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One thing at a time.

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What is coming is better than what is gone. Let this belief aim you in the direction you need to go. – Karen Salmansohn

I need a long nap. That’s how I feel all the time these days. People who know me well also know that I LOVE a good nap, so it’s not surprising that I say I need one. But these days, I don’t just want one, I NEED one. People can tell you how exhausting and overwhelming this whole process can be, but like most things, living it is a different story…. and we are just beginning.

Greg and I went to our informational meeting and the place was PACKED. The classes started at 9am and lasted 3 hours – 6 weeks total. There were 85 people in attendance. Every kind of person imaginable was there. Old, young, married, single, well dressed, not so well dressed, big and small. The class was broken up after the first meeting. A lot of people already have a child with them due to a family situation, but they have to go through most of the same steps that we do if the child was removed by the state. So, all the newbies like us stayed downstairs and all the others went upstairs. We met social worker named Andy. He is a hoot and has a special way of tackling tough subject matter in a light way. The classes were a little hard to handle at times. They definitely aren’t for softies like me. I teared up 5 times and had to leave once. We consider that a success since I cry at anything from kid songs to Facebook “remember when” posts from when Collins was a baby.

The classes covered a lot of material. We learned about the trauma and abuse the kids in the foster system experience and it is devastating. What really stuck out to me was that even though we may have a bigger or cleaner house with lots of new toys, all these kids want is to go back to their home. Can you imagine that? It never crossed my mind. I was thinking that they would be ecstatic to move to a house with a yard to play in and have a stable environment while their parents got the help they needed to be good parents again. We had to do an exercise and they turned out all the lights and had you imagine your house and what you loved about it. The sites and smells. The pictures you love most and the pets cherish are all there. Then they put you in the place of a child who is being ripped from their home. All those things you imagined and loved? They are being taken from you. Right. Now. They have to leave with a stranger and probably a police officer and be taken to another stranger’s house and left there. A lot of the time siblings are separated. They have to sleep and eat in a new place with people they don’t know. They don’t get to see their parents for a while in a lot of cases. This broke me and I spent about 10 minutes in the bathroom getting myself together. The big lesson being that, although their world is filled with neglect and abuse, it’s what they are used to and it’s their normal. It’s what they know and now they are being forced into a brand new scary situation that is filled with unknowns.

During the first class, we were also given paperwork that needed to be completed. When I say paperwork, I don’t mean a few forms to fill out like at the doctor’s office. I mean about 100 pages of things to keep up with and fill out. The paperwork required took Greg and I more time to complete than any college assignment we ever had. We had to talk about our family history going back to our childhood. We had to talk about a lot of personal stuff. We had to talk about a lot of you. True story. If you were ever a major player in our lives, we had to talk about that relationship. Good and Bad. On top of that, we were given hours and hours of online training to complete. We spent most of our free time, lunch breaks, etc., trying to get all of our stuff done. Next are the home studies. We have to do 3 and I guess they dive in pretty deep and ask a ton of personal questions. F-U-N. Like I said, I need a nap.

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1 thought on “One thing at a time.

  1. Maribeth Woods-Laime March 26, 2019 — 12:02 am

    Wow, what a through process. It is impressive that Kentucky has such a exhaustive vetting for foster famil ones. I don’t believe that is the case in New Mexico. Keep going! ❤️

    Like

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