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Discussion Starter #1
First of all, our MAPP class has been tough on us. It is emotionally gruelling to hear each time about how kids in the foster system got there, the cost to those kids, their resulting behavior, etc, etc. I've been so worn out, I've now spent the day in bed with a cold. Still, I am thankful for the training.<br><br>
Now, at our last meeting, we were discussing hypothetical situations and discussing good and bad matches of kids with foster/adopt parents. I was shocked and saddened at how many people felt that an adult who had ever been abused as a child should not be allowed to foster or adopt. Whether or not they had been through counseling. Whether or not the adult felt they had addressed and worked through the situation. They said the risk was too high that the adult would then abuse the foster/adopted child.<br><br>
If I hadn't been sick, I would have asked where they draw the line. Good Lord, from talking to these folks, they seem like they have no tolerance for anyone who has faced challenges. The gasp when I said we had faced severe financial problems a few years ago!<br><br>
All we've been able to think of for months was how excited we are to adopt. I feel really frustrated right now- like people think only a perfect person who has lived a perfect life should adopt.<br><br>
I know I am not a perfect person with a perfect life, but I think I am a d*mn good mother. I'm really worked up right now, trying to think this through without giving up.<br><br>
I need some healthy perspectives.
 

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Unfortunatly and yet at the same time Fortunatly, we didnt have to do your typical training that a Foster parent would have to do that is adopting a child that is not within their family.<br>
We did PRIDE training for Kinship (I am assuming our states PRIDE course is the same thing as your states MAPP) which is shortened a bit, in fact, it was one saturday for 8 hours and it was done and over. I say its unfortunate because there is a lot of information given in MAPP that we dont ever get to hear, which some of it I think would have been helpful, especially in explanation of what to expect from children who came from certain environments. We got our daughter (my second cousin) as a failure to thrive baby......we didnt even know what that meant until the first time we took her to the doctor and found out that she was much MUCH smaller than a normal healthy child her age. It would have been helpful to know more about the condition ahead of time, along with what behaviors we could expect from a child who had been starved for several months in her infancy as well as neglected and not held. We still would have taken our daughter, but preparation would have been great!<br><br>
As for not allowing those who have been abused adopt...well I can understand that to an extent. There has been research that has shown that people who have been abused, have been known to repeat the abuse cycle, especially if the abuse was throughout their entire childhood (I guess the idea is that they would think its a normal way of parenting, or wouldnt know the CORRECT way to parent??). However, there are many people who have been abused who use it as a way to know that they will NEVER EVER do that to someone else EVER. For instance, I have dealt with childhood sexual abuse. It went on for a year and stopped. It came up in highschool and I had a rough patch for a couple of years, went to counceling and realized it wasn't my fault, and honestly, though it does creep up on me at times, I know how to deal with it better now and move on. I also am more keen to watching for behaviors in my child that could signify abuse because of knowing how I handled it. I am a Terrific mother (yes, I brag!) and do not find it to be an issue.<br>
However I have been required to get a psychological evaluation to PROOVE to Child Services that I am indeed mentally and emotionally able to adopt this child. That has been rather easy to do as I went in told them the situation, discussed my feelings about it and feel it has made me who I am. The psych eval went well, I got the letter and we are moving forward now!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
(((HUGS))) Take the classes in stride, gather information from them, but by no means take everything as fact. Follow their general rules (dont lie if you dont do something like they say, ie. spanking, I told them each time I did it even though it would get me into trouble, because I didnt want to be dishonest) but if something is completely ridiculous, and such, talk to your worker about it.
 

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Was that one of your first MAPP classes?<br><br>
Do you think that perhaps the state is trying to weed out people-- and by that I only mean that fostering is emotional and not somthing simple to do. Is this their way of letting foster parents knwo they could be challenged in ways they can't currently imagine? (Not saying this couldn't be done better...if so).<br><br>
*Perhaps* this is a way to let people understand that fosterig isn't easy, and that fostering abused children might bring up for foster parents issues of their own abuse (if they were abused)? It would seem an important consideration, i would think.<br><br>
I mean, obviously you understand this, but *perhaps* too many people start fostering without understanding what an emotionally difficult job it is? It might not be obvious to some that by fostering an abused child their own childhood issues might surface?
 

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Were the people teaching the classes stating this sentiment or was it your classmates?<br><br>
Stay strong...you will get through the approval process and the next thing you know, you'll have a little one...and then you can start the reunification process <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Emilie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7922783"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">That is sad.<br>
Statistically many folks in that room had been abused most likely.<br>
Em</div>
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And I am betting that a lot of them have lied about it for fear of not being allowed to foster. Isnt it lovely how someone who has been abused and already had a lot of "crap" in their lives, are now going to be "punished" for that abuse that wasnt their fault to begin with? Its so sad.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:
 

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This is going to sound really mean, but I suggest you find a way to meet a wide range of foster parents. You will see that they range from amazing to really really far from perfect. I met foster parents who did things that were bad parenting by most standards, like smoking in a closed car with infants. I also met some that had the patience of a saints and were just so *good*.<br><br>
I don't know if these people in your class have rose colored glasses or are super idealistic, but in my experience, those who stay foster parents are not holier than thou types. They are loving people who can endure the hardship of being a foster patent.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, everyone. I knew this was the right place to vent.<br><br>
And gee, we haven't even gotten to the "don't spank" class. I've already heard grumbling about that from my classmates.<br><br>
(Yet DH and I have both survived abuse and *we're* the AP/GD family in the class!)
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>raleigh_mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7926177"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks, everyone. I knew this was the right place to vent.<br><br>
And gee, we haven't even gotten to the "don't spank" class. I've already heard grumbling about that from my classmates.<br><br>
(Yet DH and I have both survived abuse and *we're* the AP/GD family in the class!)</div>
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They asked me to delete that part of my post because it came across as advocating spanking, which wasn't what I meant! I do not agree with spanking, but Im sure when you get to that class you will see the huge fight it will start....its almost amusing watching everyone fighting over it. We didnt really say anything just sat and watched as parents tried to convince CPS that it was not only okay to beat their children, but their children needed it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">If I hadn't been sick, I would have asked where they draw the line. Good Lord, from talking to these folks, they seem like they have no tolerance for anyone who has faced challenges. The gasp when I said we had faced severe financial problems a few years ago!</td>
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<b>i think in general people can't understand what they have not expereinced.</b>
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>raleigh_mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7922604"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I was shocked and saddened at how many people felt that an adult who had ever been abused as a child should not be allowed to foster or adopt. Whether or not they had been through counseling. Whether or not the adult felt they had addressed and worked through the situation. They said the risk was too high that the adult would then abuse the foster/adopted child.<br><br>
If I hadn't been sick, I would have asked where they draw the line. Good Lord, from talking to these folks, they seem like they have no tolerance for anyone who has faced challenges. The gasp when I said we had faced severe financial problems a few years ago!<br><br>
I know I am not a perfect person with a perfect life, but I think I am a d*mn good mother. I'm really worked up right now, trying to think this through without giving up.<br><br>
I need some healthy perspectives.</div>
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Ok this was people in the class that were expressing these views? Or was it those teaching the class?<br><br>
If it was those participating in the class - not surprising and I wouldn't let it bother me. If it is those teaching the class...that's another matter!
 

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Yeah, was it your classmates or the instructors? I also believe that they do a lot of weeding out. A LOT!! We were told at our original orientation that infants just were far and few between. We were told that pretty much all the children in the system had issues and that if we wanted an infant we better bail out now. We stayed with the program to the bitter end. During the course of PRIDE we met wonderful friends and people from previous PRIDE classes. And guess what? About 30 people/friends/aquaintances that we know/met have all received infants. Some have 2 or 3 children. Some are bio sibs, some aren't. We got an infant placed with us that was free for adoption before our homestudy was even on paper. Then 11 months later we got a call out of the blue from the county and they had another baby that was free for adoption (we didn't even have our name "in the hat" for baby #2 and they called us!). Then a year after DD#2, DD#3 arrived (bio sib to DD#1). We have found out through this process that there are so many infants in the system that a large majority of them are being taken to the crisis nursery because there are not enough foster and/or fost/adopt homes for them.<br><br>
So, hang in there with this process. You need to be honest, but you don't need to give them every single tiny little detail, ya know? Good luck to you!! Your child will be here before you know it!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BCFD</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7928208"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Yeah, was it your classmates or the instructors? I also believe that they do a lot of weeding out. A LOT!! We were told at our original orientation that infants just were far and few between. We were told that pretty much all the children in the system had issues and that if we wanted an infant we better bail out now. We stayed with the program to the bitter end. During the course of PRIDE we met wonderful friends and people from previous PRIDE classes. And guess what? About 30 people/friends/aquaintances that we know/met have all received infants. Some have 2 or 3 children. Some are bio sibs, some aren't. We got an infant placed with us that was free for adoption before our homestudy was even on paper. Then 11 months later we got a call out of the blue from the county and they had another baby that was free for adoption (we didn't even have our name "in the hat" for baby #2 and they called us!). Then a year after DD#2, DD#3 arrived (bio sib to DD#1). We have found out through this process that there are so many infants in the system that a large majority of them are being taken to the crisis nursery because there are not enough foster and/or fost/adopt homes for them.<br><br>
So, hang in there with this process. You need to be honest, but you don't need to give them every single tiny little detail, ya know? Good luck to you!! Your child will be here before you know it!</div>
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Thats good to know BCFD! I plan on getting certified to foster (currently only certified for kinship) and fostering some newborns (0-4 mths). Hubby doesn't want anymore children, and though I would be happy with no more children, I kinda hope one of these newborns that I may foster will designate us their parents and hubby will be happy to go along. If not, I will be happy fostering too!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The most vocal people were some classmates. But the woman from DSS (not our caseworker) was somewhat reluctant, too. I appreciate that they would want to see that yes, we have attended counseling, support groups, etc and we are very aware of our strengths and weaknesses, but for someone (classmates) to say abuse survivors should basically be banned from adopting was really hurtful.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><b>But the woman from DSS (not our caseworker) was somewhat reluctant, too</b>. <span style="color:#FF0000;">I appreciate that they would want to see that yes, we have attended counseling, support groups, etc and we are very aware of our strengths and weaknesses,</span> but for someone (classmates) to say abuse survivors should basically be banned from adopting was really hurtful.</td>
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I am sorry you were hurt, again, a lot of people do not understand what they do not have personal expereince with.<br><br>
even more people are not elquent and put their foot in their mouth<br><br>
and even more pople speak without thinking.<br><br>
reluctant is not opposed. I too would want -- and DO WANT -- parents chosen for foster kids (and adoptive families) on a <i>case by case basis</i> -- i would NOT make a blanket stamtment that people who were abused can not foster or adopt -- but at the same time i would not make a blanekt statement that it doesn't matter -- YK??? Cuz it can matter, a lot.<br><br>
There are GREAT parents out there who were horrdibly abused -- i know them IRL and personally -- but there are really BAD parents who were abused and do not see their issues effecting their kids -- I knwo them IRL too. so the system has to be careful -- we all owe it to the kids.<br><br>
I have a history of clinical depression -- i HATE to talk about it, and sometimes feel it is what people see rather than ME -- but I do knwo the CD can really effect parenting, and i want it clear that i can and do parent well and so i am open about the CD -- yes i feel i have more to prove and that sucks -- but knowing the dmager CD in a mom can cause a family and a child -- I am glad to do it to make sure everyone else with CD has to do it too. YK?<br><br>
It sucks<br><br>
Aimee
 

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I agree! While I would NEVER wish for anyone to be a victim of any abuse...I do know that my experiences and all that I went through to work through it have made me a much better parent. (Our SWs said so too!)<br><br>
I would think there would be some validity in the idea that those who have healed from abuse may be more helpful in working with those children who have dealt with abuse too!<br><br>
Unfortunately...there are things in life where it is just more abusing of those who have already been victimized.<br><br>
I also agree there is a huge weeding out process. We didn't go through the whole foster/adopt route, but have many friends across the country who have. I've listened to them as they went through their process. Several of them were just about ready to quit the process as they were going through it! I think they really do get told the worst of the worst.<br><br>
It really is interesting...because I'm quite sure there are WAY more folks in those classes that have been abused than know it or have worked through it!
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">It really is interesting...because I'm quite sure there are WAY more folks in those classes that have been abused than know it or have worked through it!</td>
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sad but ture<br><br>
and i bet a lot of people we know their abuse refuse to admit it due to not wanting to have prove it didn't effectt ham -- and thus it DID and does effectt hem every time they lie about it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
I am not proud of my ex hub who was physically and sexually abusive -- but i am proud of leaving him in 8 weeks <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> it is all in how you look at it.<br><br>
You are no doubt a better person, a more healthy person for overcoming what was dealt to you -- and as such you will be a better parent (not cuz OF the abuse, but becauseof the HAVE to overcome the abuse).<br><br>
I offer you hugs as it is a tough process.<br><br>
Aimee
 

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I didn't have to take exactly those classes, and it sounds like it must be extremely frustrating for you.<br><br>
Honestly, while I loved our SW to death, the training was pretty worthless. Maybe if you'd just woke up one day and found yourself with adopted kiddies, it would help. But most of the stuff just seemed so obvious and was stuff we'd thought about and read about and researched to death beforehand.<br><br>
It's one more series of hoops to jump through. Take what you can from it, grit your teeth and get through the rest.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>UUMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7922886"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Do you think that perhaps the state is trying to weed out people-- and by that I only mean that fostering is emotional and not somthing simple to do. Is this their way of letting foster parents knwo they could be challenged in ways they can't currently imagine? (Not saying this couldn't be done better...if so).<br><br>
*Perhaps* this is a way to let people understand that fosterig isn't easy, and that fostering abused children might bring up for foster parents issues of their own abuse (if they were abused)? It would seem an important consideration, i would think.<br><br>
I mean, obviously you understand this, but *perhaps* too many people start fostering without understanding what an emotionally difficult job it is? It might not be obvious to some that by fostering an abused child their own childhood issues might surface?</div>
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I think that is a very insightful read on the situation!<br><br>
I used to work as an advocate for sexual assault victims. You'd think they would be grateful for anyone who volunteered, but in fact there was a lot of weeding out, first in the application process, then in the interviews, and finally throughout the three months of required coursework that we had to attend. People don't always realize why they are drawn to something. I witnessed a woman in her mid-60s who had made it all the way through until one of the last classes, when something that was said finally brought her past to the surface. In a flash, she realized that she'd been raped 50 years prior. She'd had no consciousness of it until that day. It was helpful for her to come to that realization, so that she could start to consciously mourn and move forward. But, as she (and everyone else) realized, she was not ready to help anyone else until she had worked on the specifics of her own victimization first.<br><br>
In fact, the percentage of advocates who had been assaulted themselves was much lower than in the general population. (Medical staff and police often assumed it was the opposite.) Wanting to help others who have been through the same thing is not as easy as people assume. You have to work through your own demons completely, because your job is to focus completely on the person who needs you *at that moment*, not on what gets pulled up from your subconscious while you're with them.<br><br>
Not all people who were abused as children have done the necessary work on themselves to be able to safely take on a child, especially a child whose circumstance is likely to trigger painful half-buried memories. Bringing up the subject and discussing it openly should be a crucial part of the fostering application process.
 
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