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Topic : Foster Parenting

Number of Replies: 242
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Created on : Friday, July 01, 2005, 12:27:01 pm
Author : dataimport
Are you a foster parent or interested in becoming one? Are you considering adopting your foster child? Share advice and support with others here.

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December 14, 2005, 9:20 pm CST

Chip on shoulder

Quote From: sunalott

We now have a foster daughter that has gotten very comfortable with being a victim.  I need some ideas to help her stop placing herself in that victim place.  She's 14 years old and in the 8th grade.  My husband and I have actually seen her set herself up to be bullied.  What can we do to help her get out of that besides just telling her because that's not working.  I've tried giving her responses and talked with her about not getting into situations that set her up, but I feel like I'm not getting through.  Are there ways to help her not do that?  

   

Sunalott  

Hi there! I am a mother of 10 great kids . 7 adopted from the state and out of foster care. I have a son like your daughter.  Sounds like she has a chip on her shoulder. She assumes that she's not liked and that people don't like her thinks she's a dork.......ugly......dump etc. not to mention the shame she carries around NOT having her birth parents along with them being drug addicts or they abandon her etc. She most likely always has her dukes upppppp. I believe despite where she's been etc. or that she is no longer with her birth parents she'll assume the negative......worst.  

You keep telling her she is held accountable for any foolish choice she makes. This is what I told me son, Samuel who is 13. 

Example: Young man you need to knock that chip off your shoulder were the good guys......you seem to assume everyones thinking negative about you in actuallality people are not always trying to pick on you. If you are being wronged Momma will be on it but IF you treat others with respect and they are hateful...rude.....unkind take a deep breath and pray for them because 95% of the time that same bully has a story and maybe even worse then your story. I tell him he's living a Christian with unconditional love and safety. Feel free to tell your daughter about my son... when she's having poor me day everyone is out to get me!!!!!!!!!! Tell her Samuel's birthmom gave him away to me matter of fact her word were, I NEED TO GET RID OF SAMUEL. He was 12 now he is 13. His Mother died 4 months later and Samuels father is unknown. Samuel was in special ed and was giving busy work. They were poor I think he was stamped BAD, POOR, Hispanic. I took him out and have him in 3rd grade in a Christian Private school. The school is in one big room and the other children have know idea he is in 3rd grade. But he's learning fast he has a A,B average.  

Wel Il hope I made since. I also want to share our family newspaper debut. It is only one of our adoption stories. It called, For The Love Of Isaac. 

KEEP IN TOUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

 
December 14, 2005, 9:26 pm CST

I forgot to add one of our ADOPTION stories.

Quote From: my10kids

Hi there! I am a mother of 10 great kids . 7 adopted from the state and out of foster care. I have a son like your daughter.  Sounds like she has a chip on her shoulder. She assumes that she's not liked and that people don't like her thinks she's a dork.......ugly......dump etc. not to mention the shame she carries around NOT having her birth parents along with them being drug addicts or they abandon her etc. She most likely always has her dukes upppppp. I believe despite where she's been etc. or that she is no longer with her birth parents she'll assume the negative......worst.  

You keep telling her she is held accountable for any foolish choice she makes. This is what I told me son, Samuel who is 13. 

Example: Young man you need to knock that chip off your shoulder were the good guys......you seem to assume everyones thinking negative about you in actuallality people are not always trying to pick on you. If you are being wronged Momma will be on it but IF you treat others with respect and they are hateful...rude.....unkind take a deep breath and pray for them because 95% of the time that same bully has a story and maybe even worse then your story. I tell him he's living a Christian with unconditional love and safety. Feel free to tell your daughter about my son... when she's having poor me day everyone is out to get me!!!!!!!!!! Tell her Samuel's birthmom gave him away to me matter of fact her word were, I NEED TO GET RID OF SAMUEL. He was 12 now he is 13. His Mother died 4 months later and Samuels father is unknown. Samuel was in special ed and was giving busy work. They were poor I think he was stamped BAD, POOR, Hispanic. I took him out and have him in 3rd grade in a Christian Private school. The school is in one big room and the other children have know idea he is in 3rd grade. But he's learning fast he has a A,B average.  

Wel Il hope I made since. I also want to share our family newspaper debut. It is only one of our adoption stories. It called, For The Love Of Isaac. 

KEEP IN TOUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

http://www.wilsoncountynews.com/clients/wilsoncountynews/stl101905.pdf 

  

GRAB A TISSUE! 

 
December 14, 2005, 9:56 pm CST

bewildered

Quote From: earthangel

Please if anyone has an idea How I can find out or know who I should talk to find out if they were adopted?   My daughters birthday is coming up and she is going to be twelve ,  I know that is a critical age, where my daughter could testify who she wants to be with.  They forcibly took away my rights.        Help In Ohio?

Dear Earthangel.........very seldom am I speechless. I want to show you compassion first but then my other thought is you want to track your daughter down at 12 like you said such a crucial age to POP back into her life. Anyway........firstly when you get your rights taking away you know longer have rights to the child. If your child ened up in CPS/DHS is not a great sign.  The person who adopted her IF she's adopted might choose to have a CLOSED adoption or hey maybe even OPEN.  

Only GOD knows why your child ended up in fostercare...........but sadly your considered the bad guy........some will think she needs to be protected from birth parents because as you know some children have truly been aBUSED......NEGLECTED etc. 

My kids have been so damage by their birth parents so I'm careful. I have reached out to three birthmoms. One seems to have mental problems the other still on drugs. I am close with a birth grandmother she ended up being a Christian. I'm all for open adoption but I don't give out my phone number or town etc. 

Hey if you are doing well now ........GREAT......If I were you and she ahs been adopted start a daily journal expressing your thoughts buy a present everybirthday etc. (Put them in the attic) When she turns 16 buy her a James Avery Sweet 16 necklace. She'll know you were thinking of her all along. 

Please.....when and if you meet up with don't lie to her........my 7 kids mothers say their innocent. again........you might be that one person that was innocent and lost your kids.......I have watched CPS work hard to reunite my kids with their birth parents (except for 3) they gave the parents PLENTY of time to get in together. I realize how hard it is but I have watch CPS.........I ahve a 7 good experiances yes..........I think they should have TPR parents fastier were taling about innocent childrens lives.  

Well hang in there!!!!! Do you have her SS#? She might be in fostercare still not many people want to adopt 12 year olds......sadly.  I set out to adopt older children I was surprised with one newborn angel. <grin> 

Again in there!!!!!!!!!! 

 
December 15, 2005, 4:35 pm CST

Been there Do that.

Quote From: terri7532

Back in October CPS took away my niece's 2 kids (boy 3 1/2 and girl 1 1/2). My husband and I offered to take them into our home. We have only been married since September and had started trying for a family of our own, but may have to put that off. We will have the kids for at least a year according to CPS. Then after a year if my niece doesn't do what she is suppose to, her rights will be terminated. 

  

The kids were taken away because of my niece's drug lifestyle and the condition of the house where she lives. The kids seem to be in fairly good health, but have never really been to the doctor. They are both a handful.  Neither of them will listen and have screaming fits that are uncontrollable. He is 3 1/2 and still not potty trained. I am 30 years old and have basic knowledge about how to raise a child, but no actual experience. According to CPS, we are not to physically discipline the children at all. We can sit them in time out, but no spanking. 

  

My husband and I are both at our wits end and don't know how to control these children. It has only been 3 1/2 weeks, but they are not getting any better and their Mother is not doing anything on her part to fix what is wrong so she can get them back. This makes me think that she really doesn't care and it may come down to where she loses her rights to them and they will be adopted out to someone. I want to say that my husband and I will be the ones to adopt them, but what if they don't get any better and we can't control them. Also, we can barely afford having them 2 and we want kids of our own. I feel horrible for saying that, but I just don't know what to do. I don't mind taking care of them, but I don't feel like I am helping. Yes, I give them food and a place to sleep, but I feel there is something else they are needing and that is why they act the way they do and I don't know what that is. Most people say it is because of the situation, but they acted like this before CPS took them away. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you. 

Boy do I understand where you are coming from. My kids came to me at  3, 4,5,7,8,12 and they were actually like you described...........out of control. NO boundaries!!!!! I could go onnnnnnn! Guess what we Christians who believe in GODS word.......which states spare the rod spoil the child.  

Correcting your child only on the bottom with love is not hitting..........but GOD also sent us our now 9 year old. Then our now 2 ,4,6,9,9,11,13. I'm like ok GOD we signed a piece a paper that we wouldn't spank  knowing we just wanted to adopt and love a innocent child.........give us the strength to deal with our children. We do not like time out. We take privileges away. Believe me I take full advantage of NO priviveges if they CHOOSEEEEEEE to be out right disobediant. My kids were pistols at first...... I call it , Great kids making bad choices because of bad parenting. Girllllll you have a BIG decision to make.  But my friend Iwouldn't trade it for nothing!!!!! My kids have grown leaps and bounds mentally. They Aalllll are so well worth it! Hang in there my friend! 

Oh yes.....birthmom sounds like she's not trying to get her children back sadly so guess what they will ask you and because you are family I doubt you'll get a subsidy. Which I think should be change I think it is less expensive then forever fostercare etc. Keep us in posted! 

 
December 23, 2005, 2:10 pm CST

Guess I need to vent about our system

Hubby calls it "raising children by commitee"  and I just need to scream "It isn't working" 

  

We have had 2 boys (twins) in our care for almost 5 years.  The first year they were with us through the parents giving custody over on their own.  So here we are 5 years later.  The adoption has still not gone through and now these boys are 13.  They are our sons and we love them as such.  But I have to know if anyone else is going crazy with the system.  These boys became worse and worse through the system.  The system throws youth partners, social workers, wrap around, casa, TBS coaches, therapists, phychatrists.. into their life.  These boys are re-enforced daily that they are not our children but they are their own person.  Behavior, attitude, respect, all out the door because of the county.   One kid has acted sexually on a younger boy, physically injured a 9 pound dog to the point of blood everywhere and a 5 inche long x 2 inch wide gash on her back, fires in our youngest daughters room to recently finding out he sets his own hands on fire while chanting "hexes" as he calls them.  His teachers call him a minamalist.  He is in special Ed. and wants to stay there because he can just "get by". He shouldn't be there at ALL.  He can get good grades to come out as a "good student" yet spend his days reading these black magic books his youth partner gets him from the library.  In my opinion I have never seen a better manipulator in my life.  Now his brother not so good at it, he toughes it up and takes his consequences.  What we have found is with the fire starter, what he learns from a consequance is ways not to get caught next time.  No remorse, no empathy, no feelings of wrong doing.  When he was told not to start fires in his room, I would put money on it that he will do it in the bathroom and then argue and rightfully act as if he is totally in the right "you didn't say not to do it in the bathrooom."  OMG you have to be SO specific and sometimes that just isn't possible to think that specific. 

No matter how much we fight, beg and plead the state to STOP telling these boys they are in control, they continue to re-enforce that these boys call all the shots.  Neither child has remorse, empathy or guilt for their actions.  Why?  Because the state enforces they don't need it.  When they do wrong they simply say "I don't want to live here"  They are never asked to stand up for their actions.  What happens when they are 18 and the state and everyone is gone?  The fire starter actaully told the social worker that he will just go from home to home till he finds a place that he likes.  The state told them on their 12th birthday that now that they are 12 they get to make all their choices.  They have a say in where they live, they have a say in what they want to do.   Just because a child turns 16 doesn;t mean that they deserve a license, what would make them think that just because a child is 12 they can be told they hold the cards.  Following the "You call the shots" conversation one twin came home proclaiming his rights, busted a window, severed 1 tendion and sliced throuh 4 others and asked to leave.  Why?  Because he knew when he came back from the hospital he would be grounded and held accountable for the window. Why do that when the state lets you do what you want,   6 months in another home he realized how much our home was a "home" and not 3 hots and a cot.  His new placement didn't take him with them on vacations, dinners and fun times out.  Well now his twin is at Orangewood (3 days now).  We called the meeting, we put this in play wanting to show him that he doesn't hold the cards.  So what does his youth partner do.  Right there in the meeting he looks over at the child and says "where do YOU want to go?  This is all your choice.  What do YOU want?"  He says " a group home"  guess where he got to go.  Yup a group home, because HE calls all the shots.  Heck why does he have to respect us as parents when we as parents don't mean diddly to him.  We explained the meaning of family.  The joy of coming home during college, bringing your wife home, your children to be with thier grandparents and so on.  His next attorney visit, he tells her these things, when she asked why he wants to stay at our home.  You know what she tells him???  "Family doesn't mean everything.  The state will buy you a car, house, college and even a computer".   WTH?   You know why he wants a group home and not another foster home?  Because there are more adults to manipulate with his withdrawn sadden stories.  A staff turn around making maniulation easier.  In a home once he gets caught lying, cheating and stealing the social worker may catch on that maybe the issues we say we are having are true,  He have asked him point blank "What is going to be different in another home?  If you can stop lying, cheating and stealing then why can't you do that here?  Is it that you think you can get away with it for longer since they haven't caught on to you?" Here is a child that is loved, wanted and welcomed into a home and the county is doing all they can to stop that.  He has no friends and no desire to have any.  With his retractive attachment disorder (I think that is what they called it) he can care less if someone or something is taken away.  Kids don't give him sympathy.  Kids don't give him attention.  Kids can care less if your life sucks.  But adults... Oh they give all the pity,.  So instead of getting this kid involved with other peers, why not throw out more adults to keep him entertained.  They started sending over a Casa and youth partner to take him out to the movies, musuems, beach, dinner every week.  This is a child that is part of a family has 2 parents and is NOT deprived for attention.  All day at school he isolates himself into black magic, ignoring peers because he sweeps himself away in his mind about his "adult state partners".   

  

Why is it so hard as the parent that lives and works with a child 24/7 to be heard by the county?  As much as we love these boys we are on the verge of calling it quits.  We have children of our own.  Children that are being neglected and short changed due to the extra energy it takes to deal with the boys.  

  

Bless your heart if you are still with me.   Please tell me I am not alone in thise fight.  

 
January 4, 2006, 9:28 am CST

OMG

I certainly hope that when my hubby and i start foster care we don't have the problem you all are having.  I know that DSS can take a foster child from a home at will, but if there is a court order stating that the child is not to be removed what gives them the power to go above the courts.  I live in MT, and most foster placements stay in one foster home until either the birth parents get done what they need to get done or that the parental rights are terminated after 15 months and then whom ever the child is in foster care w/ has first priority on adoption...........THANK GOD for that.........i do realize that we will lose children back to thier families, but I know eventually  one or 2 of those children will become part of our forever family and those are the days i am waiting for..
 
January 17, 2006, 12:45 pm CST

foster parenting & marriage

My husband and I decided to begin foster parenting due to the fact we were unable to have chlidren and we had been married for just about 10 years.  We were both volunteer EMT's and my husband a volunteer fire fighter holding the 2nd Assistant Fire Chief position as well as VP of our emergency medical service.  We lived our lives totally contected to a pager and were constantly on call and waiting for the next call to come in.  I am not at all sure we were totally prepared for the arrival of our first placement, a three month old little boy.  I quit work, because with in 1 month we recieved another 10 week old little boy.  I essentially have been a mother to "twins"  for the last 2 1/2 years.  Our first placement was placed with biological family after 7 months and we were quickly placed with another boy 6 months of age weeks after our first's departure.  We also welcomed a five year old in the midst of the coming and going of the infants.  We have also been placed with newborn infant girls for months at a time.  Our second, third and fourth child have became permanent and adoptions have been completed.  My whole life has taken drastic changes.  I know longer serve and an EMT ( as a matter of fact my license has lapsed).  I know longer work outside the home.  I am a stay at home mom, at one time for 3 under 2 and a six year old.  Do not get me wrong, the placements we could have refused.  But I don't think my husband and I had a clue or were prepared for the emotional changes and stress added from going to a couple living moment to moment to parents of  two under 1 and a 5 year old with 1 year of becoming parents.  We then added newborns to the mix and I am telling CPS may not realize the stress and changes a family goes through, you have to be rational and realistic when choosing foster parent lifestyle.  We now have adopted three.  Two 2-year olds and one 7 year old.  We have come to the conclusion that in the best interest of our now own children we have "retired" from the foster system in order to be able to give our all and best to our forever family.  You have to be extremely cautious not to get overwhelmed.  I did.  Caring for 3 under 2 and trying to keep up with the needs of a five year old struggling in school and relationships.  I now believe post partum depression is not all biological, it has to do with the fact as a woman your whole identity becomes undefinable to what is was before children.  You are no longer who you were but are at times suffacated out and are not seperated from the indenities of your children.  Our experiences have been non regretable but challenging and rewarding.  This commitment, someone coming in your home once a month to check on your parenting skills as well as housekeeping skills can get very draining.  I wouldn't change one moment of the six children that have come, gone and stayed in our home.  Each one was in our home because God had a plan.  My sister in-law made the statement "at least I didn't have to go through labor".  I beg to differ.  Two and 1/2 years of court cases and not knowing whether or not these precious boys I have cared for since infancy would stay or go, I would say I have had my share of labor.  Not 36 hours but try 30 months.......................................  This is just one view of foster parenting.  Stressful from many areas, court system, CPS system, marital adjustments, emotional adjustments, career adjustments.  All well worth it, but we both wish we had been a little better informed.   

 
January 20, 2006, 4:08 pm CST

Raising a Niece

My husband and I have been married almost 13 years and have 2 children.  Our son is 11 and our daughter is 9.  Since I have known my husband, he has not had much of a relationship with his family for his own various reasons, which I understand.  The only brother he is close to, lives in a nearby suburb of our town.  The rest of his family is a 12 hour drive away. 

  

About 2 years ago we were reacquainted with my husband's (then 10-year-old) niece at a family wedding.  She is the only other offspring of all of his 6 siblings, being raised by her single father who had her when he was 16.  She and our children had a great time dancing and playing at the wedding, and got a little time the next morning to play with her the next morning while the family stopped at our house to prep their car for the trip back home. 

  

Summer 2005, we decided to take a family vacation to Southern California and we thought it might be nice if we drove up to Central CA to pick-up his niece and have her join us so the children could continue to get to know their only paternal cousin.  We had her with us for 2 weeks.  The first week as we traveled around CA sightseeing and vacationing, and the second back at our home.  The time together went pretty well and she seemed to enjoy being around our children, however we could see that she had a very different upbringing - she has been given all the material posessions a child could want, but very little attention or guidance.  But she seemed to fit in alright. 

  

The day after Christmas, my mother-in-law called and told my husband that she was trying to convince his brother to have his daughter come to live with us permanentely.  She lives in a house with her single father, single uncle, single aunt, and a roommate - all young and dating, etc..  She spends a great deal of time alone either at home or at her grandmothers house while her grandmother is working in their family-owned business next door.  My mother-in-law wants her to live in a "real family" with a father and mother, etc. 

  

While I would agree that a family environment would be much better for her, I am concerned about adding this 12-year-old girl to my family, and not just for our families sake, but for her sake as well.  I have talked to my husband and told him that we would have to get together and talk very seriously with his brother and mother about what the arrangements will be.  It will be very different than what she is used to if she has been left to herself mostly.  We are actively involved in our children's lives and they are never left at home alone.  We are very conservative and she has been raised very liberally.  I am afraid that, at her first discontent, she could say the word and they would take her back home.  She would have learned/gained nothing and it may be painful to my children (and my self/husband). 

  

I'm posting on this board because I thought that foster parents might have some experience with this kind of thing.  What sort of things should I make sure to clear up before we would agree to take her in?  If we do end up welcoming her to our family, are their any suggestions you have to make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone?  What legalities do you suggest we put look into in this situation?  I do not think that her father wants to give-up custody.  Should we ask for joint custody? 

  

We are still thinking this through and don't know if it will happen or not.  Her father is mulling it over as well.  I would just like to be prepared if this all comes to fruition. 

Thank you! 

  

 
January 24, 2006, 6:27 am CST

Foster Parenting

Quote From: anydots

My husband and I have been married almost 13 years and have 2 children.  Our son is 11 and our daughter is 9.  Since I have known my husband, he has not had much of a relationship with his family for his own various reasons, which I understand.  The only brother he is close to, lives in a nearby suburb of our town.  The rest of his family is a 12 hour drive away. 

  

About 2 years ago we were reacquainted with my husband's (then 10-year-old) niece at a family wedding.  She is the only other offspring of all of his 6 siblings, being raised by her single father who had her when he was 16.  She and our children had a great time dancing and playing at the wedding, and got a little time the next morning to play with her the next morning while the family stopped at our house to prep their car for the trip back home. 

  

Summer 2005, we decided to take a family vacation to Southern California and we thought it might be nice if we drove up to Central CA to pick-up his niece and have her join us so the children could continue to get to know their only paternal cousin.  We had her with us for 2 weeks.  The first week as we traveled around CA sightseeing and vacationing, and the second back at our home.  The time together went pretty well and she seemed to enjoy being around our children, however we could see that she had a very different upbringing - she has been given all the material posessions a child could want, but very little attention or guidance.  But she seemed to fit in alright. 

  

The day after Christmas, my mother-in-law called and told my husband that she was trying to convince his brother to have his daughter come to live with us permanentely.  She lives in a house with her single father, single uncle, single aunt, and a roommate - all young and dating, etc..  She spends a great deal of time alone either at home or at her grandmothers house while her grandmother is working in their family-owned business next door.  My mother-in-law wants her to live in a "real family" with a father and mother, etc. 

  

While I would agree that a family environment would be much better for her, I am concerned about adding this 12-year-old girl to my family, and not just for our families sake, but for her sake as well.  I have talked to my husband and told him that we would have to get together and talk very seriously with his brother and mother about what the arrangements will be.  It will be very different than what she is used to if she has been left to herself mostly.  We are actively involved in our children's lives and they are never left at home alone.  We are very conservative and she has been raised very liberally.  I am afraid that, at her first discontent, she could say the word and they would take her back home.  She would have learned/gained nothing and it may be painful to my children (and my self/husband). 

  

I'm posting on this board because I thought that foster parents might have some experience with this kind of thing.  What sort of things should I make sure to clear up before we would agree to take her in?  If we do end up welcoming her to our family, are their any suggestions you have to make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone?  What legalities do you suggest we put look into in this situation?  I do not think that her father wants to give-up custody.  Should we ask for joint custody? 

  

We are still thinking this through and don't know if it will happen or not.  Her father is mulling it over as well.  I would just like to be prepared if this all comes to fruition. 

Thank you! 

  

You are smart to realize their are lots of things to consider before taking this on.  If you don't have some agreement with the child's father getting medical treatment for her can be close to impossible.  Insurance can be hard to come by as well.  She can also become a pro at manipulating and threatening to leave when things don't go her way if things are not explained to her early on this is not her power game to play.  There are lots to conisder.  I would seek legal advice to ensure you can have the authority to deal with medical, school and legal issues that could arrise.
 
January 24, 2006, 2:55 pm CST

Former foster youth

I am a former foster youth i am still a young adult and i only have one thing to add to your wants to be a foster parent, society needs more people who would step up and give a child who is not as well off as your own a good home.you also need to evaluate yourselves and your family situations becausem you can end up doing more harm than good to that child that has already seen hell at a young age and is looking to you to be thier savior thier protecter and their safe place. So i say this to say if you are not willing to treat this child as your own then whats the point?Eventhough you may not be this childs biological family you may be the only definition of family they know so lets lead by example and let them what a real family should function like and make them proud to be apart of it and it doesnt have to end when they turn 18 did you all know that?
 
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