Gray area in foster care

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Sometimes in foster care, it’s all butterflies and roses and things go exactly the way you pictured it would.. the child fits perfectly into your home, get’s along well with all of your children, eat/sleeps good.. you know, everything you could possibly imagine going well, just does.

But sometimes in this process, you find that things are not always as black and white as you remember in training and sometimes those lines that you remember signing your name by,  don’t always happen the way you thought it would.

Let me give you all a few examples of the “Gray area” we have experienced.. now first and foremost this is solely my opinion an what has personally happened in our family, it doesn’t mean that this happens for everyone.

  • The “end-all trial” which was supposed to happen to us to start our adoption with the boys, has been reset 4 different times, in 5 months.. still haven’t started that process.
  • There is a 30 day removal request that you are allowed to make when you feel one of the children in your house isn’t really working out (I won’t go into detail, but that is the nice way of putting it) and it should mean that CPS has just 30 days to get them out of your house and placed elsewhere, or you can have an expedited 14 day request that means the same thing.. and what we have found out is that, that is just a number and that CPS can leave them in your house longer if need be, due to them unable to find a placement for that child elsewhere.. hmm..
  • The paperwork.  When they say you have monthly documentation on a child, you start to think “ok maybe just a few documents” but no.. I am loaded in about 6 pages/per kid/per month + any doctor/dental notes that I have to show proof of + any incident reports (scratches/beavhorial, etc) +educational docs of what they are learning in school+ report cards.. Okay, you get the point right?  SO. MUCH. PAPERWORK.
  • The team.  Every single child that comes into the foster care has an attorney+ad lidem+case manager+CASA (if they get appointed a worker). Every single child has a team that you somehow have to coordinate everything with! Let me tell you, my month gets filled up pretty quickly coordinating everything with them.
  •  The required stuff.  So much stuff is mandatory–doctors visits/dental visits/tb tests/specialist visits/ training/etc. that sometimes it is hard to just keep up with it all.  I try to schedule everything all at once, but it doesn’t always work out that way.. it makes for a lot of driving.
  • Counseling.. it’s like a double-edge sword.  You would hope that taking your child to an out-of-town counselor 3+ times per month would be great, but sometimes you see no benefit.  While all foster children are required to be in counseling at 3 ages and above, sometimes you don’t really see the effectiveness of it all, with some children. I think family counseling would be best, so the truth would always be told and heard.
  • Hearings-ugh.. it’s something that happens at 2 weeks after removal, and usually every 3 months after that, until the trial at 1 year post removal happens.  Foster parents (or least in our case) are not heard.  We are not asked by the Judge how the children are doing, or how they are handling this process developmentally/behaviorally….nothing at all.  “The team” (which I have actually very rarely seen them interact with my foster children) are always trying to figure out “what’s best for the child/ren” with little to no regards of the kids themselves.  Usually the arguments in the hearings are polar opposites of what’s usually best for these precious children.

**I am not talking down to foster care or in any way/shape/form/fashion or trying to deter you from this process, just wanted to speak about stuff that we think we should have been told when initially getting involved in this process.

©2017 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

Tag, you’re IT!

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So as a parent of 5 (I am still amazed when I see that number), I see myself needing to plan a lot further in advance, but sometimes it just feels like the day-to-day activities are going so fast that you are literally tag-teaming with your partner (mine is Shane) to getting stuff done.

I literally try to not rush in life, and I usually get everywhere we need to be early (just in case an emergency occurs), but having two kids with baseball practice at the same exact times on the same exact days (twice a week), church twice a week, and my job every other weekend, I find myself playing tag with Shane now more than ever.

But even though it feels like life is so busy and is so overwhelming right now, and the only time we have to catch up on life is after all kids to bed at 8:30pm, we still try to make  that time for each other and not lose site of each other in the midst of all of this chaos .

We might be playing tag for quite a few years(or until they are all 18, lol!) but we know that  if we put God first in our life and our marriage, that things will always work out!

Do any of y’all ever feel like you are playing “tag” with your significant other to get a LOT of tasks done? Especially those of you who have multiple kids?

(BTW Shane and I just celebrated our 12 year anniversary this past weekend and it was SO fun–looks for details in a couple of days)

©2017 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

Time to catch up + Giveaway Time

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I truly can’t believe Friday has come once again! It seems so long away on Mondays, and then before you know it.. it’s the weekend!  I am linking up with Karli, who blogs on over at September Farm to tell you about five happenings with the Johnsons,this Friday!

First off, let me apologize for not really blogging in the last couple of weeks.  Once all my kids went back to school, I thought I would have the time/motivation to keep this going pretty steady.. but that didn’t exactly happen! So, I wanted to do a little catch up with you all and a pretty cool giveaway at the end!

  1. My oldest two went to get their updated psychological evaluations done, which I am pretty excited to see what the outcome of that is.  When children are in foster care, they must do this yearly to keep up with how the children are adjusting to their families, friends, foster parents, and overall environment.   I will be most interested in seeing a comparison from when they first came into the “system” to see where they are at now.
  2. My infamous overscheduling occurred again where I was supposed to take baby girl to get her monthly synergis shots at the same time as the boys needed to be taken out of school to make their counseling appointment on time.  Let’s just say.. Nana and Papa are the absolute greatest!!
  3. Baby girl has had some HUGE milestones happening lately, especially for a mircopreemie such as herself.  She is 9 months old (but 5 months old adjusted age since she was born 4 more months early), and for the first time is able to sit on her own (even if it’s for a little while), and making huge strides in weight growth  (baby girl is 15 pounds now which is so good for her), and making a lot of improvement in her ability to turn from back to belly!
  4. I spoke to the Lawyer for the first time who is going to be representing us in the fight for custody for baby girl! Nothing can be officially made until baby girl has been with us for 6 months, but hopefully soon we will know something regarding her case and where to go from here!
  5. I got all my boys a hair cut(including my husbands) and that was the best money I have spent in a long time! Their hair cuts have been WAY overdue, and we keep saying every time that “the next check we will make time to do it”, but I decided today was going to be the day, and they all LOVED it! They look so handsome and so grown up!!

** Now best for LAST!

In order to be entered into my $25 Visa Giftcard giveaway, you must click on the Rafflecopter giveaway below and follow the tasks! 🙂 Good Luck everyone!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

©2017 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

Best and Worst of 2016

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1.) A year since Rochelle passed away ❤

This post was so sweet and special to me.. because in just a few days, it will make the 2 year mark since she has passed away. So sweet and special to us!

2.) My beautiful Rhyleigh and her best friend Jade closing one chapter of their life!

I loved taking photos of these sweet girls, and can’t believe it’s almost been a year since these were taken!

3.) Everyone could use these tips during their foster/adopt journey

I wish I would have known these 10 tips before going through a very long home study with so many intimate questions!

4.) Shane and I celebrated our 11 year dating anniversary!

I love the fact that we made it through SO many obstacles and still together after 11 years! We have literally grown up together! ❤

5.)We built a FENCE!

I loved the fact that my parents literally mapped out a plan and made it happen! Shane even got his friends out here to help! So awesome!!

6.)This is the day that forever changed our life!!

This was the day that got licensed!! It was SO crazy and surreal and we couldn’t believe it!

7.) The time our baby girl turned 3..

This was SUCH a great time, because this was the last day as a single child.. We literally got our first foster child the day after!

8.) This is the day we got our BABY GIRL!

I didn’t think our family could be happier, until baby girl joined us and completely melted our hearts!

9.) This is the day that I turned 28.. like WHAT?

Such a funny day, noticing how extremely close I am to being 30!

10.)Such a sad moment for our family!

This post was so hard to write..

11.) I was SO nervous before this happened…

This meeting answered a lot of questions for me, but we still don’t know what to expect…

12.)We thought we would get great news before Christmas..

We were SO hopeful for this Trial.. and when nothing happened.. it definitely set us wayy back! Cheers to something happening in the next Trial on Jan. 23rd!

I LOVED so much about last year, and I am so glad I got to document it! I know it’s so far and few between that I get to actually spend time here anymore.. but with 5 kids.. it’s all about balance! Love each and every one of my readers! Thank you SO MUCH for making 2016 SO great!!

©2017 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.