My husband and I are foster and adoptive parents. We have adopted two amazing boys with special needs that take a lot of time and energy, one has Autism and Deletion Syndrome and the other one has ADHD/ODD.
We had not taken in any children for a year as we were focusing on our boys. When our license came up for renewal in June, we decided to renew as we didn’t feel as if we were done yet…while we didn’t know what that meant exactly, we just knew we needed to leave the door open for possibilities.
Because of our journey with our boys, particularly with our youngest, our home has often been referred to as a special needs home and we get calls for kiddos with Autism and special needs.
I kept getting calls for a 2yo and 5yo sibling set for respite…the 5yo was said to have Autism and they could not find respite.
With both our boys, I just KNEW we needed to take them and I had the same feeling for these kids.
After speaking with the current FP, I felt like it was doable and we could take them in as they went to daycare during the day, my kids were in school so easy peasy right?
I won’t go into all the details but here is what I will share…the kiddos had been bounced around between 4 homes since coming into care in December. When I picked them up from their daycare, they were both sick and running temperatures.
The first 5 days were spent nursing fevers, wiping green goo and trips to Urgent Care, cleaning up puke, Ear Infections, Antibiotics, speech barriers, non-stop questions from the 5yo and I won’t even start in with the meltdowns…plus I was now not only changing my youngest’s diapers and attempting potty training but now had a 6 yo and 2yo that I was changing diapers for…oh and SPRING BREAK…did I mention all my children were home for the 2nd week?
I think it was the third day, I was fixing breakfast and getting my two kids ready for school, had two poopy diapers and 1 kid puking😭
Those first 5 days were pure hell! The kids went to bed and I was in zombie mode, completely overwhelmed and wondering why I turned my life upside down.
It was in the midst of all this chaos that I also saw some really beautiful and amazing things happening.
My 6 yo found a playmate, one that was on his level and I saw him playing not just parallel play but imaginative play. The 5 yo went from constant meltdowns (my top was 10+ in one day🙌) and automatic refusals to occasional meltdowns (thank you reverse psychology😂) and yes moms.
The respite was to be for 9 days…it turned into 12😭
It is amazing how our plans are not always God’s plans…I planned to have the kids at daycare, I planned to work and go about life even with respite…God’s plans were for me to take these kids and love on them, nurture them, show them boundaries and stability, teach them about praying and family.
At the end of all the chaos, overwhelm, and pure exhaustion…God had one last plan for us and after several days of praying, wrestling between my heart and head…we made the decision to become the 5-year-olds long term foster home.🙏❤
We have had our newest addition for almost 4 months and we are FINALLY finding our rhythm. The first two months were complete chaos and for lack of a better word, hell! We had two license investigations in the span of a week (the first was unfounded and the second was dropped). I was so stressed out and was having migraines so bad that I was given muscle relaxers and migraine meds so that I could see straight.
Life has gotten back to some semblance of normalcy, we have gone from a high of 10 plus tantrums a day to sometimes none…we still have rough days but thankfully we now have more good than bad.
Mom’s we all get overwhelmed, sometimes that overwhelm is great and other times it is temporary…know you are not alone in your journey and I thank you for being a part of my journey❤
Dena is the owner and founder of A Brain Fit Life. She has a passion for empowering Foster, Adoptive and Special Needs parents to embrace the messy and fill their cups. Dena also speaks on important topics related to brain health that include self-care, mindset, benefits of neurofeedback, the brain-gut connection, and brain nutrition.
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