Friday, June 9, 2017

Baby makes 6

On Tuesday when I was picking up little man from his weekly visit, the social worker told me that mom was not at the visit. I asked him why mom didn't show up and he said that it was because mom just had a baby on Monday night. I was shocked and asked what was going to happen to the baby. I had no idea she was pregnant to begin with and now I was in shock!!

The social worker said that he didn't know if the baby was going to be removed yet and he said I was at the top of the list to get baby if she was removed.  He told me not to get my hopes up and he said he knows I want a baby girl. I laughed at him and said I would be willing to take baby and then reminded him that I already have a baby girl and she is only eight months old.

I left that visit and said to my mom and sister that I was in shock and could I even do this??

The next morning I dropped little man off at daycare and off I went to run some work errands. I was talking with a fellow foster mom and I got another call and saw that it was from social services, but didn't recognize the phone number.  I answered the phone and the social worker introduced herself and apologized that my worker was not able to be the one to call me but he was out in the field and they didn't have much time. She asked me when I could come to the office to sign placement paperwork because baby was being released and I needed placement paperwork when I went to the hospital to pick her up!!!

OMG I was flabbergasted and told her I could come now. She told me to take my time because they still had to get the paperwork done. I left and dropped off my car that I use for work to have new tires and a state inspection done.  While I was dropping the car off, my social worker called and asked me what time I would be able to come to the office. I told him I could be there in less than half an hour. He said another worker was going to go to the hospital to get her because things had gotten ugly with dad.

I rushed to get the car dropped off and on my way to the office I texted my worker and asked if I had a few minutes to stop at a store to get a few outfits for her and some diapers. He said I had to be there within an hour, so I rushed into Babies R Us and spent $250 in 10 minutes!!!

It took a little bit longer to get the baby released than expected and I didn't get her until 3:30 that afternoon. When they placed this beautiful little girl into my arms, my heart melted! She looks so much like her brothers and yet, not! She does not have the same dad and I'm sure that's where the dark hair comes from.

It is now two days later and we are falling into a routine and I am sitting on the couch with this beautiful, tiny bundle on my chest sleeping peacefully while enjoying her one on one attention.

So, baby makes 6 children for me.  5 are in the home and my oldest moved out a few years ago.  I can't believe I have 5 children in my home and the best part, we all fit into this house with a place for everyone.

The one weird thing......it looks like a baby store threw up all over my house!!! The stuff that comes with three small children is unbelievable and takes up a whole lot of space!!!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Learning each other and loving each other

We are now almost two weeks into our placement of the most beautiful 2 year old.  He is so tiny and so sweet and so naughty and so hyper and so loving and so traumatized and so special and so mine.  

I learned this week that this is going to be long term and not to expect him to go home anytime soon. I am okay with that and excited about planning our life with him in it, for now. We went on our first road trip on Monday and he did wonderful. He will be going out of town with us for Father's day weekend too and hopefully that will go just as well. 

I am looking to change his daycare as soon as possible due to his current daycare being reeeeeeeeally far away and not the best fit for him.  I have had a few issues with them in the last week and a half and it didn't take long to realize that he is not in the right place.  This daycare was perfect for his older brother due to their training with special needs children but with baby boy, I feel like he is picking up behaviors from other children and he is the youngest child there, which is not a good thing. Today he came home all scratched up after another child and that is not okay with me. 

Last week I got custody of my goddaughter who is 8 months old. We are now a family of five with four children and one mamma in the house. It is really weird to go from having two kids, with the youngest being 9.5 years old, to having two little ones that need to be carried, need a double stroller, and require mamma's attention and loving a whole lot more than the older two boys.  I am loving every moment of this with and will admit that I have never been as exhausted as I am at this very moment. I count down the hours till I get to go to sleep.  I have struggled with insomnia for years and have had to take melatonin to fall asleep. This past month I have fallen asleep more than once without the melatonin.

If you are just starting out as a foster parent, I have a few things that I want to suggest to you.

-Have as much money put to the side as possible before your first placement. I have had to buy a car seat, double stroller, a whole new wardrobe, shoes, diapers, wipes, (I had a crib for each child, thank goodness), baby gates galore (I have bought 4 of them), and so much more.  I would say that I have spent about $1,000.00 in the last month on these placements and I didn't have to buy much for my goddaughter.
-Be prepared for lack of sleep and try to have someone who can help with your placements if you are single. I had my cousin and then my mamma here and I don't know how I would have done this without them.  I had a few days where I didn't know how I would shower and if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have showered!
-Try to have some meals ready in your freezer to pop in the oven. I wish I would have done this prior to getting licensed. If you don't cook, have some money put to the side to order food (it's hard enough to get baths, etc. without having to figure out dinner for the first few days).


I can't think of anything else off of the top of my head because it is so late and my brain is tapping out for the day.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Naive


My first placement has come and gone.  He was an amazing kid who was also the hardest child I have ever met in my life.  He has a lot of trauma.....a lot!!  I got him straight from residential, not knowing anything about what I was taking on.  I was so naive and had no idea what questions to ask.  

This little guy was admitted for his aggressive behavior and I learned all about that my first weekend when I got to experience two of his tantrums for myself that "only" lasted three hours each time.  He is very violent and hits, kicks, bites, scratches, pinches, and head butts during these tantrums.  It was so hard to deal with and it was so heartbreaking to deal with.

This little boy has a diagnosis of RAD and ODD. We got to experience both, numerous times.  He was supposed to be with me for two weeks but ended up staying for two and a half weeks and then he was admitted again and will be going back to residential once they find him a bed.  Poor little munchkin is having such a hard time with controlling his outbursts.  I pray he is able to get the help he needs to get better.

The home he was in has decided to disrupt the placement of his brothers as well and now his brothers have been separated and the youngest brother is sleeping upstairs in his crib, in the same room his brother was sleeping in just a few nights ago.  My friend is also a foster parent and she is going to take the other brother so they will get to spend lots of time together aside from daycare (we are going to keep them in the same one so they get to see each other during the week).  

I hope and pray we are able to help this baby boy get past his hurt and pain that he has experienced in his short two years of life.  

Next time I know what to ask and will not be so naive.

Monday, May 1, 2017

First Placement

Well, the three year old that I mentioned in my last post didn't end up coming to my home and the same day I was told he was not coming, I was asked to take another respite. I told them I could take them but have family coming the same time the respite kids would be coming and my social worker told me it is okay to say no and to go enjoy my family instead.  

Today I got a placement call and this time I said yes!  

We now have a five year old little boy in our home. He could potentially go to a relative in two weeks but from what his worker said, she doesn't think that is going to happen.  Either way, we are going to love him and enjoy our time with him and not make any plans past those two weeks until we know what is going on.  

My youngest son is loving every moment of being a big brother and even let little man sleep in the room with him (we put a mattress on the floor and will eventually move little man to his own room when he is a little bit more comfortable in our home).  This is exciting, exhausting, scary. and fun, all wrapped into one. After only having him for eight hours, I am so completely exhausted that I am laying in bed counting down the moments till I can close my eyes (waiting for my cousin to come home from a friends house before I go to sleep).  

I'm looking forward to getting to know little man better and getting into a routine where he is comfortable and feels at home here.  It was weird when I picked him up from social services, the first thing he said when he met me was, "are you my new foster mom?"  It broke my heart to think that this little five year old boy is so grown up and understands so much more than his little mind should have to comprehend.  We went to the store to get some clothing for him since he came with pajamas on and a little paper bag with some dirty clothes in it and he was more than happy to pick out some Batman clothes and Minecraft clothes. When we were driving home after picking up my son, little man asked if he could just call me mom because that would make it easier.  I told him he could call me mom if that is what he wants to do or he can call me by my nickname or first name if he wants to do that. He said no thank you, I will just call you mom for now. So, mom it is.

This mom is going to sleep so I can be bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning when the kids wake up.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

It's official


I am officially a licensed foster parent!!!

I have gotten a few calls for respite two for placements and despite having said yes to all of the respite calls, I have only had one respite. We took in two little boys this past weekend. The boys are 7 & 8 years old and despite the warnings that came with these two brothers, they were amazing and had so much fun with us. My youngest son is 9 years old, so the ages fit perfectly for a weekend full of playing and having fun.

I didn't have the foster room ready because I didn't want to out all kinds of effort into getting the room ready when we had no idea who was going to be coming to us. I had a twin size bed in the room and a crib.  Well, we pushed the crib out of the way and got a twin size air mattress (after getting agency approval for an air mattress) and I bought two boy bed in a bag sets. The boys loved the bed sets that I got and we stuck a laundry basket in between them full of stuffed animals and the boys split the stuffed animals between them before bed each night and loved it.


We were asked to take the boys again in about 2 weeks for another weekend and I think we will be taking them.  The agency said we can do a slumber party type of sleepover and I think that will make it do-able because my mom is coming to visit and we got a placement call yesterday that is putting everything in limbo at the moment.

The placement call I received yesterday is for a 3 year old boy. I have no further information and wont know anything more till tomorrow.  I accepted the placement and we shall see what happens when I find out more from my social worker tomorrow.  Prayers for this little boy and his family, I can't imagine what they are going through right now. 

I can't believe we are really at the point where we are getting calls (I have gotten 4-5 calls already).

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Waiting game

I feel like it's been forever since I posted, but it was just last month! So much has happened and so much has changed since then.

First, I have finished my PRIDE training and all three of my home visits. All of my background paperwork, fingerprints, etc has been turned in and is back with no issues.  The last home visit was this past Monday and that is when the social worker came to meet my sons and it went really well. I am so comfortable with this office and all of the social workers that I have been involved with and I love that! I was a nervous wreck before and was always on edge before home visits and this time I have been totally chill. I even told him the second time that I didn't have time to clean for him and he was just going to have to accept us for who we are and he laughed and said his house is a whole lot worse than mine is.  Feels good to be on that comfort level because I know it is not realistic that my house is always perfect and spotless.

When I started the process to becoming a foster parent, I only wanted baby girls between the ages of newborn and 2 years old. This time we will be licensed for up to three children between the ages of newborn and nine years old. We prefer to only take in two children but are willing to take a third if it is a sibling group or if one of the bios has a baby while we have her other child/children in our home. The only way we will take an older child (school aged) is if the child is a boy (to share a room with my bio son) and it has to be a pretty significant need since we are not in the same city as the social services office and they do not like to move children that are already in school to a different city.

For the last part, I accepted a new job.  I will still be working as a Realtor but I also accepted a position that is a work from home Mon-Fri 9-5. This way I have more flexibility and I have a steady income for those slow months that occur mostly around the winter months (like right now).  Taking on this new positions allows me to take newborns without having to worry about daycare for the first six weeks as I will be able to have the baby here at home with me. I will be putting my fosters in daycare after the six week mark because I do have to work obviously but this allows for a whole lot more flexibility if one of the children is sick or has appointments (new job is really great about allowing for time off for appointments).

I am really excited to get started and according to the social worker, I should be licensed in January unless a situation comes up where I would be the perfect fit for a foster or fosters. If that is the case, they will rush my license to get the child/children placed immediately.

Wish me luck!!

Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Here we go again

This past week I went to an orientation with a co-worker for a foster agency in our area.  I have been to an orientation with this agency before due to the baby girl I had last summer. Her sisters were placed with the same agency and when she was born, she was placed with the same foster mamma. I went to the orientation with the agency at that time knowing the baby was placed with them and when I got custody of her, I decided not to move forward with getting licensed with them.

The reason why I went to the orientation last week was because one of the girls I work with wants to be a foster parent too and she ha signed up to go to the orientation. I told her I would go with her to this orientation if she was willing to go with me to my orientation next week. She happily agreed knowing she didn't have to go alone. It became clear very quickly that this agency is not for us because they do not get children in the age groups we are looking for. I want to get babies and my co-worker is wanting children under the age of three years old.

I am really excited about going into this with a co-worker who has become a friend. I had no idea she was wanting to get into fostering and this makes going to PRIDE classes so much more exciting knowing I am not going to be alone! We have talked about being back ups for each other and her daughter is going to be my second back up because she lives in the next street over from me and is a stay at home mom.

I am beyond excited to get started with PRIDE classes and getting my license again. The classes will be done by the beginning of November and that means I have less than a month to get the nursery ready to go.  My little sister is coming to visit me this week and maybe, just maybe, I can get her to help me put the nursery together.