Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Foster- Adopt

Fostering a child is purely a selfless act, if you are fostering for the pure reason to help all of these children in need.

So people have added to their families through fostering, which I think is amazing, one of my dear online friends became a mother through fostering. 

But there is one thing that has always bothered me.

The families that enter fostering with Only the intention to adopt, won't take any placements that don't look like adoption is an option, then close their homes once the "mission is completed".

As a teen I wanted to be a foster parent, in my very early 20s (yes I know I'm only 26) I still had this idea in mind, but I realize, I don't have the patience for that. I am not strong enough to watch what these foster parents have to see and hear from these children.

There are soooo many children that just need someone to advocate for them, but it saddens me to know that children are being passed along, because they aren't available for adoption. They need a home throughout the process for their parents trying to get their act together, and yes I know some won't.

To me (and this is just my opinion) fostering is about reunification, its about providing love and stability, its about giving the children a chance to heal as their parents work their plan and better their lives for their children's sake. Sadly, a lot of parents don't work their plans and the child then has to deal with TPR and not having parents, but being a ward of the state.

Although it may bother me that some people may only foster care to children that they can adopt, I get it, a domestic adoption is expensive, and those willing to take on older children and sibling groups, I applaud you, because most children affected by foster care do not go unharmed, they have been removed from their parents, most likely neglected in some form or fashion and even abused.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Parenting a teenager?!

My small view into kinship placement.

At 26 I could have been currently parenting a 14 year old. CRAZY I know! But its true.
Back when I was 18 my then fiance had a very troubled little brother, after being on the a.com forums for so long, I know realize that he was a child with RAD (reactive attachment disorder). He lashed out at his mother, he didn't trust her to keep him safe. There was a lot of abuse coming from her multitude of boyfriends and at 6 he began running off into the woods instead of going to school. Over that summer we volunteered to take him, as he was being to show aggression towards his little sister (age 2 at the time), and at this time we did not know we were expecting. It was easy for me to take him in as I had known the family since little J was 2 1/2. He always attached himself to me, so naturally we had a bond (I know see that at the time, I was the only healthy bond he has ever had with a female caregiver)
He stayed with us over the entire summer. I was a little nervous because I honestly didn't know if he was going to have a melt down and start attacking me in the home. But I still fondly remember that summer. D and I arranged our schedules so that one of us was always home with him.

 I noticed when telling J "no" that you had to explain WHY he wasn't allowed to do something, He needed to know why and I was patient and always explained. 7 AM "Nicole can I have some ice cream?" my response would always have to be something along the lines of  "No, not for breakfast, but, if you help me straighten up the living room later, you may have ice cream after lunch"

Follow through was a big thing too.If I told him that we were going to do something, and we didn't, it caused an issue.

Around came the school year and we asked his mom to sign over temp guardianship so that we could enroll him in school. She flipped out and came to pick him up. That's when I saw his first blow out, he curled up into my lap and cried, but when she grabbed him, he went wild. He began to kick and scream and cry, his nose began to bleed and he started spitting blood into his mother's face. He bit her and scratched her as she tried to wrestle him into the car. All I could do was try to pull her off of him and calm him down. She called the police and then dropped him at the psychiatric ward of the local hospital.

Needless to say about 2 months into the school year DFCS picked up both of her children. At that time we found out we were expecting and couldn't battle for custody again. Sadly J was in foster care until he was 12, from home to home, always attacking the female care givers after the honeymoon period ended. They finally put him in a group home, over the years they would not let me go to the family visits as I was not legally family. He was upset with me for a while but I sent a notebook and re-stamped envelops so that he could write me.

I can say that J is not with his older sister. He has an IEP plan and he has ALL A'S!!!! He's taller than I am, but he still loves me. We go outside and play soccer, he plays the drums for me and loves little things that he was not allowed to do with his mom and FPs. He was RU'd for a while but got into gangs and drugs, and that's when older sister stepped in.

I am so proud of what he has over come, that hes working with a therapist and that he is excelling.

But if you think about it, I would be the parent/guardian of a 14 year at 26