“Never half-ass two things. Whole ass one thing.” -Ron Swanson
In high school, and a number of times since then, my mom has accused me of burning the candle at both ends. I thought of her when I heard the the above quote on a recent re-watch of an old episode of Parks and Recreation, and thinking of those two phrases together kind of summed up my feelings on the decision Todd and I have made to stop doing foster care.
I don’t really want to go into all of the reasons and all of the thinking that went into our decision, partly because it feels self-indulgent and partly because I tried writing all that out and I didn’t like the way it sounded. But basically I’m still healing from a rough 18 months and realized, after an especially difficult week with … Read More »
We had another foster care placement this week, this time including a four-year-old boy. Here are some new lessons learned:
1. I have the same taste in toys as four-year-old boys. I had been worried about the toys I’d acquired for foster kids since none of the previous foster kids stayed interested in our play room for very long, but the four-year-old boy we had this week could play for hours. So while two-year-old girls and toddler boys may not love dinosaurs and trains as much as me, four-year-old boys do. Yay!
2. It’s slightly easier to care for a kid who can talk. He can tell you what he needs and kind of follow instructions.
3. It’s significantly sadder to care for a kid who can talk. He can tell you things you don’t really want to hear.
4. There are so many … Read More »
Todd and I provided respite care for two little ones last week. We had them for five days, by far the longest placement in our short foster care history, which meant more time to learn valuable lessons.
1. Nap time is sacred. And it’s painful for everyone when a case worker asks you to forego nap time one day for a family visit.
2. TV is awesome. I felt this acutely this past week while caring for two kids who could not have cared less for TV, when all I wanted were 30 uninterrupted minutes to make lunch and clean the kitchen. Usually Elmo provides these precious 30 minutes, but these kids were having none of him. Or Curious George. Or Thomas the Train. Or Word Girl. I blame Netflix. If only they hadn’t taken off Yo Gabba Gabba…
3. Foster care is challenging.
4. Foster … Read More »
We had another foster care placement this past weekend, this time with one seven-year-old boy. Here’s what I learned:
I don’t understand ADHD. This little boy has been diagnosed with ADHD which, at least this past weekend, meant that he wanted to try every game/toy in our house for about a minute before moving on to the next game/toy. This was most frustrating to me after we’d spent about 5 minutes setting up a game of Battleship only for him to quit the game after we’d each had only two turns. I do not understand this. I finish books I don’t like. I finish bad movies. I play a game until there’s a winner. It hurts me a little inside to walk away from an unfinished game.
There are ways to conquer ADHD, at least for a while. On Saturday afternoon, after … Read More »
It’s been a couple of weeks since our first (and so far, only) foster care placement so I thought I’d share some more feelings/observations now that I’m a little removed from that weekend.
Observation #1: Foster care is a lot like you expect it to be. It’s hard, it’s tiring (so tiring), it’s worthwhile. This blogger has recently written about what it’s like when kids leave your home, and she’s right. You (or at least I) go through a mourning period. It almost felt disrespectful to put the house back together too soon after they’d left, and I just recently put all of the toys back and got the room completely ready again. I think since this was our first time I took their leaving especially hard, and I think next time it won’t be so bad. Of course, I know there … Read More »
My dad asked if I would blog about our first foster care placement, and I said I didn’t know if I would because I didn’t know what to say. Todd said I should blog about it just to tell people we successfully did it. So, people, we successfully did it. We fostered two kids this past weekend, and all four of us lived to tell about it. (I would say all six of us, to include the cats, but they’re a little shell shocked so it may be premature to say they made it through.)
We knew fostering would be tough and sad, but I don’t think anyone knows how tough or sad it is until they actually do it. It’s kind of like “Steel Magnolias.” You know intellectually that it’s a sad movie, but you don’t realize just how sad … Read More »
Todd and I became licensed foster parents today. He stayed home this morning to meet with the person from the KDHE, and when he called me after she’d left our house I expected him to say we hadn’t passed the inspection and we had more work to do. But he didn’t say that, he said that we passed. And that she thought our kids’ room is cute (which it totally is).
I would’ve been pretty upset if we hadn’t passed since we have now closely followed two separate checklists of things to do to our home for it to be considered fit for foster children. But I was also surprised we passed, and had this feeling of “Well, we sure tricked them.”
That feeling of trickery doesn’t come from a place of actual deceit. We made all the necessary changes to our … Read More »
I don’t really have anything I feel like writing about, but I figured it was time to get the “Merry Christmas” post off the top of my page. So here’s some things you might (but probably won’t) find interesting.
I have some items for sale at The Onion Tree, located at Doulgas & Hillside in Wichita. The shop is closing on January 15 and after that I’ll sell the un-sold items through my Etsy shop. But you need to get over there like, today, to look at all the cute things from the other artists.
Our final foster care home inspection is happening on Monday, January 9. We’ve yet to complete the list of things to do that we received at our last Youthville meeting, but we did successfully* install magnetic cabinet locks the other night. We feel pretty good about that.
Wow, … Read More »
The other day I made a sarcastic comment about our communication with Youthville. I was pretty frustrated when I wrote that post, but as Todd and my mom quickly pointed out, I probably shouldn’t have written what I did. So I would like to apologize to Youthville for airing my grievances with it in an unhelpful way on my blog.
I would also like to say that there are a lot of good people who work at Youthville who do some very tough jobs very well. They do important work that most of us don’t want to do, and they should be shown more appreciation.
I think my frustrations come from the fact that Youthville is a very large organization that is underfunded and understaffed, and as good as its employees are, due to its size and budget some things happen that … Read More »
Hi! Remember me? At one time I blogged regularly. I don’t do that so much anymore, so you should just stop expecting it and I’ll stop apologizing when I don’ t do it. Deal? Deal.
So what has kept me busy lo these many weeks? Well, first up is getting our house ready to be licensed for foster children. Has this been the longest licensing process in Kansas state history? Yes, yes it has. Thanks for asking. But a few weeks ago we got on the Youthville licensing person’s calendar for November 29 (or so we thought – foreshadowing!) and really got to work.
A couple weekends ago our friends’ brother-in-law installed what we feel are rather unnecessary railings on the front of our house. He also fixed the loose/already-fallen-off bricks on our front steps, and came in under budget. He’s our … Read More »