Before I get into my rambles I want to show you the lovely tablecloth I made for A Subtle Revelry! Isn't it fun? You can click through to see the whole post. It was quite the task getting my hands on all those doilies, but I loved the outcome!
I have been avoiding writing an update for a while because I'm not really sure what to write. Not that we haven't had anything going on, we've been keeping so busy! But because I feel like I don't even know my own thoughts, so it's hard to put them down on...keyboard. Let me just say this: I've been weird this year. Like, mid-life crisis weird. I even thought about motorcycles and tattoos, although in the end I settled for a moto jacket and pink hair. :o) I can't pinpoint what has really caused it, maybe just a million little things, and a few not-so-little things all put together. I've been sad and angry and restless and "who cares". I've been mean to my husband (he only deserved it some of the time, :) haha) and I've hated even the thought of crafts or blogging. I even said "freakin'" once. Which is really hard to admit because while that may not be anything to a lot of you (probably most of you?), it's kind of big for me.
Oh but please don't worry about me. It's not so bad and I've had lots of good times this year as well. I've talked to God about it a few times, He'll bring me back before too long. I know His character too well to doubt that.
Onto more cheerful things! So what about this Foster Care thing?? Many of you have asked here and on Instagram (@rufflesandstuff) what it's like for us. It has been the coolest/weirdest/saddest/scariest thing ever!! I really love it. Mostly. :) We still have "Ace", the little boy we brought home from the hospital when he was just a week old. He...is....heavenly. I can't even tell you how much I love him. He's doing really well health-wise. He was born with some difficulties, but seems to be overcoming them beautifully and is developing on track (whatever that means). He has the longest eyelashes and the puffiest chubber-cheeks. He smiles at everyone and everything and goes wild with delight when you sing him the Macarena. Ace is a "permanent" placement with us which means that we will have him until his parents get their lives together or the court takes away their parental rights (usually about a year after a child is placed in foster care if nothing has changed) and an adoptive home can be found for him. Which we're hoping will be us! We have a court date coming up very soon to review his case so we're really looking forward to seeing how that goes.
We also do "respite care" which is kind of like long-term babysitting for other foster parents. Sometimes the foster parents have to leave the state for a few days or maybe the children are looking for a new permanent foster home. We've had 6 kiddos stay in our home so far for respite care and it's been really neat to meet all of them and enjoy them for a few days/weeks.
We had a seven month old boy for three weeks and that was the hardest time of my life. He was adorable and really kind of a sweet baby, but he cried all of the time. All. of. the. time. I was up 5-7 times a night with him (plus twice with Ace!) and he weighed about 1,000 pounds but wanted to be held at all times. Oh dear! It's actually funny to think about it now, but at the time I was at my wits' end.
A few weeks later we got a call that DCFS needed a foster home for a medically fragile boy who was just under two and we had to drive to Seattle asap to pick him up. I called back to say that we felt like it was over our heads and somehow ended the conversation saying: "Ok...we'll leave as soon as we can!" :) So Paige spent her first night ever away from home (she did great!) while my husband and Ace and I drove to the Seattle Children's Hospital. The staff there was incredibly wonderful and trained us to take care of his medical needs and then we were driving back home with him just like that! I felt like having a heart attack, I was so nervous. I was swimming in tubes and bags and syringes and bottles of medications and new things are just scary for me anyway. But we made it through! A week later the judge ordered that he would be able to stay with extended family, which is great for him so it worked out really well.
All in all I have mixed feelings about foster care. Our county is particularly overwhelmed with children in foster care so most of the social workers are overloaded and thus sometimes don't get back to us about things quickly (or...at all sometimes) but we know what it's like to be overworked so we try to be really patient with them. The hardest thing about being involved in foster care is watching the kids be ping-ponged about from place to place. It kills me. That's why my husband and I are doing foster-to-adopt, because we want to make a lasting difference for some children. But in many cases adoption just isn't an option for the kids, so we just provide them a safe and loving place to be for a little while.
I'd be happy to answer any questions I can about Fostering for those of you who are considering it! Of course foster laws are different from state to state, so our experiences will be a little different.
Other than that, we've been doing homeschool, skateboarding, Pokemon card trading, time with church family, back-and-forthing with my editor and lots of crafty work including the kids crafts features for the next two issues of Fresh Style magazine! And fighting off the constant urge to go into full-swing Christmas mode too early. Christmas, you guys, Christmas!!!! :o) :o) :o)
Have a great start to your week, friends.