Summer is really over now and Fall is in full swing! When our foster son left back in the spring, and we simultaneously became legal guardians of another child, we decided to take the summer off from fostering. This break allowed us to travel and enjoy our summer without the added hurdle of having to request permission from the Department of Children and Families, to leave the state. We took full advantage of this freedom, spending time on the beaches of Rhode Island and in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains of New York.
Begrudgingly, we dedicated some time at home to potty training, a completely new adventure for my husband and I. Somehow, in three years of parenting 10 children, we were able to completely avoid this stage until recently. It was a long and painful process but after two months I can finally say we are now fully potty trained!
The timing was perfect as our summer break abruptly ended when we learned our former foster son was back in care. We certainly weren’t planning to take any children over the summer, but we couldn’t say no. We scrambled to find daycare, set up doctor’s appointments and stock up on clothes and diapers. His room, however, needed no preparation as it had remained untouched in the four months since we said goodbye. So, we welcomed him back into our home and tried to adjust to a new normal. Chaos.
Adding another child (back) into the home is not easy, especially with the added trauma a child experiences from being reunited and subsequently removed from their family again. There are difficult behaviors to manage, tons of added appointments on our calendar and ironically, more potty training on the horizon. Each day is truly an exercise in patience but I’m so grateful we were able to say yes to this little guy. While it’s not the kind of reunion we would ever hope for, at least he’s back in a familiar environment where he is safe, and above all, loved.
Our summer break didn’t quite go according to plan, but we have come to expect that in foster care. Looking forward to soccer, pumpkin patches and whatever else fall has in store for us!