The End of Summer

I know that technically we have like a month left of true summer. But here in Central Pennsylvania we start to notice the sun going in earlier and the cooler weather before the end of September. Plus I always associate Fall with back to school, so here we are. The end of summer. Three of four  kids are back in school. Backpacks have been purchased. New lunchboxes have been purchased. Kids have sneakers that fit and first day of school outfits. Here’s a look at our last few weeks before school started… We left to see my family in North Carolina on August 6th and returned home on August 15th. That included one night in a hotel, two nights in Charlotte visiting my sister and her family, and six nights in Raleigh at my parents’ house.

summer5At the Virginia Welcome Center!

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Visiting Jordan Lake and swimming!

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Walking on the pedestrian bridge that my dad designed. Madeline didn’t like the street noise!

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Having a blast at the park!

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Walking the greenways.

Before we left for North Carolina, my car got hit by lightning when sitting in our driveway during a regular summer afternoon storm. It took over two weeks for the dealer to get the car back in working order, enough for us to leave on vacation. It still isn’t completely fixed, they’re still working on the modules that control the backup camera and sensor. But the lightning literally fried every computer in my car and they’ve all had to be replaced!

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Here’s my baby being hoisted up and taken away!

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While we had our rental car we made the best of things. I had promised to take the kids to my alma mater, Dickinson College. I thought it was important for them to see what college is like, and we got a nice tour. They enjoyed seeing the dining hall and dorm rooms. I think it gave them a more tangible idea of what they strive for while in school.

We had a fun-filled summer but man, am I glad they are back in school! As the weeks went by, tempers got shorter. Patience didn’t go as far. And nerves/anxiety about the new school year got the best of them. So they were very ready to go back this week!

Lucy

I spoke with our agency case manager today and she said that Lucy is doing wonderfully in her new home! She is very happy and keeps saying how much she likes each person in her new family. It hasn’t been long but hopefully it will stick for her! Our case manager is going to give her new foster mom my cell number so hopefully we can get together with her and see her before the school year starts!

Respite Girl

It’s about time that I come up with a pretend name for respite girl. We got the call today from our agency that her current foster family gave 30 days’ notice that they no longer want her in their home. While we all knew that they wouldn’t adopt her, we though they would at least keep her until a new family was found. The agency said this should happen before the school year. I talked to our caseworker today and she said if we will accept placement that they will move her asap. I made sure that they know we are not going to adopt, but that we could be available until the agency does find her the right home. I have to talk to hubby tonight but it looks like we will bring her home after the holiday weekend. We will be out of town this weekend for a wedding. The kids will be so excited!

Open House

Today our agency held an open house to celebrate their brand new administrative office building. So we got to see the Office Manager that completed our first home study, the case manager that called with our first placement, our caseworker for the kids, our adoption home study case manager and the social worker who did their adoption prep. So we had a lot of people to see! The building was gorgeous. We got to meet all of the executives for the nonprofit and the board. We ended up being one of the only resource families that attended (at least while we were there) so it was nice because we felt very important! The kids got to have yummy snacks, sit in the President and CEO’s office and look around. I got to bend the ear of our caseworker quite a bit so that was helpful!

Our caseworker asked if we were interested in being a pre-adoptive family for respite girl. I knew that day was coming. I told her that we could do a longer placement while she found the right family but we have enough kids, no more adoptions. I told her that we will always be a resource for respite girl. She asked for my opinion on whether respite girl should be in a family with other children or an only child. I gave her my experiences with the girl so that she could make the best decision for her. It sounds like they are trying to move her before the school year begins. I am so hopeful that she will find the right place!

She’s Gone (Again)

Our respite girl left yesterday around 1:00. We were supposed to have her with us until about 5:00 but I asked her foster family to come get her earlier. It was her first Father’s Day away from her biological family and what kind of a message does it send to her if she’s with us all day? I could tell the special breakfast, gifts, FaceTime with two grandfathers, etc. were getting to her. She was unusually quiet.

The kids did not want her to leave. I know that she didn’t want to leave either, although she said nothing. I’m not sure if she was too embarrassed to say something, or if she verbalized it then she would get more upset.

On Saturday I took her to the mall with Anne and Madeline, since it was $1 Old Navy flip flop day. We found new flip flops for all of the kids. We also stopped at the bookstore and got a workbook for her to take back with her. I sent her home with some crafts, a journal, a workbook, and information on the summer reading program at our library. It’s an hour on Wednesdays and they even serve free lunch afterwards. Our respite read about a book each evening while she was here, so I know that she would love a reading program.

I haven’t heard from her foster family. Her foster dad picked her up yesterday and didn’t say two words to me. I texted her foster mother so she knew why I sent everything home. I didn’t hear back. My husband kept saying that it’s such a shame what this girl has to go through. I am hopeful that they will find a new family that is willing to take her feelings and needs into account. Until then, we will just be on standby to respite her some more!