It’s Hard… but THIS is Foster Care

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Snuggling on our last night

My little one left me last week. I knew it would happen, but I didn’t know it would happen so quickly. I thought she would at least be with me for two months… that is what I was told when they dropped her off. But as it usually happens in foster care, things can change in an instant. I am learning as I go…

I knew my baby girl had a court date coming up on 8/7/18, I had already been told by her social worker that I did not have to attend. I didn’t think the ruling would be a big deal because NO ONE else did, everyone from her social worker to lawyer made plans like she would be with me for a while. So, on 8/6/18 I took baby to her 6 months visit. I think I was more nervous than she was. This would be my first time seeing a baby get vaccinated in person. I was afraid how the pain would affect her and the after effects of fever or excessive crying. I had to do it and it went off without a hitch. Baby girl cried, but as soon as I picked her up, she nuzzled her head into my neck and quickly stopped. I was so proud of the rock star she was that day! Interestingly enough, my mother suggested we celebrate the baby’s 6 month birthday, her half year. I thought it was kind of funny, but went along with it. My mom’s logic… we didn’t know how long baby would be with us. I am so glad now that we celebrated her!

 

I can say that baby introduced me to my first diaper blowout on her 6 month celebration day and plenty of spit up (she suffers from re-flux). I also had the pleasure of soaking and scrubbing “poo” out of her clothes from daycare as she blessed them with two “uncontained” diapers (as they call it) during the day. I know moms out there are like “big deal!” well… it was to me! LOL!

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Holding her bottle. She punked me most of the time!

Baby girl was starting to grow – rolling over, self sleeping on her side, holding her bottle. It was fun to see her blossom. I introduced her to solid foods… that was probably one of the most funniest things I have ever witnessed! Her little facial expressions when I fed her. She acted like I was killing her with each spoonful! LOL! She came to the point where she would not even open her mouth for me… but she did it for the daycare. So I just gave them all of her food… so I only had to deal with feeding her solids on the weekend. LOL! Even though she is only 6 months, we had such a good time together… I can’t say enough times how good this little baby is. So happy, bright, and loving! She loved my kisses and to snuggle on my face!

I found out she was leaving me on Thursday morning, exactly a month after she arrived. Her social worker called and told me that the judge made the decision for her to go back… during the court date on Tuesday! I was kind of upset, why didn’t anyone call to tell me what decision had been made. On Tuesday evening, I thought that nothing interesting happened in court because I didn’t hear from anyone. My heart sank as the social worker told me the news, but I knew that it would come eventually. I tried to sound upbeat as she told me the details, but I couldn’t really focus. I was kind of upset that everyone knew except me what was going on. The baby’s grandmother told the social worker (on Tuesday) that she would just wait until our regular meeting time on Friday to pick up baby girl. What??!! I mean, I am grateful she wasn’t snatched from me same day, but I would think you would want her back immediately… “no?”. On the day of the exchange a friend called and asked if I wanted her to come with me. I was truly grateful because I didn’t know how I would feel. I was starting to get anxious and I just wanted it to be over with. I didn’t want her to go, but the pain of snuggling her knowing she had to go was very hard. Another friend and her kids met me for lunch and they brought me flowers! That almost made me cry… my emotions were on high all day! I got to meet her mom during the exchange. I handed baby to her… and baby reached back for me until she realized who I gave her to. She started touching her mom’s face and pulling her hair :-). Mom tries to give baby to grandma and grandma tells mom to continue holding her. This happened twice! I was so mad, I wanted to yell… “Give the baby to me!! I’ll hold her and love her and kiss her!! Geesh people!” But I didn’t… lol! Then we walked to the car to exchange her things. Her mom immediately put her in the car. That made me sad. I didn’t know if I would be able to kiss/hug her goodbye. Grandma, said to me that she was overwhelmed with all of the things I was giving her. She noted that the baby did not come with that many items. I told her about the kindness of my village and because they loved me… they loved baby. Grandma was grateful. I finally asked if I could kiss baby goodbye and they let me. The look on her face was so sad, it was like she knew that I was leaving her (I wish I could show you that picture… but too much of her face is seen). And then… it was over!! She was gone.

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She loved for me to read to her!!

I already miss her so much! I often wonder if she thinks of me and wonders where I went. I am grateful for the time that we did share together. I did tell her grandmother that she could always call me to babysit. I really hope I get to see her again. I loved that baby, she was the first real human that I had to take care of… not for a day… or a weekend, but all of the time. She taught me a lot about myself and she even pulled me out of my shell a bit. I will miss my bouk-a-lukes (however you spell that…lol)! My house has gone back to normal. Everything has been put away, wiped down, and washed. Although I do not have any outward reminders that there was a baby here… she will forever be in my heart. I sent her with a note and photos of us together. I don’t know if she will ever see them, but I have printed a photo of her to place in my house to remind me to pray for her. A lot of people, some that don’t even know me have said that they are worried for me. Please don’t worry, although I am sad… I knew this day would come. It’s like breaking up a relationship or friendship… it really hurts, but day by day you get back to your old self. How I got through it was just thinking of all of the things I got to do the next week… hello running buddies… hello yoga class. Sad, I know… lol!

 

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She always snuggled me!

 

Now, as my social worker friend has told me… it’s okay to be sad… but get ready for the next one!

Yikes.

 

 

We’re Adjusting and Hitting our Stride :-).

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Watching Baby Einstein together

So, baby girl and I have been together for a little over two weeks now. She seems to be doing really well! She is such a happy girl with bright eyes and a great gummy smile. She is literally a light when she is in a room. I often think about her spirit, how light it is despite what she has been through in her short life. It amazes me how resilient she is, but my caseworker did tell me that I would be amazed at how children in care adapt and thrive in the right environment.

 

It has been a world wind the past two weeks, but we are falling into a great rhythm. Last week was very busy for us. Baby girl FINALLY got a social worker assigned to her and I was able to get her placement letter! A placement letter is a very important document that states that you (the foster parent) are providing care for the child in care. It gives you access to EVERYTHING!! In my last post I spoke about the difficulty I had finding a daycare for baby girl, I did find a great facility (praise God)… but in order for baby girl to enroll I had to take her to the doctor… and of course in order to take her to the doctor, I needed the placement letter. So, I received the placement letter on Tuesday, took baby girl to the doctor on Wednesday. I had to show out a bit in the doctors office because they wanted me to drop off the daycare forms and pick them up in 3 days. I explained that I couldn’t wait 3 days, and although I know it is not their concern, I had already waited for over a week to get the placement letter and I couldn’t wait any longer to get baby girl enrolled into daycare. I tried to remain calm, but my frustration was at an all time high I could hear my voice rising as I exclaimed, “It’s only 5 questions!!”. I was not frustrated with the doctors office, just in general because of the slowness of the process. My plan was to just beg the doctor to have mercy and fill out the forms when I got into the examination room, but the receptionist asked the nurse to fill out the forms for me (Thank God!).

Thursday we met her social worker. Seems nice, don’t have too much to say about her yet. In general, I feel like DSS is very unresponsive. I have asked several questions and I rarely get a response. We also met up with her grandmother… this visit went well… grandma, although kind… still had to point out something I failed to do (bring a toy for her to play with to entertain her during the visit… I have a reason why rarely put toys in her bag… but I digress), but overall she opened up a bit more to me. As I explained in my last post, family visits make me very uncomfortable. I gave baby girl’s grandmother the social workers card and told her to contact her to set up the visits at the department in the future. I don’t like feeling like I am the one responsible for coordinating the visits. Each week, I have been calling the grandmother to set up the visits… but I am not doing that anymore. If grandma wants to see baby girl, she can call me. I do not want to initiate the call this week. It’s Tuesday, I will wait to see what happens. Again, I do not like family visits… the actual visit is okay… I just don’t like being in “charge” of the when and where. Can the department do that? They act like they don’t care.

On Friday, we went to the WIC office. I am so glad that another foster parent blog emphasized using WIC. Baby girl is eligible as a child in foster care. Dealing with the WIC office was not fun, but when I got to Target to purchase her formula… whoa!! I am so glad I had that benefit. $207 for formula… I bought 8 cans, she is eligible for 11. I was so happy that I did not have to pay for that out of pocket. She came to me with 4.5 cans of formula and in less than two weeks that was gone. I was down to the last bottle when I bought the formula Sunday.

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My mom playing “this little piggy” with baby ūüôā

Saturday, I took baby girl with me to the reggae wine festival. She had a great time people watching (my kind of girl, lol!) and making everyone in attendance fall in love with her… lol!

Finally, we started day care yesterday ( Mon 7/23). On Friday, I took her in to finalize her paperwork and when we were leaving, I got misty eyed!!! LOL! Why??? I have no clue. Baby girl had been my little buddy for 2 weeks, it would be strange for her to leave me all day. She had a good first day at daycare, the teachers said she did a great job and of course she was very friendly and played a lot. I was that mom, the center director had to say, “bye mom… she’s in good hands.” That was my cue to go. LOL! I did stalk her a bit on the app they provided and I know she is in good hands. When I went to pick her up, she was sitting in a bouncy seat. As soon as she saw me, she started smiling, cooing and kicking her feet. I felt good. She recognized me!!

People still ask how will I take it when she leaves. It will be very hard, but I know that I am doing what I am supposed to do for her at this moment. Only the Lord knows how long she will be with me… and I cherish each moment and try to do my best for her.

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Oh the joy… spit up on my couch. I was so annoyed, but what could I do but clean it and get over it. LOL!

Personally for me, I am still getting in my weekly and weekend runs and gym time. I signed baby girl up for the gym, lol! She is a member now… so that I can take advantage of the childcare while I workout. That has been great! Now that she is in daycare, I am able to go to the gym in the morning after I drop her off (thank goodness for a flexible work schedule). Marathon training is no joke! It takes a lot of time and as I am functioning as a single parent at the moment… I am heavily relying on friends and my mom to watch baby while I run. I am very appreciative that they have offered to help me at this time :-). Still so grateful for all the folks that have helped me through gift cards (they have come in handy), offering time to sit with her, and even bringing/sending clothes for baby!! Thank you!! It is so needed!

That’s all for now, can’t think of anything else to say… but if you have any questions… let me know!

 

Emotions

So, I decided to write this quick blog to discuss another aspect of foster care, the one that I had the most trouble with during training, the “thing” that made me say out loud to myself, my instructor during training, and my caseworker…. “I Can’t DO THIS!” That thing… FAMILY VISITS.

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Family visits scare the crap out of me (yes, I said it) because you have to deal with the family. The family may be hurt, angry, scared (insert all emotions here) and may take them out on you, the foster parent, because lets face it… they can. I have heard horror stories of foster parents dealing and interacting with parents and I just didn’t/don’t want to deal with it. But I have to…

So Friday, I took my little one to visit with family. Her grandmother and aunt. I was very nervous because I didn’t know how they would react to me. I trimmed baby girls nails, washed her hair, gave her a pretty bow. LOL! Polished her as good as I knew how :-). However, the reaction I received from grandma was not what I thought. I don’t know what I thought would happen… but as soon as I opened the car door (oh, we met at a mall in the area) her grandmother burst out in tears. She was so overcome that she couldn’t come near the baby for a minute. I wanted to cry, because I couldn’t imagine the grief and sadness this woman felt as she looked at her granddaughter. She just kept saying, “I miss her… I miss her so much…” I know she does. I can’t even imagine. Auntie was not as kind to me… but she doesn’t have to be. I know that I didn’t cause the situation, but like I mentioned, most of the time the family tends to take out their anger and hurt on the care taker. I got a couple of snarky remarks at the end… I try to dismiss them because I can’t make them treat me better. The only thing I can do it take care of this baby entrusted to me, make sure she is being loved and cared for… make sure she sees her family and overall make sure she is happy and safe. That’s my job. Folks also ask me how I will keep myself from getting attached. Well, I am already attached… but¬† I know what my job is with her. To keep her safe until she can be reunited with her family. I looked at her Saturday and I said, “I wish I could see you when you get older… how you will look, what your personality will be.” I can admit… that part does make me sad, I pray for her and ask God to protect her heart and mind. But as long as she is happy and giving me these big gummy smiles… I will hold that in my heart.

A Revolving Door!

image1Where do I even start? So much has happened over the last week. I guess I will start from the beginning. Friday, 29 June, I went out for a walk during lunch time. Before I could reach the main road, my phone started ringing. It was my caseworker calling to tell me that she had a possible placement for me, an 8 month old baby girl. As my caseworker was telling me about the case, she informed me that this baby was pre-adoptive meaning that the plan was for her to be adopted by the family who took her in to foster. My heart dropped, at this time I am not sure if I want to adopt and to know that going into this placement… I just couldn’t do it. I was so sad, but I turned the placement down. I know the right family would welcome that little one so quickly. Someone who knows in their heart that adoption is their next step. Once I turned the placement down, my caseworker told me that she had another opportunity for me and to hear her out. Well, I was walking and my phone was breaking up really badly so I couldn’t hear a lot of what she was saying. I kept asking her to repeat herself and then my phone went silent. I tried to call her back, but I had no luck… so I started to walk back to my house to get better reception. My caseworker called me back and explained that she had a foster family that needed respite care for an 18 year old while her foster mom went on vacation. “WHAT??!!” You wan ME to keep an 18 year old? That’s a grown woman. What will two grown woman do in one house… who will win and be alpha dog (of course me)? LOL! I told her I would do it. I don’t know how to explain in, but in my gut… I knew it would be okay. She would be arriving on 4 July. (And to explain children in care can go on vacation with you, her mom was taking a girls trip and the family was going on a family trip the next month).

I was extremely nervous to meet this “kid” I mean, I haven’t been around teenagers since I was one! AND by nature I am really shy, so I wondered how I would interact with her. Well, I prepared the guest room and made a special space for her to hang out and watch TV in the basement. Then I waited…. She arrived around 1:30p on 4 July. Her foster mom (FM) told me she would be there by 11a (so now I know all placements are late… no matter if they are coming from the department or another family. LOL!) When the FM and the Dear Daughter walked in the door, I did not know who was who… LOL! The dear daughter was so tall! My anxiety spiked! She’s bigger than me!! I showed her around the house and then we sat down and talked. She really is a great young lady. We went to the Bowie Baysox game to watch fireworks. It worked out because she had never been to a baseball game before and she really enjoyed it.

Thursday, she hung in the house ALL DAY. I tried to get her to go out… but she was in love with my firestick. LOL! I think she told me she watched over 25 movies (not including tv shows) while she was with me. LOL! Thursday night I watched a movie with her… we had a good day. Friday, I took her bowling along with a friend of mine. She complained a bit, but in the end… she had a good time. Saturday, we went to Dave and Busters with a friend and her daughter they also invited us to their house later to watch a movie on the lawn. She really enjoyed that, she said she never watched a movie outside under the stars. Sunday came, she didn’t want to go to church or really leave the house… so we just hung out. I didn’t really have any drama with her. When I explained things that baffled me, friends that are mothers of teenagers told me, “that’s just teenagers.” Oh okay… LOL! She left around 9:30p and I was relived! Back to ME and my schedule… I don’t have to worry about anyone!! YAY! Boy was that short lived…

Monday, 9 July I get a call from my caseworker for a 5 month old baby girl. She tells me about her case and asks me the popular question… “would you accept the placement?” Yeah, sure. So she tells me a CPS worker would call me to let me know when I can expect her to be dropped off. To be honest, I didn’t think she would call. A family member usually steps up to keep babies out of the “system.” So I went about my day, around 11a the CPS worker told me that she was going to bring the baby at 2:00p. 2:00 comes and goes, 2:30, 3:00, 3:30… no baby so I figure she wasn’t coming. 4:00p she arrives. The CPS worker gives me so much information that I’m like “WHAT??!” The entire drop off took about 30 minutes. I called my mom and said, “Now what?” LOL! This little baby is smiling and looking at me. My mom comes over after work and helps me bathe her and dress her for bed (which is a joke cause the girl is a night owl)!

Tuesday was a flurry of trying to take care of her and find a daycare that had an opening for an infant. Side note, infant care is toooooooo expensive! Whew! I visited one in home daycare… I did not feel comfortable. Wednesday I went to my local center… it was nice, but way too expensive. Thursday, I went to a center about two miles from my house…. I really liked it an enrolled her, so hopefully she will start week after next.

She also came to me without a sleep schedule. The first two nights were rough! I called my cousin and asked her how she got her babies to sleep through the night. She gave me the magically tips (lol!) and they worked! She slept through the night two nights in a row!

I’ve had friends come visit, bring food, bring clothes, sit with her while I run out for an hour, call and “check-in” and offer much needed advice. It has all been great! I did get a little overwhelmed one morning and cried, my mom said “that’s motherhood.” I miss being able to do what I want when I want. LOL! But grateful for friends that have helped me (and offered to help me) get a break! Special thanks to my mom, who has been an extraordinary “Aunt B!”

I still haven’t gotten everything from DSS to get her enrolled in daycare, doctor visits, social worker (for her), that process has been an exercise in patience… really. HELP ME HELP HER! LOL! But I am doing my best to keep the little one safe and happy.

On Sunday, I am getting another respite placement of TWO three year olds! I accepted this respite before I got the call for the baby. Please pray for me! It’s only for one day, but 3 kids and I am a newbie… yikes! LOL!

This little one is THE BEST. Her smile is great! Everywhere we go… people fall in love with her. She has the best spirit. I don’t know how long she will be with me, but right now… I am truly taking in the idea of being “mom”… better known as CC :-).

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Night snuggles

TWO Calls…. still no placement

Phone callFirst of all, thank you to everyone who has reached out to me through my blog, Facebook or Instagram with your words of support! I really appreciate the kinds words and perspectives that were given.

This week has sent me on a different emotion! I went from anxious, to excited, to disappointed… in a matter of 1.5 hours. On Monday, I received a call from DSS at 1:08 pm. Of course I recognized the number and answered… heart beating fast (of course). My social worker exchanged nice pleasantries with me… so at this point I am thinking it is a social call, but also thinking… “why sway?” She quickly changes gears and lets me know that she has a placement for me. Young siblings one and two years old. My mind went NUMB! What??!! TWO Babies? I listened while she gave me the reason the children were coming into care and their health report. So now it was my turn to speak, these children fall within the age range that I desire and they seem to be healthy (from what my social worker could tell me)… so what am I going to say??? My mind started thinking of having two young kids in the house, I only have one crib… I only have one car seat… there may be a language barrier. BUT I will do it! I just had to ask my caseworker one tiny question. Me: “You said there are two children coming into care, can I take two kids… I am only licensed for one?” Caseworker: “Let me look at your license…. oh yeah, darn! Okay, false alarm. BUT I will be calling you soon.” Me: “okay, thank you.” Insert small tear of disappointment.¬†

Called my mama, my cousin, and my good friend to tell them what was up and how I almost had a placement. While I was on the phone with my friend, I get another call from DSS, this was about 1:25 pm. “I have a placement for you!” My caseworker again starts telling me about this particular placement. This time a four year old! Okay, within my desired age group… and here comes the magic question, “Will you accept the placement?” Yes!!¬†I accepted the placement as was told that someone from the department would be calling me to schedule a drop off time. So, I know not to get too worked up and start buying things, but I did make sure I knew how to remove the crib rail from the bed (to turn it into a toddler bed.) **side note: I was really impressed with myself that I could do this without help or even calling someone to walk me through it! Yay me!** Called my mom and let her know that YES!!! I will be receiving a four year old that evening. Well, that excitement was short lived! At 1:40 pm I got another call from DSS, apparently they were able to contact the child’s grandmother to place her with family. I was happy that she was able to remain with family, but couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed. I am glad I read in another foster blog to NOT get too excited about placements. This blogger stated that placements actually come to your home less than 50% of the time (because they find family members to place the child with), so I accepted the placement with a perspective of “I’ll talk about it when I see it happen.” I was glad for that nugget of wisdom, it helped to keep me from posting on social media or writing a quick blog about it… LOL!

On another note, I attended the PG County DSS Foster Parent Conference on Saturday, I met a lot of other foster parents, two who I used to be co-workers with, and expand my support system. I also got to see a lot of children in care… and that they are not all scary monsters (like tv makes you believe). I also got to see that there is a possibility for the care of younger children as the children at the conference were between 2-12 years old.

So, back to waiting for now. I’m not complaining or even in a rush. I know God will put me in the path of the right child… at the right time.

My First Call

Last night, I received my first call from DSS for a placement. I was at the gym, about to workout and heard my phone ring. I immediately recognized the number as social services… and my heart starting beating… QUICKLY! The social worker introduced herself and let me know she was going down her list to place a 16-year-old in care for one night… possibly two. I thought about it, asked questions, went back and forth in my mind for a few minutes (which seemed like an eternity), but in the end said no (I did not accept the placement).

All through my workout, I just felt so bad. I didn’t expect to have this feeling of sadness because I guess I never really thought about placements that I would not accept. I gave DSS a preferred age range of 0-5 (and maybe accepting 6-8) and was told in training and during my home study that I would get a call for any age from 0-20, but I guess I never took time to understand how I would feel about “rejecting” a placement for personal preferences. I always knew that if I already had a placement, I could not take two… or if I was about to go out-of-town or had house guests, I would have to turn down placements. BUT I never explored how I would feel about just saying no. I was so sad, I felt like I let the child down… I really wanted to help, but something on the inside told me no… not this placement… not this time. It really hurt my heart.

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This is how I actually looked throughout my entire workout. LOL! (Did I mention I was so bummed)

I am grateful for friends and family who encouraged me afterwards (did I mention that I was really bummed), to stay true to myself and listen to my “gut” otherwise named the Holy Spirit. That it is okay to say “no” and stick to my boundary. There were other factors I will not discuss that I learned through my questions… and I just didn’t think I would be able to deal with them properly. I went to bed really early last night… just because, did I mentioned I was bummed… LOL! But woke up to one of the most encouraging text messages from a friend that changed my entire outlook.

So here’s to documenting my first “call.” I’m pretty sure this will not be the last, but now I know that all calls, whether accepted or not, will have some sort of effect on me… in some way.

Licensed.

The last time I posted, I stated that I was still waiting to receive my license. Well, I am happy to report that I received my license on 6/14!! I am so excited! The good news is that I am now licensed to receive a child coming into care, the not so good news is that I still have to wait to get “the call.”

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What what… Got that license!

I am not rushing this by any means. It’s just that I’ve had soooo much information thrown at me and as much as I am “prepared” I won’t really know until I have a child here. It’s like learning how to swim on dry land, you can have all the principles and knowledge down, but until you jump into the pool… it doesn’t mean squat! LOL!

The past few weeks have been exciting. I have gotten the last of the items needed (car seats are expensive!! And oh yeah, a kid just may need soap! LOL!) and have organized the room as best I could.

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Trying to wash and organize all the clothes!

My friends have been super duper supportive and threw me a foster shower! It was so unexpected and I was truly grateful for their expression of love towards me and this journey. I received gift cards that will be extremely helpful when a child comes into care.

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My wonderful friends showering me with love!

Just to be clear, the baby I am holding above is my 2 month old godson Joel :-). Everyone coming into the shower (and my friends on social media) thought I had gotten a baby… still explaining to folks who he is… even though I put it in my status update. LOL!

I am feeling both excited and scared to receive my first call… so here’s to waiting….. again :-).

Small update…

waitI haven’t written in a while, but just a small update to my journey.

It is finally finished on my end (truly). All of my references have been interviewed. Both of my in person interviewees said they feel like the interview went very well, so I am very hopeful and optimistic that I “passed.” Now I am just waiting for my caseworker to write my case study and to be able to go in and review it before she forwards the study to her supervisor(s) for approval.

The true waiting begins now. Thanks to everyone for your continued support :-).

 

The Waiting Begins…

I had my last home study visit yesterday. It is the final step in the process that I am personally involved in. It’s now up to my references, my caseworker’s quick ability to write up my study, and her supervisors’ approval of my study. I am a bit anxious, but I am also very excited. Hopefully, I will know more at the end of next month… but for now… I wait!

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Now I assure¬†you this is NOT how I will be waiting, but that is how I feel most days. LOL!¬†I still have some things to do to get ready. I would still like to make my guest room a little more inviting to a child. Currently the comforter design is¬†more for an adult, I know it is not important, but I would just like to¬†make it more¬†neutral with lighter colors. I went to a consignment sale over the weekend and¬†purchased a nice¬†wall art piece, so I will try to match¬†with that… I know, that is so unimportant. ¬†I also purchased a dresser and a changing table online. My friend (and running buddy) Temeka came by and helped me put it together. I am soooo not handy (It’s actually pretty bad) and she is, so we gave it a go. Well we tried, but this dresser just won’t cooperate! I am currently waiting for the company to respond to my request¬†for replacement parts. My friend keeps reminding me that this is like a puzzle and we will figure it out. And just like parenting, things don’t always¬†go as we think they will… so for right now, we are waiting to finish putting this puzzle together.

Temeka

I would like to close this entry by thanking my friends who have supported me by giving baby and toddler furniture and toys. Mr. Dickerson, Dafnette, Renita, Wendy, Deidre, Kaje, Cindy, Lezlyn, Vernessa and Latricia. It has been a tremendous help and encouragement! I would also like to thank my neighbor Carl and his nephew for coming and helping me lift that HEAVY dresser up to the room. I thought I was strong, but not so much. LOL! Furniture is heavy!! Lastly, I would like to thank many of my readers who have extended kind words and wishes. It means a lot!

So now I wait….. hamilton-wall-clock-by-howard-miller-2

The Home Study Interview… Part Deux

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Yesterday I had my second home study interview. I get a lot of questions about what the home study entails,¬†so basically it consists of 3 visits to my home to make sure I am who I say I am :-). During the first interview, my caseworker sat with me and discussed various parts of the process and asked if I had any questions from the training. She did a walk through of my home to see the space to gauge where the child will be sleeping and to see if there are any areas that needed to be changed. Thank goodness that I didn’t have a lot of things to change, just moving a bookshelf from the child’s room (apparently kids like to climb). I have a great support system and two of my friends (Shout out to Naomi and Rasheda) came over to help me move the books and shelves down to the basement. This second home study visit was a little more personal. The case worker asked me more about how I was raised and my relationships with my parents. She also asked me about how I think people would describe me… to be honest, that was a hard question for me to answer! LOL! How¬†DO people see me? I dunno? She also asked how I am feeling as the process is getting closer about how my life will be different. This is where I got a little misty eyed.

If you read my first blog, I¬†eluded to¬†the emotional rollercoaster that I have been on throughout this process. This process has made me face a lot of emotions I have been dealing with on the inside for a while. It started last week when I took a trip out to Babies R Us to see what sale items may be available (yeah right!) for me to stock up on. As I went through the aisles of the store, I was first of all very overwhelmed with all of the options for infants/toddlers. I mean, different types of pacifiers, nipples for bottles, etc. I was screaming on the inside “I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT I NEED!!” How can I even begin? LOL! I picked up a few things that another foster parenting blog mentioned and some things that I knew I would need regardless of the age and some toys. BUT as I was going through the aisles and seeing mothers with their child(ren) and pregnant women shopping with their families, I did have a feeling of sadness come over me. Later that day, after I had time to process my feelings… I cried to the Lord for a least 20 minutes. I¬†could not stop crying. I felt so sad that I was going through all of this… buying baby and toddler items… and it was not the way that I pictured my life. I thought I would be buying these items for my own biological children. My cousin helped me put together a crib and I was excited and wanted to take pictures, but then I realized… I didn’t. (see emotions all over the place, LOL)

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You couldn’t tell me in my teens, 20’s or even early 30’s that I would not be married and have my own children by now. The reality is… that is not my story and I really grieve for that [story]. I go from excitement, to fear, to sadness, to relief, to stressed, to indifferent…. all in a weeks span. LOL! This process has been wonderful, my trainer and caseworker are both really nice people. I have met and spoke to other foster parents who give great encouragement and support.

My third home study visit is scheduled for next week. By this time, I should have most of the things in place to welcome a child into my home. I will have a final interview and my references will be interviewed. From there my caseworker will put my file together and route it through to her two supervisors. If all goes well, I will then get my license.

As¬†I am traveling on this¬†road to get license I know that this is something that I really want to do. I know it will be hard, anything new is… and parenting is never easy. My goal is to just be there for a child who needs me.