Archive for the ‘ Fostering ’ Category

Revisiting a Foster Mom with 30 Kids, 5 Adopted

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

domestic adoption foster careWhen we first published this story about an angel of a foster mom who has taken in 30 foster kids over the last few years, we got some great comments, everyone wanted to know what kind of big-hearted family takes in 30 kids.

The Foster mom who asked to be called “Mom of 9″ (only 9 at home now) said, “As a foster parent who has fostered and adopted five of them, I have experience with many kinds of abuse cases. It’s much more common than you think. Not only foster kids hurting biological kids, but foster siblings assaulting each other and even step-siblings assaulting each other. ”

Mom of 9 said that when it comes to sexual abuse in foster care, age is not a factor. She said, “We once had an 8-year-old boy placed with us that ended up being inappropriate towards our other sons. The county didn’t tell us until after he’d been in our home a few days that there was a risk of that because of what he’d been exposed to previously.”

Mom of 9 also said, “When someone adopts a child, the county is required by law to disclose their entire history of abuse but foster parents don’t get the same treatment; they are expected to take a child with only general information. We once had a six-year-old girl with us for three days  and the county didn’t tell us until three days later that she required an inhaler and an Epi-pen for emergencies. Her older sister finally mentioned it.”

She believes there should be stricter laws and legislation to protect and serve all children in foster care. What do you guys think?

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Happy Labor Day Wishes for all Adopted Kids

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Moms and dads endure plenty of stress between work, keeping up with the family obligations, not to mention the anxiety of adoption, filling out all those forms, the huge financial burden, and then also the simple waiting and waiting for your beloved child who is growing older in a home or orphanage somewhere. You cannot kiss them good night or hold them when they get a cut or scrape.

Waiting to just make an adoption decision (domestic versus international, for instance) gets nerve-wracking. Take it from me.

Could this tumultuous waiting/hoping and false starting be bad for your health?

New research says, “Yes.” Mental stress can be more damaging to a woman’s heart than her male counterpart. But local cardiologists say learning how to cope will ensure mom is around to celebrate many more mother’s days to come.

Studies show coping with mental pressures and anxiety may be more taxing on the heart health of women.

The study, presented at a recent annual Experimental Biology meeting, showed men and women given the same stressful math problem all had an increase in blood pressure and heart rate while solving it. Normally, when heart rate and blood pressure rise, blood flow to the heart muscle increases so it can compensate. However, findings showed while the mens’ heart increased blood flow, the womens’ heart did not.

With many mothers overextending themselves, local cardiologists say stress management is a key factor in maintaining a healthy heart. “Stress reduction is important for everyone. This study suggests women especially need to monitor their stress to avoid heart problems. And, women who have heart-related symptoms while under stress, need to tell their doctor right away,” says Jeffrey Rothfeld M.D., F.A.C.C., a cardiologist at Bradenton Cardiology Center.

Studies of heart attack patients found that 15 to 30 percent of those admitted to a medical center had suffered from severe emotional stress. Below are some common triggers that can affect mothers at all stages of adoption and child-rearing:

As we celebrate a long weekend with our families, take the time to de-stress and take a day off of worrying about your adoption journey.

My family and I decided to take the summer off and re-think our adoption journey, because our finances are so tight we really cannot afford to adopt internationally any longer. We are in the middle of a long road to international and money has officially begun to run out.

As you enter or move through the world of adoption do you get totally stressed out like me? Tell me about it in Comments below.

 

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National Outrage for “3 Adopted Kids Abused by New Father”

Friday, August 31st, 2012

When we first aired this Ohio horror story about a foster dad who adopted three young kids and began prostituting them to his friends. To that end, I want to reprint two smart messages and Comments you left for me:

Reader Jess says, “By no means am I defending this man or the other two involved with this sick act on these children. But the three men involved are not the only issue here. Why isn’t anyone holding the private adoption agency accountable. Where was the triple background check that should have been done? And why wasn’t there any mention of social workers doing home visits and followups?

Yes, I agree these men should be justly dealt with. But, as you know, our justice system isn’t the best thing going. It is well noted that there are a lot of the justice  system and government system that are behind our nation’s biggest problem of human trafficking. We live in a country that has become so relaxed on the issues that should be our biggest concerns and yet those issues that should be our least on the ones that our most looked at.”

And reader JL commented, “This story is very sad but what I didn’t see was the obvious factor — deception. Foster parents are interviewed extensively and, in Illinois anyway, require references, a physical exam, and criminal background checks. The fact of the matter is, a predator can and will hide. Look at Sandusky.

We are talking about a type of person who has leaned through years and years how to play people and say what is needed to get hat
he wants. There are very few warning signs for these types of people.

Mostly because the only people aware of these issues are the victims or, in this case, people who are also participating in the illegal act. In Illinois, foster care and adoption workers are required to visit licensed homes at least once a month. They are required to talk to the children alone as well. There will always be bad apples in every bunch. Sad but true.

The only thing that we should focus on and can focus on is what can we do to help. What canwe change in the system to make it more stringent? All issues we as a child welfare system struggle to balance every day.”

Thanks for everyone for reading and taking notice of these topics to help adopted kids:

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Protect Your Kids from Sexual Abuse

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

As my family and I dive into the whirlwind of domestic adoption and begin looking into a domestic adoption of an older kid from the Los Angeles foster care system, I’ve been surfing stats trying to figure out the odds of inheriting an older child that’s been abused in some way, Chances are, unfortunately very high if the kid is older than 11.

We’ve narrowed the age down to looking for a foster kid under 3 but the sex abuse thing continues to haunt me because we have one very healthy beautiful bio son who I would never hurt in a million years. We’d never bring a child into our home if we thought that new kid would someday hurt Sam. So I looked up several agencies to get the stats and they are not only worrisome, but they warm all parents about the common abuses of children everyone, and not just kids from foster care.

Child abuse in schools, homes, public places, it’s everywhere.

Good advice about what every parent can do to protect all kids from sex abuse:

•    Encourage children to respect the comfort and privacy of others. Teach children about privacy and respect.

•    Be cautious with playful touch, such as play fighting and tickling. These may be uncomfortable or scary reminders of sexual abuse to some children.

•    Help children learn the importance of privacy. Remind children to knock before entering bathrooms and bedrooms, and encourage children to dress and bathe themselves if they are able.

•    Keep adult sexuality private. Teenage siblings may need reminders about what is permitted in your home when boyfriends and girlfriends are present.

•    Be aware of and limit sexual messages received through the media. Children who have experienced sexual abuse can find sexual content disturbing. It may be helpful to monitor music and music videos, as well as television programs, video games, and movies containing nudity or sexual language.

•     Limit access to grown-up magazines and monitor children’s Internet use.

This is from the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Foster Kids Abused Before Arriving at Your Home

Monday, August 20th, 2012

If you’ve tuned in lately, you know that my family is enrolled to take a 24-hour foster care training course via the Los Angeles Country family and foster care services here in Calif. You may recall that the first time we enrolled, we had to back out because six weeks of 4-hour courses were held on Saturdays which makes it hard to finish since we have our Bio son Sam. For us to be educated, both my husband and I have to enroll together so what do we do with son Sam for six weeks of weekends?

The second time we enrolled for foster care training to foster-to-adopt a toddler or young child from the LA foster care system, there is no excuse. I bailed. I stopped planning on going. Not son Sam, or husband Darrin or anyone but me. I got a great contract job and had to travel for a few months, so I got out of it again.

Causing some friction in the marriage that I am waffling pout of taking this classes. Too busy, so terrifying, what if we get a freaky kid that harms our bio son? What if we get this emotionally scarred kid and cannot give her back? What f she ruins our life? You have to be so brave to take an older kid from foster care, but there are so many older children that need our help.

For advice I looked into the Federal government programs for foster care kids to find out real stats on how many children have been abused, sexually abused, etc. The stats are it will likely happen to kids older than 11:

“In some cases, you will not be certain that abuse has occurred, but you may suspect it. You may even be exploring becoming a foster or adoptive parent to a child in the foster care system; many of these children have been abused or neglected—physically, emotionally, or sexually—before coming into care. You may feel confused, frightened, and unsure of the impact the sexual abuse of a child may have on your child and family. It is important for you to understand that the term ‘sexual abuse’ describes a wide range of experiences.

Many factors—including the severity of abuse as well as others discussed later in this fact sheet—affect how children react to sexual abuse and how they recover. Most children who have been abused do not go on to abuse others, and many go on to live happy, healthy, successful lives. As parents, you will play an important role in your child’s recovery from childhood abuse.”

Would you ever adopt an older kid that comes from an abused background? I am having a really tough time.

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