Day 4 is finished! As I mentioned before, sessions 7 and 8 were about working with birth families and discipline. It ended up being a very casual training day – lots of discussion, thoughts & ideas, and we were able to ask any questions we had about training up until this point. Coming down to the end, it seemed really necessary to have some time to just talk and share each others experiences. Don’t get me wrong, the sessions were very informative and we got through everything we needed to, it was just low key.
Working with families is one of the parts of foster care that I am anxious about. They want to place children in the community that they live in and most times try to keep them in the school district. This always made me wonder if I would be running into the families out in public, how close they lived to me, etc. If I didn’t have a good relationship with families, this would really worry me. The women that run our training sessions were very helpful and really made me feel better. In their experiences, relationships between biological families and foster families are positive. And even if it wasn’t, they haven’t had any major issues. I am hoping and praying that we can have positive relationship with these parents. I think I have written about her before, but one of the women that runs our training sessions is also a foster parent. She considers the mother of one of her former placements a part of her family. She is invited to birthdays, holidays, etc. Her old foster daughter calls her “Aunt.” Mike and I think that is such an incredible story and we are so hopeful that we can have some experiences like that as well.
The discipline session was one that I’ve been waiting for all month. One of the biggest topics on the foster care blogs and in the facebook groups is discipline. Some of these children really struggle when given consequences, and there are a lot of opinions when it comes to how to handle discipline with foster children (or with any children in general). Luckily, it wasn’t too overwhelming. Most of the strategies and suggestions they gave were things that I do everyday as a teacher. They had to go over some legal aspects and policies regarding discipline – none of which was new to us.
Next week is our last two sessions! We will have a session about court in the morning, followed by the panel of guests I’ve mentioned in earlier posts. Mike and I are making cornbread and chili and a bunch of desserts. We are so excited to celebrate with our classmates and to move forward in this process!
Some highlights since training:
- We got assigned a home study worker! We were given her name and number at training on Saturday. They told me she would call us within the next few business days, but let’s be real here, I called her this morning at 10:00 AM. I know I’m crazy – but we have our first appointment set for March 29th! We. can’t. wait.
- My dad, Mike, and I all got our fingerprints done.
- Mike and I got our physicals and TB tests – just have to go back in a few days for our official results.
- At training, we got called out for laughing a lot. Sad highlight, but I love it. Laughter is so important to us, and we have truly enjoyed the extra time we’ve been getting together on Saturdays. She didn’t say it to be mean (I don’t think), she just mentioned that she always sees us laughing. Typical.
On a more sad note, I feel like I have to update and say that we are officially a one dog home. Today Dodger went to live with Mike’s dad. And maybe I am being dramatic, but I am sad about it. Mike mentioned giving Dodger to his dad a few weeks ago, and we have been discussing and praying about it ever since. There are a lot of reasons for it and it does make sense. I know most of you that know us are probably thinking, “You’re giving up Dodger instead of crazy Daisy?” I said the same thing to Mike. But the reality is.. Dodger is the one that has an issue with other animals, he is the barker, and he is the one that growls when being touched at times. While Dodger has never bitten anyone (and I truly don’t think he would), he does get angry really easily. Mike brought up that having a toddler(s) in the house might be difficult for him. Daisy you can grab, pet wherever, push around, etc. She doesn’t have any issues with that. Dodger is not that way. We don’t want to risk having Dodger get angry toward a child in our home. Dodger has always been tough to take to dog parks, as he does not always get along with other dogs. He has gotten a lot better, but taking two dogs and two children to a park seems daunting. Dodger has a history of running when he gets off his leash, but Daisy comes right back to us. Daisy is also younger and has been easier to train. I know Dodger can still learn (he’s an amazing dog), but progress has been slow. Anyway.. Dodger is our first born in our eyes. We adore him. He was a wonderful first dog and there are so many memories that we will have with him forever. Let me tell you.. if we weren’t giving him to my father in law, we would not be giving him away. I wouldn’t be able to give him up completely. This seems to be the best situation because my father in law LOVES Dodger, has watched him many times before, and Dodger loves him too. He also lives in the home where we had Dodger for a year, and is only 25 minutes away from us. So we will still get to see him! I know it will be good – but right now I’m allowing myself to be heartbroken.
As always, thanks for reading! I will update again after our LAST day of training next weekend 🙂