Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Getting Ready for a Foster Child

We are on placement #7 and I finally feel a little more calm and organized about a placements arrival. Don’t get me wrong, it is still an adrenalin rush and a you’re in a hurry to get stuff ready! This time we had about a days notice. Same with when we got Chandler (and Madison and Isaac). With Emma and Joey it was 45 minutes to an hour, Crazy! This is my list for when I know a placement Is coming, so I at least know the age and sex to prepare for.

So here is my new finagled check list for getting ready:

Kids room:
bed ready- make sure crib/ toddler bed is set up for age appropriate child.
Check bedding- When we started foster care we bought everything for a little one our selves (duh, no baby shower or anything). We got a gender neutral bedding set, but it is a little on the boy-ish side. When we found out we would be adopting Emma my family threw me a shower. They were awesome and got me a pink and brown set I wanted! So when we have a boy I use the “Little Pond” set and when we have a girl I pull out my “Emma Set”, that is actually the name of the bedding set!
Other stuff- check to make sure all outlets are plugged, night light on, trash can and hamper ready, toys and such out? Our house is drafty so we make sure a space heater is on too.

Sometimes clothes and diapers are hard to plan before the child arrives because you don’t know the exact size you will need. Generally I pull out all the clothes I have for the age of the child and go from there. Either they fit and I’m ready, or they are too big/ too small. It’s a shot in the dark. Obviously if you are getting them from another home these are great things to ask and find out about before the child comes.
Which Chandler we had to go to our local DI before even coming home because he came with nothing and we didn’t have much in his size! Another thing I discovered with Chandler, FREECYCLE! Have you heard of it? I know some cities are on Ours is a Yahoo Group you can join. The way it works is you post if you have items you are giving away for free or ask for something you need/ want for free! Kinda awesome, hun? But, be careful you don’t brake confidentiality policies while posting! I’ve heard of people posting on Craigslist (another great site to use) things like, “I need clothes for our 5 and 8 year old foster sons.” No, no, no! How did I do it? I just casually asked for boys clothes in his size. People don’t need to know that the child is in foster care! If someone asks, say it is your sister’s kid or something! I got more clothes then we needed from a lady in town all for FREE!!!! Our town also just started a group on Facebook where people post stuff for sale, free stuff or things they are looking for, also amazing!

Car ready: Do you have the proper car seat/ booster seat ready?

House ready: I did a mad rush cleaning the night before Dora came! I vacuumed the whole house, emptied all the trash cans, dusted, make sure all dishes were washed, did ALL the laundry and so on. Now, my thinking on this was, even if Emma’s clothes don’t need to be washed today, I’d rather have it done for the week then they needing to be done the day after Dora comes! Same with vacuuming, it didn’t really need it, but I’d like to start fresh instead if needing to do it with 2 kids in a few days!!!

Make sure all outlets are plugs, medicines are locked, door knob covers on and cleaning supplies are locked. When we don’t have a placement we don’t always have these things locked that need to be when we do have a little one!

Anything else: I rushed to get some projects done so I wouldn’t have to worry about them later.

Our kitchen table only has 3 matching chairs. We have 5 more folding ones that do match, but we keep stored. So with a 4th person at the table we have to make sure another chair is out and ready.

Another first for me, I made dinner for the next night! I’d rather make it at 10 PM the day before then when I’m trying to adjust to the new little one, plus my husband is working that night! I know some people have awesome traditions of getting pizza the night they get a placement! It’s fun for your kids, plus then you don’t have to cook!!!

Then.... because things are ever changing. Around the time we were supposed to be getting her, they call and say, oh It's tomorrow! You'd think I'd be happy, but I'm rather annoyed! I was going to go to my friends party tonight, I had sitter for Em and everything. But I canceled on them because of the new placement! Is it too late to ask my sitter to watch her again????


Denver Laura said...

I gather the sippy cups and bibs. I usually hold off one the car seat because we've had bigger kids that could fit in the larger booster seat better. Same thing with diapers. I have a plastic organizer with drawers filled with diapers from N-6 ready to go. I get out the booster seat for the table depending on the age kid.

I also use a night light in their room. Since it wastes energy, I usually plug it in right before they arrive. We have to open the door and vent as the room is usually closed off.

The backs of the doors are painted with blackboard paint so I add a welcome note with their name on it (even if they can't read).

And I have to remember to always pick up a gallon of milk on the way home.

We recently had a 4 year old respite. We made pizza the first night so that was a great success.

fosterparentrescue said...

Really enjoy your blog, although your blog hop is full, I would love to exchange links of our blogs (we have a lot in common!) Always great to read what other foster parents are doing...

Krista said...

Hi my husband and I are are just starting to journey to become foster parents do you have any advice for us?