It’s been a long time since I have made a blog entry. As you’ve probably guessed, I have been enjoying my break, taking trips, and enjoying having my home to myself. My foster youth left on August 23rd, and I did not get a call for a placement until October 1st. It took me a long time to say yes to this placement… I will explain that later in the post.
I was asked to do a foster care panel in August and one of the other panel members asked me to provide respite care for her nine year old placement. I agreed to do it… although I was in the beginning stages of enjoying my break (lol) and the thought of having to deviate from it was a little off putting… I told myself, you can do anything for a week… so go for it! The foster mom was so grateful to get time to go on vacation, she explained that she has not been away from her placement for an entire year. She is a single mom also and I found out we are exactly the same age! So I totally understood her as she just longed to have a break of her own. I met up them one Friday evening to meet the young one. She was so terrified that her foster mother was leaving her and putting her in a new home, that her mother told her that I was just a friend of hers and she will be staying with me for the week. Oh the list of rules that came with that little one… I can admit it caused me some anxiety, but I told myself that I will parent her the best way I could and if I didn’t hit all the marks… she’s only with me for a week.
This little girl was such a joy to have in my home. Now, I know that kids act differently towards “strangers” caring for them verses their parents, but she really did a good job during the week. She talks a mile a minute and is a very active girl, but I would rather have it that way anyway. On the Monday she was with me I got a call from social services asking if I would take in an 18 year old for one night. I agreed because…. what’s one night?! The youth had to move from where she was staying because even though she is a mother, she had placed her baby in the care of the baby’s father and family and the facility only housed woman and their children. Long story short, she ended up not coming to stay with me because she refused to leave the facility (the police were called to remove her) and she refused to go with the social services worker. Since she is 18 and technically an adult, the social worker could not make her come into foster care. So, I don’t know what happened to her… but I was kind of relieved that she didn’t enter my home. I just didn’t know what agitated state she might be in and how it would affect the nine year old. Also, the nine year old found out I was a foster parent because I answered the phone while driving (hands free of course) and she heard “social services” talking to me. When she asked me later that night if I was a foster parent, I told her yes but assured her that her foster mom was coming back. She didn’t freak out… I think she understood.
So, Tuesday (the next day)… I get a call for a 5 month old girl. It took me about 10 minutes to accept the placement because I was still enjoying my break! LOL! I was thinking of all of the things that I had planned to do the next week when the nine year old went back home. LOL! I wasn’t ready to relinquish my plans. Let me say this, I DO enjoying being a foster parent very much. When I am in it… I am in it… I adapt and adjust my plans and schedule. I know it sounds like I don’t like it when I’m writing, but it’s only because I am always thinking of what I will be giving up when a child comes into my home. I know parents reading this understand how parenthood really throws a wonderful hook into your life/plans… and you have to adjust. Sometimes the thought of giving up “my life” gives me pause, but I always relinquish (unless I am catching a plane that evening or something…lol!) because I know that each child comes to me for a reason. Okay, so back to the 5 month old. So I am on the phone with the social worker and at one point she says, “You don’t have to say yes. If you can’t do it… it’s okay, we won’t force you.” That is the amount of questions I was asking her. BUT true to me, I said yes… and I am so glad I did. Although it is very hard work, this baby is a joy! She is a happy, smiley, beautiful baby girl. Her situation is exactly like my first placement. Same age, same circumstances… so it is hard not to think of her leaving me quickly just as the first one did. I know what my role is as a foster parent, but I am human… so when they leave (especially the babies because they are REALLY my preferred age group) I do get sad. It’s hard not to attach to anyone. The baby is starting to attach to me and I am starting to attach to her. I am guessing that she will be with me for a month (or possibly less), so I am trying to keep that in mind while still providing her with all of the love that I can. It was a busy week with two kids, but the nine year old was so happy to have the baby in the house (she nicknamed her “my cousin”) and I was happy to have the nine year old because she helped me entertain the baby!
So that is what I have been up to over the last month, my break is over and I am in full mommy mode. I told God that I wanted a break for a while… except if they called me for an “itty bitty.” Well, they called me for an “itty bitty” and I am so glad they did :-).