Being a foster parent is quite time consuming, with constant challenges. It is not for the faint of heart. The children they get have their own set of problems because of their previous environment or the situation they were taken out of, be it abuse, drugs, neglect or any number of other things and there are far too many of them. One needs to be patient, flexible and have hearts full of love while still taking care of the needs of their own children as well.
I recently spent a week with my son and family in the Dallas area in March.
The kid’s of course surrounded me and lead me to all their handiwork, so that I understood…
There were also little signs for where my stuff goes and where I would stay. It was one of the best times I’ve spent with them. There is so much love in this household, you could burst.
Then, I got to share my space with Piglet or perhaps I should say, he had the honor, reluctantly, of sharing his space with me. Piglet was a most gracious host and was kind enough to not snore or smell bad. You can see him snubbing my son here. Had I had my video going, the scene that followed after our first night together and him refusing to go back to his room was like a scene out of comedy capers. He got over it. By the end of my visit, we were conversing like best pals. Yes, he talks…snort of.
Granted, my primary goal was to get as much quality time with those youngsters as I possibly could in one week and we sure did. With spring break on, we were free of school schedules so had lots of time to do things. The children were more fun now because they are older and far more interesting to me as I was to them. They competed daily for my attention.
Their new little foster child will be headed home soon, but in the meantime, she’s just one of the bunch. I cannot share stories, but I can share you what this foster family’s home is like. Every child deserves to get what they get here. L O V E
Because of their responsibilities, their travel-ability is restricted and unfortunately I don’t get out that way nearly as often as I would like to. We do, however, Marco Polo regularly so the tots don’t forget they have this other grandma way out in California. Right now, they only have one foster child in their home but that varies.
In their short marriage, they have fostered 12 children, of which they’ve adopted one and had two during that time.
It can sometimes be heartbreaking letting the little ones go, but they hope that however short their time may be with them, that they will have impacted their lives positively. Each of them has a place in their hearts and on their wall.
I know the latest one is going to be a toughy to give up. Do you think Ry likes her?
On occasion, the parent or whoever gets the child in the end will come back to complement them for their good work with their child. Parent’s on occasion will express how much they hope they too will one day be able to parent as well. One parent lets them have monthly visits and that’s always special to them.
Sadly, not all children go back to the parent. Sometimes they get split up in the end, either going to different relatives who feel they cannot handle them all or to separate “homes”, which always hurts.
I think I wrote about Antoine in an earlier post. He was not their first foster but he is their first adoption. He’s a hoot and only recently realized he was black. A little girl pointed it out to him one day and told him how he’s different than his siblings. She was black. So understandably he asked about it and they explained. They reassured him he is still their child and will always be loved. He was about 1 1/2 when he first came to them. He is now six.
We attempted to, at one point, go to the zoo, but it being spring break and like everyone else in this country having suffered unusual weather, everyone and their brother had the same idea to take advantage of the beautiful weather we were blessed with. Because we would have had to walk a mile just to get in, not to mention all the walking you do once in and then walking tired youngun’s back to the car (no shuttles!), we adults vetoed that event. So instead, we went to Crayola land!
We also got to see how they made Crayolas and got one each in our favorite color with our names on it. Did you know they can make 5,000 Crayons in 6 minutes? It was actually quite fascinating. The downside here was there were so many little ones and adults running around, it was all I could do to keep track of the ones in my charge. Not to be negative, but child populated places are prime targets for abductions.
My daughter in law is a school teacher and her specialty is special ed. She at one time had her own classroom but is now training teachers on how to work with special needs students. Even though she can put in long hours, she comes home to give each of these kids her undivided attention up until bedtime, which is fortunately at 7.
MaggieM loved the doll I got her. It is a china doll, which is breakable and she took it everywhere with her, even to bed. The doll had been on my shelf for years. Cute, cute.
I knew Hunter loved puzzles, but I guess the one I got him was too complex, but we took it apart anyway. They both love super heroes, so I got them some super hero things. The two boys are two months apart. So, it’s like having twins.
Hunter as I’ve mentioned before has autism and attends public school with his brother, By parental request, they are in separate classrooms. If I understood correctly, it was so they could rely less on each other. As it is their two classes came together one day and the two boys zeroed in on each other and began wrestling roughly with one another, as is their norm, much to the alarm of the teachers. ooops! Hunter’s teacher later expressed her gratitude for them having made that choice. LOL
Hunter and Antoine enjoy sports. Antoine loves cars and trucks. Hunter loves puzzles and dinosaurs. When he was younger, his form of communication was a growl. So learning to speak and motor skills were learned at a slower pace. He is fortunate to have parents with the skills to aid in that development, although Candace gives credit to his many other teachers and therapists. I think he’s perfectly fine now and quite verbal.
He also likes to draw and so it’s quite apropos that this chalk drawing would be of his favorite animal. Quite good for only six, don’t you think?
They have camp out night once a week and each child snuggled up at days end for the night.
On each child’s bedroom door are little hearts, where positive affirmations from each other are regularly posted. They are encouraged to encourage one another.
This household has a motto as you enter the front door that goes like this.
And, in case you don’t know what it says next to loud… it reads “really well” in swirls.
As I’m getting ready to leave, Hunter asks me, when I will be returning. I replied, “I don’t know.” He knew though.
He says, “March”.
“But, it’s March right now.”
That meant one of three things, I either don’t leave or I turn around and come right back or I just come back next year, same time.
Next stop: My “me time” with my son.