Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Our First Sibling Group

Alternate Title:  My Excuse For Not Posting in Over a Month!

As if the holiday season isn’t busy enough, just five days before Christmas we got a call from DCFS about a sibling group: a 2 year old boy and his 9 month old baby brother.  (Technically they’re half-brothers which makes weekly visits and kinship options a bit more extensive).  Within an hour of the initial call and after talking things over with my husband and praying about it (because bringing two more children into your home certainly isn't a decision to be taken lightly!), we called our Resource Family Consultant back and said we would take the boys. Early that evening we picked them up.  This was the sixth Christmas we’ve had with foster children in our home and it makes the season much more meaningful to “make room in the inn” so to speak.
We've never parented more than two children at a time before so this is certainly a new adventure for us.  So far the transition is going relatively well for both the boys and for our family.  When I first heard the details of their case I expected them to be much more delayed and neglected than they seem, so I was pleasantly relieved not to find any obvious signs of neglect (diaper rashes, attachment issues).  I’m guessing the biggest challenge for them has been trying to adjust to their new environment and structured routines with regular mealtimes, bedtimes, naptimes, etc
As for us, the biggest challenge has been trying to decipher what the 2 year old (who I will be referring to as “Ty”) is saying as he is very speech delayed and a little behind in motor skills as well. I’m going to have to be very proactive with the State to advocate for his early intervention needs and get him the speech and occupational therapy he needs so that he doesn’t get overlooked and fall further behind.  We also have the challenge of putting some meat on Ty’s bones as he is skin and bones- his ribs stick out like an Auschwitz victim and many of his pants are constantly falling down since he is so skinny around the waist.  To complicate matters he has some food sensitivities and allergies which make it harder to fatten him up.  Thankfully, the baby (who I will refer “Ian”) still has plenty of reserves of baby fat on him.
Our daughter is happy to have a foster sibling again and she alternately nurtures these boys and takes them under her wing one minute and then bosses them around the next minute.

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