Still Respite-ing

We provided respite in March for a sweet 9 year old girl while her foster parents went out of town to visit a sick relative. We provided even longer of a respite for her when her foster parents went out of town for said relative’s funeral in April. She is inquisitive, super smart, and really a joy to have around. My kids fawn over her, doting on her and treating her very kindly. She only came into care in January, and placed in a pre-adoptive home with two teen boys. It sounded very familiar to the pre-adoptive home that my kids were placed in a year ago. A foster mother looking to round out her family with a girl, only to have teen boys that want nothing to do with an “annoying” younger girl who craves attention. The first respite she continued to tell me about going home in June. I knew enough about her case and the fact that her mother had missed most, if not all, of her visits to know that this was not the truth. The second time we provided respite it was apparent that things were not going well at the foster home. The teen boys do not pay her any attention, and her foster mother is not accustomed to a pre-teen girl needing constant communication and affection. We never had issues with clinginess or with her relating to her surroundings. She fit right in with my kids, enjoyed our dance parties, coloring, and dress up. It was obvious to me that she just was not in the right home. In April our caseworker told me that the family would be looking to move her once school finished.

Last week, I received a text from the foster mother asking if I could watch the girl while the foster mom had a doctor’s appointment… the next morning. We had already made plans and I did not appreciate the lack of advance notice. Yesterday, I got an email from our caseworker (also her caseworker) to see if we are willing to provide respite for a couple of days, that the foster family just needs some time. They will be moving her sometime this summer once they find a suitable family but she doesn’t know yet. So I guess after six months, and now that school is out, the family realizes that it is not a “great fit” for her to be with them. Which is just so tough and sucky. Her mom has been recently incarcerated and the dad disappeared years ago, so this is a slam dunk TPR in my mind. It makes me sad that this is a similar situation to the one that my kids were in last year, to a family that was never really a great fit but the only ones that were available.

We will have her for three nights, so I am interested to see how she’s done in the last two months since we saw her last. The kids are so excited to see her. They write her notes all the time that we mail to her. We’ve been doing workbooks and journals in the morning so today Scarlett and Madeline accompanied me to the store to pick a journal up for our respite.


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