Archives for July 2011

MAPP Lessons: Attachments

Completing a MAPP (Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting) class was the first step on our road to becoming licensed foster parents. The course took place every Monday night for ten weeks, three hours each night. It was so much information over a short period of time. We really did enjoy the class, but I also felt like my head might explode by the end of each class. Since Jesse and I are both people who take time to digest information, we though it might be helpful for us to review some highlights of things we learned at a slower pace. Plus there were extra reading materials given out each week that I didn’t have the brain power to work through at the time. So, as I review I thought I would share some of the fascinating and helpful things we learned.

Maslow's Hierarchy of NeedsMost people are at least somewhat familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. We understand the concept that higher level needs cannot be thought about until lower level needs have been satisfied. The lowest level needs are physiological and survival needs. One can’t think about their need to make friends and feel good about themselves if they are worrying about getting enough food for their next meal.

The same idea applies to the way that a child works through the stages of development. When a baby is born, the baby must fully rely on the fact that someone will be there to take of him. The baby learns to trust that the same person(s) will be there every time he has a need. Obviously, for a child to be coming into the foster care system that trust has been violated for one reason or another. Development of that child is pretty much on hold until he reestablishes at least a basic level of trust in a new person.

Erikson's Psychosocial Development

When we talk with people about our foster care plans, people tend to tell us that we will just have to learn how to not get attached to the children we care for. However, we learned that it is critical that we do form an attachment because it is the only way that the child can learn to trust us or anyone else again. This will probably be the hardest part for us, but know that we can do it.

I can’t imagine how scary and confusing it must be for a child to be picked up from their home and their parents and dropped of at a stranger’s house. When this happens the child’s attachments are broken and a grieving process begins. When an adult is going through a grieving process we give them space to deal with their grief the way they feel like they need to. While a child might have different ways of expressing their grief, we need to recognize that they are grieving and be extra patient with the behaviors and other challenges that result.


Bulk milletMillet is another one of my new allergy friendly snacks. I never would have thought to try it if a friend hadn’t recommended it to me. According to my limited (Wikipedia) research, millet has very similar nutritional value to wheat and is a much more common food in other parts of the world. Since it’s gluten free it’s a regular ingredient in many of new my new snack foods, but I like to eat it plain as well.

I buy millet at my favorite health food store, Nutrition S’Mart. It comes packaged or we like to buy it in bulk since it’s much cheaper that way.

Preparation is very similar to the way you would make oatmeal. The millet first has to be rinsed and then boiled in water. I measure out one cup of water and 1/3 cup of dry millet. The millet is brought to a boil and then cooked at a lower temperature until all the water has been absorbed.

Rinsed millet

I’ve found that the best way to eat it is with lots of brown sugar sprinkled on top. It’s a filling snack and is super satisfying when you are in need of something sweet.

Millet cereal


Project: Lockup

Our household is deep into project mode these days. Almost every room is a disaster zone. It seems as though getting organized is requiring me to move EVERY single item we own. Some of our things are moving rooms, others are just being re-stacked to look neater. We’ve been working very hard, and I’m pleased with our progress so far.

Our first project was one that we had been meaning to do ever since we moved in… install closet shelving! We have this little closet under our stairway. It only has a half door so it’s kinda tricky to get some things in there, even though it has lots of space once you are inside.

Closet doorEmpty closet

One of the rules that we have to comply with for licensing is that all medications and household cleaning supplies have to be locked up. All of our CF friends can understand the difficulty of locking up all medications. We had them stashed everywhere they could fit – kitchen cabinets, entertainment center drawer, basket in the end table, upstairs hall closet. Now everything is in one location! It’s kind of a good thing that we never got around to this project sooner because we were able to arrange the shelves in a perfect pattern for this specific purpose.

MedicationsMedical bins

When the licensing agent came to our house for our first home study she said she would be bringing us a small lock box to hold our medications. I tried explaining to her that because Jesse has CF, that would not work since there is so much to store. I don’t think she understood because she said she would still bring it for us anyway. I did explain the closet plan before we did it and she said that would be fine too. The hardest part about keeping medications locked up is that Jesse isn’t even allowed to keep his enzymes out on the table. He’ll have to get used to making sure that not seeing them doesn’t make him forget to take them at every meal.

I drew out how I wanted the shelves to be and Jesse put them in to match the drawing. Didn’t he do a great job?!

Jesse installing shelvesJesse in actionShelf supportsFinished shelves

Then I got to fill my new shelves. The priority was to make sure that cleaning supplies from all the bathrooms and from under the kitchen sink were relocated. Then I needed to make sure that all our medical supplies could stay organized and easy to find. And… there was even leftover space for an extended pantry.

Full closetPrivate pharmacyMedical storageExtra pantry space

When I was finished stocking the closet I just had to sit and stare at how wonderfully organized everything is. Love it! Of course the final step will be to change out the closet door knob with one that has a lock, but for now we are just getting used to everything being kept in there.