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Foster Care 101: Stuff You Need (brought to you by the letter “E”)

September 27, 2011

We had a home visit from a social worker yesterday and everything is a go for J. to join our family today or tomorrow.  We were hoping to get a call last night that she could stay (we’ve been picking her up to have dinner with us), but call didn’t come and, sadly, we had to drive her back to the shelter one (hopefully) last time.  We have learned much in a little time about foster care in Minnesota. For example, to be a foster parent, one must have only four important things:

1. A bed.  (not so strange)

2. A battery powered flashlight.  While I’ve never considered my flashlight one of my more important parenting tools I guess this could come in handy if we need to locate our foster child at night and can’t remember how to turn on the lights.  Or if the power goes out (which ours never has in this great city of underground power lines).  I’m glad they specified battery-powered as  you surely wouldn’t want to trip over the long cord of your flashlight as you roam your darkened house.

3. A battery powered radio. Lest the foster child be without tunes for a minute in the unlikely event of a power outage.  How our biological children have survived three and a half years with parents who do not have a battery-powered radio I do not know.  All I can picture is me waiting out a storm in a closet with my foster child, be-bopping to the music, rejoicing that we have a battery powered radio.

4. A huge fire extinguisher.  To be specific: fire extinguisher 1A10BC available at Home Depot while supplies last.  According to the box, I will now be able to extinguish blazing infernos in my kitchen, living room, workshop, and garage.  From the looks of the graphic photos on the box, I will have time for little else.  Rest assured, oh future foster children, we are prepared for the spontaneous combustion of anything in our home (for example, our couch).

Dan has added his own requirement to the list.  He spent much of last night in the garage fashioning a large letter J to hang over J’s bed.  (In the tradition of Charlie’s ‘C’ and Elisabeth’s ‘E’.)  Now there will be no chance of the child losing her bed (whew!). Although sleeping under your initial is not without risks:  Last week we rushed into the nursery in response to a blood curdling scream from Elisabeth.  We found her laying, distraught, under her big E crying, “My E fell on me, and it startled me, and I pooooped!”  Her primary concern was not so much that she had been attacked by the big wooden E, as it was pooping in her night-time diaper.

A  pleasant surprise is the very generous monthly clothing allowance afforded foster children.  More in fact, than we spend on our own children in a year.  So, if you are looking for me check the mall where I will be shopping with my foster child.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary Olson permalink
    September 27, 2011 12:51 pm

    Warm welcome home Miss J 🙂 God bless.

  2. Yvette Davis permalink
    September 27, 2011 1:57 pm

    So sweet Lucy, and I got a good laugh regarding the letter “E”, hilarious!! God bless you and your family as you bring in your foster child, Oh how the Lord loves it when His children care for these precious ones!

  3. Susanna permalink
    September 27, 2011 5:04 pm

    Welcome sweet J! We’re so glad you’re here!

  4. September 27, 2011 7:18 pm

    I LOVE LOVE your stories! Your blog is super cute and the pooping thing made me LOL

  5. Sonia permalink
    September 27, 2011 8:28 pm

    Lucy,
    Thanks for writing about this. I really want to be involved in foster parenting in a few years and look forward to hearing more about your experience with the foster system in Mpls.
    Sonia

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