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I have posted our situation before & we are still wrestling with our decision and what we should do. To be completely honest the age difference between our BIOS 12 & 15 and our FS 3 yr has been a huge problem. We realize that we need to take only school age children 6-12 in the future, but now we are having to deal with the effects this placement is having on our family. FS has been with us 7 months his issues with defiance, tantrums, & attachment will go in waves from good to bad. Lately it is more difficult maybe some of terrible 3's. While some behavior is normal 3yr old alot is attachment issues. I am hoping someone else on here has dealt with this issue and can offer advice. We feel completely awful about the thought of disrupting, but we feel like we are in a no win situation for everyone. This placement could continue on for a year or more, and if it should go to TPR we are not wanting to adopt. If we knew it was only for 2-3 more months we would wait it out and help him with Ru, but honestly it looks like a long ugly case. FS works overtime trying to get a rise out of me and pushing my buttons any chance he can get, and he knowingly does it with a smile on his face. This has made it very difficult to bond and attach with him. We feel like dirt and are questioning whether we should continue to foster. While we believe in our heart this is what we need to do and we desire to help children we don't want to be in this position of possibly disrupting ever again. Please tell me if you have been in the same boat. We are new to this, and have tried to stick it out for his sake. Told you so's are what we would get from non-fostering people, but we do believe these children need a loving home and we want to help. This particular child does not seem to fit in with our family (age & sibling issues). Are there some kids that dont?? My BIOS are willing to take in another:-) This will be a heartbreaking decision for us.
Yes!!! There are some kids that just don't fit into your family!! I have been there and had to make the same decision you are struggling with. It is hard to grasp this when you have bio's, because you never question their fit, when I started fostering and people would tell me some fit and some don't, I thought this was an absolutely horrible statement, as my only frame of reference was my bio daughter. Now, I get it! Kids coming into care have been through a lot, drug exposure, neglect, abuse, special needs, etc. Some need more than we can give them. Some disrupt our own families to an extent so great that we start having trauma in our own family. My family just went through this decision a few months back, and it is so hard. But , what I learned is although it is hard to do it, it is also okay. You help the ones you can help, that is all each of us can do. I wouldn't give up on fostering yet, there will be other placements that will fit. Hang in there!
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If you know you wouldn't adopt if it came to that and don't feel your family is a good match for this child I would request they find another home for him. In my area they wouldn't have much trouble finding a family interested in taking a 3 yo. YOu don't need to say "I need him gone by the end of the week" but just "I need you to start looking for another home for FS. We feel our family is not the right fit for him and I/we are not able to provide him with the care he needs while still meeting the needs of our other children. He deserves to be with a family who can better meet his needs and who would be interested in adopting him if RU is not possible. We can keep him for awhile while you find a suitable family but you need to start searching for a new placement."
Try not to be so hard on yourself for "disrupting". If your family is not the right fit for him he deserves to have a chance to find the family that is a good fit for him. It's hard to admit that you are not able to help every child as much as you want to but it's important to acknowledge that sometimes you are just not the right parent/family for every child. Does it suck to have to say goodbye and put a child through another move? Yes. But sometimes it really is the best choice in the long run -for you and for the child. Next time you'll know better what you are able to handle and what type of child will fit into your family; and hopefully the next time you'll know better which placements to say no to and which to say yes to and the placements you accept in the future will fit better into you family. Live and learn, right?
Hi Minniemoo,
Have you guys tried respite? I am in Kentucky also and I have utilized respite before for the harder kiddos! I am not sure what region you are in but I would be glad to extend an offer to provide respite if you think it would help? PM me if you want!
I know I have family members set aside that take my 4yr old who is "special needs". I also have another foster family who provides respite when things get pretty tough! He also has RAD (reactive attatchment disorder) along with Autism. I honestly am refreshed when he is out of the home for the weekend (or week)! It gives me time to focus on the other kids needs and gives us a break!
I unfortunately had to disrupt my first placement for safety concerns. However I do wish that I would have waited to disrupt to see if we had any issues with bios showing up at our home etc. I did regret my disruption for the little guys sake!
I do agree with the previous poster in talking to your worker and having them start looking! A 3 year old won't be hard to place!
I would start with respite and see how that goes for you and your family!
Hang in there and again PM me if I can help with any further suggestions or respite!
I'm not going to take a stance on whether you should or shouldn't have him moved at this time but I did want to make a suggestion.
Look into attachment issues and behaviors. His behaviors - pushing your buttons and trying to get a rise out of you all while smiling - are VERY common behaviors for a child with attachment disorder or issues.
I know there are good and bad attachment therapists out there so it's hard to find the right information sometimes. Terry Levy and Michael Orlan are two I have heard in person and like. I've also listened to Nancy Thomas's Healing Trust cd and while I know she's come under fire in some areas, and I don't necessarily agree with everything she does and says to do in that cd, there is a lot of helpful information in it. Information that can help you understand where that behavior comes from and how you can react to it in a way that doesn't feed into his attachment issues. He's pushing you away because he doesn't trust you and at this point doesn't know how to attach, but that's when we have to work the hardest to find ways to attach.
The Connected Child by Dr. Purvis is also a great book and I think less controversial.
thanks for all the advice. Is it very difficult to get therapy for them?? Will I have to be really pushy? I have wondered about that and didn't know if they needed to be seriously bad before suggesting therapy. Have you noticed if issues are worse for kids who are by nature more strong willed? He is very sw & I wondered if them being in this situation aggrivates that problem. Just wondering.
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Your first job is to keep your family sane, and functioning. You cannot serve your family, let alone continue to foster if you do not have your house together. It is not good for kids to move from home to home, but there is a good chance that there is a foster family out there, willing to adopt a child his age, if it comes to it. He's pretty young and there could be a perfect placement for him if you decide to disrupt. Maybe therapy will help him, and you have to ask yourself if you are willing to wait that out or would it be better to disrupt now, for his own sake, instead of waiting another year to figure that out? As far as people saying, "I told you so," you don't have to tell them the whole story. You can say that they found him a home that he would be able to stay in if it goes to adoption, or that they found him a home that better fit his needs, and that you are going to go with school age children from now on. They don't need to nitpick it, they aren't doing the job...
Not every placement works out. Sometimes the child needs something the current family can not provide. I'm not talking about the tangiblethings,but more alongthe lines of just being able to connect. Sometimes, it just isn't there. Don't beat yourslef upor feel like a failure if this placement isn't working.
Meanwhile, document his behaviors daily so you can show a pattern. In my experience, most young kids in foster care are strong willed. My own theory is that they have had so little control over their lives coupled with a lack of good communication skills and this makes for an angry little person and rightfully so. Play theraphy can do wonders, so start working with your CW to get him therapy. Whether he stays or goes, itsounds like he needs it.
If you're a stay at home parent, look into finding some local things to do with other kids, whether that is Parents Day Out or play groups. It helps them to be able to interact with other kids their age.
We disrupted our 2 yo fd recently. She had attachment issues as well, IMO, and she was so difficult. She also would stare at me smiling, knowing she was pushing my buttons. It's so upsetting to try to do a good thing by taking kids in and then it not being something I want or can handle. On the upside, she is now in a home that takes the "tough kids" along with her two sisters. That fm has been doing this for 40 years and said the girls are extremely challenging, so that kind of validates me that I am not an extreme wimp that disrupts for silly reasons. I would let your worker know that this child is very challenging so she can hopefully pick out a home that wants and is able to deal with attachment issues. That's what I did-we were her third placement, so they needed to find a very experienced fm who could handle them.
Good luck with whatever you decide. I know this last placement has us thinking of not fostering again:(
I had a rough child for only a week and I feel bad BUT I was happy when they called for pick up! I would NOT have been able to keep them for longer than a month or so before he would drive me insane! I believe he had some level of RAD, But I dont know forsure, He would laugh at me, stare at me, lie to my face, hurt his brother, boss us like we were HIS slaves.......and his fits were like none that I have ever seen......All I could do what put him in his room......YOUR family comes first and you have to do what deep down you know you should do. Follow through, like others have said, some kids and home dont and just wont "CLICK" so they could find a home where it will click and maybe they may end up being his forever family, you never know. He is young enough so I would talk to your CW and not be demanding but let them know that you DO want him removed as soon as they find a good fit for him........
Hope it gets better soon!
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No advice, but you are not alone! This is the first placement that has stayed for any length of time in our home. It has been a month. The child is on a couple of meds for behavioral issues, this was not disclosed to me but handed to me in a ziplock when i met the worker in a mall parking lot across town to pick up the child. It has been a month and this child does not fit our home, annoys my DD to no end, and also is having serious problems at school. I do not feel equipped to deal with her problems.
sigh.
Our first placement was a 5 yr little girl and we were shocked to find out later all of the issues that we had to deal with. I felt bad at first for putting in our 30 days notice but it had to be done. My family went from a normal happy family to a family that was stressed. My kids were upset and so were we. You have to make the right decision for your family. Turns out that her next placement didn't work out either. So it wasn't anything we did wrong. The little girl needed specialized help which we just couldn't provide. So don't beat yourself up about. It happens to most of us...
Minniemoo -- just wondering how things are going and if you have made a decision yet? I was in the same boat not too long ago. We disrupted our placement of an 19 month old that had some attachment issues and was not the right fit for our family. It was so agonizing and stressfull and I am still depressed about having to disrupt, however, I know in my heart we did the right thing. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut. I do still have the desire to adopt or foster and I am also wondering if we will be allowed to. So just know that you are not alone. :coffee:
While I absolutely advocate doing what is best for your home and for your family, sometimes things will surprise. One of my foster children was horrible when we got her. After two weeks she started trying to do everything from kick holes into the walls to getting down on the floor and throwing tantrums (she was 12). We almost turned in our notice four different times. She hated my husband. Often times she would even refuse to acknowlege him. We could barely keep her in school as she would go but then just walk right out of class in the middle of it.
Her personality just clashed with ours. It was horrible. I couldn't even send her to respite because she threatened to kill herself if I did. It took more than a year for her to calm down.
Now she is a bright, well adjusted happy girl. Everyone tells us how wonderful she is and how she is just night and day difference from the child she was when we first got her. The school raves about how well she does and how compassionate she is. It took a year of us pulling out our hair to get her this far.
The one thing about foster kids is that they believe no one loves them. Statistically most foster kids suffer from RAD. And they will do everything in their power to force you to "show your true colors" and "prove that you do not love them". They will test you over and over and over.
Again, I absolutely advocate disruption when necessary but I did want to share my story. If we had chosen disruption when we couldn't take it anymore, then we would not have the beautiful daughter that we now have.
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Thank you everyone for the replies and encouragement. We have been back and forth with what we should do for the past 3 months. My husband and I finally decided that after having him for 7 months we would not be interested in adopting if it came to that. This case will drag out forever since it is involving 2 states. So we made the difficult decision to disrupt. We were more than willing to make the transition as easy as possible & to work with other foster parents making play dates and overnights over the next month or 2. We have him for about 3 more weeks. While it was a super hard and stressful decision I do feel like a huge weight has been lifted. We were hoping that a forever child would fit in with our family a little more & not cause such turmoil between BIO's & FC. That may be a silly dream I don't know. I know that there will be issues to deal with and we are okay with that, but it just seemed like every area of our lives was hugely disrupted, and had to be changed to accommodate FC. We are hoping they will still call us for placements, but we are only going to take school age children for now, and we know we will ask more questions next time.
I know it has been a whole since you last posted this, but I just wanted to check in to see if you did continue to foster and how that was going? We have our 1st placement too, a 13 month old and I also have two bio kids 9 and 12. Our new FC is driving me absolutely insane. I am crying several times everyday and I feel sick to my stomach. We have had this FC for 2 months and I feel horrible thinking about disruption, especially since my husband doesn't want to. He just doesn't see how it's affecting me and I hate that I can't be there like I used to with my older two. I just hate to disappoint people, but I'm not bonding with this FC and it's literally making me sick. Not sure I want to foster again after this either... :'(
Thank you everyone for the replies and encouragement. We have been back and forth with what we should do for the past 3 months. My husband and I finally decided that after having him for 7 months we would not be interested in adopting if it came to that. This case will drag out forever since it is involving 2 states. So we made the difficult decision to disrupt. We were more than willing to make the transition as easy as possible & to work with other foster parents making play dates and overnights over the next month or 2. We have him for about 3 more weeks. While it was a super hard and stressful decision I do feel like a huge weight has been lifted. We were hoping that a forever child would fit in with our family a little more & not cause such turmoil between BIO's & FC. That may be a silly dream I don't know. I know that there will be issues to deal with and we are okay with that, but it just seemed like every area of our lives was hugely disrupted, and had to be changed to accommodate FC. We are hoping they will still call us for placements, but we are only going to take school age children for now, and we know we will ask more questions next time.