Monday, January 24, 2011

Lots of random thoughts today....

I've been on a planning frenzy for days now. I started looking into Mom 2 Mom sales in my area because there are quite a few things that I need (or rather, strongly want) before we have a placement. I would rather be prepared and get great deals on the items, than have to spend a bunch of money once we get a placement. I'm a bit of a tightwad, so the idea of paying full price is horrible!! LOL.

I went to SC for the weekend, and it was a last minute trip. I went to visit my cousin Lisa, and I had a great time- despite the fact that I lost my Drivers License and was worried about how TSA would let me on the plane. :)

My Foster Classes have been going VERY well. I think we are moving at a good speed for licensing. DH thinks we may be licensed and have a placement as early as March 2nd. I think he is delusional, but I'm working to prepare for that. Although my biggest M2M sale is March 26th, and I'm planning to get my bigger items there (we need a Pack n Play, a changing table, a high chair and a toybox).

My mom has been so cute about this whole process. I definitely got my bargain shopping from her and my grandma and aunts. She along with my grandmother and great Aunt (all who live in FL) have begun the search for baby clothes. Since we have no idea about the placements we will have, or what size clothes we may need- she has decided that she will get two outfits of each gender for each age up to 1yr. She is also looking for several onsies and layettes etc. She wants us to have a few outfits for any child that is placed with us to get us through the first day or so.

Can you tell where I get my obsessive planning from? LOL.

Sometimes I feel silly for doing all this, but I'm so torn.

Today we got our physical forms in the mail. I am going to the Dr tomorrow, so I asked our licensing agent to send them to me, but I was expecting them to come via email for some reason. Before I opened the envelope I had the crazy notion that I was about to be informed that we were already denied for some crazy random reason. It's silly- but I started to think that maybe I should wait to buy these things until we are officially licensed- but that just wouldn't work for me.

I know that I need to have something to focus on, and this has helped- but I am starting to feel like I am going overboard. But am I really? We are preparing for a child to be in this home. These are all things that a pregnant woman would do- and she has a set time limit (usually) as to when her child will arrive. I do not. I have no idea if it will be in 2 months, or 4 or 12! So I suppose this is all valid.

In all honesty- if we were to get a placement tomorrow- we would be fine. We have a crib, several blankets, a stroller and a bouncy seat. The rest is more for convenience.

I am getting strange looks from various family members about this, I suppose maybe they are worried about attachment?

I think that if we were to get a placement as soon as March 2nd- I would be floored, but thrilled. I do not think it will be that soon, especially since we have a limited age range.

I warned you that this was a random thought post, can you imagine being in my mind 24/7?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

First Foster Care class this evening

In Michigan- the classes are called PRIDE- Parental Resource for Information, Development and Education

My first session was supposed to be on Tues- but it was canceled due to the weather, so we will have an additional class next Tuesday.

It was very informational, and intimidating at times. But also comforting.

I was overwhelmed with the amount of information, but all of it is covered in the MASSIVE binder of paperwork we were given. Seriously, a 2" binder PACKED with session info and even a section called "Promoting Safety, Permanence and Well Being"

The good things I learned, that helped to put my mind at ease-
In Michigan- when a child is placed with a foster family- there are TWO plans. One for reunification, and one for termination of parental rights. Both are being worked on at the same time.
The birth parents are given approximately one year to complete the requirements, or show great improvement. If after a year- nothing has changed- DHS will petition the court to terminate parental rights.

I had read some horror stories (admittedly not in my state) of children placed in a home for several years only to be reunited with the birth family in the end. While I fully agree that reunification is the BEST option if possible, I can't imagine that kind of time frame being productive.

DHS of Michigan puts an emphasis on Permanency- rather than Reunification. Reunification is the preferable option, but if that doesn't promote permanency- than they choose another route.

We talked a lot about the fact that children in foster care need more love and time than many kids- and what that commitment is. I had a hard time with one of the videos because they showed images of a young boy with HORRIBLE bruises. And of course, internally I was asking God-once again- "WHY?" Why can they have children and abuse them in this way? Why can't I have a child? I don't think this line of thinking will ever go away.

I have already realized that I am going to need to work on not judging the birth parents. I want to say that I will always remember not to judge someone else, but I can't promise that. Thankfully my husband is usually better at that than me. I am compassionate, but I have a hard time being compassionate to someone who has made mistakes that hurt someone that I care about. Whereas my husband is a great listener who tends to just accept people as they are.

A lot of things we talked about were more geared for older children, and I wanted to write those things off mentally, but I don't know what lies ahead for us. While we may only be considering babies at this time- we may be in a place down the line to take in older children, and I still need to be prepared and know how to deal with the issues that may arise.

This session definitely didn't turn me off of foster parenting, but I realized that I need to learn some things about myself and work on them to make sure I can give any foster child the best possible home.

Rambling feelings post

In an attempt to actually deal with my feelings instead of repress them- I will process them by blogging.

I am really down this morning. I think it stemmed from seeing the Maternity clothes in the back of my closet. Two years ago, they were given to me by various friends. I thought I would be wearing them by now. But I am not, and I don't know if I will!

Do I give them away? That would seem like I really am giving up.

I am glad my foster class is tonight (my first one was canceled on Tues because of the snow). I really think that will help this mood. I know that we are getting closer to becoming a family, and even though I am still dealing with my feelings about not TTC. I'm sure this isn't a short process, and even once we have a child, I will still mourn the pregnancy process.

That is something DH doesn't understand. He is a fixer, as most men are. He sees the solution to the problem (adoption/fostercare) and forgets about the reason we made that decision. He wants me to be "better" and while I have come a long way, I still struggle every day to be productive instead of crawling into bed and staying there.

And as usual, I hate limbo. Although we are on the path to FC, we are in limbo again. We also just found out about a position opening within DHs company. He REALLY wants this job and I really want this for him, and us too. It would mean a lot of good changes, including schedule. As much as I am excited about this opportunity, I feel like it puts us in more limbo.

I am also starting to feel left out with certain friends of mine. When a discussion comes up about certain kid things, I cannot contribute. Either it is something I haven't experienced yet, or my opinion is discounted because I am not a mom yet. I know this will change soon, and I look forward to that- but it is still hard.

I have to remember to blog on days that i feel like this. I tend to think that because I'm doing better, I don't need to process these emotions. But if anything, I need to more so that I don't wind up back at square one.
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Monday, January 10, 2011

Foster Care FAST TRACK!!!

So I dropped off the application on Thursday- and Friday at 12:30 I had an email from the Licensing agent. The PRIDE classes (Parent's Resource for Information, Development and Education) start TUES!!!

At first I didn't think we would be attending those- since DH works afternoons, and the classes are from 6-9 on Tues and Thurs. I asked about Saturday classes, and the next classes are on days that DH can make it- but I can't. So we are taking the classes separately rather than wait until March to take them. By the end of the month we will be finished with the first requirement!!

I'm not sure where we go from there- but I'm assuming we begin the VERY long process of the background checks and home assessment. I'm already making lists of stuff I want to buy and have on hand, and what needs to be better organized/child proofed. 

I am desperately seeking information on what to expect from the Home Study- so any input from Foster parents would be great, especially those in Michigan.

This has amazingly helped my attitude. We might have a child in the house by Mothers day! I'm not expecting everything to go perfectly- so I would like to be licensed by then. 

Today I get to have two cuties in the house with me. My nephew William (3) had to have his tonsils and adenoids taken out this morning :( I have Joshua and Elizabeth, his younger siblings- so he can rest without his little brother trying to play and his little sister taking up mommy's attention. 

I love having them in the house- and Elizabeth is at such a fun age. She is 6 months and such a happy baby. Her little giggle makes my heart melt. They are both sleeping right now- which seems like a miracle LOL!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Updates and an Amazing Step

It's been almost a month since I posted last, and I've not been doing well, until this week. And I wouldn't really say I'm doing "well" per-say, just better than the last 4 weeks.

You see- in all the insanity of Christmas and life- I was denying the fact that I was upset about suspending fertility treatments. I do still believe it was the best decision for me. We were really only once cycle away from injects, and we've decided we can't afford those right now anyway, so putting my body through another round of Clo.mid was not smart.

But the dreams and hopes I had for the next year or so of my life- being pregnant, having a baby shower- seeing the ultrasound, and ALL the things that come with a pregnancy- are gone. Yes, I know there is that chance of a "surprise" BFP- but I can't focus on that. So I need to accept these things and "mourn" them so I can move on. This has all occurred to me in the last few days. I wasn't blogging because blogging would require thinking about things- and that was too much for me I think. I didn't even realize what I was doing- but looking back (as usual) I can see my behavior clearly.

So after a real dip into my "hole" of depression and making DH angry because of my inability to function (and in this case, not doing several things that I promised him I would do- therefore putting us behind in leaving to visit his mom for the weekend) I realized a lot of things. DH and I had a 3 hour drive to talk, and in my case- cry. I realized that I was suppressing a lot of emotions because I didn't want to feel them, or I didn't think I should feel them. So armed with that knowledge about myself- I tried to deal with these emotions. I told DH that I needed to process these emotions, and that crying and dealing with them isn't a bad thing. I had 3 pregnancy announcements in ONE DAY (SERIOUSLY!?) and I had to deal with that.

Since then, I've been crying- a LOT lol. But again- it's been good. We decided that we REALLY needed to move forward with Foster Care. Thank to you to everyone who commented on my last post. It REALLY helped me and made me realize that I can't assume things will go wrong. I need to try and see how things work out. God has a plan- and I know that.

So that's the update part- and then we have today.

I was supposed to go grocery shopping today, and run other errands. Instead, I woke up to a husband who was in severe pain and needed to go to the doctor. I needed to run to the bank near our doctor (20 min away) anyway- so I went with him and then ran to the bank. On my way back, I heard a song that made me cry (at this point- nearly every song can do that lol) and was praying begging God to help me and just asking- for the 2343324th time- WHY? And I had the sudden desire to listen to some Christian music that might be more uplifting. I changed the radio channel- and there was a commercial on for fostercare/adoption. I listened to it- and proceeded to cry even more. I truly felt God speaking to me and reminding me that we had other options. For the first time in months- I can honestly see myself as a foster mom.

Our fostercare application was sitting at home on the desk 99% filled out, and thanks to some accountability from my friend- I ran home to get it on the way home from the doctors office. After we dropped off DHs prescriptions- we sat in the parking lot and filled out the rest of the application. And we went to the office of DHS (Department of Human Services) and.....


This is a huge step for me. We've had the application for over 6 months. And for the last month I have been saying that I'm going to turn it in. And of course I didn't LOL

So I think that's the update on me. I'm excited about this next phase. I'm off now to do some obsessive research about foster care in Michigan LOL!! I'm also planning to find more blogs of foster parents. Information overload- here I come!!!