Respite Care

After our adoption in November we agreed to keep our foster license up to date. This includes a $250 bonus from our agency if we do so! We also were interested in providing respite once we felt like our kids could handle it, and once they understood that they are staying with us but we might have some other kids come and go. Well, we had the perfect opportunity to try last week!

Our agency needed emergency respite for a sweet 9 year old girl whose foster parents had to go out of state because of a family emergency. Her natural grandparents usually provide respite but the county found out at the last minute that their clearances had expired. So we got her for two nights! I took her to school and picked her up just like I do with my own. She shared a room with Anne. It was amazing to see how kind and nurturing our kids were with her!

Scarlett went with me to pick our respite on the first day and was talking to her about foster care and asked whether our respite was excited to be adopted. Well the respite girl said that she will be returning home in June. So Scarlett explained to her that Scarlett’s parents lied to the judge and so they were adopted, but that I don’t lie so it’s better now. Very interesting to be a little mouse in the room with them!

When our respite girl entered the home Huck took her jacket and hung it up for her. He got her a drink of water. When it was time for her to shower he got her a towel and washcloth and showed her how to use the shower. I was impressed! The kids were very loving to her and they enjoyed some Frozen dance parties. She is a very intelligent and has a great memory so it was fun for me to help her with her homework.

I was sad to see her go after only two days. Especially because my kids went back to fighting and whining once she left! While driving her to school I got all the information on her case. She just poured it all out, I guess she felt safe to talk to me about it. Her visits are only twice a month with her mom and her mom has missed the last 5 visits so I don’t believe that respite girl will be returning home in June. I feel badly that she doesn’t realize she could be in care for much longer. The rest of her home situation seems pretty unstable, and her foster family seemed very sweet and nurturing. I hope she gets permanency soon!

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It’s Been So Long!!

I am so sorry that it’s been so long since an update. There have been many days that I wrote a blog post in my head and just never got the time to type it in! There have been many days that I was too mentally or physically exhausted to even think one up! But giving you updates now 5 months after the adoption is so important, and I hope that as I update there will be those of you who find usefulness in my disclosure!

We have now been a family longer since adoption than before. We’re going on 9 months together! I can tell the change in the children as they get more comfortable with our routines. We’ve always tried to be super consistent with our rules and consequences, but we’ve also found that the more consistent we are with our schedule it really helps with behavior and anxiety. Even on the weekends, having a set day that is “play” day and having a set day that is for chores and homework has helped tremendously. We still shy away from sugar and food dye in order to help with outrageous behaviors. We stick to 12 hours of sleep a night (or in bed at least). The kids still have limited screen time. I am hopeful for warm weather soon and hope to be outside with them a lot. I think this will relieve some tension that has been building all winter!

Huck is doing well with his toileting issues. It comes and goes. He will be clean for a week and then have a run of a few days where he has issues. The difference now is that he is genuinely trying and he is genuinely sorry when he fails. We aren’t punishing the failures, he does enough in his own mind to guilt himself. Hopefully over time we will be able to rid the need for diapers. He turns eight in a little over a week so I know he can do it!

Anne is still inconsistent with her school work. It’s really a crapshoot. She will study hard for a test and get a 70 or 100, just depends on the day. She will not study at all and get either a 70 or 100, just depends on the day. That is so difficult for me because I can’t figure out how to at least make it a consistent 85 or something. It’s all over the place! I talked to her the other day, after a particularly awful math grade, about repeating 4th grade. She seems to be on board. She worries about being picked on but the school where they go will not tolerate any kind of bullying or teasing like that. I have faith that keeping her back a year will make her more confident in her studies, give her the necessary time to catch up on her foundational knowledge, and allow her to mature so that she is closer to her peers.

Scarlett continues to almost have straight As. She is social and her group of friends seem to be identical to her in personality. I’m not sure that’s always a great thing! She continues to seek out the company of adults over children, and most afternoons is happier shadowing me in my daily chores than playing with her siblings.

Madeline is turning 4 next week, it’s hard to believe. She looks like such a baby in the pictures I took only a year ago! She seems to be doing well in school and daycare, and drop offs in the morning are going better and better. She has a good group of kids to socialize with and they seem to enjoy her as well. Her preschool teacher pushes them hard but the daycare is fun so I think her day ends up being balanced.

I put in my two week’s notice at work. My last day is Monday. While I love the organization and the cause, being an office manager was not really a great fit for my personality or skill set. I took the job to have the mentor in my boss but she is retiring. I have butted heads with a coworker, whom is just rude and creates a toxic work environment. Due to childcare costs for the summer it is just best financially for me to be out of work as well. I also applied to some online master’s programs so I hope to start one in the fall.

I hope you enjoyed this small update and I will try to get back on a more regular schedule!