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.