A wonderful visit!

T’s visit with us went wonderfully!  We spent quality time doing activities that he loves and seeing people who care about him!  We spoiled him with all of his favorite foods and even allowed a later bedtime, which made him feel very grown up!  All of the kids got along!  Everyone had fun!  It was a wonderful visit! 

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T for five days

We went and picked T up today, so that he can stay with us for five days.  We are so excited to have him here and the kids fell right back into their old routines tonight.  There was LOTS of laughing and giggling and my heart is very very happy this evening.

T has known about this visit with us for a few days now, but the look on his face when we pulled into his driveway was priceless!  The grin from ear to ear and the sparkle in his eyes is worth the six hour drive!  He is here!  We get him for five whole days!  The Baby didn’t recognize us when we first walked into the house, but as soon as we started talking to him, his eyes lit up and he reached up towards me. We all held him and played with him and I thought about how blessed I am that even though I don’t get to raise him and have him at our house, I do get to see him and watch him grow up!  I feel so lucky!

So, this weekend with T will be packed with swimming, favorite foods, and lots of playtime!  Middle Girl wants to show T how she can ride a two-wheeler now and Only Boy wants to teach T how to play his favorite new card game.  We’ll watch movies and eat popcorn at night and make a few new memories!  This weekend will be fun!  I’m so glad we get to have T with us for five whole days! 

One more time? 

We really want to foster at least one more time.  We would really love to adopt again as well, if the right situation presented itself.  But, we sit and we wait and we don’t get calls.  

Every time that I hear a commercial on the radio asking for people to step up and become foster parents, I just want to yell at my dashboard.  Every time I see an ad describing the huge need for foster parents and adoptive parents in our state, I want to throw my shoe at the screen!  I want to yell, “what about the homes you already have?  How about use those!!!”  Because, out of the last 2 years and 10 months since we became foster parents, our home has sat empty a combined total of ten months.  Ten months where we have had three empty beds, ten months we have had a huge Suburban with empty seats, ten months I’ve sat and wondered why?  Tonight, I sit and wonder why, again.

(On a positive note, we go to pick up T for a long weekend tomorrow.  He’ll get to spend five days with us and we are all very excited!)

Missing T and The Baby

Friends of our family came over tonight whom we haven’t seen in a year.  Our two families had fun swimming in the backyard and eating BBQ.  At the end of the night we shared stories and memories from the past year and we were able to show pics of T and The Baby because our friends, living in another state have never met them.  It made me happy to talk about them.  Sad too, if I’m honest.  I miss them.  I miss my VERY full house.  I don’t miss the laundry, but I miss pretty much everything else.  We are hoping for a visit with them soon, probably in the next few weeks.  I can’t wait!  T has asked his new foster mom if he can come spend the night with us and his social worker has approved the visit.  We are looking forward to it!  

Help with T

T’s new foster mama texted me late last night and was curious if I had any advice on how to discipline T.  I don’t.  It seems T has started his lies again.  She told me that he lies to her about absolutely EVERYTHING!  Why?  We do NOT know.  His new foster mama is seriously awesome.  She is kind, yet firm and very stable.  But, T has started his lying behaviors again and he wasn’t very nice to his brother, Sad Eyes last week.  It’s so hard with T because very little phases him.  He is quite introverted when it comes to his feelings, so getting him to talk if he is not interested in doing so is incredibly hard.  So, I told her about when I told T the story, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” it seemed to really hit home with him when I told him that story at our house.  Every time that I sensed he might be lying, I would remind him about trust and how I wanted to trust him so badly, but that I needed him to be honest.  So, we will see how that works at their house.  He got t.v. and video games taken away for a week.  That might work too.  I really don’t know?  T has been trained that to survive he must lie.  It is so ingrained into his being that it is hard to change that personality trait.  I do know this, he is in a home where there is consistency and unconditional love.  I’m hoping and praying that he sees and feels this, so that he will let go of the lying and embrace telling the truth. 

Updates on the boys

T and The Baby are doing great in their new foster home with their brother, Sad Eyes.  Their other brother will hopefully be able to move in with them soon.  I get videos, pictures, and texts almost daily and it has made this transition so much easier than I had expected.  We miss them!  But, I still get to see them and hear about them and know how happy they are to be together.  That makes it all worth it!  T told his new foster mama that his “favorite” thing about being at her house is, “getting to live with my brothers.”  My heart smiled when I heard that he said that.  We did the right thing!  These boys are together!  

Their mother has stopped calling and visiting.  She has removed herself from the picture.  I don’t know why and I’m sure T and Sad Eyes notice her absense in their lives, but they have not showed it with any new behaviors.  Years of counseling is in the future for these boys, I am sure.  But, they’re together and enjoying summer! 

He did love us!

Last night I cried my eyes out after receiving a text and a pic from T’s new foster mom.  She had gone into his room to check on him before going to sleep and there he was, asleep holding our picture on his chest.  She took a pic of him sleeping peacefully like that and sent it to me.  Before T moved, I had printed out a pic of all the kids playing in the pool together and typed the words, “We love you T!” on it.  I put the pic in a frame and as we moved him into his new bedroom yesterday, I placed the picture frame on his new bedside table.  Falling asleep for the very first time in his new home, he held our picture and our message of love to him to his chest as he fell asleep.  My heart just broke!  He did love us after all.  He loved us.  And we love him!  We love you T!  You will be in our hearts forever!  We are so happy you will get to grow up with your brothers, ALL of them!  We love you.

What if we never get another placement? 

Our fostering agency is in trouble financially.  They are no longer training new foster parents in our area.  They cut our social worker’s hours to part-time.  And T just left to be with his brothers today.  I’m no longer a foster mom.  

Driving home after moving T into his new house, I felt weird.  Going from six kiddos in the backseat to only four in less than two weeks time is kind of a shock.  Yes, we knew it was coming.  Yes, I’ll see The Baby and T again.  But, I’m not their foster mom anymore.  I’m not anyone’s foster mom anymore.  Baby Girl is adopted and as of today my title of “foster mom” is gone.  I’m just “mom.”  

I LOVE being just “mom!”  Love it! It’s just strange that I’m not also a foster mom anymore.  2 1/2 years as a foster mom and just like that, it’s over.  Will I ever get to be one again?  I don’t know?  We shall see what God has in store for me, for our family.  We shall see.  

Less than 30 days left with The Baby

We got the text today.  The Baby will transition to his new home in less than 30 days and T will follow him a few short weeks after that.  I believe in this move.  I believe in keeping siblings together.  I agree with everyone involved that this move is positive.  My head tells me how “good” this is, but my heart breaks a little thinking about it.  I have been his foster mama since he was two days old.  I have been there for everything and have spent 24/7 with him and near him.  He and I are incredibly bonded.  I’ve given him a good start, a peaceful home, and a healthy beginning.  I am so happy to have gotten to love and nurture this precious little one for the past five months.  It was a blessing in my life and I am SO glad we got that call so many months ago.  

T and The Baby will leave.

T and The Baby will leave to go and live with Sad Eyes at the end of May.  This is actually a VERY good thing and something I am very supportive of and happy about.  Often times in foster care siblings get separated and never reunified. That is a tragedy.  But, that will not happen in this case.  The boys will live together in the foster home where Sad Eyes lives now and will stay there until reunification or adoption.  Sad Eyes is doing so much better in his therapeutic home and his foster mother has agreed to take all of the brothers, so that they can live together.  This is a success in foster care.  I will miss the boys, especially The Baby.  We have had him since birth and he and I are so bonded, but this is still a good thing.  It will be hard, but in the end extremely good for all of the boys!