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Old 02-22-2003, 11:15 AM
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I talked to my neice about this very subject. Her parents had approximately 30-35 foster children over the years - some for longer periods than others obviously. Her feeling was that she and her brother never really counted as much as the foster children. There was always special needs and the house was disrupted and constantly in disarray. Today she seems fairly well adjusted - waited some time to start a family - but has had some marital problems etc. I wonder if she felt that her mom especially was as geared to her as to the other children she would have fared a little better. Just a few thoughts.
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Old 02-22-2003, 01:00 PM
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Think long and hard

I had 17 foster children over the years-15 babies-newborns and three little boys. I loved it. As my children, six girls, have gotten older they have shared with me how they felt "the babies" were always my priority and they felt neglected and not as special as the babies. They also were always jeoulous of the three boys, since their father wanted a son so badly, he favored the boys.I loved it, but the children you have given birth to should be the number one priority. My oldest daughter will never have children since she had her "baby fix "as a teenager.
I got to know so many wonderful foster families and they had so much love to share and the need is so urgent, but remember those birth kids are number one. If you feel God is leading, then by all mean go for it, because the blessings are innumerable.
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Old 02-22-2003, 04:58 PM
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We ar doing it!

I think I have realistic expectations. Three of my step kids were born to a crystal meth addicted, homeless woman, who abandoned them. I understand the physical and emotional things they have gone through.
I am also a Foster Mom to the SPCA, it harder letting go of puppies than kids! LOL Puppies bite less!
Honestly, I think we'll be good. My bond with my kids is VERY strong, and they understand the need for foster parents, and have siad in the past how they felt when for some reason one the others was getting more attention. I feel that they would come to me if they felt neglected with this, too.
Thanks so much, everyone, for answering! I feel very hopefull. I put it all in God's hands last week, and told Him if he wants me to do this He will show me how!
Laurie
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Old 02-22-2003, 05:53 PM
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I need some encouragement

It's amazing to find this thread tonight, and read about other people's experiences with foster children, just when I really need a boost. God really does send you what you need......To make a long story short:

My husband and I are in the process of adopting a brother and sister, ages 5 and 8, who were in foster care for 3 1/2 years before coming to live with us last summer. Let's just say that VERY bad things happened before that, while they lived with their birthmom. A lot of things have been going well in their adjustment, but we have also had many rough moments. The last 30 hours have been harrowing.

Dawn (not her real name), the eight-year-old, had what looked and sounded like a panic attack yesterday afternoon--trembling, crying, hyperventilating and not able to say what she was afraid of. Then she started screaming about severe pain in her lower right abdomen. Of course, I thought "appendix" and off we went to the emergency room. After several hours, the doctors could find nothing symptomatic of appendicitis, and home we came.

This morning, about 30 minutes after Dawn woke up, she started screaming that I needed to clean her ears with q-tips--that they were dirty and feeling like they were burning inside her head. I told her I'd clean them after I finished breakfast. She got furious, yelled that she was running away, grabbed a change of clothes, put on her sneakers, and went out in her robe in the cold rain. She got two houses down the block. I went out and stood in the driveway. She vacillated but came back, still screaming. Now, she was going to jump out a second-floor window. She got as far as opening a window in her room. My husband and I did not give her the chance to take out the screen; we basically held her down and told her that we were not going to let her hurt herself. She ran throughout the house trying to get to a window, or at least lock herself in a room. We prevented her. I reached her therapist, who confirmed my opinion that this was an emergency, and told us to go back to the hospital, which has a psychiatric emergency program. After several hours of evaluation, they gave us the option of hospitalizing her, but after discussing it with the psychiatrist, we declined. It just seems so horrible, to put a second-grader in a psych unit. Since we got home, she has said again that she is going to run away tonight....also that she wants to kill herself....it is so scary, even if there is a healthy dose of manipulativeness in it. She didn't want to go to bed, but now she is asleep...she is so beautiful and peaceful when she's asleep, and she can be such a great kid. I'm going to check on her during the night, but we don't think she will actually run in the dark and cold. I hope and pray that the stability of our home environment and the therapy help her overcome the effects of the abuse she suffered when she was tiny.....

Wow, this has gotten long. I guess I just had to vent. Anyone who can send a good wish or a prayer out for this little girl and her brother, thanks so much.
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Old 02-22-2003, 07:09 PM
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I really think this is.....

A reaction to the final act of adoption. I have heard that kids will do this, to test if they are going to be "kept" or not.
She way down deep inside KNOWS you would NEVER keep her, so she is acting out to prove it.
I don't mean to sound bossy, LOL, I just reread what I wrote, and of course you have to check physical and emotional symptoms, but in my studies I have read repeatedly about kids doing this.
I hope she wakes up feeling better, and I hope she realizes you love her FOREVER.
Good luck and I REALLY hope this sounds helpful, NOT like I think I know all!
Laurie
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Old 02-23-2003, 09:06 AM
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Lewcas: I'd like to send you a private message. I am unable to do that because you must not have set that option up. I would like to share some things but because of confidentiality issues, I feel obligated to contact you privately. If you'd rather not, that's fine. Good luck with your daughter. Just keep the whole picture in mind. In time to come, it's not going to be like this. You'll be able to look back on these moments instead of be living these moments.
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Old 02-23-2003, 09:57 AM
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Things are better today!

Chris, I think I have turned on the private message feature (though with me and computers you never know). I will be glad to hear from you. If it doesn't go thru, let me know and I will try again to turn it on correctly.

Well, Dawn didn't run away in the night--she did yell a little in the car, coming home from church this morning, about how she was going to live on the streets and never shower and drink dirty water, etc. etc. But she is much calmer now and the two of them are playing dress up, coming up with some really crazy and funny outfits. A five year old boy in drag and an eight year old girl with underpants on her head are quite a sight.

I'm not a 12-Stepper but I guess I'll just adopt their motto, "One day at a time......"
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Old 02-24-2003, 11:20 AM
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Hi,
We have been fostering for 8 years now, and have done everything from babies to teens. Our favourite is school age tho. When we started, our own kids were 14 and 16. My daughter is now completing her final year in Univ to be an elementary school teacher because of her experiences with our little ones. Yes, there have been bad days, and some kids who we were very glad to see the back of, but overall fostering has been wonderful. To get a little 6 year old sexually abused girl who doesn't even know how to sing, to see her blossom and grow into a happy healthy young girl, and then to watch her get adopted into a wonderful family is an amazing thing. We have a (now) 19 year old ex foster boy who couldn't stay out of jail and fights, but who now is working, completing high school on his own and has a nice girlfriend. We see lots of our kids regularly - they phone, or even just drop by. We have fostered approx 30 kids, our shortest stay was 10 mins., our longest 2 sisters for over 3 1/2 years. Would I stop? No. Currently we have a n18 mos old firl and her 9 year old brother. The plan for these kids is to return home to mom in a couple of months. We love fostering - the good and the bad. write me if you need more info.
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Old 02-26-2003, 05:58 PM
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My family is also a Therapeutic Foster Home. We had intended to JUST foster, but God had other plans and we are now in the process of adopting our third. We are waiting to meet number 4! We also have 2 birth daughters.

In our case, when we adopted these children, the counties paid for all costs relating to the adoption. These children also come with a Medicaid card that covers all the "extras" that usual insurance doesn't cover (eye care, dental, prescriptions, counseling, etc.). That really helps as we are a single income family and my husband is a farmer.

I am homeschooling my two youngest as the "social scene" in public school was just too overwhelming for the older one and she was able to manipulate too much and the younger one was bringing home note after note that she was making NO progress. She wasn't learning academics, she was learning how to read body language and trick the teachers into giving her the answers or doing it for her!

I wouldn't trade the priviledge of being their mom for all the world, but it sure is difficult at times. I have done countless hours of research on all their diagnosis and take regular trainings to stay "in the groove". We also utilize the Mental Health Association who provide free in home respite care. I currently receive 8 hours per week (4 on Tues and 4 on Thurs) which I can use for whatever I want (sleep, crafting, housework, shopping, gardening, making phone calls...whatever, it's MY time). This really helps me, especially since they're with me 24/7. We also belong to a couple of local support groups. Both of these have activities for the kids during the regular group meetings, and one even plans a monthly outing for families. In January, we went out to lunch and bowling and it was all paid for by the support group!

Being a foster/adoptive parent is not an easy task and if someone is planning to just give these kids a "place to hang their hat, good food and clothes on their back" then it's not the right career to be in. I say career because it takes more time and effort than any other job...especially if you really want to make a difference to and for these kids.

A web site that has training that would be helpful to look at is www.fosterparents.com . This might even give you an idea of what you would be getting into.

If you would like more info on resources, please let me know.
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Old 02-27-2003, 04:21 PM
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Hi I just wanted to add a little note about fostering and bio kids. Every decision, even the one to foster was and is always discussed with the whole family. Everyone living in the house has to have the same committment to fostering or it will not work. Your family must come first. My kids have never felt left out or neglected because we chose to foster. We discuss every new placement we are offered before we decide to accept or reject. When I have children in our home who have been with us for more than a couple of months, they also are included in the discussion (as long as they are able to understand), because you know what? They live here too! If you decide that fostering is for you, be sure to take advantage of all the training that is offered out there, either through your agency or the comunity. Also, be sure to join a support group if available. The networking and support you will receive (and eventually give) is invaluable. Best of luck.
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