Monday, September 30, 2013

Reading about transracial adoption and foster care

Foster care has consumed us for the past two years, in an effort to get back to some of the things we enjoy doing Mike and I have decided to reclaim some of our hobbies.

Mike's hobbies basically revolve around watching football and participating in fantasy football, done.

I have decided to go back to playing my favorite sport recreationally once a week and spend more time reading like I used to.

I've finished reading Instant Mom by Nia Vardalos, I liked it a lot. It was so surprising to follow the journey of someone so wealthy and famous going through the foster care process. I have read a few blogs that have mused about why more highly educated, wealthy folks don't do foster care? OMG shall we count the reasons? Visits, permission to get a hair cut, denial of travel and vacation plans, the monthly invasions of agency social workers, DH$ social workers, lawyers and advocates, weird standards for keeping your home safe, no respect for your schedule, court hearings that go no where. I think the real question is why does anyone do this. I know, I know because we LOVE the kids, but foster care takes so much more than love.  

I've been reading other non-fiction: Come Rain or Come Shine and In Their Own Voices, both are about transracial adoption. I've found both books to be very educational, but while reading Come Rain or Come Shine I read one line that broke my heart: "Black males are among the most "unadoptable" children in society." I started bawling and have yet to go back to that book. 

So, come last Saturday night when I was home alone with Primo, who was asleeep, I really wanted to find something lighter to read. You know, something funny and entertaining. I looked online for an ebook, but couldn't find anything light to read. Finding a humorous book is difficult, I would love to have some suggestions from you all!

Anywho, I looked through my e-reader and I found a book I'd completely forgoten I'd downloaded, Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter, a foster care memoir. I was not in the mood for more foster care. I specifically wanted something light because dealing with foster care day in and day out, along with reading about transracial adoption is not light and funny and I needed more light and funny right then.

Out of desperation I read the first few pages, I was hooked! I loved this book, it's not easy to read as the author spent many years in foster care. It is written beautifully and full of good information for foster parents. This book broadened my understanding of why children in foster care long for their parents for years and years. I was also struck by how even the so called "good" foster homes the author was in were less than ideal for her. I stayed up well past midnight, I couldn't put it down. I recommend it whole heartedly.

What have you read lately?

Friday, September 27, 2013

It's the end of the month...

let the requests for home visits commence. One social worker missed last month, will they miss two in row? I don't think so.

You'd be proud of me, I didn't even vacuum and dust Primo's room before the last social worker visit.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pain

It's been pretty tough around here since our miserable court date

I've been down. I found this video on FB.

I started to feel that nothing I did really made a difference in helping with the HUGE needs of foster children.

Foster children face overwhelming odds and unhappy statistics.

Then on Monday I read a post from a fellow foster care blogging Mom that brought me to my knees. Her two foster children, who had lived with her for two years were removed from her family without warning or time for proper good byes. No transition time at all.

When I complain about the "system" of foster care and how it doesn't put first the needs of the children it is supposed to be protecting and serving I'm not being specific enough. The so called "system" is made of human beings, they are the "system". People are letting these kids down. Pure and simple. It is extremely difficult for me to believe that there are social workers, judges and lawyers that place so little value on a child's wellbeing. Is there no common sense to be found? Are the structures of the courts and foster care so indifferent and ridiculous? For me, in this moment this is how it feels.

I have a fierce desire for Primo to be free from foster care. He's been in care since the day he was born. Enough is enough. When I watched the above video about teens in foster care I became more determined. Children need loving permanency, TODAY.

Sorry for rambling, I'm heartbroken today.


Friday, September 20, 2013

One of My Outlets for Foster Care Stress

Riding in my car alone (which rarely happens) with the radio at the loudest volume possible listening to a song I love and singing along (out loud).

Ah sweet freedom!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

"I didn't want to keep him in foster care. It's not fair. It's not fair for me to think: Well, you know what, one day I might get my life together. Well, you know what? Your life is not together now and your baby needs love now."

It think it's worth reading this interesting article  I had never heard of this before, now I have some idea of how other country's residents feel about their children being adopted by foreigners.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fun Facts From My Foster Care Manual

I still haven't found anything about hair cuts for foster kids in my manual. 

I did however come across some other interesting rules I didn't know about.

1. All clothing purchased for a foster child must go with them when they leave your home, this includes clothing they have outgrown.

2. Medical assistance health insurance for foster children doesn't reimburse doctors as well as private insurance. To help make this up to your foster child's doctor please take your biological children this doctor too.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Foster Care and Hair

We took Primo to the barber shop quite often this summer. We had permission from his parents to keep his hair very short all summer.

This morning Mike bet me that I could NOT find anything in writing (I grabbed our huge official foster care manual, that we received after completing our foster care training) about foster parents needing permission for hair cuts.

I've been looking and I haven't found anything yet, but it's got to be in there right? 

Doesn't EVERY foster parent know the rules about hair cuts? 

Apparently they don't, well at least one foster parent I know who had been doing foster care for 3 years didn't know. I mentioned waiting for permission to get Primo's hair cut and she looked at me like I was CRAY CRAY CRAAZY. The first time she heard about this rule was from little old inexperienced (at the time) me.

AND...to be honest I have no idea where I heard about the rule.

So far I've made it through the first inch of about 3 inches of the manual.

Anything you'd like me to look up for you?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Still SLUMPING, big time...

I'm having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that Primo's stay in foster care has been prolonged by 6 months. So frustrating to have NO control. I know I have to let it go.

BUT...HOW?
 
Foster care sucks big time for me right now, but nothing about having Primo around is bad. Thank goodness he has no idea what is going on or not going on in court or in his case right now. As far as he's concerned he's home with his family and all is right with the world.

Primo being in one single solitary home for his whole two years in foster care = GOOD

 A bright spot, no?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

One of the best things I've seen on the web today...

I've heard a lot about Dr. Karyn Purvis and her book the Connected Child. I just viewed this video and now I'm going to download her book.

Monday, September 9, 2013

I've found a fun new website it's called Growing a Jeweled Rose. I do NOT love messy projects, but I have the feeling that they may be good for Primo. To be honest I'm looking for some fun stuff to fill the days when there's no play school and the weather is so gorgeous right now it would be great to try these things outside. The site is so fun and messy, I've already made the colored rice, although we haven't played with it yet. I remember how much my older kids loved playing with shaving cream and slime, there are some great recipes for these too, imagine shaving cream studded with pop rocks!

What fun sensory stuff do you do with your kids?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

As a result of the recent court debacle...

I've come to the realization that I had been putting a lot of my life on hold, waiting and holding my breath waiting for Primo to be legally free for adoption. Not only this, but I'd say Mike and I have both been in a bit of a holding pattern for the past two years. We live court date to court date, waiting and adjusting to each change that comes with each new court date.

Because we've had and infant and now a toddler, who can only be cared for by approved baby-sitters for the last two years, the usual weekend invitations that came our way before foster care have all but ended. We are often too tired and distracted to make the effort to invite other couples over after Primo is in bed.

Recently we were invited out to dinner by a couple we hadn't seen in a long time. This invitation, probably our first in over 6 months, reminded me of all the friends and family we haven't seen regularly over the past two years. I was as excited and happy as a tween who'd just been invited to her first school dance!

All of this was building as we waited all summer long, with very little vacation, for Primo's August court date. What a let down the results of that long awaited for court date were! We've been so caught up in foster care that we've let other areas of our life go, and this has to stop.

Mike and I have both decided to get back to some of the hobbies we've let go over the past two years. We also invited a beloved couple over for dinner after Primo was in bed this weekend, we had SO MUCH FUN!




Monday, September 2, 2013

It's that time of year again...

BACK TO SCHOOL!

Despite my depression over Primo being confined to foster care for an extra 6 months, life goes on.

To distract myself from myself today, I went school supply shopping. Primo is now two and is starting play school. None of my other kids went to school this early, but my boy is super social and high energy so he'll love school.

I grabbed my list, without so much as glancing at it ahead of time and headed to the store. I had a much needed laugh when my eyes landed on "diapers and wipes", I mean can this really be considered school with these items on the official school supply list?

Primo is now loaded up with tissues, diapers, wipes, jumbo crayons, stickers and a smock, everything you need to make play school all that it should be!

Here we go...