|Horseback riding after hiking at Mammoth Cave|
|Wading at Otter Creek park, Meade County|
|Pedicure - part of our "girl's night"|
Both dads have done a good job communicating with me since visitation began a few months ago, and assure me that I can call or visit anytime. I really appreciate that, and it makes letting go SO much easier. I prefer to let them take the lead, however, because I know that its a tough transition for their family, regardless of how excited they are to have them home. Experience has also taught me that this contact usually isn't for the long term. Of the fourteen kids we've had in the past 23 months, there are a few I haven't seen in quite some time. However, I think the fact that I'm keeping contact with them open in some way (email or phone contact with the parent, at minimum; meet-ups at the park at most) says good things about the job I do making the families feel comfortable with me and confident that I have their best interest in mind. (Biological parents sometimes feel, at least at first, that foster parents are in it to "steal" their kids.) Many of them are very thankful for the care I've given their kids. The dad and nanny of the group of 3 mentioned above actually gave me a very sweet card last week!
We are now taking a break from fostering. Respite is a good thing, but it isn't the same as a true break. When kids are put in respite, they are still "my" kids and I worry about them and miss them while we are out of town. Once the kids are removed from care altogether, there is a sense of greater freedom. We have several trips planned over the next few weeks before school starts (August 1st around here!), and won't be accepting any new placements during that time. I have stipulated a couple of exceptions to that rule, one being if Goofy happens to come back into care.
* Busy bag or bag of tricks = something to preserve your sanity and keep children out of trouble in kid unfriendly situations (anywhere they have to wait and can't run around).
My bag typically includes several of the following. What do you have in yours?
- coloring and activity books
- crayons, pencils, pens, markers
- Hot Wheels, cars
- small balls (but not bouncy balls)
- food, drinks, utensils
- small stuffed animals
- blankets, towels
- napkins, utensils
- electronic devices (Kindle Fire, iThing for movies/games, Nintendo DS)
This was a previous post that I failed to complete and upload....OOPS. It would have been entitled, "School's Out!"
Daisy has completed 3rd grade and is looking forward to starting 4th grade at a new school in a different city, once she is back with Dad. This ten year old (yes, she repeated an earlier grade) love to learn, but hates school because it bores her. She loves the social aspect of school, though. I've had several foster daughters who are "butterflies", but I think Daisy takes the cake! She's never met a stranger and freely gives hugs to anyone she's ever seen before.
Thursday was the last day of public school, and we ended our home school the same day. Friday we took a fun day! We went to Chuck E. Cheese, which was quiet for almost the first hour because birthday parties didn't start early, and that county's schools were still in session. It was nice! I went to the Parent Teacher Store and got a few supplies to rearrange our home school area, then we went to a playground to burn some energy. Finally, we went to an historic train depot which is now a museum. They had a great time doing a scavenger hunt in the museum, but the highlight was touring the train itself. I had never been in a mail car or sleeper car before, so I learned a few things, too! There was also a dining car with kitchen, and the presidential car. There were a couple not ready for touring yet - the hospital car and the engine itself. They were allowed to climb on the outside of the caboose. I would like to go back once all the cars are restored.
My parents are coming to stay for a couple of days, then I think we'll go to Mammoth Cave one day next week, and perhaps the Patton Museum. Yay for summer trips!