Saturday, February 11, 2006

Respite, Money, Technical Issue and More Stuff

I got home from work last night and discovered that we were doing respite care for one of the other PATH family's foster daughters while they had a "date night". Cool. I hadn't met any of the other foster monsters in town, and this was my chance.

This one seemed much more the type of child I was expecting to be dealing with than "Josie" has turned out to be. She had physical problems, but not overbearing ones. She had a hesitant manner about her and she seems a little socially stilted, but still a loveable girl to anyone looking to love a child. I was favorably impressed with her on the whole.

My folks also are visiting for the weekend, so they got to partake of the experience as well. I can tell it got Mom's fostering juices flowing again. That was fun, and it's still fun to see her interact with "Josie". Though Mom and Dad have been out of the state for most of the time "Josie" has been around, they're already in love with her almost as much as we are, I think, and Mom has lots and lots and LOTS of tips, pointers and opinions to share about the whole thing. Meanwhile, I'm not "Dad" to "Josie", but my folks are "Grandpa" and "Grandma", at least when she's telling others about them. Other than wondering how I can get into that club, I'm loving it. But then, I may never be "Dad" to her, and I may never get a goodnight or goodbye hug and/or kiss. That's okay. It's thanks enough to me when I hear that she's doing much better in school and that her psychologist, social workers and everybody think that she's doing well here. I also get to see the smile on her face sometimes that tells me all I need to know about how she feels about being here. I'm helping to make that possible. I matter to her, even if it doesn't show in the same ways I saw the kids show it to my dad when I was growing up.

On another note, we got our first real check for fostering today. It's less than impressive when balanced against what we've put into this endeavor, but it's what will allow us to continue to do this. I wish they'd take those hundreds of millions of dollars that they were going to put into that bridge to a barely-populated island in Alaska and instead invest it in fostering, expanding the program to a few hundred thousand more kids who really need it. I suspect we'd find that the long-term return on such a move would dwarf any piddly return on the increased convenience for a few hundred people who, to judge by the blogs, seem not to even want the bridge all that much. It would probably dwarf the return on most of what the federal government spends on a lot of things.

A technical note: when you have a satellite internet connection and your connection goes funky on you, try resetting the satellite hub. It works wonders.

I feel a philosophical post coming on. Maybe tonight. Perhaps tomorrow. Who knows? I love blogging.


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