Skip to main content

Explanation

We've had a few great days with the Quartet. We seem to be a little more comfortable with each other and the lack of cohesiveness is a little less noticeable. The hardest part has been that they don't "feel" like "our" kids. And of course they don't. They've had 3 and 4 different families in the past year. It's just hard to remember we have to work at it too. But we spent some quality time talking and hanging out the last few days and its helping. The kids have some great personalities and its fun getting to know them.


Sarah asked us directly tonight if her former foster parents were coming to our party on Sunday. As a rule, we don't lie to kids in our home. We adjust answers to be age appropriate but we never mislead the children in our care. (This doesn't score you points. If the kids find out that you were not truthful it can sabotage what little trust you may have.) we told her that they weren't invited. Stella of course pushed and asked if we could invite them. (This child I always looking for an alternative.)

We explained that sometimes you meet people and they are nice but you just don't become friends with them. Other times you meet people and you have a lot in common and so you become friends. We assured them it was us adults that were not going to be friends and that they are lived by their former family.

Stella of course asked us to try "again" and to "try harder" to be friends with them. She wasn't accusatory.  And when we assured her we had tried as hard a we could she wanted to know if it was the other foster mom's fault. We explained it was nobody's fault and that sometimes you just don't become friends with people. She then told me you should never lose hope. (I really hope she challenges her Mom this way when given the opportunity. Stella is the kid in the family who will hold you accountable.) Sarah spent a few minutes crying but she managed to calm down. Stella then wanted to play "what if". What if they invite you to a party would you go? My answer was that I didn't think that would happen but if it did we would figure it out then. 

We didn't mention the no further contact part. We just reminded them how much they are loved by everyone and what an amazing gift their family gave them allowing them to move to be with their siblings.

I felt bad that the girls were hoping their former family would be at the party. I'll have to remember to be more clear about invite lists going forward. And it was hard to walk them through more hurt because of foster care. I hate the path these kids have to journey on.

Comments

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 …