26 February 2013

What's on Your Workspace Wednesday (er...Tuesday)?

I haven't done this in awhile, but here's my desk this week.   The creative Julia Dunnit hosts the weekly snoop of crafting spaces at http://stamping-ground.blogspot.com/.  All day Tuesday was a snow day for me...so I drank hot chocolate, watched movies, and did some painting!  Tomorrow it's back to work.

Here's my desk with a hot chocolate.  By the way...the Ott light was a Christmas present.  How did I ever work without it?  I love my Ott light... and it makes my little happy plant wiggle its leaves.

Here are the cards I created today for 2 swaps (Walk the Dog and Yellow Monochromatic..and 1 blue betta as a host gift).
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19 February 2013

Snow! Snow! Snow! Catching up - Foster Class 3


Here are some pictures from the 2 snow storms that hit us.  It's so beautiful on the ground.   Ruby has enjoyed bounding through it.  Chase and I drove to Eagle Bluffs to look at the birds weathering the storm.  It was beautiful, but we definitely don't have the right car to drive in the snow so I think we'll forgo Eagle Bluffs in snow in the future...

I'm a little behind on blogging about our experience as we work on getting licensed to foster children.   So here are my reflections on what we covered during the 3rd class:

The subject of class #3 is Meeting Developmental Needs: Attachment.  During this session, the teachers discussed the types of abuse/neglect the children might face before entering foster care and the effects this might have on development.  This has been the hardest class for me emotionally.  I just don't understand how someone could abuse a child.  They showed us a video (featuring actors) of a child that had been sexually abused.  The video only hinted at what was going on, but it was enough to generate intense feelings of anger from my classmates.  Obviously abuse and neglect can severely impact the children and result in "developmental delays." The children may be behind in physically, (example malnourishment), emotionally, and intellectually.  As a foster parent, you try to help the children with these delays.   

During this class we also talked about attachment.  A child in a healthy home environment should feel attached to her parents.   Attachment develops by having needs met:  Child feels discomfort (or needs something), child expresses discomfort (ie, a need), parent meets that need/comforts child, child feels comfortable.  Some of the children have lived years without having needs met by their parents, so they struggle to feel attached.  Some of them have learned that adults can't be trusted...adults only cause pain.  As a foster parent, you can't expect rapid change...the children have years of unattachment...and the children will fight and resist attempts to form any sort of bond with you.  It's very possible even after months, foster children will still be "unattached" to you.   The next lesson (#4) was about grief.  Then I'll almost be caught up with where we are in the foster licensing process.

Peace and Love, y'all!

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12 February 2013

Foster class 2: Teamwork toward permanence

The second class was on the subject of establishing "permanence" for children in foster care.   The children that enter foster care are at serious risk for not developing lifetime relationships. 

The Children's Division is a part of the Department of Social Services charged with protecting the nation's children.    Part of nurturing the children is helping them foster lifetime relationships with adults.  That means once a foster child leaves your home, you should still try to be a part of their lives as a mentor/friend to the children and also to the biological family.  A big hope of the children's division is that foster parents will also serve as parenting mentors to the bioparents.  No one ever wants to be a bad parent...I think we all want to protect and nurture our children.  So you can imagine how it feels to be confronted with the fact that you failed to care for and protect your children.  If you couldn't care for someone you dearly love, how would that make you feel? Then, how would you feel if the government forcefully took that person away from you...established limitations on how often you can see them...and placed them in the home of someone else?   Thinking about that...I can see how much it would mean if the foster family demonstrated mercy, love, and forgiveness toward the biofamily.  What a huge difference it would make if the foster family supported the biofamily!  If we both play on the same team, not only can we show the love of God to the biofamily but we also demonstrate God's love and teach the children they don't have to be ashamed of their biofamily.    I'm nervous about working with so many people... but I'm really excited to share the blessings God has poured out in my life with others.  I understand that I might be viewed as "the bad guy" in many of the cases, but I still hope to be a force of good in this world. 

Peace and Love, y'all!
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