By Cheyanne Shatto
Hello Lovelies, IM BACK!! Well, I actually never left but I did that thing that moms do and becoming completely consumed with my daughter’s schedule and life. Oh yeah, I left you all hanging on the fact that we were getting a 12-year-old … it’s a Girl (Insert pink confetti)!!
We have had our daughter for a few months now as most of you know and it has been an adventure. We have been introduced to some unique things especially because we went from no kids to a teen. So without getting into detail too much I want to provide some background to get you in the right mind set. Our girl has been in foster care for a few years and had MULTIPLE homes. There have been some reports of behavior issues which brought her to us and as with most miracle children, there is trauma to work through.
Day 1: Awkward: This is something you need to prepare for. I know that you’re excited and probably waiting by the window because this miracle is coming to you, but keep in mind that their world has been turned upside down and in our girl’s case this was just one more temporary home to her. She wasn’t really willing to talk, other then a few super simple questions and comments. Most of the conversation was one word replies. It took about two and a half hours to get her moved in and through paper work – which once again you need to prepare for. It’s kind of weird going over rules with a child you don’t know. Luckily for us “A” was a pro at this process and could probably explain all the paperwork herself.
There were two things we did that night that I believe made a difference for her.
#1 – (take notes here it will help) If your miracle is old enough to read, take the time to buy a card and write a note to them. Ensure them that they are wanted, safe, and you are excited to have them with you. Now take caution here also… DO NOT use too strong of language (No I LOVE YOUs first day and also take caution with religious language – they may need time to trust a belief system after their experiences and pushing can be harmful). Justin and I chose a card that said something along the lines of there is always a rainbow after the storm or something close to that. What we wrote is what counts. I know this made an impact because after months, she still has this card standing on her night stand and gets upset when the cat knocks it off.
# 2: Your favorite may not be their favorite. I know you probably make the best “meatloaf” this side of the Mississippi, but your Miracle may hate red meat, or meat in general. Give them the choice. Night one they have been through enough, and changing their diet probably isn’t a great choice. We took the lazy route because she wasn’t moved in until after 7 PM, so we went out to eat. Now this wasn’t super easy because “A” hasn’t been given a lot of choice in the past. So, her having the decision became a little over whelming. We had to narrow it down to two restaurants and let her pick from there. We did however pick places that served food she said she likes.
Night one was pretty simple because as I said, she wasn’t fully moved in until after 7 PM. The first 2 weeks were pretty simple as well because it was the honeymoon phase. She is getting to know us and we are getting to know her. We took some small trips such as visiting family in KY, school shopping in Gatlinburg, and Kayaking. We wanted her to have a positive end to her summer so we squeezed a lot in. Then … SCHOOL!!!
I really want to talk about the start of school and some of the things you may deal with when it comes to school but I’m going to save it for another post because it deserves a whole post to explain the process (or at least our process).
Next post: School Tomorrow!! School School Tomorrow!!!