Friday, July 28, 2006

First Time

I just asked for my first raise. I've never had to ask for a raise before. I've always been paid well and considered it fair for the job. In this position, I know I'm getting paid lower than my peers and I'm doing an excellent job so I decided to take the plunge.

I asked for an 18% increase. !!

My boss said he agreed I was doing an excellent job and would cogitate on the request.

Here's hoping!!

Monday, July 24, 2006

AV Update

So I'm sitting here at work realizing how much I miss AV. Funny thing is, I really look forward to work because she is such a busy/demanding child. Just a month together and I miss her when we're not together. (All together now - Awwww).

I haven't written much because I have been so busy. I've got her schedule written out but I'm still trying to re-configure mine. Last week I think I left something at home almost every day - my breakfast, my cell phone, my brain, etc. I think Mommy needs to post a check list!

I also haven't written much because it's been such an emotional upheaval regarding whether or not AV will be with me long term. At first the social worker (SW) said she would be staying long term at my house and would I consider the possibility of adoption? Then the SW received an email from a previous foster family AV had been with for a year. The last the SW heard from them was they thought AV was great but they were not interested in adoption. Now the former foster mother is saying they would like her back. And the SW is inclined to move AV because AV has a stronger connection with this other family.

Here's the kicker though. AV left the family because the mother left for civilian contractor job in Iraq. She's not coming back until April 07. But she is returning home for a 2 week vacation in September so the SW will talk to the family more then. But AV left because the dad works rotating shifts and they couldn't provide supervision for AV. But now this former foster mom is indicating she wants to find a way to bring AV back.

And here's another caveat - things were not all honkey-dorey in this home. I'm in contact with another foster mom who has a child that was in this other foster home. And I know this former foster mom is under investigation. But my SW seems to just dismiss this fact. Grrrr! Even if AV does not stay with me, I will fight to keep her out of a home she does love but also fears.

This is really hard because she is my first placement. But honestly, I think I would feel less torn if AV had been a temporary placement. But now that she is long-term and then potentially adoptable, I feel like someone is threatening my child.

And, in the manner of many foster children, she is becoming more and more attached to me. We have lots of discussions on trust and will I be there for her and will I love her if she does _X__. And she's growing comfortable enough to tell me her secrets and to get mad at me. She got in semi-serious trouble for the first time this weekend and lost swimming privledges for a day. She didn't like that but her real issue was whether I would still love her and if the rest of the day would be miserable.

And last week she pitched a sulky fit as we were doing "Brain Power" (summer studies since she missed being enrolled in summer school) and lost her "good attitude" mark for the first time. After about 30 minutes she came to me and asked if I would love her even if she had "anger issues". I had to swallow a smile at her terminology as I solemnly promised to love her even when not pleased with the behavior.

So we are bonding and doing well. I just feel this black cloud looming overhead...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Donna was here!

For those of you who know her she says hi and hopes to spend a month in AK in August.

For those who don't know her, Donna is a college friend currently in the States on furlough from her life as a mission teacher in Papua New Guinea. She is a part of the Wycliff team translating the Bible into the native language. She teaches Jr. High missionary kids who board at the school while their parents are in the villages working on the translation.

She is currently in the states traveling all over visiting family, friends, and supporters. I'm so glad I was part of her itinerary! We had a great visit. She really lights up when she talks about teaching the kids.

Here's Donna with AV.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


Conversations I Never Expected to Have with an 8 Year Old

2. You do not need to wear underwear with your swimming suit.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

First Illness

102.8. Damn that's hot!

Guess that kids tend to get temps but this new mommy was concerned. Everytime I took that kid's temp yesterday it was up another 1/2 a degree.

If I had known her longer I probably would have just kept her home, but since she's new I took her to Immediate Care (three hours later I was definately thinking they should change their name!!!). The NP thought it was a virus and possibly migraines.

So by 9pm last night her fever was down to 98.6 and she was normal this morning. This evening she was back up to 101.3 and complaining of a hoarse throat.

Of course this is all complicated by the fact she's in respite for 4 days because I have a business booth at a 4 day trade show over the weekend. She didn't want to go to respite (even though she knew the kids from another foster home). Poor baby, I know she was worried and a bit freaked she was moving again even though I reassured her she wasn't. I think it began to sink in when I said she was just VISITING this family and still LIVING with me.

So I made her go to care even with a sore throat. After all, we know she is a bit of a drama queen. And this trade show is really important to me to generate some much needed business.

I feel I'm walking such a fine line here. On the one hand, I know she can be manipulative and she blows any little boo-boo way out of proportion in an attention seeking bid. On the other hand, she has really good reason to be insecure and 1 week is hardly enough time to know the Mommy is trustworthy and really will come back and get you. I am her 4th placement after all.

Anyway, the respite giver and I talked several times today trying to help AV feel secure but also stay at the respite home. At 7:30 the caregiver called me and said her temp was up to 101. That was it. I closed my booth (the show was dead, dead, dead anyhow) and went and picked up my child. Faking a sore throat is one thing but how could she fake a fever? We cuddled on the couch while she drank gatorade and watched TV.

Maybe I'm indulging my heart too much. How do you balance a foster child's emotional needs with appropriate behaviors?

I still have no idea what I'm going to do tomorrow. If she's sick she can't go to care. If she's not sick... I'm tempted just to bring her to the trade show for a few hours. She'll see what I'm doing and get really bored and hopefully want to go back to the respite care home.