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.