One of Little Dude's many creations!



First of all I want to say thank you to those of you who asked some questions on my facebook about fostering to give me some ideas of what to talk about!

So here we go, a couple of the questions were similar:

“How does it change your environment having foster kids?”

“I’d love to hear more about how you emotionally prepare your daughter for a new temporary ‘sibling’ and then how you manage her expectations (i.e. this new child will leave the family at some point) and deal with her saying goodbye.”

“Is it a hard adjustment for Gracia when the FK’s come and then go?”

The first time we took Little Dude back to his home, Gracia cried the whole way home. Saying good-bye might not be as emotional for all kids as it is for her, but she’s just an emotional little girl to begin with. And she was very excited when he came back! :) They’re like most siblings, they have their arguments and times of not sharing, but over all they enjoy playing together.

From the beginning Gracia said she’d rather adopt than foster because adopting is forever. Which is actually what Cameron and I had wanted at first as well, but that just hasn’t happened. She didn’t have as much trouble saying good-bye to Big Sis and Little Bro, but they never stayed nearly as long as Little Dude and from the beginning we knew that they would be with us just a short time.

As far as preparing her, each time (other than taking Big Sis and Little Bro for respite twice) it was a sudden phone call and they needed a place that night, so we didn’t have much time to do any preparing.  We always told her we were getting a kid(s) and asked her opinion.

“I was wondering how hard it is for the Foster child to visit with his family member, then come back to your home. Or is visiting allowed by the family member while the child is in your custody?”

Often when we tell people Little Dude is going for a visit they look at us and ask, “Is that a good thing?” or “Does he like the visits?”

He LOVES his visits. If he has a visit in the evening and I tell him that morning he asks me all day long when his visit is. During our fostering classes someone asked what they should do if a child didn’t want to visit their family, and the teachers said in all their experience they couldn’t think of a time that happened. Kids love their families and want to be with them.

All situations are different though. With some cases visits are only supervised at the office or in public places. When cases are moving along they might get unsupervised visits in public (ie library, park, restaurants). Then there’s also semi-supervised visits and eventually home visits and overnight visits happen until the final stage of a trial visit. Of course though all cases are handled individual, so it doesn’t always look the same.

There’s also cases where the parents just don’t show up for visits, or where the parents’  rights are terminated and the plan moves to adoption.

If you have any questions for me, I’d love to hear them and answer as good as I can. You can ask about fostering, frugality, missions or anything else that comes to mind! :)

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Question from a facebook follower:

DO you ever get free things and if so where or how do you get it? We are on a fixed income and never have enough to make it through out the month, no entertainment, Skippy meals etc…


Free Food

I like to sign up for free samples in the mail, often these are food items. Over the probably 2 years that I’ve been doing this I’ve received chocolate milk, tea, coffee, coffee creamer, baby formula, protein shake mix, soyjoy bar, granola bars, little boxes of cereal, cream of wheat, dried cranberries, vitamins, pectin for freezer jam, and I’m sure some other things that I can’t think of at the moment. This is an easy way to get some free samples and usually coupons too, but it’s probably not going to make a big dent in your grocery bill. Some people like to save their free samples for car trips or gifts. If you coupon a lot then I recommend this even more, since most freebies come with a coupon.

Fuzzy, the cat we used to have, eating a free can of cat food.

Free Toiletry Items

I probably get more toiletry samples than food samples. Mostly I get shampoo and conditioner. Often they come in little packets that I can get to last at least 2 washings, if not more. Occasionally they’ll come in bigger bottles that last even longer. If you’re not picky about the kind of shampoo you use, this is a great way to get some free! Because of the size I like to save them for trips.

A recent freebie I got was a coupon for a free bottle of shaving cream and $8 off coupon for the razor and blades. Since the razor set was $8.97, I only paid 97 cents.

Other toiletry freebies I’ve gotten are face wash, body soap, lotion, baby wipes, diapers, and laundry detergent. Like the food freebies, it probably won’t help you save hundreds of dollars, but it can help in small ways.


Free Gift Cards and other Things

There are different websites you can use to earn points and win things. The only one I have experience with is swagbucks. You can read more about my experience with it here. I’ve used it for gifts, toothpaste and amazon gift cards.

Free Entertainment/Eating Out

She mentioned that they don’t do any entertainment, which I think is very noteworthy since entertainment is a good area to cut out of the budget if needed. There are plenty of free ways to have fun! However if you watch deal-sites you can sometimes find ways to eat out or get entertained for cheaper or even free. I know RedBox does occasional free rentals, some restaurants give you something free on your birthday and things like that.

All of that to say, if you don’t currently have a site you follow for freebies/coupons/deals, I follow Money Saving Mom and check out Free Samples.

Check out my post Giving Freebies as Gifts without Being Tacky.

NOTE: Another reader asked me about the safety of giving out personal information to get freebies, which I’ll answer in another post.

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