Saturday, February 4, 2017

I'm Still Here! (And a Brief Update)

Considering the fact that I haven't written anything in over three monthsI thought it would be appropriate to let any readers know that I am, in fact, still here! 

Sometimes (more often than not) living life gets in the way of blogging- and that's okay.  It would be nice to be able to just sit down and start writing the half a dozen posts that are constantly brewing in my head after I've read a thought-provoking article or when I've had an experience I'd like to share with other foster parents.   I feel terrible when I am not able to follow through with a requested guest post or book review but ultimately my family is my first priority and they come first.  [Hint: If you've asked me to review a book or do a guest post it's not a question of IF I will do it, but of WHEN I will be able to get around to it.  Please don't take it personally.]  The truth is, I just barely got caught up documenting events and uploading photos on my private blog of what our family has been up to over the past year.  And let's be honest, if I want to finish writing just one blog post without any interruptions of "Mom!" "Mommy!" it most likely has to be after midnight.

Of course, there's also the issue of how much of my fostering and adoption experiences to share with a world of virtual strangers.  On the one hand, I've found a tremendous amount of support and encouragement over the years from other foster and adoptive families and I've learned much from birth mothers and adoptees who are willing to share their perspectives.  I also admit that it can be therapeutic to get all my thoughts down on paper (or rather a computer screen) and interact with others in the fostering and adoption communities who "get it".

On the other hand, I want to respect the privacy of my children and their birth families and I don't feel like it's necessary to go into details.  Sometimes when writing about such emotionally charged and complex topics it's hard to find the balance- especially when knowing some background is helpful to understand where I'm coming from.

The bottom line is, I'm still here.  I continue to have experiences I'd like to share and issues in fostering and adoption I'd like to explore.

And now for an update: We just renewed our foster care license for an 11th year.  We have room for one to two more children in our home.  However, we haven't had any long-term placements (just respite placements) since we adopted Jack & Jill almost two years ago.  I think this is due in large part to the fact that with three children we are a little more specific about what ages we are willing to take into our home.  We would like our oldest to stay our oldest and our youngest to stay the youngest.  And yet I really struggle with the fact that there are so many "older" youth awaiting families! I keep having to remind myself that as our children get older, our age preferences will expand to include older children. 

We also decided (my husband and I) that we are "done" providing long term care to infants and toddlers.  This was a hard decision to come to, but we feel it's best for our family considering the ages and needs of our youngest children in particular.  I did, however, get a baby fix yesterday.

This morning the kids seem to be going through "withdrawals" over the baby already after just one day!

Picture of my "baby" helping to feed the baby:

So we're not done fostering but are we done adopting?  Good question.  I don't know.  Time will tell. I continue to search through Waiting Child Listings and my husband is the one that actually brought up the possibility of international adoption (versus adopting domestically from the U.S. foster care system).  However, most of the time the children I inquire about either aren't a good fit for our family or we are not selected to be their adoptive family.  And that's okay because I've learned that it's about finding the right family for a child rather than fulfilling any "needs" on our part.

I also admit that it's been beneficial for me to have a temporary break and focus on the needs of the children I currently have before bringing any more children in to our home on a long-term basis.