Monday, March 12, 2012
It isn't easy being a kid in foster care. You miss your mom and dad and you miss how your life used to be. Sometimes you also miss siblings who live in different foster homes. Occasionally you even find yourself missing your foster parents when you get moved from one foster home to another.
When you're a foster kid you have a lot of questions; When will I see my mom? Where is my dad? When will I go home? Why did this happen to me? Was it my fault? Along with the questions come lots of big, complicated feelings that come seeping out at unexpected times, in unexpected ways. Stuff that used to be easy - like going upstairs to the bathroom by yourself, or sleeping at night - can suddenly seem scary and overwhelming.
My three are pretty lucky, as far as being in foster care goes. They are together, still go to their same school and get to see extended family regularly. But it still isn't easy for them. All three are wrestling with their feelings about missing mom and dad on a daily basis. One is very sad, another is very angry, while the third is clingy and shy. All of them are trying to come to terms with the conflicting emotions that come from being happy where they are right now, while still wishing they were somewhere else.
Yeah, being a foster kid really isn't easy. All I can say is thank goodness for sunny days at the park, when a kid can just be a kid - foster or otherwise - running around, jumping off the swings and playing in the sand with other kids.
Friday, March 9, 2012
|Post-bath flotsam and jetsam - just one of the many signs of how much my life has changed in the last 30 days|
Somebody recently asked my son how he was adapting to suddenly having three little siblings. "The kids are fine." I heard him say. "It is the never-ending cleaning up that is killing me." Boy, did he ever hit the nail on the head with that statement! From the time I wake up, to the time I go to bed at night, it seems I, too, am constantly wiping up, picking up, or sweeping up after the hurricane of destruction that little kids create.
Every day brings new attempts to try to convince certain small people to put things where they belong instead of throwing them on the floor. It has been an uphill battle, I must say. Just this morning I had to repeat "Go put your dirty clothes in the hamper" at least five times to the same child. After she left for school I realized she had picked the clothes up off the living room floor and thrown them on her bedroom floor instead. Not exactly what I was going for.
Twice this week the girls have allowed the baby to eat something inappropriate while I was in the shower. On Tuesday it was lip gloss. Today it was a hot pink magic marker. We have a chart on the fridge for measuring each girl's adherence to the house rules. The penalty for non-compliance is no dessert that night. They did great the last couple of days, but today dessert was off the table before they even left for school.
As draining as caring for three little kids can be, there are moments of incredible sweetness, too. Every single day both girls come home from school with pictures, cards and crafts they made for me or for big brother Evan. When Evan was sick with a stomach bug this week, Princess Jasmine even wrote him a get well song.
These are the moments that make up for the constant cleaning and all the little daily frustrations. Seeing the kids flourish and knowing they're happy here, or as happy as they can be while missing their mom and dad, is what keeps us going.
Yeah, I think maybe we're not doing so bad for only thirty days into this thing.