Saturday, May 26, 2012

Top 10 - Things That Will Change

We are out of town on a camping adventure. It's Elijah's birthday weekend and we are in full celebration mode! Seeing as how he has never experienced a planned birthday party (I's sad.), we are going all out this year. SO, you enjoy these posts on fostering and discipline while we have the greatest time of our lives celebrating our most favorite four year old!

Top 10 Thing That Will Change While Fostering:

1. Spontaneous adventures (like camping!). With more kids comes the need for planning ahead. All. The. Time. I think I'll just make lunches for all the kids every morning just in case we do decide to hit up the zoo. That way, we'll always be a little bit prepared for a long day out.

2. Traveling. It's not unusual for the boys and I to hop in the car and trek down to Nashville for a weekend. Once we've been placed, there will be no more last minute anything. All travel plans have to be approved by the judge so I'll have to put my planning skills to use in this area.

3. Our schedules. When you first think about fostering or adopting (or adding children to your family at all), it gets overwhelming imagining another person getting smushed into your current schedule. Especially when that extra person requires 1-3 appointments per week plus family visits. Needless to say, I'll be stream lining my schedule soon.

4.  Meal time. Meal time with children is always stressful. I can't remember the last time I sat down to eat while with my kids. I'm lucky if I even have a second to eat their left-overs! The addition of more kids means more prep and more cleaning. Good thing I'm the female Danny Tanner!!

5. Church. Depending on the number of foster children we get, I may or may not be participating in our church service for a while. I have no idea what kind of sleep or behavioral issues these kids may have. I'll be happy to sit in the back with them, but something tells me, that will only happen on the good days. That's if the bio family allows us to take their children to church with us.

6. Sleep. We've been having slumber parties with our little friends and I've been surprised at how well everyone sleeps all in one room. My kids are good at sleeping through noise and chaos, so that's a plus. Still, I'm expecting my nights to become my most productive time for prayer as I will likely be awake dealing with kids. I am totally preparing for the worst.

7. Privacy. Yeah, we're all going to have to shut the bathroom door from now on. ELIJAH!

8. Date nights! Dan and I are actually pretty good about date nights but they are always last minute. We usually text or call 5 different friends around 5pm begging for a few hours to ourselves. This is easy to do with our two boys because they are incredibly social and love having their grown up friends come to play. With the unpredictability of foster children and the importance of consistency, we probably won't have babysitters for quite a while.

9. Dynamics. It's always a bit strange when a new child joins a family. Everyone is excited about them, but it does take some getting used to. I'm curious to see how the ages of our foster girls will effect the way the boys receive them. Introducing a newborn to the boys will certainly be  different from them getting a new 3 yr old play mate!

10. Discipline. Dan and I both signed a waver stating we will not spank our foster children (as well as refrain from doing all sorts of other crazy things. we had NO problem signing that paper!). In order to keep things consistent, we are completely getting rid of spankings in our home. I'm not thrilled about this, although I completely agree with why it's important NOT to spank with foster kids in the home. My next fostering post will cover this topic in detail. Coming soon....


  1. We have four kids age 5 and under. The things we did to help our girls adjust to having siblings were mainly along the being patient line. Our kids have learned that when Mommy and Daddy sit to eat, if they ask for something the answer will be "In just a minute, Mommy is eating." And that just has to be okay. It took some time but with four kids too young to get their own ketchup/milk/whatever, if we ever wanted to eat as a family that was necessary. But the patience has stretched to other areas. When I'm doing lotion/hair/clothes for one kid if another kid is antsy to get ready they either have to wait patiently or sit next to me so I can watch and help while they lotion themselves and dress themselves. It's teaching both independence and patience and again, it's taken some time but it's worked out for us.

    You will lose some of the spontaneous just because it's HARD keeping that many small humans together and safe when on outings.

    The most important thing is that you give yourself a lot of patience and grace. Adding kids, especially in similar ages, is going to cause some stretching and friction in the family until everyone has sorted themselves out. If you have to bail on a bunch of stuff, it's okay. You'll find your footing and it will be wonderful.

  2. patience...i have found that this is the number one thing that either makes our day or destroys it, depending on how much patience i have with my children. patience and perseverance were the two big things we talked about in our discipline class. remembering that change CAN and WILL come after time will encourage me to have both patience and perseverance each day. thank you for your encouragement. keep it coming :)