Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thriving on Chaos

I was shocked to discover that I haven't blogged since June! Wow! Where did the time go? I can find numerous reasons for time flying over the past few months. To quote my wonderful husband "Our family thrives on chaos!" And we're proud of it!

Today, the letter of the day at our house is "Z". Z is for zoom (as our 3 year old foster child plays with a zillion matchbox and other assorted cars/trucks) as Z is also for zzzzz (which is what our 8 week old foster child is currently doing). Our 3 year old should be starting preschool tomorrow, which will be great for him as he needs to develop language and social skills that he can't do at home with just myself and the infant. And the washing machine and dryer are both running.

So, how did we get to this point today? Jessica got married in August and I finished up my bachelor's degree at the end of the September. All of the children were now in school during the day. I was bored and not motivated to do anything. The idea of scrapbooking (which is my passion) was squashed by my inability to have sufficient funds and space to do it properly as we desired to keep Jessica's old room as a guest room. I kept reading in the newspaper about the lack of foster families and was told by CPS (child protective services) that children who were removed from their families were having to sleep in CPS offices overnight as they couldn't find a bed for them. After much prayer, we decided to become emergency receiving foster parents. We discussed it with our children and they were supportive, knowing that it would be difficult to have a revolving door of children through our lives.

After fall break, we met with our foster care licensing worker and decided to take in children ages 0-4 (so that we wouldn't have to deal with enrolling and withdrawing from school every week as our school district doesn't do enrollment at their schools, you have to do it about 10 miles away.

Within 48 hours of us hitting the vacancy list, we took in a 2 1/2 week old infant boy (Baby C). Wow! Having a newborn was quite an adjustment for us, especially the lack of sleep! He is now almost 2 months old and still with us.

Within 48 hours of our second vacancy (upon Jeremi's adoption being finalized), we took custody of an 11 month girl (Baby B). She was a sweetheart! She stayed 6 days and then went to an approved relative placement.

The day after Baby B left, we drove to Glendale CPS offices to pick up a three year toddler boy (Toddler I). He is a riot! He will be with us for a few weeks while CPS works through some things with the family and then he (and his siblings) should be going to an approved relative placement.

We do have one more vacancy on our newly renewed foster care license but we feel that two at home with me is plenty. Not to mention the fact that we will be filled to the capacity of our suburban and dad would have to drive separately if we took another placement. (The idea behind 3 children is to allow for a sibling group so that they wouldn't have to be separated).

Our children handled Baby B leaving really well and I am fairly certain that there will be some relief when Toddler I leaves. Baby C will be a different story as he has been with us for quite awhile already and there is no time frame for him going back home at this time. I told my sweet husband that when he does go back, I'll need 24 hours in bed with several boxes of Kleenex and perhaps a 1/2 gallon of rocky road ice cream. Grieving is a normal part of the foster parent process. It just won't be easy.

We feel so blessed to be able to serve these precious little children. We feel that this is God's current plan for our lives. We don't know how long we will do this, but we are so blessed to do this. We have great support from our family and friends as well.

God continues to bless us in so many ways!

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