Thursday, February 27, 2014

5 days in

*I'm going to refer to the girls as H (13 year old) and A (10 year old) on the blog from now on*

We're all still alive and well! It has been quite the roller coaster ride going from a single girl to an instant mom of a teen and preteen.

The biggest challenge has been figuring out the foster care system. Here are a few lessons I've learned:

1. Don't trust your worker to get things done. The girls would have started school on Tuesday if I had handled enrolling them from the get go. Because I relied on the word of the worker that she would "take care of it" they missed a day of school and my mom had to come to our rescue and stayed with them all day Tuesday. After that fail, I took over the process myself and they had their first day on Wednesday. They both have already made friends and we found out that the neighbor girl next door is the exact age of H and they share the same bus. She has already come over for an hour tonight to hang out with us and I see a great friendship blooming. H is a year behind in school so they aren't in the same grade but I imagine this won't be an issue. A already brought home the names/numbers of three girls in her class who are her "best friends" so I would say all in all, their transition to school has been positive.

2. Be persistent. I've left two voice mails and sent two emails to the girls worker. None of which were acknowledged or returned. I ended up texting her late last night with "A is going on a field trip on Friday unless you tell me its a problem" and miraculously, she answered that one. Their worker is very nice but probably overwhelmed so I'm trying to remember that the system moves in its own time and to just text if there is an immediate issue I need a response for.

3. Dentist are not working mothers. If they were, they would be open on Saturday's and stay open past 5pm.

4. Lice kits should always be kept on hand for any new placements. This is a story for another time though.

As a side note: My parents are amazing. When I picked up A from school today the first thing she wanted to know was if she could call my mom and invite her to come on the Friday field trip. Those two have instantly bonded and it makes me glad they had that extra day together on Tuesday, even if I couldn't see it at the time, that one day was a huge blessing since it solidified their relationship with my mom in a great way for both the girls.

On Monday we have our team meeting, which doesn't involve any family members (which is rare) since they are either incarcerated or missing. So I imagine it won't be too complicated. I still have to find time to call and set up appointments for the doctor, dentist and an eye exam. And of course there is that pesky problem of finding time to actually go to those places...

My bank account is waving the white flag as in the past 5 days it has been kept busy trying to build two whole wardrobes and keeping 2 extra stomachs full but I just keep going to work and tell myself that this is the whole point of having a job.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

First placement arrived

Got the call at 8:30 tonight asking if I would take two girls, ages 10 and 13. The girls were asleep at the locals sheriffs office and their two brothers had already been brought to a home. I said yes even though these are not the ages I was ready for or even wanted. I may regret this later but how do you say no?

The girls are both very sweet and kind. We had to run to walmart for clothes and lice kits at 10:00pm so that was a hoot. Currently they are showering off the lice shampoo and then we get to use the special comb. All of us are tired, the girls didn't get any sleep the night before as apparently they were homeless and sleeping in the car because their mom "was so worried and afraid". And kept them awake all night.

The oldest girl is a talker and completely at ease with the situation. The younger one is quieter and walks on eggshells. Mainly the younger one is worried about her mom, they didn't tell the girls where she is.

The initial court date is Monday afternoon and I was told to not send the girls to school so I'm working on figuring out the logistics of that. I'm not expecting them to stay past a few weeks as the worker who placed them with me said she is opening homes soon that they could get moved to.

Since it's almost midnight, The combing might be cut short and we will deal with the lice extermination more tomorrow. The girls are just so tired.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Being stonewalled

So I'm afraid that my update isn't exactly happy news. Basically, I'm getting a lot of respite care placements but when I talk to Merryweather, I get a very strange feeling that she will never willingly use me as a full time home.

This could be for multiple reasons- she already doesn't really like that I'm young, single, and don't have adoption in mind. She loves me for respite care but already made the statement (on accident) that I "won't be getting any kids" at least for the next few months.

To top off that feeling, I had another foster mom tell me she got a call this week for a placement of a 2 year old girl and when they had to turn it down, thought that the next person on the list would be me. Yeah no. Didn't happen. Because she is in my county but gets a different person to work with, she said next time she'll mention my name to see if this other RD worker even knows I exist.

So I'm feeling discouraged but at the same time open minded. This vibe I get could be all for nothing. Merryweather is very spacey so it could just be that I'm not the name that pops into her head when she has a placement or it could be that there hasn't been children that she feels would be a good fit for me yet.

On the upside- I'm doing respite care for three kids this weekend. A 5 month old, 5 year old, and 7 year old. I'm terrified.