Friday, October 4, 2013

Recording a foster child's life

Pterodactyl is still here, and I haven't heard anything new about her moving to her grandma.  The caseworker said it could be very soon, it could be weeks still.

So, I've started preparing for her move.  I'm replenishing many of her supplies like bottles and pacifiers to make sure she has plenty of the right kind, but mostly I've been working on her life book/baby book.  It's a bit of a combination, as life books often involve the child in sharing their thoughts and feelings about their foster/adoption story.  For children adopted as babies or very young, it provides a story of their transition from birth family or orphanage to adoptive family.  It might involve information on the birth family.  In our case, Pterodactyl will be with her birth family, her maternal grandma.  She will be the resource for family information, not my limited knowledge.  I considered just making it a book with photos and generic captions, but I wanted Pterodactyl to have a bit more than that.  She is the only one of her siblings that went into non-relative foster care.  What if later in life she's confused about that and has fears that one of those notorious in-it-for-the-money foster families took care of her?  What if she just feels like those months were lost while her grandma can tell stories about her brothers?

So, I'm telling a little about what she was like as a newborn and an infant.  I'm using two pages to show our family, cautious not to overwhelm her or her grandma with the presence of our family, but including us for who we are.  A note about how Dinosaur told the social worker every week at visits without fail, "She is such a cute baby."  A note telling the name the Rhinoceros called her, unable to pronounce her real name.  I'll include a letter from me that I haven't written yet.  I hope to end it with pictures from a good-bye party.  I hope we have enough warning for a good-bye party.

I hope whatever the grandma has been through (and I honestly don't know a lot of it) doesn't make her want to hide Pterodactyl's beginnings.  I hope Pterodactyl sees this book when she's older and somehow knows she had a loving home.

I hope we make it through this.


  1. I just want to take a moment to say thank you for sharing the ups and downs of foster care. We are going through the classes and hope to one day have children through this messy system. May God truly uplift you in the hard times. Remember that your reward will be great...

  2. Sue, prayers to you as you get ready for this journey of foster care! I was in your shoes this spring, reading blogs and preparing. Thanks for taking the time to comment!