Saturday, June 11, 2011

So how can you help?

When we got the boys they came with TONS of clothes. This was very cool. However as I was sorting through things I realized the majority of the clothes were one to two.. or three sizes too small for them. Immediately I started making piles to make sense of things.

They are ages 4 and 6 and some of the clothes were 2T and 24months. I'm sure they've had these things forever and who knows if they've been wearing them... but I quickly made a pile of things I knew were too small for them. I mostly shifted around and gave the younger boy the older boys clothes. I have a box of clothes that don't fit them and my hope is when our social worker comes I can ask her if I can switch out the box of old clothes for a box of new (or new to them) clothes. I've got some great stuff so far but I'm still in need of size 6 and 7. Pants, shorts, shirts, jammies.. you name it. If you have any gently used items in these sizes that your kiddos aren't using or if you feel the urge to donate to the cause then email me or message me on fb. I'm thinking we'll have the boys until wed so its gotta be soon.

I'm sure you know appearance can make a huge difference in kids self esteem. These boys are incredible and I want to make sure they at least have a good wardrobe of clothes that fit them as they transition into their next home. (for more about that read my previous post)

Be prepared, this is a long one!

Well it has been a very busy, exciting, emotional three days!

We got our "big boys" and they are doing so great. The foster mom that had them before us was known to run a tight ship. It's obvious they learned a lot from being with her. I've been impressed in so many different ways with how well behaved they are. They really are great boys. For instance.. in the morning when they wake up they wont get out of bed until Brian or I go in their room and say good morning to them. We don't hear a peep from them until we go in there. That's just a small example.. they know how to share, use good manners, are good eaters, and the list goes on. hmm dream placement? I think so. However the situation is not as perfect as they are. =(

They are free for adoption. They have siblings and before they were placed with us they had been with two of their biological sisters. The social worker gave the ok to separate them on the condition that they have weekly visits with their sisters who are in another foster-adopt home in town.

We knew they were adoptable when they were placed with us, but they were trying to place them quickly so they asked if we would take them for a week and provide respite care. After a week we are supposed to decide if we are serious about keeping them, possibly adopting them. We agreed to the week and with the excitement there was a part of me that really thought we may be able to adopt them eventually.

As soon as we loaded them and all of their stuff in the car the day we picked them up they immediately started calling us mom and dad. A little shocked we went with it. We would soon figure out they give that title to whoever is taking care of them at the time. That's all they know of a mom and dad. Let's just say hearing mom and dad out of 2 boys is much different than hearing it from 4 boys. The fist night home was very crazy, but it went as well as it could. Bedtime is where I started to melt. We were putting the big boys to bed and one of them volunteered to pray. He prayed for his siblings by name, his old foster mom, dad (Brian) and "this mom" and he squeezed my hand. For some reason I found myself literally fighting back tears. I couldn't ignore the fact these boys have NO ONE and it hit me like a load of bricks.

After we put Cam to bed we came out to the living room. I couldn't stop crying. I felt so overwhelmed. Brian and I were exactly on the same page. We realized how big of an undertaking having these boys is. We agreed that having them forever, adopting them, would definitely have to complete our family and we both know we're not ready for that. We both want at least one more biological child. So what happens next?

We're not 100 percent sure, however we think it may involve them getting back with their siblings and being replaced in a home that will take all four kiddos. We are waiting to hear from the county worker as to what the next step is. I'm thinking we will have them until Wednesday or Thursday. I am totally ok with that, in fact I said we could keep them for awhile if they want to try and find the right family, but no is sure if that's the best. Tonight I finally found a peace with the whole situation. I've been praying God would help me understand what HE was doing as best as possible, and understand the emotions I was feeling. He's given me a few hints that everything will be ok. The younger one last night at bed time said, "we're going to move" I was a little taken back since they haven't heard us talk about anything regarding how long they will be here. I asked him what he meant and again he just said "we're going to move". The older one got really mad at him and told him to stop lying. The older one is really looking to attach. So this evening we were outside and both of the older boys were sitting with me. The younger one mentioned when they moved another time they found a dead snake in the yard.. he thought it was cool. I asked him if he liked moving and he said yea. I asked him if he thought it was kind of fun to be able to stay at a bunch of houses and again he said yes and smiled. The older one then told me he wanted to stay here. I told him he could stay here until they find a great place for him to go. Finally I felt like I was being honest with them. I don't want them to be in constant worry about having to leave us, but I also don't want to give them any reason to think we lied to them or broke a promise to them. He was fine with that answer and we had a fabulous rest of the night.

So I've accepted the fact these little boys will most likely only be with us for a few more days, until the end of the respite care period. I know that God had them with us for some reason. We learned a lot and I hope if nothing else they will know in their heart they have one more mom and dad that care about them a lot and will pray for them often. As I'm sitting here amongst all these piles of little boy clothes I know a way we can continue to help them, and you can help them too! If you're interested read my next blog post. It will be much shorter and straight to the point.

I'm sure my emotional roller coaster will continue for quite awhile as I reflect on our experience with these little guys, but that's a part of this whole experience. Our social worker told us that it often takes actually getting your fist placement to figure out what you're really wanting/willing to do.

For us, for now, its going to be short term foster care. Only placements whose parent(s) are actively involved in getting their kids back. We can handle kids for shorter periods of time.. in fact we can try to even plan on having more kids around that.. but we're not ready to adopt at the moment. For this we are sure.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

We're getting a placement!

Well the time has come! We finally (that's the impatient part of me talking) are getting a placement! I say finally but really it's great timing. I just finished school two weeks ago and I am now on summer break until mid August. It will be very nice to have some down time to get adjusted with the new additions to our family. Yes I said additions... two boys.

I can't tell you much about their situation because I'm not allowed to. Lets see I can tell you ages... They are 4 and 6 years old. We initially didn't think we wanted kids older than 4 but for some reason when they called us with these two we didn't have any hesitation. Maybe that's because a month ago they called us and asked if we wanted to take a 9 year old and that felt really old. (We obviously said no, although there was a BIG part of me that wanted to say yes).

We will have them for one week before we officially become their foster parents. This gives us some time to make sure its going to work out. If then we decide we want to switch them over to our care then we could have them for quite awhile.

With that.. I'm going crazy thinking about all the things I need to get done before they get here in less than 48 hours. Tonight we unbunked the tree house bunk beds in the tree room. That is where they'll be sleeping. Camden will now sleep in the play room/guest bedroom (No big deal because he sleeps there a few nights a week as is). This is what still needs to be done before they get here...or soon after they get here.

-Get drawers to put under beds in the tree room and Cams new room
-Get some clothes (they will bring with them what they have but there's no guarantee what that will be)
-Figure out where the 6 year old is going to start 1st grade next year. I'm leaning towards Merced Christian so he can be in the same class as my niece. So If we choose to do that I need to sign him up asap.
-hmm that may be all.. Ok so it doesn't seem like that much to do but my mind is going a mile a minute I'm so excited/nervous.

oh and did I mention that we have our annual trip to the lake house in Montana coming up.. as in we leave the end of next week?!?! If all goes as planned we will be buying two more plane tickets and bringing them with us.

We are excited. Please pray that this transition goes smoothly. We learned that every time a child gets moved to a new home they actually suffer brain damage. I pray that every thing will go as smoothly as possible and that these boys will be as comfortable with us as possible . Pray that Brian and I will have patience and understanding. Pray that Camden and Andersen will adjust well and that every one will get along. Thank you every one for your support. It is greatly appreciated. =)