We have a new addition to our family! We have had this new addition for seven weeks tomorrow and I've been asked so many questions that I've decided to put the most frequently asked questions here.
Who is she?
Her name is Aislinn Taylor. She is my niece; my younger sister's oldest daughter from Price, Utah. Her name is pronounced: Aze (as in haze) Lynn. She is 14 years old and will be a freshman in high school this fall.
How long will she be living with you?
She will be with us until 18 years old, and then however long she chooses to be with us after that. We are hoping that she chooses to attend college around these parts and then we can hold onto her for a little longer.
How in the world did this happen?
On a Wednesday in April we received a call from a social worker in Price. He explained that Aislinn was in need of a guardian and asked if Seth and I would be willing to take her into our home to live with us. Foster care/state care was the other option and Seth and I felt that it was a no brainer to have her come and be a part of our family. The very next week we went and picked her up. It was extremely short notice but Seth took time off from work and we have family in town that were completely willing to take our boys to and from school while we were gone.
How much money are you getting for doing this?
This question kills me every time, because....seriously? What kind of question is that? The answer is, none. There is no money involved. This is not a DCFS case in which we were asked to be foster parents. We have full guardianship and are complete custodians of Aislinn which means that the money comes out of our pockets. She may have a mother, but she is legally ours. There is no child support coming in from either of her parents, however, Seth and I knew that going in and we have both made our peace with it.
How did custody get switched to you?
This question is always phrased in a different way, but in order to make it sound a little nicer that's the way I chose to say it. Aislinn had a hard time going to school for a few years so one of the reasons that the court stated was truancy. There was also one more reason listed, but in the interest of saving a family relationship I will only state here that truancy was the main problem.
How is it having a girl in the house?
It is so so different from having four boys!!! Aislinn has different needs, wants, ideas, and interests that I haven't had to even come close to ever thinking about! I'm learning brand new things about how to raise not only a girl, but a teenage girl...and not only a teenage girl, but a teenage girl with a difficult background.
How is she doing so far?
Seth and I think she is doing so well. She will even tell you she is doing well. She has taken on a situation that not very many 14 year olds would ever even have to consider doing and she is taking this immense change with grace. Yes, there are definitely issues that have risen that she hasn't ever had to deal with before. We have a whole lot more rules and structure than she has ever been used to seeing before, but she is taking them in stride, learning how to be respectful, and trying her darndest on a daily basis to be a better person; the person that I see in her.
How are the boys handling the new situation?
For the most part, the boys have been completely fine. There have been a few issues with having an "older sister", but for the most part things are good. The boys love her to death. They want what's best for her and they know that being with us is a good way to provide that. They play and wrestle and talk and ride scooters and have a blast. They also sometimes fight and get on each others' nerves, but the boys did that before she got here so I think it's completely normal.
I know I didn't answer all the questions that I've been asked, and so I hope that I got to most of them. If I didn't answer something here that you would like to know please feel free to e-mail me, text me, or vox me and I will try to answer anything that I can.
I love Aislinn. She is one of the bravest people that I know and I applaud her every single day for new choices that she is making, for letting go of old habits, and for having such a tremendously good attitude. Aislinn is a beautiful person in so many ways and Seth and I feel so privileged to be able to be involved in the life of someone so special. There are hard days, but I know that she is supposed to be with our family. I can't even begin to explain how she has just fit so easily into my heart and I pray constantly that I can be what she needs. Our newest addition is strengthening all of us and I'm so grateful on a daily basis for her.