Project Linus | How You Can Help Kids In Foster Care

Project LinusAre you familiar with Project Linus? I had the opportunity to see this organization’s effects directly last month. We got the call to care for Jack Jack on a Thursday morning and by that evening we were foster parenting an adorable little 10 month old boy for a week. Our state office was able to provide us with the essentials to care for him… a Pack N Play, a couple outfits, diapers, wipes and formula. Thanks to the awesome people who give their time to the efforts of Project Linus, Jack Jack also received this beautiful handmade quilt!

I had heard of Project Linus in the past, but honestly had never given it much thought. My passion is foster care and I don’t know how to sew so Project Linus didn’t seem to be a good match for my skills. After receiving this blanket, I contacted my local Project Linus chapter and have offered my non-sewing skills including my time and graphic design skills.

Did you know that there are several ways you can get involved?  The local chapters not only collect and distribute blankets but they also organize several blanket-making events throughout the year. Project Linus chapters depend on volunteers to help in every facet of their activities and are always welcome to a “helping hand.”

If you happen to be crafty,  all blanket styles are welcome, including quilts, tied comforters, fleece blankets, crocheted or knitted afghans, and receiving blankets in child-friendly colors. (Always remember that blankets must be homemade, washable, free of pins, and come from smoke-free environments due to allergy reasons.)

I know that not everyone is called to become a foster parent, but everyone can assist children in foster care. Project Linus is just one more way you can help children in care!

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The CASA Update

CASAI am sad to report that I will likely not reach my personal goal of becoming a CASA volunteer this year. I had hoped that if I had my name removed from our foster care license, this would remove the conflict of interest. Unfortunately, our local office decided that since Mickey would still hold HIS license and we are married, that it would still be a conflict. I’m not willing to get divorced, lol, so my goal is on the back burner until we decide to officially close our license. (I think we will probably renew our license this summer so that we can continue to do respite.)

The person I emailed with earlier this month said there may be ways I can volunteer with the CASA organization without being an actual CASA Volunteer. She passed my name along but I have yet to hear anything. I will follow up with them soon, as I am eager to feel useful.

Have you ever considered becoming a CASA Volunteer? I would encourage you to visit their website and explore how you can make a difference in the life of a foster child.

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2013 Family Resolutions

family resolutionsAs I created my personal resolutions for 2013, I realized many were family related, so we sat down to come up with our first ever set of family resolutions! We decided that 3 resolutions would be a good starting point.

  • Family Game Night We have committed to participate monthly in a family game night. Weather permitting, some of our family game nights will include outdoor activities. We plan to purchase the board games Apples to Apples and HedBandz for sure. We also plan to get the Wii hooked up again and do at least one video game night this year!
  • Races We will be running our first race as a family on New Year’s Day. We have decided to set a goal of running 3 races as a family in 2013. We are really hoping to run The Color Run as one of our races, depending on the cost. (Anything times 5 is always a lot.)
  • Soup Kitchen Our goal is to volunteer at least once in 2013 at a local soup kitchen. Mickey is, by trade, a chef so this seems an appropriate way for us to volunteer our time and talent.

Daffy was quite worried that since we set only 3 resolutions that we would not be doing the “usual” things we do as a family. I reassured her that all traditions will continue and that these are NEW goals for our family to achieve. Honestly, I can’t wait to get started!

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Would I Do It Again?

We have often been asked if we would “do this again”… what a difficult question to answer and one that is weighing heavily on our minds as we approach adoption. Once the adoption is complete, we will need to choose whether to transfer our license to another agency (and if so, which one) or to close our license.

If I had this situation to do over, of course I would do it again. I can’t imagine our lives without Daffy. She is our daughter, plain and sample.I have zero regrets. But, will we continue as foster parents or consider adopting again? I simply dont have an answer to that question. Sometimes I feel like we might consider it and other times I still feel too raw from those first few days with Donald in our home. Mickey often jokes about being ready and the kids all say they are for continuing as a foster family, but I can’t help but wonder if they say that because it’s abstract at this point. There is no worker knocking on our door asking us to take kids.

The number one thing that keeps me from being certain is the fear of failure. In many ways I feel like we failed Donald. This rocks me to the core and makes me doubt everything I once thought I was capable of handling. My mission to help kids in foster care has not changed, but I wonder if my drive and desire to help would be better served in another way.

At this point, I am leaning heavily towards closing our license and training to become a CASA volunteer. I want to be involved in children’s lives and I want to make a difference, but I just don’t know if fostering is the best route for us to continue. I am sure we will have many conversations as a family over the next couple months and I also know better than to say “never” because life has a way of doing just what it wants despite the best laid plans…