We leave tomorrow for Lee’s hometown, but I’m hoping to get one more post beyond this one up today. Then we’ll spend the long weekend with relatives there — mostly Shasta, but also some of her adoptive family, plus also apparently she’s been challenged to a game of pool by the half-brother Shasta knows but who doesn’t otherwise have a relationship with us — and I know it’s going to take a lot out of her. So we’re talking about that proactively and I’m gearing myself up for a long drive home where she sulks and fixates on things. Is that a bad attitude to have? If things go better, I’ll be happy, but I think they’re probably going to seem better in retrospect and be somewhat difficult and uncomfortable (though also often good!) at the time.
Our new worker seems competent. She’s young and still very driven. (Okay, yes, I’m cynical today.) Apparently the reason we hadn’t gotten any foster care calls was not that we were blackballed but that we’d been put down as only willing to do concurrent planning (kids who are being kept in foster care while plans are also being made about what will happen if they do end up on the adoption track) and that’s not something that comes up very often. Since we never actually requested that, we’re back in the regular foster pool with a stated preference for kids 7 and up, especially boys, especially black, ditto LGBT. We’ll see where this takes us.
Oh, and Lee is back to saying she wants to get out of the pool in October. I’d thought I’d talked her down to letting our homestudy expire in January if we don’t have a child involved with us, but apparently I wasn’t convincing enough. My plan is to let her deal with her stuff in July and then come back and pressure her on this in August. Our new worker thinks that she’ll be out to visit us in less than the required three months because she’ll be there to check up on a placed child, so that too would solve the problem.
The really good news, though, is that I finally heard from Rowan’s new worker. I shouldn’t say “finally” since I never got in touch with her while he was in the residential treatment center. But I got a little panicky once I realized he was gone and was afraid we’d have trouble getting back in touch with him. She came back from vacation yesterday and sent me his foster mother’s contact info. He’s not living in our part of the state, which is good for him, but is also not in a super-rural area. I’d have things to do that amuse me in his town if we ever needed an excuse to visit, and if his brother’s still in the same placement as before they’re now within an hour’s drive of one another. So I’ll get to call him tonight and see how he’s doing.
I’ll want to talk to his foster mother, too, so she doesn’t think we’re horning in on anything. I don’t want her to feel like we’re trying to steal him away or keep him from attaching to her. But I do want him to recognize that he can count on us and that there are people who will stick with him regardless of where he goes and what he does. I have faith I’ll be able to explain this appropriately, so I’m not too worried about it at the moment. When he was at the RTC, I was careful not to undermine anything that the program was doing. I’d definitely not want to criticize anything that’s going on in a home. All I want is to hear what’s going on in his life and let him know that that matters to us.
I was just so happy that his worker thinks we’re having a positive impact and said that he had talked to her about us and our ongoing presence in his life. He’s the first kid who came through our home and with his running away and some of the disclosures he made to me, he put a lot of pressure on us in terms of whether we have the skills and wisdom to make the appropriate choices. While I’ve felt pretty good about it, there are also plenty of reasons to second-guess myself. Just knowing that he does care, that I have gotten through, means so much to me.