Thursday, March 31, 2011

No Children = Calm and Quiet

Baby B went to her family on Tuesday like we expected. I'm glad that she is with her family and getting to see her big sister more but I'm sad she is gone. I miss her cute smile and laugh. She used to get so excited to see me when I got home from work. Now that Baby B is gone we can say yes to our agency again about new kids. We will be able to take kids Tuesday of next week.

On a different topic, I have only 90 days of residency remaining. I won't even be working for all of those 90 days. I am planning on taking a 2 week vacation just before I graduate so I can relax before I start my job on July 5th. It's so weird to think that my official training is coming to an end. I have been in post-high school training for 11 years now (wow, that's insane) and it's odd to know that in a few months I will be "on my own" as a doctor. I can't wait to start my job as a Pediatric Hospitalist here at Scott & White, but I'm also nervous about my change in roles and how I'm going to handle being a "boss" to my friends. I will also be responsible for teaching the residents and medical students which will be interesting since I feel like I still have so much to learn.

This month I am on what we as doctors refer to as "the wards". This means I'm working only in the hospital taking care of general pediatric patients that are there. It's actually what I will be doing for the rest of my life as a hospitalist. I love this rotation and it feels like "home" to me. The odd part is that I will not have a 2nd year resident to assist me this month like we normally do and I will only have 2 interns instead of 3. This is going to make for a very hectic and stressful month for all residents involved. I'm going into it with the mentality that it is testing me for my career that starts in 3 short months.

Time for bed. I have to be at work super early tomorrow.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saying No ... actually means not right now

We have been saying "No" a lot lately. Our foster care agency has called us almost every other day in the last 2 weeks trying to place other children with us. We still have Baby B and likely will until at least Tuesday when she has court. Every time they have called about other children we have had to say no. It breaks our hearts to turn down children in need of a home. We have plenty of love to give but one thing we've  learned in this journey is that we can't do it all. We are licensed for up to 4 children and we have beds to fit 4 children. However, we don't have vehicles that can hold that many car seats. Jonathan is also a "nanny" for a 2 year old who is at our house all the time. This means if they placed 4 kids with us we would really have 5. The majority of the children they called about this week were under the age of 3 and were sibling groups of 2. We have room in our home and in our hearts for them but going anywhere, including doctors and family visits, would be impossible if Jonathan had to do it alone. Since my job isn't very flexible with time off and taking off to go to appointments this means we had to say no. We have told our agency that we will be willing to take 1 more child that sits in a car seat and can take 2 if one of them is old enough to ride in the front seat, at least until B goes back to her family.

Baby B's situation is the one time in all of the children we have had where I feel like the system is actually working the way it is supposed to. She has a grandmother who is trying to be approved to have Baby B come live with her. Baby B's big sister already lives there so I know she will be taken care of and loved. With S&K things seemed to work until they were sent with a family member who didn't have a home study and showed up the day of court saying she would take them. From what was said in court on her job and where she lived I'm not sure how they could approve her in less than 2 hours for 3 extra children to go live at her house. Then came the 3C's. Their situation is the one that still infuriates me. We had actually been told by CPS and our Ad-litem that they were going to push to terminate parents rights. Then the initial court date arrived and after 4 hours of talking about it the judge decided to send them back with their parents so that they could move to another state for dad's job. I don't understand why the judge would send them back to their parents when their parents hadn't been taking care of them and the children had been removed multiple times previously. They say that CPS will be following them in their new state but we all know that things fall through the cracks and that the CPS workers are way over worked. This family actually has CPS cases open in multiple states and instead of the judge saying that they should find a foster placement where they were going and move foster care to foster care they were returned to their parents. It doesn't make sense to us. We pray every day that they are being fed, know they are loved, and are being kept safe. I know that God is bigger than all of this and that he has a plan for us and for those beautiful children. However, I still often times find myself thinking of them and missing their sweet faces.

The foster care journey so far has been fun, sad, tiring, exciting, and rewarding, sometimes all at the same time. I'm so glad that God has put us on this path and that He knows exactly where the path leads. We will continue walking and following Him wherever that may be. I will miss Baby B and her laugh when she leaves but I know that God has other children that he wants to touch our lives with and have us love on, be it for a short time or forever, I'm excited either way. I'm ready to be able to tell our agency "yes" again.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

B is Still Here:)

B's court date was yesterday. Apparently court was so busy they had to reschedule her date to 2 weeks from now. This means we will have her for at least 2 more weeks. Our case worker is coming by this afternoon to check on B. That's all I really know at this point and we are learning to just go with it.

On another note. In about 4 hours I will be off of my shift and will be done with Night Float forever. I still have to work a few more nights in the hospital but not all together and not very many! The end of residency is just around the corner and I'm super excited!

Spring is here and it makes me happy. I'm tired from working 14 hour shifts all the time the past 2 weeks but when I saw bluebonnets on the side of the road today I couldn't help but smile! God is so good.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Long days and longer nights

I have been on night float recently. In residency we do a couple of months where we do 2 week stretches of nights. These are 14-15 hour shifts In the hospital and they get old really fast. This is also the first time I've been on night float and a mom which makes it even worse. Its hard to sleep well during the day and it's harder when the baby is crying. You also want to spend time with your husband and baby and you cant because you need to sleep. I only have 3 more nights after tonight and then I am done with night float forever!

Our new foster baby B is doing well. She is super cute and fun to be around. She had visitation with her parents on Wednesday and her first court date is next Tuesday. Jonathan and I are pretty sure that she will be going to a family member on Tuesday. Her grandmother came with her mom for visitation so I'm sure she will probably go to grandma.

The hardest part of foster care is trying not to get attached and then letting them go. B is our third placement and out of the other 2 the first one was the easiest to let go even though they were with us the longest. I think it's because we knew that they were going to be safe and well taken care of with the person they were going to. The 3 Cs on the other hand went back to their parents less than 2 weeks after being removed and were moving to another state. I still worry that they have been lost in the system because of the transfer and no one is watching to make sure they are ok. I pray daily that they are being kept safe and being taken care of. If B is going to a family member I think that she will be well cared for and loved. When you decide to be a foster parent you know the children are going to be taken away from your home on most occasions and that the goal is always supposed to be reunification. However, as a pediatrician and someone who takes care of abused children regularly, it's hard to think that the goal of reunification is a good one. It's also hard to think that as a foster parent when you hear about the horrible situation these kids were removed from and they are returned so quickly to the same situation.

Well, it's back to work I must go. The childrens hospital has had no open beds for days now. Tonight we have a few open beds but I keep admitting kiddos so that won't be the case by morning.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Family #3......

Wow, It hasn't been very long since I updated but a ton of things have changed. The 3C's went back with their family last Wednesday after court. We don't really understand why or how they could be sent back so quickly when we know the situation they came from, but our job is to love them and care for them while they are here and to pray for them daily when they leave. Please continue to pray that the 3 C's will be kept safe and will be taken care of. Thursday afternoon our agency called about a 7 month old little girl B. She came to our house Thursday evening and it has been so much fun. It's so fun to see the difference in each child that comes into our home. She is adorable and so sweet. We went to my parents this weekend. It was nice to get to spend time with my mom. Jonathan and my dad went to the gun range while my mom and I took B shopping. Goodwill has some really good deals on baby stuff :) Some of my friends from work who have little girls (which is almost all of them) have given us some stuff and let us borrow other stuff.

Well, I'm working nights so off to work I go.