10 things that happened in January

  1. Our Hawaii trip was amazing. Even though we had a hard time getting home due to a flight being cancelled and spending 12 hours in an airport with two kids.
  2. Z man has had 2 sleepovers with us. We absolutely love seeing him and I love seeing how far his parents have come.
  3. Z got to play in the snow for the first time ever and it was adorable. His parents sent me tons of videos.
  4. Bubba’s case has made no progress in Months and we keep having court rescheduled. I hate being in limbo and having no idea what is going on.
  5. I posted on my Twitter about some problem me with Bubba’s visits. He has been missing school due to visits but hopefully that will be fixed soon.
  6. We saw Diva and she is doing well. She is so happy to see us.
  7. Bubba has learned to count to 19 and write some letters. We are working on identifying letters and and writing his name still.
  8. Princess is loving homeschool. She is spending a lot of time on IXL and we have seen a lot of growth in her writing and math.
  9. I am going through some pretty exciting changes but I don’t want to to blog about it yet.
  10. I have decided to step back from blogging for a while. I will post a monthly update. Maybe eventually I will start back up again but blog only once a week.

Weekly update December 31

  1. Bubba got what he wanted from Santa! A spider man bike.
  2. I got an Apple Watch! Yay! I love it so far.
  3. The kids also got me a new winter coat and boots because I needed some. They picked out and wrapped it. They loved the whole thing.
  4. Christmas dinner was amazing. Z and his parents stayed for hours and it was great. I loved being able to see him for Christmas.
  5. On the 27th we had our annual friends-mas. It was great to have all my best friends at my house eating and laughing.
  6. We went on two planes for a total of 10 hours. The kids were great. It was just a long trip.
  7. We are in Hawaii!!! My parents have a home here and come atleast once a year but I haven’t been in 8 year. It is Bubba and princess’ first time.
  8. Kids are having a blast swimming and exploring the island. I love seeing it through their eyes.
  9. Today Princess swam with a dolphin today and loved it.
  10. Happy New year! We are celebrating with Chicago and then going to bed.

10 Ways to help your former foster children’s parents after reunification

I miss Z terribly. But at the same time I am so excited for his parents and so proud of how hard they worked. They still send pictures and I get to see him. Though I don’t know how long that will last I appreciate the fact that right now they are making his transition home easier on all of us (especially Bubba)

  1. Let them know their child’s schedule/likes and dislikes/etc. It will help the child transition and the parents will most likely be thankful. Zs parents asked me for all that information.
  2. Send their child with as much as you can. I’m not saying you should spend a lot of money or anything. However, when I knew Z was most likely going home I spent his stipend on clothes the next two sizes up and toys he will be ready for in a couple months.
  3. Let them know they can contact you with any questions. And don’t judge them for the questions they ask lol.
  4. Let them know that you consider them family and will support them. A lot of families part of the foster care don’t have the support they need. Offer to be that support.
  5. Offer to babysit. It will give them a break and you get baby cuddles.
  6. Invite them to family events. Zs parents came to our family Christmas. We all got to get see Z and his parents felt a sense of community.
  7. Continue to meet up with them in the community. If you don’t feel comfortable inviting them to your home, meet other ways.
  8. Be a mentor to them when it comes to parenting. Though I am not an expert on parenting at all. I have noticed that Zs parents ask me a lot of parenting questions and instead of judging them for not knowing, I support them.
  9. Help them find community resources. Sometimes there are resources out there that they don’t know about yet.
  10. Pray for them all

Week of 12/24

  1. I am on winter break!!! Yay!
  2. It was a very rough week and I felt like I wasn’t doing enough for people (especially my kids)
  3. Bubba has an ear infection. Poor baby. However I only knew about it because he had a bad cough, he never complained of pain. What a tough cookie.
  4. We had princess for Thursday and Friday. We exchanged gifts and the kids saw Santa. I wish I could post the picture because it looks adorable.
  5. Princess got a chrome book for Christmas. Anyone have any game or app suggestions for chrome books?
  6. Princess dyed the bottom of her hair blue, it looks amazing.
  7. We saw Diva Friday night and there Mom. The kids saw Santa and had Christmas with their mom, it was a lot of fun.
  8. I saw Hamilton Saturday. oh em gee!
  9. Tonight we went to church and followed our Christmas Eve traditions. I didn’t get to celebrate last year.
  10. Tomorrow is Christmas yay! Z and his parents are coming to our Christmas dinner.

10 Ways to Make the Holidays Special for Your Foster Child’s Biological Parents

  1. Be understanding. This is a very hard time for them. I can’t imagine how they feel during this time. I try to remember that when they complain more or text me constantly.
  2. Include them. If you can invite them to some part of your holiday tradition that is great! If not maybe you can send a video.
  3. Try not to interfere with the visits. You are allowed to see your family as well for holidays but try to make sure your foster children can spend time with there’s as well.
  4. Share lots of pictures. I sent Baby Zs parents picture in a “My first …” onesie for every holiday. I sent pictures to both kids parents of our Halloween costumes, our thanksgiving dinner, getting our Christmas tree, taking pictures with Santa, etc.
  5. Send the kids in holiday outfits to visits. Parents love to see kids dressed up and then they are able to take their own family pictures.
  6. Make them special presents. For thanksgiving we made them pumpkins with little turkeys on them and for Christmas we made reindeer pictures that they can hang up in their house for every Christmas.
  7. Have the child make something for other family members as well. It’s not only the parents that are missing them this holiday season.
  8. Ask them about their traditions. And try to include those traditions as much as possible.
  9. Ask them what they plan to get the child. I have had a couple instances where we get the children the same thing. If you do communicate with the parents somehow you might want to ask them ahead of time.
  10. Treat their child special. The best thing you can do for the parent is to give their child a good holiday.

10 Ways to make the holidays special for your foster child

  1. Share your traditions. Tell them about what your family does for the holidays (or what traditions you loved as a kid). Include them in your traditions.
  2. Ask them about their traditions. Is there a food they liked? Or things they did? And try to figure out what Santa does at their house.
  3. Make new traditions. See if there is anything they have always wanted to do.
  4. Decorate your house. Not only should you decorate your house but you should have them help. Maybe they can make something or they can help you pick something out. This year all my decorations were things the boys could play with.
  5. Buy them special trinkets. At my house we all have stockings with our names on it so I make sure foster children have them as well. I also buy them special ornaments as well as a family ornament with all our names and years.
  6. Take lots of pictures. These will help you remember your holiday together. But they are also a special memory for your children.
  7. Read books. Books are magically. They make children excited and they can teach them what to expect.
  8. Make art work. I love holiday art work. You can make things to decorate your house with and keepsakes for both of you.
  9. Keep it small. Last year I broke my mom’s heart into a million pieces when I told her I wouldn’t be going to their house for Christmas morning because I knew Diva would be overwhelmed and I wanted to limit her time in a crowded space. It ended up working out really well but it was a hard thing for my mom to accept.
  10. Try not to have too high of expectations. If the child is older the holidays could be a huge trigger for them. Try to play it by ear andhave them tell you what they are comfortable with.

Weekly update December 10

  1. Baby Z was reunited with his family! I am so happy for them that it’s hard to even be sad. But my house is very quiet since he left. His parents are sending me lots of adorable pictures which is helping the sadness. I feel like I should be more sad but honestly I’m so happy for them it’s hard to be too sad for myself. This is what I went into foster care for and it finally happened.
  2. I bought baby Z and his family Christmas presents. I had been waiting for the outcome of court to buy him presents. Just because he went home doesn’t mean I won’t give them gifts though. I got the family matching stockings with their names on it, a Santa plate with Zs name on it, and an ornament. I also got Z a fun little toy for 12+. They have a lot of things for him now so I wanted to get something for later.
  3. Bubba and I did nothing Saturday. It was awesome just to play with my little buddy all day. I think he likes having all the attention for a little bit. He is struggling having his room all to himself.
  4. Our tree now has ornaments. I had just lights because Z got into everything but now I don’t have to worry about that.
  5. Bubba decorated a ginger bread house. It was funny to watch. Only like 3 things ended up in his mouth.
  6. Bubba is officially out of pull-ups. He hasn’t worn them during the day in weeks. Now he no longer needs them for bed either. And he hasn’t had an accident in weeks. Yay!
  7. We saw Bubbas mom again. We met at a museum so they could play, it was a lot of fun. Bubba didn’t stop building the whole time.
  8. I got an early Christmas present. My parents got me a new dresser (I have had the same one since my 5th birthday) I love it and I feel grown up lol.
  9. I finally have presents for everyone. Now I just have to wrap. Ugh.
  10. Lots of court days and visits this next week. Pray for us

10 supportive things foster parents do

Yesterday I posted about the things foster parents say in Facebook groups that piss me off. However, there is a lot they do that I love.

  1. Give supportive advice. Whether it is about parenting or doing hair there are some people who are always supportive.
  2. Kindly disagree with you. We all aren’t going to agree but I appreciate it when people do it kindly instead of like an asshole.
  3. Offer to share clothing/supplies. Having a new placement is hard. Even though you tried to be prepared you can’t have everything you could possibly need in every situation. I love when others are willing to help each other out.
  4. Share discounts. Some people get upset that we are always looking for discounts on experiences and trips: however, a small discount could be the reason I could take my family to Disney world, so please share that stuff.
  5. Ask for advice from former foster youth. They are the experts. When you want to do know how a situation will effect your foster children or how you should handle something they are the ones to ask.
  6. Refer you to research/laws. I love when people include specific details/links so that i know what the law is or what research says is best practice.
  7. Refer you to professionals. Just because we have experience doesn’t mean we know the answers. Therapists, doctors, and social workers are always they people to ask.
  8. Send prayers. Sometimes there is nothing you can do but pray.
  9. Suggest books. Especially when it comes to parenting traumatized children.!
  10. Celebrate the small victories. Your foster kid didn’t swear at thanksgiving dinner? Yay! Your foster kid sat the whole time for time out and didn’t kick you? Yay! Your foster child let you brush their hair? Yay?

10 things other foster parents say that piss me off

I am part of a lot of country wide foster parent group (with thousands of members) and some of the things people say on there make me wonder if people foster for the right reasons. I try to assume positive attention but sometimes it’s hard.

  1. They ignore what former foster youth have to say. This one makes me so furious. If they are saying something is offensive believe it.
  2. They talk bad about the biological parents. No just no! You don’t know what they have been through so save the judgement. Your role is to take care of the kids not judge the biological parents.
  3. They complain that they can’t hit foster children. If the only form of discipline you can think of is to hit a child then you shouldn’t be a parent to begin with:
  4. The celebrate termination of rights. I understand that this child has probably been with you a while and you want to adopt them. Go right ahead and celebrate the adoption. But the termination is a sad moment. A parents heart is breaking and we should never celebrate the breaking apart of a family even if it means your family gains a member.
  5. They call foster children brats. Nope!!! No child is brat. They just haven’t been properly taught.
  6. They act superior to the biological parents. You have no idea what their childhood was like or even their adult life. Don’t judge.
  7. They complain about visits on holidays . I get it. However the kids want to see their family on holidays too. Just have the caseworker pick up the kids where ever you were planning on being.
  8. They act like there bond is stronger then the biological parents bond. You both have a bond and there should be no comparison. Even if you have had he child since birth their parents have a special bond through dna and that should be nurtured.
  9. They complain about having to do extra for the parents. I get that you don’t want to go above and beyond constantly (I don’t either). But if it means your foster child will be happy, then do it.
  10. They don’t support other foster parents. I know I just complained about other foster parents. Though I hate when they say this I don’t yell or insult them. I try to educate and help them grow. We should all be there for each other.

10 Ways to Teach Young Kids to be Thankful

Bubba is at the age where he understands more about the Holidays. We have been working hard this month on teaching him to be Thankful for things.

  1. Teach them to say thank you. This is the first step to teaching children to be thankful. We are even working with Z on saying thank you in sign language.
  2. Thank them. Show them that you are thankful for them and what they do for the family.
  3. Model being thankful. I say things like I am thankful for Bubba, baby Z, hot chocolate, etc.
  4. Talk about what you are thankful during dinner. This helps me model it but it allows him to practice and he even says funny things like hamburgers and hotdogs.
  5. Prayer. Praying to God and thanking him for what we are thankful for is a great way to model being thankful.
  6. Go on a nature walk. Teach kids to be thankful for what is in nature.
  7. Have them do something for their siblings. And teach them not to expect anything in return.
  8. Have them pack up some toys to give to kids in need. This helps clean out your house for Christmas as well.
  9. Make food in a food kitchen. If your children are old enough.
  10. Have them do chores (and thank them for it instead of pay them). This might seem like a weird one but it shows kids to appreciate all the work that is done in the house.