This weekend, Sean and I took our (fourth!) annual trip to our favorite local pumpkin patch. It was a fun time with hayrides, finding the perfect little pumpkin, hot apple cider and lemon slush, and yummy kettle corn. Fall always seems to go by so quickly, so I am trying to soak it all in and enjoy it. I’m glad we’ve been able to make this a tradition!
I have finally gotten myself into somewhat of a daily routine. I’ve re-evaluated my life and where I want to be in the next year, and the next 5 years and have set goals accordingly.
One thing I am putting a lot of time into right now is photography- investing in my business, quality equipment, and dedicating myself to learning something new every day. With my business growing, I have decided to turn one of our extra bedrooms (the smallest one) into a home office. Before foster care, in our two bedroom apartment we had an office/craft/art room. I am excited to get an entire room to lay out projects, use as a mini studio, and not have to worry about my cat, dog, and future kids digging into things.
I finally got around to doing something with those lamps I bought. I really wanted one for my new office but red just isn’t going to work in there. So I got some spray paint and in about an hour had a whole new lamp :)
First I used painters tape to tape off all of the metal parts and cord that I did not want to paint. I used left over white spray paint that I already had as primer, since the red color was darker than the color I wanted to cover it with.
I used two full coats of the color I chose, plus a little bit more for touch up. After the lamp was completely dry, the finish wasn’t as smooth as I wanted, so I added a coat of glossy enamel.
I am pretty happy with the end result!
Things have still been a little (actually, a lot) crazy in the kids’ case, even though they are no longer with us. We haven’t had any contact with the kids since they left our home, which has been really hard, but have gotten a few updates on how they are doing and what they are up to. They are adjusting as well as can be expected, but still ask when they are coming home to “mommy and daddy.” I was sad to hear that there has been some regression in behaviors and developmentally, especially with A and M. The final review hearing for their reintegration plan was September 23rd. The judge, once again, was not happy with the lack of progress (though the issues concerning the judge are the least of my worries), and the reintegration plan has been extended until another hearing, set for the beginning of November. I don’t really see another extension at that point, but I am at a point where I don’t think much can surprise me anymore.
This case has a long, complicated history, even by foster care standards. It’s been hard for me to figure out when to accept things as they are, and when to fight against a system that clearly does not always look out for the children it’s supposed to protect. There have been a few decisions made specifically by DCF (that were not supported by KVC, the kids’ case worker, or a judge), that have blatantly and completely unnecessarily disrupted these kids’ lives and have only added more trauma and loss and all of the emotional and developmental scars that go along with it. To be honest, the easy thing for Sean and I to do would be to drop it. These kids are not our responsibility, and we could easily go back to a comfortable life, kid free, without the stress and drama that comes along with foster parenting. We could have biological children, one at a time, and have them as all ours, without regulations about everything down to when/if we are allowed to cut their hair. No need to feel guilty or responsible for what happens to these kids in the future. Except the fact that if we don’t fight for them, who will? I really wish I could go into more detail, because I am sure there are many foster parents who have been through similar situations, and I would love any insight from those who have. Questioning the motives of DCF is a scary thing to do, but could also be very, very worth it.
The first day of fall was beautiful here in Kansas. Sean and I had a nice, slow day and spent some time at a secluded portion of Clinton Lake. I love the trails through the woods that lead to the beach and the breeze by the water. We also always find interesting things, like a Robin action figure hanging out on some rocks, and a make shift teepee. I’m loving this in between seasons weather- cool and breezy but not quite fall yet.
I am slowly [re]organizing and decorating our new home. We moved in August 1st, and had a week and a half to completely unpack and get everything set up for home licensing appointment with KDHE. That was NOT fun- especially with three young children to take care of simultaneously. So now, I am taking my time on each room of the house, reorganizing what has already been unpacked, and deciding what to hang in each room. Current project is the living room (my least favorite room of the house right now). I found some great, simple, and inexpensive plain black picture frames (surprisingly hard to track down!) at Wal-Mart and Target, and two simple desk lamps for $4.50 each at Target that I plan on changing a little bit. We live near KU, so this time of year (actually, I guess all year) everything comes in red and blue. I am also congratulating myself on not killing the house plants I have had since the beginning of the summer! This may be a new record for me :)