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New here with some questions about fostering - Page 2  

post #21 of 51


 

Quote:
Biokids being yanked out of the home because of abuse allegations? THAT'S fear porn. It's possible the way that losing a baby or dying in childbirth is possible.


Why do you keep saying this? ("fear porn") Its like you are dismissing the possibility.

 

If a person fosters long enough they will almost certainly eventually have some sort of allegations leveled against them. One consequence of this COULD be removal of all the children for a short or long period of time. Is that the norm? No. But it has and could happen. I know one foster parent who had to make sure her foster daughter was never alone in a room with her husband (or other adult male) due to the girl's history of false allegations, they had to protect themselves.

 

I think for most foster families the "horror stories" come more from the court process, seeing how abused a child may be when they come etc. But thats still hard to go through. My friends did a six month long pre-adoption visitation with three young children (who were told this is your new family and were calling them mommy and daddy and spending up to ten days in a row with them), and in the end, weeks before move-in/adoption filing the agency decided to not let them have the kids. They dropped them off to the foster family for an overnight (so they kids could then spend another ten days with the pre adopt family), and never saw them again. Were not allowed to say goodbye. Their own kids were pretty traumatized by this. It was horrible. This stuff happens.

 

I could give you a list of the horrible things that have happened to me, to IRL friends, and to people i know well from email lists...but you will just dismiss it, like you have dismissed every single other 'negative' (that is, realistic) thing anyone has said about foster care and adoption.

 

Here's one piece of advice...dont be too quick to sing the praises of foster care or older child adoption, because it might just come to bite you on the butt. I was sooo offended when my sisters would suggest maybe NOT adopting an older child, or when they would ask if i was sure it was the right thing or wasnt i worried about a kid with issues. But guess what...i ended up getting a kid with issues. Not major, scary, violent issues. But issues that my family has now ended up having to deal with. Every holiday, family gathering, etc. And because my family is my closest support, they are who i "vent" too...but i've had to eat some humble pie because it has NOT been as smooth sailing as i claimed it would be.

 

I wouldnt want to see everyone to stop adopting or fostering. I'm sure i'll continue to adopt myself. There is a big difference in being informed and choosing to proceed, and putting rose colored glasses on and getting annoyed with anyone who tells you the world isnt really pink.

post #22 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post

 There is a big difference in being informed and choosing to proceed, and putting rose colored glasses on and getting annoyed with anyone who tells you the world isnt really pink.



This.

Sure, when you say you want to do foster parenting or foster-adoption, lots of people will question you about it and tell horror stories. It's really very frustrating because most of those people don't know what they're talking about and have never lived it. But when actual foster and adoptive parents tell you stories, listen.

 

I felt pretty well-informed going into this, yet still, the situation I'm now in has come out of left field. I never imagined this possibility. And I have to be perfectly honest here. Although I feel as though my life has been enriched and I don't have regrets about getting involved in my FS's life, I'm pretty sure that I won't be taking on more foster children after this. I just don't trust the system.

post #23 of 51

"fear porn" makes it sound like the people telling the REAL stories of their REAL pain are somehow getting off on it, Smithie.  I get that you don't believe anything like that will ever happen to you, but frankly, that type of dehumanizing dismissal of people who are sharing their own stories is arrogant at the best, and downright cruel at the worst. 

post #24 of 51

Smithie I like you, I really do and a lot of the time your very gutsy, shoot from the hip style gets me thinking about things in a different way and I really appreciate that about you. But you don't know what you're talking about, in this case, and I hope it's not to your detriment that you go into fostering with this attitude (though I know your plan is really to adopt).

 

 

The reason I lurk this board, is because I would love to be a foster family, I straight up ACHE for it sometimes....but my family has been HEAVILY involved in adoption and foster care and respite care going back generations and I know too much and I can't go into it thinking it's going to turn out great because a lot of the time it doesn't. I mean, most of the time it's OK. Some of the time it's really bad...and every once in a while everything goes GREAT. But people who put too much emphasis on the GREAT and resign themselves to the OK and refuse to think about the really bad...are setting themselves up for a really wild ride and I don't think that's fair to their kids. I think people place too much importance on themselves as foster parents....they think that every kid coming in the door is going to be changed by them, really and truly impacted and that if the parents are really bad, they;ll lose their rights and that if the match really "clicks",  foster kids and the foster family can be together forever through adoption. The reality is...it's not about you. You aren't there to save the day or be a hero, it's about the kid going back home. From day one, that's what it is all about...the kid coming and staying, so the parents can be straightened away or whatever and then, the kid going back home. If you don't realize that is where it's heading most times, you should not foster. A lot of the time, when a kid leaves your home, it's when things are just getting settled. You JUST start to feel like the kid is in a groove, like you are giving them some normalcy. You never get enough time to see a lot of progress through. You're not going to walk this child down the isle, throw your hat in the air at a high school graduation, or hold their kids after they're all grown up and have their own family. You don't get the normal payoffs of parenting a tough kid. These kids need you like CRAZY and then they leave. What's worse, seeing a troubled kid you didn't click with walking out the door to go back to a situation that's probably not going to heal him...OR...seeing a troubled kid you REALLY click with who has a strong shot of coming through his troubles just fine...walk out the door to go back to a situation that probably won't heal him? Because that's been our friends/families experience with fostering. Kids you can't reach going home and kids you love to pieces going home...and kids who no one else wants because they are so bad off with disabilities becoming your adopted kids because it makes you so disgusted to think of them not having real parents if their own. <-----My adopted Grandfather aside, this has been the case with every foster situation our family has had over the years. THe kids you know need more help to heal from trauma than you can give them go home to crap situations, the kids you LOVE who are going to be fine if they can jsut be in a normal situation for the rest of their childhood go home to crap situations and the kids who set your house on fire and who seem like they are doing well for a year and then regress back into self injury, stealing, running away and lashing out violently at the neighbor kids...yeah, nobody ever seemed to want them....which is why three of our family memebers are severely challenged individuals who will probably never be able to live outside of a group home or facility as adults...but who we love and who were adopted because they NEEDED a family.

 

A lot of the time when kids go back home, it's to a situation you would NEVER EVER want your own kids in. People seem to think that kids with "mild needs" aren't as tough as kids with higher needs and that anyone can do it. Man, it's easy to think that, until you get an up close and personal look at daily life with a kid who can't be touched or doesn't talk or won't eat or won't stop eating or hits your biokids or whatever. "Oh, it's no big deal, he just has some attachment issues" - "Oh, we're not signing up for hte hard cases, just kids with FAS and mild emotional problems" - those issues are no laughing matter, these kids need a LOT. Oh, and somebody else is always telling you how to do things with the child, what help they need/don't need, etc, because it's not your kid. It's really hard....and you don't get a prize in the end, either. Most people I know who say "I wis I never fostered" say that because of the intense emotional roller coaster of REALLY loving a kid, really desiring to give them all they can...and they do...they give and give and overcome so much..and then the kid is just *poof* GONE. Most people I know who got burn out, got burned out because of THAT. Well, that and being lied to, jerked around and otherwise crapped on by the system....coming "thiiiiis close" to adopting their dream kid, who is a perfect fit, having EVERYONE straight up telling the kid "this is your forever home" etc...and then last minute having everything change. Do you know how it feels to have to explain to your young kids that the foster kid who was "definitely their new brother/sister" is gone and they're never going to see that kid again? - This is not for the faint of heart, this crap is for REAL.

 

I know I don't have what it takes to be a good foster parent and it kills me, but I can't do it to my family because I just wouldn't be the best thing for a kid in that situation. People think that ANY home is better than whatever home these kids must have come from...but man, a bad fit with a foster kid is no joke. I am a great person, great parent, great wife, etc. I know I am. I think I have a lot to give and I know that in some other way I will come to impact the lives of kids with family situations that are unstable. But I don't have what it takes to be a foster parent.

 

I don't have what it takes to:

 

- Parent MY kids

- Parent MY kids in a foster situation

- Parent a foster kid with low to high special emotional/mental/physical needs

- Parent a foster kid with above mentioned needs in a foster situation

- Navigate married life in a foster situation

- Do all of the above with a foster system in my life that ranges from pretty okay to downright disgusting, depending upon where you live.

 

I can't do that. I don't have what it takes.

 

I feel like, a lot of the time, the problems that some of these kids come with, get kind of glossed over. Or people will say "oh, well most of them aren't "fire starters"'. But it really does happen. Oh, and if you work in FC long enough....some friend or family member of a foster kids biofamily WILL call DCYF on you at some point. It's just gonna happen. I don't know anyone who has been in foster care for longer than a couple/few years who hasn't had this happen. This doesn't mean that at the end of your life you don't look back and think "Wow, that really changed my life and was worth while and important to those kids" - but a lot of people I've known didn't feel like they were able to make a *true* impact with kids. I know some families who were really chewed up and spit out by the foster care system and in a couple of cases, the impact on the family/biokids/marriage was really lasting and negative.

 

I'm so glad for the family members I have who are foster/adopt kids. My whole family has a long and strong history with fostering/adopting. Some of the stories are REALLY hard with good endings...and some of the stories are REALLY hard with really bad endings. One of my grandmothers REALLY hard with a good ending stories involves her home being completely burned to the ground by a FS who ended up being adopted by her. One of our family's really hard with a horrible ending, involves my foster uncle, who was a very small child and nearly adopted and had very special needs, DYING on a trip to the mall of heart failure...he was doing so well, but then, because of his disabilities(as a result of being abused), he just had sudden heart failure and was dead.

 

I have a lot of really great stories, too. Growing up with foster kids all around me was, in some ways, really incredible...but only because the adults around knew how to approach things, knew how to talk to us other kids, knew how confusing and weird some things could be for us bio kids and weren't wearing blinders. Every kid is different and every kid brings a different package to the table. Every kid has good days, every kid leaves a special mark on your heart. But every kid comes with heartache of some kind, too. You can't breeze into fostering the way you breeze into birth..."Oh, I'll jsut breathe my way through the hard parts" - no. No it's not like that. Respite care work taught me more about fostering than I needed to know. It can be REALLY hard. Oh, and if you think little babies cant have attachment disorders and other problems because of neglect, etc, you're wrong and you need to educate yourself.

 

I bow down to those of you who can foster....you are truly amazing. You are SAINTS. I just can't. I know too many burned out exfoster families. I know too many kids I grew up with who feel resentful of their parents fostering(and some who wouldn't have traded it for the world, either). I know too many relatives and friends who are like, REALLY good and noble people, who in the end, were left feeling broken by the system. Who saw too much, who lost too much with their own kids, etc. Even if there is a chance that my story could end up one of the happy ones...like ladies here seem to have (which makes me so happy)...I just have seen first hand how bad it can go and how hard it is even when it's NOT going bad. I feel like I can't chance it. I've been there, picking through the rubble of a burned down house, looking for anything that might have survived the fire, set by the foster/adopt son, who, because of his emotional/mental problems can't stop bringing up the fire and rubbing in the fact that he set it and laughing about it....even though everyone knows that was his way of processing his guilt and fear over what he'd done...it SUCKED. Especially because he had been having a REALLY great year and he was improving by leaps and bounds when he did it.

 

I'm not saying "no one should foster" - but I am saying "proceed with caution". Don't foster parent because you want more babies and hope to find your "meant to be" through fost/adopt. If you want another baby, have one. Adopt through private adoption. Hire a surrogate, whatever. But don't go into foster to jsut to find another kid for your family. Foster because you want to FOSTER....find out what that IS, without ignoring things that don't fit your rosy image of "what it's gonna be like" and then make the decision to do it. It will impact your family, extended family, kids and marriage in ways you can't see from the beginning....so just be prepared for that.  Foster parenting, in my family, has been a lot of guts and not a lot of glory.

 

post #25 of 51

Just a tidbit...

My parents fostered pregnant teens while I was quite young (4-7) and also had kids in from the inner city during the summer. I have no lasting scars and only the deepest respect for people who do fostercare as well as those who receive such services.

 

Our first child was adopted out of country and we're now fostering another, age 4. It's been the best thing in the world for our first. She's learned an enormous amount about herself, humanity as well as day to day requirements in interacting with a sibling. She's his champion supporter as well as his nemesis. They're siblings, plain and simple. Whether or not it's forever (which it looks like), it's been the best thing in the world for us all. I was saddened to learn that a pediatrician friend advised another mom-wannabe NOT to foster based on my tales of woe. I will say it's difficult work, but ever so rewarding!

post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
Biokids being yanked out of the home because of abuse allegations? THAT'S fear porn. It's possible the way that losing a baby or dying in childbirth is possible.

 

I live in fear of this.  I don't think it is because of stories I have been told.  It is because of the reality of our situation. 

post #27 of 51

It's fairly important to mention that the OP is in Canada, where the rules and processes are different than in the US.  It's not all sunshine and roses up here either, but it's not quite as ...unpredictable as in the US.  Brandee, I can't remember where you live -- I know it's "away from me", but what province are you in again? have you talked to foster families in your area, or been to any information sessions or seminars or anything? Talking to other families in your province is the best first step. The system in Canada has it's faults for sure, but you only know what those faults are by hearing it straight from other foster families in your province/region. Listening to horror stories from the US is not going to do you much good. Social programs in Canada are much better, so while some of the horror stories are comparable, of course, anything about "the system" and even the level of abuse and neglect (typically) are different.

 

I hope there are Canadian foster parents who can jump in here and offer their perspective.  I have really close friends who foster here in BC, and it is a rollercoaster ride for sure -- every foster or adoption situation is -- but they have a LOT of support (they foster through VACFSS rather than the ministry, if that means anything to you) and it is working well for their whole family.

post #28 of 51


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

Biokids being yanked out of the home because of abuse allegations? THAT'S fear porn. It's possible the way that losing a baby or dying in childbirth is possible.


Just because all these are unlikely doesn't mean we as parents should ignore that they are possible.  

 

My dear friend, the only person I know IRL who has fostered, quit because the social workers were making comments about how they thought she should institutionalize her autistic bio son.   

post #29 of 51

Well, I certainly didn't adopt two of my foster children because no one else would want them. I adopted them because they were MY children. I've had no horror stories and really haven't heard many from the foster parents that I know IRL. But, I've many friends who I've met online and have heard some scary stuff. Bad stuff can, and does, happen. While children being raped by a foster child may not be the norm, inappropriate touching is quite common. As is a foster child making an allegation of abuse by the foster parent or a bio child. Those things are realities for MANY foster families. I'm so lucky that the system in my part of my state is pretty well run and foster parents are pretty well supported.

 

post #30 of 51

 

"Why do you keep saying this? ("fear porn") Its like you are dismissing the possibility."

 

I'm not sure I've ever dismissed a possibility in my lifetime. I make Worry Lists. redface.gif

 

Maybe the phrase is just too sharp-edged and obscures my meaning, in which case I'll stop using it, but... we've just has a bunch of posts about people's lived experiences of foster/adopt, and a lot of potential negatives were brought up, and one person pointed out that she herself could not foster because of the way fostering had played out in her family, and several people pointed out that an abuse allegations is very, very likely to happen at some point if you foster many children. None of that bothers me to hear. All of that information is useful, to me at least, and probably to the OP. It's not new information for me, but it would have been new a year ago!

 

None of those posts gave me the flashback to "let me tell you all about my fourth degree tear, pregnant lady!" And none of them, you'll note, constituted a blanket recommendation against foster/adoption. I really do think there's a substantive difference here, and that's it's not all about me refusing to listen to bad stuff. 

 

I'm not a saint, for sure. I think that's one of the things that's going to make me a good foster mama, and eventually a good adoptive mama. 

post #31 of 51

To the OP, for what it is worth, I'll just say that my dw and I have fostered for an extended period, and as a whole, it was a really good experience.  In fact, we loved it so much that we still identify as "foster parents" even though we aren't maintaining an active license and are taking an extended (many years) break after the adoption of our dd a couple years ago (has it really been that long?).  We're taking a break largely so we can focus on the needs of the two we have adopted, including some special needs.  Fostering is super intensive.  We feel like if we did it right now, we'd spread ourselves too thin and serve no one.  We've talked about having another child at this point (and have generally decided to wait on that for another few years since dd and ds ended up being much more closely spaced than we would have planned), but when we talk about *fostering,* it is always contained to the longer-term future...especially from my dw's viewpoint. Yet we'll get back to it when our kids are older, even if it means we wait until they are teens or young adults. 

 

I know other foster parents IRL who also have adopted or biological children, and I can't imagine their families any other way.  It's just that dw and I started fostering just one kid at a time, and we were *great* at it, so our standards are now pretty high.  And yeah, because we've cared for some kids who were dealing with boundary and behavioral issues, I admit that thinking of our dd and ds makes me less likely to foster right now because the issues can be really tough to manage in terms of foster-siblings.  Also, dd's case was a really wild ride, and the whole time we kept worrying about ds.  I feel like they need to be at an age where they can make a cogent commitment with us as a family to the experience before we do it again. 

 

I guess what I am trying to do is present my story, which I think is pretty balanced.  I really resonate with what someone else wrote about how the kids are never really the problem with fostering (for me personally) even when their are behavioral issues, etc. that have to be managed.  The only things that ever made fostering nightmarish for my dw and I (at times) was the adults involved in the kids care, whether it be incompetant social workers or, well, that's been most of it, with the exception of some bad professionals at the schools...even with judges we've had pretty good luck/experiences. 

 

Will I do it again?  In a heartbeat.  Just not at this time.  But that doesn't mean I would discourage another parent with kids already in the home to foster.  In fact, I've always tried to present a realistic but generally encouraging outlook to folks I know IRL who are interested in doing it and ask me about my experiences.

 

I do have to say, since you've mentioned family concerns, that shortly after we first started fostering, my BIL, SIL, and their three kids, who were our only family in the area we lived at that time, withdrew from our lives after meeting dfs once for a period of a few minutes (actually, it was just SIL and the kids who met him).  They just sized him up and decided he was sure to be trouble, partly due to a transgender identity.  There was nothing we could say to change their minds, and nothing we could do (even complete safety plans for pretty much all contigencies) that would satisfy them.  It was incredibly painful to be abandoned like that in the exact hour when we could have most used support, and it led to a huge blow out fight followed by a period of a couple of years of them not talking to us and avoiding all contact with us.  We missed our nieces and nephew dearly during that time, and it was hard not to be able to watch them grow up during those early years of their lives.  We've since moved from the area, and I can't help but think of the time wasted.  But sometimes folks have prejudices about fostering that logic can't overcome, and that's what we encountered.  It was better that our foster kids didn't have to experience that.

 

A few things that we found really, really helpful for us having a good experience with fostering:

1.  We found a niche.  For a while, we did therapeutic fostering of one older child at a time in a small private agency.  By focusing on just one child at a time, we were able to be at our absolute best as parents (poor dd and ds, who came later).  By doing therapeutic care we were able to draw on our unique gifts in relating to kids and helping them heal.  By fostering older kids we were able to sort of specialize in things like IEPs and all that jazz that can come along with a kid from 8-18 years old.  By working with a small agency we were able to establish ourselves in the "niche" where we were best able to serve at the time.

2.  Later, when we switched over to doing just respite and very short-term care as well as a foster-adopt program for kids 0-8, which we did directly through our state, it helped to be really clear with our limits and what we felt able to handle at that time.  Sure, there were times they called us and we had to say no because we felt the situation was too much at that particular moment for us, and every time I was always half-sure they'd never call us again...but they always did, and eventually it led us to dd and ds.

3.  We worked hard to build up a strong support network, and especially to stay really active in our fostering community.  I served on two different foster parent boards over the years, and our family showed up to as many of the special events for foster families that we could manage.  We made an effort to get to know the staff of social workers, and whenever we met another foster parent who was willing to exchange numbers and emails, we always did this.  This was critical to keep from feeling isolated when the fostering road was rough. 

4.  We kept really good documentation and we kept in frequent communication with the offices with which we worked.

post #32 of 51

Oh, OP...I've read what I wrote again and I think it sounds really negative...I just wanted to pop back on and say that, while our family has had a lot of really trying times and frustration at dealing with the foster care system and some tragic and stressful things happen with kids...I can also think of a thousand times I had fun, felt a deeper sense of happiness at sharing something, because I was sharing it with a kid who came from such a terrible place, etc, and I DO feel like growing up knowing how many kids have bad starts in life has helped me as an adult to be more compassionate and understand that everyone is coming from a different place in life and that it could be a really different place than me. As much as looking back over the years, we relive some truly sad and trying experiences...while we were IN those years, we were having fun, too, and forging bonds with some amazing kids/SWs/etc.

 

My Great Grandfather was adopted...and was truly thankful to his adopted family. He was a very successful and GOOD man and he really thought he owed that to the fact that he was adopted by a family who really believed in him and loved him. So I think thats why, through the generations that followed, so many of us adopted kids, fostered kids, etc...but I also think that we've (collectively) had more negative experiences to draw on when we think about fostering....because our family has done so much of it, for so long, and taken kids with such high needs...we've run into more situations that weren't great.

 

So, anyway, I didn't want to seem like I was trying to scare you. I was more reacting to some feeling like you were being encouraged to ignore peoples personal experiences, but I see that's not what you're trying to do.

 

For every one foster (kid, worker, judge, biofamily, etc) we came to know who left a really big negative mark on our memories, there a bunch of really positive, rewarding experiences we wouldn't trade for anything.

post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

Biokids being yanked out of the home because of abuse allegations? THAT'S fear porn. It's possible the way that losing a baby or dying in childbirth is possible.

 

Okay, I have no idea what the stats are on biokids being placed due to allegations, but it IS a risk, and everyone needs to assess their own willingness to take risks. Some people don't get pregnant because they have a higher chance of having complications (diabetes, heart problems, family history). I've heard of some people choosing to adopt because the idea of the pain of pregnancy scares them so much that they know they don't want to do it. Everyone's different and everyone deserves to hear the risks. There are a lot of things (pregnancy, etc.) that you can find info on very easily in books, online, etc. The risks of fostercare? Nobody has collected that data, nobody is disseminating it. It's up to the community of fosterparents to educate - imo.

 

Also, while getting your kids placed is rare, abuse allegations are VERY COMMON. Seriously. I live in a county that has a medium city in it, but it's still not a big county...and about 75% of the foster parents I know have had allegations. And even if your biokids are safe, these allegations can have severe consequences. If you're found "guilty", you get put on the Child Abuse Registry and you will never get off. You will never be able to adopt a child, much less foster again. You will never be able to get a job working with children. Personally, that would have ruined my life. I have an adopted child and am about to become an occupational therapist.

 

As a PP said, it's important for people to go into foster care with their eyes open. Just as anti-smoking campaigns don't cause everyone to stop smoking, neither do I think telling as many people as I can the realities of foster care is going to stop everyone from fostering. And, really, if there are fewer people fostering, they might end up being the really great foster parents and can help their county figure out good ways to recruit and keep other good foster parents. Or maybe, just maybe, we can have the beginning of the change that it would take to truly change the systems. But, sigh, that's a revolution that's taken the back burner for a long, long time and I'm not likely to see it to completion in my lifetime.
 

post #34 of 51

"Just as anti-smoking campaigns don't cause everyone to stop smoking, neither do I think telling as many people as I can the realities of foster care is going to stop everyone from fostering."

 

This makes sense only if fostering is, in your mind, the social equivalent of smoking. 

 

Maybe you won't see substantive change in the foster system in your lifetime, but you WILL see many thousands of children find permanent homes via foster care. While you're free to campaign against that, I'm free to point out that your approach is less than constructive. 

post #35 of 51

i don't think that when people tell their horror stories in fostering they are trying to keep people from fostering, but instead to

#1 weed out those who should not be doing it..it is not a job/calling for the faint of heart...

 

and #2 to prepare those who are strong enough. 

 

i guarantee you will have your hard hard stuff to go through, especially if you foster more than once or longer than say a year. i have plenty of stories... but would i do it over again? yes...but i am often called crazy by friends and family for it!

post #36 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

"Just as anti-smoking campaigns don't cause everyone to stop smoking, neither do I think telling as many people as I can the realities of foster care is going to stop everyone from fostering."

 

This makes sense only if fostering is, in your mind, the social equivalent of smoking. 

 

Maybe you won't see substantive change in the foster system in your lifetime, but you WILL see many thousands of children find permanent homes via foster care. While you're free to campaign against that, I'm free to point out that your approach is less than constructive. 


No, I wasn't saying fostering is the same as smoking. I was saying that smoking is more cut-and-dry a bad thing to do, and most people agree on that, and still people choose to do it. Fostering will never reach that level (nor should it), so there's no way that all foster parents telling their truth is going to kill fostering as we know it. Of course all children should ahve permanent families. And if the system worked better to actually help biofamilies and foster kids and foster families, then more kids would have that, sooner. That's not happening and kids are paying the biggest price for that.

post #37 of 51

 

"...there's no way that all foster parents telling their truth is going to kill fostering as we know it." 

 

Of course not. I'm all for people telling their truth. What I'm reacting to here is the crossing over into telling MY truth. The poster above who dealt with the burned-down house, who is not planning to ever foster herself, managed to convey all of that without turning didactic. If what you care about is providing maximum information to potential foster families, then I am suggesting you change your approach. 

post #38 of 51

But Smithie, you dont have a "truth" yet. Its easy to be positive and "pro" something when you havent actually done it.

 

Maybe if you were more specific in YOUR approach, it would be easier for people to swallow. For example, you are "a big proponent of out-of-birth-order adoption!!" ...what steps will you take to help ensure or maximize the possibility of a positive outcome/protecting the children already in your home? Your kids tout the benefits of foster care adoption to all they meet...how have you prepared them to deal with a child who may be suffering from the effects of trauma/loss/abuse/grief? What types of challenges are you willing to accept, and what is on your "not for us" list? And what is your action plan for dealing with the situation if you are placed with a child who turns out to have the very issues you didnt think you could deal with? (One piece of advice i got from an experienced adoptive parent was pick the top three things you absolutely could not deal with in an adopted child, and then figure out what you'd do to deal with those exact same issues, because chances are good you'll need to do that.) What type of information does your agency provide you about a child you are considering for adoption? What about foster care?

 

Smithie i know youve made statements in the past about how you want no contact whatsoever with biofamily, want to maintain total privacy....but now you say you will consider fostering first instead of just straight adopt....how will you maintain privacy then? My agency has FP and BPs sign in on the same sheet...once you have someone's name you can pretty much find out anything about them. And usually FPs give a phone number to the BPs so they can call their child outside of visitation (if appropriate)...obviously there are prepay cell phones, but its an issue to consider. Has this changed your view on being anonymous? Just curious.

 

 

post #39 of 51

 

"But Smithie, you dont have a "truth" yet."

 

eyesroll.gif

 

... and my perspective on how I wanted to give birth was worthless before I gave birth, and my perspective on how to raise a child were worthless before I was raising one, etc. etc. Do you see why this is offensive? I'm all for learning from other people's experiences, but a blanket of statement of "I don't think anybody else should do this, because it didn't work out well for me" is going to get a response along the lines of "well, as I'm not you, I don't know why you'd want me to do the same things you'd do if you were me." Seriously. I'm not snarking. I truly do not understand how a negative experience for Person A would translate into an action plan for Persons B, C and D - especially with something like family-building, where the only constant is that nothing is constant. 

 

Just as an example... in my state, the social worker picks up a child for visitation, brings them to a neutral locale, and returns them to the foster family after visitation.. Assuming there's even visitation - we have a glut of pre-TPR foster kids who are post-visitation for a year or more (which is not to say that they won't ultimately be yanked out of the foster home and RUed or given to kin anyhow, the paucity of visitation is a major weakness in our system IMHO, even though it has its uses in maintaining the boundaries between FPs and BPs). Obviously it's very much different in your state. So while it's useful for me to know how it works for you, that particular issue is not relevant to my family's situation. I WANT to hear how it works for you. I get very frustrated, though, to hear an emphatic "Oh, you can't/shouldn't hope for X, because I wound up with Y." Unless I'm talking to my future self, it's a false parallel. 

post #40 of 51

 

Quote:
... and my perspective on how I wanted to give birth was worthless before I gave birth, and my perspective on how to raise a child were worthless before I was raising one, etc. etc. Do you see why this is offensive?

 

As offensive as dismissing every negative experience posted here as "fear porn"? (and thats not even using the term correctly, which is annoying. Movies like Saw are called "fear porn"...has nothing to do with foster parents sharing negative experiences as a cautionary tale for other parents. geez.)

 

Frankly, i WOULD find it annoying if a not-yet-mom told me something along the lines of "Well MY baby is going to sleep through the night at six months, and i will never EVER use plastic, and my child would NEVER hit another child cuz i will have a nonviolent home!" or some such thing. Obviously, experience is the best teacher. Usually moms like that, when they actually HAVE kids, eat a little humble pie. I try not to judge new moms too harshly (yknow, the kind that post how their MIL gave a plastic MIC rattle to their baby and she's considering cutting off contact from this dangerous dangerous woman) because i used to be at that point on my parenting journey too.

 

As far as i can tell ONE person in this thread said she actively discourages people from foster parenting, and she isnt even a FP. You seem to be focusing on that.

 

 

Quote:
I truly do not understand how a negative experience for Person A would translate into an action plan for Persons B, C
 and D - especially with something like family-building, where the only constant is that nothing is constant.

 

You seem to be saying you dont find value in learning from others' experiences because they arent you or arent in your exact situation. What you may find interesting is how SIMILAR foster/adoption situations can be. Without the support of my online adoption friends, without being able to vent to those who truly get it, im not sure where i'd be. These kids arent so different from one another as you might think. Indeed, my daughter displays quite classic issues that are present in many many older foster kids.

 

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the idea that someone's perspective on birth or parenting, who has not yet done those things, should carry the same weight as someone who has birthed and raised several kids......if i was going to climb a mountain, i wouldnt go to a msg board full of people who have actually DONE that, discount their experiences, and tell them well MY experience is unique and 100 percent mine, and it will turn out just fine. Its just kind of a weird thing to do.

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