First off, kudos to you for even considering something like this.
I spent some time as a foster kid so I'll try to answer a couple of your questions below.
I do want to say it can be really tough and you should definitely talk to other foster parents and get a good idea of what you're getting into.
A touch of backstory, hopefully leaving most of the E/N parts out. Right before my 13th birthday some bad poo poo happened in life. I was already in a single parent home, and when that parent can't take care of the children anymore, and you have no family... well you go in the system. Family Services, or whatever the hell it's called in your area comes and gets you from the cops, and off you go.
The first week was scary and confusing and loving scary. I had no idea what was going on with my dad, I had a little brother with me I was trying to protect, (12, almost 13 year old boy trying to be a man here), and we were thrown into a group home with about 12 or 13 other kids. I think there were around 15 of us or so. It was a total shock to reality, no one really talks to you because your a kid, and just... yeah. After about a month or so I was placed into foster care for a few months while some court poo poo worked its way out. I'll try to keep my responses to the experience with the foster family.
What did you expect or know being in foster care? I know it's a weird question but I'm curious what the expectations are from the view of the child.
Honestly I had no expectations at all. We were 2 scared (freaked the gently caress out tbh) kids, 12 and 10 who got dropped off at a strangers home by a social worker and told they were going to take care of us for a while. Honestly I went into pure survival mode.
The folks were nice enough, not a great fit, but what are you going to do? They were an older farm belt couple, retired, trying to help some kids out. We weren't religious, they said grace at every meal. The did old people poo poo like go to bed early and eat dinner at 5PM, we didn't.
We grew up in the deep south, and folks in Kansas always made fun of what they considered excess pleasantries. Everyone was Miss/Mr, lots of yes ma'am and the like so we behaved well. We got along OK, did what we had to do, just focused on surviving until the next day. The biggest complaint I had is we were always hungry with them. They ate very small portions, and 13 year old boys can put down a disgusting amount of food. We really didn't have any of our "stuff" either which was tough. Nothing felt like ours. It wasn't a child friendly environment.
I'm not sure if it was harder with us being older or not. We were able to process what was going on better, but being the father of a 6 and 4 year old now, little kids are amazingly adaptable. I was not adaptable as a 13 year old punk rear end shithead.
I'm not the best person to answer this one since all this happened between the ages of 12 and 14 for me. Fortunately I wasn't really "passed" around either. I had an initial stint in a facility, moved to a group home, and then was placed with the old couple until some court poo poo happened. I was able to understand at that age what was going on. My father was deemed incapable of being our parent, and my biological mother hadn't been a part of my life since I was about 8 years old. No one even knew where she was, much less would she have been capable of taking me and my brother in.
When did it become more apparent about what was going on by your age? Like when did reality kick in about being essentially passed around to people who aren't your bio-parents. Was it explained to you at all?
I personally was never officially adopted. A friend of the family (our next door neighbors) lawyered up and petitioned the court for custody of us since we had no one else. After going through the courts the lady I call my Mom became our Guardian and Conservator until I was 18. My legal parents are my biological parents, but there's only one person I call Mom. My father died when I was 18 years old, my biological mother is alive somewhere last I checked, but haven't had any contact with her in 20+ years.
Any info would be great. Our first class is this week plus orientation and we're super excited. My daughter is already asking every day when she's getting a sister so everyone's on board at least.
My advice would be to get a realistic idea of what to expect when taking someone into your home and temper expectations accordingly. They're going to come with a lot of baggage, and it will probably take them a very long time before they even start to become comfortable in a strange environment. Your daughter isn't going to overnight have a new sister. It will take a lot of time for trust and a level of comfort to be established, there are probably going to be some behavior issues.
Even though a family we were very familiar took us in, they were close family friends even, it still took me the better part of 18 months to get comfortable, and took some of their family even longer to accept us. Showing up at family Christmas with 2 new 13 and 11 year boys in your family didn't go over so hot with some of the extended family, but that was their loving problem. They were assholes back then, and they're still assholes today.
|# ¿ Aug 13, 2016 00:28|
|# ¿ Jun 21, 2021 11:25|