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Sat Mar 7, 2015, 10:06 AM

"Rehoming" kids adopted from foster care when the going gets tough

Last edited Sat Mar 7, 2015, 05:47 PM - Edit history (1)

So I read this article http://wonkette.com/578427/lets-meet-justin-harris-the-arkansas-houses-godly-child-abandoner#yZMzSJRuEJyeZfqe.99 and then I started to cry

I get that raising a child is hard.

I get that raising a child adopted from the foster care system can be really, really hard.

I took two days of classes telling me how hard it could be.

It almost scared me out of adopting. But I went forward. I filled out pages and pages of forms. I had my fingerprints taken. I signed away rights to confidentiality of medical and counseling records. I had to get a physical.

Then a social worker came to my home twice, once meeting with my parents, and a sister and her husband. My brother in law suggested that I probably should have just rented a new place rather than doing the cleaning I did to prepare for these visits. My dog obeyed the "stay command" for a half an hour and then stood up leaving a pile of hair on the floor, having shed most of his coat--probably because he could sense how stressed I was.

I heard about children that I though I couldn't handle and I said no. I wouldn't say yes to a child that I couldn't be sure I could be the mom they needed for life. And then I heard about this "delightful 8year old, who even looked a little like me." They said she wanted to be a vegetarian (like I mostly am.) But it turned out she wanted to be a veterinarian.

After my daughter and I became a family, social workers visited our home once a month. And then 8 months later we "finally became a very funny family." (As my then 9 year old daughter described finalization day.)

I will say the first two months were easy, just like they told us they might be in the class. Then there were some really hard months. For a while it seemed like the more certain she was that I would be her mom forever, the more secure she was in showing how her life before had hurt her. One doctor said, "She didn't show anxiety before she lived with you." And I had to point out, that being able to show it now might be a good thing.

Then there were the years where she came to understand that what had happened was really bad. There were days I sobbed in the back yard so my daughter wouldn't hear me. There were days she picked a fight so she could sob in my arms.

But there were so many good times. Like the April 1 where we did the day backwards, eating a big dinner at 8: a.m. and eggs and cereal for supper. Or the camping trips. Or making cookies. Or doing volunteer work. Or laughing. Or reading together. Or watching her piano recitals....

When I hear about this story, about a child who was rehomed and then raped, I am in tears.

My daughter once told a group of people taking the class to adopt children from foster care, "Don't do it if you think it will be easy. But what's the good of only doing what is easy." And as hard as it was some days for me, I chose to adopt. She didn't choose her life. It was thousands of times harder for her. And I was the grown up.

I had family to help me. But there are all kinds of post-adoption services in these adoptions including counseling, support groups, therapeutic living settings, and respite care.

Rehoming means giving kids with so much hardship to parents who haven't had the benefit of those classes, or the benefit of those visits to their family, or the benefit of fingerprints, or the benefit of respite care. If we wouldn't let birth parents give their kids away, we absolutely 1000 times more shouldn't let adoptive parents give kids away that have experienced so much loss in their life, without services, without support. I get that sometimes it just doesn't work whether a child is born into a family or adopted into a family. But there are services. Rehoming is just another word for abandoning and in the case of this family, just another word for trafficking.

My daughter is 27. She works in a fast food restaurant and lives in a state without expanded Medicaid. So she doesn't get some of the support she needs. I am so proud of her. She is an amazing young woman. And she is loved.

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply "Rehoming" kids adopted from foster care when the going gets tough (Original post)
wellstone dem Mar 2015 OP
cyberswede Mar 2015 #1
erronis Mar 2015 #9
Shrike47 Mar 2015 #2
Gormy Cuss Mar 2015 #4
wellstone dem Mar 2015 #5
Gormy Cuss Mar 2015 #6
westerebus Mar 2015 #3
Diclotican Mar 2015 #7
wellstone dem Mar 2015 #8
Diclotican Mar 2015 #12
wellstone dem Mar 2015 #14
Diclotican Mar 2015 #15
wellstone dem Mar 2015 #16
Diclotican Mar 2015 #18
PumpkinAle Mar 2015 #10
wellstone dem Mar 2015 #17
LWolf Mar 2015 #11
wellstone dem Mar 2015 #13
Liberal_in_LA Mar 2015 #19
Proud Liberal Dem Mar 2015 #20
wellstone dem Mar 2015 #21

Response to wellstone dem (Original post)

Sat Mar 7, 2015, 10:20 AM

1. Great post

The linked article is a good read, as well. Harris is despicable.

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Response to cyberswede (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 7, 2015, 01:12 PM

9. Yes - please take the time to read the linked article on Wonkette.

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Response to wellstone dem (Original post)

Sat Mar 7, 2015, 10:24 AM

2. Lovely article. Re-homing makes me kinda sick. Rejecting a rejected child all over again?

Of course, in my experience a lot of 13 year old children of divorced parents re-home themselves from one parent to the other. Being a teen-ager is hard. But that's not at all the same as having it done to you. Poor kids.

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Response to Shrike47 (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 7, 2015, 10:41 AM

4. "Re-homing" sounds so much better than "dumping" n/t

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 7, 2015, 10:45 AM

5. That's exactly what I thought

"Rehoming" is such a sweet name for abandonment.

And I'd have to ask if that previous place they lived was truly a home. Perhaps "rehousing" might be at least a little more accurate.

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Response to wellstone dem (Reply #5)

Sat Mar 7, 2015, 10:55 AM

6. I struggle to understand how someone who went through the formal adoption process

could think this was a good idea. I've known people who had massive struggles with their adopted children because of the baggage the child brought with them but not a one who "rehomed" the child this way. Ugh.

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Response to wellstone dem (Original post)

Sat Mar 7, 2015, 10:33 AM

3. Thank you.

Compassion is the light of one's soul.

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Response to wellstone dem (Original post)

Sat Mar 7, 2015, 12:16 PM

7. wellstone dem

wellstone dem

Thank you for being a foster-parent, it will not easy - it will be hard - but you will get something in return you will never have gotten if you have not doing what you are doing... Many who end up being a foster parents is getting more than they believe was possible - even if it was so hard as human possible to give a child the possibility to grow up in a "normal" family and give the child the possibility of survive in the world, give children the right tool, when they grow up - to at least Be able to exist and live.. And in many cases, the bonds between foster parents and child will exist also after the age of 18 - It is sad to say - but I would say I have a closer friendship with my foster mother, than I had with my biological mother when she was alive... It was to many things that we was not able, or willing to talk about the past.. The few times we did it, she was just to hurt by it all... And I know she would have given everything in the world, to be able to go back, and do a better job if she had known.... The same with my father - who once stated that he regretted not being able to be a real dad - and that he saw it as a utter failure for him, and somethings he was deeply ashamed about.... I told him, that he had been a good father, even if he had not being around as he might wanted to do it.. And even if we all regrets things in the past - we can not undo it - we have to do things better in the future than we did in the past.. And I gave him a hug - he cried on my sholder.. So I know he regretted it deeply..

And by the way - it was my foster parents who back in the day more or less demanded that we should have some contact with our biological parents - as the childrens service orginally do not wanted us to have any contact with our familiy whats so ever...

Diclotican

Diclotican

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Response to Diclotican (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 7, 2015, 01:06 PM

8. Actually I adopted my daughter

I was a foster parent only through the adoption process. But my daughter still has contact with her former foster parents every time she is home. Recognizing that connections are important to children who have had so many broken relationships.

And if she does want contact with her birth mother, I will help her find her. Her birth father died a few years ago.

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Response to wellstone dem (Reply #8)

Sat Mar 7, 2015, 01:35 PM

12. wellstone dem

wellstone dem

That's even better - as you not just have your daughter as your foster child - but wanted to adopt her, and be her mother as you would for your own child.. And it is good you still have a good connection to her former foster parents too - it is important to have someone who you can have some connection to - even if it is not your biological family.. And it is important to have this type of connections - for anyone who have to many broken relationship early in life... What you experience as a child, will have some impact about how you are as a grown up - even if you have had the best upbringing with loving and caring foster parents who did their best to give you all the tools you was in need of...

And it is kind of you, to want to help her find her birth mother, if she choose to do so - not everyone would do that I suspect. But sometimes it is maybe for the best to not know to much about your biological familiy... I do not know... But I think sometimes my life would have been little less complicated if I have had no connection to my parents, as it was never easy to know what would happened next - not to say if, specially my father would come to his visits - many times he choose to not come at all, and that made me a wreck for the next mounts... Im not sure how my brother was thinking about it all - but I think he had some of the same feelings as I had...

Diclotican

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Response to Diclotican (Reply #12)

Sat Mar 7, 2015, 03:39 PM

14. Just to clarify

I am her mother. She is my own child. I get a little twitch when people say she is just like your own. Or you treat her as if she was your own.

We are family. She is my own daughter. I am her own mother.

I know why I wasn't able to have a biological daughter, its because she is my daughter, even though born to someone else.

Don't mean to come down hard on you, its just something that I always have to remind people. She's my daughter. I just had a different kind of labor.

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Response to wellstone dem (Reply #14)

Sat Mar 7, 2015, 04:05 PM

15. wellstone dem

wellstone dem

Of course she is your daugther - sorry about if, if I insulted you in any way - It was not my purpose to do that. Of course she is your daugther, as you have been there for here, hopefully most of her life..

Our foster parents - it is just my foster mother who is still alive, still call both of us "our boys" - or "gutta" as it is in norwigian - and we are kind of still been looked upon as the youngest members of the familiy - even though both of us in our 30s - Im just shy 2 years of 40 - and we are as part of that familiy as their own children are.... Sometimes I think we could have been better of as that - as our older sister, who had better contact with the biological familiy kind of look down on us, as we have our share of problems, thanks to things in our past - and she proberly was the one who got it best as she had a upbringning in her biological familiy and had, what goes for a "Normal" upringning of sorts..

Again - I do hope I have not insulted you - it was not the purpose at all - and I think maybe something got lost in the translating from what I ment to write - and what I managed to write.... Deeply sorry about it

Diclotican

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Response to Diclotican (Reply #15)

Sat Mar 7, 2015, 05:05 PM

16. No problem at all

I was mostly trying to remind others of this. Your experience sounds like it is being a foster child, with some really good foster parents. I know they were amazing because they called you "our child." And in a foster parent setting, that is not always the case.

No worries, you did not insult me. And thanks for sharing your experience. Not many people understand the struggles of loss that face children who can't live the "normal" childhood. Thanks for helping to open people's eyes.

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Response to wellstone dem (Reply #16)

Sat Mar 7, 2015, 05:27 PM

18. wellstone dem

wellstone dem

I think I and my brother was very lucky with our foster parents - we could have ended up a whole different familiy - who might have given us up when we was just kids - becouse we was kind of a shallenge to the "normal" kids they have encontered before... And they had to fight hard, to get us what we kind of was in need of too.... But they gave us not up - in fact when the shallenge was there, they took it head on - and used their common sense, and some deep reading about how the law was, and was fighting so we could get help... But then we had foster parents who have had a few kids on their own - and who did know parenting.... And I guess we managed well, as we have grown to at least pepole who is able to make our own in life for the most part..

Diclotican

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Response to wellstone dem (Original post)

Sat Mar 7, 2015, 01:13 PM

10. Very similar story here

except a boy and on his 21st birthday we were all crying at dinner because he told us how great as parents we had been/are, how now he understood why there were rules and how much we loved him, how sorry he felt for others who did not have the support and love of their parents, and we told him how wonderful a son he was, how lucky we were and how proud of him we were.

Yes it was tough at times, but throughout we told him "you are our son and we are not giving up on you" - there was never a doubt.

And just like your child wellstone dem, our son is an amazing young man and is loved.



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Response to PumpkinAle (Reply #10)

Sat Mar 7, 2015, 05:06 PM

17. Thanks for sharing

I worry with the stories about how hard it can be, drown out how wonderful it is as well.

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Response to wellstone dem (Original post)

Sat Mar 7, 2015, 01:17 PM

11. "Rehoming is just another word for abandoning."

YES.

I have students who have experienced this; some have experienced it repeatedly. I have seen what it does to them.

I just want all children to have a safe, stable, nurturing, loving home and family to grow up in. Is that too much to ask?

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Response to wellstone dem (Original post)

Sat Mar 7, 2015, 05:31 PM

19. wonderful story

 

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Response to wellstone dem (Original post)

Sat Mar 7, 2015, 05:35 PM

20. As somebody who works in the Child Welfare system

Last edited Sat Mar 7, 2015, 08:14 PM - Edit history (2)

I find the concept of "re-homing" and the potential consequences apalling. I think that we need to strengthen laws (perhaps even push for a federal law) that prohibits this kind of unregulated practice. I get that some children whom come out of the foster care system are not easy to deal with and some might be so damaged that it may be incredibly difficult for them to lead safe and stable lives, however there needs to be some more support for families dealing with troubled adoptive children and, in the event a family comes to the point of feeling like they can no longer care for an adoptive child, there needs to be some kind of way for the system to safely step back in a re-assume supervision and care of them. An unregulated and underground "system" of farming troubled adoptive children out to new homes leaves the door wide open for them to be abused/neglected/exploited like the terrible case in Arkansas has shown- which will hopefully shine some light on this problem (though this isn't the first time the news media has covered this).

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Response to Proud Liberal Dem (Reply #20)

Sat Mar 7, 2015, 05:46 PM

21. Amen!

Thanks for posting this.

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