Is the Foster Care System Perfect?

Source: Is the Foster Care System Perfect?

Sarabeth and I were extremely lucky with our daughter when she was our foster daughter. (The picture is her at the zoo a few months ago.) Other than the tedious waiting, everything went smoothly from the day we brought her home from the hospitalto the day we brought her to the courthouse to sign the official adoption papers, one of the happiest days of my life (even happier than the day Pixar Animation Studios wrote me a personal email).

Stupidly (and luckily for us), no friends or relatives sought her out. She had no visitations whatsoever.

But what about the people who have their foster kids taken away from them because the states deem it best to return them to their parents who had their kids taken away from them in the first place? (Whether it be for abuse, financial loss, drugs, etc.)

One thing that floors me is the states’ insistence on reunifying these broken children and babies with their (often) undeserving parents.

The state values reunification over anything else, and, often above the child’s own safety and wellbeing.

Think about it. Foster parents go through rigorous background checks, take many hours of classes and training programs, they’ve proven that they’re financially and mentally stable, yet the state insists, “We will do EVERYTHING in our power to reunify the kids with their parents if they show even just a sliver of change in their habits and behavior.”

Thus violating their own motto (at least this is our state’s): “Moves hurt kids.”

I’m not complaining about the system. Right now, I’m just questioning it. I’m questioning if the whole foster care system is even operating as smoothly as it could be. Are America’s foster children being given the fairness and safety they deserve?

Are foster parents treated fairly when they form a bond and connection with the kids given to their care, provide a safe and loving roof over their head, and then the state rips them apart at a moment’s notice?

Are social workers being treated fair? Overworked, underpaid, overwhelmed.

If you’re a foster parent or know of any, what are your thoughts about the system? Where would you like to see improvement? Or is it as good as it could be? Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted on January 28, 2016. 2 Comments

Reblog from Daughter’s of the King

Expect a Miracle Everyday

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

God arrested my heart one day. “He said, why do you pray with no real expectation of Me? You don’t believe I will do what you asked for? You cry and weep and pray fervently before Me, and then you forget what you’ve asked for and don’t recognize when I’ve done it.”

If there’s one thing I know how to do ladies, I know how to pray. But that alone is not good enough in God’s Kingdom. We must also know how to receive what we’ve asked for and be able to recognize when it manifests.

The truth is, some of us like to pray just to hear ourselves talk. We pray out of a sense of duty or obligation. But those are the wrong reasons. If you’re going to pray, if you’re going to communicate with a mighty God, pray with great expectations. Expect God to do what He’s promised you. Be on the look out for His promise to show up at any given moment.

Contrary to how things may look for you right now, this is your year of miracles! This is your year of manifestation! God will give you stored up treasures from your heavenly account. He will send rain where there’s been drought. He will protect you from all harm. He will provide supernaturally. He will bless you with a deeper walk with Him. Recognize it when it happens and praise Him.

If you pray everyday, you can expect Him to bless you everyday.

Prayer: Thank You Father God for your rich words to Me. I love you, Lord, and I appreciate your desire to bless me. Help me to stay in position to receive. Help me to not be moved by how things appear. Help me to not forget what I’ve prayed for, but to stay in high expectancy of you to do what you promised. Thank you in advance! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Holidays and Broken Hearts

The holidays are always hard, but this is the first Christmas that our oldest daughter isn’t legally our daughter. She will always be our daughter in our hearts.

Last night our 9 year old daughter looked at me and said she missed her sister and started crying so I held her for a while and we both cried. I assured her that one day she will be back and she asked me how I knew that. I told her faith……I believe that God will bring her back to us some day. I’m glad she knows and understands what faith is. She knows God loves her and will give her the desires of her heart……which is to have her sister back.

She went to put on her pajamas but many belonged to her sister and she wanted to throw them away. So we started throwing them away. My heart was crushed as I watched her shake her head no to her pajamas and  raise her thumb up saying they had to go.

It’s hard enough going through the hurt of losing our daughter but even harder watching as our youngest child was hurting so bad. I am so proud that even though she has been so hurt through her sister and all of her past trauma that she consistently wants to adopt when she is grown. I am thankful that we have a lot of positives mixed in with all of our heartbreaks.

Once again I know I say it a lot, but knowledge is power. Even in the last few months we have learned so much and with each thing we have learned I know that if we had of only learned it sooner then just maybe we would still have our daughter.

Patti

 

 

 

My Quilt of Holes

Several years ago a friend sent me this poem and said this is you. I had read the poem before but this time as I read it I realized that yes that was my quilt.

As we parent children that have RAD or other disabilities it comes with many challenges. Many times our whole lives are ripped a part. We have to parent different and we come under attack from some very well meaning friends and family members. We try so hard to educate them and while some will let us others won’t  and friendships are ruined ……….sometimes we lose family.

This time of year is really hard on many of us parents. I did a lot of crying the other day as we were getting our Christmas things out. I finally put on some essential oil and said it is what it is.

Our 12 year old son was peeing in his closet. We had taken all of the clothes out of it years ago and used it for storage. We were looking for something and saw that my white Christmas tree was now yellow. So we put our big Christmas tree in our storage building. Which is now in the burn pile because it was infested with spiders and I didn’t want to take a chance on having spiders inside. So I lost 2 trees this year. We also had 8 new stockings but only have 2 now. My husband told me we threw them away with the first tree. We also had to throw away other decorations. So while everyone is posting pictures of their tree and other decorations I cried because I lost so much and didn’t know if we would even have a tree this year besides our mini tree. God is good to us and as long as it is still on sale tonight I found a tree that is regularly $159 on sale plus using my rewards for $35. So yes we will have a tree……. lol

Not only do we have many things broken and destroyed but many of our kids have many triggers during the holiday season so they begin to act out more. Which raises our stress level for the season. So when I think about how my quilt started out so pretty but as time went on it got stomped on and ripped and got dirty this poem seemed so fitting. I could say more but I think the poem says it all………

Patti

Quilt of Holes

As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls.

Before each of us laid our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles; an angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life.

But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in everyday life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.

I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. . . Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the
Bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened.

My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air.

Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose; each in turn, holding up
Their tapestries. So filled their lives had been… My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise.

My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn’t had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness, and wealth, and false accusations that took from me my world, as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me.

And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was.

I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes.

Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, the face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. He said, ‘Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles.

Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you.’

May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through!

God determines who walks into your life…it’s up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.’

November is National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month and with many it brings a lot of different emotions. I love adoption but I also understand the heartache that comes with it. When someone adopts there has been many things that led to the adoption. Many times lots of heartaches. Our kids didn’t want to lose their bio parents. It hurt them. It doesn’t matter if they were abused they still loved their parents. In our kids situations their parents made choices that will in some way affect our kids for the rest of their lives. God has helped and is helping our kids to heal, but it has been a very difficult road. It also led to us having to disrupt one of our daughter’s adoption. This year my heart has been broken. I told her that it would be forever but it wasn’t………

We are not the only family that has had to make the heart wrenching decision of disrupting an adoption. For many parents when they hear the word adoption it’s all they can do to keep from screaming RUN don’t do it…….I will always encourage people to adopt, but I will also use that opportunity to educate people. The reason for most failed adoptions is because of lack of training. First the adoptive parents didn’t have the training that they needed on Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), and when they finally stumble upon help and get educated then everyone they come in contact with is clueless from social workers to teachers to psychiatrists. There is no help and when we are forced to put our children in a residential treatment center it is like sending them to camp. Our kids know how to work their little programs so instead of getting help it makes them worse. I don’t blame families for being scared of adopting because it’s hard.

This month when you think about National Adoption Month remember to try to reach out to someone and educate them. Remember adoption comes with a lot of wounds. It may be that birth mom that loved her child so much, but knew she couldn’t care for her child is hurting every time adoption is mentioned or the child that lost their parents or the adoptive parent that is hurting every day as they are trying to pick up the pieces of their child as they reject the love that they are given.

I love adoption!!!! I love all 6 of our kids very much and although it has been hard I would do it again.

Not all are called to adopt, but all are called to care……..

Patti

 

 

 

20/20 Did their dog eat their homework???

I with several others were so excited when we were asked to do an interview with 20/20. I believe in the beginning that they were sincere. I believe that they were shocked at the things we told them about reactive attachment disorder. I truly believe they wanted to help raise awareness about this disorder. I don’t know at which point they changed their mind and took a U turn. I am saddened at the turn because there are so many families that needed their help.

We knew when we did the interview (I was a part of it but DHS took custody of our daughter that week so I was behind the scenes) that this could always happen, but we knew we had to take the chance.

There is so much that was left unsaid. There was so much that could have been shared that could have educated people. Imagine this……..You are a wonderful parent you do everything right…ok you try your hardest to do everything right but we all make mistakes…..lol….but your child is out of control and you have no ideal why. Your child rages and is violent you have no ideal where this is coming from. Your child goes to school and says I’m hungry my mom didn’t feed me….trying to get sympathy from the teacher……what??? Where is this coming from ……you see it’s easy for a therapist or psychiatrist to see a child that has been adopted and say they have RAD, but a bio child it’s not so simple. If a child is sick a lot their first year of life they can have RAD or anything traumatic their first few years of life. That’s why it was so important for 20/20 to follow through with what they told us and to educate the public.

I assure you 20/20 did their homework but I guess their dog ate their homework….. I bet their dog got sick because it was a lot of information……

This is an email that I sent to the producer……

Caila,

I am sure you already have been made aware that our segment has generated over 161,000 views. I took the liberty to scroll down and see how many views your other shows have had. This is what I found……

Starting with ours with all 3 videos it is a total of 201,072

Scientology – 22,640

Unfriended – 74,771 since Oct 9th

College seniors – 23,130 since Oct 1st

OJ Simpson – 46,494 since Sept 24th

Dr. Saves lives – 8,253 since Sept 7th

Olympian turned Vegas Escort – 22,000 Sept 11th
15,889 Sept 9th

Pope – 23,465 Sept 4th
35,486 Sept 4th

death row wedding – 40,399 Aug 21st

Even Cecil the lion that seemed to be all over the internet only had a total of 136,404 since Aug 14th

I don’t understand how if your executive producer has a child that has reactive attachment disorder that she did not make sure that there was more about this disorder. We trusted you that there would be awareness made. I have been busy in the RAD support groups trying to get people to understand that we can still use this and raise awareness on your fb page. I believe some good can still come from this. At the same time I believe you missed out on an even better show. So my question to you is…… would you consider a follow up show without the Harrisses in order to truly educate the public about this disorder. We thought that families may actually get help. Your show was very disheartening to the parents living with this. I truly believe that if the executive producer has a child that has RAD she would love to do this. If not I would like to know why y’all shifted from what it was going to be……what changed your mind. I know you even interviewed Nancy Thomas and then called her and told her that you wouldn’t be using it. You had a chance to help thousands of families and you blew that chance. I just want to know why. I think by the looks of the views on our segment you could have had more views on your show if you had of taken the time to use it to educate people.

If you are not willing to do another show would it be possible for us to get a full edited copy of our interview……..

Families need help. This is one example……

This is a friend of mine. She needs help and can’t get it. DHS has custody of her son now but they won’t let them terminate parental rights until they find an adoptive home for him. They have to pay child support for him which had caused a huge financial hardship on the family……..here is a few things he has done that led to them having to remove him from the home……

….bounced Arielle’s forehead off the edge of the coffee table, broke two of my ribs when he kicked me BC I put him on time out after he hurt Arielle, killed a pet rabbit, poisoned my coffee, poisoned my hot peppers, hoarded food, stole…from everyone, threatened to take a gun to school n kill a girl, repeatedly assaulted all the kids, kicked Kevin in the back of the knee after ligament replacement.. And the ligaments he got belonged to his dead friend, false allegations, hiding sharps in his room, rages upon rages,

Tried to drown Joe when Joe was four and he was six. Kicked ari in her only kidney knowing it would kill her

Ripped his cousins door off the hinges.

Destruction of property

Forged my name

Extortion

Threatened to stab a kid in the head at school

With a fork

Trying to blow stuff (edited) up.

Fire starting.

Messing with electrical outlets with intent of “burning this place down” at rtf

Thrown out of three schools and three fosters

Can you please tell me how your show helped my friend and many others with your show that basically said a new home because the Harrisses were so bad helped cure them………Maybe Elizabeth would consider adopting my friend’s son and cure him……..LOL if only it was that easy……

Caila it would be different if y’all were clueless but I know that y’all did your homework. I believe y’all had a great story. I don’t know why you changed it but please consider helping us…….

Thank you,

One of many hurting parents Patti

I copied the information from my friend…….