November 5, 2011

Time flies but not all fun

A lot has happened in the last year. Probably the biggest one was Little Prince and Princess have our last name now. Although Little Prince doesn't know that he ever had a different last name and Princess wouldn't comprehend it. We kept their original first names but changed their middle names. In fact, Little Prince picked his own middle name from his favorite movie. I'm still nervous about posting true names and pictures. At least until we are not doing foster care anymore.

Now for updates with foster children. Kaykay "left" our house three hours before she turned 18 (beginning of 2011). It was a big mistake on her part. Because she left foster care before 18, she lost her medicaid and any college money she would have had. But she also lost the support she was getting by staying with us. I will always hope it wasn't planned on her part but I will never be sure of it.

October 2010 we took in two familiar faces. The placement was two little girls that we had for respit when we first got our license. For the blog, I named them "Cuddly" and "Curly". They were two years older then when we first met them and had way different personalities from each other. Cuddly wasn't very huggable anymore. She had picked up bad habits such as lying. Curly was better in some aspects but we could tell she was going to need a lot of therapy (which I'm sure she has not received). The girls stayed with us for about four months. They had been in foster care for almost two years before they were returned to their parents. I know you are probably thinking happy thoughts but believe me their parental rights should have been terminated along time ago. The parents didn't do one thing that the court had ordered them to do to be able to get those girls back. I just don't understand what happened with that case. I often wonder how the girls are doing.

It was a few months later before we got anymore calls. The next placements we took in were two sisters. The oldest turned four with days of coming to us. She was super smart and knew it. Her and Little Prince got along like "peas in a pod". She could be a little stinker but we very much enjoyed her. She really missed her parents and that's what made it harder on her than the other kids we had. For privacy reasons we will call her Queenie. Luckily for Queenie, and us, we were able to call her mother every night so she could say "good-night". Queenie was a beautiful little girl with long blond hair and blue eyes. She acted a lot older than she was because I think she was the one who took care of her mother instead of the other way around. Queenie's little sister was the first medically fragile, physically handicapped child we have ever had. We'll call her Anne.

Anne was two years younger than Queenie and had Cerebral Palsy. Anne also had a feeding tube and had to be fed every four hours. This next bit of information is something that could discourage future foster parents, but please don't let it. Everything works out. The afternoon I got the call I picked the girls up from DCS mid-afternoon. They told me that Anne needed to be fed through her feeding tube and they had formula from her home. The mother was in no shape to explain how to feed her. Including how much or how often. I figured it was no big deal, I would call the doctor when I got home. Well, I could not get a hold of "her" doctor or anyone else to tell me how to take care of her. I called everyone I knew from nurses to friends. No one had an answer. I even talked to a doctor on call for her doctor, he "couldn't" tell me because he didn't have the chart in front of him. Finally, I found a number on the an invoice that came with the feeding bags. The answering service got a hold of the person on call and she walked me threw it. All I can say is "don't give up". Anne did not have any body weight to lose and she hadn't eaten since 3pm that afternoon. Everything turned out OK.

Shortly after Queenie and Anne came to us we left for a family vacation. We couldn't take them because there wasn't time to get a court approval and we wouldn't have been able to care for Anne the way she need to be cared for. Thank goodness, our good friend was able to take the girls in and care for them while we were gone. It didn't go off without a hitch though. Hours after we left, Anne got sick and ended up at the hospital. It wasn't a good situation for our friend. The foster agency wasn't a big help either. Everything turned out fine within two days. I was very thankful for having a friend I could count on (I still count on her). After we returned from vacation I had to set up therapy for Anne. She received Speech, Physical and Occupational therapy every week. Each therapy was done by a different person, on a different day. I am glad for the experience but it was not an experience I would want to repeat. Queenie and Anne were with us for a little over a month but looking back, it seemed like longer. They made quite an impact on our lives. We are very thankful we have healthy children. The girls went back to their parents for about two weeks and last I heard they were with their grandma.

Two weeks after the girls left we received a call about three sisters. The youngest was six and the oldest sixteen. The middle girl was barely a teenager. The two youngest ones were removed from the home because of an issue the oldest one had with one of the parents. So needless to say, the middle child, "Tiara", did not speak to her older sister, "JoLo" unless it was necessary. In fact, Tiara only talked to anyone when it was necessary. However, she was very good at taking care of "the little one". It was apparent that she was used to getting her sister up and ready for school every morning. Tiara and the little one were only with us for about two weeks before they were returned to their mother. JoLo stayed.

JoLo is very different than KayKay. JoLo talks a lot and isn't afraid to share her feelings. She spends time in her room but also spends time with the family. She treats Princess and Little Prince as if they are her little sister and brother. She is responsible but it's also apparent she has been sheltered from others. It is alleged that one of her parents did unspeakable things to her for the last four years so keeping her sheltered kept her from talking about it and telling others. I say "alleged" because the parent has not been charged with any crime. I believe JoLo with be with us until she ages out or she is moved to a relatives home. Either way she will be happy.

Another foster parent aggravation; JoLo did not start therapy for over four months after she was removed. In this parents opinion, she will need therapy for years.