Some thoughts on timing.

If Desmond hadn't died when he did, if he had died sooner, we'd have been in South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Colorado, or anywhere else. Dealing with that while so far from the familiarity of my own doctor and my own home.

If Desmond had died later than he did, we would not have been thinking about fostering a child, because we'd be planning on having a newborn baby joining our family in a couple of months. A couple more weeks, and the boy who has now moved in with us would have been placed in the home of a family he doesn't know.

Desmond died at exactly the right time. We were near family, near our doctor and hospital, at our home. A hundred times a day I want to go back in time to when he was still alive and would give anything to change how things happened, but when I look at the timing of everything, I know it was right. If it had to happen, I'm glad it happened when it did.

After his death, I started to think about this boy, M. He has been fostered by a family from church for nearly a year. He has T1 diabetes and they are familiar with that, and so that's why he was placed with them. He isn't even from this state, but due to the circumstances of a car accident that just happened to occur here, was taken into custody and placed in foster care here in Indiana.

The family who had fostered him for 11 months was about to move across the country due to losing their job here. We didn't know what would happen to M. He and Truman have become friends both at church and cub scouts. They are four days apart in age. On a whim, we asked about it, and we were told that even though we aren't licensed foster parents, because we know M already, we could take custody of him in a 'kinship care' arrangement - the state provides no reimbursement but does provide Medicaid for their health care, free school lunch and books, that sort of thing. His food, housing, clothing, and other needs would fall on us, unless and until we became licensed foster parents.

We did several visits, one overnight, met with his case manager and a few other people, and then they went to the judge and the judge said yes, the Harpers can have him. So M joined our family a week ago, and I have to say it's gone incredibly smoothly. Learning to manage his diabetes has been our first priority. We are learning about carb counting, insulin dosing, correcting for exercise or certain foods. A few nights we have had to wake up every two hours to test him to make sure he doesn't get too low.

We've also been thrust into the world of public school. Foster children are required to attend public school and so we've had to learn to navigate how to communicate with teachers, the correct way to drive through and drop off/pick up each day, dealing with homework assignments and studying for quizzes. It's been a lot of learning in a week's time!

Having M here hasn't made the pain of losing Desmond any less. It does give me another outlet for my anxious energies (I've lost five pounds in a week - both good as it's the right direction for me to go, and bad because that's too fast and it's due to stress mainly), and knowing the little we do about his background, gives us a lot of gratitude for the life we have and the blessings we enjoy. We want to do all we can to give him a happy home life, feel loved and valued, and keep him healthy. We don't know where things stand with plans for him to reunite with biological relatives, but we'll keep him as long as we can and do all we can for him.

Dave and I are working on the foster licensing process. It's a lot of paperwork. They want a lot of copies of obscure things (our dog's vaccination record? car insurance?), and make us take three sets of classes. We've finished the first, the second is online, and the third is only offered at the end of each month, so it will be late September before we get everything turned in.


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