Saturday, September 16, 2006

conference and Evan's birthday

The conference session was good. There were two social workers (one whose parents fostered for most of her life...are still fostering), me, Andrew, and another sweet girl (14 years) whose parents started fostering about a year ago. It was really good we had her along, as the social worker's parents work for the same agency I do and so also do long-term, one-kid-at-time fostering. The other girl's family is in it to adopt and do some respite care, but mostly have littles. Right now they have a 9 month old that they are "planning, not hoping" to keep.

Only about 10 people came our training session. Apparently only about a dozen went to the alternative session (how to make a lifebook), so there must have been another 30 or 40 participants who were just taking the morning off. Foster parents are such late night partiers, you know. Even though the session was small, it was good. There were a couple of foster parents who were worried about their biokids and I think we gave them information that was helpful. One person there was actually starting a Children Who Foster support group and getting our information to him was really good. Besides, we were all happy to "practice" on a small group. The next conference is close to home and in a much more heavily populated area. We should have more people then.

I am looking forward to the close to home part. We left the house at 6:40 so that we could get to The City in time to buy Andrew disgusting fast food breakfast (a rare treat) and meet everyone else. At 7:30 we all piled into one van and were off to the conference. We arrived at 9:30, which gave us time to look around a bit before the session. We were back on the road after a fast lunch and back to The City. Andrew and I got part way out of town when he realized he had left something in the van, so back around we went. Fortunately one of the social workers was still there waiting for the girl's parents to pick her up.

I'm not exactly sure what time we got home, I just know that when I woke up it was 4:45pm.

Evan demanded that I look at his bedroom, which he had spent the day cleaning. "It looks like a gay man's room, almost, doesn't it?" It hardly looks like one of the Queer Guys lives there, but it is remarkably tidy. He found his original set of house keys, the keys he borrowed from Andrew a few months ago, and the key that we normally keep hidden outside.

Evan's birthday is later this week, but with our messed up schedules, I decided that it was really better if we celebrated this weekend. Evan, it turns out, is working today, so last night was the night. I usually just cook something special for the kids' birthdays, but yesterday was just too exhausted. So we went to Red Robin's. It was his kind of place. The USC football game was playing on TV's in all the corners, and even in TV's set in the floor at the entrance. "No way! Cool!" They made a big fuss over him -- balloons on the table, staff standing around him singing. Brian asked how they knew it was his birthday. We laughed. The three birthday presents (one of them over three feet long) was a pretty good clue.

He had been afraid we forgot, or did not care. For about two weeks Evan has been saying things like "I can't believe that I'm almost 19, can you?" or "Wow. Do you realize my birthday is only X days away?" I've responded to all these with a "hmmmm." Meanwhile of course I had his birthday present (the big one) in my bedroom closet. I ordered it a few weeks ago. Hubby and I have a cool sort of lap desk that can only be ordered from a particular catalogue and Evan keeps using them. So I got him one. He liked it very much. On my suggestion, Hubby took the boys to an office store to buy Evan appropriate gifts for someone excited for college. Brian picked out a fancy three-in-one pen/pencil/pda stylus. Andrew got a neato, zip-up calendar/portfolio thing.

Evan really liked the combo pen and the lap desk, but was really impressed with the portfolio calendar. It was so grown up and professional looking. It really was much, much more fancy that a student going to technical college needs. But Evan liked it, and was surprised that he liked it. "I must be growing up if I am getting so excited about things like that, huh?"

So the day was a big success. The conference went okay, and Evan was delighted that we remembered him.

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