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      On Fri, Mar 14, 2008 at 12:20 PM, R NORTH <hslinks@gmail.com> wrote:
      > I feel that being a foster parent first is great .. many kids
      > honeymoon for anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months, so you have no real
      > idea what you are in for ..
      > These are special kids .. They have numerous issues, you are not
      > starting from a blank slate. .. Theres enviromental damages (kids
      > eating lead paint, polluted water, etc) .. physical damages some are
      > visible some are not (Bonnie was starved so some brain damage is
      > actually from starvation) .. emotional damages .. Many have been dealt
      > a lousy hand genetically. My littles come from a line of maternal
      > alcoholics for 5 generations, that means a HIGH chance that most of
      > the parents, gp etc are also FAS. I don't know if the bipolar is
      > genetic (bio-mom had it) or if its from the FAS.
      Tho I know bipolar is genetic I supppose FAS could cause italso. But since bio mom has it then that's likely where it came from.

      > Prenatal care is sometimes poor, if you count in drugs and alcohol
      > into the mix its a high risk pregnancy, then add in poor parenting
      > skills and the kids are in a traumatic situation prenatally & post
      > natal
      > TIME:
      > Time with them as foster parents gives you the chance to advocate for
      > specialist and push for therapies ..
      > Push for therapy from the beginning, regardless of how 'normal' they
      > are behaving they have had a trauma in their life – leaving home (no
      > matter how terrible) ..
      I agree no matter what else may be wrong with a kid being pulled from the only family you have ever known is trauma enough to need therapy.
      > Even with time, you do not have the whole picture .. You generally are
      > NEVER told all the story about the kids, or the risks .. Having them
      > as foster kids first gives you and the family a chance ..
      > It took DHS over 7 years to finally terminate the bio parents of my littles ..
      In cases such as this one, youhave to foster them and wait and wait until the bio parents give up rights. So you can't adopt them no matter how bad you might want to until that time. So people that want to adopt sometimes can't until the child is older due to this issue. Which IMO isn't fair to the kids or the foster parents. I heard of a story, I don't know how true or not true it is. But, a couple took in a little boy under a year old. They wanted to adopt him but couldn't because of the above issue. Just after this child turned 6 they gave him back to his bio mom who he had ever seen in all that time. Two weeks later he was foundstabbed to death, his bio mom killed him cause he was crying. As the story goes he hadn't had anything to eat for several days. I think at that age I'd be crying too if I hadn't have any food like that. But of course the worker that allowed that to happen never was fired or changed in his death.

      > The days of adopting a healthy white blue eyed blond baby with no
      > issues (no offense intended BTW) is long gone .. Go into it with
      > knowledge .. Most kids are going to be alcohol affected, many are
      > reactive attachment disorder ..
      > You will never be told of the future problems, if you are lucky you
      > will get the medicaid and supplement – trust me you couldn't afford to
      > adopt these kids without it ..

      Maybe it depends on what state you live in but I thought foster kids would get Medicaid to pay for their medical expenses.

      > Some ins companies will not insure the kids, because its pre-exsisting
      > documented health issues, some have $1000 caps on mental health
      > (*Matts normal psych stuff was over $1000 a month over 15 years ago –
      > never mind what it cost for the psych wards) .. Bonnies surgeries on
      > ears were $20,000 apiece shes had 3 .. Hearing aids were $900 each
      > one, shes had 2 sets of 2 **some health issurance does not cover
      > hearing aids
      > SAFETY:
      > If you have kids you need to make sure your kids will be safe. Be
      > aware of whats going on, listen when the kids tell you that so and so
      > is hurting them (ask HOW & WHEN) .. don't assume that the hurt is just
      > the hit you saw in the backyard
      > Our house was alarmed and still Matt managed to rape Bonnie (*we paid
      > for it not DHS etc) .. In addition to the numerous times I stepped in
      > to be a physical barrier between him and the other kids .. I didn't
      > realize the sexual abuse was happening

      Just tobe clear here if you don't mind, what is Matt's DX and how old was he when this happened?

      > RAD KIDS:
      > If you know the kid is RAD be aware they can present as sweeties, and
      > very loving in the beginning .. Some are even clingy .. Can be very
      > manipulative & triangulate very well ..
      > onlist (RAD LIST) we have one sib group who burned the house down with
      > parents, other sibs and pets inside (blocking exits so they couldn't
      > get out) they managed to get out through basement window, but the pets
      > died.. Currently we have one online who is dealing with kid who had
      > been poisoning her, hes in hospital they are realeasing even though he
      > says he will do it again .. Matt raped his bio half beacuse he could,
      > he has no limits to what he will do – BTW he honeymooned at psych
      > wards sometimes for up to 3 months so they thought we were the problem
      > .. Lots of physical violence most expressed at mom ..
      > I sometimes think that DHS/CPS give way too many chances to the
      > bio-parents .. I was supposed to teach parents how to dress, clean etc
      > kids as part of my job .. Why eating italian sandwiches was not good
      > for a 6 month old? how to cook meals, because they only knew how to
      > make mac & cheese from a box .. That throwing a tool box at a 13 yr
      > old head was not the appropriate action, etc etc
      If parents can't cook or don't understand how to feed a infant seems to me likethat the baby should be taken and right's termated right then and there. I also think bio parents should have to be drug tested weekly and if they show + for drugs three different weeks that should end it. And the child never goes back there.

      > Reality is these kids are in foster care for a reason ..
      > If you as a middle class mom did what some of the bio-moms did they
      > would pull your kids in a heartbeat, if you are low income, on welfare
      > they give you chance after chance ..
      > I have never understood why you would return kids to a home when they
      > have 18 broken bones, none set BTW …
      Yea that's a sure sign that that the kids don't go back. Letting them go back into that is wrong no matter how you look at it.

      > Another bio-mom said she would quit drinking and they will
      > occasionally do an alcohol test on her (if she shows for the appt) so
      > its ok to send the kids back? ..
      Instead of occasionally it should of been weekly, and if she didn't show the first time that was the end.

      > You know if I swatted a tush in KMart I would have DHS all over me,
      > but break bones “well they just need help” huh? how about the kids?
      > Most bio-parents did not bother to visit
      > I had Bonnie since she was 4 months and Matt was less than 18 months
      > when I got him .. The bio-mom had visits – she made less than 7 in 7 +
      > years, the bio-dads none.. Even during that time I could not believe
      > that I couldn't fix 'my kids' with love & the therapy they had (*NOTE:
      > this was many years ago no internet, and no therapists dealing with
      > FAS, RAD etc) ..
      Yes I'm sure with my kids (I'm the bio mom) having the internet would of helped me out a lot. See sometimes these kids that have issues like these two aren't even in foster care but at home with a mom that tried her best to do for them. But when you have one that's bipolar, that's got issues that the mom doesn't know about (youngest was abused by bio dad). I didn't know at the time it was happening because there was never a mark on him no clue to get my attention and of course from the time he learned to talk til after I left the jerk he was to afraid to speak up and come out and tell me.

      > Don't expect a lot of help from DHS/CPS, most times when you call,
      > they are gone. You will need to get a good support system, friends
      > family and internet. Make sure you have a GOOD ped Dr, it makes all
      > the differance in the world, one that will listen and advocate for you
      > and your child
      > Today with the internet and the support groups it different, you can
      > have support at any time of day or night (someone will be online) ..
      > There are more and more therapists that are dealing with these issues
      > FAS & RAD, this can only help .. If the kids can get into care
      > earlier, get away from the abuse etc, they might heal
      > Have a back up system for yourself, you will need breaks. Take time
      > for your marriage this puts a huge stress on it. Be aware this will
      > affect YOUR health both physical and mental.

      Yes it can affect your health, I never had a break. I'm sure some would say if they were that hard to handle why not give one up or both. No way would I of even thought that and because I'm the safe person so to speak I still and I guess always will get some attacks verbally by the youngest.
      > The question comes up on all the special needs lists .. Would you do
      > it again? If I had all the information I have today on RAD, ODD/CD,
      > bipolar, sociopathic behaviors etc NO I would have never adopted Matt
      > ..
      > Ria
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