Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Popo

As I have mentioned already, Evie is very anxious about the police.  This made sense to me being that the police are the ones who took her away from her family.  But there obviously was some other experience with "The Popo" based on some of the other anxieties she has about them.  Some examples of when the irrational fears have come up:
- Every time we pass a police car on the interstate, she gets very anxious and asks, "Is that the Popo?  Slow down!  We're going to get a ticket!"  It doesn't matter if we are going even below the speed limit; she is still worried.
- I was going down the aisle in the W*lmart parking lot and a car began backing up, not seeing my car.  I honked at the car to make sure they stopped.  Evie FREAKED out and started crying.  "Is the Popo going to come?"  "Is that car going to call the Popo?"  I asked why they would and she said, "Because you honked your horn!"
- I took her on a run and put her in the jogging stroller.  She's probably a little too big but she has asthma and can't run with me; and I haven't found a bike for her yet.  Before we left, and during the entire run/walk, she was VERY concerned that "the Popo" was going to get us.  I never figured out exactly why she thought that, other than the fact that she was in a stroller.
- We have several police that live in our neighborhood and they park their police cars here.  She often asks about the cars; and one day said, "I think someone called the Popo on someone else."  When I asked why, she said, "Because the Popo's car was in front of their house."
- I was in the bank parking lot and backing up; another very small car was backing up at the same time and we bumped each other.  I got out to talk to the girl (and we ended up deciding that the damage was so minor - just a few scratches - that we didn't need to get an accident report).  When I got back in the car, Evie was crying, worried that the girl was going to call the Popo.  (Okay, I guess that one was a legitimate concern!  Haha!)

I am wanting to write a general post describing how we are settling in.  Hopefully I'll get to that soon!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Jesus and a Dirty House

Two stories...

Background: Evie had two really bad nights of sleeping on Sunday and Monday nights (after having settled a little with the sleeping the few nights before that).  Maybe it was because she had a visit with mom on Monday (and she knew about it on Sunday).  Sunday she was up every 30 minutes to an hour between 10pm and 3am (6 times total).  Monday she was in my room every ten minutes for over an hour (and some of these times I stayed with her in her room until she was asleep; and she was STILL in my room ten minutes later); and then woke up 30 minutes after that saying she "had a bad dream that the Popo shot Mama."  
Since Evie's mom kept telling her to say her prayers at night, I decided to try to use Jesus/God as a comfort for her if she woke up in the middle of the night, so she wouldn't be scared.  I told her that if she woke up, to just remember that Jesus is always with her and will protect her.  She looked at me scared and said, "But I don't want Jesus in my room with me!"  Hmmm... I asked her if she knew who Jesus was.  "No."  "Do you know who God is?"  "No."  Apparently although they pray, no one has actually explained the concept of who they are praying to.  So then I tried to explain that it wasn't actually a person who was going to come into her room.  That night, she woke up about an hour later while I was still awake and came downstairs and said, "I don't see Jesus in my room."  Oh, my.  I think in my attempt to comfort her, I may have made her more scared of some strange man coming into her room in the middle of the night!

Evie was anxious as we passed a police car, as she always is.  "Is that the Popo?  Why the Popo take kids from their mamas?"  I said, "Because they want to keep you safe.  They have to make sure you have a clean place to live."  She pondered this for a few seconds, then said, "But your house is a bit dirty."  Then genuinely worried, "So is somebody going to come and take me away from you?!"  I tried to reassure her that they wouldn't; and it made me so sad that she has to worry about someone coming and taking her away from the people she loves.  But a part of me just wanted to laugh because Evie in her 4-year-old wisdom is dead right that my house is "a bit dirty"!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Music Monday: Three Little Birds

We were on our way to a doctor's appointment the other day, and this version of Bob Marley's song came on Pandora.  I wanted to mentally "will" this song over to Evie as we were driving along with her anxiety. 

(I don't like that this thumbnail is a sad face!  Is there a way to change it?)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Random Thoughts on My First Five Days as a Foster Mom

  • I knew that I would be emotional about the child and the situation, and everything that comes along with it.  I did not expect to be so emotional about everything ELSE - every little song, commercial, comment... things that have nothing to do with foster care.
  • I lost four pounds in four days.  I did not anticipate foster care being a weight loss plan.  I am eating; I think I'm just not snacking as much as I usually do.
  • Pumpkin (my cat) has not been so sure about what to do with all of the strangers in the house.  But he has kept his comfy spot in Evie's room, and she likes to have him there when she is going to sleep.
  • I did not anticipate the anxiety with every police car we see.  "Is that the popo?  Why are they parked there?"  It makes sense, but that didn't even cross my mind. 
  • I have been around kids and worked with them almost all my life.  So then how did I not realize four year olds asked SO MANY questions?!  Constant.  Granted, almost all of the kids I work with in my career have cognitive and/or language delays, so I guess my interaction with a typically developing four year old in recent years is limited.
  • Evie has had lots of emotional outbursts and bouts of crying about wanting and missing her mommy; but this has improved especially during the day.  However, there has only been one night so far that she has slept all night without crying for her mommy at some point.
  • She is such a sweet little girl!  One night as I was putting her to bed, she said, "I'm glad you're taking care of me."  Melted my heart.  I'm sure it helped that her mom had told her on the phone to listen to me because I was a "very nice lady" so kudos to mom for that. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


I got three different calls from DSS yesterday.  The first time, I answered the phone and they just wanted to know if I was attending the foster care banquet.  Make my heart race for nothing! 

The second call was needing a placement for a sibling group of a 1 year old and a 7 year old.  I told them even though my license is for 2 children, I am really only wanting to take one for the first placement (and my license is actually only for 0-5 years old anyway so I really wanted to stay in that age range). 

The third call came about 7:30 last night and was for a sibling group of a 4 year old and a 3 year old.  I told them I was not equipped to have two different children in beds (I can accommodate a crib infant and a child in a bed), but would take one if they needed me to.  And at 9:00, I opened the door and there was 4-year-old Evie (blog name - not her real name) with a rat's nest of hair, no shoes* (only socks), and clothes the completely wrong size (18 month shirt and size 10 pants).  After a bath and some painful combing out of the hair, she settled down to sleep pretty easily; but then woke up throughout the night every 1-3 hours crying and/or wanting me to come in the room with her. 

* I have a pretty significant stockpile of clothes that have been donated and/or purchased for really cheap, in all sizes/genders/seasons.  However, I haven't purchased any shoes, with the thought that if they are the age to NEED shoes, they should show up wearing a pair and that would get us through.  Funny how the first placement I get shows up with no shoes!  Thankfully, I have had some different people donate some shoes; and my cousin had given me one pair that fit perfectly (and at the time I thought those were probably too big for the age children I would be getting).  Thanks, Becky!  You saved me from dragging a barefoot child into the store to buy shoes!

Today, we have gone to my storage unit to get the box of clothes in her size, visited the daycare, and went by my work to get some ethnic hair care advice.  She has been pretty easy so far (she even humored me and ate three carrots at lunchtime without a fit!)  Right now she is resting (I think asleep actually!) and then we're off to the store for some hair care products and clothing accessories. 

I don't anticipate that she will be with me for an extremely long time, but from all I have read about the foster care world, it's really hard to make any predictions whatsoever since things change in the blink of an eye!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Music Monday: Patience

I got a call last Tuesday to confirm that I am now available for regular placements.  Now I sit here and wait.  I have said before, that I have tremendous patience with people (especially children) but not so much for processes.  Happy Monday!
Said sugar, make it slow and we'll come together fine
all we need is just a little patience.
Sometimes I get so tense but I can't speed up the time.
I ain't got time for the game (Gotta have a little patience)

Shed a tear because I'm missing you
I'm still alright to smile
Girl, I think about you every day now
Was a time when I wasn't sure
But you set my mind at ease
There is no doubt you're in my heart now
Said, woman, take it slow
And it'll work itself out fine
All we need is just a little patience
Said, sugar, make it slow
And we'll come together fine
All we need is just a little patience
I sit here on the stairs
Cause I'd rather be alone
If I can't have you right now I'll wait, dear
Sometimes I get so tense
But I can't speed up the time
But you know, love, there's one more thing to consider
Said, woman, take it slow
And things will be just fine
You and I'll just use a little patience
Said, sugar, take the time
'Cause the lights are shining bright
You and I've got what it takes to make it
We won't fake it
Oh, I'll never break it
Cause I can't take it
Little patience, mhh yeah
Need a little patience, mhh yeah
Just a little patience, mhh yeah
Some more patience
I've been walking the streets at night (yeah)
Just trying to get it right (Need some patience)
It's hard to see with so many around (yeah)
You know, I don't like being stuck in the crowd (Could use some patience)
And the streets don't change but, baby, the names(yeah)
I ain't got time for the game (Gotta have some patience)
'Cause I need you, yeah (yeah)
Yeah, but I need you (All it takes is patience, yeah)
Oh, I need you (Just a little patience)
Oh, I need you (Is all you need)
Oh, this time

Read more: Guns 'N Roses - Patience Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Today's the Day...

... that I told the county I am available for them to call me with a placement.
Now on to the waiting for the phone call...