A Fresh Start

Seems ages since I’ve posted anything. Recently every waking moment I’ve been putting my house in order. Not to sell, but to better meet our needs.sewing machine My room is reorganized with a sewing nook. In my younger years I used to be quite proficient. Despite filling the basement with fabric, I’ve not sewn in ages. That’s something I’d like to change.

The living room has been converted to a school room. In the distant past, I required expansive seating areas. There was a time when I hosted hoards of people. With those days behind me I’ve created an intimate seating nook with two loveseats. When the occasional friend comes by we can visit while the children occupy themselves.

living room before & after

living room before & after (The empty corner in the before once housed the Christmas tree.)

seating area

seating area

Lastly I’m tackling the basement. With that completed, hopefully in the next couple of days, I’m going to dive into a few projects. One being the furtherance of my on-line coffee & tea business (www.believebistro.com).

All of this has been possible because of Joseph’s*sudden move. A week ago, the social worker called to say she was on her way to get him. In court Joseph’s father was awarded custody. That was not a surprise. The timing, however, was. I had been told court was later in the week. Quickly I scrambled to get his things together. I was mortified to send a box of dirty clothes. And even more distraught when I realized, the next day, all the toys I’d forgotten to send – some from his mom and others I’d given him for Christmas.

So ends my second fostering adventure with the local Children’s Aid. It’s been a week since Joseph’s departure. My phone hasn’t rung yet with another placement opportunity. I’ve made the most of my “time off”.

*name changed

Back to School!

I was 10yrs old when God dropped the dream of adopting on me (see Adoption). 25yrs is a long time to dream. I imagined bringing tiny babies home, naming them, loving them, and knowing they were mine. Of course reality hasn’t been like that. I got a 3yr old and 21mth old. I was able to give them middle names. And I’m immensely happy with their first names. I loved them slowly and not completely at first, aware that up until the adoption was legalized in January I could lose them at any moment. That’s the reality of foster care. It’s taken all of us quite a while to come to terms with permanency.

I dreamed of traveling to Europe, tea parties, blissful evenings spent reading classic literature, and home schooling. Owing to immigration issues our travel is limited to visiting family within Canada. Several years ago, when I began fostering, I gave up tea in favour of coffee. The blissful evenings may come as we work on building attention spans within the diagnosis of ADHD. I’m not sure how, as a child, I planned to be a single parent and home school…….. Oh, right! I was going to be a writer – penning celebrated novels while my children frolicked in the yard behind our Victorian home. Though that hasn’t happened, the Lord has opened doors for me to be a stay-at-home mom. Between a government subsidy and fostering, we live comfortably in a spacious home circa 1980. There is a yard. Maybe one day the children will frolic so I can write the books running around in my head. In the meantime, one thing on my list is within my grasp – homeschooling.

Sloane* began Junior Kindergarten last year. It was a tumultuous time with the adoption taking place simultaneously. Having been with me over a year, the girls were “placed” with me for adoption the day after school began. This year has been rough to say the least. Sloane began mourning the loss of her birth family. Despite seeming continually angry at me, she hated being away from me. In protest, she took to soiling herself. At different points, once the adoption was finalized with the courts, I debated taking her out of school. It was, after all, only JK. But the thought of having her home full-time was terrifying. School was clearly detrimental but I couldn’t take the endless power struggles, tantrums, and hostility. She did generally come home furious at me but at least I had a few hours of peace.

Elise* is set to begin JK in September. I could, conceivably, be without children most days of the week with a full-day 5 day a week kindergarten program at the local school.

As mentioned in my post, Progress Report, I’ve been thinking. Here’s what I’ve come up with: I’m going to homeschool. Since Sabrina* moved out Sloane has become significantly more receptive

Sloane is excited about biking when school work's done

Sloane is excited about biking when school work’s done

(this past week being an exception). Her heart seems to be opening to me once again. This dramatic and unexpected shift has made homeschooling possible. At first I was going to keep both Sloane and Elise home. But after a few trial runs, thought otherwise. There’s still a lot of animosity between the two. Besides, maybe what Sloane needs is me all to herself for a while.

A fellow foster mom recently shared a quote with me, “The kids who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving way.”

Praying I’m able to saturate Sloane with love in this season of homeschooling.

* name changed