I won't go into detail about every foster child that we had but there are some significant things that should be mention. In the life of a foster family, you can have many, many different children come through your home over the life span of your fostering. Yes, we fostered for nineteen years but we were what was termed as long care....which means that the children stayed months, some even years before they moved on.
Our very first child was a little boy, less than a year old named Joey. It was Joey's mother that taught me never to allow birth parents to know where we live! In fostering, sometimes there is a lot of interaction between birth parents and yourself...it is encouraged by the agency....but in the case of Joey's mother, her child was apprehended, ( taken without the consent of the parent by the Children's Aid agency because the child was in need of help and protection for whatever reason) . I remember being very nervous before they brought Joey out here to our home. He was a cute little guy, looking back on pictures I realize now that he could have been slightly Downs Syndrome....we only had Joey for a month...I guess the agency couldn't prove he was at risk so he went back to month....meanwhile, in that month he gained five pounds in our care. I remember meeting mom at the pediatrician's office for the check up and recoiling when the mother showed up with a baby bottle of green Kool Aid and the bottle top was rimmed with brown dirt. That was the first time that I dealt with the frustration of working hard to get a child healthy only to have the birth mother mess it up. I was also very frustrated when the pediatrician ordered an uncomfortable test to be done on the little guy that was not needed. When I questioned the doctor about it, ( out of hearing of the birth mother, her reply was this...' You know that he doesn't need the test, and I know it too, but I'm trying to gain the trust of the mother so I'll order the test'......I lost all respect for this doctor at that moment and it was reinforced with the next child that we had, a child that came with a whole box of medications, inhalers and a breathing machine!.....all ordered by this doctor.
So, after a month, Joey went back home to his mom and we awaited the next call.
It didn't take long......the phone rang and the agency said that there had been a special request.....a little girl that the mom had specifically asked that she be placed in our home......Tanya had come back.
For whatever reason, Anne wasn't able to look after Tanya and so the agency brought her to us. Our poor wee girl was in pretty bad shape. She wasn't walking and she looked very pale. She also came , as I mentioned, with a box filled with different medications and a breathing machine, which I never had to use on her. In our home, her breathing was fine, she gained weight, she learned to walk and talk. She stayed with us for several months before the agency felt Anne was able to look after her again.
We were to be part of Tanya's life one more time, this time Tanya was much older, in grade eight....she came and stayed with us, not as a foster child but just as a favour . Tanya was failing, the school didn't think that she would graduate. Anne asked for help and so we did. Tanya moved in with us for about three months...we worked with her and she graduated ! She was suppose to come back in the fall, for highschool , but over the summer we decided that we could no longer go down that path, and we told Anne that Tanya would be fine in her care. I will admit to some misgivings when I'd hear that she had to be placed in a special program in school, but we had our own drama going on in our household at that time and you can only help so many at one time, and family does come first.
It was very difficult to let Tanya go back to Anne when she was a toddler.....we knew it was for the best....we knew that Anne would just continue to use us as her 'stop gap' parents for Tanya if we didn't let the agency handle it.....but it was still very hard.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad