Tuesday, November 23, 2010


It is quite possible that sometime this weekend (I assume Sunday), a 17 year old whose blog name will be Odessa will come to stay with me for a while.

I am nervous for the following reasons:
1. I haven't really contemplated the possibility of parenting a teenager. At all. So I am starting from ground zero in terms of coming up with house rules appropriate for a 17 year old. Any recommendations are very welcome.
2. My apartment is a complete disaster area. Not kidding. My depression has been in full swing for the last few weeks and so there are dirty dishes EVERYWHERE and a dead fish on the dining room table and just STUFF. I've just begged on facebook for a friend or two to come over on Friday to help me clean. I've promised money, food, and alcohol. I sure hope my plea works.
3. The bedroom is really decorated for a 5 year old girl. I should at least take the fabric letters of Sabrina's name off the wall. And maybe find something to do with the play kitchen.
4. Uh, I really was going to take a break until I got my life more together. (Yeah right, when does that ever happen?) And I only started to pull out of feeling terrible on Sunday. So what am I doing agreeing to take another kid?
5. Odessa apparently has a habit of absconding on weekends. She always (*cough* almost always) comes back for school on Monday morning, but I do worry about this piece.

Anyway, I got a bunch of details from her GAL who is the one who asked me if I could take her. (Her GAL is Sabrina's GAL, hence the connection.) It ought to be a short-term placement; there is another woman who is interested in being her foster mom--they know each other already but I didn't catch the details when the GAL told them to me--but that woman isn't licensed yet. In the meantime, Odessa's group home is closing at the end of the month.

So here we are. I'll let you all know if Odessa ends up coming to me!


  1. Wow. Even if it's just short-term, it sounds crazy and nerve-wracking. Did the GAL have to talk you into it? From your post, it sounds like this wasn't what you were picturing for your immediate future.

  2. No, she didn't need to talk me into it. And no, it isn't what I pictured for my immediate future.

    But there's something about an actual, specific child who needs a home -- as opposed to a vague future child -- that makes it very easy to say yes.

  3. I love fostering a teenager. Advice for house rules--really simple, focused on safety only, and ones you yourself live by (at least at the start.)
    The first thing I established was that we always know where the other one is, with whom, and when we are returning (time agreed upon before hand.) That this isn't about treating her like a baby, it's the responsibilities you have to each other in a family. I live by it, too.
    That, and that you have to communicate--something's wrong, tell me. Don't shut down.
    That's about it for rules.
    Some days it feels just like having a roommate, other days, like having an 8 year old. It's still parenting. A lot of it is almost like being on call. I'll sit here and read my book while you text your friend, but I'm here.
    I really love having a teen. Crossing fingers for you.

  4. I like Michelle's rules...maybe I should have set some rules when the teen came to my house nearly 6 months ago...ha! Actually, those are pretty much what we do, but she pretty much came that way. We do hang out a lot and I know I'm lucky at how honest she is with me (and that she does her homework and studies all the time!) I learned SO much from your adventures with Sabrina and I know you will be great with Odessa too. Can't wait to read all about your experiences together :)