63. On the “other side”

We have always extended grace to the parents of our kiddos. We knew it was hard to have all your interactions supervised, we just didn’t know how hard that truly was. We do now.

I sat in a strange chair in a strange room with one sided glass on the wall and a video camera in the corner. Act naturally, I though. You have nothing to worry about. This is routine and “they” just want to see a baseline of how you and your kiddo interact so they can gauge progress of the program. Easier said than done as I anxiously steal a glance at that camera in the corner. To be blissfully unaware as the kiddo. To not know what is on the line. To not have your heart beating so loudly that people 3 buildings away can hear it. I will never forget that feeling, the smell of that room, or the reason we were sitting at that table.

It’s crazy to think that we have found ourselves in the position of people that have their visits and phone calls supervised for the time being. Let me tell you, there is nothing in this world that is more uncomfortable. No other experience could have prepared us for the anxiety that comes with answering the phone knowing that someone is writing everything down to analyze your relationship. Nothing could have prepared us for the deep anxiety of participating in an attachment assessment. To know that there is a complete stranger on the other side of one way glass that is watching and recording you when you are supposed to be interacting naturally with your kiddo.

We have been huge advocates for extending grace and understanding to kiddo’s parents in the past; it is so much more than that now. I hope, for your sake, that you never know the discomfort of this feeling.

That being said, this is where we are. This is where situations brought us and we will adapt and overcome (as a dear friend says). We will learn to function in this new normal and we will heal together, as a family.

So I ask you… the next time that you are supervising a visit or phone call and you feel anxiety or wanting to be done from the other side… please extend grace and put yourself in their shoes. How would it feel to know you love your kiddos with all your heart and it is someone else’s role to judge that? Only then can we come together in the triangle to heal all around for the kiddos in our care.

Thank you for coming along on this journey with us and allowing us to share our stories.

57. Mama A talks about being open and ready for whatever the girls bring up to talk about

Mama A here this week making a guest appearance! An interesting thing happened this weekend and I wanted to take a few moments of your time to share.

This past Sunday Mama S and Little Lady attended a conference to help Little Lady think about and prepare for college. That left P and I home for a lazy Sunday morning. I was folding laundry and P was working on a PowerPoint presentation to teach the family about space (she loves space and we are a family of life long learners). She came into the room I was folding laundry and said that she thinks she was grumpy the week before and Saturday because she thinks she might have a crush on a girl in her class. Now I could have reacted in an array of different ways. What I chose to do in that moment was to give her my attention. I continued to fold laundry but I gave her space to talk or not talk. What I didn’t do was make a big deal out of anything. Let me repeat that. I didn’t make a big deal out of anything.Continue reading

56. Should we require appreciation from our kiddos?

Mama S here. I have seen an article being widely spread that speaks about how foster children shouldn’t be required to be grateful for everything the foster family does for them. That the foster family signs up for caring for kiddos from hard places and that they shouldn’t expect their foster kids to appreciate what they do for them. I’ve been sitting with that for a bit and I have to say that, while I partially agree, I also strongly disagree.Continue reading

47. Guided Meditation

Mama S here. As parents to a kiddo that struggles with self-regulation and self-soothing we turned to meditation and mindful reflection early on in P being placed with us. We did not know where to start or what to do but we knew that something had to happen or we were facing explosion after explosion of frustration and rage. Cue to the most wonderful quote from the Dalai Lama:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tllCytZdFk&w=560&h=315%5D
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35. IEP

Mama S here. So, the day after court we had a meeting at P’s school. An IEP meeting. One of the most daunting meetings I have ever had. There are so many memes about how hard and frustrating IEP meetings are. We are blessed beyond measure. Our IEP meeting went very smoothly.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RVzhccvtWw%5D
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34. Our First Court Date

Mama S here- I can’t believe it. Time is flying and I can’t seem to catch up. I’ve been meaning to write a few posts over the past few weeks but I haven’t been able to find the time. I now fully understand people that say things like “I don’t have time to send that email/text/call”. Yikes! Well, anyway, it has been a few weeks since court and I thought I would share an update. Court is scary. Intimidating. Nerve wracking. Exceptionally fast paced.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yl5gvSHMjEs%5D
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32. Blessed Holidays

Happy Holidays! Mama S here. Between you and I, I’m thrilled that we made it though the holidays. As I previously said, I struggle with the holidays and this year was no different. What I must call out is that we are blessed to have the most wonderful families and they made the holiday weekend a delight. It ended up being great weekend and no one was more delighted than P.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyYhOszGKrw%5D

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28. Our Honeymoon!- The Happy and the Sad

Mama S here- Hey everyone! Mama A and I just got back from our honeymoon! Yeah!! We went to Ireland and Scotland for 2.5 weeks and it was stunning. The weather was fantastic – barely any rain at all , the food was good, and the sights were stunning. I did lose my phone on our first tour day which was crummy, but I was happy it happened on the first day so I only lost 1 day of pictures, but our trip overall was what dreams are made of.

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