: FOSTER PARENTING 2

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      BEING FOSTER PARENT FIRST:

      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.

      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) ..

      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 ..

      KNOW THE POSSIBILITIES:

      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 ..

      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

      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 ..

      WHY ARE KIDS IN FOSTER CARE / BIO-PARENTS

      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

      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 …

      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? ..

      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) ..

      SUPPORT SYTEM IN PLACE:

      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.

      WOULD YOU DO IT AGAIN?

      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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