Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Expectations versus Reality

Today is 2 weeks into our first placement.  There are a LOT of things I have learned already.  Expectations versus reality.

I expected to fall madly in love with this child right away.   While I did care for this child, I didn't have that unconditional love, I still don't.  I do care for him and feel like I can say I love him now, but it just hasn't been as quick or as strong as I thought.

I expected to be able to handle any bad behaviors or problems with little difficulty.   I thought we'd be able to handle anything we got thrown that we had check-marked on our ok list.  (The agency had us choose "will accept", "might accept", or "will not accept" for all kinds of different issues, like aggression, suicidal thoughts/behaviors, sexual abuse, different medical issues, etc.)  We both have a lot of experience with children of all ages and some experience with intellectual disabilities and bad behavior problems like aggression.  I didn't expect to struggle so much with what the right way is of handling certain behaviors and circumstances.  I realized I'm not all that and a bag of chips.  I don't know it all, I need help and it's ok to say I don't know it all and I need help.  It's been a very humbling experience.

I expected to have lots of bonding moments and fun times, baking together, crafts, summertime festivals, etc.  I guess I was thinking about the relationship we have with our nieces.  We have those fun times together, but what I wasn't really considering is that I don't see the tantrums, boredom, exhaustion, etc that mom and dad deal with.  We play with them and send them home.  This little one is here 24/7 through good times and bad.  The first week we were mostly focused on survival.  The second week has gotten much better and we're actually able to try some of those fun bonding times.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Expect the unexpected!

I don't know if anyone even follows this blog, but in case someone does, I apologize for not updating sooner.
We knew when the meeting to review our file was last week and we knew we should have a phone call the next day telling us the outcome. We were on pins and needles all day! (Well, probably only me since DH is so laid back.)  Finally around 4pm I get a call from someone else in the office.  I panicked initially thinking something was wrong, why wouldn't our normal case worker be calling?  She asked if we would be willing to take a placement!  I said, "uh...we're not approved yet", she said, "oh, yes you are, your cw just didn't get a chance to call you yet."  I'm like, seriously?  Maybe that should be the first call and THEN ask if we want a placement!  LOL

So, of course I can't go into any details about the situation and while I might be allowed to give generics, I'm very hesitant, soooo...I'm not really sure where this blog will go from here.  I'm afraid of posting anything "out there in internet world" even if it is generic.

Let me just say, there's a lot happening, it's been a very humbling experience so far, there were some very difficult moments (and days) where I seriously reconsidered the whole foster care experience completely!  It was a very difficult for me to suddenly have everything I knew for my whole life (wanting to be a mom) explode in my face and suddenly I didn't know if I even wanted it.

Things have settled a little and things are getting better.  However, this whole thing is so much more physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting than I expected it to be.  And I have NO free time it seems!  Which is why I haven't updated sooner.

I'll probably blog (hopefully soon) about my feelings through this process and just avoid child/case info.  Lots of learning happening here for me, much more than I expected.