The Fosters

The FostersI finally got a few extra minutes this week to watch the series premiere of The Fosters on OnDemand. Have you seen it? I have to say, it wasn’t at all what I expected. The thing that struck me the most, though, is how painful it was to watch. The writers and cast nailed the underlying feeling of chaos within the foster care system. From case workers who are “on vacation” during critical transitions, to siblings being separated, this show dug deep in the very first episode. Despite my discomfort, I am likely to watch again.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

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Beautiful Blogger Award

Finding my name listed among such fabulous adoption and foster care bloggers for the Beautiful Blogger Award from Living Loving and Letting Go was a real treat! I started this blog to chronicle our personal journey, but along the way have met so many amazing people and have realized that I have a story worth sharing, a story with value, and at moments like this, when I am recognized by a virtual stranger, I realize the far reaching impact that my words can have. I do not take this responsibility lightly.

As a part of accepting this award, I have to list seven interesting facts about me, and list seven of  the blogs I follow in order to nominate them for the Beautiful Blogger Award, so here goes!

Seven Interesting Facts

  1. I was *almost* a reality star!
    I was contacted in 1998 by Lifetime TV about doing a reality series that would follow the reunion between myself and my birth father. Unfortunately the pilot episode never got picked up, so the series never happened. It would have been amazing to have documented such an incredibly intense part of my life, but it was not meant to be. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone but I was also contacted in 1996 or so by the Geraldo producers to be on a show about people who don’t get along with their mothers-in-law. I definitely fit that category, lol, but she refused to go on the show because she had no interest in resolving things so that never happened either!
  2. I am an avid photographer.
    My love of photography started when I was 14 years old and I am very rarely without a camera in my hand capturing the magic of the world around me. My favorite thing to photograph is people, especially people interacting. I believe that human interaction and connection is the single most important reason we are here on earth and I love capturing that with my lens.
  3. I delivered 3 of my 4 biological children without any pain meds, not even so much as a Tylenol.
    Yes, I do think this makes me Super Woman! (kidding, of course)
  4. I think my dream job would have been being a Meteorologist.
    I mean, don’t you think Sam Champion has the best job on GMA? Anyway, I am obsessed with the weather! I watch coverage of snow storms coming in for hours straight. I am mesmerized by tornadoes and hurricanes. Weather is just plain awesome!
  5. I love to read!
    I haved loved to read for as long as I can remember. I couldn’t get enough books as a child and thankfully during my early middle school years we moved to the street the library was on. I would walk there every day. I own a nook now and do read many books on there but nothing compares to the smell of walking into Barnes & Noble with all those fresh new books! Yummy!
  6. I have been a vegetarian for more than 15 years.
    I have NEVER eaten anything from the ocean (without being sick anyway) and never liked meat, even as a kid. Its not because I am an animal activist (although I do hate when I see shows on tv about the cruel ways that animals are treated prior to slaughter) and it’s not for health reasons. I simply don’t prefer meat. All of my children and my husband eat meat, but thanks to my chef husband, Mickey, he often prepares me special non-meat meals.
  7. I was married on Leap Year Day.
    Mickey had been married before. I wanted things to be completely different when we married. The date we chose was just the beginning of how different our wedding turned out to be, but the full story is probably a post for another day! (Gotta keep you coming back for more, right? lol)

Seven Favorite Bloggers 

  1. Mission Addition
    Ahhhhh, one of my favorite foster adoption bloggers, even though she is currently “paused” in the process. Her writing style is incredible and I look forward to being inspired by her when she accepts placement of her forever children (likely a sibling group)!
  2. My Busy Intersection
    Another of my favorite bloggers from Twitter. A crazy story from the start, but seeing Patience’s persistence is what is most inspiring!
  3. Foster Parenting Adventures
    I love her perspective as a a foster mother and clinical psychologist. She was one of the first people on Twitter to validate how difficult it is to parent a foster child with RAD and PTSD, something I will be forever grateful for. I also am enjoying watching her own foster daughter’s adoption unfolding, albeit challenging through a legal system filled with obstacles.
  4. Love is Not a Pie
    This is my favorite adoptee/adoptive mom blogger. Although I sometimes disagree with her stance on adoption issues from the adoptee perspective, I find she is always very well spoken and kind to those with differing views which is a rare but awesome quality to possess.
  5. I Am Not Alone
    Ali has been there done that, owned the tshirt and is back for more. She is hanging on for the ride of her life much later in the adoption process than I am and I find her an inspiration for what forever commitment should look like.
  6. Adoptive Legacy
    This young couple inspires me every day with the commitment to not only their own adopted children but also their advocacy of adoption and foster care issues in general. Lots of great advice at this blog!
  7. Rage Against The Minivan
    Just plain awesome with lots of guest writers covering a myriad of adoption and parenting related topics!

Honestly, I could post many more blogs as I have been inspired by so many people, but the above are some of my very favorites. Thanks again to Living Loving and Letting Go for the “nomination” and the chance to share some things about myself and the blogs I follow!

First Respite Call

We got our first call to do respite for a teen girl. It totally caught me off guard because I wouldn’t have expected they would ask us to do respite with a child already in our care. I trust our social worker, though, so I said yes. In the hours that followed the call, I learned a brief synopsis of the teen’s sad life and also realized that I know her foster parents from our agency’s support group. When I spoke with the teen’s foster mom, she asked how our daughter, Tinkerbelle, felt about sharing her room. I told her that we hadnt asked but that it wouldnt be an issue. We began this process together and with the full consent of all our biological kids. The respite is only for 2 nights. We can handle ANYTHING for 2 nights, right? So I picked up Tink from school and told her we were asked to do respite. She asked how old the girl was and when I told her she exclaimed “Do it! Get her!” I was not expecting quite that joyous of a response, but honestly, I’ll take it! LOL

As we have gone though this process, there have been many times I have felt segregated from the foster parenting world because we are pre-adoptive parents rather than foster parents. I have sensed that foster parents look at pre-adoptive parents as if they are in this for selfish reasons because they plan to “keep” the child rather than work towards reunification. While we did purposely seek children to adopt, we in NO WAY interfered with our children reunifying with their biological parents. In fact, their parental rights were terminated years before we came into the picture. In any case, I feel like the call today turned us into “real” foster parents. We will do our part to support this girl, albeit for 2 nights, and then return her to her foster family. It’s unlikely that we will be able to do much beyond providing a safe and fun environment for this teen and giving respite to her foster family, but it still makes our choice to become a foster family seem more concrete.