Sunday, August 11, 2013

What I Have Learned From My First Two Foster Placements

1. So far, I don't think any amount of MAPP classes, certifications, teaching experience or required trainings could have possibly prepared me for the experiences I've had this far.

2. I need to establish and maintain FIRM boundaries with the bio parents. This may be one of the most important lessons for me.

3. My teacher at a recent training kept repeating "You have to know your limits." Most people in my class who are over 40 all agreed that they don't think they could ever care for an infant. That is their limit. I don't know if it is mine. Although, I never in a million years thought I would be offered an infant placement...and there I was with a preemie for a few weeks.

4. I MUST HAVE HELP - If I have more than one child here, which I will when we receive another placement, I must have at least TWO backup babysitters/nannies ready to go. It may not have been as difficult with Baby Sage if I had hired a part-time nanny to help with his care in those crazy first few weeks of his withdrawal, tremors and inability to sleep at night. I thought I had THOUGHT of everything. I had all the clothes, gear, and accessories. Since I am used to doing everything by myself and always have, I did not even think about how important this would be.
***I'm interviewing candidates this week.

5. I think a younger child will be best for our home at this point. My daughter is turning nine tomorrow. She did really well with the baby. She adored him and actively engaged with him, his care, his presence in our home made her happy. He was the first face she looked for when she woke up; with our six-year old Little Miss, not so much.

6. My new age range to say yes...6 months to 4 years old. I have decided I won't take a child over four. It becomes a difficult dynamic for an older female child to be here with me and my daughter. Little Miss would become angry and then distraught when she observed me showing any form of love to my daughter. It was really hard for the two of them by the end of her stay with us.

7. Now that my job is about to start up...well, in three weeks. I don't think I will be taking any more placements until our next vacation;  unless it is God's will of course, then it will be different.

8. I need to pray more for all children in care, for their parents, the foster parents, the agency workers and all who are effected and touch these precious lives. We all need His divine love and grace.

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