Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Good Read

A couple of days after I wrote this I was trying to come up with something to relieve my stress and exhaustion, I tried a hot bath, a jumbo bowl of ice cream, a nap, but something was missing.

It finally dawned on me that I have not done much reading (with the exception of all my favorite blogs) during the last 7 months.  I used to read a lot, I love reading.  Reading used to be my favorite pastime.

So I picked up a book that had been lying around the house for a while.  For the first time in what seemed like an eternity, I was laughing until tears ran down my face.

Tina Fey's Bossypants was just what I needed.  A funny easy read.  Her childhood stories were so familiar to me and absolutely hysterical.

I had forgotten how healing a good laugh could be.  Truly funny books are hard to find.  I love reading all genres, but I haven't read enough funny books.

What are your favorite funny reads?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

True Dat Tuesday

There are some strange similarities between foster care and raising teenagers:

1.  As your children get older and start thinking about travel and leaving you to go to college you find yourself looking to buy them luggage.

When you care for a foster child, even one under a year old you will start looking to buy them luggage for when they leave you.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Foster Parent Fatigue

fatigue |fəˈtēg|
noun
1 extreme tiredness, typically resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness : he was nearly dead with fatigue.
• a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.
• weakness in materials, esp. metal, caused by repeated variations of stress : metal fatigue.
• [with adj. ] a lessening in one's response to or enthusiasm for something, typically as a result of overexposure to it : museum fatigue.



I am tired.  Primo has been with us 7 months and nothing in his case has really changed, with the exception of his visits.


I have spoken with everyone I can think of about his case.  Our social worker, her supervisor and the kid's lawyer and DH$.  Mostly I just get the company line, which amounts to nothing.


My favorite response to my questions about the length of time Primo's brothers have been in care (over three years) was this, and I quote: "It can't go on forever".  This is little solace for all of us involved in this case.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A little update...

to this post. 

I love Zulily, and this morning when I checked out the daily sales there was Melissa and Doug sale!  So I have now happily stocked up on some nice wooden toys at a discount.

Yeah for the internet!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Time is not on my side

Spending 8 hours a week taking Primo to visits every week is making me a bit tired.  However he is no longer screaming through his visits, I think the extra time with his family is paying off.

Spending two afternoons a week away from my family is difficult.  It means two less afternoons to schedule orthodontist appointments and other stuff.  Two days a week that I miss watching my kids play sports and two nights a week without a family dinner.

Sacrifice is the name of the game in foster care.  On most days this sacrifice is tempered by the joy of having Primo in our home.  He is an adorable little guy and he brings so much joy to all of us.

Love always wins the day.

Monday, April 16, 2012

some guarantees of living with teenaged girls

Toilet paper will always be in short supply.

The only day of the week you finally get around to giving the kitchen a good clean scrub is guaranteed to be the day before a HUGE project is due at school. Said project always seems to include at least two and often all of the following: baking, gallons of glitter, melting chocolate, a glue gun and lots of crying and or whining and or screaming.  Said project never includes cleaning up after oneself.  Must be the small print, but clean up just never happens.
  
There will be a Dairy Queen run once a month, if you know what I mean.

After 4 daughters and a total of a combined 49 (yes, I had to use a calculator) dress worthy events (school dances, proms and graduations), dress shopping will cease to be enjoyable.  Especially when all four girls attended or continue to attend schools with strict dress codes.   Can you imagine the wedding shopping!?

There will be NO way to contain all of the shoes and boots in an orderly fashion. 





 HELP!

 


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Surprised

is what I am.  I just can't believe it. This was the first week of the new visitation schedule and both of Primo's parents called to confirm with our agency that they would be at their visits, but neither one of them showed up.

We drove into the city for Dad's visit and he was a no show, no call, nothing.  Two days later we drove back into the city for Mom's visit and after waiting 35 minutes she contacted our social worker and said she wasn't able to make it to the visit.

Primo's parents have only missed two visits in the last 6 months.  I'm surprised and sad.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Preparation

In general parenting teens has been a huge education for me.  Specifically I can now see how this education has prepared me for being involved in foster care.  Interacting with bio parents is a lot like interacting with teenagers.  Some bio parents are actually teens, some are not.

For me parenting teens has been a struggle, it feels like the same struggle I have with Primo's parents.  I have learned a lot from my teenaged children, I have made many mistakes with them which have helped me learn a lot along the way.  Some of the lessons have been painful and surprisingly hard to learn from, meaning that even though I know how I should respond in certain situations it is still hard for me to do what I know I should do.

One of the hardest things for me to remember when parenting my teenagers has been to "not take it personally".  I tend to take everything said to me to right to heart, this is exhausting and difficult.  I work every day on not taking things around me personally. 

Another tough lesson has been realizing that I can't control other people. As much as I feel the need to control my teen children, for their own good of course :), I can't really control them.  They are individuals who have their own free will.  I can guide, advise and enforce consequences etc., but in reality I cannot follow them around all day and make decisions for them.

As a parent I often wish that I had a magic wand that would enable me to sweep away my children's pain, challenging behaviors, questionable choices and miserable moods.  I'm still learning that this is not my job.  I am learning that there are many times I have to "let go and let God".  There are extremely difficult days when the only prayer I can come up with is "Thy will be done".

I have been parenting teenagers for 10 years, with 6 more years to come.  I continue to strive to be grateful for the experience and the continued learning this provides me for use in other areas of my life.




Thursday, April 5, 2012

Early Intervention

An early childhood intervention team of 4 came out to our house to evaluate Primo.  No one involved in his case suspected that he had any delays, but given his birth experience we wanted to be sure.

I have always felt that he is on target for his age and doing very well, but I was interested in what the pros thought.

The two hour appointment lasted about an hour and 45 minutes, of which only 20 minutes was spent evaluating Primo.  He is obviously developing well and is even a bit advanced for his age in fine motor skills.

The rest of the appointment was filled with wonderful conversations about foster care, child raising and bonding.  I learned a lot, and all of these women were so vibrant and happy in their work.

I LOVE it when one of Primo's many appointments goes this way.  In my limited foster care experience it is rare that any appointment starts on time (or even shows up) or that there is enough time to have a meaningful conversation.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

True Dat Tuesday

Primo's DH$ worker has never been to our home.  He is supposed to come once a month.

One month in 2011 he sent another worker in his place. Following that visit in November DH$ has scheduled twice to come out and see Primo.  They were no shows on both occasions and didn't even call or follow up with us.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Vacation + Court = ?

We have just returned from our fabulous spring vacation with Primo.  The girls were such a great help with him.

The flights went better than I ever could have hoped for, it would seem that Primo is a born traveler.

While we were away visitation was changed at court.  In the past Primo had a two hour unsupervised visit with his parents and siblings.  Now he will have two visits a week.  An unsupervised visit with his Dad and siblings and on a different day he will have a supervised visit with his Mom and siblings.

I really don't know what is going on. I'm focusing on Primo and making sure he is healthy and happy in our home.  In reality that's about all I can do.  Primo has been with us for over 6 months.