Friday, February 15, 2013

We're Alive

Foster Care has felt a lot like treading water lately. I'm putting forth the effort, but getting nowhere. Behaviors are the same. Caseworkers are ambivalent and no help at all. The name issue from August got dredged up again today. TPR is in less than a month, but I'm being told not to hang my hat on anything. Relative resource's second home study hasn't been started yet, but she's coming up for the trial. I feel like baby 4 is mine. He's been with us 2 years. We love him and he loves us. I'm still working to prepare him for anything, but it's hard because he needs answers, not all the possibilities  I hate working with the public school system and wish I could homeschool. I am literally feeling all the frustration from the beginning of the case multiplied by every single court date where we've gotten nothing accomplished. So here I stay, just trying to keep my head my head above water, and wishing I was a little more in love with our love story.

Oh, and leave it to me to complicate things: We are finalizing our daughter's adoption with the same judge that has Baby 4's case exactly one week after TPR. I can't leave him out. Baby 4 is so excited to go, but he is still asking if the judge will let him get adopted too. I kind of hope he asks her why he can't be adopted in the cutest little 6yr old voice he can muster.

So, that's that. We're still here and I think I'll have a lot of drama blog material coming up in just a few weeks.

On a positive note:

 We had a great birthday party for Baby 4 this month and some of the Bios came and acted very appropriately. It was a good day.

We've gotten to have Baby 2 &3 spend the weekend several times since Christmas and they are perfect.

I'm teaching another MAPP class right now and really enjoying the grown up time out of the house.

Baby 4 told me yesterday that when I get really old, and then turn into a kid again, he'll be my Valentine :)

Baby 4's Valentine's day heart <3


  1. Are the schools simply not listening to the needs of the student, or have no resources to help?

    As a teacher (and soon to be foster parent), I work with many foster kids already, in middle school. Transitioning to new schools is definitely hard and in many cases is a detriment to their learning/education. For those with amazing home support, they do come through.

    Is homeschooling a possibility with foster children? Or do most agencies require they attend public school?

    1. Homeschooling is not an option for children in care (at least in our agency and many others I know of). Private school is allowed at the foster parent's expense, but the Christian schools that I considered could not accommodate an IEP with speech and occupational therapies.

      4's teachers have no understanding of trauma and attachment issues that our kids face. Baby 4 is academically on target, so they expect him to be socially on target as well but he's not. I'm asking for more communication with them. They are not being honest with what is happening because he begs and cries for them not to tell me: "She'll be really mad" or "I'll be in trouble all night".

      The only real feedback I get is when something big happens that sends them over the edge and then they say, "He's been like this for the past 2 weeks". Well, what can I do about that now?

      I want to say they don't take into account his situation when coming up with a behavior plan that he can succeed in, but at the same time they excuse a lot of the behavior by referencing "all he's been through". What has worked for us at home is acknowledging the past as the source of his behavior, but expecting responsibility and respect in the present.

      Also, the school district denied putting him on a small bus with a monitor (something that worked well in Pre-K), so now he is getting in trouble on the bus with kids 3 years older than him. Essentially starting and ending his day negatively.

      Wow- this turned into it's own post. Sorry about that!

    2. We have charter schools in my state and foster children are allowed to attend charter schools (which are tuition-free and publically funded). Our now adopted kids currently attend an online charter school that enables us to school them at home using the charter school's online curriculum and the books and materials they ship to us. My youngest is on an IEP that includes OT and the school provides it. He has a SPED teacher assigned to work with him in a virtual classroom weekly and to help me find ways to work with him when things break down. My son has RAD, PTSD, and learning disabilities and public school was a constant struggle for him on many levels. This has worked out to be a good balance between homeschooling and public education and we have been very satisfied with the curriculum. If your state allows foster children to attend charter schools, this might be an option to get your children home where you can supervise their education more directly. I think the company that runs our school has charter schools in many states.

  2. Oh man. Your case is the one I think of when people ask us how we can be foster parents and I tell them "We actually have one of the easy cases." Poor 4, to never know what's coming down the line, and poor you and Brandon, to not be able to reassure him. I'm hoping to hear more good news soon.

  3. Ugh, so sorry! Foster care can be beyond frustrating -- though maybe it's less the fostering and more the court system. I hope everything turns out wonderfully for your family!

  4. That could be frustrating, but I hope you don't feel exhausted about this. And still hoping for the best. This is just one of the phase of adoption and I'm sure you'll be able to conquer it all. Keep the faith, for 4. :)