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Solaron
Sep 6, 2007

Whatever the reason you're on Mars, I'm glad you're there, and I wish I was with you.



Really great advice here.

For my family, we have 2 biological kids (12 and 8) and we involved them every step of the way. We would discuss the things we learned in training, talk about what to expect, imagine what life might be like for kids placed in foster care, etc. This is an experience that doesn't just impact the parents, so we wanted to ensure our children were on-board and supportive.

It has definitely worked out great for us. The kids have felt invested and empowered, they communicate with us on their own needs and feelings very well and feel as though they're full stakeholders in the experience. They watch their foster siblings, my daughter loves to change diapers, etc.

It helps that our foster kids are much younger (3, 2 and 6 months) - we haven't had older kids placed with us yet.

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Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


Our biological daughter has been a huge part of our foster child's addition to our family. We make sure to include her with as much as we can, we always check to see how she's doing, give her time apart with us so she doesn't feel left out, etc. whatever needs to be done to make sure she still knows she's just as loved and nothing has changed. She's 8 so it's a little different than if she was older. It's certainly not a mentor role, more just a big sister role.

On the more depressing side of things, though a bit happy I guess, our foster daughter goes home next week to her family for good. Kinship passed all requirements so grandma will be taking the girls as of the 20th. I'm super depressed about it but I'm glad she'll be with her family again since I know that's a huge deal. We broke the news to her with her therapist present and thank god we did. There were lots of emotions to explore and discuss on all sides of the table for that one. I'm going to miss her as over the course of a year she's become a big part of our family.

As planned, we're going to take an extended break from fostering but will do respite as needed until we're ready to take on another child long term.

The fact that she got to go to Disney World with us and that Santa is coming a few days early so our families can come to a going away party and celebrate Christmas a bit earlier so she can be included. At least we're making lasting memories that she'll have for the rest of her life.

VorpalBunny
May 1, 2009

Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog


Kodilynn posted:

The fact that she got to go to Disney World with us and that Santa is coming a few days early so our families can come to a going away party and celebrate Christmas a bit earlier so she can be included. At least we're making lasting memories that she'll have for the rest of her life.

It's this kind of thinking I find so lacking in many foster homes. So many times, I want to scream at people "IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU!" when they talk about their cases or reflect on their time in foster care. These kids did not ask to have this happen to them, they do not deserve the uncertainty and upheaval, and it's our job as foster families to create and nurture as much of a cocoon of normalcy and love as we can. Sure there will be struggles, sure there will be tears, but it's up to all of us to make sure these kids come out of this traumatic experience with as few scars as possible. They should only know love from everyone they encounter, which means making them feel like a member of the family and including them in your awesome life experiences and giving them a sense of self and value that might otherwise slip away.

I may have told this story before, but it sticks with me as a pure moment of selfishness from another foster family - they asked if we could take in their foster placement for a long holiday weekend. I asked what they were going to be doing, and they told me they were going on a big family camping trip and they "didn't want to be bothered" with their foster placement. And then we got to deal with his tears all weekend, and his rage at being placed in yet another strange home, and there was a bio family visit so there was a lot of emotion wrapped around that whole experience. And this foster family was off enjoying their weekend, unencumbered by the trouble of their foster placement. I have never forgiven them, and I cut off almost all contact with them soon after that, for inflicting such pain and suffering on a child so carelessly. His sobbing for "mama! mama!" on the car ride home from visitation still haunts me.

Kudos to you, and every other foster family out there, for giving these kids such strong building blocks for life. We have no control over what happens before they come into our homes or after they leave, but for the time they are with us we damned well better make sure to do everything we can to give them the lives they deserve.

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


I'm just excited that we've built such a strong relationship with the bio mom and grandmother that they've agreed to continue doing play dates time to time so the girls can keep in touch. That made me feel better about how this whole situation concluded. We'll still help them even after the fact since the girls became friends.

quote:

I may have told this story before

I think you might have but that is absolutely infuriating. I spend every day I can with my daughter and my foster daughter like it's our last because I know that this chapter is coming to a close for us in a sense. My wife and I both took the day she's leaving off since we'll be an emotional wreck that day. It may not be my child, but it's still like losing one of your own when they've been with us for almost a year. We never once had to utilize respite and while we thought about it once or twice, this child has come to know and love us. I can't fathom why someone would push them off onto a stranger without serious reasons like a medical emergency. I just can't grasp that at all. That and the people who clearly do it for the money in some of the support groups, THOSE infuriate me to no end.

JIZZ DENOUEMENT
Oct 3, 2012

STRIKE!


I loving love everybody in this thread you all are incredible people and the world would be a better place if the average human had your level of compassion and responsibility.

I'm not being sarcastic, I mean this genuinely. You are drat good people.

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


Thanks JIZZ DENOUEMENT that means a lot

AA is for Quitters
Aug 6, 2009

Hold the newsreader's nose squarely, waiter, or friendly milk will countermand my trousers.

So, question to all you wonderful folks... Due to some mental health issues and unstable housing for a while, we willingly gave our son up for a placement because, well, we weren't in a place to take care of a toddler the way he needed.

We got a wonderful foster family who we absolutely love, and get plenty of time with our kiddo, but now that we're back on our feet and reunification is getting closer and closer (social worker just wants another month or two to make sure the meds are stable, since psych meds take for loving ever to get to "stable" levels), if the bio family wants you to stay involved, would you?

I mean, they've grown super attached, and I don't blame them. But he's their first placement, and they have a 7 year old that reads him bedtime stories every night, and as much as I want him back, I kinda feel like an rear end in a top hat for just ripping him away from these absolutely amazing people. (if we had gotten a lovely or mediocre family, I don't think my views would be the same, but these guys are really fantastic) Would you still want to spend time with a foster kid, or would it be too painful?

I mean, they almost feel like in laws, and we're buying them Christmas gifts (there's this amazing teddy bear that you can play doctor with and it hooks to a tablet and you can take x-rays of it, and listen to its heart beat, and the foster mom is a vet, so I think it's great for their girl). When we found out about the fact that we have an expensive road ahead of us due to our kiddo having a genetic thing that is going to mean a lot of dental work, before we found out that that is the only complication and there was some question of how involved his care would be, we had talked adoption with them because if kiddo couldn't sweat, we simply aren't in a place financially to buy cooling vests, etc. But dental work can be saved up for, at least. And... I feel like they should get to choose how much they see our boy. They told us if they adopted him, they'd let us see him all the time, so I feel the same towards them.

Plus my son got attached to them too. When we're all in a room together, I feel bad for the poor kid cause he doesn't know who to run to. There's a part of me that almost wants to let them have him, just because they have more money and have pets and a big yard, while we have a nice apartment with no yard and a no pets rule. But...I want my son back. Basically, for those of you who foster, how would you deal with this? Cause they're great people, great for my son, and I want to keep them involved once we get him back. We've discussed it a little with them, but I can tell it's a bit of a sore subject and they don't really want to think of the eventuality of him coming back to us full time. I want to make is getting him back as painless as possible on them. How?

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


Talk to them. I personally think they might be thrilled to not have to say goodbye forever. But they're the only ones who know what the want. Maybe they'd like to be his godparents.

I'm social worker as well as a foster parent so my opinions skew a little differently than some of the others, I'd love to hear what they have to say.

That said, be careful about presents. Technically they probably aren't supposed to accept them. Maybe ask them first? Your funds and energy should be going toward your child, and I'm sure that's what they want. A heartfelt card and letter? Now that is something I would openly weep over if I got one from my daughter's family.

Remember that you are still his parent, and not having a yard or lots of money doesn't change that.

Solaron
Sep 6, 2007

Whatever the reason you're on Mars, I'm glad you're there, and I wish I was with you.



How long have they had your son for? I can understand growing attached, certainly, but this is covered in training extensively: Reunification is the ultimate goal until that's no longer in the best interest of the child. Framing this as two sets of parents who both love and care about your son and want this to be as smooth as possible is going to go a long way.

I can understand if they are upset or a little resentful since adoption had been discussed with you guys, but they are parents as well and can surely understand the situation if the tables were turned.

I think it's best to be straight-forward and realistic, provided you are fully following your case plan and the case worker confirms that you are on track to get your son back. In this case, the case worker would also be a great advocate of the process/system/reasoning to the foster family, if they were to problems.

The foster family needs to be aware and address the reality. More than likely, they will be sad and possibly a little bitter but will want to maintain a relationship. They may also want to ensure that, if some sort of relapse/issues were to recur, they would be the first choice to have your son placed with them again (we had discussed a similar scenario when it looked like our boys might go back with their bioparents, a few months ago).

Ensure that you and they both have an understanding of what the relationship would look like. Set your boundaries for what kind of involvement they can have and then present that as a unified front to your son. Be smart about the transition back - start with visits/sleepovers, extend to a weekend, let your son have as much consistency as he can.

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006



Thank you



That's a difficult question for sure and goes on a case by case basis. We're keeping in touch with our bio family because of the commitment to involvement with the grandmother (mom not so much) and the kids love playing with each other. We've helped them so much along the way that we'll keep in touch because we basically made long family friends out of them in the end.

That's not the case for everyone or for every scenario and certainly isn't the norm as our case worker has expressed to us with cautions for mental health reasons with the child and growing up with "two families" essentially. If it's an issue, we'd address it of course, but it's certainly not something we planned to do, it just kind of happened naturally. We won't be in a parent role, just a oh hey it's your friends type thing once and a while. We're definitely sad about what's happening as she's leaving us, but I couldn't be happier for her that she gets to go home to someone in her family so I'm ok with that at this point.

Training was pretty clear about drawing lines though, so again, not something I'd recommend to everyone given the mountain of challenges that this could present without a lot of preparation.

Kodilynn fucked around with this message at 22:18 on Dec 12, 2017

The Dipshit
Dec 21, 2005

by FactsAreUseless


JIZZ DENOUEMENT posted:

I loving love everybody in this thread you all are incredible people and the world would be a better place if the average human had your level of compassion and responsibility.

I'm not being sarcastic, I mean this genuinely. You are drat good people.

Not emptyquoting.

porkswordonboard
Aug 27, 2007
You should get that looked at



Thank you all so much for your thoughtful responses - I really appreciate the information and thoughts you've shared! It's definitely given me a lot to think about.

In thanks, I found a website that allows you to purchase Christmas presents for kids in the foster system and bought a 12-year-old girl a skateboard

AA is for Quitters
Aug 6, 2009

Hold the newsreader's nose squarely, waiter, or friendly milk will countermand my trousers.

They've had him since end of summer when we found out that our landlord got foreclosed on. And we have a giant stack of toys/clothes for him (pretty much every visit the diaper bag winds up stuffed full of more clothes for him) but while I'm sure they did a great job of explaining to the 7 year old the situation, I can't help but think it sucks to see a toddler who is going to play with the boxes more than the toys geting two sets of gifts. It's not much, it's $20 out of our pocket along with $5 for a nice card and something on clearance from hall mark for mom and dad.

And we've discussed it, but I think they're trying to avoid thinking about the fact that he's eventually coming home, since we've gotten 3/⁴ of the way through our case plan. I mean, it's up to them how much involvement they want, but I think with this being their first placement, they're a little reluctant to let go. All our discussions have been vague "we love that you still want us in his life, because we love him too" sorts of things.

peanut
Sep 9, 2007




My outsider's view is that you care enough to admit when you need help, and you willingly seek support, which means your kid is already in better overall circumstances than many other kids placed in the foster system. Take it month by month, one appointment at a time.

Panfilo
Aug 27, 2011

EXISTENCE IS PAIN

I've heard a lot of heartening stories along those lines. Some people, either through poverty or drug addiction are cognizant enough to know they aren't fit to be decent parents for their kids at that point in their life. I can't help but feel that someone self aware enough to understand this is going to be much more cooperative with their case plan to get custody of their kids back later on.

The flip side I've heard is kids that went in foster care, and their foster parent was so wealthy/well-connected that for a year they got access to services and privileges they never would've dreamed of with their birth family. Then when their parents sorted everything out, they went back to their parents, who might be living on the borderline of poverty and never able to provide the same experiences as the foster parent for that year.

VorpalBunny
May 1, 2009

Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog


Christmas is basically over, and I find myself grateful to have shared it with our little one but a little heartsick since court is on Jan 9th and we have no idea what will happen. We haven't heard a word from bio mom or dad in months, but they happened to be in the DCFS office when we were visiting with the extended bio family last week and it was awkward. I don't know why they were there, and I didn't want to pry, but they never even asked me what she was doing for her first Christmas or even said a word to me except for goodbye. It really hurts my heart for her that they have barely participated in her life. She is walking now, saying "Dada" regularly, her milestones are frequent and awesome, and her bio family doesn't even ask about her. Every once in a while I just shake my head in disbelief, why are we doing all these visits and going through the court motions if they ultimately don't really care about her? Do they really care and are unable to show it in a conventional way? I guess this is why DCFS is involved in their lives.

I also found myself wondering after all the children being detained by DCFS over the holidays. Chaos doesn't take a Christmas break, and even if we send this little one back to her bio family I don't think I can shake this desire to help another little person in a scary situation. Being a foster parent is hard, but being a foster kid is harder, and while we have the safety and security of our family and friends to share the season with...they don't. And it breaks my heart that these little ones are so far off the social radar, I worry about their services and DCFS staff and stuff being cut in this political climate. I just wish more people opened their arms a little wider to bring in these kids, to give them shelter from the storm.

Enough rambling, I just wanted to reach out to you guys and wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. It helps to know there are a few folks who can identify in some way with this crazy adventure we're on.

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


Stuff like that has been on my mind too.

My daughter is 18 now and had made plans to spend Christmas with her bio family, which was ok with me and I bought her plane ticket. At the very last minute she begged me to change her ticket so she didnít have to go because they were making her feel so unwanted. She was in tears outside the airport. It was crushing. Sheís such a great person and is doing so well, how can they exclude her over and over? I donít think it ever gets easier for a foster kid to cope with rejection.

She spent Christmas with me and my dad at home and seemed to enjoy herself. My family really got their poo poo together this year and mailed her gifts and cards and respected her wanting to be referred to as my child (eg referring to her as "niece" and "grand daughter"). She sat with us and participated in our Christmas phone calls and told everyone about her grades and her college experience. She also told them that we're meeting with the adoption supervisor in January. She got really excited that my brother wants to fly out from Texas with his family for our finalization.

We went to her bio paternal grandmothers last week and she told them about the adoption and I actually got a huge hug from grandma. Grandma knows there's not a whole lot of people looking out for her. Her bio mom is happy for her too.

I'm also the on call social worker for my small county this weekend and holiday, so I am answering the hotline calls for abuse and neglect. Nothing I've had to go respond to yet, but man does domestic violence take an unhappy upturn over the holidays

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


Our foster daughter went home on Wednesday the 20th. Santa came early on the 17th and we had all the family come over and had a huge Christmas/going away party. It was a very emotional goodbye after 11 months and we're all very distraught and depressed. Christmas itself was very quiet even with family over. They took it as hard as my wife and I did. We're taking a break at least until April at the earliest, assuming we do this again. This was a huge emotional hit that I still haven't recovered from fully and won't for awhile. She got two Christmases though, one with us and one with her biological family and we made sure to do extra presents for them to give since we knew they didn't have much in the way of resources. Her room door has been closed with the lights off since she left us. No one wants to go in there. I have no desire to go in that room. Getting up it's too quiet. Even my daughter is very distant right now with the rest of us. Wife and I both have appointments with therapists as does our daughter just to cover all bases, but you never fully understand the emotional impact until you live it. It hurts, it sucks, I know we did good, but god this pain sucks. Ugh.

Thanks to this thread for allowing everyone who fosters to post, vent, and ask questions. If nothing else, it's been very therapeutic in a roundabout way.

JIZZ DENOUEMENT
Oct 3, 2012

STRIKE!


Holy loving christ reading those last few posts. What the gently caress. I have devoted my personal and professional life to improving my community and I'm like 1/100th as awesome as you people. You are all incredible, powerful, and emotionally resilient human beings. I hope I can one day possess half the strength you people possess.

This thread inspired me and I managed to donate toys for foster kids for Christmas.

JIZZ DENOUEMENT fucked around with this message at 03:07 on Dec 27, 2017

N. Senada
May 17, 2011

"Oh, you're tapped out? Tap three, play Darksteel Plate. Tap two, equip it to Platinum Angel."

"Is that it?"

"No. I play Trickster God's Heist and give it to you in exchange for that token."

Hey parents who are married, how did the conversation with your SO happen when you brought up adoption?

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


N. Senada posted:

Hey parents who are married, how did the conversation with your SO happen when you brought up adoption?

Our conversation about adoption started when we began the fostering process, which was a 2 year conversation before we ever started getting certified. We were all for it and ready to fight for it going in. Our conversation didn't just include us, we got our daughters opinion as well so everyone had a voice in the conversation. My wife and I were both 100% on board with fostering to adopt which was our goal from the beginning. It sucks that it didn't work out that way. If everyone's not in 100%, don't do it. That's my best advice.

Kodilynn fucked around with this message at 14:24 on Dec 28, 2017

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


I broke up with my boyfriend that didnít want to get on board the foster train, choo choo. Now I have a new boyfriend who is capable of loving children from any background as if they are his own, but weíre waiting a bit after the current adoption before we start again.

Kodi, I hope someday you and your family try again, you did such a wonderful thing for that family and youíre wonderful parents.

Panfilo
Aug 27, 2011

EXISTENCE IS PAIN

That type of discussion really needs to happen as early as possible, at the same time as your 'do you want to have kids' discussion happens. Unfortunately people can be really nonspecific with what they really want, and this causes problems. I can't imagine how lovely some fost adopt child would feel if one of their adoptive parents acted like they lost a bet/arguement and were reluctantly going along with it.

Some people might say they wouldn't want to fost adopt but then later on it turns out they just don't have the energy/patience for handling a toddler. In that case they might be a great parent to an older kid and if so need to be specific about it. I'm sure there's a nonzero number of people who are themselves fine with adopting a child of another race, but perhaps can't deal with the reality of how their family will act and stuff. They might not think this is a valid excuse, so they just say nothing or just flat out refuse. Again, they need to speak up to their partner about things like this in case it ends up being a deal breaker.

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


I always thought my family was a little biased/discriminatory against black people, though not outright "we hate black people." (Rural Canadians and NYC Puerto Rican communities are p racist). Adopting my daughter is having a ripple effect through my immediate family where they are actually more open minded and will aggressively defend her from any perceived slights or micro aggressions. Sometimes you make a choice you think your family won't support and they rise to the occasion.

She said I could post this picture of her and my dad from Christmas

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


Mocking Bird posted:

Kodi, I hope someday you and your family try again, you did such a wonderful thing for that family and youíre wonderful parents.

We are on "hold" for now instead of outright closing, but I've made it very clear to the agency that it's going to be awhile. We became super attached when we saw the potential for adoption and the last minute grandparent custody really came out of left field and got us right in the feels. The frustration and depression from it is a bitch and I don't know if my family could do it again. We'll certainly discuss it in the future but not anytime soon.

The pic of your daughter and dad is adorable though

VorpalBunny
May 1, 2009

Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog


My husband and I talked about this stuff when we moved in together, how we wanted to explore foster/adoption after we had a few bio kids. I wanted to make sure that primal urge to reproduce was taken care of, and I wanted to make sure we were actually good at being parents before we opened our home to the foster/adoption process. We had 2 kids, were decent at it, and decided to get foster certified and see how it went. We sort of took everything step by step, had no preconceived plan for anything, and accepted our adopted son within a week of being foster certified. He was an 8-day placement who never left!

As for our extended family, we brought it up at family events to gauge people's reactions. We told them we were exploring the idea of being foster parents, and asked how they would feel about us bringing in new kids to their homes for family events and stuff. Everyone was overwhelmingly positive, the only negative we really got was how crazy we were to want to raise that many kids.

The Dipshit
Dec 21, 2005

by FactsAreUseless


N. Senada posted:

Hey parents who are married, how did the conversation with your SO happen when you brought up adoption?

So, not parents yet, but my wife and I actually talked about adoption while dating. We both independently figured on "have one, adopt one," which has morphed into "have one (or two?), adopt one (or two?)" but it's easier to imagine raising kids when you can save money after leaving grad school.

Panfilo
Aug 27, 2011

EXISTENCE IS PAIN

Triangle Shirt Factotum posted:

So, not parents yet, but my wife and I actually talked about adoption while dating. We both independently figured on "have one, adopt one," which has morphed into "have one (or two?), adopt one (or two?)" but it's easier to imagine raising kids when you can save money after leaving grad school.

This is the best time to do it. Better you both know whether you are on the same page about things right away then find out one spouse has some issue they never talked about when you are halfway through the process.

The Dipshit
Dec 21, 2005

by FactsAreUseless


Panfilo posted:

This is the best time to do it. Better you both know whether you are on the same page about things right away then find out one spouse has some issue they never talked about when you are halfway through the process.

If I may add something else I think is important, what kind of personal limits you might put on adoption before you get there too. Wife and I are both working professionals (she's a MD, I'm an engineer), and I don't think we could handle taking care of a kid with intellectual disabilities like downs or what have you, due to the time and emotional costs of it. I learned that I am super skittish around kids with intellectual disabilities from time I spent volunteering for disabled kids, and I've been unable to get over myself, and my wife also thinks that she'd have trouble connecting with a kid with such issues.

I also learned that she did have some minor ethnic preferences, because she wouldn't want to deal with having to explain to people that "Yes, this is my adopted child" over and over again, which I never thought of.

Panfilo
Aug 27, 2011

EXISTENCE IS PAIN

That's also perfectly reasonable. Generally the best foster/adoptive parents for a medically fragile child are ones emotionally equipped to handle it, and no agency is going to ethically place a medically fragile child with parents that aren't 110% on board with the reality of it. Fortunately in California parents that foster medically fragile children get much more financial assistance (as well as medi Cal until they are 18) so that the parents willing to it but worried about the financial impact are taken care of to some degree.

Race can be a dicey issue, of course it boils down to preference. Though at the same time the more particular a couple is about things like race, the longer the process takes. But at the same time, nobody should be pressured into going along with something they aren't comfortable with.

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


Triangle Shirt Factotum posted:

If I may add something else I think is important, what kind of personal limits you might put on adoption before you get there too. Wife and I are both working professionals (she's a MD, I'm an engineer), and I don't think we could handle taking care of a kid with intellectual disabilities like downs or what have you, due to the time and emotional costs of it. I learned that I am super skittish around kids with intellectual disabilities from time I spent volunteering for disabled kids, and I've been unable to get over myself, and my wife also thinks that she'd have trouble connecting with a kid with such issues.

I also learned that she did have some minor ethnic preferences, because she wouldn't want to deal with having to explain to people that "Yes, this is my adopted child" over and over again, which I never thought of.

Trans-racial adoption is a whole can o' worms in and of itself, and when we do foster parent training we definitely talk about it because we'd rather people let us know than have to have an awkward conversation when we keep calling them to place children they have to say no to!

My favorite foster mom is a black woman and she strongly prefers black children because she had bad experiences with people treating her like she's a nanny when she walks around with a light skinned child. That's ok as long as you're up front and honest!

My kid thinks it's funny and really wigged out all my brother's extended Mexican in-laws by introducing herself as my daughter and then making jokes about the hypothetical dad being "heart-of-Africa level black" which I gotta tell you is NOT a joke I can make without looking like a terrible racist.

I also am not in a place to care for a child with round the clock supervision needs - including infants and intellectual/physical disabilities. Knowing or finding your limits and your abilities and strengths is part of the training and process!

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


Panfilo posted:

That's also perfectly reasonable. Generally the best foster/adoptive parents for a medically fragile child are ones emotionally equipped to handle it, and no agency is going to ethically place a medically fragile child with parents that aren't 110% on board with the reality of it. Fortunately in California parents that foster medically fragile children get much more financial assistance (as well as medi Cal until they are 18) so that the parents willing to it but worried about the financial impact are taken care of to some degree.

Race can be a dicey issue, of course it boils down to preference. Though at the same time the more particular a couple is about things like race, the longer the process takes. But at the same time, nobody should be pressured into going along with something they aren't comfortable with.

In California, foster kiddos actually qualify for medi-cal until they're 26

Panfilo
Aug 27, 2011

EXISTENCE IS PAIN

Mocking Bird posted:

In California, foster kiddos actually qualify for medi-cal until they're 26

Oh, that rules. I had assumed it was till eighteen like the adoption assistance money.

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


Adoption affects benefits - that applies to children who age out of the system without being adopted, as children with severe disabilities often do even if they have consistent caregivers. I'm not sure of the age stuff for adoption, but I can find out if you'd like!

VorpalBunny
May 1, 2009

Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog


We have court tomorrow to determine if the parents lose their parental rights. They had their first visitation in months on Friday and they brought their newborn son. I am so torn about what might happen, part of me hopes tomorrow provides some finality either they get her back or we are poised to adopt her. What will likely happen is a delay of another few months, which sucks for a ton of reasons, and she goes on unaware of anything and stays confused as to why she has to be held by strangers for an hour every once in a while.

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


Thatís so hard

Parents have a right to contest, so youíre probably right about the delay, but the courts do mostly side with what social services recommends, so if they want termination itís more likely to happen than not...

In California they would be hard pressed to prove that someone who could be trusted with a newborn (Aka the most vulnerable child) shouldnít be trusted with an older, less vulnerable sibling...

A lovely situation all around, I hope it works out the best for your foster child.

VorpalBunny
May 1, 2009

Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog


As expected the case was delayed to early March due to "failure to notify" even though both bio parents were present. Whatever. I was assured today by a lawyer that each child is on separate tracks. One was detained, one was not. One is on track for adoption, the other is not.

I sat through their other case, for their newborn, and it sounds like they are passing their drug tests and doing well. The judge praised them, but said it was too early to tell if they had truly turned a corner. They have these two handlers that travel everywhere with them, even escort them to the bathroom, and they have constant caretakers with them where they live. They also claim they haven't had any domestic violence issues since they went in the program, but they also live in completely separate dorm rooms so...

I waited around after court to talk to the bio parents. I have never really spoken with them, so in honor of my foster placement's upcoming 1st birthday I shook their hands, gave them a hug and told them how awesome it was to hear their progress. I never want to seem condescending, and I probably fumbled it hardcore, but I was trying to convey that no matter what happens in court she is an awesome little kid and their progress would make her proud. I mean, they have a full bio brother to my placement, even if we adopt her I would hope the brother could be a part of our lives.

Foster care and adoption is so messy. No wonder people just stick to bio kids and not get their hands dirty in stuff like visitation and court and hearings. But, I must say, this little girl is worth the pit in my stomach waiting outside the courtroom, the lack of sleep worrying about the millions of ways her case could go, the ball of tears behind my eyes when I think of saying goodbye to her. I can't wait for her to wake from her nap so I can give her a big hug.

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


Youíre doing such a good job, I would feel privileged to work with you as a foster parent

The Dipshit
Dec 21, 2005

by FactsAreUseless


My wife (after a cancer scare) has expressed interest at foster-to-adopt older kids, and we've realized that there is a huge goddamn bump in kids looking for homes after 8 years old or so, and that sibling groups of older than 8 seem like a huge uphill battle for the kids to find a family. I'm guessing that a lot of people looking to adopt want to stand tallest in their kid's memories over their biological family. Confirm/deny?

What is there to look for in how to help these kids? I assume things like "keeping up with extended family" and "visiting with biological parents" are normal (and good) for older kids, but what else could I be missing? I mean, I'm not worried at problems we can throw money at like flights to visit grandma or what have you, if we move around (wife probably wants to move after she finishes residency), but what might I be missing here?

I'm the day-to-day life person out of the two of us with organizing/cooking/cleaning/general scheduling, so I'm trying to figure on these things ahead of time.

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VorpalBunny
May 1, 2009

Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog


Triangle Shirt Factotum posted:

My wife (after a cancer scare) has expressed interest at foster-to-adopt older kids, and we've realized that there is a huge goddamn bump in kids looking for homes after 8 years old or so, and that sibling groups of older than 8 seem like a huge uphill battle for the kids to find a family. I'm guessing that a lot of people looking to adopt want to stand tallest in their kid's memories over their biological family. Confirm/deny?

What is there to look for in how to help these kids? I assume things like "keeping up with extended family" and "visiting with biological parents" are normal (and good) for older kids, but what else could I be missing? I mean, I'm not worried at problems we can throw money at like flights to visit grandma or what have you, if we move around (wife probably wants to move after she finishes residency), but what might I be missing here?

I'm the day-to-day life person out of the two of us with organizing/cooking/cleaning/general scheduling, so I'm trying to figure on these things ahead of time.

The number one thing people worry about with older kid is how much trauma they have been through. It's hard enough with a teenager, but one who has been sexually abused since birth? Or even kids who have no outward violent tendencies, who are totally "normal", are still "damaged" in that they have enough of a history of abuse they are in the system. And sometimes being in the system can gently caress up a kid, or sibling sets who have been moved around and separated/reunited, and the trauma from that might not be so obvious. And there are obviously some selfish stuff in play, a newborn child will only know you as their parent, etc. It's a lot of work, but if you guys have that desire and are willing to deal with these issues, I say go for it! The world needs more people willing to take in children in desperate need of a soft landing.

I personally am open to the idea when my bio kids are all older, my friend specializes in older adoptions through the Dave Thomas Foundation. My bio kids are all still little, so we focused on newborns/toddlers. We ended up taking in 2 meth-positive newborns over the past few years, completely aware they might be affected for life due to their drug exposure. We adopted one in 2016 and are on track to adopt the other later this year.

Speaking of our case...I got a random text message this morning from the family of the bio mom saying the bio parents have "left their program" and no one knows where they are. They took their newborn, and I guess they said they were looking for a new program, but now I am bracing myself for a call from DCFS asking me to take in the newborn. It's kind of loving amazing how much things can change in an instant. One day we are all in court and I am praising them for their efforts to get and stay clean, and the next they go on the run with their baby. Perhaps it will all end well, but I can't help but wonder what the drama and chaos will bring next. Never a dull moment! At least our foster placement has no clue, she's too young to understand anyway but we don't really talk about this stuff in front of the kids.

EDITED TO ADD: An hour after posting this, we got the word from our social worker confirming the bio parents left rehab yesterday after court, and no one knows where they are. They told the other rehab place they were going to find a new rehab, but until then they are MIA. I was just warned by the social worker that the newborn's social worker was currently writing her report and to expect a phone call in the next day or two about potential placement. If they find him. I could very well get a phone call on our foster placement's birthday this Friday asking if we can take in her full brother. That would be 5 kids ages 7 and under in my tiny little home. I have a feeling my husband and I will be losing a lot of sleep over this new development.

VorpalBunny fucked around with this message at 19:56 on Jan 10, 2018

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