Round Two.

Posted by on Jan 23, 2017 in Uncategorized | 5 comments

The toys are put away, the TV has been dusted, the dining room rug has been vacuumed. There is nothing left to do but check Facebook, glance at the clock, check email, glance at the clock. As the days counted down to hours and now to minutes, two words are strobing in my brain like a sign on the Las Vegas strip. Round Two. Round Two. Round Two. I am waiting for our caseworker to arrive. A different one this time, one who will help us not with becoming licensed foster parents but who will help update our homestudy to include matching adoption....

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After Losing a Foster Child, Contemplating Another. {The New York Times}

Posted by on Jan 21, 2017 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

He’s sitting on a couch with his brothers, presumably in the home in which he’s now growing up. The photo has a graininess to it that is reminiscent of photos from the 1980s, but this picture is much more recent than that. It’s the first visual I’ve had of my former foster son since I hugged him goodbye. The boy we nicknamed “BlueJay” lived with us for almost a year when extended family members stepped forward to take custody of him and his two brothers back in March. In the series Foster Parent Diary, I wrote about the experience of loving...

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We can do hard things.

Posted by on Jan 11, 2017 in Uncategorized | 26 comments

We can do hard things. I came across that phrase for the first time recently. It was printed on a sign, sitting in the background of a room on a TV show I was watching. I grabbed the remote, rewound a few seconds, paused it and called out to Mike, “Look! We can do hard things.” “Maybe we need that sign,” he said. He knew what I meant without having to explain myself. It’s been more than two years since Mike and I dove fully into the world of foster care. It’s been 10 months since our foster son, BlueJay, left. In another month, BlueJay will...

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On kicking 2016 to the curb.

Posted by on Dec 31, 2016 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

It may come as no surprise that I’m ready to bid 2016 an exuberant BUH-BYE! It hasn’t been my favorite year, guys. I know at least a few of you can relate. Yes, obviously, it was the year we had to say goodbye to our foster son, BlueJay, after nearly a year with him. But it was also the year my father was in a bad car accident. Six months later, he’s mostly recovered … or, as he’ll tell you, he’s “getting better every day.” Also, much less importantly but still annoying, it was the year I...

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The Guest Room. {Literary Mama}

Posted by on Nov 16, 2016 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

“It’s so hot up there,” my husband says as he descends the stairs into our living room. “I know,” I say, not bothering to look up from my work to meet his eyes. “So hot.” We love our home, but like all homes, it is imperfect. Built in 1925, we revel in its charm. The wood detail that frames each window. The white built-in bookshelf that has held the books and framed pictures of countless families during its 91 years of life. Then there are the things we don’t relish. The singular tiny bathroom,...

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Good intentions, average follow-through.

Posted by on Oct 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

“Where were you today? Why didn’t you come to my classroom?” Ryan and I had just arrived home from school. I could tell he was in a bit of a sour mood, which isn’t unusual for a kid who was adjusting to full-day school for the first time. But this time, there was a little more sadness than usual behind his eyes. “My teacher asked whose mommies were coming to watch us learn today, and I raised my hand,” he said, tears forming. “I told her you would come.” A light bulb goes off in my mind, illuminating a small pamphlet I’d received the week...

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Six.

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Dear Ryan, Today, you turned six years old. You woke up to our birthday tradition of streamers hanging from your bedroom doorway and dinosaur presents on the kitchen table. Because, yes, you are still obsessed with dinosaurs. We just had yet another dinosaur-themed birthday party for you last weekend, which makes it the fourth one in a row. Although, to be fair, you added a twist this year: Dinosaurs and dragons. Maybe you’re branching out a bit? It’s been a big year of change, kiddo. You said goodbye to your foster brother, you...

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On kindergarten and new paths.

Posted by on Sep 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | 8 comments

“You can go now. I’ll be fine.” I drew in a sharp breath and internally cursed at myself for forgetting the most important thing on this hot August morning: sunglasses. Sure, it would have been great to block the blinding sun from my eyes, but more importantly, I needed them to mask the tears that had been lodged in my throat for a full 24 hours. Ryan was starting kindergarten. (As I attempted to write, “Ryan was starting kindergarten,” my fingers typed “preschool” instead. Even my hands can’t accept this new reality.) Not only was he...

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I’m So Glad They Told Me.

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in Uncategorized | 8 comments

I was a perfect mother. For eight days. For eight painful, exhausting days, I thought of nothing but my newborn son’s happiness and wellbeing. Each day, I allowed him to feed from my breast at ninety-minute intervals, despite the terrible latch, the cracking, and the bleeding. “It’s okay,” the lactation consultant reassured me over the phone on Day 3. “If he gets a little blood with your milk, it won’t hurt him.” “It hurts ME!” I wanted to scream. But mothers aren’t supposed to...

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Adding to our family.

Posted by on Aug 23, 2016 in Uncategorized | 4 comments

It started innocently enough. A summer bucket list. A commitment to grasp our summer with both hands and squeeze every bit of life and laughter and fun out of it. My last summer with my son before he starts kindergarten. “Swimming in the lake,” I said to Ryan back in May. “Chuck E. Cheese’s,” he countered. “The splash pad,” I said. “Yes,” he said. “And the zoo!” Our summer bucket list has 25 items (20 items checked off so far but WHO’S COUNTING). At the very bottom of that list loomed a pretty big item: “Get a pet.” Our cat, Belle, died about...

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