We’ve been fostering Baby E for four months, and Sister F has officially been with us for almost two months. People often ask how the boys are handling the transition. I’d say we’re settling in well as a family of six. Here’s proof:
I have always said eighteen months is one of my favorite ages. With both of my boys, something clicked as they edged closer to two than one. Their vocabularies exploded. They were far more aware of their world, and they no longer seemed like babies. What a fantastic time to start getting to know F.
Yes, we’ve had to help her unlearn some behaviors, and yes, we all feel like we should earn medals on the way to her 6:30 bedtime some days, but each day brings less frustration and more fun as she finds her place in our family. Here are some of my favorite moments from the last month with F:
I thought I’d talk a bit about numbers in this update. People have asked how much we get paid to be foster parents. It’s a fair question, and one that can be answered by googling. Here’s what it looks like in IL:
We also receive WIC for their groceries (which is a whole fun adventure) which amounts to about $300 a month. We’ve been so fortunate to have the extra money to cover all the expenses we’ve incurred by adding two extra people to the house, and we’ve started savings accounts for the girls because it’s the right thing to do.
Here are some other numbers that might interest you:
the number of children who come into foster care daily in the United States
the number of children currently in foster care in the state of IL
the number of children currently in foster care in St. Clair County
days until our next court date
One highlight from this month was our trip to Utah, a reunion trip of old friends. Six adults and nine kids for a week of skiing and eating and playing and eating and watching movies and eating. We had planned the trip before we had two extra kids, so it was all a fun experiment. The agency gave us permission for travel, and the girls were fantastic travelers.
Experiences like our Utah trip make it hard for us to not picture what this would look like if it became a permanent situation. It's an odd feeling--living in constant limbo. While reunification is still the ultimate goal, I find myself thinking more and more about their future and whether our family is a part of it. I've given up trying to push those feelings aside. Basically, what I'm saying is that I'm planning two weddings.
FOUR MONTHS DOWN.