It was this time last week our world turned upside down. Most of the time when people say that, they are referring to a terrible thing that unexpectedly occurred. We signed up for this “world turning” situation (and I am really glad we did). I am learning that all parenthood in any version is pretty crazy, fosterhood has an extra layer of crazy–we will file that under “visits and visitors”.
Since then we have tried to develop some sense or routine, mostly to ensure predictability for the kids and also to nurture my need for control. I think most therapists, moms, and people who have a clue would encourage this especially during such a transition. Well, let me just say every thing in the whole universe is trying to sabotage all of my plans. I promise I am coping and “letting go” (which is advice I freely give out) but I am annoyed, nonetheless.
I will keep this brief but in foster parenting you have a pretty hefty administration: the Department of Family and Children Services of the State of Georgia. And because we are part of an agency of “professional foster care” we also are accountable to Neighbor to Family our organization. And all of these bosses have to come into “visit.” As if being in a strangers home isn’t challenging enough, rando’s show up to “visit.”
An aside: I get why. I am part of this very disjointed system. I know everyone has to visit, lay on eyes on the kids, because no one can just talk to each other. Sorry, I was trying to be understanding. No, for real, I get it. I think we are relatively good people and should be trusted with kids. There are people who may not be as awesome as us; and for those reasons they need check-ins (and other really good reasons…I am out of examples).
AND….those visitors should keep the kids first. What is best for the kids might not be showing up at dinner time when you have coordinated to come during playtime. They haven’t eaten because they are still unsure of daycare so dinner is SUPER important. I may have been a little strong in my position with said case worker tonight. I will advocate for food to be consumed.
I promise I have all the grace in the world for said workers (I have great friends who do the job), that job is NOT easy, but lets work together here. So yea, a lot of visitors that are not our friends. And on a tired day when your iPhone 6plus breaks and about 10 other things don’t go your way, you may not be able to “fake” obligatory friendliness to the worker. In one week we have had 4 different “case workers” visit; it seems excessive but I am trying to be open minded. Thats just real life. I promise I see their perspective; curse of the therapist.
You are doing your best AND you can do better. Thanks DBT.
On the other hand we have had some friends visit and the kids love it. Anyone who has experienced it will vouch they are friendly and they wave and smile and play. They are pretty comfortable at home and its nice to welcome friends in to live life with us.
Okay, visits. The nitty gritty. Any kid who comes into foster care is supposed to have a medical and dental appointment within 72 hours. Times 3. That is a lot of doctors, a lot of vaccines, and a lot of crying kids. And those said doctors are thorough and I respect that. I love our pediatrician, she is smart and kind and I have spent more time with her this week than my own PCP. Can I get an amen? I hang on every word she says, which leads to long appointments. I never use sick time at work, thanks kids. Also, they go to the germ factory (aka school) everyday so I am sure that sweet pediatrician will be seeing more of me. In addition to doctors and dentists, each kid will get a trauma assessment to see if a psychological is warranted. Regardless, the verbal children deserve some individual therapy (says the therapist). I am itching to get that started. Today we received a social work referral for speech therapy and babies can’t wait. And I also got resources for every kid issue under the sun. I think the doc also recommended getting them involved in some extracurricular activity.
With all my free time I will get right on that.
Oh, and we got a flyer that it is “Holiday Spirit Week.” I gotta run to make some holiday themed outfit for tomorrow and cupcakes for Friday.