So much has gone on since I last posted on this blog. It seems like when things do happen I just stop blogging. Silly me, I am suppose to be blogging more when things are happening. Ok, so on Valentines day we got the call for a new placement. It was the day before our Specializd training. Our LW called me and told me about a little African American boy. He was seven years old and was just being released from a psychiatric unit after a two week stay. I was so exicted to get the call but a little cautious about the placement. I immediately called Ryan and we talked about the situation in length. Against his bette judgement we said yes. I think that I was so excited about getting a call that I ignored the red flags. That is a mistake that a foster parent should never make. So that evening I went and picked up “Chase” for this blog this is is name. Of course this is not his REAL name He was a cute adorable little boy that I wanted to hold and just wipe away all of his pain.
The pain and suffering that he suffered in his short life was tremendous and just broke my heart to think about. The next several days were exhausting and eye opening. This little boy needed constent supervision. Ryan took the week off with him and every day Chases behaviors became worse. One major problem was that he was released from the hosptial with no medication. THey gave us a prescription, but the insurance refused to fill because of his young age. That is another story in and of itself. I soon realized that we were in over our heads. I cried myself to sleep every night and we were running out of ideas. It felt like we were walking on egg shells in our own home. He was not only destructive to property but to himself as well. He needed way more than what we could provide him. We did not have any experience working with a child that had that many needs.
Dont get me wrong we had some wonderful moments with Chase. Every night we would give him a bath and read him a story before bedtime. He would gladly accept hugs and loved to sit with Ryan and and dogs in the lounger. He was also great with the dogs. We also soon came to realize that Chase would be with us for quite some time and would more than likely be adoptable. Ryan and I agonized over the possiblitly of adopting him. We knew that he would be extremely challenging and his behaviors would take years and years of therapy overcome. Did we want to take up that challenge. Yes it definately would be rewarding but were we able to do this? I felt like a failure to even think about saying no. THis little boy was in a seven year old body but was more emotionally and developmentally a three year old. We didnt know what we were getting into.
The saturday after we got Chase we had to call the emergency hotline at our agency. Chase was raging for hours and a danger to himself. The CW sent out a assessor and they decided he needed to be hospitalized again. We took him to the hospital that he was at no more than a week ago. After we left I sobbed all the way home. It was the hardest thing I had to do. But looking back now I know that it was the right thing. He needed more than we could provide. There is a major misconception when it comes to traumatized children. Many think that all they need was love. That love would conquer all. Unfortunately that is not true. Many times children need more that a home life can provide. THey need 24/7 professional help. In CHase’s case, he needed 24/7 help. Experenced professionals that could help him.
Ryan and I were destroyed over the situation. We blamed ourselves. We questioned everything we did. On tuesday(monday was a holiday) we called our CW and told her we were not able to provide Chase the home that he needed. Our CW understood and agreed that Chase needed a residential setting. The CW supervisor called us later that day and reassured us that Chase needed more than a home life could provide him right now. Her call made me feel more at ease. Although to this day I still question whether or not we should have brought him back into our home. It has been almost three weeks since he was admitted and he is still in the hospital. His behaviors has not gotten better and I worry about where he will go when he gets released. I worry about him everyday.
When we first decided that Chase could not come back to our home I was petrified that we would be “blacklisted” in our agency. That they would think that we were horrible people and would never call again for a placement. I was wrong. everyone has been encouraging and we actually got a call for a respite placement(we had to turn down because of my brother’s wedding).
We now are only going to accept 0-4yr olds. No exceptions!!!! I have learned a great deal and will not put my family back in a situation that would harm us. I am content now to wait as long as it takes. Yes I will be anxious to get a call but I am enjoying the time with Ryan. When our LW calls I will think long and hard about the situation. Most of the time when a LW calls they want an answer asap. THis decision is going to affect the families lives forever. So I will definately not be hasty to say yes.
I know that many have said that foster care is a roller coaster ride of emotions. Boy were they not kidding. I guess we just have to live and learn. Until next time……