Wednesday, January 20, 2016

On Fostering

I was talking to Mario the other night and mentioned that in May it will be two years from when we started this fostering adventure. However, we've technically only been parents for four of those months.

It's been totally different than what I thought it would be like. It took nearly a year to get our first placement. Between getting home studies, taking classes, preparations and our social worker going on emergency leave, we didn't get a placement until April. Almost a year after we started the process. We really thought we'd have had a placement much earlier. However, life reared it's head.

Our first placement was a toddler. He was our first big test. Going from no kids to a toddler was hard. However, he was smart beyond his years and because of that we had to keep an eye on him. That cute booger was into everything and loved being outdoors. He was with us until mid July.

 He was our first good bye. I still miss him every day. I have a hard time looking through photos of him and not getting emotional. He was our first baby and taught us so much. More importantly, how to love unconditionally.

Then because of our move and trying to get my sister-in-law's home ready for inspection, it took until November to get us licensed again.

We got our second call for a newborn foster placement the week before Christmas. We were supposed to pick her up on Friday, but because of her situation, we didn't get to pick her up until Monday before Christmas. We visited her every day at the hospital. Got to know her and her schedule, fed her and cuddled her. When we did take her home, it was interesting because it was top secret. The hospital took the situation very seriously. They were very careful to make sure we never ran into the parents or the family. The nurses actually wheeled me out in a wheelchair, so I'd look like I was just a normal mother leaving with my baby.

That was a minute by minute situation. Things changed so quickly, even her social worker was baffled. We had her for two nights and then she was ordered to go with a family member. The judge thought she should be with family for Christmas. I totally agreed, but had to say good bye to our Christmas baby. We learned a lot in those few days with her. She was sweet and content. She never cried. I was also able to get over my small fear of newborns. I was having those same dreams pregnant moms have, where you dream you forget the baby somewhere or don't change them. Those dreams are the worst! However, this sweet girl got me over that!

A few weeks later and we are with our third placement. A 1 year old little girl. Tomorrow is court. So, hopefully tomorrow night, we'll find out how long we'll have this sweet girl with us. Depending on court, this is the only placement that looks semi long term and they have even mentioned adoption. I have to be realistic though and keep in mind that like all foster placements, things can change so fast. I have to expect the worst and hope for the best. Until then, we'll enjoy our time with her!

I think the one thing we've learned is to never assume you know how it will go. Every placement has been different. Well, different on the outside. On the inside, it's about loving these babies for as long as we have them. Foster care is an adventure and a complete mystery!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Lets Talk Moving

We moved. We really didn't tell many people. It was one of those things that we have talked about and rejected for the last year and a half or so. Then all of a sudden...we changed our minds.

Some time after my mother in law passed away, Mario's sister discussed us moving in with her. She has a big house, that she was now living in alone. We pretty much passed on the idea pretty quick. We just didn't think it would be a good idea. Of course, once a month or so, one of us would bring it up, kick it around and the other would veto the idea immediately. She's a woman set in her ways. We are a married couple set in our ways. While Mario is very adaptable and mellow, we couldn't see how the two opinionated women could live happily and not butt heads. It just didn't seem worth the trouble and potential fallout.

However, if we moved in with her, we wouldn't have to pay rent. That was the huge draw for us. We want to buy a home so badly and the best way for us to save up a lot of money is to move in with Angela. Like I said, we really talked about it for a long time and couldn't see the situation working...and also couldn't see us passing up being able to save so much money.

Then we saw a change. Last April we got our first foster placement. Our little boy. We fell in love...and Angela also fell absolutely in love. It was such a big change that we saw in her. She was so happy to be around him. It was a side we really hadn't seen in a long time. After our foster son left foster care and went to live with a family member, the idea of us moving in with her was brought up again.

This time we took the idea a little more seriously. If our foster son came back into care, because of his age, the only way we could have him again was if we had a second bedroom. If we moved in with Angela, we would have access to two bedrooms in her home. One for us and one for our kid/s. This would mean that we could expand the age range that we foster and/or have a sibling set. It would also mean saving a huge amount of money and being able to pay down any bills.

So last September, we packed up our apartment, got rid of as much stuff as we could, organized a bit of Angela's home, and moved in. It was a lot of work. A lot of work. But we did it. It actually took us a lot longer to get set up and inspected for foster care again, but we are finally up and going again!

We have always lived pretty simple. Since Mario and I have lived together, we've always lived small. Now we live even smaller. Most of our belongings are in the garage. The rest is in our bedroom. Two desks for working, our big bed, our huge bookshelf with all of our books and tv on it...and our four animals! The kids room is just for them. Crib, bed, bookshelf, toys, etc. It's a very parred down life...but the benefits are big.

After four months there have only been a few hiccups. It helps that everyone works a lot. It's definitely hard being a person who loves to organize and keep clean, living with a person who loves their stuff around them. However, my eye is on the prize! We are able to foster, and have more area for the animals to run around...they love it here! And hopefully soon, we'll have our own house to with what we want!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Getting a hold of 2016!

You know how I get every year, new clean slate! It feels a little different this year though.

Mostly because all our goals and plans have been laid out and thought over for the past 2 years or more. Mario and I are always keeping tabs on our goals. It's really same 'ole, same 'ole around here. Save up for house, pay off bills, become parents, work, work, work, build business, work on art. Not that all of it doesn't make me excited. I just feel like my plans to reach those goals are the same as they have been. That's fine though. I'm happy with it. I'm happy to see out those long term goals!

I think what I've decided to do instead, is work on balancing my life around those goals we've set. In the last year, my business has grown and become a more stable income. We've become foster parents and are on our third placement. We have moved in with Mario's sister to save a ton of money. Mario is on his 6th season of Bob's Burgers and has been working on some really cool art for himself. All of which deserve blog posts!

Those blogs will definitely be coming! Because one of the things I think I miss most is writing! I miss coming here to tell you what is happening. I miss being able to laugh about something or tell you something stupid that happened or just talk out an issue I'm having. I've seen so many blogs burn out, I think I want to light that spark again!

Goal #1 to balancing business and pleasure...more writing! I can't say how often I'll meet you here, but I'll definitely try!

Next up, I think is telling you about moving in with Mario's sister. See you here soon! xoxo!