Anonymous said: anything new going on?
Thanks for asking. Yes, a few things have changed. For several months I was out of touch with both my brother and my young niece and nephew, due to my brother not having a phone and my niece and nephew being moved to another foster family.
Just yesterday, I was able to finally get the new case worker’s number and also found out that my niece and nephew are now back with the last foster mom, a woman who I liked. She is the home where I last sent money for clothes and school supplies.
I am going to speak to my niece this weekend, so I’m really happy. Today I am speaking at a conference about women and violence in the media, so I have quite a few things to be grateful for.
My niece and nephew’s teen half sister - my older niece who I had come stay with me for 10 days in May - is doing well, relatively speaking. She’s back at her mom’s house and as far as I know they are getting along. We had such a great time while she was in NYC. It was beautiful to finally connect in person after three years of strictly online and phone contact. I am planning on having her spend Christmas with me and the extended family.
So yes, I am feeling really grateful for the blessings in my life. A few weeks ago I co-presented a workshop at Allied Media Conference in Detroit. A week before that, I attended an event for my nonprofit in Atlanta. I enjoy traveling and look forward to my nonprofit’s 20 city tour in Oct - Nov 9, which I am presently in the process of booking/producing.
I am really busy, always working on something. I do my best to take time for myself to decompress. Part of that self care practice is that I am leaving my job on Sept 1 and then staying in California for the entire month so that I can spend time with my family and go to my sister’s wedding. Immediately after the wedding, I go on tour for six weeks across the country until Nov 9.
After October, I am not sure where I will be or what I will be doing, but it will be different. And by then I will have spent time with my young niece and nephew - face to face - and hopefully there will be more news about their placement status. Right now, all I know is that they are possibly going to be with their foster mom for “a while longer.”
The last time I heard “a while” was back when they were first placed last summer. My young niece and nephew have now been away from their parents and moved from place to place for an entire year. That thought alone makes me very focused on spending as much time as possible with them in person in September. I was actually in Los Angeles in February for a festival, where my nonprofit tabled, but I couldn’t get a hold of the case worker to plan a visit. It was incredibly frustrating.
Oh … I have made a big decision that I will elaborate on in a future post but can touch on briefly here:
I want to be the best mother I can be. I know I can’t be perfect but I know there are steps I can take and am taking to ensure the best possible quality of life for my children. With that in mind, I have decided the best decision for me is to go into business for myself, starting in December. I will shift to being self-employed, full time.
Building a successful business is a ton of work and requires a lot of time and attention, particularly in the early stages. I know this from research and also from my mom’s stories (she started her own business with a partner when I was a toddler, which she runs to this day). So, I have made a very difficult - but right for me - decision:
I am going to postpone (yet again) having a foster teen placed with me until 2016. Yes, three full years from now.
A brief summary of my reasons are as follows:
1) It’s still a possibility that I will end up having my young niece and nephew placed with me
2) It’s still a possibility that my teen niece will live with me to finish high school and transition into college
3) I want to run a profitable business before I bring a foster teen into my life so that I can provide the most stable environment as possible
For a while I was beating myself for putting myself first and deciding to wait. That was a very unhealthy thing to do. But that’s the past and I am focused on the good things happening right now and in the new few months.
It’s critical that I stay positive as much as possible so that I can achieve my goals this year … because the more that I succeed over the next three years in my business and in becoming a healthy person inside and out, the better parent I will be to my niece and nephews (either legally or as an active parent figure/financial/emotional supporter) and my future foster teen. <3
I will continue to update this Tumblr with the following:
- Reports on my process with my younger relatives and youth mentorship
- National and local foster care news (when I have time)
- Research and commentary on foster care and related topics
But the truth is that you probably won’t see posts about a teen being placed with me until 2016. Thanks for reading so far.