I got my first placement last night!
AV is a sweet 8 1/2 year old girl. She's been in foster care about a year and a half. I'm her 3rd placement. Her first placement was a year long and had to end because the foster mom got a job out of the country. The second placement was 6 weeks long and ended because the foster mom asked that AV be moved. The reason I was given for this move is that the foster mom is a sweet person but not touchy-feely. AV is very much a cuddle bug - lots of hugs and kisses. The foster mom was uncomfortable so AV had to move.
AV is definately a touch kind of person. Within an hour she was giving me hugs, blow kisses, holding hands, signing "I love you"... And since I have no problem with hugs this is all fine by me. (There may be some boundary issues to deal with in the future but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.)
She finished 2nd grade and is working at grade level though she is weak in her math and reading skills. So we'll work on that through the summer. She loooooves to sing. She sang to almost every song on the radio and then switched to Sunday School songs during the commercials.
DCFS arranged for her to be in the YMCA day camp while I'm at work and with clients. The social worker gave all the Y info to me and AV needed to bring a lunch, water bottle, sun screen, swim wear all in a backpack. And I didn't have any bread, meat, juice, water bottle, lunch sack, sun screen or backpack in my house! So a quick trip to Fred's and $50 latter (!), the child is outfitted for the day.
This morning she woke me at 5:30am. She said she had been up reading and coloring "for a long time!" So I'm really hoping the early morning is all about the excitement and a new place and not a regular thing! I put her to be about 8:30 last night so maybe I need to push bed time back a bit.
Oh, and I didn't tell you that AV's long term permanancy plan is adoption. Not that I'm ready to adopt less than 24 hours after meeting her! But, AV will not be returning home (baring the unforeseen) and the social worker is moving to terminate parental rights in September. So the social worker is looking for a long term placement that could possible become an adoptive placement. And adoption is part of my long-term dreams...
The frustrating part is that we don't know if I'll be the long term placement. This all happened so fast... The social worker called me directly but the Placement Coordinator (a different person) had another foster family in mind for AV. Who's to say if that will make a difference. As you can tell, I'm pretty enthusiastic and practically falling in love already. I am trying to hold back a bit and work on a reality check. The future is very uncertain.
AV is very aware that she is not going back home and knows that the social worker is trying to find a permanent placement. I feel for her - tough place to be for an 8 year old kid.
I guess that's it for the moment. Now that I've gotten all this out of my system I hope I can focus on work!