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.