Archive for category Foster Kidz

Quite possibly my last post for a while…

Posted by KK on Wednesday, 16 June, 2010

I have so much to do right now other than blog but in reality I am so totally over-prepared for what’s about to happen today I have decided to just relax a bit. Typically when you get a placement from DCS, you have absolutely no warning. They call, give you details on the child(ren) they are trying to place, and if you say “Yes, we’ll take them” they are literally on your doorstep with the child(ren) in 15 minutes or less. Of course those calls always come when you’re out of milk or groceries or diapers, etc., and the first thing you have to do (after you bring them in and bathe them & check their heads for lice, etc.) is load everybody up and go to Wal-Mart and spend way more money buying crap you don’t need than you ever dreamed. There is a huge adrenaline rush when someone new comes to your home that only other foster parents can relate to. This doesn’t help keep down the spending, either. You WILL go around buying useless stuff you think you might need all the while tossing in new baby dolls or trucks or pajamas or shoes other things to make your new little ones feel special and ease their grief. I have even bought dough nuts and cookies and other treats before that we never buy and my own children aren’t use to getting just because of the adrenaline. It’s amusing to me, not Jason. With our very first placement, a little 2 year old girl, I had nothing in her size in the way of clothes so we went out and in an hour I dropped $200 on clothes and shoes and a baby doll and sippy cups and all sorts of things. She left the next day and the government ended up paying us only $46.92 for the two days we had her. Oops. Well, it isn’t like we couldn’t reuse most of what we bought (except for the baby doll and new cup and outfit I sent her back in…I couldn’t help it.)

Today is different. Today we are getting two new children and I have known about it for a couple days now. Why? Well, one day I might even be able to admit that I have known for some time that these two were coming. It’s quite a neat story. I’ll start at the beginning.

On Wednesday, April 14th, I got a call from DCS about a little 15 month old boy who we now refer to on the internet and other public forums as “little J”. No sooner than I took the call, said yes, received the delivery, and gave him his “entry bath” (all which took place in under an hour) they called again asking if I wanted another one. It sounds horrible, I know, as if they’re baskets of fruit or something that you’re contemplating because you’re not sure if you’ll be able to eat it all before it spoils. I promise we do still call them by their names, though, and not by their child ID or social security numbers. This second call was for a 6 month old baby girl. Really? I mean…this is what we really wanted in the first place! I said yes (I didn’t even call Jason about this one) and began the process I do when I learn they’re bringing me a child: I run downstairs to my storage room in the basement and grab the tub with a label matching the gender, age & season for the child we’re taking and haul it upstairs and begin making a bed or setting up an appropriate bed and then getting a fitting car seat installed in my SUV. I don’t worry over placing clothes in drawers for the first few weeks because it is time often wasted because you never know how long they’ll be staying. So I did all this for the little girl and then got a call about 20 minutes later saying they decided to place her in another home (with a couple who actually live in my subdivision) because they feared I might be overwhelmed having just taken in little J an hour earlier. It was probably a good decision but it took me many weeks to admit that out loud. I really would have been fine. I love a challenge and can do almost anything but I may not have eaten anything or showered for a week. The aroma of the beef and cheese odor exuding from my armpits would have sustained me nutritionally until I was able to have a meal, though. So I went about undoing everything I had done in preparation for her and went about our evening with our new little man and we were very content.

That night, or rather Thursday morning, at about 2:30 am, I got a call. It was my RPSW (resource parent support worker) who was on call after hours this week. She had two more children ages 1 and 3 she was needing to place. After we talked a minute about their situation and I asked all my typical questions, I asked her to let me talk to Jason and call her back. I woke him up (this was a sight) and tried to get him coherent enough to understand my words by asking him his name and where he lives (the man works so hard that he sleeps like a ton of bricks…I fear the day a burglar pays us a visit). Jason and I talked a minute, weighed the pros and cons and made the decision. I called her back and asked her to do me a favor. I told her we would take the children, but that we were just a bit concerned because little J was in fact so new to us that we had really no idea what he had been through, what his demeanor was or how he was going to adjust, what he might need from us emotionally. I asked her to spend about 15 more minutes calling a couple other homes and if no one said yes then we would take them. She agreed and we ended the call. The time passes and I was laying wide awake and hadn’t heard from her. I sent her a text and she responded saying she had found them a home. I was relieved but also sad because I absolutely hate turning away a child. I had two open beds and I basically said no. I can be really dramatic if I let myself so I was really fighting hard against it. Jason woke me up early the next morning and asked “Honey, where did you put those kids?”. He had no idea what we had talked about or that they had been placed. I assume he fell right back asleep assuming I would have filled those beds by morning. I doubt he would have even woke up during the drop. I felt ok about it on Thursday and thought about those kids a lot and hoped they were doing well.

The next day (this is Friday now…ya’ll keepin’ up?), I got another call. It was the placement guy at our local DCS office calling me about the same two kids. Apparently, the foster home that took them in on Wednesday night bit off more than they could chew and had taken the day off work on Thursday to try and find day care and things for the kids and got in trouble with their employers. They wanted the kids to go to another home. If there is one thing that really hit home to me in our training classes, it’s that moving a child from one foster home to another is almost as traumatic as them being removed from their parents in the first place. It could have life long disadvantages for children who never find stability and love and security in a home. I think about this every time I get a call. I am not saying I won’t ever do it because who knows what might happen in our future and I know that sometimes it has to happen and there is no avoiding it, but it is absolutely the last thing I ever want to have to do. Luckily, these children had really only been in this home a day and a half so they had not even begun to stabilize there. By this time we had had little J for two days and he had proven to be a bit of a handful. He was immensely clingy and wanted to be held all day and cried a lot. He wouldn’t eat and it wasn’t until later that I realized he hadn’t been given much at all in the way of solid foods so I was introducing him to some stage two baby foods. I remember saying a prayer and thanking God for intervening with the baby girl, the one that we now refer to as “the one we almost had”. I was upset at the time but I never know what’s best for me like He knows. Little J had a couple of bruises and a small injury on his hand that resembled a burn that we were unsure about and in any case assume the worst even though little things like that are common on a little one his age…(the bruise on his eye, not really the burn). So without even calling Jason at work, I decided to tell the placement official the same thing I told my RPSW on Wednesday night; That we will take them, but because we are unsure of how demanding little J might be, could he please try a couple more homes first but calling us back if they weren’t placed in a half an hour or so. I didn’t hear back from him that day so I had to assume he found a home for them. Again, I felt horrible turning them away for now the second time. I truly felt it was the right decision but it still broke my heart. Days went by and we were very busy with little J trying to get him comfortable and content. I remember driving home from the grocery one day the following week or so and began thinking about the two little ones again as I had been often since the last call and decided to call the placement guy at DCS to check on them. I told him I had not stopped thinking about them and that I assumed they were placed because he never called back but that I just needed to hear from him that they were in fact in a home and where and that all was well with them. He conveyed everything I wanted to hear and that was perhaps the last day I thought about them.

Fast forward two months. It is now exactly two months since the first time they called me about the two. It is June 14th. My RSPW came over for a visit and as we were talking I told her that since at this time little J’s mom is not doing well and therefore not getting even supervised visits with him that we have an excellent time to receive a new placement since there are no visitations, court dates or other appointments for little J for quite a while. I don’t really feel the brunt of having four kids like most people might. Having had six boys for four months I believe prepared me for nearly anything so being down to four was a walk in the park. She and I talked for a while and I mentioned I hadn’t had a call for any kids for a couple months since we got little J. She said they may have some inaccurate information down on their spreadsheet perhaps showing we have more kids in our home than we actually do (there is a child limit of six including your biological children). She said she was going back to the office when she left my house and that she would look at it as soon as she got there. Moments after she left, I sent her a text about something else irrelevant and she responded and said that the placement guy was about to call us about possibly taking two kids in the following day on Tuesday. That was odd. Never are kids “scheduled” to be removed from a home or placed in foster care. It is always a surprise and they remove them when the parents least expect it. I asked her if she had any info and she said all she knew was that it was two kids, ages 1 and 3, and that the 3 year old was a girl. It immediately dawned on me these were the exact ages of the two from a couple months ago. I replied and mentioned that I hoped it was the same two that she had called me about in the middle of the night two months ago that had already been moved once and she replied “Yes. It is.”. I was flabbergasted, Why on earth are these poor children being moved for the second time in two months? I called a friend and she helped me sort through it. We determined it was either 1. that they were just absolutely meant to be in our home or 2. that they are little devils who try and burn down every house they live in therefore no one wants them. Well, in the case of the latter, they would then be going to a special home more suitable for children with needs such as those and we are not one of those homes. I had to know, though. It was burning a hole in my heart not knowing and I thought I wasn’t going to get any more information until the following day. Minutes later, the placement guy called. Low and behold, nothing was wrong with the children that isn’t age appropriate (i.e. the little boy likes to throw temper tantrums and the little girl is very emotional, cries a lot, and is potty trained but sometimes has an accident. Ok, what 15 month old DOESN’T throw temper tantrums and I am amazed that given what this little 3 year old girl has been through in her short life that she is even potty trained to begin with so an occasional accident is expected.) He said it is merely a clash with the foster parents, they have a lot going on in their lives right now, and they can’t handle the extra children right. He elaborated a little more on things of the same nature but ultimately resulting in that it’s all the adults involved with these children not allowing the placement to work, not the actual children. I told him I would have to talk to Jason but that I felt like these children belonged here and that I knew Jason would agree and told him we would most definitely take them this time. I couldn’t say no a third time. This all felt so supernatural to me that I feared saying no a third time.

So of course there is a ton of crap going through my head right now, all of which Jason says could be circumstantial and he is right but I do not necessarily believe in circumstances like this. I believe it is the will of God and that he is slapping me in the face right now saying “You better listen to me this time”. There are so many things leading me to believe this. Never have we gone two months without even a call from placement but had we received a call and taken in even one child anytime in that two month period we wouldn’t even be considered for these two because it would bring us over our six kid limit. I could go on and on with the little things but I am out of time. At six o’clock this evening I am meeting the foster mom to pick up these two little ones who I have never met before but who have already had a place in my heart for more than two months now. How cool is it that I have somewhat known them and am now getting to meet them and bring them home. Of course, Jason’s perspective is much more simpler than mine but I think it’s a gender thing. He also wants to check me in to an insane asylum when I talk about this “adrenaline rush”. It isn’t just me, I assure him. I’ve read about many other foster moms who get the same feeling. The dads just come home from work to a wife who is glowing, noticing another place at the table set out and realize the family has grown by one or two again and move on to see what that good smell is coming from the crock pot.

Fridays are my new Mondays…

Posted by KK on Friday, 28 May, 2010

I find myself clinging to our little guy every Thursday night, holding him a little longer than I would normally before bed, knowing it’s his last night here for a few days. I catch myself thinking about all the times throughout the week when he has cried for me to hold him and I wouldn’t because I thought I had to do this or that. When I choose the laundry or the dishes over him, he still stands right beside my legs and holds one tight until I am done. He is getting better at trying to be a little boy and play and trot around getting into things. Not only can I walk out of the room now without him screaming but I can be in the other room for possibly thirty seconds before he notices. Is this something I think he needs to have? More independence? I don’t know. If he were ours forever I would probably say yes knowing that a little forced freedom would be good for him. I don’t know what he feels or thinks or what he has been through and I try and remind myself there is an absolute reason he clings to me so much. Is it because he’s never had that type of love or is it because it is what he’s use to getting? Either way, I assume it’s what he needs. He clings to me and often just walks up and hugs my leg and walks away just like he’s letting me know he likes me. I honestly think that if I offered to hold him all day he would let me and wouldn’t even try to get down. I can’t even begin to feel deserving of all the cuddles I get from this one.

This little guy has so much in him. He is an angel and a stinker. He signs “more” and “eat” and tonight he came up to me and Jason around dinner time and signed “eat” just like he’s always been using this tool to tell us what he wants. He tells us big stories about things and makes his voice change from high to low and always talks with his hands signifying the end of his story with a big clap. He knows exactly what he is saying but it comes out foreign to us. He loves plain pasta and bananas and yogurt and oatmeal. He loves, loves, LOVES the water hose. He is very gentle with the cats but always tries to make their dancing tails stay still while they eat. He doesn’t play much with toys but if I had to pick a favorite it would be our triangular wooden puzzle board without the fruit pieces, the buckle in his high chair, a little plastic Diego telescope, and the button on the bouncy seat that turns the vibration on and off.

So on Thursday nights I tell myself I’ll remember this feeling when he comes back on Monday and try to live every day and night like it’s his last one with us. We have to show love to him like he is never leaving. It sucks bad but it’s also a blessing. Prayers for this little one, if you will.

The calm before the storm…

Posted by KK on Monday, 22 March, 2010

…I used this reference while chatting with a friend just days before we took in our three foster boys referring to the quiet and very calm atmosphere we were enjoying at home and wondering when DCS would call with a potential placement. The storm definitely came and now it has passed. Now I feel like I am about to crash. Managing a family of eight isn’t easy but with a little obsessive planning and nagging of everyone to keep up their responsibilities it can flow very smoothly and it did for four months. Now that I am back down to a family of five I can’t seem to keep up. I know it’s a personality issue with myself. Unless I am so busy that I can’t find time to pee I find myself in a tailspin not capable of managing just a little. Since the boys left last Monday I have gotten very behind in laundry, cleaning, school lessons with the boys….the list goes on and on. I feel compelled to get things back in order because at any moment DCS could call but I just can’t move. Maybe I am a little depressed. Maybe I am just resting for the first time in many months. All I find myself thinking about while I wait and tote around my phone like it’s a life saving device is that right now there are children being neglected. Being abused. Hungry. Being born to addicts. Our future son or daughter is one of these children. I didn’t really think about this before our previous placements. It’s all I think about now. I think about what L was going through just hours prior to her parents being arrested and DCS picking her up. I think about the living conditions in which A, T & J were battling just before they were removed and placed with us. When I worry, I can’t function normally. All I find myself doing lately is worrying what our little ones are going through right now for a sub-standard government system to have to remove them from their home today or tomorrow or next week. The system’s standards are so much lower than mine and yours because it has to be or so many more children would be in custody. So when a child is removed it is a big deal. I look at my boys laying around reading or playing with their toys in their safe home and it brings tears to my eyes that this isn’t the norm. I find myself praying all day every day for our little ones to stay safe. Will you join me? Please begin to pray now for our future adopted sons or daughters that they carry a shield of protection over them until they are delivered to us. Thank you!

Big weekend…

Posted by KK on Wednesday, 10 March, 2010

Surely the photo below doesn’t break any privacy rules we agreed to since it doesn’t show any faces. I guess we’ll find out. I just wanted to share one photo of our boys’ first trip to the zoo this past Saturday. Our foster boys, that is. They have never been. They also went to a birthday party on Sunday at Pump-It-Up, or as our biological sons would call it, the “coolest place on earth”. They had a big weekend of firsts and a lot of fun. They were so tired at the end of each day. We learned just yesterday that they are leaving us on Monday so we’re happy we were able to squeeze in those fun things last weekend.We are devastated to say the least. We knew this day would likely come but not at such a short notice. I had conveyed to many of you that there was a meeting today to determine the future of our boys and I want to thank you all for praying like I know you have. Perhaps this is an answer to those prayers and I know that we aren’t always supposed to be pleased with the outcomes. The boys are going to live with their grandmother in Sweetwater. There are many, including myself, at DCS and CPS who are fuming over the outcome of today’s meeting because so many think it is a huge mistake to let them go now before the grandmother takes care of things on her end. God is in control of all so who are we to question the results.

Please keep all our boys in your prayers this week…pray that our foster boys will transition smoothly to their grandmother’s house. Pray that AJ will have a smooth transition to his new school as his grandmother is switching him on Monday to Sweetwater Elementary School. Pray that Tyler and Jordan will just be happy. Please pray for our boys and especially River…he and Tyler have become very big buds and are inseparable all day every day. Most of all, just pray for AJ, Tyler & Jordan that they will be set apart from all the statistics and triumph over this very bad hand they have been dealt. They are all very sweet, smart & loving little boys and all have an amazing future. I pray we have given them just a glimpse of Christ while they have lived with us and please pray that their grandmother begins taking them to church.


Mrs. President…

Posted by KK on Friday, 12 February, 2010

Seriously. I have no time. I don’t even have time to be sitting here blogging but I need a mental break from time to time. So I get up at 5:30 every day to wake up the one foster child up who goes to school, feed him, get him dressed and out the door to catch the bus and then I have about 10 minutes before more start waking up wanting food, etc. I do laundry all day, every day. I cook three meals (technically two only because I do not “cook” breakfast) a day. I home school two of the boys which takes up to 4 hours on some days depending on their work ethics. Lately, I have been doing a lot of spring soccer meetings and things and just last month learned I was voted secretary of our region’s foster parent association. Seriously? I wasn’t even at the meeting? How does a committee vote for a person who doesn’t even show up? So, since I was voted secretary and was responsible for taking the minutes I went to this month’s meeting this past Tuesday. I showed up toting a pen and a notebook and was immediately accused of being uber organized (which isn’t such a bad/wrong accusation) so they voted me president instead of secretary and gave the secretary job to the treasurer to carry both positions. I was stunned. Really? “You DO all know that I have 6 boys at home tearing my house apart at this very moment, right?” They all replied…”Yep. We all have 6 kids, too.”

So…call me gullable or vulnerable or whatever. Either way I am screwed. At least this bunch will understand if I don’t return a phone call or an email right away.

Never a good time…

Posted by KK on Tuesday, 15 December, 2009

There is just never a good time to sit and write. I am so busy but yet I don’t particularly feel it. I can just always think of other things I should be doing rather than writing. But it needs to be done. For me.

We have been very busy the last week or so. Things are finally slowing down and I am glad. There is nothing I despise more than for the holidays flying by without time to simply enjoy little things. We had our first snow of the season which was amazing! The boys had so much fun and were so pleasantly surprised to wake up to everything covered in a blanket of white. After several hours of play I was left with a mound of laundry but it was worth it.

Our original Bailey boys were also in a small drama skit as an opening to a beautiful little dance recital given by Lighthouse Artistic Ministries. They have been taking drama there for several weeks and were the only children in the class so the three of them performed their skit last Friday evening. It was so sweet. Hopefully I will be able to post a short video of it later.

Our three foster boys are doing well. They received their biggest disappointment this past Friday as they were “stood up” for a weekend overnight trip to their grandmother’s house. It was a trip that had been two weeks in the making with their mother and grandmother creating a great deal of hype over all their fun plans for the weekend. They have not been on an overnight visit anywhere since they came into our custody four weeks ago. They have only had two supervised visits with their family lasting only an hour and a half each. We were scheduled to meet the grandmother at the DCS office at 3 pm Friday. The boys and I were there but after 45 minutes no one showed. I was forced to leave and not wait another minute for them. It turns out that not only were they late in arriving, there were several misunderstandings involving rules for the weekend that the grandmother was apparently not going to abide by such as making sure she would be in the presence of her grandchildren at all times. These boys were taken from their mother and are not allowed to be with her at all unless supervised by DCS or an approved/cleared individual. The paperwork had been completed for the grandmother to supervise a visit but she was very mistaken as to what her boundaries were. She thought if she was running late to pick them up, her daughter (the boys’ mother), could simply pick them up in her place and take them on to her house. Wrong. She had also not taken Sunday off work and was apparently going to leave them with their mother then, too. Aside from all this, even if this were possible, the mother never showed up at 3 to pick up the boys. When I got home and had them calmed down I called her and she gave me multiple excuses about getting “caught up” and losing track of time. Puh-lease. Not only were the boys devastated but I was pretty ill, too. We had made several special plans for the weekend to do with our boys that we simply could not do with 6 boys, some being holiday traditions, and were not able to do them. We had not told our boys so they were unaware of their loss. Thanks to my mom agreeing to keep 5 out of 6 of the boys, J and I were able to get some shopping done on Saturday with only the 2 year old in tow. We have been so busy that we had not even purchased one gift for anyone. We are having a very simple gift giving year this year but there were a couple of things we needed to spend time shopping around for. My mom is a saint. She managed to decorate her entire house with 5 boys. Thank you, mom!

So our next adventure will be the amazing celebration of our Lord and Savior! The foster boys are scheduled to go to grandma’s again that weekend. If that falls through, I will be contacting the president!

All the time in the world…

Posted by KK on Friday, 4 December, 2009

After getting to sleep very late (early to bed, late to sleep…it’s a chronic thing with me), tossing in my sleep having had a very odd dream about my mom and an alpaca, then back up at 5:30 in order to spend 20 minutes with my husband… I am awake, fresh, and ready to tackle the busy day ahead of me which is of course chock full of a hundred things to do. So what do I decide to do to gear up for my busy day? Drink coffee and blog, of course. I just put one child on the school bus and the remaining 5 are still asleep so why not? Forget that my kitchen is a wreck from last night’s dinner, there is no less than three loads of laundry crammed in one basket screaming to be folded. Forget that I should be waking up 3/5 kids to feed breakfast, make them get dressed and do chores before their drama class. And forget that I have a list of things I should be writing down in preparation for my meeting with my resource parent support worker this morning and finding something to wear to Jason’s company Christmas party tonight. Need I continue? Seriously. If I am going to blog, it is going to have to push other things to the side. That’s all there is to it.

Yesterday we went shopping. When I say “we”, I mean myself and the 5 children who are not forced to attend school outside of the home. I can actually tell a difference with only one missing even though I still have 5 to care for. That one when couple with his 4 year old brother is a handful. When they’re apart, they are manageable. I thought fostering a school-age child would be difficult but so far it’s actually quite nice. The only major adjustment is having to make sure I do not forget to always be home when he gets off the bus. Although I am truly a stay-at-home-mom who never runs the roads shopping or doing mommy groups all day every day, I have never been bound to my house for any reason. I have just done it by choice. So it has taken discipline to remind myself I can’t hop in the truck to make a run to the bank or the post office when A will soon be getting off the bus. So, yes, the crack must be in our drinking water because I was positively on crack yesterday when I decided I could go by myself with 5 boys to spend the 3 foster boys’ DCS clothing allotments all in one trip. $200 for one, $175 for the next and $125 for the little man. You have to spend it all at one time so I had a spreadsheet of what they needed; pretty much consisting of everything except socks and underwear since we had already bought them that with our own money weeks ago. When the caseworker arrived to pay for it all, even being a bit late, I had only gathered goods for one child. She was less than thrilled but when she saw my two buggies filled with nothing but children, she understood. She was nice to help me collect things for the remaining two boys and after a total of 2 hours in Target, we finished. All the boys got one giant bag full of new clothes and a new pair of shoes. Whatever they need after this is up to us. In my opinion, for babies who grow out of clothing quickly, there should be more than one allotment issued. I’m just sayin’.

When we got to the truck and all bags were loaded, all kids strapped in their car seats, I issued a warning to all that for the next 5 minutes I did not want to hear a single noise….”or else”. I just sat in the driver seat and took nice, long and deep breaths. That’s the best time….when I am in the truck and everyone is strapped in car seats. If any one of you wants to come hang out, please do. We’ll just have to go sit in my truck. :)

So as if shopping with 5 boys isn’t crazy enough…..while I was shopping, the boys’ caseworker called and said she needed to pick up A from school and T from me and take them to the dentist. This was a 2 hour notice. I felt blessed to even have that. So instead of taking everyone home for lunch as I intended, I got the privilege of taking them all out to Chic-fil-A for lunch. It was bitter sweet because T had never eaten there before. I later learned that A hadn’t either. Have I mentioned how many odd looks I get when I am out with my crew and all the many “Are these kids all yours?” and the “Where’d you get all these boys at?”. Since after lunch I shed yet another boy and was down to only 4 I decided while the crack was still in my system I should stop by Earthfare for some food. Luckily, Wendy, my fellow-former-foster-parent-now-mom-to-six-kiddos-friend works there and walked around a bit with me and then proceeded to check me out (charge me for my food, not look at my bod). This was all I could handle in one day. We came home, put up groceries, and then the boys came home from the dentist, one having had two cavities filled. God made 8 o’clock bedtimes for days like this.

Ode to elementary school…

Posted by KK on Monday, 30 November, 2009

I delivered a child to elementary school today for the first time in my life. I remembered the smell from when I went…it never changes. I am so thankful that I already know A’s teacher, his teacher’s aide, the school secretary and many others as I have coached one or more of their kids in soccer or I grew up with them. They all plan to look out for A. They are all so happy for him that he is in a loving home, wearing clean clothes,  shoes with no holes and someone willing to help him with his schoolwork at night. He is very behind in school since he has been primary caregiver to his younger brothers for so long and has been tossed around from couch to couch as his mother ran around never offering them stability. Please pray for him today. I am sure many kids will ask him where he has been for two weeks and that has to be hard for him to explain. So I am down to 5 kiddos during the day now and I think it will be nice. A is very sweet and largely well-behaved but fights with his brother, T, almost every hour or more. Hopefully with a bit of separation again they will treat each other more lovingly. All the boys have their 2nd visitation with their mother today, supervised by DCS, of course. This was hard for them last week as they still missed her quite a bit but are now much more attached to us so perhaps they won’t all be crying when I pick them up. The baby, J, cried his eyes out when I dropped him off at the church nursery yesterday morning. That was different. He didn’t do that the first week. He and I have cuddle time at night, rocking with a bottle (yes, he just turned 2 but I am sure he didn’t get this as an infant and I would hate for him to have Reactive Attachment Disorder because of it when he is older). I think the cuddle time has helped he and I connect.

So we’re all doing well…everyone is adjusting better and better each day (the foster boys, anyway). My boys have a ways to go but I know that deep down that know that these boys need us and that no matter how badly they are becoming frustrated by the additions, they will appreciate it. Thank you all for your prayers and help! There is another court date on December 8th where I am assuming the judge will give the mother a time frame in which she needs to have a job, a home, and all the means to care for her children adequately. From what I see and have heard, she has done nothing in the 2 weeks we have had her children. :(

Let the games begin…

Posted by KK on Wednesday, 25 November, 2009

Oh it’s been a while. Oh blog, how I love thee. I don’t know why nuts have found it amusing to attack my blog and insert malicious files into it but it just isn’t cool and all my computers are fixed, high tech in fact, so I believe I am good to go with hopes that no more hackers are able to corrupt my outlet again.

So to recap what we’ve been up to…..well, there’s just not enough time for that. In a nutshell, our foster home was officially approved and open for business on October 15th when I received a call that there was a baby who had just been born and was being removed form her mother. A few days later I learned that after several tests they learned the baby was going to be mentally retarded due to her mother’s drug abuse during pregnancy so that is why they never called us. We have on our home study that we do not feel competent to parent children with extensive special needs. A few days later we received a call about a 2 year old little girl, in perfect health, who’s parents were arrested on drugs and theft charges, We took her. It was our first placement and they boys were so excited. We were told we would have her through the weekend (we received her on a Thursday) and perhaps even longer, however, she went home exactly 24 hours after we got her. Her dad was released so he was able to get her back. This was very hard on us. My boys absolutely fell apart. They loved her so much in just the short amount of time she was with us. I prayed for another placement very soon just to get our minds off of Leelee. It’s an odd thing to pray for as if you are praying that you hope someone hurts a child badly enough that they are removed from their home. I received a call a few days later for….wait for it….three boys. Oh yea. You read that right.

The boys’ ages were 3, 2 and 6 months. All in diapers, of course. They were removed from their home because of environmental neglect and both parents tested positive for meth. They weren’t going home anytime soon. Unfortunately, I had to say no. When the DCS placement guy began describing the boys to me he began with the baby. “He seems to be in perfect health with an exception of a bad cough” he says. No problem, we can fix that. The he moved on to the 2 year old. “Well, this little guy is showing signs of having some developmental delays.” What 2 year old WOULDN’T be showing those signs from the environment they had been being raised in? Still likely fixable, move on. “The 3 year old is autistic.” Stop. Hold the phone. Are you kidding me? Three babies, all in diapers, all way behind developmentally and the oldest of the bunch in turn would need the most attention and supervision. Unbelievable. This was hard for me. Autism cannot be fixed but I do not necessarily look at autism as “special needs” and am very intrigued by the condition. But when I called Jason to ask him, he begged me to say no. I knew I was going to have to say no. I just also needed to hear him say no so I wouldn’t feel so bad. Oh but if he had said yes or even hesitated, we might have found ourselves in a different situation. :)

Three days after I had to turn down the three babies, I got a call about a 2 year old who had a little baggage himself. The baggage was in the form of a 9 year old brother. I didn’t even call Jason on this one. I said no right off the bat. No way can we take a 9 year old, a child older than our eldest son. A child whose parents had also tested positive for meth and who has seen more of the world than my children may ever see. I hate it, but I just couldn’t do it. I like my house. I don’t want it burnt down.

So an entire two and a half weeks go by without a single call. I had a missed call one time and later learned they were calling me about a teenager. I am glad I missed that call. I would have blown up and yelled at them for wasting their time and mine about a child they know I will say no to. My many friends who have fostered children have told me that there is often a calm just before the holidays. It seems like an odd thing but I can see how it can be true. I was patient. I didn’t call DCS even one time asking if there were any children needing to be placed. I knew the call would come when God wanted me to get it.

So on Monday, November 16th, I got the call. It was my local DCS placement guy, Joe. He had an offer for me. He knows me already, knows what I am willing to take in, but said he wanted to run this by me just in case. It was a sibling group, two children, a little boy 2 ½ and his 5 year old sister. The little girl was in Kindergarten and Joe knows I home school and do not want children in school because that would throw my family for a loop having one child going to school and no one else. This wasn’t the biggest concern. He once again began describing the brother to me. He was almost 3 but not potty training. That’s about all he could say about him. Then he started in on the little girl. She was 5 years old and they were removed from the home because she had been sexually abused. She had also contracted herpes from her abuser. I gasped as you can imagine. I gave this one thought as I had no idea what herpes really was and wanted to do some research. I had some time on this one as Joe had a full week to find a home for them. They had been in state custody since September but were needing to be moved to another foster home because the single foster parent (female) was having knee surgery and wouldn’t be able to care for them for a while. I made some calls, sent out some emails, asked for prayer, etc. I prayed myself. How incredibly dreadful of a situation. This beautiful little girl needs a home. A good home. Her life has been so shattered and she will have to deal with this until the day she dies. I wanted to be her angel. I wanted to fix this broken thing. If I did not fix this, who would? I had to think of my family. Was this disease contagious? Was there the slightest possibility, even a 1% chance, that one of my family members or her brother could get this from her if she were to have an outbreak? I reached out to all my family and friends in the medical field, even got a call from my pediatrician, and more than one person told me that if I was this worried or had any doubt that I could just say no. They were right and I knew what I had to do even as hard as this was for me to do.

I still waited about another 30 minutes and thought about it while folding laundry and just as I began to pick up the phone to call Joe the phone rang. It was Joe. Joe told me he knew I was facing a hard decision and he thought he’d help me out by giving me another offer. He had just learned that three boys were being picked up from school and day care and were being brought in and needed to be placed. I immediately felt something. I felt like this was an answer to a prayers. An answer to the prayers of many who had been praying all morning for us and the decision about the little girl and her brother. Three boys, actually three anythings, had always been my biggest fear; doubling the children in my home in a single moment. I had always intended on saying no to a sibling group of three just because I felt it was a bit much. I can of course see myself parenting 6 children but gradually, not instantly. At the same time, something inside me said I needed to say yes. I called Jason, I told him my feeling, he was a bit perplexed and fearful of taking in three as I was but ultimately said I would decide either way because I always do (which I disagree with but sometimes, yes, I do). After all, who would this burden more….me? Or him? He works no less than 12 hours a day so of course this would be way more on me than him. So I did some checking before I called Joe back. I went to my truck and made sure I could fit that many car seats in it. I could if I bumped Wheat out of a booster seat a month before he was legally able to ride without it. I could live with that. Just before I called Joe back the phone rang again and it was Jason. He had had time to think and said I should say yes if I felt it was what we needed to do. I did feel that. I didn’t necessarily want to do it, but I felt like I needed to and that by obeying God my family would in turn be blessed for it. So I called Joe and I said yes. Oh my.

Day 3…

Posted by KK on Wednesday, 24 June, 2009

With a large cup of coffee in hand I am diving head first into day 3 of working on my autobiography. One of our requirements to foster parent is writing an autobiography of ourselves. This to me is the biggest mountain I have to climb throughout this entire process. Check, please! I would easily take 10 more weeks of classes to avoid this task. And why on earth I am even rushing to get it completed I don’t know because getting Jason to sit down and devote time to his own will take me no less than a year. We are just so close. We were handed our certificates a little more than a week ago for completing PATH = Parents as Tender Healers. It was a nice 10 week course chock full of discipline talks (mostly about what we are NOT allowed to perform) and sexual abuse in children and separation and loss…you name it, we discussed it. Very, very sad tales and all very true. All we lack is a med administration/First Aid class this Monday followed by a CPR course next Monday. I already know this to be true, but they must be in grave need of foster parents at the present moment because the emails between our course instructor and our FPSW (Foster Parent Support Worker) have already been flying to get our home study scheduled. This cannot take place until we have finished PATH, which we have, and we also must provide proof of the Med & CPR courses but they are going forward with scheduling our home study anyway in an effort to speed things along. For the last 10 or so weeks we have spent no less than three hours a week with 8 other couples. Out of the nine of us, only two of us were there to become foster parents. The rest were there for kinship purposes meaning they already have custody of children of family members in their home and the state requires they go through all the same training as a couple wanting to foster parent. So for all the hard work and hours put in by the two instructors to teach this class and certify all these folks, all they are really gaining to benefit are two homes for children and only as many spaces in each of our homes to fullfil the 6 child max per house. This is only 3 open spots for us, 2 open spots for the other family (they have 4 children already). The kinship families are not looking to foster, they already have children in their home that they didn’t ask for and most are grudgingly doing it because they feel they don’t have a choice and do not have a heart to foster parent even though they now have all the necessary training. This saddens me that this ratio exists and this is only one class. There is a class which takes place nearly every night of the week at other locations and what if only 2 out of 9 of those were becoming open homes for needy children. I have heard the statistic many times throughout this process about how there are at all times in our state alone several hundred children needing to be placed in foster care but there aren’t enough homes. Hence my push to get my autobiography complete. I have not come close to finishing all the other necessary paperwork to complete our four inch binder such as providing necessary vaccination records for all our pets in the home and financial forms to prove we are financially stable and not desiring to “foster for the money”. Really, who could make a living off of what the state pays you anyway? About $20 a day? Seriously. I welcome that money to help buy formula as I dread that cost. We thank God we did not have to buy formula for any of our boys with the exception of only a few months for River before he turned 1. What an expense. The rest of the necessary paperwork I could compile in a days time. It’s all here….somewhere. So why am I blogging instead of working on my autobiography? Well….I love to write but SO needed a break. I don’t like to spill my emotions and this is forcing to me while puting it all on paper at the same time. I don’t like the idea of having all this on paper, either. I am trying not to write very tangentally and always focusing on staying on subject but they really do ask questions that make you want to pour your heart out. Example:

3. Description of your family

Father –

  • Describe your father in his role as a parent:
  1.   What is his age, his health at present, and his present occupation?
  2. Which qualities stand out?
  3. Was he available to you as a child?
  4. What was his personality like?
  5. Has that personality changed?
  6. What about emotionally?
  • Describe your relationship with your father.
  • How did he most often discipline you? How did you react? Has this affected your goals regarding discipline?
  • How did he handle sex education?
  • Describe ad evaluate your father in his role as a husband.
  • What do you remember most about him while you were growing up?
  • If anything could be changed about your relationship with your father, what would it be?
  • What challenges did your family face?
  • How does he feel about fostering or adoption?

Wow. And that is just all about my father and those questions only take up half of one of the six pages of questions provided. Man. If you are reading this and you really know me and you mildly know my father, then you know how hard all of this is for me. How does he feel about fostering? Well, who knows. He never shares his true feelings about anything, he never has. His “love language” is – “Pester the crap out of your kids and always say and do the opposite of what you know to be the right thing to do and that will tell them that you love them or that you are sorry without actually having to say those three little words”…all he has said to me about us fostering has been “How come you want more kids, don’t you have enough mouths to feed? Ain’t you got enough bills to pay? Ain’t you got enough kids to take care of already?” It’s alright, dad. I know that YOU know we are doing the right thing….finding a need and offering help…you just can’t mutter the right words. So, obviously, I am not being completely truthful in my autobiography because DCS would not take those comments spoken by my dad to mean what I know they mean. I can read through them…I have had 32 years to practice that. And I wouldn’t want to mislead DCS and make them think we are not “fit” enough parents to bring someone else’s baby who was likely born addicted to crack into our home. Oh the irony of it all.