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Thread: Adoption/Foster/Starting Out Chit Chatty Thread Extravaganza 2014 Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
Today 12:52 PM
JennLeaf my fence-sitting DH has finally decided that he is ready to go forward starting the process, self employed or not! But then of course, he was called for an interview in another province for a great job, so we might have to go back to the drawing board and find out what their system is like, and it would delay a year again because we need time to move etc. But at least he is certain he wants to go forward!
Smithie - thank you for your advice, you are right that we need to not overshare with social workers. This will be a battle for my gregarious honest-to-a-fault DH.
07-20-2014 01:35 PM
childdesired Hello everyone!
I've been lurking since April & finally decided to say hello. I'm a 32 year old mom with a 12 year old daughter. I've been having baby lust & decided to become a foster parent. I have completed the application with my county's DSS, but the social worker is being slow about getting back in touch with me. I have completed fingerprinting, background, & physicals. I'm waiting for the home study. I'm looking to foster children 0-3. Any advice for preparing for the home study will be greatly appreciated. I live in South Carolina, if that matters. Thanks & continue to be loving parents.
07-17-2014 06:36 AM
superbeans Hey ladies, we're having a giveaway on my blog. I thought you guys might be interested. The giveaway is for a really sweet piece of jewelry designed by a 5 year old adoptee from China. It's from a drawing she made for her mom of a heart within a heart (she told her mom "I grew in your heart!")

Here is the post if any of you are interested. You can enter simply by looking at her kickstarter (you don't have to donate), liking their facebook page, or sharing the post:
http://www.nobohnsaboutit.com/?p=1036
07-16-2014 09:15 AM
teamviddy Hi PUH! Another baby! You guys must be so busy!

Kathteach, congratulations on your approval!

We haven't had any more respite placements. We did have our first frustrating social worker experience-- a reminder about where the foster parents fall in the hierarchy of the treatment team. We're taking more trainings and working towards therapeutic status...
07-15-2014 09:21 AM
PoorUglyHappy I just finished reading all the updates! I haven't been around in a while as we took a second placement May 1st - a 2 month old little girl. Her case right now is looking like reunification will happen in December and if not, she will be moved to family in another state. Her case is totally different than FS's case and adding in extra visits and appointments has been crazy!

Homeschoolingmama - You are so close! The time until you get your approval will fly by.

Kathteach - I am in your county too! Have you gotten any calls yet? Or maybe I should be asking about your 1st placement, lol. I didn't get to see the Our America episode. I am curious as to what they highlighted.

To everyone else - thanks for keeping me in the loop! I appreciate all of the updates.
07-09-2014 03:54 PM
homeschoolingmama Congratulations!!!! That must be so exciting!!!!

We were told in our last interview that her goal is to approve us by September. We have a big family vacation the end of July to the first wk in August so that will pass the time. She just has to meet our children and write up her report. I can't believe this is finally happening! I can't wait until we can tell everyone about this.
07-08-2014 05:40 AM
ivparker Monkeyscience, there really isn't much distinction between foster and bio kids. They get treated just like bio kids in many ways. We do need to get approval for a few things, like leaving the state, but that is usually easily attained. They go to church with us, we buy them gifts and throw them birthday parties. Honestly, treating them any different like putting your bios into extracurricular activities but not your foster kids is just wrong. Unless there is a behavior issue or something that would deter you from putting them into an activity if they were your bio or not.
07-07-2014 12:05 PM
superbeans Congrats on approval! I didn't see it. When was it on?
07-06-2014 08:17 PM
kathteach Wondering how everyone is? We were approved this past Friday, so I am on pins and needles wondering if we will get a call.

Did any of you watch the Our America show about foster care with Lisa Ling? That was filmed in my county. Any thoughts about it?
06-30-2014 01:13 PM
superbeans Team Viddy, thank you for sharing those links! I am a blog reading addict so I am loving the list of blogs on Foster 2 Forever
06-29-2014 05:02 PM
monkeyscience BTDT = been there, done that

Thanks for the links - I will have to check them out. And if you are gross, we are absolutely disgusting on the sheet issue!
06-29-2014 04:17 PM
teamviddy
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyscience View Post
I would hope there would be a way to arrange for them all to stay HOME, though, not have the foster kid shuffled off elsewhere while bio kids stayed with friends or grandparents.

For those who have BTDT with bio kids (or with legally adopted kids) and foster kids - how much of a distinction is there between the two categories?
Yes, totally. I personally can't think of a situation where you'd be able to leave them at home, unless you have some very generous parents who are willing to go through the process of becoming foster parents. It just wouldn't feel that great to have to make that distinction.

Can you tell me what BDBT means? We don't have any of our own so I can't speak to the question. And I have found the internet to be relatively lacking in resources, considering how much is out there for bio and adoptive parents. Based on the people who foster through our agency I wouldn't be surprised if your usual foster parent isn't big on using the computer... Seems that most of what I see is young Christian couples posting on the internet but most of the other folks who tend to be foster parents are not. And I haven't found a whole lot of really solid info about rules and regulations. We had a whole class where the social worker was required to read the state code for 3 hours straight. After a full day of work. zzzzz. Apparently if you have more than one step you have to have a railing, and you legally must wash the bed sheets once a week or more (are we gross for doing it every other week?!). I think the rest of the rules and regs slipped out of my gray matter.

There are some things I've enjoyed reading and listening to... Again, mostly young churchy types (we are not churchy at all but this stuff still resonates) and again, not a whole lot of practical stuff but more everyday trials and tribulations.

Foster 2 Forever blog, which lists blogs: a good place to start exploring
Foster Podcast
Foster Care: Our Love Story

There was one called Good & Hardy, which I loved, but it looks like it's not available anymore (I think if families are going through adoption procedures they are advised to go into internet hiding- not sure if that's what happened, but maybe...).
06-28-2014 02:15 PM
monkeyscience
Quote:
Originally Posted by teamviddy View Post
Monkeyscience, you can go either way. We are providing respite care- hopefully your agency can provide that if you go on a vacation without the kids. Or it shouldn't be too hard to get approval to take them. Depends on the situation. When I was a kid my parents went off without us a few times a year and they still have a healthy relationship, and I've always thought it was a good idea for your relationship/sanity. Of course we stayed with our grandparents who we adored more than anything, so that's probably a big difference between kids with a tightknit family and kids in the system. I hope we can take a kid to the beach someday, and I also hope that if we have a longer term placement we can have a nice adult weekend every once in a while. In my state I think you get 12 days a year of respite without giving up your per-diem-- I think...
I totally agree that adults-only vacations are good for a marriage - we've only had one in the past two years, though. (I refuse to count an intense house-hunting trip while I was both pregnancy-sick and horribly virally sick as a vacation, even if DS wasn't with us!) Anyway, I wouldn't have an issue leaving the foster kiddo at home if the bio kids (we have one, and will have another this fall) are also staying home. I would hope there would be a way to arrange for them all to stay HOME, though, not have the foster kid shuffled off elsewhere while bio kids stayed with friends or grandparents. I'm hoping to have as little distinction as is reasonable between bio kids and foster kids, if/when we foster. I was more worried that if we were going to a family reunion, we'd be able to take our bio kids, but have to leave the foster(s) at home, which seems mean even if it isn't our "fault", KWIM?

For those who have BTDT with bio kids (or with legally adopted kids) and foster kids - how much of a distinction is there between the two categories? Other than things like having to have visits with a social worker, or with their bio parents, are there limits on what you can or will do with/for your foster kids, vs bio/adopted kids? Does some of it depend on the particular placement situation? Do you buy them birthday and holiday gifts? Put them in extracurricular activities? (Also, somewhat apropos of holidays - are you allowed to take them to religious services?) Also, if there are good books or websites for answering some of these questions, feel free to direct me there so I won't take up the thread with so many questions.
06-28-2014 10:18 AM
queenjane
Quote:
Originally Posted by teamviddy View Post
I'm very interested in any advice people have to offer about how to respond when the kid asks if we can adopt him. Just to review- we are not sure what his reunification plan is like right now, and I don't know how to talk to him about it and make sure he still feels valued.
I usually just tried to put it back on the judge. "oh honey im not in charge of decisions about adoption...thats for the judge to work out" type of thing. Or "if you have questions about adoption you can talk to your worker about that, but my job is to make sure you have an enjoyable time when you're here with us....want to go for a walk/watch a movie/help me make dinner/whatever" If you are absolutely sure you WONT be adopting this kid, you might even say "no honey, we arent the family going to adopt you...but we sure enjoy having you to visit!" or something like that. You might want to speak to the worker about what he is being told and what "script" she would like you to use (but if she gives you bad advice dont follow it ) It may be possible that the other family does think if you have him enough that you'll "fall in love" and be willing to adopt, and he may have overheard (or even misunderstood) something in that home.
06-28-2014 09:27 AM
teamviddy For some reason I stopped getting email updates so I didn't see your response, Smithie. I do appreciate what you're saying, and I might take you up on that offer if we get much further. Trust that if DH didn't have a differing opinion, I would have started snooping around and finding out whether the kid's parents have been TPR'd (I have to admit, I found the child's birth parents on FB and they have been careless about sharing personal info in a public sphere, and based on that I would assume one of the parents might still have some rights but I'm not sure). I am still not sure if the kid will be adopted or they are still working on reunification. Also not sure what kind of priority they put on keeping siblings together, and I can tell for sure that in this situation I personally would not be willing to adopt the two of them together. I am just not ready to take on two kids on the cusp of being teenagers, and I can say that with no doubt in my mind. I would be surprised if DH felt differently.
We have not picked up another placement at this point, but did just get asked to watch our first kid again, this time for about half a week. We may be able to take the kid to do something tomorrow as well. So we are able to continue this relationship, which we both really appreciate.
I'm very interested in any advice people have to offer about how to respond when the kid asks if we can adopt him. Just to review- we are not sure what his reunification plan is like right now, and I don't know how to talk to him about it and make sure he still feels valued.

Monkeyscience, you can go either way. We are providing respite care- hopefully your agency can provide that if you go on a vacation without the kids. Or it shouldn't be too hard to get approval to take them. Depends on the situation. When I was a kid my parents went off without us a few times a year and they still have a healthy relationship, and I've always thought it was a good idea for your relationship/sanity. Of course we stayed with our grandparents who we adored more than anything, so that's probably a big difference between kids with a tightknit family and kids in the system. I hope we can take a kid to the beach someday, and I also hope that if we have a longer term placement we can have a nice adult weekend every once in a while. In my state I think you get 12 days a year of respite without giving up your per-diem-- I think...

Mountainmama, I think this is a great way to encourage the birth mom... It sounds like you are really doing the right thing. Many hugs and well wishes.
06-25-2014 09:13 AM
superbeans That's an exciting update homeschoolingmama! One step closer to finished
06-25-2014 08:13 AM
jojonsane Hey Moms. i'm a new foster mom. we were licensed and had our first placement April 23. WOW!! we thought we were prepared. we had a 1 year old girl stay just 5 days and her sister (3) stayed 5 weeks. and we also have 2 daughters of our own 10 and 7. that was a CRAZY TIME!! end of the school year (with all the programs)!! then we had a 2 week break.
on monday of our vacation at the beach DSS starting calling about another placement. 3 year old girl that had been in care for 4 weeks but foster mom didn't want her to stay. no one could really give me a definite reason.
QUESTIONS....
Why does DSS have to be so secretive? do they really think they can hide something? i mean really...1 week in my house and i knew exactly why the foster mom didn't want to keep her!!
Somedays I feel as if I'm pushing a rock uphill with DSS and everything thats involved. i've had to push for services (mental health eval) speech therapy eval, WIC for her.
UGHHH...its frustrating!!
not to mention the negative feedback from family about why we are even doing this??
were we going to take another one after the first one???? REALLY???
did they think we did this for a one time thing??
sorry...i'm ranting but i just needed to get this off my chest.
06-24-2014 07:35 PM
MountainMamaGC
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
You are a pro, MountainMama. I didn't get rid of that knot for months.

TeamViddy, I'm not going to say much on this topic because I am so biased - our eldest was adopted at age nine and it was absolutely the best decision we ever made. If your DH would like to talk to another DH about the process of becoming a father to an older child, PM me and we'll set it up. But ultimately, it has to be something you both want or it won't work out.
Aw, thanks. I still worry, but at least I have an appetite now. I am going to do my best to support his mom while keeping boundaries intact. I dont want to be an obstacle for her. She left for awhile but she will be back soon, and I want her to feel supported. I havent met her at all, but I am going to let her decide when she wants to do that, and let the workers take care of the visitation until she feels comfortable meeting me in passing. I figure letting her have input and feel she has some dignity will encourage her to make good choices. And if not I can say I never stood in the way. This is hard, but its not my story unfolding. Its theirs, and I just get to be a bystander.
06-24-2014 11:59 AM
homeschoolingmama Things are going well for us. We are done our classes. We are finished our individual interviews and we go in the beginning of July for our couple one. Then she gets to know us as a family at home. We are hoping that we will be finished by the fall. Just an update. Oh and we are wanting to adopt.
06-24-2014 07:53 AM
monkeyscience Thanks, ladies! We don't travel a ton, but I wouldn't want to feel stuck between never going anywhere and feeling like I was abandoning kids that might already feel abandoned. Moving is another story, but we're still years away from fostering, so maybe that will change?
06-24-2014 07:17 AM
Polliwog I've always been able to travel with my foster kids. If we're only gone two nights, we don't have to do anything. More than that, I just need to send the social worker an email.
06-24-2014 07:09 AM
superbeans We can take kids with very little problem at our agency. Before TPR we just needed to get birth parent's permission. Ours would always give it and was super happy for all the places we took our children. We always made sure to give her pictures of them doing things which would get her excited about them traveling. Some birth parents will say no just to feel like they have a little control. In that case you need to get a judge or CPS to approve it. After TPR our kids birth mother could no longer give consent so at that point we needed CPS to approve. It was pretty easy though, we just submitted paperwork with the days we planned to travel and they returned it signed. It was super easy for us. I think it just took me longer to explain it then it took to get approval

Some people do vacation without foster kiddos. Especially if the vacation was planned before placement or if the kiddo is high needs and they need a break. In that case the child can be placed in respite or you can have someone close to the child get clearance and stay with the child. For example I was once traveling for work and it was too much to bring the kids so I had my mom come stay with them.

Moving in county is no problem at all, though you have to get them to visit and update your license. Moving out of county can be a problem but they might try to work with you. Moving out of state is a no-no unless TPR has occurred and you are on the track for adoption. Then you might be able to do it, but you might have to wait until the adoption is finalized.
06-23-2014 09:27 AM
monkeyscience Yay to those of you who have/had placements!

So I was just thinking the other day and wondered...can you take foster kids on family vacations? If so, are there restrictions on how far you can go? If not, do you go without them (which sounds horribly mean), or do you just skip vacation/reunions/etc for the duration of the placement?

Also, what if you move? I assume an out-of-state or -country move is a no-go, but what about locally?
06-23-2014 08:10 AM
Smithie You are a pro, MountainMama. I didn't get rid of that knot for months.

TeamViddy, I'm not going to say much on this topic because I am so biased - our eldest was adopted at age nine and it was absolutely the best decision we ever made. If your DH would like to talk to another DH about the process of becoming a father to an older child, PM me and we'll set it up. But ultimately, it has to be something you both want or it won't work out.
06-16-2014 08:45 AM
superbeans Awww hugs to you. I'm glad you are starting to find peace. I remember crying every night for a couple weeks when our children were first placed with us.
06-11-2014 08:09 PM
MountainMamaGC I am finding peace in what's to come. I am going to let December me worry about that stuff. I think I just needed to let reality soak in and dwell on it for awhile so I could move past it. The knot in mt stomach is gone and I am happy about that.
06-11-2014 07:05 AM
teamviddy MountainMama, how are you feeling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
Incidentally, if your kiddo was thriving as an only in your home, is there a possibility that you might ask to have him placed with you for the duration of his time in care? Or is that not feasible for some reason?
Thanks for the well wishes... He as asked us to adopt him twice, once last night when we saw him during a training and once while he was in our care for the week... The first time my heart was broken into a million pieces and the second time I realized we will see him many times during trainings, etc., and we really need to figure out how to respond so he feels valued and wanted. We aren't planning on adopting at this time, although if just about any infant with a high probability of TPR came around, we would consider. I hate to think about what that really means as far as how much we value a school-age kid vs. infant, or how we talk to a school aged kid about the fact that we are not open to adoption in this situation. Heck, in this situation, I have no idea if we even can adopt him, because I didn't get a lot of information about his bio family.

I think there's a possibility of placing him in our home- it would mean splitting up siblings but they would still get a chance to see each other frequently (if we stuck w the same daycare, which is convenient, they could see each other every day). His current FM thinks both would do better alone but the siblings do really need each other... DH is very against having a longer placement at this time and wants to just do shorter term respite. DH was investing a TON of time and emotional energy into caring for this kid. He couldn't see himself putting that much effort into caring for him all the time. But I think that with a lot of attention to his two biggest problems, which would be solved by just living a healthier life than he is now, he could become more independent quickly.
06-09-2014 07:57 AM
MountainMamaGC
Quote:
Originally Posted by teamviddy View Post
Thinking of you from afar. That is so hard.
We let go last night. There was a lot of crying from both the child and me, and DH and I felt a terrible vacuum when he left. And that was after a week and we knew he was going back to a safe and happy home at the end of the week. This is f'ing intense. How do you guys do it?
I know its going to feel like a punch in the gut. Its going to wind me. Be gentle with yourself. Hugs.
06-09-2014 07:33 AM
Smithie TeamViddy wrote:

We let go last night. There was a lot of crying from both the child and me, and DH and I felt a terrible vacuum when he left. And that was after a week and we knew he was going back to a safe and happy home at the end of the week. This is f'ing intense. How do you guys do it?

The same way you're doing it, sweetie. Welcome to Team Foster Mama.



Incidentally, if your kiddo was thriving as an only in your home, is there a possibility that you might ask to have him placed with you for the duration of his time in care? Or is that not feasible for some reason?
06-09-2014 07:29 AM
MountainMamaGC I am feeling a little better about things the last couple days. I am also considering opening my second bed in the fall. For a 2-4 year old girl. I must be crazy.
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