Friday, March 14, 2008

Yearning for the old days

This is how our house used to look, lots of kids, all engaged in life together. Usually at least one cute baby and then olders with various issues. Since we often had kids placed with special needs we would have various peices of therapy equipment about. And the whole house was decorated with odd socks. Somehow none of the children who come to live at my house like to keep their socks or shoes on.
Now, though, we actually have a long weekend this weekend with no one at home! The permanent kids are all about grown, our youngest at 14 is on a high school field trip. We are on a sabbatical with foster care as our last placement was one of the most emotionally draining of our 19 year career. So it is just me and dh, and the cat and dog for the next few days.
In response to the unaccustomed quiet my usually very mellow and calm Lab has become hyper needy and demanding of my attention. The cat is just, and has always been, psycho.
I miss the adrenalin rush of answering the phone and getting a placement call. The mad rush to arrange sleeping quarters, make space in drawers, etc. And then the frantic first few days of doctor's appointments, school arrangements, clothes buying, and all that fun stuff. I miss getting to know new kids. learning how to help them adjust to their new life and our family. Mark me as very weird, but I do miss driving around in our 15 passenger van, with the kiddy songs cranked up, every body talking a mile a minute, some happy, some not so happy.
There are lots of things I don't miss all that much, the rages and screaming temper tantrums, the placements where we have had to be extremely vigilant so that no one, human or animal, gets hurt, the piles of laundry, dealing with state social services and the whimsy of their placement decisions, and the days when I haven't even had time to take a shower, let alone have any me time at all.
But lately as I have driven around in my "little" van with just me and NPR news most of the time, I am beginning to think that me time might be overrated, at least for me. Right now I am apparently the only one in the house who is anxious to get back into foster care. My dh is very not ready and my 14 yo daughter is enjoying having me all to her self right now. I have agreed that we are going to have a just our family summer and then I am insisting that we get back into some placements. I am going to up our youngest age, we are getting too old for infants, sleep has become too precious, we will be looking at sibling groups in the elementary range, we have done our fair share of teens and really aren't interested in those issues right now either. i know our agency will be mighty happy to have us back.


Tara B. said...

I have been reading your posts with interest as we are just beginning(hopefully) our foster care jounrey. Your post on loving and letting me go really touches me as that has been my biggest question/fear in this. Thanks for sharing the good and the bad....

quilted family said...

Thanks for reading and responding. It is sort of weird to put all this out there and not know if anyone is reading what I am writing.

I am hoping to share some more about our little one who left us recently, but the situatin is too raw just yet.


Maia said...

I have been reading back through your blog this afternoon and am so glad I found it! I run a residential program for foster kids and have siblings adopted from the foster care system. Thanks for sharing!