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I’ve been altering and reposting some of Mark and Nikki’s story to be more anonymous, and rereading old posts is sure an eye-opener.

I’m disappointed in myself at how much my attitude towards them has changed.  In the very beginning, I was a lot more sympathetic.  Now that they’ve been here 10 months, should I not be as maternal?  They are still missing their parents, although they do feel a lot more secure here.  I’m going to continue contemplating this.

Also, Mark has made huge strides in his eating habits!  I’d forgotten how many issues we used to have with food.  Today, for example, I told him he’d really need to eat a healthy dinner with lots of veggies and he cheerfully agreed.  (This was, of course, after his request to have some fast food lunch with a friend, and also in response to the food he consumed with Mom and Dad yesterday, which was 4 doughnuts, McD’s hamburger, fries and a shake.)

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I’m taking some time off.  And this time I’m officially giving it to myself, rather than just feeling sheepish about not posting anything.

I’ve decided to come back September 20th.  It’s enough time to get refreshed, get into the school routine, and most importantly, figure out for myself what direction I’m going to take in my posting.

I’m over the morning sickness, but I’m still exhausted a lot, so I also hope by September 20th, I’ll be starting that fabu 2nd trimester zeal!  (Please, oh please, let me have zeal.  I know I’m parenting 5 children and I’m running myself ragged and I’m feeling physically way older than my 29 years…but please let me have zeal.  Amen.)

So then, I’m signing off for a sabbatical.

And honestly, I’m already looking forward to coming back.  That’s a good sign, eh?

I have a real reason to have not posted lately.  Besides just worn our end-of-the-days.

I signed a new contract.

It’s a privacy contract.

And it effectively forbids this blog.

So I’m not sure what I’m going to do.  The contract doesn’t explicitly say ‘no blogs, anonymous or not’ but it says not to share confidential information with media, including on the internet.  And I am publishing a blog.  Okay, maybe that is pretty explicit.

Before I signed this contract, I knew this blog wasn’t really jiving with my agency’s rules, but I reasoned I could claim ignorance if I was outed.  And I have tried very hard to make it anonymous – but I also want it to be real, and with those two somewhat conflicting goals in mind, lately I have veered much more towards being real.  If Mark and Nikki’s mom or aunt or Lulu found this blog and read more than one post, they would know who it was.

I’m an ethical person, and now that I’ve signed this contract, I feel duty-bound to honor it.  Plus there’s that $1,000 or year in jail for breaking it.  (Okay, that’s up to $1,000 or a year, but maybe they’d want to make an example out of me!)

And really, all jokes aside, I do care about the kids’ privacy rights.  They have no control over their lives as it is, so maybe I do need to be a lot more thoughtful about their personal details…

So for the time being, I’m taking down all my old posts and figuring out if and how I’ll be continuing this blog.  It’s been really helpful for me to have a record of events, but I’m not sure how much I’m actively contributing to the foster parent world.  Especially when I don’t post for weeks at a time.  I believe it is possible to blog about being a foster parent without compromising anonymity; it just takes a lot more focus.

So maybe when I have more focus.

Whenever that will be.

Somehow, when I first went looking for blogs by foster parents a few months ago, I found, oh, maybe two.  So I thought I would be the perfect person to fill that gap.  After all, I was looking for them, so must lots of others.  Now it seems that there are actually dozens and dozens, and I have no idea how I missed them.

Therefore, I hope this is worth it for me.  Here are some ways I’ve noticed our (my family’s) situation to be different:

  1. We are only fostering, not adopting.  Adopting’s cool, no doubt.  But we’ve got our own three, and it feels right to be able to assist multiple families over time – at least, I think it will.
  2. I’m not an evangelical.
  3. I’m not loud or curse-y.
  4. I’m not a very good blogger.

I started this blog with ideals: to document our day-to-day events and journal my own analysis of it all.  I do this mostly for my own sake.  If a case manager asks when a behavior started, I can pinpoint it AND I can vent anonymously.

If only I had something to vent about.