Sunday, January 24, 2010

Special Bonds and Family Involvement Meeting

(J is the one holding the bat!)

Lately J has been bonding more with my hubby than I. It's ok. I still have my 'special bonds' with him. Here are some of them:

1- I don't iron. When my clothes are wrinkled, I put them in the dryer and get them unwrinkled (a trick my Mom taught me growing up!) and then put them on. One time shortly after J came to stay with us, his shirt was wrinkled. I put it in the dryer and then put it on him. Now he prefers his clothes to be 'hot' when he puts them on, so I put his clothes in the dryer for a few minutes before getting him dressed. It helps him get dressed fast because he doesn't want them to get 'cold' before he puts them on.

2- I blow dry his hair. He asked me to blow dry his hair one time, so I figured what the heck-- it doesn't hurt anything... He doesn't have very long hair so, he doesn't need it dried but, he likes it and so when he asks me to do it I do.

I was talking to a co-worker about these and she said I should break these habits because when he moves back home they may not do these things for him... I agreed at first but then told her. 'Maybe they won't. Maybe he will ask and they will think I am silly for doing these things for him-- or maybe he will always think about me and how I warmed his clothes for him and blew his hair dry...' She now agrees that it's not so bad. J has been through a lot in his life and I don't think I am hurting him by 'spoiling' him with these little special things I do.

This past Friday we had a Family Involvement Meeting. It included DSS, bio family, both foster families and a mediator. I worried how it would go but, I think it went well.....I signed a paper stating what happens in the meeting is confidential so I can't really give too many details but, I guess I can say that they have decided to keep J with us for now. The other foster family is ok with it and so is DSS and bio family. He will most likely be here for several more months since there is so much that has to happen for he & his sis to return home. We still have our good days and our not so good days with him behavior wise but, we are still just taking it one day at a time. We will be having more interaction with the family so, I hope it continues to go well.

J started his baseball class/clinic last Saturday. I forgot my camera but, took the picture above on my cell & sent it to my computer. He is doing ok.... There are only 2 in the class right now, so I think that is good to get him used to it. He doesn't do well with crowds of 'strange' kids. 2 weeks down & 6 more to go.

Thats about it for now. His birthday is coming up... So, it's exciting to me to think about hosting a birthday celebration... It probably won't be 'big' but, it will be fun anyway!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Chutes & Ladders

Happy New Year! Last year my husband had 'minor' surgery and ended up having complications (which he is still dealing with), we lost our dear friend MK and some other family/friends. On the plus side, I changed jobs (and with being there almost 6 months now seem to be settling in fine!), celebrated 10 years together, celebrated 5 years of marriage, we got our foster care/adoption certification and J came into our life. I am looking forward to the new year and wonder what it will hold for us.

That brings me to my title-- I am changing my stand saying foster care is like the game Chutes & Ladders (I think I had previously compared it to a roller coaster). The past week with J has been great he has been listening to us better, being more loving and enjoying our company as much as we have enjoyed his. For Christmas my sister bought him Candy Land and in the past couple weeks we have had to learn sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. He didn't like losing or even being behind at first but, has learned it's ok. He didn't get to exchange gifts with his sister & her foster family before Christmas because they went out of town and had to leave earlier than expected so, they did it today at his visit. They gave him a cool tool set and Chutes & Ladders. After I refreshed myself with how to play it (it's been quite a while since I played it) I explained about the chute and ladder functions. I knew this was going to be a challenge. As I thought he didn't like when I got to climb a ladder and he had to slide down a chute. Finally he won the first game with some challenges. We had to stop the second game due to some unnecessary roughness. He threw his drink across the room and a meltdown shortly followed. So, the past week or so we were climbing up a ladder and today we slid down a chute. We are past it now and working our way back up the ladder-- I hope we don't land on a chute again too soon! I am not naive though and know eventually maybe not today or tomorrow but sometime in the future we will slide down that chute.

In the past few weeks J has bonded more with my hubby and wanting him to do stuff for him instead of me (although I still do most of the 'care' things), when he gets upset my husband can calm him down faster and being 'best buddies'. It's very cute to see them together.

We found out recently that as of right now his family is being compliant to get them back. Next court date is in a few months and we are still not sure if he will be staying with us until then or transitioning to his sister's foster home. We are having a family meeting soon with all parties involved so we can figure out a plan.

J asks when he will go home to his family and we tell him that he can go back home when the case worker says he can go. As much as I love him, I know that in his heart he wants to be back with his family and I sure hope for his sake that the conditions of his return are followed through and he doesn't have to go through this again.

Last month when we went to our first foster parent meeting, J saw some kids playing pee wee football outside. It was the championship game. He has told me almost everyday since then that he wants to play. I don't think he can play until he is 6 so he has a while. It got me thinking of something he can play now. Yesterday there was an open house for a sports place near our house. The options were soccer and baseball. I asked him the other night which he would like to play and he talked about soccer for the next few days. When we got there they had soccer coaches on one side and the baseball coaches on the other. He decided he wanted to do baseball instead and got to do somethings with the coaches to see if he would like it. So, we signed him up for baseball. I am excited to see him learn and grow in this sport. It's only for 8 weeks so if he gets bored with it, he isn't committed too long.

So, for now we are playing the game and hoping to land on all ladders and no chutes.