Archive for November, 2009

Ode to elementary school…

Posted by KK on Monday, 30 November, 2009

I delivered a child to elementary school today for the first time in my life. I remembered the smell from when I went…it never changes. I am so thankful that I already know A’s teacher, his teacher’s aide, the school secretary and many others as I have coached one or more of their kids in soccer or I grew up with them. They all plan to look out for A. They are all so happy for him that he is in a loving home, wearing clean clothes,  shoes with no holes and someone willing to help him with his schoolwork at night. He is very behind in school since he has been primary caregiver to his younger brothers for so long and has been tossed around from couch to couch as his mother ran around never offering them stability. Please pray for him today. I am sure many kids will ask him where he has been for two weeks and that has to be hard for him to explain. So I am down to 5 kiddos during the day now and I think it will be nice. A is very sweet and largely well-behaved but fights with his brother, T, almost every hour or more. Hopefully with a bit of separation again they will treat each other more lovingly. All the boys have their 2nd visitation with their mother today, supervised by DCS, of course. This was hard for them last week as they still missed her quite a bit but are now much more attached to us so perhaps they won’t all be crying when I pick them up. The baby, J, cried his eyes out when I dropped him off at the church nursery yesterday morning. That was different. He didn’t do that the first week. He and I have cuddle time at night, rocking with a bottle (yes, he just turned 2 but I am sure he didn’t get this as an infant and I would hate for him to have Reactive Attachment Disorder because of it when he is older). I think the cuddle time has helped he and I connect.

So we’re all doing well…everyone is adjusting better and better each day (the foster boys, anyway). My boys have a ways to go but I know that deep down that know that these boys need us and that no matter how badly they are becoming frustrated by the additions, they will appreciate it. Thank you all for your prayers and help! There is another court date on December 8th where I am assuming the judge will give the mother a time frame in which she needs to have a job, a home, and all the means to care for her children adequately. From what I see and have heard, she has done nothing in the 2 weeks we have had her children. :(

Let the games begin…

Posted by KK on Wednesday, 25 November, 2009

Oh it’s been a while. Oh blog, how I love thee. I don’t know why nuts have found it amusing to attack my blog and insert malicious files into it but it just isn’t cool and all my computers are fixed, high tech in fact, so I believe I am good to go with hopes that no more hackers are able to corrupt my outlet again.

So to recap what we’ve been up to…..well, there’s just not enough time for that. In a nutshell, our foster home was officially approved and open for business on October 15th when I received a call that there was a baby who had just been born and was being removed form her mother. A few days later I learned that after several tests they learned the baby was going to be mentally retarded due to her mother’s drug abuse during pregnancy so that is why they never called us. We have on our home study that we do not feel competent to parent children with extensive special needs. A few days later we received a call about a 2 year old little girl, in perfect health, who’s parents were arrested on drugs and theft charges, We took her. It was our first placement and they boys were so excited. We were told we would have her through the weekend (we received her on a Thursday) and perhaps even longer, however, she went home exactly 24 hours after we got her. Her dad was released so he was able to get her back. This was very hard on us. My boys absolutely fell apart. They loved her so much in just the short amount of time she was with us. I prayed for another placement very soon just to get our minds off of Leelee. It’s an odd thing to pray for as if you are praying that you hope someone hurts a child badly enough that they are removed from their home. I received a call a few days later for….wait for it….three boys. Oh yea. You read that right.

The boys’ ages were 3, 2 and 6 months. All in diapers, of course. They were removed from their home because of environmental neglect and both parents tested positive for meth. They weren’t going home anytime soon. Unfortunately, I had to say no. When the DCS placement guy began describing the boys to me he began with the baby. “He seems to be in perfect health with an exception of a bad cough” he says. No problem, we can fix that. The he moved on to the 2 year old. “Well, this little guy is showing signs of having some developmental delays.” What 2 year old WOULDN’T be showing those signs from the environment they had been being raised in? Still likely fixable, move on. “The 3 year old is autistic.” Stop. Hold the phone. Are you kidding me? Three babies, all in diapers, all way behind developmentally and the oldest of the bunch in turn would need the most attention and supervision. Unbelievable. This was hard for me. Autism cannot be fixed but I do not necessarily look at autism as “special needs” and am very intrigued by the condition. But when I called Jason to ask him, he begged me to say no. I knew I was going to have to say no. I just also needed to hear him say no so I wouldn’t feel so bad. Oh but if he had said yes or even hesitated, we might have found ourselves in a different situation. :)

Three days after I had to turn down the three babies, I got a call about a 2 year old who had a little baggage himself. The baggage was in the form of a 9 year old brother. I didn’t even call Jason on this one. I said no right off the bat. No way can we take a 9 year old, a child older than our eldest son. A child whose parents had also tested positive for meth and who has seen more of the world than my children may ever see. I hate it, but I just couldn’t do it. I like my house. I don’t want it burnt down.

So an entire two and a half weeks go by without a single call. I had a missed call one time and later learned they were calling me about a teenager. I am glad I missed that call. I would have blown up and yelled at them for wasting their time and mine about a child they know I will say no to. My many friends who have fostered children have told me that there is often a calm just before the holidays. It seems like an odd thing but I can see how it can be true. I was patient. I didn’t call DCS even one time asking if there were any children needing to be placed. I knew the call would come when God wanted me to get it.

So on Monday, November 16th, I got the call. It was my local DCS placement guy, Joe. He had an offer for me. He knows me already, knows what I am willing to take in, but said he wanted to run this by me just in case. It was a sibling group, two children, a little boy 2 ½ and his 5 year old sister. The little girl was in Kindergarten and Joe knows I home school and do not want children in school because that would throw my family for a loop having one child going to school and no one else. This wasn’t the biggest concern. He once again began describing the brother to me. He was almost 3 but not potty training. That’s about all he could say about him. Then he started in on the little girl. She was 5 years old and they were removed from the home because she had been sexually abused. She had also contracted herpes from her abuser. I gasped as you can imagine. I gave this one thought as I had no idea what herpes really was and wanted to do some research. I had some time on this one as Joe had a full week to find a home for them. They had been in state custody since September but were needing to be moved to another foster home because the single foster parent (female) was having knee surgery and wouldn’t be able to care for them for a while. I made some calls, sent out some emails, asked for prayer, etc. I prayed myself. How incredibly dreadful of a situation. This beautiful little girl needs a home. A good home. Her life has been so shattered and she will have to deal with this until the day she dies. I wanted to be her angel. I wanted to fix this broken thing. If I did not fix this, who would? I had to think of my family. Was this disease contagious? Was there the slightest possibility, even a 1% chance, that one of my family members or her brother could get this from her if she were to have an outbreak? I reached out to all my family and friends in the medical field, even got a call from my pediatrician, and more than one person told me that if I was this worried or had any doubt that I could just say no. They were right and I knew what I had to do even as hard as this was for me to do.

I still waited about another 30 minutes and thought about it while folding laundry and just as I began to pick up the phone to call Joe the phone rang. It was Joe. Joe told me he knew I was facing a hard decision and he thought he’d help me out by giving me another offer. He had just learned that three boys were being picked up from school and day care and were being brought in and needed to be placed. I immediately felt something. I felt like this was an answer to a prayers. An answer to the prayers of many who had been praying all morning for us and the decision about the little girl and her brother. Three boys, actually three anythings, had always been my biggest fear; doubling the children in my home in a single moment. I had always intended on saying no to a sibling group of three just because I felt it was a bit much. I can of course see myself parenting 6 children but gradually, not instantly. At the same time, something inside me said I needed to say yes. I called Jason, I told him my feeling, he was a bit perplexed and fearful of taking in three as I was but ultimately said I would decide either way because I always do (which I disagree with but sometimes, yes, I do). After all, who would this burden more….me? Or him? He works no less than 12 hours a day so of course this would be way more on me than him. So I did some checking before I called Joe back. I went to my truck and made sure I could fit that many car seats in it. I could if I bumped Wheat out of a booster seat a month before he was legally able to ride without it. I could live with that. Just before I called Joe back the phone rang again and it was Jason. He had had time to think and said I should say yes if I felt it was what we needed to do. I did feel that. I didn’t necessarily want to do it, but I felt like I needed to and that by obeying God my family would in turn be blessed for it. So I called Joe and I said yes. Oh my.