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.

 

Accepting Our First Foster Kid Placement

AKA We Said “YES!” To Our First Foster Child

Ever heard the saying “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”? That pretty much sums up the process leading up to our first foster kid placement.

What I thought placement would be like

Here’s what I thought would happen, based on classes, books, videos and conversations with other foster parents:

  • It would be 11 pm on a Tuesday
  • The phone would ring
  • The placement officer would tell us about a 6 month old who needed a home
  • An infant would be dropped off at 1 am
  • I would spend the next day calling every provider on the daycare list that I created and going to Target for a million baby things
  • The following day would be spent in court trying to determine what was going on with the case
  • I would call ELC every hour to see if they received the paperwork so I could take the baby to daycare and avoid missing yet another day of work
  • At some point I would get overwhelmed and burst into tears probably due to lack of sleep and most likely due to an incident not related to foster care at all, which would leave the receiving party utterly confused

What foster kid placement was actually like

  • I got a text on Wednesday afternoon that some local Tallahassee foster parents had a personal issue come up and they wouldn’t be able to foster for the long term
  • They wanted to make the process as smooth as possible to transition their almost 4 year old foster son to a new home
  • We set up a play date
  • They came to our home so we could all meet face-to-face
  • I had a week to get daycare and other paperwork sorted out
  • Any time I had a question, I was able to text the current foster mom and she answered immediately
  • 3 people who work in the foster care system all reached out to check on me, ask if I had any questions, explain what next steps would be etc. etc. etc.

I mean, HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?! I’m sure complications will ensue. For now I’m just thanking my lucky stars on a relatively smooth first placement process.

Can you ever really plan ahead as a foster parent?

All the pre-planning and preparations I made leading up to this point did nothing except to ease my rising fear of the unknown. If you’re making preparations, you really don’t have time to overthink and start panicking.

So I guess it wasn’t completely in vain.

In our pre-licensing class, every time someone would raise their hand and ask a question, the first response from the instructor would be “It depends. Every situation is unique.” which drove us all crazy. But it ended up being true.

This foster kid placement was different from the norm and not what we prepared for at all but…

On Friday we will officially be foster parents to a 4-year old boy.

List of Daycares in Northwest Tallahassee

The day we got certified to be foster parents, I started looking into daycare options since both my husband and I work full time.

As a foster parent, the state provides a voucher that can be applied toward the cost of daycare. However, not every daycare accepts the voucher. Additionally, of the daycares that do accept the voucher, the ones that are rated the highest fill up quickly. In fact, many daycares in town have waiting lists making it even that much more difficult to find last minute childcare when a kiddo shows up at your door one night and you have work the next morning.

Where to get a list of Daycare Providers

To be fair, the Early Learning Coalition (ELC), who handles some aspects of daycare for foster children in Tallahassee, will provide you with a list. However, it’s a complicated process.

First of all, the list of eligible daycares isn’t available on their website. There isn’t a form online to request a list (that I could find). There is one if you’re a typical parent but not for foster parents. Second, once you call and request a list, they only email you a list of 10, so if you want more than 10 daycare options, you have to call or email and ask for another 10.

Why I Created My Own List of Childcare Providers

Because of this, I decided to develop my own list. Since I live in zip code 32303, for this list I only include daycares in Northwest Tallahassee. However, I work in 32308 and plan to create a list of daycares in that area too. If there is enough interest, I may add daycare and childcare options in the other Tallahassee zip codes.

GET LIST OF DAYCARES EMAILED STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX

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Really, any Tallahassee parent or future parent can use this list, but I did call each daycare on this list to specifically ask if they take the ELC voucher for foster kids and I made note of it in the far column, so if you are a foster parent in the area, hopefully this will be a more comprehensive resource for you.

If you live in Tallahassee, please like this post and share it with your friends! I’ve got some other downloadable resources in the works that will be beneficial for parents living in the area.

New Year, Same Me, New Goals

I have to do this – the obligatory New Year’s Resolutions blog post. I can’t help myself. So if you’re looking for something as basic and cringy as a pumpkin spice latte, then you’ve come to the right place.

RESOLUTION ONE:

Stop swearing like a sailor. I grew up on the Last Frontier and never grew out of it, so cut me some slack ok? But I’m trying to cut back. Like people who are addicted to cigarettes, I figure I can ease out of the habit. Maybe get down to one a day and then eventually quit altogether. Or just save it for when I am really losing it, or visiting the Last Frontier, maybe special occasions. You get the point. The bottom line is, it’s going to look bad if the foster kids go off to Pre-K with potty mouths, so I’ve got to rein it in.

RESOLUTION TWO:

Join a cult. I mean, who doesn’t love kool aid? Just kidding. Not THAT kind of cult. My cousin Sophie talked me into giving Orange Theory a shot so I signed up for 6 months of classes. There’s been some discussion of moving Spann Family Olympics (aka Christmas) to a new, and more tropical location, next year, so we have to be ready for it. Nothing like circuits and a pounding bass to get your butt in gear.

OMG “butt” isn’t a curse word, right?

RESOLUTION THREE:

Read more non-fiction. Technically, this was my resolution last year but I liked it so much, I figure I can just keep it going into 2019. My favorite nonfiction book that I read last year was Bad Blood. If you like crime books, you’ll probably love this one.

RESOLUTION FOUR:

Publish a blog post every week. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night feeling inspired and I write 3 posts in 20 minutes. But usually, that’s not the case. So my goal is to write even when it’s not easy, mostly because google’s algorithm cares very little about what my content actually says as long as my posting schedule is consistent.

If you have ideas for blog posts, or there’s something in particular you would like me to write about, I’m open to ideas, so share in the comments. The holidays are over and I could use some inspiration!