We have a complicated family situation, but I think that we may end up with my nephew living with us pretty soon. Nephew's dad and DH are brothers. His mom said that she wasn't interested in parenting when he was a baby, and he's lived with BIL since then. He's 4 (today!). About 2 weeks ago, BIL and his live-in girlfriend (not nephew's mom) broke up. BIL and nephew moved out to live with nephew's step-grandmother. Two days later, BIL was arrested on an out of state warrant. (Yes, this is a great situation all around.)
BIL is currently being extradited to another state where he's expected to be in jail for 6 months - 2 years. Step-grandmother has nephew but will keep him only until January 9. Mom has absolutely no interest in him living with her, but she wants to retain parental rights. We live in a different state pretty far away, but at this point, no one in her family wants nephew. None of DH's family lives near them. The two parents (actually just one - and technically BIL according to their state's laws) can sign over limited, temporary guardianship to us without court or social services involvement. The process is simple, and all of the forms are available online from the state's health & human services department, so I'm thinking that's what we will do. We have 19 days.
So...here are my questions.
How should I expect a transition period to look? Nephew apparently (we don't know him well) has an explosive temper and has been kicked out of several daycare centers. (He will be home with me during the day.) He also has some pretty serious delays, but we're not sure if they're from his living situation or not. He's taken care of, but I don't know that there's a lot of interaction. A sippy cup is easier than teaching a child to use a cup. Those are the kinds of delays that he has. BIL and his girlfriend are pretty much in the "screaming louder means my discipline will be more effective" category.
What is the most important thing for us to do wrt integrating him into our family? We are not routine-heavy, but we do have school, work, dance classes, soccer, etc. DD and I have a loose routine during the day. I work as a freelance writer, so this routine is necessary so that I can get my work done.
How did you talk to your children about fostering? We will have some added expenses from taking nephew in. I don't know that it will be significant, but it probably will mean putting off some things that we were considering. I also expect that nephew will take a lot from us emotionally and energetically for quite a while.