In the meantime, while I've been in this waiting phase, I've had a number of temporary/voluntary kiddos. For those of you who don't remember, I signed up to do voluntary placements about three years ago. Initially, I was pretty limited because of my work schedule but more recently I've been able take quite a few kiddos.
I really love this program and its mission to keep more children OUT of foster care. All of the kiddos that I've cared for have been very sweet and their parents have been wonderful. Most of the little ones have only stayed with me a few days. Their parents have had things they needed to take care of (usually over a weekend, as that is when I'm most available) and don't have safe people to leave their children with while they settle things.
Can you imagine not having a single safe and willing person in your life to care for your children? Even for just a few days? I can't imagine.
So, here are just a few of the sweet kids I've had in the last year:
Janie - 2 month old girl, was with me for a week the first time and then came a few more times over the next three months. So sweet and a little doll. Her mom was really struggling and continues to do so but some family has stepped up to help her.
Aria - 2 year old girl, was with me for a week while her mom was having a new baby. We had such a blast! She was a handful but also a joy. I hope she is doing well now.
Belinda - 6 month old girl, only with me for a weekend. Nice to get a "baby fix" every once in a while.
Keith - 3 month old boy, only for the weekend. He had hilarious hair and the sweetest smile. His mom was moving out of state and need to get things in order to go live closer to family.
Maria - 5 months old, stayed for three days. Her mom was in substance abuse treatment and needed a few days to get acclimated before her daughter came and joined her. I never got to meet Maria's mother but I hope she continues to get the help needed to care for her daughter.
Kari - 2 years old, from the same rehab program as Maria. Also stayed for three days - also a blast. I know people call it the "terrible twos" but I adore kids at this age. We went to the zoo and the playground.
All of my temporary kiddos have been so much fun and a great way for me to "test out" foster care. I can honestly say that it has been easy to support these children and their families. While I know foster care will be different - especially in the length of time I will be caring for children - I hope that I can maintain that same supportive stance. I also hope I will continue to be able to do these temporary placements on occasion when I have a long term foster kiddo.
If anyone wants more information about this type of voluntary program, feel free to contact me for more info!