Saturday, March 14, 2009

Change and Hope

Almost exactly a week after finding out that I would no longer be employed by Maddy's family, Avery's mom got laid off and had to give me two weeks notice. It hit me harder than I thought it could. While I knew that I cared about Avery and have always gotten along with her parents very well, I somehow imagined that my job of taking care of her two days a week was just that, a job. Faced with the prospect of losing this job, however, it quickly dawned on me how much this actually meant to me.

Not only have I seen this little girl develop from an immobile four and a half month old baby into an active, sweet and fully functioning toddler, but Joris has no memory of Avery not being in his life since he was only 7 months old when we started.

Avery and Joris and Joris have developed a really beautiful little friendship and I'm pretty sure that Joris is not fully grasping my "we are all done going to Avery's house" explanation.

I have been looking for "real" jobs at non-profits and have applied to a variety of interesting sounding positions that I would be excited about and be qualified for. But halfway through completing an online application to a great job, I actually stopped to crunch some numbers on the $17+/hr salary and realized that, even with a very decent paying job like that, once you deduct childcare costs (because Jacob can't lose any time that he has available to work on his dissertation) and the federal benefits we'd be losing - I would actually bring home less money and have very little time to spend with Joris. So, it made very little sense to keep pursuing that avenue and I decided to look for another childcare job again, instead. Which, once I had made the decision, was a load off my shoulders and definitely felt like the right choice.

On Wednesday, we spent our last day with Avery. We went to the zoo, which is a favorite outing for both her and Joris, and, I admit, me. It was cold but a lot of fun. I took my camera along and got some nice last-day shots. Joris has been requesting looking at the pictures all weekend.

I've been talking with a variety of different families to look for a new situation for Joris and I. It is hard to piece together enough hours to make it worthwhile and not have to contract with a slew of different families. I'll be meeting with a family looking for care for their infant son this afternoon, which may or may not be a good situation.

As I was writing this blog post, Avery's mom called me to say it is likely that she will be accepting another position and there is a good likelihood that we will be able to continue spending time with Avery. So, while it kind of feels like my entire world is in great upheaval, there is definite hope that it will all work out alright, too.

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