Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Foster Care | We Are Licensed

Written December 11th

I'm sitting here eating leftover oven fries from last night (which I may have sprinkled cheese on) while my new 9 year old friend watches Goosebumps in the sunroom. A show I find incredibly creepy but when someone is just staying for the weekend, and you are a stranger, you don't try to change them or their TV show tastes. You just want them to feel comfortable.

On Monday our foster care application worker came to the house and brought our new ongoing worker to meet us. We sat around the table in the dining room to talk about our application, that was sent off just a few weeks ago. We were fully expecting not to hear anything until January or February but our worker dropped a bomb shell when she told us, "Your license was sent back."

My heart sank. What didn't they like? Was it Witt's bees in the backyard...that we built a fence around...? Was it....what could it be??

Then she said, "Sent back approved!"

We were so surprised, as were they, that it had been processed so quickly. And on that note, she asked if we would be willing to do respite care this weekend.

During the week as we were setting up the respite care, our worker called me at work. She wanted to conference Witt in, so after I finally figured out how to add someone to a call she told us about another placement, one that could be more long term.

It seems like just a second ago I thought we were looking at February and now we were talking about maybe having kids for Christmas and New Years, and a new school year.

It could be that last weekend was our last as two people for a long time.



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As my friend at work says, who was a foster mom, this process is a roller coaster. One minute you are up and the next you are down. So things can change.

But as of now, the process has OFFICIALLY started.

The long application process is over.

We have almost survived a whole weekend of respite care. We went bowling, to a Christmas parade, made copious amounts of apple cider and popcorn and have gotten to know a really really sweet kid who I will miss when we drop him off tonight.

And the future is being planned and I am so ready- ready to fall in love, for the hurts and troubles, for the known and the unknown.

Ready.





Monday, November 21, 2016

Beach Vibes

We went to Wilmington, NC for a weekend and it was incredibly nice to get away and spend some time together. 

We've been to Wilmington several times because we really like the river walk and the beaches nearby are beautiful but we've not stayed downtown until now. 

We stayed at the Wilmingtonian and it was so worth it.

Nestled right downtown, we were able to walk out the door and get drinks and oysters before heading to dinner. In fact we walked everywhere which is one of my favorite things about cities.




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My grand idea was to get lunch at Flaming Amy's once we got to Wilmington which Witt loves and have a picnic on the beach. We were bundled up but not all prepared for the extreme winds. 

Sand was blowing in my hair, my food, it was a crazy windy day.

But it was fun to walk.

I love the beach in winter. I like how quiet it is with so few people. 
I'm not a laying out in the sun kind of person anyway, and I think the blues and silvers are even crisper in cold weather.




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Witt wanted to go to Good Hopps Brewery which we had never been to before and so while we waited for it to open we visited one of the state parks and walked along the river. 

There was a lot of brush and damage from the hurricane but Witt has a dream of visiting all the state parks in NC so we checked it out anyway.




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I'm definitely a wine girl but I am learning to appreciate the different beers out there because Witt likes to try local and artensal brews. 

All I know about beer is that I like sweeter amber ales but surprisingly my favorite beer at Good Hops that we tasted was a chocolate stout. It was deep and heavy but with notes of spice and a sweetness I enjoyed.

After that we headed to our hotel.  I thought our room at the Wilmingtonian was so cute. It was a suite with a living area, small kitchenette and bedroom that overlooked downtown. 




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We sat outside on the porch which pointed towards the beautiful catholic church. Apparently the rooms of the hotel used to be where the nuns lived and they had a beautiful little garden courtyard that the long porch faced.

 After we relaxed we walked around downtown. We went by the river, some shops and neighborhoods and then to Dockside Oysters for a drink and some fresh oysters.




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I had an oyster-tini which is like a yummy tomato-y bloody mary with a raw oyster in the bottom and the martini glass rim is dipped in old bay and IT IS AMAZING. 

We had raw and steamed oysters and this time I like the steamed oysters best, they had a wonderful creamy richness. 

 We went back to the room and got ready for a late dinner, so we watched food network, sat on the balcony with a gin and ginger and then went out. 

After dinner we sat by the fountain and as I laid my head on Witt's shoulder I thought about how different things are going to be in the coming year. Foster kids, adoption, so many changes.

A lot to think about but a lot to look forward to.




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 The next morning we slept late and then ate at our favorite diner, The Dixie Grill. The sausage and potato skillet is the perfect meal when you've stayed up late and gallivanted around the city.

Exploring downtown.




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As soon as we decided we were going to Wilmington Witt wanted to go to the Serpentarium

I think this is so funny because Witt hates snakes. 

The Serpentarium is basically a deadly snake exhibit, the snakes are either huge boa constrictors or they are incredibly venomous. It's pretty impressive that they have so many snakes that you would never encounter unless you were halfway across the world.

My favorite part, morbidly, is reading the horrible things that happen to people who are bitten and the stories of people who have survived. The only snakes native to NC that I can remember are the rattlesnakes, water moccasins and copperhead. 




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The rattlesnake was very angry with us. At first I thought it was sound effects, but we would stand in front of it and listen to the LOUD eerie rattle and when we walked away it would stop. Crazy.



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Me reading the deadly deaths from various snake bites.




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We wanted to see the beach for the last time before heading out and this ended up being one of my favorite parts of the trip.

 It was a little drizzly, but we sat on the beach and drank a beer with the umbrella for a long time, just enjoying the much less breezy day and the hazy cold ocean air.




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~

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Foster Care | A Surprise


Gypsy Slow Down



One lovely, bright spot during October was the foster care surprise shower Lauren and Mom threw me!




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 Such a thoughtful, special time and I was so humbled and blessed by the effort and time they put into it. 




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Hot air balloon made by Lauren and Mom, filled with toys!



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Playing a shower game.



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The theme was adventure which is so perfect...



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This was the sweetest gift from Lauren.

For every child that comes in our home they will put a thumb print and their name on the wood...

 I can't wait to see all the names and the precious faces they belong to.




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I'm so blessed to have the support of my friends and family as we start this crazy adventure. Everyone stood around me at the shower and prayed and it was a beautiful moment.

One more home visit, one class on medicine administration and we are done with the application process!

On to the state for licensing...

This was a really good video we watched in class. 

There are is a part 2 that I haven't seen but this was so well done and illustrates hauntingly and beautifully one little girls foster care journey...








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