Those of you with foster children


#1

I would really like to hear your input on your foster care experience. My husband and I are in the last hurdles of getting licensed and I am suddenly bombarded with a ton of negative opinions and statistics (and horror stories).

I am starting to doubt and I don’t want to be influenced by the enemy if God means for me to do this.

Please guys… help!!!:eek:


#2

sorry can’t help because the state of Ohio repeatedly turned us down because they did not want foster children living in conditions considered suitable for our own children. I do want to offer prayers and support and congratulate you for taking on one of the most challening and rewarding of all apostolates. St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.


#3

My husband and I are talking about looking into foster/adoption, but haven’t yet because we’re only just starting NaPro Technology.

Do you mind sharing what you mean by suitable living conditions? Our house is kinda small at 1200 sq feet with 2 1/2 bedrooms and 2 bath.


#4

:)Hello Dear, Do not fear what you are about to consider, for if you think positive it will all end up ok Keep out negative thoughts because that can bring on negative spirits and these children already have this ind welled in their minds. They come from fear,abuse,unloved,confused, and yes it is hard to bring up someone else’s child your way as the state wants it all their way but i know a friend who not only fostered children but is a man of God and started to work with the State to get them to allow Christians to be put into Christian homes. He has his own web site and really loves to help those with this kind of problem.But you are new to this and you will be afraid of allot of things, in this you need to keep your prayer life alive every day and pray for the child they are placing in your home. B Y your influence that child can come a long way but first you need to stay calm because children can sense this and just be yourself, remember that not everyone in this life loves you but Jesus will always love you and care about what you are trying to do. My goodness you sound like a great parent already, show me a parent that doesn’t worry and I’ll show you a show off that needs a big boot to wake up some. Now you get into the more positive mood and things will stay in,line for you. I will be praying for you and the child and all who take on this responsibility of LOVE! Blessings and Peace!


#5

I am only in college, so I cannot speak from being a foster parent. However, my parents were foster parents for a number of years until my dad joined the diaconate program, and did not have time and energy for both.

We had our first foster kid when I was about 10 years old. We didn't have a whole lot of kids over the years (we were on the edge of our district). We had our good times and our bad times...just like having children of our own. But these were often children who were taken out of poor family situations. Sometimes it was because the parents were divorced, and at least one of them was in jail, or perhaps a parent couldn't provide or was having drug/alcohol problems. These children were not growing up in good environments. :( They were fighting their own struggles, and while my parents did their best to treat them as their own, let's face it: it's not the same as having your own family. :shrug: I got along very well with most of the kids...there were a few of them that I wasn't so fond of, but looking back, I realize that I don't know their whole story. I remember one young boy (about 6 or 7 years old at the time) and his even younger sister (6 months, maybe?)...their mother was struggling with drug/alcohol abuse. The boy was one of the most difficult kids we'd ever had. My mom was almost certain he had ADHD, but I don't believe he had ever been tested, and she wasn't able to take him to a doctor for that. He was hard to control, and to explain things to because he just didn't "get it". My patience was tested more than once over those years! :o I wonder where those kids are now, all these years later...I hope that we were able to provide a home when they had none.

Anyways, there will always be bad stories about the foster system. Sometimes, I don't think that everyone understands it. It's not an easy thing to do, but I do believe that it is a very commendable choice. May God grant you both strength and love!

My parents have shirts from their foster care years that have this quote on the back:

"One hundred years from now, it won't matter what car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much I had in my bank account, nor what my clothes looked like, but the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child."


#6

If you already have multiple children, or no children, go for it! God bless you for taking on a difficult but rewarding task.

We had three boys, with one boy of our own. He tended to lose out a little when we first started, and we had to make an effort to spend time with him, alone. We were not entirely successful, and he remembers that the foster boys frequently got (and needed, he understands) more attention than he.

We had varying success with the three: after four years, two returned to their parents and we never heard from them again. The third, older, who stayed with us at the same time, had a work ethic that could not be dampened by his abusive parents. He left our house, but came back into foster care with Truett Cathy, the founder of Chik-fil-A. He worked his way in the stores and earned a college education at Berry College in NW Georgia. He graduated with two degrees, entered a Baptist seminary in Dallas, and today is a married Youth Minister for a Baptist church. He has kids of his own, and keeps us up-to-date.

So, there are success stories.

G-d bless you for doing this work!


#7

Here is my advice.

My cousin and his wife desperately wanted children. The wife would see kids run up to their mother’s screaming ‘mommy I love you’ and she wanted that for herself. So they adopted a 4 year old boy and a 5 year old girl from Poland.

The first thing the 5 year old girl learnt to say in English was ‘I can’t wait to be a growned up to go back to see my real mommy’. My cousins wife was devasted and said ‘I took you out of poverty and gave you a good life and all you do is talk about your ‘real’ mommy’. Needless to say, by the time the girl was 11 she was in boarding schools.

So the point of the story is: If you just want YOUR needs met (like my cousin’s wife) FORGET it. It is selfish.

If your focus is to help a child and you are willing to take the heart ache with no guarantees of the kid loving you. Go for it. It is very kind of you

cm


#8

The valdictorian at my daughter’s boyfriend’s college graduation was a girl who was raised in foster care for most of her life. Her foster parents gave her the confidence and hope to graduate at the top of her class with a degree in molecular biology, she is off to medical school now, and a long and happy life.


#9

Foster kids…blended families…are very difficult. My mom had 2 older brothers they had loads of foster kids. One when her brothers were little whom she dosnt remember and two were adopted later and by there choice are barley family (placed at 6 and 2). To be honest i think it hurt my moms family. My oldest uncle picked a “winner” of a wife…i think in part because of the bad behavior he admired in his foster sisters. My mom is terribly shy and is still worried alot about people to the detriment of her. She also harbors resentment (tho she will never admit it) in caretaking herself when her mom cared about everyone.

That being said i am the blended part of my family. My brothers…for years one hated me with a passion that was painful. My parents were wonderful. Years later we are a good family but i will always feel somewhat on the outside.

And as a reply to the poster who mentioned the troubled 11yo. Do not discredit a parent who distanced themselved from a child. Children who have been neglected can be viciously cruel to their adoptive parente. See “child of rage” available on youtube. Not all parents have the resources to help…and there used to be an age when mental health specalissts believed a child was beyond help.

As someone who faced these issues. I would say pick one…adoption or “natural” children. Or else be very welthy so you can have the best therepists and repite serves. As well as a large network of realitives to love and suppot you and them.


#10

We fostered a girl seven years ago. My daughter brought her home from school one day in the third grade. Before we knew it-we were applying to be her foster family-we knew nothing of the system or what to expect-if we'd have known-we wouldn't have done it. Ignorance really is bliss. We found out her mother was a crack whore, her father had been jailed for molesting her sister but returned home- She was a failing school, couldn't read, write or do math, had severe behavioral problems and had the mouth of a sailor. I caught her smacking my 3 yr old, making out with my 8 yr old, lying, cheating-I was afraid to take her shopping because she stole so much, she played with matches and was cruel to animals and small children....more than once she attempted to walk around without clothing in front of my sons and husband! She was in the third grade and I found myself wondering if it were possible she was just plain evil.

HOW I LOVE THAT GIRL!
She's possibly the bravest person I've ever met-she's an honest, caring, wonderfully funny intelligent young lady. I hate to think what my family and I would have missed had we known better! She's a wonderful daughter, sister and human being.
Good luck and God will bless you!!!


#11

My ex MIL had various foster children. I was not around at that time, but I knew the stories and the effects on the family.

The foster children were always older; i.e, not infants. They were most definitely affected by being abused, or just being bounced around...no stability in their lives. It made it very difficult for her to deal with them, and she was great with kids. Out of the whole crew, only one of the children turned out "normal."

One issue that occurred was that foster children require a great deal of time and energy. The obvious result of that is significantly less attention for one's own biological children.

One of the more interested stories was that she had two teenagers at one time: One a Born-Again Christian, and the other a devil worshipper. The Born-Again Christain had a statue of Mary whose heart keep lighting up (note: it was a plastic statue...not electric, no light bulbs, etc.). The MIL got so bugged out by it she ended up giving it to the Church.


#12

A devil worshipper!!! Oh my.

I am so conflicted by this, my head really hurts.


#13

IMHO, taking care of foster children is a good thing, but it often not easy. The foster parent must have the time, effort, and resources to do so.


#14

We foster-adopted a little girl of 3. It was the most horrible mistake of our lives. We were told she was developmentally delayed - which was no problem for us as our one bio-son has Down syndrome. However, it turned out she had Reactive Attachment Disorder (extremely severe) among other diagnoses (Methamphetamine exposure, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Bipolar Disorder and probably Schizophreneia). She pooped and pee’d all over the house for 5 years. She stole. She lied. She broke windows. She tried to kill us and our pet. She dunked our toothbrushes in the toilet after she peed. She ate her own excrement and drank her own pee. And she put on a show for the world that she was as sweet as pie.

We made it through 5 years of hell before she made false allegations. The resulting family court trial cost me my mental health (nervous breakdown, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, self-medication, depression), and our family was drained of every financial resource and went into severe debt before it all came to an end. She bombed out of several other foster care situations for the severely disturbed, and went into a level 12 group home - but the state is still trying to adopt her out to an unsuspecting person. I say person because only gay couples and single moms get targeted for these kinds of kids. It is unfathomable how the system could try to adopt out this child who dozens of psychiatrists and psychologists and therapists say is beyond their help.

We were in the process of adopting two special needs siblings through fostering, but had to relinquish them when the troubles started. The dirty little secret about foster care is that as soon as there is any allegation against you, and these kids learn how powerful a false allegation can be, then all social service agencies are required to immediately relinquish all contact with you.

I have 4 friends who were foster families who have lost their licenses and have gone through similar nightmares. One family got reported for using a normal toddler harness in a high chair because the 3 year old had a seizure disorder. Another “charge” was they “forced” the 3 year old to take her medications - anti-seizure medications, mind you. The teen foster who turned them in later admitted she reported them because they took her cell phone and texting privileges away for 2 days for stealing from a neighbor.

The family court system that controls charges against families and foster parents has a reporting system so that once you have a “record,” it follows you everywhere. The accusation does not have to be proved. It is NOT like criminal court.

As horrible as all this sounds, it was nothing like what our day to day nightmare was with this child, the system, and how the whole mess was handled. And we have since met hundreds of others who went through the same type of thing.

Sorry to be such a wet blanket, but you need to know that the number of children with severe emotional disturbances in the foster care system is sky high. And the system lies. And there is little to no support out there.

Do your homework. Google like crazy. Talk to other foster parents and ask about any nightmares. I had one family who knew what was what with the system lie and later apologize. They said they were having a lull in problems and worried if they told us the truth, they would lose 3 foster kids and couldn’t afford it at the time. They saw us headed into disaster and never alerted us.


#15

Two fifteen-year-old girls murdered their foster mother in our community four days ago. She died of asphyxiation after they tied her up and brutally beat her. One girl had been in her care two weeks, the other only four days (after being released from juvenile detention where she had been serving time on a battery charge.)

Be very, VERY careful!


#16

[quote="sojo, post:14, topic:243624"]
We were in the process of adopting two special needs siblings through fostering, but had to relinquish them when the troubles started. The dirty little secret about foster care is that as soon as there is any allegation against you, and these kids learn how powerful a false allegation can be, then all social service agencies are required to immediately relinquish all contact with you.

[/quote]

The family court system that controls charges against families and foster parents has a reporting system so that once you have a "record," it follows you everywhere. The accusation does not have to be proved. It is NOT like criminal court.

You make an excellent point. This is a major problem, and a false accusation can indeed follow one around for life. It's might be possible to get rid of it through court, but that is expensive and time consuming.

If one is attempting to adopt but try fostering first, it's important to consider the above. A false accusation can end this possibility.

In my own case, I adopted internationally, because I believe the legal system is the U.S. is simply ridiculous when it comes to fostering/adopting domestically. Due diligence is necessary, but it goes way too far.


#17

Everyone is going to tell you horror stories. Not to diminish PP’s experiences AT ALL - but you are going to hear a lot of stuff about how bad/scary/dangerous these kids are. Period.
How risky is it really? It depends …

  1. Are you doing emergency foster care? These kids come in with NO info. Nothing. You have no idea if they have been sexually (probably), physically, or psychological abused, and how badly, and if they then act out those behaviors on other children (and adults). They may have ADHD or RAD. Or they may be the sweetest child on the planet. You just don’t know, and neither do the workers.
  2. Can you trust your worker/agency? Will they lie to you to get a child placed? Are you sure? We are pretty sire our agency doesn’t - because they know we have several lawyers in the family, and are uber-paranoid about lawsuits.
  3. What ages of children are you talking about? Obviously, a child under 3 is going to be a lot less dangerous than a teen. They may still have terrible psychological issues, but those issues may not be as dangerous … yet.
  4. If you’re doing foster/adopt, will your agency or worker lie to you to place a child? Will they make you feel guilty for saying no? Will they ask you to stretch what you can deal with?
  5. Will the children in your home have access to adequate mental health care (i.e., will the state pay for it, and is there a good place to get it)? What about you? What about your bio children?
  6. Will you be taking only children younger and less physically strong than your bio children, if any?
  7. Will you have a chance for respite care if the children’s issues become too much?

We keep getting pregnant, so we haven’t had a placement yet :). But we are doing foster-to-adopt. We have had workers lie to us (pretending not to know what RAD was); refuse to return phone calls; etc. We have also had workers be totally honest and up-front. Good luck.


#18

My wife and I take in foster children. We can only have two at any one time and we are very selective in who we take in. Our own sons are 8 and 11 and we refuse to even consider a child that is older than them. We have had 6 children stay with us in the past 14 months, 2 sisters stayed for 8 months, two brothers for a couple weeks, a single boy for a couple weeks and we currently only have one, a two year little girl that we’ve had for two months.

I would suggest you start “young” and work your way up. Do NOT be pressured into accepting a child that you have doubts that you can handle. We’ve turned down countless children that we knew were outside our abilities or beyond what our sons could deal with. The phone always rings again with another child in need.

The foster care administrators are another issue you will learn to deal with. Some are extremely good at their jobs, some are unbelievably incompetent. After a while you learn who you can trust and who you simply hang up on. The case worker for the sisters that we had for 8 months accused us of bad mouthing the mother because we wanted to adopt them (hardly). We have taken the role of CASA worker with the children we watch and have testified in placement hearings and sent letters to judges explaining the situation as we know it. When it was all over we ended up being friends with their mom and the children occasionally visit and spend the night when mom needs a break.

The biggest issue you have remember is that these children have probably been living in unbelievable conditions. Most have been sexually, physically and mentally abused. They have been neglected by their parents and will most likely be delayed socially and developmentally. They don’t take children away from simply a bad parent - they take them away when a parent is horribly neglecting their child or seriously abusing their child.

It is rewarding but it is also hard work.


#19

Our preference is a baby.


#20

[quote="Lucky_Scrunchy, post:19, topic:243624"]
Our preference is a baby.

[/quote]

If by baby you mean any child of any race with any number of chemical dependencies under the age of 2 in the foster system plan for a wait of 3-5 years and the reality you will not keep the child.


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