Author: Julie H., Foster Mom
It’s been seven months of Miss D living with us full time and a full year of us knowing her and being involved in her life. There’s that expression “waiting for the other shoe to drop”. I’m constantly wondering these days if that shoe already dropped or if it’s still going to drop.
In education, we teachers know there is something called the “honeymoon period” of the school year in terms of student behaviors. Like clockwork, the beginning of our school year is great. Kids are doing well, no major behavior incidents have occurred, and we are clean sailing. BUT, we know that shoe is going to drop and we try and make it as long as we can before it does. Usually, it’s about 6-8 weeks. Then we go through a couple of months of interventions and ups and downs before we see kids level off again. This whole process takes about 3-4 months.
I wonder, does this same timeline apply to fostering? Did we hit the “severe lows” already? If we did, they weren’t too bad! Did we hit the jackpot in terms of foster kids? Miss D finished her semester at school with all A’s and B’s. She’s active in her school volleyball and has a KILLER serve. Anxiety and sad moods have decreased in half (says her counselor). She’s chatty and says she’s happy! I asked the “jackpot” question to our caseworker at Norris. She said, let’s remember all the time and effort you put into fostering Miss D. All the appointments, the struggles with mental health, the constant communication you have with the school, the constant communication you have with her biological siblings and parent, and the emotional energy you have invested in her.
This makes me think of the lottery. You can win big, but you have to buy the ticket first. If you don’t buy a ticket then you will never win the jackpot. Our ticket was signing up with Norris to be foster parents a year ago, and within the year we really do think we hit the jackpot with Miss D! She’s amazing!