Monday, November 10, 2014

Visit house

I mentioned awhile back (though I can't find the post at the moment) that our agency was moving from visits supervised at the agency office to visits at a house set up for that purpose.  It took awhile, but visits have started at the new visit house.

The downsides to visits at the agency were plentiful.  It is not a large office.  If a child is screaming in a visit room, the entire office hears it.  There were white noise machines set up, but it really couldn't help things.  Plus there was the chaos of a very small waiting area and people trying to do work just a few feet away in their cubicles.  The visit rooms at the agency, though well-equipped with toys, are very small.  I wouldn't want to spend an hour or more with my kids in one of those rooms, let alone with a child that is confused or upset the whole time.

So, now the agency has a house for most visits.  It has three rooms with toys that can be used for different visits, plus a kitchen if families want to use it.  It still needs a bit of work, but I think it's a great direction to be moving in.

Unfortunately, there are some downsides.  One is that it's way across town when the agency was less than 10 minutes away.  Right now our visit schedule is awful, with no ability to hang out on that side of town for an hour and a half because I need to pick up Dinosaur from school (in our neighborhood) in the middle of the visit.  So we are doing lots of driving and trying to figure out if we can get some transportation support to cut down on the madness.  I do think we were a bit spoiled over the last year with being able to zip over the agency in a few minutes and hang around at kid-friendly places with Rhinoceros and/or Dinosaur nearby, so I should accept that visits are just going to interrupt life horribly sometimes.

The other downside is that Cricket interprets the house to be somebody's house.  So far, I think she's just said it's her mom's house.  So, she is awfully confused when she has a visit with her dad, or when her mom didn't show up.  Plus, now she is asking to just go to her mom's house, because she has a concrete idea of where her mom is and wants to go there, even if we explain that she doesn't live there.

I think with time it may get easier, but man, foster care is full of surprises!

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