Need Some Support

Joslin - posted on 03/29/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )

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My husband and I were trying to adopt for about two years when we were contacted by the state and asked to be foster parents for a kinship placement. We decided to go for it and now I'm feeling really overwhelmed. It's a sibling group boy 2, girl 3. I've never been so discouraged, yelled so often, and I can't stand the bio-parents anymore... even though I know them personally.

Is this normal adjustment or am I crazy? I live in a rural area (2.5 to 3 hours from the nearest urban area) so we don't have any support groups or foster parenting networks here.... I just need to talk to other parent in similar situations. I don't feel like a normal parent anymore!

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Cara - posted on 10/13/2010

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I agree that Love and Logic is a great book as well. The best thing a foster parent can do is educate themselves! Normal parenting techniques do not work RAD children. It WILL be worth it. I used the info from books and our attachment therapist to help us get through the roughest periods with our RAD children. You have to focus on the little changes that they will eventually start to make. That will keep you going.

Christina - posted on 10/12/2010

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my husband and i adopted a sibling group 2 years ago. they came to us at 6 and 2 and are now 5 and 9. my now 9 year old daughter was on her way to being kicked out of school for behavior issues. she had huge meltdowns for no apparent reason and was aggressive and jealous with her brother. she had an intensive IEP that kept her out of her class most of the day and she was very academically delayed. she is now a role model student reading 3 grades ahead. everyone she meets says how mature and responsible she is and she is a joy all though a normal 9 year old at home. my son at 2 when we brought him home was almost completely non verbal, he hit, spit, bit and kick whenever he did not get his way. he screamed to seperate and had no self help skills. now at 5 he is amazingly articulate, reading and started kindergarten a year early. the screener for kindergarten said he tested like a 6 year old.
the thing is to just stick with it. find a behavior modification technique that works for you( i like parenting with love and logic) . set clear goals and rules and keep a set schedule. kids from foster care need structure and routine. they have had none of it from birth family and usually thrive on knowing what comes next. just give the kids your all and communicate clearly with social workers and birth parents. they are your kids now so it is up to you to advocate for them. get early intervention or whatever services are in your area involved. just stick to and do not forget to take some time for yourself so you do not get burnt out.

Cara - posted on 09/02/2010

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The main technique is so simple I almost didn't do it. Basically when the behavior starts you warn them and say 'that's one". If they continue you say "that's two" and if they keep it up "that is three" and the consequence is immediately applied. My kids have done so well due to consistancy that I skip the #1 and just hold up 2 fingers without saying a word. 9 times out of 10 it stops, but if it doesn't they know there will be follow up.

Cara - posted on 09/02/2010

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It is a book by Thomas Phelan.



This revised edition of the award-winning 1-2-3 Magic program addresses the difficult task of child discipline with humor, keen insight, and proven experience. The technique offers a foolproof method of disciplining children ages two through 12 without arguing, yelling, or spanking. By means of three easy-to-follow steps, parents learn to manage troublesome behavior, encourage good behavior, and strengthen the parent-child relationship—avoiding the "Talk-Persuade-Argue-Yell-Hit" syndrome which frustrates so many parents. Ten strategies for building a child’s self-esteem and the six types of testing and manipulation a parent can expect from the child are discussed, as well as tips on how to prevent homework arguments, make mealtimes more enjoyable, conduct effective family meetings, and encourage children to start doing their household chores. New advice about kids and technology and new illustrations bring this essential parenting companion completely up-to-date.



(copied from Barnes and Noble website)

Cara - posted on 08/31/2010

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Please read Parenting the Hurt Child. It will help you understand why they do what they do. That really helped me. Also 1-2-3 Magic is great for techniques for dealing with the behaviors. Worked wonders for my son who was 2 years old when placed. He is now 4 and I still use it.

Cari-Ann - posted on 08/23/2010

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I recently received a copy of my own adoption file, and re-reading what my parents went through to adopt me, and the way i was, makes me appreciate all the love and patience they showed me. i was a little @*##!!!! but they stuck by me through it all, and i am still proud and honoured to have their name attached to my own.
i applaud you for your courage, and your sacrifice....and would like to say, thank you, for turning your life upside down for others. one day, they will appreciate all you are going through.
good luck!

Traci - posted on 07/20/2010

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Is it bad that I have a sibling group of 3, ages 5, 2, and 8 mo. I feel like the 2 year old is mine and could never live without her, the baby is a baby, adorable and love him. The 5 year old I love but drives me crazy. She lies about everything and I can't stand it when people lie....especially straight to my face. I understand that she has been lied to from day one with her biological family and they have taught her that it is perfectly acceptable, how many times can you sit in timeout and be grounded before you get it? I know your personality is suppose to be determined by this age...how do you change it.....I hate that I worry about adopting her and wish it were different. Any ideas on what to do? She is making my blood pressure raise!

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You are SO normal! It is very difficult, emotional and challenging. We have a 4, 9, 10 and 12 year old that are foster children. And boy, I've has the same thoughts plus some! They've been in unhealthy homes and have learned many unhealthy behaviors. They also are all special needs. Foster kids are the most fragile, vulnerable children in the world. They need love and stability like food and water. Just remember...***never give up on them.**** They need you.

Judy - posted on 04/18/2010

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Try throwing a in-home party or just invite other kids to see how your kids response.
Alot of things, Kids just get bored so introducing them to new faces can help them to
deal with their adjustments.

Tonya - posted on 04/06/2010

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we have am adoptive daughter who is almost 13 and have had her for 5 years-- in Nov 2007 we got a call about a SAD case and at 11:00 pm took in a sibling group of 3 ages 4,2 and 1 --the 4 year old ended up as developmentally delayed and neither the 4 or 2 yr old could speak--the "baby" had just turned 1 three days before and was diagnosed as failure to thrive she wore 6 month clothing could not sit up roll over or anything, she was took weak to even hold a 4 oz bottle. at our first CFTM the following week we discovered the bio-mom was 6 1/2 months pregnant!!! In March of 2008 we brought the baby home-- I will not lie it has been very hard-- but both boys now speak and take speech classes the oldest is now in 1st grade and doing well-- the 1 yr old is now three and one of the most advanced in her 3-5 yr old preschool class-- the BABGY who just turned 2 is more advanced than the other 3 by a long shot, but that was to be expected because we had her since birth--- we have recieved TPR on both bio-parents and they have appealed so we are waiting on that--visitations have ended and things are much better--we hope to finalize adoption in this year--but I will admit all I have EVER wanted to be is a mother and a wife and some days I feel like a failure, but when I look back to where we started it has all been worth it and the laundry will still be there tomorrow :P

hang in there is gets better

Karolyn - posted on 04/06/2010

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In one of the classes I co-taught my co-teacher, at the end of the class, handed out QTIPS and suggested the soon to be foster/adopt parents put it somewhere they would see it when they were most stressed out. By the Way QTIP stand for Quit Taking It Personally. I try and use this with my 4 adopted children, although I do take it personally sometimes, when I hear QTIP it reminds me that their attacks are not about me, but about their past. Keep seeking advice and support, wherever you can, that helps a lot.

Joslin - posted on 03/31/2010

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Actually, they do show MANY signs of Reactive Attachment Disorder, but some of those same signs may also indicate Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and I know their mother drank while she was pregnant. I have an appointment for their initial screen for next week so maybe that will shed some more light. THANK YOU for the insight and normalizing my situation!

Joslin - posted on 03/31/2010

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lol, love your first sentence! And, I agree with everything else too! Thanks for the perspective.

Melissa - posted on 03/31/2010

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We fostered for a few years and adopted our daughter that way. We got her at birth. We had a little girl who was 3 yrs old when we got her and she was with us for 14 mo. That was the hardest 14 mo of my life! Might I mention we had our own (adopted) 3 yr old boy and we got the baby girl (now our daughter) at the same time, no relation. Anyway I completely relate to you! I felt like a horrible mother and felt like all I did all day was put kids in time out and say "no". One thing that really helped us was getting her into therapy and realizing that she had Reactive Attachment Disorder which is VERY common in foster kids. Because they never really could attach to their parents for varying reasons, they would try to attach to anyone/everyone. However their attachment is not like it should be. They will only attach to an extent but will push all your buttons and drive you crazy so you can't get too emotionally close to them, and they to you. Getting beyond that is the hurdle. You may want to research that a little and see if it fits your little ones. Please know you're not the only one going through this but you're doing an amazing job by taking on this great responsibility! Those kids will benefit from your stability. Best of luck to you!

Linda - posted on 03/31/2010

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One thing to try to remember when being a foster parent, at some point in these kiddos lives they have been exposed to their biological parents. Every contact leaves MORE confusion for the kids. And when they are old enough and they know when the bioparent is supposed to have a visit and then doesn't show up....they wonder why they are being rejected again. These poor babies are thrown into situations totally out of their control, and the don't have the ability to comprehend why. They have how many sets of people calling them selves Mommy and Daddy, and in most situations the foster parents have rules and the bioparents don't have any. So hang in there ladies, and if you need to, give your self a time out, take a few deep breaths, and go back in smiling. Pick your battles, and don't sweat the small stuff. Good luck!

Joslin - posted on 03/30/2010

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That makes sense. Thank you so much for your reply. I'm SO glad to know I'm not alone in this situation. I love these kids and they can be so adorable. Sometimes it just feels like the were raised knowing they would need to push a foster parent to the brink of insanity (not really insane... just really frustrated.)

Kristy - posted on 03/30/2010

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Oh my gosh I feel your pain. My husband and I became foster parents (with hopes of adopting) to a sibling group of three, the boy age 3, and two girls ages 2 and 1. I feel like all I do is get angry and raise my voice. It seems like they are always doing what I tell thm not to do as if they are pushing my buttons on purpose. I don't know if I have any advice to give, since I am in the same boat, but just know you are not alone. The leader of the Foster/Adopt group in my town gave me a peice of advice though and it is working some what for me...."The foster/adopt parent to child relationship is a lot like a marriage, you only fight about the large things and let the small stuff go." she was right on some level. My two older kids (boy/girl) love the word NO, and the more I react to it the more they say it, but if I ignore it when they are just saying it to get to me, they loose interest and we move on with no time outs or yelling. I wish you all the luck, and I know how hard it is.

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