Friday, January 27, 2006

Feeling A Little Guilty

I have to say that I'm feeling a little guilty today. Since we are foster parents, we get one respite day every three months the children are in our care. A respite day is where the agency will PAY for our children to spend the night at another foster family's home to give us a break. Well the policy is that you have to "use it or lose it" yearly - meaning that we have until January 31st to use our last respite day for our children. And we won't get our next respite day until March 1st at the earliest. So we decided to use our respite day for our children today!

My daughter, Jenna, has a gymnastics competition this Saturday at 8:00 in the morning. We have to drive 1.5 hours to get to the gymnastics meet, so we'll have to leave at LEAST by 5:45 am to make it in time! (Cause you know you HAVE to stop for a diet coke if you are going to have to function before the sun comes up.) Jenna only has three more gymnastics competitions this season, so I want to make sure my husband sees at least one more! So we are putting the kids in respite.

They aren't too happy about it. Well that's a lie. The younger three don't really care, but the oldest is really upset. We have never used respite for her before. I usually just keep her with me and take her when I have to go out of town. But for this one time, I'm putting my foot down and putting her in as well. She is very upset, grumbling about going to stay with strangers. And wanting to take ALL her toys, and saying we should just let her go with us. I understand that she's nervous (heck I would be too), but I just really need a break.

For one thing, I'm still really sick. And it takes all my energy to give the kids the care they need. For another, I would just really like to watch Jenna without having to worry about any other children. Selfish? Yes. I'll admit to that.

My mother in law is going to keep Conner for us for the night. He's in his glory. They spoil him rotten and just really have a blast together. So I'm not woried about him.

But Macie.... I'm scared to death to be leaving her. My mom said that she'd keep her for me, but the agency wants us to try putting her in respite care with one of her siblings for the night. They say the respite would just be wasted if we don't use it up. But this is my Macie we're talking about, and I could care less if we use the respite. I just want her getting the best care possible. I'm so tempted to call the agency back and tell them not to worry, that I'll just let her spend the night with my mom...

It's only for one night. I keep telling myself that, but I'm still feeling really guilty about it. I just feel that all these kids are MY kids and the thought of sending them to strangers, even for a night, is unsettling. But they'll probably have a blast, and I know that I need the rest in order to get myself well. I have to remember to take care of me, if I'm going to do justice for these children. But boy is it hard. *Sigh*


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