Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Survival mode

It's been six days since a new little person came to stay with us.

It's also been six days since I've slept through the night.

When I don't get enough sleep, I get cranky.

Tonight, after a 3-hour meeting at DSS, four different drop-off and pick-ups, and five total hours of driving all over the universe in my van full of kids.... I came to a boiling point. I had a little breakdown. I declared DONE. I put myself to bed and locked the door, and left Mike to deal with it.

And then came the guilt.

My 12yo is picking up the slack. She was cleaning up in the kitchen until an hour past her bedtime.
My 8yo is constantly asking, "What can I do to help you, Mommy? Is there anything you need right now?"
My 6yo is talking less and whining like a baby more. Regression?
And the baby is getting far less attention than he should.

This child and her special needs are far beyond anything that was covered in our foster parent training. This child needs therapeutic care. The funny thing is, somehow "this case doesn't qualify as therapeutic." I am at my wit's end! I can't do allll the things.

We are constantly in survival mode these days. (Or as Mike says, constantly "putting out fires.")

In my head, as the day goes along, I am triaging: What is essential? What can I cut out of my day? How can I par down something, in order to make this workload manageable? But sometimes I can't manage it. And there are never enough hours in the day to do all of the things on the list.

Something's got to give.
Today, that something is me.

On the way home from school this afternoon, my oldest asked how long this newest placement was going to stay."Do you think it will be a few more days, or a few more weeks? Or maybe a couple of months?"

I don't know, child. I really don't know.
I don't know how much longer I can go on like this.

At the same time, I don't want to be a quitter. I don't want to give up on this child after a few days. I don't want to be the one who disrupts a placement, just because it is hard. This child has already been through plenty of hard things. Why should we make her move again, just when she's beginning to get used to us?

I guess I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and see what God does with our tangled-up mess tomorrow.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Room for one more.... Part 2

First, if you haven't yet, read Part 1 here:

Yesterday we got called about a new placement. We initially decided no, we couldn't take on this new placement right now. It wouldn't be a good fit for our family and the 4 other kids at our house.

The social worker called back again, more desperate this time. "Would you consider taking her temporarily, until we can find someone else?" We didn't want this vulnerable little kid stuck in a group home, so we finally said yes, we'd take her if no one else would. For a little while.

Guess what? No one else would take her. Everyone else on the list said "no".

So therefore, our "no" turned into "yes".

Last night, at bedtime, when we were in the middle of getting the other kids ready for bed, and trying to put together the toddler bed with an allen wrench - she arrived.

She arrived with not much. For various reasons, she wasn't able to bring anything from her first home. But because of some generous donations, she was given a backpack with toiletries, other essentials, a blanket, a sippy cup, socks, shoes, 2 pjs and 2 other outfits.

Apparently, for some unknown reason, God REALLY wants this little girl at our house for the time being. He must have a really funny sense of humor. I sure don't understand it.

have no idea how long she'll be with us. We still don't think this placement is a great match for our family and the other kids. But at least for today, we know that she is safe and loved.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Room for one more

We got another placement call today.
Social worker: "I have a big favor to ask you!"

I know what that means.... OK, tell me about the case.

I listen, and I hear about a broken, hurting family. I hear about pain and struggling. I hear about siblings being separated. I hear about a very special little girl, who has some special needs. After a long list of diagnosis and appointments needed with specialists, the social worker pauses. I asked, what is her name? She says it is the same as MY name.

What are the odds of that?!?

She said that she would give my spouse and I some time to talk it over.

Well, we did. We talked. We discussed. We debated. For almost an hour.

In the end. I had to call back and say "no. We cannot take this one right now. It would not be the best thing for her, or for the others our family."

So today, just as we did yesterday, we still have room for one more. And my heart is a little bit more broken. I've read that God is near to the broken hearted.

Dear Lord, please be near to that little girl this week. Help comfort her when she cries, so that she doesn't feel alone. Be with her even as everything around her is unfamiliar and unknown. Help her to grow and thrive in her new home. Please help her know that she is loved. Amen.