When a foster child is first placed in a new home, there is a period of adjustment in which the child becomes used to the new house, new family, and new lifestyle. Everyone's adjustment period is different, but no matter how long it lasts, each child has to adjust to life in a new foster home.
To start with, you have no idea where anything is when you're in a new house. You need a paper towel? Spin around the room three times before you spot them. You want to get a washcloth? You have to remember to find them before you get in the shower. There's no routine for anything anymore, because everything you own is in a different spot. You spend half of the day walking back and forth across the house because which room you need to look in for something. For a new foster child, life has to be even more difficult than that because none of the stuff in their new house even belongs to them. Everything is new, from the bowls you eat cereal out of in the morning, to the bed you sleep in at night.
Everything seems strange when you start living in a new house. The sprinkler system makes you jump when it turns on each night because you're not used to having a sprinkler system. Sounds of what are probably types of frogs that you've never seen before, but instead seem to be a baby dragon yelling, in the backyard while you're trying to enjoy the quietness of all of the kids being in bed for the night will make you crazy. But at least you're learning all of the new sounds together; a new foster child might be scared even though everyone else is used to the weird noises.
Since we arrived at our new house, our two dogs have done nothing but follow us around from room to room. If I get up from the couch, my dog walks at my heels into the kitchen. If I turn on my desk chair, she watches like a hawk to see if I'm leaving the room. She curls up next to me at all times. Our other dog is usually attached to my mom's hip, but at least he'll branch out and follow my sister once in a while. They both seem so scared still, and it's been three weeks. Not to compare dogs and little kids, but in both situations, you can't explain what's happening. My dogs don't understand that we moved from New York to Florida. A toddler who was just placed in a new foster house has no idea that their parent did something that resulted in losing custody temporarily and they'll be living with a new family now.
There are a lot of similarities between moving to a new home and a child being placed with a new foster family. But the one difference that I'm extremely grateful for is that I'm going through my adjustment period with my family by my side.
Thank you so much for your continued support! I look forward to sharing more stories about my experience with foster care, and hopefully hearing from readers who have questions or similar stories to share. I'm always willing to answer questions and hear about other experiences! Please don't forget to like and share my Facebook author page as well!
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