Thursday, July 17, 2008

Our First Foster Children

Our first foster care placement was a 7 year old girl & an 11 year old boy. When they were placed with us, their parents had already voluntarily signed the termination papers (because then they wouldn’t have to pay child support). However, because these children were Alaskan Natives, there was a tremendous amount of red tape involved, leaving them in foster care for 9 months with us, and that doesn’t include the previous time they spent in foster care before the termination papers were signed.

They were a great placement for us as first time foster parents, because we didn’t have to deal with the biological parents at all. These 2 children also had 3 half siblings. A sister that was over 18, so she was still with her biological parents and 2 brothers who were at different foster homes. Normally they really try to keep the children together, but for some reason that wasn't possible this time. Since we were not in on this case from the beginning, I'm really not sure why they were separated, but it may have had something to do with the other siblings being much older, and very difficult to find adoptive homes for.

Of course there were issues with the children at times, especially the boy, he had seen quite a bit in his 11 years on this earth. Their biological parents were both alcoholics. There were also allegations of possible sexual abuse, and even if they were not actually abused, they saw way too much! Since the parents were usually drunk, if not worse, the kids were left up to their own devises. When we got them, the boy was already on probation for burglary & vandalism, and so he had several hours of community service he had to complete. Luckily, since I work for the City, I was able to get them to let him work at the recycling center on the weekends to work off that time.

The little girl was not too difficult, she didn't seem to have many issues beyond those of a normal 7 year old girl. Hopefully she was young enough when she was removed from her parents care that she won't remember much of it. (I think she was barely 6 when she was first removed). The boy did have more issues. He would become angry pretty quickly, and while it doesn't make it okay, you can hardly blame him considering what he'd been through already.

Luckily, once the red tape was cleared and they were available to be adopted, a nice couple about 45 minutes away was found who were looking to adopt an older sibling group. We haven't heard from them directly since they left, but a few months later, the social worker said she had visited with them and the seemed to be doing great. I'm sure they will always have some issues to work through, but hopefully being adopted by a loving couple will help.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Wonderful foster care experiences can really make a child's life easier! Thank you for being a part of that!