Sunday, November 25, 2007

Talking to the family developer

I took Andrew out to pick up a few things, mostly as an excuse to get us out of the house. I really haven't left since Thursday morning when I went to buy ... something essential at the grocery store.

Anyway, we ran into the family developer at the store. In the back of my brain a voice was saying, "It's her day off; she should not have to stand in the store and listen to you talk about Frankie." However that voice was powerless to stop me talking about Frankie.

She told me that they felt initial stages of the placement were rushed and they were committed to not doing that in the future. I told her that I couldn't take another kid like him, but that I was glad that I did take him. We chatted about it for a while, and about how we were all recovering -- still tired but but not so sad. Although my voice cracked just a little as I said "I'm not feeling as sad as I was." So I wasn't very convincing, but that is okay. This is one woman who needs to know how I am really feeling.

She said something about it sounding like I still needed time to heal.

I said, "Part of me wants to tell you not to call me for months, at least until after the holidays, maybe even later. But you know, David and Evan both came home for Thanksgiving and I kept thinking that if one of them were 16 and needed me, I would want to be called, even with the way I am feeling."

"So it is about the right fit."

"Yeah. If a kid who is a good fit comes along I want you to call, but it is really okay if that kid doesn't come for a few months at least. Don't go looking for one for me."

She laughed and said they were always looking for kids for the program, but she understood what I meant.

And it is true. I am feeling much better. When I think about Frankie I feel sad, but I don't think about him all the time. The idea that they might call me makes me want to go curl up and hide -- but the thought that there might be a kid like David or Carl or Evan who needed me and they didn't call me seems ever so much worse.


  1. I'm sure somewhere, sometime there will bea kid who needs you and would be a perfect fit into your family puzzle!

  2. As a former foster child, my thanks goes out to foster parents and child welfare professionals who recognize the capabilities and potential of children in your care -- and are courageous enough to fight for them to receive support and services.

    Please tell me about your experiences in advocating for foster children:

    1.) Examples of when it has been successful
    2.) Roadblocks when it hasn't
    3.) Techniques that you have found to be most effective

    Your insights will be used in a 2008 conference to 'train the trainers' of every county foster parent and social worker in my state. The information that you share can be anonymous.

    Looking forward to hearing from you...

  3. It must be a sad, scary, weird place to be. I'm not really scared for you, though. For one thing, you've got wisdom on your side. Not just your own but the collective wisdom of your family: your husband and the boys--all of them. And that's a force to be reckoned with.

  4. Just one question, do the rest of the Yondallas know you are volunteering for a new brother if one comes up? You know me, I have to ask these questions.

  5. I don't see any harm in having them call. You can always say no if it doesn't feel right to you and your family. And if they know they can call, then you don't have to worry about missing the right kid if they do come along.

  6. Nicki,
    I imagine you are right. I think I hope you are.

    I will think about it Lisa. I have had such good relationships with the social workers that I don't know that I have any good examples.

    I don't really find it scary ... well, I guess a little.

    Andrew and Hubby know exactly what I told the worker and agree.
    Everyone agrees to keep things low key with Brian. He knows that the agency could call us, and if they do he will be part of the decision.

    I wish it felt that easy. I know that once we hear about a kid it will be difficult for us to say no...though not as difficult as it would have been before!

  7. Because of the good work you all do with these kids, I am glad to hear that you are keeping the line open.

    That said, I think you all deserve a bit of a break.

  8. You really have a heart as big as the whole outdoors. I am pretty sure there is probably another one out there for you. It is shame that heartbreak goes hand in hand with being a foster parent. But at the same time, I would never ever want a child to be someplace where the family wasn't heartbroken, that would be even sadder.


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