Sunday, December 17, 2006

Activity Update and Refined Mission Statement

And another five-child weekend is in the books. We had "Jenny" as usual, plus "Tammy" for her now-usual once-monthly weekend respite. We have the new trio as well, as the court hasn't figured out what to do with them. Our church seems to be highly amused with our ever-changing entourage, and the kids seem to enjoy, or at least put up with, our churchgoing ways. The oldest girl had the only negative comment, declaring that our pastor's sermon-delivery style "sucks". Heh. He does ramble a bit.

Today after church we had a meal of roast pork, baked potatoes and carrots plus homemade bread. The kind of meal I remember having with my folks when I was growing up. Then The Wife spirited the kids away with a large group that was going to a play together, and I had the house to myself for the first time in awhile.

I had the option of watching football, and I did...for awhile. But the girls seem to REALLY love their new room, and I felt guilty for not quite finishing it yet. Downstairs to touch up paint, fasten trim better than we were able to do last night, and tidy things up in general. They are now moved in and vocally wishing they had local friends that could come over so they could show it to them. Who knows? Maybe one or both of them will be staying, and they'll enroll in the local school. If that happens, I suspect we'll be back to having friends over for supper and I'll be under increasing pressure to finish the rec room. Hope the money stretches far enough to get it done...but even if I can't get it right away I guess I can get it far enough to be a decent place to spend time, anyway. After all, what is a basement if not an ongoing project?

The kids we have now are a challenge, I won't deny that. But they also all feel like my own. I know they'll all be going back to their parents at some point and in many cases that is a good and worthy thing. In many cases, even most, reunification should be the goal and we should be a tool to help that happen. I've come to believe that "Jenny" belongs with her mom (though her sister probably belongs elsewhere, in my humblest of opinions). I don't know enough yet about the new ones to judge at all whether home where they should be, but I'm assuming it is if their parents can straighten things out.

The kids come here for the most part with the idea that this is some kind of prison sentence and we're going to treat them like cattle or something. That's not something I can do. Each one is an individual, with their own fears, talents, faults and wondrous surprises. They've been told things about foster care by friends or parents that are inaccurate or simply made up. Unfortunately it's true that there are bad foster homes, but my experience locally is that those are few and far between. There are several seemingly average ones, perhaps one or two questionable ones, and one or two that are what I aspire for us to be. Mostly I want us to be what Mom and Dad were...a safe and friendly place to stay during a bad family time for many, a fun and wonderful place to stay for some, and a lifeline and lifelong family for a few that fit us just right.

We must be doing something right. The three that just came in had heard good things about us "on the street". I didn't even know we had a street rep yet, but apparently so. We've heard through other channels that there are kids who, from what they had heard about us from their friends, wished they could live here. Not bad for a couple of old foagies whose main job is to rain on kids' parades when they're doing things they shouldn't.

We've gotten on the short list for an adoption placement...more on that if we hear anything.

And that's how life stands at the moment. Hopefully after Christmas things will settle down and I'll be able to do more writing. I miss the daily routine of sitting down to do a brain dump before bed. I need to start that again before Auntie J comes down here and--maybe with the help of my sister--smacks me around for not sufficiently entertaining her.


At 2:19 PM , Anonymous Auntie J said...

I hate to burst your bubble but i have other sights to see and yours is just one of the many..although i do love to hear about your new family since i never seem to get around to seeing my own..i guess its sort of a cyber way to stay in touch with you...LOL and always a gentel reminder why i do not have kids of my own right now...


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