s moved from foster home to foster home to foster home… and now he’ll move again.

One thing is for sure though. I understand what it means:

I am no longer his protector. I have a very official letter from the agency stating just that. 

I no longer rush out of the office at 5:02 PM each evening to pick him up from daycare praying the whole way that he got a green and we don’t have to sit through another parent-teacher conference.

I no longer spend Saturday mornings building robots out of giant legos. Or assembling paw patrol puzzles or dancing around the living room to Hakuna Matata.

I won’t spend my lunch breaks at Target shopping for superhero T-shirts. There will be no more About Me posters to assemble for Pre-k. The letter magnets on the fridge have been packed up and I won’t practice counting out loud to 20, so he can hear the order of 14-15-16 and get it right next time.

But I can also walk into a grocery store without panic building in the pit of my stomach because there won’t be a 4 year old who takes his shoe off and throws it at me. There will be no more scratching or biting or trying to jump out of a moving car either.

Yes, part of me is so, so relieved this chapter is over.

But I am also sad.

And I am scared, because I don’t know what the future holds for this dear, sweet, broken little boy. I no longer have control.

But then, as a foster parent, you never really do.

What to Expect When You Change Your Child’s Routine

We finally got a routine down with H. It took 8.5 months and then all of a sudden, 2 weeks ago, everything started to click into place.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t completely smooth sailing, but we were doing reasonably well, all things considered.

But alas, peace in our home is clearly not meant to be. Because this week, Pre-k started assigning homework.

Now don’t get me wrong. Education is awesome. The bees knees. Quite possibly the one thing that can break the cycle…

But the addition of “the homework routine” is quite unwelcome.

In the orientation, the teacher said “oh the kids just LOVE doing homework. They get so excited to show you what they are learning in school.”

I guess coloring pictures of ducks just doesn’t do it for our four year old.

He’s more of a Transformers guy. Or maybe Avengers – the way he Hulked those homework sheets across the table when (after an hour of coaxing), in complete exasperation, I told him that he was stuck doing homework the next 13 to 17 years.

But I told him not to worry. The time would fly by and then he’d be done with homework and would just get to work every day for the rest of his life instead.

He screamed “BUT I JUST WANT TO PLAY!”

He may be angry about the homework, but I must say the honesty is honestly quite refreshing.

And for the record, H, I feel the same.

#playallday

P.S. I’m excited to share that I just learned in a foster parenting re-licensing class, that you CAN share pictures of kids on social media, so I’ll be posting some of my favorites on my personal Facebook page later this afternoon. I will not be putting any on my website or on Instagram, however. So, you’ll only be able to see the photos of this adorable kiddo if we’re Facebook friends.