Skip to main content

Always the Advocate

So Hubby and I discussed. We slept on it and ultimately we landed on the decision that if they can make it 11 days, they should keep going.

After I took them to see the Judge and their GAL today I sent the following email:

After much discussion and consideration, We would like to advocate for the kids to transition to Mom's home on the original move date of April 6th. We feel strongly that if they can handle the 11 days of Spring Break they should be ok. They shouldn’t be teased with effectively moving into her home, and then taken away again. This also isn’t fair for Mom. We imagine this would feel like losing them a 2nd time. If they have the momentum of settling into a routine they should be given the opportunity to keep it going.

We know that there was concern about finishing out the school year. While we agree that this would be ideal, we have received emails from the kids teachers discussing that they have been unfocused and not on task. If this looming move is creating too much anxiety for them to gain anything out of school, then we feel it would be more beneficial to them to get adjusted to their new school, get the supports in place for next year, and perhaps make some friends so that they have kids to play with over the summer. We know from experience that all of the kids do better in school when their home life is stable and having 1 foot in each home will not allow that to happen. This will continue to create behavior issues which just stress the kids (and us) out. From our point of view, school isn’t a good enough reason to continue to cause the kids emotional distress. In addition, they will then be able to know what school will be like when they start in August which is typically a huge trigger for them. This will also allow Mom to adjust with helping with homework and such while she has the extra supports in place.

We understand that this suggestion may seem like a radical change from the past few weeks. Listening in the meetings gave us some perspective. We have always prioritized our role as permanency advocates for the kids and we believe that this really is the best course of action for them. They have been talking about wanting to be done with foster care forever. We would like a successful transition for them as well and so we propose that perhaps a “reverse visitation” take place. Maybe every other weekend the come to us on Friday night and stay through Saturday afternoon. This will give Mom a little break and time to run errands but also ease the kid’s fears that we will disappear from their lives. This will also give us a chance to gradually move their things so it doesn’t seem like they are being forced out. Our hope would also be that we could build some trust with Mom so she can view us as an advocate for her family. We would also suggest, that the family receive extra support – perhaps twice a week therapy or an in-home therapist to help support the daily triggers which would allow Family Therapist to continue to work on the trauma triggers.

We see this as an everyone wins situation. We hope you will too.

*************************************

So the Judge was not aware of the 10 night visit being planned. They kids felt better after meeting her and the GAL shared our suggestions. It seems that they are concerned about such a long visit but its sink or swim time.

My job is to advocate for them, no matter how sad it makes me. But this also allows us to move on and takes us out of the behavioral battle that will take place with two homes.

Only time will tell.

Comments

  1. Wow that was amazing. Worded perfectly. And very much exactly the thing they need. I know its hard on u but really. Sink or swim is the best way to put it. And if mom sees u as on her side for lack of better words she will view your imput as more viable. Great job. Reminds me of story about two people who were fighting over a child the king said we will cut him in half wich side do u want. The true parent said no they can have the child.wanting a live child above all else proving to be the childs real parent.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jules- that's exactly the parable we have been using as a guide. King Solomon who proposes the baby be split in half. The "real" mother gives because she loves the child.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judgment_of_Solomon#section_1

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've thought about the story of King Solomon SO often during our 2 years of foster care. Another one that runs through my brain regularly is "sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same", hang in there!

    ReplyDelete
  4. God bless you! That letter is awesome. I hope the people in power listen to and actually follow through with those suggestions!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You are doing such a great job of being and advocate for them. I can only imagine how hard this must be. Enjoy some time for you in the midst of all of this. You are amazing and you are not alone.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

She Never Cried

Sheila called to wish Sarah Happy Birthday and she shared a story with her that as a baby she never cried. Not when she was hungry, not when she was tired, never. She never cried.
A little later Sarah said to me:
"Mom, my Mom said I never cried. I don't really believe that. That can't be true can it? Don't all babies cry sometimes?"
Oh my sweet girl. The red flag went up for her too. As I listened to Sheila share this story fondly, I felt sad. That was a sign of her RAD. That was because she couldn't count on adults. That was because she cried and no one came so she learned not to cry.
"It doesn't sound right to you, does it?"
"No."
"I know your Mom shared that story because she thinks it's cute you never cried. It made me sad. You are right babies cry so adults take care of them. You know how you had a lot of different adults that were supposed to take care of you as a baby?"
"Yeah, like 10 foster parents."
"Well …

Minimum Parenting Standards - Monday's Post

I can't figure out Blogger's time zone and I may not have time to write Monday evening so here is Monday's post.

This week we are having another "team" meeting. This time to discuss the "minimum parenting standards" that the kid's Mom has to meet in order to be "good enough" to parent them.

Now I have all kids of issues with this entire exercise. The first being that these kids deserve better than the minimum. The second, that good enough isn't going to cut it with their issues. The hardest part though is being asked to write down a guide to being their parent FOR their parent. Putting my commitment to first reunify a family to the test. It is one thing to suggest ways in which she can be a better parent and to support the goal by not bad mouthing her and encouraging the kids to share their true feelings. It is an entirely different thing to sit down and write a guide for a woman who has yet to grasp the basics after two years.

It wa…

Reader Question: Did You change their names?

Yes we did. We actually started using their new names shortly after their good bye visit with Sheila last August. So the only name that really changed this week was their last name (kind of, one of them actually had our last name). We had started using them so we wouldn't have to try to do a name change mid-school year. Plus the kids had only been in the school the last 1/2 of the year so they didn't know everyone yet. The school was great about going with the new first names.
At some point Simon spontaneously asked his teacher if he could change his name tag on his desk to our last name. He was tired of waiting on the legal stuff. He started to write Simon Almost Last Name on his papers. So we asked all the kids and they asked for the same update. Their report cards and benchmarks still had their legal names. 
The name change was a bit cumbersome at first. We sounded like owls because someone would ask for a person by their birth name and we would all answer "Who?". W…

FAQs

I had some questions asked of me recently that I thought I would answer here:

1) How do you keep doing this after so much crap?
I actually had two different foster moms ask me this. One dealing with a false allegation and one in a kinship case with a pregnant, unstable bio mom.

I'm not sure I have an eloquent answer to this question. I think I've reached a point where I see the bigger picture - the kids.  That's not to say this stuff doesn't drive me nuts or make me emotional. I would be spitting fire if we had to deal with a false allegation. I'm really upset about the potential of having to make a decision about another baby. But if not me, who? We are good at this. There are kids that need me. And I probably need them. I am a caretaker by nature.  What would I be doing with myself if I didn't have 15 different obligations all at once? I have no idea because I've always been this way. And right now all of the current drama is related to my children. I s…

It is a process

It's a physical ache. A pain in the middle of my chest.  And it causes hot tears, the kind that sting my eyes.  It settled over me today and I couldn't shake it.

It started with news that more people in our lives are expecting and today, I just couldn't muster the happiness.  I heard complaints of not feeling well and my ability to plaster the smile on my face just vanished from my body. I left the house to "run an errand" but really I just needed an escape.

All week I've been able to communicate and tell people about Solana leaving without any trouble.  I probably sounded like a PSA for "How to be the role model foster parent".

People were asking:

So will you get to adopt the little one? Is she staying?

Well no, actually.  She is going home in a few weeks. That's the goal of foster care. We are really happy for her dad. He really gets it. We've built a relationship. I'm so glad she doesn't have to go through the pain of adoption or …