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.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Guess who's back?

Mamma's back!! 

I haven't posted on here in a really long time, so I thought it was time to give a little bit of an update.

Let's start with summer of 2015.....yes, 2015!

My oldest son is going to be turning 20 next year and of course has friends that are just as grown if not a little bit older.  June 2015 one of the guys he knows came to him and told him that social services took custody of his newborn baby at the hospital. Come to find out, the mom had two other children that were taken from her and for this reason, this little baby was not allowed to go home with her either. Dad had to do a DNA test and social services wanted to do some background checks on dad and his parents (dad lived with his parents). Until that was all competed, the baby would stay in foster care with her two older sisters. My son told dad about me and my desire to be a foster parent and told dad to come talk to me to find out what I can do to help.



Long story short, I ended up with custody of this beautiful little girl when she was 3 weeks old and I had her until she was 8 weeks old and went on to be with her new adoptive family (the uncle and his wife ended up agreeing to adopt her). My five weeks with this little beautiful girl made me realize just how much I want to be a foster parent.  I loved her something fierce and never in a million years thought I could love someone else's baby the way that I loved her. It hurt to my very core when she left to move to her new adoptive home and I cried like my heart had been ripped out of my chest and taken to someone else's house.  But.....as much as it hurt, she is in a good place and when I saw her a few weeks later, I could see how much her family loved her and she was happy there. I knew I had made the right move by being there for her during those five weeks of her life when she needed me. I needed her just as much as she needed me.

Now, on to the next part of my journey....

I graduated from college in May 2015 and finished my very last course just around the same time that little mamma came to live with me. I started my career in March of 2015 and have a stable good life. I decided to move to a bigger and better place and am now living in a house with an extra bedroom, the bedroom we refer to as the nursery.  I plan to set up the nursery with two cribs and am open to taking in one or two babies.  

Tonight I am going to an orientation for the city next to mine and in September I will be going to the orientation for another city on the other side of mine. I have decided that I do not want to be licensed in my city because they are not supportive of single parents and do not allow babies under the age of 18 months to be placed with single parents. I want to have infants and that is not going to work if I decide to stick with my city.  I have decided to check out the orientations to a few different cities (I live in an area that has 7 cities all really close together and within a 30 min drive I can get to any of these cities) and see which city best suits my needs. I want to be able to find the agency that offers the best support and the agency that is supportive of single parents and don't use that against me.  

I am really excited to start my journey all over again and looking forward sharing the journey with all of you. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The End...for now!

This last year has been a very busy year foster care wise.  I began my classes in January and was so ready to be a foster parent.  I got licensed with my agency officially in March but in reality, it didn't actually happen till the end of April.  Then I found out my agency doesn't get babies, at all!!!  They only get teenagers and someone must have forgotten to mention that when I started my process (insert sarcasm here).

I was so frustrated and even angry when I found out that I had wasted over six months on this agency for nothing.  All of the time and money I spent to get licensed was for nothing.  When I asked the agency, they continued to tell me they get babies, sometimes...but then the placement coordinator told me that she hasn't had a single baby this year and she told me herself that they do not get babies.  It was then that I decided to switch over to the city foster agency.

I went through the process of getting licensed with them.  I had to take two of the PRIDE classes again because they thought it would be good for me to have more trauma experience.  I didn't mind and actually agreed that it would be better to get some extra training in regards to trauma.  I decided to change my age group and gender once I went with the city.  I decided I would take newborn to two year old children and if there was an older brother up to the age of seven, I was going to put that sibling in the room with my seven year old.

As you all know that have been reading and following my blog, I had bought everything needed for a foster child.  My home was ready and our hearts were ready.  I did need to buy a new bed for my sons room but for now I had a trundle bed under his that was good enough till I got a bed for a foster child in his room.

After going through the process with the city for almost four months, I got the call I was waiting for on Halloween at about 5:30 pm.  I had been approved as a respite and emergency provider only due to my student loans.  Because my income is not guaranteed, they couldn't approve me as a full time foster parent.  I was so disappointed but decided that I could be a respite and emergency provider until I was able to prove myself (according to the agency).

I was trying to get used to the idea that this was worth it and respite providers are needed and so important to the process, etc. etc. etc. Then, about a week after my first call letting me know I was not approved as a full time foster parent, I got the call that broke my heart.  The supervisor had gone to the state to talk to them about my case and they decided that I was too high of a risk and they were not willing to license me at all.  I was not even able to be a respite provider, my foster care journey while I was in school and receiving school loans was over.

I was so broken hearted!!!  One year (almost to the day) of starting my journey and I had been shot down and denied.  They told me there was nothing other than my school loans stopping me and when I finished school and started working to give them a call.  The only disappointing thing about that is, when I start working I can't take infants.  I can not have a child under the age of 18 months if I am not a stay at home mom.

I graduate from school on May 8, 2015 and I have decided not to pursue my Masters degree full time (I had planned on it if I would have become a foster parent because it would have allowed me at least two more years at home).  Now I am going to get a job and take a little break from school to be able to start our new life as a single working mom of three.  My oldest has moved out of the house and it is only the three of us left here with plenty of space for a little one but for now, that is on hold too.  I might try going through a different city to get licensed as a working parent and see if they allow me to have infants, but that wont be until I am stable in a new job and maybe even have a different home.

For now though, this journey has come to an end and all of the baby stuff has been removed from my home and put in storage or given away.  It breaks my heart but it just wasn't meant to be. This is The End....for now!