Don’t call us, we’ll call you

January 30, 2017

Paperwork, Day 99

14 December

We had years between the time we decided to become foster parents and our first placement to contemplate how it would work for us. One of the lists I made was the strengths that each of us brought to the table. Addison would welcome any new person with open arms (especially if they would play with her!), and though untested, I believed she would be resilient in the face of loss and change. Neal would be patient and calm. In the face of tantrums and limit-testing, his intensity would go down in direct proportion to the increasing intensity of others. And I would love. So hard.

What I hadn’t considered at that point was just how much paperwork I would have to complete and collate. There was the Intake Inventory and the Monthly Report. The Centrally Stored Medication and Destruction Record/Medication and PRN Assistance Record and the Health Care Visit Form. This week brought a Victim Impact Statement we were asked to complete on the baby’s behalf in preparation for the sentencing of one of his family members. It was hard to write (as I’m sure all Victim Impact Statements are), but I also had this feeling of confidence. This is what I do. Paperwork is what I’m good at.

I like doing the paperwork. I can keep the baby’s binder so dang organized. I can type the monthly report so neatly and shoot it off the exact day the month ends. I’m sure it’s the sense of control in the midst of the uncontrollable that makes it so calming for me. While in comparison to many, I am not an impatient or anger-prone person, I am a regular hothead next to Neal. I’ve also got nothing on Addison’s emotional resilience. But in love and paperwork, I really shine.

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