My journey as a foster parent.

  • Me: Do you realize the topic of the (mandatory foster care) training is about keeping family relationships? I feel like I could probably teach this class.
  • Husband: Maybe. Do you know how to work a VHS?

  • Robin: I'm naughty if I don't take my pills.
  • Me: I don't think you are naughty. It's just harder to focus and to make good choices.I used to take those pills, too.
  • Robin: What are the pills for then?
  • Me: They help slow our brains down so we can pay attention to one thing at a time. Otherwise our brains move fast and we notice everything that is happening. I could be trying read, but then hear somebody talking so I listen to them and then I see a bird and want to look out the window and maybe notice somebody walking by and wonder they are going. It's hard to do what I'm supposed to. Has that ever happened to you?
  • Robin: Not in that order.

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…(when the biological family is pretty great) include natural respite and help with appointments. Robin’s aunt (previous foster mom) called yesterday and asked to take him for two overnights. She also made an appointment for haircuts. I dropped him off yesterday, went for a walk with the two of them and their dogs, and then left. Today I slept in.

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We had a full day training yesterday. My husband and I plus 3 social workers and the two therapists that came in to present. Good information. Good discussions. Good feelings. So many I-statements.

I heard you say…
I like how you said….
I feel….
I wonder….
I noticed….
I have experienced….

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Last night my husband facilitated the process of having Robin pick his food and pack his lunch for YMCA camp today. Robin was so proud that he wanted me to look at it this morning. He packed grapes, chunks of melon, almonds, and egg salad (to eat with a fork). I’m kinda proud.

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Robin and friends were playing in the yard when one of the girls came in to tell me that a ball was thrown onto the roof and it rolled into the neighbor’s yard. The neighbor is nice and the yard is fenced in, so I told them to knock on the door and ask for it. Basically, it was a scene from The Sandlot. They kept walking up to the door and then one would run away and the rest would follow because they got scared. They were begging me to go with them, but I chose to show my support from the sidewalk (partly because I was sure there was a lesson to be learned about taking responsibility for your own actions and partly because it was hilarious).

  • Robin: What did you say?
  • Me: I was singing the song,
  • Robin: What did it say?
  • Me: Don't stop thinking about tomorrow.
  • Robin: Why?
  • Me: Why what?
  • Robin: Why should I keep thinking about tomorrow?

  • Robin: You'll always love me, because I'm your favorite kid in the whole world.
  • Me: You are one of my favorites. I have a few.
  • Robin: Well, me and my brothers.
  • We have a sibling ( and extended family) visit today, which means I get to see Fox and Bear. I feel like I should just be excited to see "my favorite boys" but I'm also feeling anxious, nervous, worried and a lot of other feelings I can't quite name but that have my stomach feeling funky.

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…So says the subject line of an e-mail from my husband. He went on to highlight this morning’s saga of trying to get Robin signed up for spring break camp at the YMCA. As it stands, he will be going to three different locations for 1-2 days each because that’s where the openings are. It was complicated by employees having people registered on paper but not on the computer, being unsure of cancellations, and having to drive across town to talk to people. That’s not including the chaos about whether or not the state will pay for the care and how long it will take to get that set up. If my husband didn’t have flexible hours and work from home, this would have never been figured out 

  • Me: (to my husband) Could you check my tire before I leave this morning? It looks a little flat to me.
  • Robin: Did you know you can use a penny to check the tire?
  • Me: You can?
  • Robin: Yeah, if the penny is white house side up the tire is good. I saw it on TV.

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