Saturday, April 25, 2015

Some good things

  • As dramatic as last night was, Cricket slept soundly through the night.
  • Cricket and Rhinoceros have jumped back into their pretend play that only they understand.  Rhinoceros keeps yelling about Cricket being on his team.
  • Gina recently had Cricket's hair braided, so I've got almost zero hair work to do.
  • A sibling visit happened to be scheduled for this weekend, so we've already gotten together at the library with sister, Gina, baby brother, brother's foster parents.  Baby brother's only word is "hi" and he melts your heart when he says it to you.
  • We watched an Annie montage by Cricket's request and she ran/danced around the library while singing "I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here."  (Thankfully the kids' area is on a separate floor and there's no shushing.)
  • What was supposed to be a gloomy day cleared up and we got outside, which is good, because tough times for Cricket equal tons of energy she needs to get out.
  • I think we tired her out, because I haven't heard a peep since B put her to bed.

Friday, April 24, 2015


And Cricket's back here for now.  It went about as I expected:

Phase 1: Hyperdrive, hypersilly with the other kids, running around in circles, talking a mile a minute, volume level 11.  Doesn't want me to touch her.
Phase 2: Shutdown.  Lying down on the couch, talking about sleeping.
Phase 3: Clinginess and wanting to be treated like a baby, interspersed with some remaining spurts of energy.  Talks about being sad, doesn't want to see the other kids, doesn't want me to leave her sight.
Phase 4: Screaming and crying.

Phase 4 is still going.

At the same time, as soon as she started saying all sorts of crazy stuff as she stepped in the door, and as soon as she said "Mommy will you pick me up" and I held her, it all washed over me like a wave.  My deep love for this little girl who is hurting, who was hurting, who has been hurting.

Thursday, April 23, 2015


I haven't been able to bring myself to write because it would all be rantings of an impatient adult.  An impatient adult who has had a pretty good life.  Who should be able to put up with waiting and not knowing.

Gina's license still has not come through.  The caseworker is reluctant to move her back here even though really she should be here since we're the named placement and receiving payments.  Which we've been passing on to Gina.  I'm glad she's reluctant to move her because I do not want more upheaval in Cricket's life, but we know that she can't hold off forever.  At some point (and no one has told me when) she has to be in a fully licensed home).  She's been there for weeks.  It seemed like the move might have been this week.  Then nothing happened.  I don't want to ask too many questions because I don't want her to have to move here either.  I don't want to draw attention, yet I'm going insane because it's not wrapped up.  I just want it to be all wrapped up.

Which I rambled to my friend who is a child psychologist.  She said, "You chose foster care and you want things to be all wrapped up?"

Fair enough.

So maybe I'll muster the energy to distract myself and post about things that are totally unrelated, like organizing foster kid supplies.  Or maybe I'll avoid the blog like I avoid thinking about Cricket as much as I can, because it just invites a cycle of worry, prediction, and stress.

Monday, April 13, 2015

When kids don't understand

I could name dozens of sad parts of foster care, as it is inherently pretty sad.  One that always freezes time and makes me feel like my heart is being clenched is what kids say to me when they don't understand what is happening.

Our trip was a wonderful break, and the boys were too busy to ask much about Cricket or notice her absence.  They played with a little girl from a neighboring campsite and had a blast.  Then suddenly Rhinoceros started talking about his sister.  Not Cricket, but that this little girl was his new sister, and he kept asking, "Where is my sister?"  I know it was just a ball of confusion knowing that Cricket is gone, there's someone missing in our family, and he's trying to fill that hole.

Then I called Cricket's "new granny" (as Cricket had called her once before the move) for an update on Cricket and to talk to her a little bit.  When Gina got the phone back from Cricket, she told me about Cricket's last visit with her mom.  Apparently when Gina said she was going to see her mom, she said, "No, that's Sissy's mom.  She's not my mom.  I have my own mom."  The poor girl is so confused from the move, from my disappearance.  Gina asked me if she had ever said this before, and I said she hadn't.

All I can do is pray, that amidst all the confusion, that somehow Lord they will know that they are loved.  They will know that they are not alone.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Catching up

Despite not having a foster child in our home for the past ten days, we've still had a fostering family life eventful enough for me to do a catch-all update.

We went on a trip to see my grandfather, my mom's dad.  My mom's mom passed away last year.  My boys never met her before she died, and I really wanted them to meet Grandpa before waiting too long.  He's in pretty great health and has sisters in their nineties still mowing their lawns, so I hope he'll be with us quite awhile, but you never know.  He also happens to live (many hours) south of us, so it was a good Spring Break trip to somewhere more springlike while our trees still have no signs of leaves.

It was a renewing, wonderful trip.  Seeing spring's green everywhere was so energizing when I've been so weary.  I was worried about the long drives with the kids, but even in their annoying or tiring times, I didn't regret the trip a bit.  We made fun stops on the way down and back, we camped near where my Grandpa lives and enjoyed the campground, we zoomed around his yard in a golf cart, climbed trees, and fed farm animals.  A very good outdoor, slowing down, time with family kind of vacation.  B and I admitted to each other that Cricket's placement was hard on us, no two ways around it.  We had fun moments, and we had peaceful moments.  We talked over future fostering, considering a family meeting that we'd present different age options to Dinosaur and get his thoughts.  We're leaning toward just infants for a little while.

Unfortunately, two foster care things ate away at that peace.  Gina's license still has not cleared at the state level. It should have two weeks ago.  I feared this meant she would come back to us and we had phrased her move not as respite but in very permanent terms: she will live there, she won't live here, she will live with her sister.  As much as I miss her, coming back here should be a very last resort, definitely not for some bureaucratic hangup.  We still don't know what's happening besides the caseworker saying they're trying to push it along.  Sigh.

The other one was a placement call.  Yes, though they knew we were on vacation, though Cricket hasn't officially moved.  I know they called because they had very few options; there is a sibling in a placement with our agency, so then they try first to keep siblings within the same agency.  A toddler with a sad story, one of our saddest so far.  We said to each other, of course not, but my heart ached.  Could we take him Saturday night when we got back?  I didn't reply right away.  We talked more.  We asked Dinosaur what he thought about fostering a new kid so soon, a toddler that might not be easy to live with.  He was excited, undeterred.  But finally we settled on our answer: Cricket's situation needed figured out first, then we would talk about it.  By the time we replied, they found a placement in another agency.

So, there goes that "infants for now" idea.  I am not against limits.  But I think here we were grasping for control, for planning.  While this little toddler was not for our home, we are going to be open for one if we're needed.

If Cricket's situation ever gets figured out.  Gah.

And so, at the end of a mess of foster care, I leave you with peaceful pictures of a lake and throwing old bread to cows.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

First Day April 2015 - The day before Cricket's move

Since we're leaving tomorrow morning, I wanted to get this post up even though I usually wait for the link-up through Journey to Josie.  This week is insane with packing for camping, packing for Cricket, and some ill-timed homebrewing thrown in (I still love you, B).  At least we got outside a bit as it was a gorgeous day.  Also, see if you can spot when Cricket got ahold of the camera.