Remember this?

I last shared, prior to getting my placements, that my interest was piqued in regards to a 12 year old girl that was seeking a large family and that I had been contacted regarding to placement and adoption. Well, that was complete crap. It it a pretty shady ordeal, they can only disclose very small pieces of the case during the inquiry while letting you get emotionally involved. During a 6-8 week process they can pick you apart as the family who wishes to adopt but you get minimal information… but not medical or behavorial stuff.

I indicated to the the CSR specialist to call my licensing worker and disclose all of the information to him as there is a loophole in the process. Although he isn’t allowed to disclose any information to me, he can get the nitty gritty. I trust him to make the call for me, he knows my family dynamic and what I’m willing to have in my home in regards to placement. The CSR specialist called my licensing worker, disclosed all the things, he knew it wasn’t a good fit and it was closed down. I hope that anyone who is looking into a CSR child can find this information helpful and time saving, not to mention avoiding yet another emotional rollercoaster.

It was a CSR ordeal which pretty much equates to kids that are EXTREMELY hard to place due to behaviors, multiple placements, etc.

I’ve learned enough about photolistings, CSR’s, and adoptive searches in general. The masses are correct; it is a waste of time and pointless. Despite my initial feelings about everyone else failures being a personality flaw or getting emotionally attached to a picture of a child, everyone was right. It is complete garbage. I’m objective, even during my emotional bit during this journey.

I don’t like being this pessimistic but the proof is in the pudding.

TL;DR

Don’t bother looking at photolistings ot CSR’s. It’s a lost cause or a trap.

Five.

5. 5. 5.

Soon, I’ll have only 5 kids at home. Biscuit, Blue, Boychild, Bunny, and Lemon. I’m freaking out, how do I cook for only 7 people?! What will we do with the copious amounts of leftovers?! There will be extra time, room, and finances. Weird. There will be less stress, chatter, and traffic.

We will enjoy our time together until we are needed. I love my community, I love children, I love foster care. There are lessons to be learned about humility, compassion, and pain. My kids understand the importance of helping people and also, witnessing me fail, has shown them that even though you can desperately want to help it’s okay to say ‘enough’ and have a child removed. My kids have helped transition foster kids to our home and comforted them in times of need. They have also disagreed and fought with them. It is all give and take, understanding others circumstances and remembering how blessed you are to be taken care of in a standard in which society deems normal. My kids don’t take much for granted these days because they understand that things change in the blink of an eye.

I’ve been sifting through adoption listings, looking for potential matches. I’ve sent in several inquiries and have gotten very little feedback. Our system is flawed; caseworkers are busy prioritizing and adoptive kids are being pushed to the backburner. I understand that the removal and reunification are high on the totem pole, they are critical to child safety, but having a child wait in limbo for months or years just isn’t right. My licensing worker has assured me that my homestudy has been sent to all of the inquiries that I’ve sent in and even he says he has gotten very little feedback. It shouldn’t be this hard to find an older child, in the United States, who is legally free for adoption, to find a match. It shouldn’t be this hard to help.

On the other end of the spectrum I’ve gotten leads on some foster placements. Unfortunately, they weren’t a match for our home. I do have a strict criteria that I follow as my children are my number one priority. I do not want to expose them to some things nor have them possibly become victims in any way. It’s hard. Often times it breaks my heart but I’ve developed a firm understanding during my years of foster care of knowing when to say yes to a placement and when to say no.

Luckily, when you seek out adoptive children via photolistings or through your agency you can get every detail of their case/life since being in the foster care system. That makes finding a fit easier for families and agencies. I’ve gotten a few responses stating we weren’t a good fit for a child and I’ve sent responses saying we wouldn’t be a good fit for a child. I’m okay with that, I’m all about the best interest of the children. My older girls have taken an interest in looking at potential siblings online, Blue loves to watch the videos and Biscuit wants to see their faces.

Only God knows what will happen next, we may stay with the 5 kids and be done. We may foster more. We may adopt. Until then…we wait.

Contacts!

Biscuit went for her exam on Wednesday and she is a good candidate for contact lenses. That’s exciting, unfortunately on Wednesday she got quite worked up because she couldn’t get them out during the contacts lesson, she cried and rubbed her eyes a lot and we were sent home because he eyes we’re irritated. We were asked to return Thursday to try again. Thursday morning she popped them in and out like a champ and wore her lenses to cheer choreography. This morning she popped them in like a pro and went to day two of choreography. I’m proud of her! I also ordered her a new pair of glasses…even though her insurance didn’t cover it. This kid breaks glasses at a ridiculous rate, she had her last pair of glasses for a whopping 2 months. Biscuit is feeling really proud of herself about her contact lenses and her ability to place them and remove them.

I’ve never been so excited for it to be Friday as I am today. I’m completely burnt out. Bells and Shy skipped summer camp today and none of the other kids have activities expect Bunny, she has tumbling. It’s busy around here. I’m trying to squeeze in some work related phone calls but it’s quite difficult with 6 children constantly hovering. I didn’t want to work today anyway…yay, it’s the freaking weekend. Maybe if I just lounge around today tomorrow I will be inclined to do some school shopping.

Things on the home front are back to normal, kids are back on schedule and behaving appropriately. Biscuit is still off a bit, she is really sensitive lately. This kid cries everyone she is frustrated and cries when she doesn’t get her way. The most concerning; she has conflicting feelings about hurting people’s feelings that’s she’s told me that she’d rather lie to them. For example: a friend called her the other day and she looked at her phone and groaned ‘uhhh, I do NOT want to talk to her.’ She didn’t answer her phone, no biggie. My phone rings a short time later and a girl asks for Biscuit. I call out to her and remind her to have her friends call her at her number. She asks who it is, I tell her I didn’t ask. It turns out it’s the same girl who she ignored and she shakes her head at me and shoots me a glare. Then, she let’s put this high pitched I’m so happy to talk to you ‘Hiiiii!’ and she has this peppy conversation with the girl. She then asked me is they could hang out while violently shaking her head and mouthing the words ‘no.’ I tell her not tonight. She hangs up and I ask her why she did that, why not tell her the truth and let her know how you feel. Biscuit goes on a tangent about not wanting to hurt her feelings and avoid bad feelings. This isn’t the first time I’ve witnessed this and it doesn’t always involved her friends. What happened to my confident and previously confrontational daughter? I guess I ought to be pleased thst she’s typically honest with me, she never has a filter and sometimes surprises me with her input.

Bunny is stoked about kindergarten, she is ready to buy folders and pencils. Boychild is ready to go back to school too, he likes learning new things and reporting back to me. Biscuit is pumped about school, junior high is a big step. Bells is going to need some help in the school area, she is behind a bit and I’d like to get her into speech therapy and tutoring. Shy, I’m pretty sure he is substantially behind, maybe even a grade level behind. Once school starts I’ll see if I can get him evaluated and see what types of services he needs. I could be wrong about them both, they were both in school for two weeks before it was summer break. I guess I will just have to wait and see! Lemon will start attending a preschool 2 or 3 days a week starting in August, I feel like this school year is going to be a great one. There are so many changes!

I recently had a visit with our licensing agent, she is a complete joy. I love that she answers my questions and if she hasn’t got a clue…she is honest about it. I asked her about adoption during the visit and how to go about that while still providing foster care services. She explained it quite simply and now we’re on a list as prospective adoptive parents. It’s a slow process and I’m very much okay with it…I’m just now able to handle a household of 8-10 effictively. The kids always have friend’s over, the more the merrier, right?!

We should be getting emails soon of avaliable children,  it’s not that we are being forced to pick or anything of that nature it’s basically so we can see avaliable children and decide what our criteria will be. You know, no extreme behaviors, no medically fragile, yes to physical disabilities, yes to sibsets, etc. Our licensing worker wants us to see what’s out there, to look over profiles, to decided what we are capable of, and probably redefine our yes/no list. The examples listed above seem simple but it’s not often the case. Just because a child once exhibited extreme behavioural issues doesn’t mean they’ll be that way forever… imagine be taken from your family, who you thought were normal people and treated you okay, to be placed in a completely different environment. Wouldnt you flip out? Kids get labeled in the system and I think it’s our responsibility to reevaluate situations and children, people change and people recover from trauma. I often think about what labels I would have attached to a case file if I had one, I bet no one would want to adopt me if my life were documented like some of the foster kids.

Bring on the weekend!