Back in May I found out we qualify for 67 hours a month of respite care. Basically that means that the State of Washington will pay someone to come into our home to take care of Jackson while I do whatever I want or need to. It took me a while to wrap my head around that. I felt kind of weird about having someone take care of Jackson when I can do it just fine. There are definitely days where taking care of him is a lot of work. But that goes for every child out there, special needs or not. I’d be more than happy to give my hours to some single mom who never gets any time to herself. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. So after a lot of “You should do it!” from friends and family, I decided to go for it. I wanted to interview someone first before they started taking care of Jackson. The first girl I interviewed wasn’t a good fit. I didn’t like her personality and couldn’t imagine her working in my home. The second girl, Heather, was great. So for the last 3 weeks now Heather has been coming to our home and caring for Jackson. The first two weeks she just came one day for 5 hours. This week she came two days for 5 hours each day. Am I liking it? YOU BET! I can’t believe how much I get done. Phone calls, grocery shopping, errands, household chores. I like it because Jackson is still here with me and I can stop anytime and give him some love. Along with all the little things I get done I have a couple of big projects I am working on. First I am refinishing my Dad’s dresser and once that is done I am going to finally paint some of these brown walls in my house. The last piece of furniture I refinished, the dining room table, took me 11 months. I just never had time. At my current rate of working, when Heather is here, the dresser should be done within a month. It still feels a little weird having someone take care of my little boy, but he really likes Heather and it is good for him to have interaction with other people. Another good change in our routine.
As some of you know, Kevin and I have been trying to get licensed to be foster parents. In June we finally started the process. We turned in the required paperwork, have taken the 27 hours of training classes, bought bunk beds and redecorated the guest room, and just last week had our first home visit. We have a few minor changes to make to the house – latches on low cabinets, lock on the medicine cabinet, buy some kids’ clothes and toys, etc. The licensor will be back next week for another visit and inspection. If everything goes well we should be licensed by the end of August. I’m nervous and excited. Our ultimate goal is to adopt and grow our little family. It may take a while to get our forever family, but I know that out there somewhere there are some kiddos waiting for a mom and dad just like we are waiting for them. They may be 3 years old, they may be 17. Either way, their room is waiting for them.