Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Hope everyone who celebrates Easter had a Blessed day today!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Book Review - Another Forgotten Child

 TLC Book Tours contacted me and asked me to review a book written by Cathy Glass (pseudonym), a  British foster carer. She has fostered many children and has adopted from the system.  It sounded interesting so I agreed even though I am typically not a book reviewer.

The book, Another Forgotten Child, is about Cathy's experience as a foster parent dealing with a foster child named Aimee.  Aimee is an 8 year old child who has come into care after years of abuse and neglect.  Cathy writes about the challenging behaviors of Aimee, the difficulties of dealing with the biological mother, handling false allegations and how the system failed to keep Aimee safe.

As a foster parent myself I was very interested in reading about the similarities and differences between the British and American foster systems.  I often think that the system here in the US does not always do what they should for the best interest of the child but I see that we are not alone.  In spite of efforts to protect children in both the UK and America, children are still falling through the cracks.  
I found this book to be a very quick read but found that I skimmed over some areas since Cathy Glass seemed to repeat herself quite a bit.  I felt that the story could have been told in a much shorter book.  However, I was drawn into Aimee's life story and it was very interesting to see what challenges Aimee had and how she grew after being removed from her mother's care.
As a foster parent I felt that many of the experiences were true.  However, I was surprised that Aimee was able to make so many behavior changes so quickly.  The children that I have cared for have taken years to overcome the effects of severe neglect that they endured before they came into care.  Sometimes they live with the effects of the early abuse and neglect their entire lives. In spite of this, I feel that the story gives a good portrayal of what foster children and foster parents deal with while in care. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in fostering or learning more about the struggles of children who come into care.  The more people understand, the more they can help.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Having Fun

We were invited to a birthday party at the gymnastics place where Larissa used to take classes.  All 5 of the little ones were invited....and were the only one who showed up.  At least we make for a good turn out.
The kids had a great time. 
Larissa made it to the top of the rope.

Michelle tried but just doesn't have the upper body strength. 

Larissa really enjoyed gymnastics when she was going.  The other girls wanted to do it as well and I just wasn't able to afford the cost of taking all of them.  Watching the kids yesterday made me realize that I need to put Larissa back in gymnastics next year.  She has the strength and fearlessness for it.  Michelle is definitely my soccer player and we intend to put her in soccer again next year.  I am not sure where Emma's interests will lead at this time, definitely not soccer.
Anyone out there will lots of kids, how do you afford extra activities?  Do all your kids do sports and such?  It can get expensive real quick.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


I have been asked if we plan on taking our foster son K to DisneyWorld with us.   I had momentarily considered taking him because we typically do take foster kids along, however after thinking it over we have decided that we will not for several reasons. 

First is financial  Right now we have three rooms reserved with 4 in each room for a total of 12 people.  If we added one more child we would have to add another room.  This cost would be on us.  We have taken foster children on vacation with us before and it is always at our expense. Not only would we have to add a room but we would have to figure out where to get the other ticket.  We have two military members who can purchase 6 tickets a piece.  Also, this child has a huge sense of self entitlement.  He would constantly nag us to buy him stuff.  Just this morning he said that I needed to take him shopping for more games for his Nintendo.  It never seems to end, he isn't happy eating out and ordering off of the kids menu like the other kids do and complains that we won't let him buy more Pokemon cards (he has many more cards than any of the other kids in the house).

Second is behavior.  I haven't talked much about his behavior but I will say that it is getting tiring. He doesn't like the word no and doesn't like that there are consequences.  Tonight he was supposed to go to bed 30 minutes early for behaviors and he sat and cried that we were mean for 30 minutes before he went so he didn't actually go to bed early.  He also complained that we are so mean and that he wants moved.  If expecting that you follow the same rules of the house that the other kids follow is mean, then yes we are mean.  We have 4 other sets of eyes watching him to see if he gets away with his stuff.  I can't imagine the chaos we would have if we allowed him to do his "just this one time" type of stuff.  I am constantly having to repeat to him that my no means no.  This trip is about the adoption of Kassi, Michelle and Emma, not our foster son.  I feel that his behaviors would take away from the meaning of the trip.

This placement has taught us a lot.  I don't think that we will be taking any other foster placements that are close in age to our kids.  When we received the girls they were an adoptive placement.  We knew what challenges were ahead and accepted them.  We also knew that they were staying so we were putting all that effort into children who would be our own.  I know that sound selfish, but having K here takes away from our kids.  All of his testing is having an effect on our kids and some of them are now testing in areas where we had made progress.  I feel that there is a lot of backsliding because of one child's behaviors.  If we were planning on adopting K then that is a cost we would take. However, K has family who has stepped forward and really should be short term.  If we were to take in this age child all the time, our children would never be able to completely heal.  We have decided that for foster placements that we will have our age moved back to under 5 years old.  We need to do what we feel is in the best interest of our children at home.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


K is still here.  The judge didn't want him to go to his grandmothers and disrupt his school.  Huh, I thought that was rather odd.  Seems like he should go with family if possible.  He stays in foster care so his schooling isn't disrupted.  I wonder if there is something I don't know.  I haven't been going to the court hearings since I am student teaching this semester.

We have an appointment to sign the paperwork for the girls, April 8th.  We also have an appointment with our lawyer, April 8th.  We don't waste time when it comes to finalizing. 

I stopped by the lawyers office today to pick up Kassi's adoption paperwork.  We have that but still no birth certificate.  It is stuck in the state of Florida.  Our lawyers office is now pestering them daily to get some action on this.  We can't get her on Tricare without the birth certificate.

Coming soon, a book review that I somehow missed!  More later....

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Great news...John will be doing the Veteran's job training program at our local unemployment office.  He will work regular 8 to 5 hours and has to wear a shirt and tie.  This will give him an opportunity to do some training and to get out of the house.  Staying at home is just not for him.  This means that Sarah will have to step up to the plate in regards to the kids.  Thankfully I am home within 30 minutes of them getting out of school and I will be off for spring break when they are off for spring break.

Once again I am doing laundry for our foster kiddo.  He has court tomorrow and may go to his grandma's.  Or he may not.  We have heard both so we prepare just in case because we have learned that you just don't know what will happen at court with foster care.

We heard from the girls adoption worker.  Foster care has already sent them the clearance letter.  They didn't wait the 30 days because they didn't have anywhere to send the paperwork to in regards to the TPR.  Adoptions isn't willing to act on it yet so we will wait the 30 days to sign.  They want to ensure that the unnamed father who hasn't come forward in 7 years can't fight for the girls in the future.  Their named father signed off long ago.  So.......we wait with the knowledge that this will end soon.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Still busy over here. I have about six more weeks of student teaching to go and I am really enjoying it. I just wish that I had a few more hours in each day to accomplish all that I need to do!

My special education speciality is severe/multiple disabilities and autism. I have had the opportunity to develop many lesson plans and some are messier than others.  This week we made spider cakes.  It was a smelly, mushy, messy project that everyone enjoyed.  It didn't matter that our spiders looked like tarantulas, everyone was engaged (and they were tasty).

 In foster care news, our newest kid has court this week.  He has told me that his SW told him he will go to family.  We were told maybe he will go.  Not sure who is right but I can't imagine that the SW told him he definitely would because we all know how foster care is.  There are no guarantees.

We also has a visit this week from the girls SW.  She thinks that this will be her last visit to the house.  She hopes to see us at court next.  We don't have much longer to go before the adoption worker comes for a visit with the adoption paperwork and we get to visit our lawyer.

Tasha has moved to Charleston so we have been bedroom shuffling.  I am still working on projects in that area and will post pictures when we get beyond the totally cluttered look!

I broke down two weeks ago and hired someone to help me with cleaning house.  She is going to come in once a week and clean only the common areas.  We have always been cluttered but generally clean.  We have passed over to the cluttered and not so clean.  Not sure how long we will afford this pleasure, but for now it is necessary for my sanity!

The weekend weather here is looking great so I will get to send the kids outside!  Perhaps I will get something finished.  I have to do a mock IEP meeting on Monday and havent' created my imaginary person yet.  Guess I should work on that!

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Today the girls got TPR again. They originally got it in November but it was revoked because the lawyer did not publish.  It took a while for DSS to realize the error because this particular lawyer is very slow in getting her orders prepared for the judge to sign.  The 30 day waiting period does not start until the judge signs it.  So if it takes the lawyer a month to get the order in for a signature then it delays the waiting period by a month.

We are happy today because not only did we get TPR (again) but the lawyer came to court with the order and the judge signed it right there.  So our 30 day waiting period starts from today.  We expect the adoption worker to be here in about 30 days for us to sign and then we will see our lawyer again. 
Our estimate time now is before our Disney adoption trip!  That would be great!

Kid pictures....just because.

Tasha and Sarah went on the Color Run last weekend. Tasha moved to Charleston the first of this month and she came home to run with Sarah.  I miss her!


Monday, March 4, 2013

Court Day

Foster K had court today.  I thought for sure that he would go with his grandmother.  She has passed the homestudy.  However the judge didn't want to send him with her, he wants the original judge to make that decision.  Seems crazy to me.  Why bother to have court today if the judge isn't willing to make any decisions.  So now we wait until the 21st.  I assume that he will go with his grandmother then.  I have never seen a bio come forward this early in the process, have a positive homestudy and then be denied placement of their family member.  This system really does not do what is in the best interest of the child.

K wasn't upset at all.  I had told him that if he didn't go with grandma today that I would get him a Nintendo DS.  It is hard (and expensive) when every other child in the home has such toys and the new kids doesn't.  I will send it with him.  Perhaps I should have extras on hand in the future that stay here.  This can get costly.  I bought him one on the way home from class tonight.  (Used one from Game Stop).  He heard me come in and asked from bed if I was going to buy him one tomorrow.  I told him I already bought one to which he got very excited and said, "thanks mom!" 

I do have so much to write!  Half way through my student teaching!  I just don't have time right now.  Mondays are class all day and then class in Columbia at night.  Tomorrow is dance for Anthony and Larissa and foster parent meeting.  Expect a blog post on Wednesday.  So much going on around here and pictures to share.