Q. How do you answer Sprout when he is so upset about the canceled visit–or other unpredictable/undesirable mom behavior?
A. I really don’t do much answering because he doesn’t really do much questioning. The thing is, he’s been “dealing with” BM for much longer than I have. He knows. He gets it. He usually says something like “Mommy couldn’t make it” or “She has to work” and the only answer he needs is validation that those statements come with big feelings. We tell him its okay to be angry or sad or disappointed. We work with him to express those feelings in an appropriate way. Of course that’s not always successful and we accept that…sometimes screaming into a pillow just doesn’t cover the depth of the hurt. We cuddle, we do jumping jacks, we cry, and we remind him that she loves him even when she isn’t there to say it.
Q. Your little ones are in cloth, right? Has the foster system/bio mom had an issue with that?
A. We are part-time cloth diaper-ers. The kids’ daycare won’t CD so they are in sevent.h generation sposies for daycare. Since they are generally picked up from daycare to go to visit, the CDs have never come up. Even if that wasn’t the scenario, I think I’d put the babies in sposies for visit regardless since some people are intimidated/grossed out/ect by cloth dipes and honestly, that’s just not a battle I need to pick. The state has no rules or issues with our CDing.
Q. Have you decided if you’ll take more kids if the birth mom has more?
A. Oh, the question of the hour. I don’t know how to answer this. It’s always on our minds since mom has had many kids (more than just our three), but it depends on so many things. A says she’s all set at 3…but of course she said that about 2 also. But I value our marriage so 3 under 3 isn’t something I’m going to be signing up for. But if we get a call in 3-4 years…? There are just too many variables and unknowns to say one way or another.
Q. What’s it like to parent kids of a different race?
A. This question could be post in itself so I might come back to it. But to answer briefly? So much of the difference doesn’t matter, but so much of it does. In the day-to-day its easy to forget we have different color skin than our kids. We love ’em just the same and go about our lives just the same. But we never lose site of the fact that it comes with an important responsibility. The responsibility to raise these children, not in a white household, but in a multiracial one. We have to nurture our children’s identity and because of the society we live in, part of that is their race. I want them to feel the power of the color of their skin – the history, the culture, and the beauty.
Being gay, I know what its like to be a minority. I know what its like to be the only different one in a room. What its like to be judged and discriminated against. But I also know the pride and power that comes from my GLBT community and identity as a lesbian. I hope that my experience serves me well if I am called to raise these children and help them navigate through the discovery of their own identities.
Q. What kind of process did you go through to get your work to agree to your work-at-home arrangement?
A. I’m fortunate to work for a relatively family friendly employer and supervisors who have been exceptionally foster-friendly. If I’ve got a computer and a phone, my job can be done from anywhere and pre-Daisy, I was already working from home on a regular basis. So, there really was no process and I know how lucky I am for that! I feel like I should also mention that A did her fair share of staying home with Daisy and we had a wonderful babysitter so I was not home with her full-time.
And I think that answers them all! Any other questions out there? Always welcome.