and I mean that literally.

A lot of clothes, toys, books, and miscellaneous family detritus to make sure I get all of Mark and Nikki’s belongings.

I did something I never thought I’d do on Monday: I invited their mom over to our house to pick up the bulk of their belongings.

Husband and I decided when we started fostering we would not share our home phone number or address with biological parents.  My mom, who was a foster parent, had a bad incident once involving harassing phone calls.  But in this case, the alternative was meeting in a gas station parking lot to transfer multiple boxes and bags in -4 degree weather.

Plus, their mom is awful with directions, so I doubt she’d really be able to find her way back to firebomb us that easily.

So most of their toys and clothes are at their home.  I’ll do one more load of their laundry Thursday…or maybe not and just send it home to be washed.  I’ll be finishing their scrapbooks to mail them next week with the convenient excuse that I’ll want to include the pictures of the class holiday parties on Friday.  But really, I haven’t had any pictures printed in more than a year, so I have a lot of uploading to do on the computer tonight.

I have a nice dinner planned for tomorrow, including a cake I need to bake tomorrow morning.  We have some DS games that we need to track down at friends’ houses, but again, those can easily be mailed later.

Maybe I should make a checklist?  There is so much to remember, plus some things I wish I’d done at the beginning.  (For example, I did take pictures of all their things the first day they arrived, but I failed to document everything else that they got over the rest of the year.  Luckily, the kids have an encyclopedic memory of which Barbie outfit and Hot Wheel belongs to which kid.)

I’m pretty happy.  I’m happy that the kids, especially Mark, are handling the week well so far and there hasn’t been any ridiculous out of control behavior.  Maybe it helps that he knows his mom and I have a good relationship.  I’m happy that they’re happy to go home, although Daughter is pretty sad and keeps asking when we can have them back over for a playdate or sleepover, at which point Mark complains he never wants to stay the night here again.  Sigh.  Nikki also keeps asking if Daughter and Junior can come over and stay the night at her house.  Mmmmm, unlikely.  They are still convicted felons who live 45 minutes away.  How to explain that to a six-year old though?