We live in a three bedroom house. It’s not what you’d call large, but it feels comfortable and spacious enough for our needs. Or so we thought.
Prior to Jake and Joey joining our family in December of 2010, Maddie and Warren had their own bedrooms. Maddie was still in a crib and Warren slept on the top of his bunk bed. When the boys arrived, we moved Maddie into Warren’s room where she went straight to the bottom bunk without any problems transitioning. In fact, both older kids seemed to do better knowing the other was there too. Jake and Joe then shared Maddie’s old crib in Maddie’s old room. Everything was just right.
Then we learned that our set-up did not comply with State Foster Home Licensing requirements which say that children of opposite gender over the age of 5 cannot share a room.
Now, we knew this rule. It was one of the reasons we moved from our old apartment into this house in the first place. But we were under the impression that the rule only applied to foster children in our care, not our own legally adopted children. How aggravating that some bureaucratic agency was telling us how to raise our children! But this is the way of the foster-to-adopt path. You don’t have complete autonomy in decision-making, as parents. It’s just something you have to accept knowing that it will one day come to an end.
So, we moved Maddie back into her old room (which was still quite girly looking with cute owl decals on the wall, and such) and bought her a gigantic bunk bed. It’s actually a three bed system: twin on top, full on the bottom, and a pull out trundle underneath. Now when you come for a visit you can have the “guest room” which will most likely feel like bunking in a submarine, but hey, at least you’ll be close to the beach.
The next logical move would have been to put Jake and Joe in with Warren, making it the boys’ room, right? Wrong. Another Foster Home rule states that you can’t have more than two children per bedroom. What? Who has that kind of space in Santa Barbara?? And we have twins, for pity’s sake! We can’t separate them.
So, we applied for a waiver, hoping to be allowed permission to have the three boys share Warren’s room. We were denied. The woman making the decision based her judgement on a (tragic) case that occurred a few years back she had approved. Despite knowing our family members would not recreate that situation, there was nothing more we could do to sway the decision.
The only option, at that point, was to put the babies in our bedroom, since foster children are allowed to be in the parents’ bedroom up until age two. We tried and tried and tried to come up with a solution where they would NOT be sharing our sleeping quarters and only sanctuary from little voices and bodies, but there was nothing else we could think of that would work.
Remember how excited I was when we got our new bed frame and our bedroom stopped feeling like a dorm room? Now the ambiance is a little less peaceful.
Yes, that’s two cribs you see because another foster rule states that each child must have his/her own bed. Plus it was time for them to have separate cribs anyway because they were starting to wake each other up with all that night movement. I do miss the side-by-side sleeping, though.
In the end, I just have to remind myself that this too shall pass. It’s looking better and better that these sweet boys will stay with us forever and that the adoption process could start sooner than later. (More info to come.) The sleeping situation may not be ideal, but at least we have Jake and Joe with us. And really, that’s all that matters.