Sunday, August 24, 2014

Still here

I haven't kept up on updating this poor old blog because, quite simply, life in foster care can get depressing. It makes it somehow harder to process when I have to sit down and write it out in black and white. Then I have no buffer from my anger, hurt, frustration, and tiredness. A body in motion stays in motion but I think the same is true for your mind. A mind that doesn't stop and allow a repeat loop of thoughts is a happier one. So sitting down to only focus on foster updates tends to put my brain on an troubling path.

Let's hit the significant changes:
1. "A" went to live with her bio-dad unexpectedly in June. No one, from DFCS to her dad, was expecting this but we got to a court date and the judge handed down his opinion that while she remains in foster care, she should do it in his home. It was not an easy transition and since then, we have very little contact with her because of the choices of her dad and stepmom. Half the time they don't even go to the visits with her mom. Simply put- they are attempting to keep a foster child without having anything to do with the foster life. How they get away with this I do not understand but I guess that is just one more advantage to being blood. You can not see your kid for three years but you are still their favorite option for a home, even if you don't follow any of the rules.

2. I have two new foster daughters, placed with me toward the end of June. They are actually the girls from this post. Their former foster home was put under investigation and as of a few weeks ago, closed down for good. Both girls are up for adoption and tomorrow I have a conference call with a prospective couple interested in them.  Life with three girls (ages 13, 12 and 11) has been fantastic but also exhausting. Going from one foster home to another, switching schools, living with a new parent, a new sibling, new friends, and a new schedule is a lot for kids to handle but these girls rolled with the punches and almost seamlessly transitioned into my home. I'm excited to see them land in a forever home and finally have the stability and family they deserve.

All four of us ended up going for a week's vacation to Michigan, getting back last Saturday. I had this planned for months and was always expecting "H" to come with me but I was scared spitless to imagine taking three kids on my own. Turned out to be a perfect vacation and incredibly easy. I'm not saying I wasn't tired and that driving with three kids from Georgia to Michigan was without challenges but what is life without a little flavor? Here is my secret for a happy roadtrip: Schedule every hour. I am completely serious, I had every single hour of that 12 hour trip planned out and because of that alone, we had no drama or "I'm bored" or even an "Are we there yet?" They knew what time we were planning to arrive and I gave them updates periodically when we got within a few hours of arriving.

Here is what our roadtrip schedule looked like:
6:00-8:00am   Sleep (keep them up late the night before, leave at dark, bring pillows)
8:00-9:30am   Music (radio, CD's, iPod- sometimes letting each person pick a song or station)
9:30-10:00am  Breakfast (road snacks and bottled OJ)
10:00-11:00am  Coloring/drawing
11:00-12:00pm  Book on tape (Adventures in Odyssey, Jungle Jam and Friends, etc.)
12:00-1:00pm   Lunch/gas/restroom break/chatting
1:00-2:00pm   Road games
2:00-3:00pm   Reading (I made it a requirement that in order to watch a movie, you had to read a book, the other option was to nap)
3:00-6:00pm   Movies (I had a mini-laptop, portable dvd player, and a iPod with tv episodes)

I had a rule of no bathroom breaks except when we got gas and I only packed enough food for actual meals- no snacks. This kept everyone from drinking liquids and kept the car less messy.

On our way back we hit horrible weather, road construction, and an hour long traffic jam so our 12 hour trip became an almost 14 hour one. I added in another hour of reading and stretched out the book on tape hour.

Anyway, it wasn't nearly as horrible as I was mentally preparing myself for. We had a lot of fun visiting with my Michigan friends and family. The girls loved that they got to swim every single day.

This week back was horrible though. We started school Monday and I ended up at the doctor's with an allergic reaction (something I've never experienced before) and one of the girl's had an ear infection that we went to the doctor for. Then we had DFCS appointments, visitations, church programs starting, a birthday party, and the younger two went yesterday for their last visit with the former foster mom. It was an incredibly long and draining week. Here's hoping for a better life this week. Although the calendar is just as full.

1 comment:

  1. Elizabeth the AmazingMarch 23, 2015 at 1:58 PM

    So, I feel this blog is due for an update ;) Maybe some witty sarcasm and pictures? lol You know in all your down time.