Monday, August 25, 2014
Google Voice and Foster Care
I'm not sure if I mentioned here on the blog that I have been writing letters to Primo's first Mom and Dad. This has been going well and the letters have been positive and informative.
Before I started writing I set up a PO Box in a neighboring town.
Let me backtrack a little. In my area parents whose children are taken into foster care are allowed to know where their children are being cared for, more specifically, the bio parents have the address of the foster parents. In Primo's case, and in the cases of his brothers, this was not thought to be safe for the foster families, so our addresses were withheld from all documents and not given to Primo's bio parents.
Despite this Mike and I developed a mostly positive relationship with Primo's parents. There were some low points during emotional times, for example, when Primo and his older brother's goal was changed from reunification to adoption by foster parents. However over all it was a good relationship.
After termination I began exchanging letters with Primo's first Mom. I have saved all of these letters in a binder for Primo.
Primo's first Mom and I came to the mutual decision that after Primo's adoption was finalized we would meet up for a visit.
This brings us to today. We are now waiting on a finalization date and I'm still feeling it is not a good idea for Primo's first parents to have our address or phone number. I've seen first hand the stress this has caused for Primo's older brother's foster Mom. She has changed her number and moved so things are smoother now, but it was stressful and dramaful before she took these steps.
I have been thinking about google voice for a long time, but quite frankly felt overwhelmed by even the thought of trying to figure out this technology.
A few months ago I read this blog post. The description of how it all worked made google voice seem doable to me for the first time.
So last week I had a few hours of free time to tackle google voice, and that's about how long it took me to work it all out. I will add that I also downloaded the google voice app for my smart phone. The first one I downloaded didn't work correctly, it didn't sync up to my google voice account on my computer. Once I had the correct app for my phone I could do everything from my phone: call, text and email to Primo's first parents (when I'm ready), I tested it all out with my kids.
Now I'm ready to have more contact with Primo's parents once the adoption is finalized, and that feels good.