Thursday, August 8, 2013

Chapter Seven

One could never be prepared for a child like Corey. The first time I saw him, he was walking down a long hall, holding the hand of a social worker . This tiny wee boy, with big chocolate brown eyes, dark hair that was partly covered by a red baseball cap and the fattest little cheeks you ever did see. Corey was 2-1/2 years old when he came to us.....we were the fifth foster home that he'd been in since he was born....his birth parents were separated/divorced and every time there was a problem , Corey came into care. He wasn't treated very well in his birth family, there was some question over his paternity and because of that the father even told his other children not to play with him . He was scared of the police siren and whenever he saw a police man , because his father threatened to leave him at the police station when Corey disobeyed. Unfortunately, 28 years later he no longer has this fear!

Corey came to live with us in the June, just before summer holidays. The first night he started calling us mom and dad. Some foster parents didn't encourage this but we did primarily because we took kids in the age group of newborn to 2 years old. These little ones didn't understand and they really needed the security of a loving parent in their lives. Plus, they'd hear our older kids calling us mom and dad and it just made them feel part of the family.

Corey had some unusual habits.....he could vomit whenever he chose to...a little disconcerting....one time when I was annoyed at him about something he had done and I was getting after him about it, he started retching....without thinking I said, 'No, don't you dare...don't you dare throw up'.....and he stopped...just like that, I could hardly contain my surprise....I remember looking at him and saying ' you little monkey'......and he just looked at me....calmly.

Most kids might disobey and do something unbelievable once, twice a week.....with Corey it was daily. He would steal food and hide it. He would urinate down the floor register and in his bed...on purpose. He shared a room with our oldest son and was always taking Ryan's things and destroying them. When we went camping , he would go up to complete strangers and ask to go home with them. I was constantly having to go to these people and apologize and try to explain. Corey was with us four months before he showed any sign of attachment to us....a social worker told us that the longer a child takes to show attachment , the more they've been emotionally abused. He also showed signs of being sexually abused. Corey was hyperactive and showed anger quite easily. The agency ended up putting him into nursery school the year before kindergarten so he could learn positive interaction with his peers and learn how to channel his anger. He was a cute little kid, with an annoyingly high voice and extremely tiring to parent. He was a challenge to say the least.

When we decided to become foster parents , it was with much fear and trepidation. We had two kids, a girl and a boy. I never realized how difficult and intimidating it would be to go from being responsible for three children instead of two. Before, when we looked after Tanya, or when I babysat my nephew everyday for sixteen months, it was different...you knew that you didn't have the parental responsibility of another child...well, with Tanya, we really did but then we had to detach ourselves from that situation.....anyways, all this to say going from 2 to 3 was difficult.....so it really didn't make sense when we decided during the summer to open our home to 2 foster kids.....ya, crazy, I know.

We were at our summer camping spot, the same place we've gone for over thirty years, and in the evening Don and I would talk about it.....the pros ...the cons.....going from 2 to 3 was hard....what would 3 to 4 be like? Could we do it....we talked and talked and prayed.

Well, a month later we were to find out.




~ Marie

1 comment:

Rowan Mayfaire said...

Marie,
I hope you don't mind my reading your blog, but as I found it through your facebook page, I imagine it's ok and not an utter invasion of your privacy. Reading about Corey's beginnings sounds so very VERY similar to what my grandmother reiterated to me about my fostered aunt (whom I've never met - my mother and grandmother never DESIRED me to meet either). I have always been very curious about her, but the peeing in the registers, being destructive, crying crocodile tears in public on a lark, physically assaulting my grandmother's other kids to the point of leaving one deaf in one ear, sounds similar to your Corey. After she was contacted by CAS after she'd again run away, and after her second abortion (I think they were illegal back then?) my grandmother refused to let her back in the home and shunned her. I don't necessarily agree with this, but I know she was a devout Christian woman who suspected her adopted daughter was now a prostitute, and her eyes, back in the late 60's, this was abhorrent. The story goes though, she was in 7 foster homes before she was 2, and I wonder, if she just had some attachment issues that were not easily solved. The poor child had even been subjected to electric shock therapy (which my grandfather said was the more horrific thing he'd ever experienced by proxy and scooped her up and never took her back!) So little was understood back then. It is thought the bio mother was perhaps a prostitute, probably on drugs, and suffered from a mental disorder of her own....but again, so little information back then. I commend you for doing what apparently my grandmother could not. At 17, my grandmother felt that since she kept running away, and getting herself "in trouble" she couldn't risk her being in the home anymore and no longer, called her her daughter. This has always saddened me, and been a family mystery. Whatever happened to Margaret? Much love and respect, Your friend in Christ, Heather Allan