Foster Care? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 08-26-2004, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are considering becoming foster parents, anyone with thoughts/experiences/opinions? This is something I feel we should do, but there are so many factors right now, I'm just looking for other perspectives, to decide if we should do it now or wait awhile, whatever. Anyone? Thanks!

Rachel, married to Andy, mama to Aubrey, Lauren, Sasha, and *surprise* Baby #4, due November, 2011
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#2 of 15 Old 08-26-2004, 07:03 PM
 
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I personally could never do it- the idea of being given a child to love and then to have to give them up, often to not-the-best circumstances, and with no right to ever see them again is too heartbreaking for me. I only personally know two families who did it, and after their first kid they decided they could never do it again either. (One was lucky enough to be able to adopt their baby at least.)
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#3 of 15 Old 08-26-2004, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your input. That's one of the things that I know will be so hard, definintely to be considered as we try to figure out what to do.

Rachel, married to Andy, mama to Aubrey, Lauren, Sasha, and *surprise* Baby #4, due November, 2011
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#4 of 15 Old 08-26-2004, 08:00 PM
 
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I have heard horror stories about foster care, including stories of foster kids sexually molesting bio kids, foster kids making allegations of foster parents sexually molesting them, foster kids molesting each other, foster kids bruning down houses/ neighbor's houses, stealing family car, stealing money, calling foster parents obscenities every night, etc., etc.

Tread cautiously and never accept children older than your youngest, never accept a child that's been known to be sexually abused because they will act out on your bio kids. Honestly I would never do this myself until all my bio kids were adults. The risk is too great. I read a book about foster care and something like 80% of boys in foster care have been sexually abused and close to 100% of girls. Do you really want to invite this kind of anguish into your home, no matter how big your heart is?
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#5 of 15 Old 08-26-2004, 08:09 PM
 
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Dh and I have decided that we would be willing to look into this if we are not able to conceive. We would probably take a "hard to place" child (specifically with developmental disabilities as that is the field in which we work.)

That said, I do not think that I would do it if we did have children still at home. Not just for the reasons mentioned above, but because I would worry that having new children come into the home and leave would make our own child feel less secure. But that's just my own hang-up...

I think it is an admirable desire to help children that need it so badly .

Allison

eta: this is just what I would do, everyone has to do what's right for them .
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#6 of 15 Old 08-26-2004, 08:37 PM
 
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DH and I looked into this but decided not to consider it until our children had left home.

The system advised that all of the children were "damaged" to a greater or lesser degree and the worry about how that would impact on our kids was too great.

Our two have had a very sheltered existence and have never seen the ugly side of life. The prospect of bringing that into our home and the worry about how that exposure would affect them was too much.

As much as we wanted to help the foster kids the safety and protection of our own kids came first.
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#7 of 15 Old 08-26-2004, 09:33 PM
 
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irishmommy is a foster parent who has had number of children...she always has a great perspective (and I don't mean always sweetness and light either) If she misses this thread you could PM her...
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#8 of 15 Old 08-26-2004, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee
never accept a child that's been known to be sexually abused because they will act out on your bio kids.
This whole thread has been really eye-opening to me, as a former foster child.

The above quote is untrue. It is true that someone who has been sexually molested is *more likely* to molest someone else, but still, the vast majority of sexually molested children would never, ever molest a child.

I know I would never, ever have hurt a child. I was in foster care as a teen, and I actually helped my foster brother get the courage to speak out about the sexual abuse he was currently suffering at the ends of a neighbor.

There are really all kinds of kids in foster care. The ones I've known have been good kids, really. Traumatized kids, who needed more time and care and patience than most kids, but still good. But then, I believe that all kids are good, cock-eyed optimist that I am...

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#9 of 15 Old 08-26-2004, 11:24 PM
 
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I had two foster kids (teenagers) several years ago when my older children were young (the youngest was under a year). They were brother and sister. While I don't regret doing it, I wouldn't do it again. It can be very frustrating.

I was talking to a woman down at the local fabric store. I was so excited to find another AP mama in town! She had 7 living children. Her youngest had drowned about 3.5 years ago. An autistic foster child they had let the child out of the locked front door and she wandered down to a pond. Very very sad .

Just be aware it would be a very hard thing to do while you still had your own children in the house.
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#10 of 15 Old 08-26-2004, 11:27 PM
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I was the bio child in a foster home fromthe time I was 10yo. My sister was 7. Most of the kids, esp the younger ones, were terrified, lonely, little children, searching for a place to call home. However, there were many others, teen boys and girls, mostly, who terrified me.

My parents called each child their own, they never made any difference out of who was who. A good thing, but it made it hard to be the bio kid who was never able to rise above the behavior of the newest kid. If one kid was disruptive, we might all get sent to bed early, or have to deal with the bad moods that ensued.

on numerous ocassions I was afraid for my own safety, or that of the younger kids (from other foster kids). I learned to smoke cigarettes so I wouldn't be called a goody 2 shoes anymore. I toughened up. I slept with my bedroom door locked.

After 30 years as a foster parent, my mother retired. The state didn't even send a note. A few social workers got together and bought her a statue. No retirement.

I became a foster parent myself, but quit when I saw my own daughter beginnning to suffer. I adopted my son during this time.

These kids are so needy, they've had such tough lives, and I'd be a foster parent again in a minute, if my kids were grown. (and poor dh would have to be dead. It was impossible for him to understand) With kids, I'd be very careful.
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#11 of 15 Old 08-27-2004, 12:29 AM
 
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Clarity, thank you!!!

Rachdoll, I e-mailed you. But yes, it is difficult, can be heartbreaking, but can be very rewarding.

Alliwenk, dd1 was three when we started, and dd2 was born into it, and neither of them are insecure or think they are next to leave. They both know the difference between "for ever and ever" and fostered. It's especially interesting now, as the kids we have now are available for adoption, so we talk about their new mom and dad, though at this point they are hypothetical. But my kids do get it.
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#12 of 15 Old 08-27-2004, 12:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishmommy
Alliwenk, dd1 was three when we started, and dd2 was born into it, and neither of them are insecure or think they are next to leave. They both know the difference between "for ever and ever" and fostered. It's especially interesting now, as the kids we have now are available for adoption, so we talk about their new mom and dad, though at this point they are hypothetical. But my kids do get it.
I think that is wonderful Irishmommy...and I definitely will think about it (dh and I VERY much desire to foster parent, especially sweet dh) but when I said it was "my own hang-up" I just meant that, growing up, I often felt that my own parents' love/care was fleeting & not very stable. I'm scared to have a child sometimes out of my own fear about not making them feel secure.

Sorry to get off topic.

Allison
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#13 of 15 Old 08-27-2004, 12:59 AM
 
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My best friend is getting certified tomorrow. They should have a child within the next week.

We have talked about ths topic so much over the past several months while they have been going to classes and getting thier home ready.

They are doing their foster parenting through Kids Peace. It seems like a great program to go through- so I wanted to suggest that to you.

I don't reallly have any input that hasn't already been mentioned by a few- just want to tell you that it is such a king thing to do- to open your heart and home to children in need of a loving family.
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#14 of 15 Old 08-27-2004, 07:50 AM
 
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what about the kids that are stolen from good families for bogus reasons..and it DOES happen..would you want to be a part of that??
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#15 of 15 Old 08-27-2004, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, everyone, for your thoughts on this.

First, to Marsupialmuma, I really don't know what to say. I guess, no, over course I do not want to be part of something that takes kids away for bogus reasons, but at the same time, there are kids who genuinely need a safe haven, and I know that dh and I could provide that.

And, one of the things that I've decided is that we will never take a child more then 1 year older then our oldest, because we as parents are still "2 years old", kwim? I wouldn't know how to parent a 10 y.o. at this point, for example.

I have always gone back and forth about doing this, and when to do it, but yesterday morning, as I was waking/dozing, I had an overwhelming sense that I need to do this NOW. And I had not been actively thinking about it for several weeks.

Again, thanks for your responses, keep 'em coming! All the information I can get, the better!

Rachel, married to Andy, mama to Aubrey, Lauren, Sasha, and *surprise* Baby #4, due November, 2011
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