We are anticipating changes in the next few months. These changes are so hard to accept and so heartbreaking to even think about. D and A will likely be going home in the next couple of months, April at the latest. The parents have worked their "services" per the judges request so they are now deemed appropriate parents and the kids can return. I know that the point of foster care is to help families heal and reunite but these patents haven't really changed. The children get visits with them for 6 hours on the weekend where D comes home saying that they yell at her and tell her she's bad. A supposedly throws fits that he doesn't throw with us and they have zero discipline the whole time they are there. Apparently completing a parenting class doesn't equal parenting skills. They have no bedtimes (ie go to bed after midnight the whole weekend), no naps, eat junk food the whole time, don't take their medicine and come home so tired they can't eat dinner. I'm not sure how D is supposed to be successful in school if she has no bedtimes and no discipline at home. She missed over 60 days of school last year and is repeating first grade because she didn't go and when she did she didn't do her homework. She's now making all A's and gets a challenge spelling list. She asks to take practice tests at home and takes pride in her work. My fear is that all of this will go away when she goes home and she will end up just like the rest of her family, pregnant as a teenager, uneducated and living in poverty. Her stepdad doesn't like her or interact with her in a positive way and now there is another baby on the way that is his. I pray that we aren't sending her to a place where she isnt wanted by some and isn't treasured for the wonderful young lady she is. I would love for these 2 little ones to be reunited with their family if it means they will be safe, cared for and loved. I know that God has a much bigger plan for them than I can see and I pray that over the next few weeks to months he will give us a sense of peace about these 2 children we love so dearly.
My first year of working as a staff pediatrician is also nearing an end which means that the next residency class is also about to be done. This means that some of our dearest friends and their families are leaving the area. One of these friends also has a little girl that we have been caring for over the past 2 years while her mom works. We love her like she is one of ours and will miss her and her mom when they are gone. My house that has been full with the sound of a 7 yr old and 2 toddlers is soon going to be so quiet.