March 23, 2010

The Roller Coaster That Is…

  …taking placements via the intake department.  We haven’t had to go through the intake department since our girls came to stay with us – all of our other placements have come to us through our Resource Family Worker which involves much less drama.

  The intake department consists of a rotation of workers who make phone calls for any children in care in need of a placement.  That means that they play the middle man between you (foster parent) and the children’s caseworker.  That means that any time there is a question, conflict, or you hold your mouth the wrong way when discussing the placement, they have to get in contact with the caseworker (could take days.  literally.) and then find the time to get back to you.  Long story short, it makes all this take a lot of time, a lot of waiting, and in the end everything is as clear as the air in L.A.

SO, no news as of yet really.  Just waiting for the intake department to get a hold of the caseworker, who has to get a hold of her supervisor, who has to call the adoption worker. 

Ahhh, bureaucracy.


Things I am slightly nervous about:

  • How to divide my time between five kids under the age of 10.  This will take some practice.  I just hope I get good at it sooner than later.
  • Hair Care.  I am moderately sure that the kids are African American (Yes, that’s how informative the intake department is when they call).  I’m giving myself a crash course on hair care.  Any tips would be greatly appreciated. 
  • Laundry.  If I don’t suffocate in it, and I don’t lose Sylvie in it, I’ll count myself ahead of the game.  Maybe we’ll make it a house rule that everyone gets dressed out of the laundry basket.  A game maybe.  Who can find their clothes in the massive pile the fastest?!?
  • Mostly, I’m nervous about my selfishness.  Ugh, I hate it.  I’m nervous that I will want to be selfish with my time.  I’m nervous that I will want to be selfish with my time with Sylvie.  I’m nervous that I will want to be selfish with my time in the bathroom. (Did I mention we only have one bathroom?)  This one could use some heavy duty prayer – if you could add it to your list of prayer requests for the week, I would really appreciate it.


  1. One bathroom? God bless you, Maggie! And here I was wanting to move into a bigger house (more than our 4 bedroom, 2 bath) before considering fostering. Yeah.

  2. You are more experienced than I, but reading what you wrote about the laundry, I had read a tip somewhere that might help. Each kid has their own laundry basket, and you wash their clothes in their own load, then dump the clean load into their own basket and put it in their room. Then they can get dressed out of their own basket in the morning. Does that make sense? But yeah, kids under 10 the older ones could probably do th sorting for you. younger ones might could sort the clothes by type is in socks in a pile, shirts in a pile, etc. But like I said, you probably have way mroe experience than me.
    I also found that bigger kids, in an effort to remind them what they need to do less, you can get those colorful wall adhesives and write out tasks like before bed, brush teeth, but away tooth brush and tooth paste, pick up dirty clothes and put in the hamper, stuff like that. Then you just have to ask them did you do everything on your list, rather than having to go over each item over and over all morning or evening long!
    We just have 1 bio daughter at the moment, but when we kept our niece and nephews last summer for some summer camps, I made notes after they left of stuff to remember to make it go smoother this year. Those were a few of the things I wrote down for myself. It still amazes me that we had to tell a 10 year old to dry himself off before putting on his pajamas, and to put the cap back on the toothpaste when you are done!
    Good luck! We all had to share 1 bathroom while the niece and nephews were visiting too, cause our other 1 was being remodeled. It is not the best, but it is easier to keep just 1 bathroom clean!
    Prayers for you,
    Melissa in Durham

  3. Wow! Prayers for you and your family. I can't wait to read about this adventure, and feel confident that God will help you make a way to get through it!

  4. What's that old saying, "God only gives you what you can handle..."


    Dont worry, it will be fine. You might get constipated but that's nothing that a couple of celery sticks won't fix.

    You're all in my happy thoughts!

  5. I will be praying for you! I know you can do it!

  6. You know your state better than I, but I would probably bi-pass the intake department and call the case worker myself. I am always the rule breaker though. :) Best of luck to you!!!

  7. I have some thoughts, sorry it took me so long to get them to you...hopefully you aren't drowning in laundry already...
    My husband came up with a game called "Defend Your Nickel" - he dumps all the clean laundry on our bed, and whichever children get all their own clothes off the bed and put away by the end of the day get a nickel. The game worked pretty well at first, but it has now devolved to the point that NO one gets a nickel, they mostly jump all over my bed and throw clean clothes all over my messy floor, and I just get frustrated. So I would not actually recommend it. But maybe you would supervise the 'game' better than my husband (he marches up the stairs, hollering "DEFEND YOUR NICKEL!!!" which gets the kids all hyper, then dumps the clothes and leaves. Not so smart.)
    If the kids have enough clothes to where you can make up a load just by one child's clothing, that could work, but for a two year old, that's a LOT of clothes, and it's so obnoxious to do a bunch of half-loads. Depending on your room arrangements, just give each room a hamper - you could reasonably expect a 4, 6 and 8 year old to handle clothes that way. What will your room arrangements be, btw?
    Luckily, we're coming up on summer, when minimal clothing means less laundry!! Yay!

  8. I wrote so much about laundry, I thought I'd better do another comment for my other thoughts...
    Hair care: When it is prudent, definitely ask the kids' mom what brands she uses on their hair - she'll know best, and it will help develop a repoire with her. In the meanwhile, I've read that products WITHOUT mineral oil are best. Mineral oil clogs pores, so check the ingredient list. I like one I found at Walgreens, in a green bottle. Somewhere on my site I posted about it, but I can't find it now, of course. A brand called "Pink's" is also at Walgreen, but I found it to be way too thick. Of course, a lot depends on the kids' actual hair! I would also grab some baby oil for skin too.

  9. Thank you all so much for your thoughts and ideas! Maybe I'll have to make a post just for parenting idea comments - that would be wonderful! Thanks so much!


Thanks for commenting!!


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