Monday, May 06, 2013

Moolah Monday - Vacation Planning Series

One thing that is incredibly challenging as foster parents is to plan for what is to come.  I believe God has used this to teach Mie that His plans are better than my own and to rely on Him more, nevertheless there are practical things about not being able to plan that can make life difficult, as in planning for a vacation.

For example:
My hubby and I usually take 1-2 trips to visit California out-of-state each year.  We have been feeling the need to do this soon because we haven't been out in over a year and we'd like to see our family.  But how do we plan?  The decision about when to go is fairly simple, usually, but how many people will be coming with us?  We can't plan to fly because we can't be guaranteed we'd be able to purchase more tickets on the same flight if we purchase them separately, waiting makes tickets more expensive, and purchasing extra tickets now doesn't quite help since you can't very easily transfer tickets to others.  I was thinking about surprising my mom for Mother's Day by flying out, but what if the siblings are ready to come to our home before then?  Will the judge let them come after being in our home for a short time? ...

We try to go to Sea World each year.  It's close enough to drive but how many passes should we buy and whose name will they be in?  How many kids will need a pass and how many will be free (by age)?  How many hotel rooms will we need?  

This year we have a wedding to attend in Boston.  We haven't been able to confirm that we can attend because we just don't know if and who might be able to go.  Same issues as before - how many kids will we have and when will they be here and will they be able to go?

It is a big challenge.  There are other similar challenges like reserving spots at the summer childcare programs that are filling up quickly - will I have a child who needs a spot there?  Should I spend the $200 reservation fee (non-refundable) if I don't know for sure I'll need the spot?  Should I risk waiting and being out-of-luck in finding a program?

We usually try to plan and then be flexible if our family changes due to foster care.  As I said before we usually just plan to drive rather than risk flying anywhere.  It is made much more difficult right now though because we have the looming placement of Baby Baby's siblings.  We're still being told it can come any day now.  There is progress being made this week to get our license updated.  Folks are now more and more sure the kids will come to our home.  That being said we've been waiting for them now since the first week of January and it seems absurd to mie to be counting on them coming with any certainty.  Really.  

What I'm saying is that this whole planning thing has actually become more difficult now that we have specific children identified as a possible placement rather than living with the unknown.

I don't know if there's anything that can help solve our vacation planning dilemma in its entirety.  With foster care, we'll probably guaranteed to have a good degree of permanent uncertainty.  It's just part of the deal.

Nevertheless, I've found Small Town Joy's Vacation {Budgeting} Planning Mini-Sessions very helpful.  I highly recommend checking them out.  This girl has her act together (and I'm still trying...).

Whatever you do, make sure you do take some time out for your family to be together.  Rest, rejuvinate, have fun, and share...

What are your vacation plans this year?


Joy Kinard said...

You do too have it together! Girl!!! I can't juggle all of the things that you do! :)

Dana Beam said...

Its things like this that make me refer to myself as a recovering type-A personality. I'm learning quickly that I have very little control of my life. We're trying to take a trip out of state and although paperwork was submitted the day we got our placement we still have no idea if he'll be coming with us and the date for leaving is very soon. I really hope they let him come with us.