Wednesday, April 29, 2009



May is Foster Care awareness month in Kentucky


Monday, April 27, 2009

Aging Out Can No Longer be at 18

I have not been very good about writing lately. (S) has not been sleeping at all and as a result, neither are we. It makes for little ambition during the course of the day.

We have seen some improvements, but they are very slow. Almost at a snail's pace. On the bright side, she is still a cheery and wonderful child to have around the house and she does make us laugh at least once or twice every day.

I came across this editorial from a Pennsylvania newspaper this weekend. It is right on and in support of additional assistance for children "aging out" of the foster care system. I have mentioned this problem several times ehre and while there are many states that have some kind of a program in place, they are not always comprehensive and there are still many states that have nothing for these children that reach age 18.

There is one line in this editorial by Jeanette Krebs that really sums it up best:

"It is a sad commentary that kids who have been abused or neglected by no fault of their own wind up with little or no support when they become young adults."

You can check out the entire editorial here:

Eda LaShan, author and psychologist is quoted as saying:

"Becoming responsible adults is no longer a matter of whether children hang up there pajamas or put dirty towels in the hamper, but whether they care about themselves and others"

How can we expect them to care about themselves or others if we toss them out at 18 and just say "Good Luck"?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Life Doesn't Always go On.

There is a story from the Miami Herald relating to the death of a 7 year old foster child. I don't want to get too into it here as it is very depressing, but here is the link:

I just have one question: Where does a 7 year old child learn this? There has to be something drastically wrong. There are certain things that shouldn't be learned at such a young age. While it is important to investigate to find out why it happened, they also need to find out how the child knew this.....or is this something you learn at that young an age? I don't think so. Does anyone?

Yes, I know I have gone for a while. Life has gotten so hectic and we are not sleeping at all. (S) will not make it through any night and it is really taking its toll on us. We are hopeful that the therapy will start providing some relief soon as it is beginnning to have quite a negative impact on us.

We will persevere!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Good things Happening in Massachusetts

There are two good articles to read about good things happening in Massachusetts. Both have to do with people donating or raising money for Foster programs. One is a former governor who has given 159000
Another is about a camp counselor riding a bike across country to raise money for a camp for foster kids. These are nice stories to read on the Easter Sunday.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Too Old for Foster Care, and Facing the Recession

That is the headline from an article in the New York Times......the link is below

Think about it.......Just turning 19 and no longer able to stay in foster care and facing today's economic times. I can't imagine being in that situation. It has got to be difficult enough during good times. Every time I think about how many times I called my parents for help after I moved out of the house, I can't imagine what it would have been like if I had no one to call. When I think about how often my children call me for advice, assistance, or a few dollars, I can't imagine what it would be like for them without family around to help. I just hope that (S) and all of her brothers are able to get adopted after parental rights are terminated. I worry more about the older boys then I do about (S) because we are aware of a few people that have already shown an interest in adopting her. When you look at that face on the last post, you can't help but know she will be ok. But all of her brothers is another question. As a society, we have to do a better job with our children.

Monday, April 6, 2009

My Favorite Sound

Can anything beat the sound of a little child giggling? I love it when (S) giggles!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Today (S) got to visit with her 4 brothers. We all met at a McDonalds and they played in the playplace. It is really quite a sight. Most of the time when we looked at (S) she had a grin as large as the bat outside of the Louisville Slugger factory on that face of hers. It was a such beautifully sweet thing to see.

It is always nice to see the kids....... Talking with one of her brother's (F) foster dads (J)he was telling me that (F) knows what the situation is, but doesn't quite understand what is going to happen with him. (J) found (F) going through (J)s phonebook one day and calling up (J)s friends and asking them if they would adopt him.

I can't imagine what it is like to be 7 years old and feel like you have to look around for a family. When I heard that it just broke my heart. I am so glad that at this point (S) doesn't fully understand what is happening. This whole thing gets sadder and sadder every time we turn around. Between this and the fact that the parents didn't even ask how their children were, tells me that when parental rites are finally terminated the children will be better off....... but life shouldn't have to be like this for 5 little kids who are as good as these kids are. It shoudn't be this way for any kids. I guess this is why we are doing what we are doing. I know my father told me that life wasn't always fair, but this is far too unfair for these little kids...

On a happier note.....(S) fell asleep in my arms tonight. It was really sweet to just hold her while she slept. Times like that are what keeps us doing what we are doing and will continue to.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Patience is a Virtue

This week we saw the Social Worker, the Medical Doctor and the "Play Therapist".

The SW met with bio-mom and dad for the first time since visits stopped 3 months ago. They never once asked how their children were. It seems as though one of the lawyers is quite sick so the April TPR hearing date is now going to be in May. We should find out next week when that is. We explained that (S) was having night terrors and we needed to do something as we had not had more then five complete nights sleep in the last 7 months. She was the one who suggested we ask the Medical Doctor and also gave us the name of a play therapist to call.

We had to take (S) to the doctor anyway as her rash which was diagnosed previously as eczema was not getting any better. It turned out that it was a certain kind of eczema that was going to require different medication. He also said that the Melatonion we had been giving her to help her get to sleep could be exacerbating the problem. So, now we have to stop the one thing that gets us any sleep. He had nothing in particular to offer in regards to the sleep, but he knew we were going to see a therapist and he certainly thought that was a good idea.

We saw the Play therapist today. We are desperate for anything that will help for (S) and us to get a good night sleep. One interesting thing was that there were loads of toys in this woman's office and the first thing that (S) did was go to the dollhouse and put all the dolls into the beds. That's one of those things that make you go Hmmmmmm.

(S) stopped seeing her parents the beginning of January and a few weeks after is when things started to get real bad. She stopped trying to toilet train and she started talking "baby talk" whenever you discipline her. Her sleeping was still getting worse and there seemed to be no relief. Anyway, the therapist said that this is likely a thing called "regression in the service of the ego". I had never heard that term before, but after her explanation, it seemed to make sense. She said that when a child goes through something that is quite stressful and then the stress is relieved they will regress to some point either before the stress began or as far back as they can remember and then start moving forward again. She feels that when it became obvious that she was not seeing her parents anymore that relieved her of all the stress associated with the visits and fear of what might happen when she sees them. Since she was comfortable with us, this regression wnet back to where she was when she first took notice of what was happening in her household. I don't understand all the whys and wherefores, but what I do know is we are optimistivc that the therapist will be able to help. It won't be soon enough for us as we are desperate for sleep, but as I have always been told, "patience is a virtue"

Thursday, April 2, 2009

YES!!! A Good Foster Care Story

I have written a few times about the problem with children aging out of the foster care system and never getting a solid foundation upon which to build the rest of their life. As we all know, this leads to many former foster kids ending up homeless, or in jail, or doing things that will probably land them in jail if they haven't been caught yet. I would venture to guess in almost all cases they were good kids whose only crime was that they were born into a family that was unable to properly care for them.

There are a couple of places that have started new programs for kids who "age out" and some of them have been very successful. There is an article today in the San Francisco Chronicle.

There was no byline, so I am unable to give proper credit here to a writer.

In any event, it is about a group of former Foster Children who ""Aged" out of the system and formed an organization called VOICES (Voice Our Independent Choices for Emancipation Support). This organization provides washers so that kids have a place to come and do their laundry. Is this important? well I remember loving to come home from college and having a place to do my laundry (actually, I was lucky enough to have a mom that did it). They have a wardrobe with business clothes they can provide for job interviews. They also can cook a meal, or find someone who knows where they are coming from to talk to. This program has been so successful that they are opening a second office today. They are run totally on donations and right now are looking for computers so they may set up a computer center.

If you would like to get additional information, or better yet, make a donation you can contact VOICES at The phone number for the Santa Rosa center is (707) 579-4327. Its mailing address is 335 College Ave., Santa Rosa, CA, 95401.

If you would like to read the article you can find it here: