Fosterhood Solidarity

I feel so badly for Rebecca. And all you foster moms that are being dragged through this mess and mire.

I am so glad that we did not have to deal with visits. But it’s not like we are totally exempt from the behaviors associated. Every time I read a post like this one it reminds me why my kids are the way that they are today. They sat through these visits waiting for parents that would never show. They were parked in the agency office while people tried to keep a routine that was not to be found. They got home late and missed meals or were fed crappy lunches/dinners by their natural parents only to act out. And we still see these behaviors today because it’s so ingrained.

http://fosterhood.tumblr.com/post/112005041385/im-so-so-so-so-sooooooooo-over-being-in-the

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A Win for Little Man

Warning: a little bit too much info to follow, but I think it’s important to share because I feel like there may be other foster or adoptive mothers going through this!! Read on at your own risk of TMI.

We saw the pediatrician on Thursday morning for Little Man. He apparently is still blocked up, despite several months of Miralax. We love our pediatrician and he hangs on her every word. She said that because of years of severe constipation, that his colon is swollen. This can also cause urinary incontinence. She also said that being so full and having the swollen colon can make him feel like his stomach is full because there is no room for it to expand. So he is probably hungry and feels full simultaneously. She also said that because of the severe constipation and swollen colon that he probably feels like he needs to have a bowel movement all the time. So poor little muffin. I would probably act out and be super cranky if I couldn’t poop and felt hungry all the time but couldn’t eat anything!! No wonder he’s so miserable. Makes me super pissed that in the last 7 years of his life no one cared enough to see a doctor regularly about this  medical problem, that they ALL just wrote it off as behavioral and no one took the time to take care of him. I am super pissed.

Since finding out that it is really a medical issue (at least so far), Huck has turned a total 180. I expected for him to hear that it is medical and just throw the towel in, be totally defiant, and basically throw it in our faces that he just can’t control it. Instead, he has been super trying to make it to the bathroom on time and is very apologetic when he can’t. We haven’t made a big deal out of it one way or another and he wears diapers all the time, even to school. His behavior has been much better and so has his attitude. I’ve seen a marked improvement in his willingness to get along with his siblings and Hubby. It’s almost like he’s relieved to know that he’s not a bad kid and that he medically has had problems for a really long time. It makes me really sad that it took this long for someone to figure out, I’m even pissed at myself that it took me over 6  months to get it under control. I’m hoping that he will be a jolly happy soul by the summer and get to experience fun in the sun!

Marriage

Everyone talks about marriage being hard and having to work for it. I think that’s a load of crap. Marriage in and of itself is not hard. It’s all the other life events and relationships that strain your spousal relationship. If my husband and I did whatever we wanted all day and were only just married, we would be fine. If we just had to be, and to stay married, it would be easy peasy. But we have jobs and bills and kids and pets and snow coming from all directions and freezing cold weather and kids with school delays and closings. This is what makes marriage hard, and it isn’t even marriage, it’s life. Life is hard, people. Loving my husband and caring for our relationship is not hard. Being equal and loving and attentive to your spouse when you have two kids with stomach bugs pooping their pants and another kid failing every class and a fourth kids that will.not. get along or be nice to others? Yeah that’s super exhausting. My husband is a saint.

ADHD

I’ll be the first to say that there’s a problem with over-medication in our foster care system. Well, as in all things, it’s a problem in society in general but only heightened for our foster youth. My kids surprisingly have never been medicated. They didn’t come with a long list of diagnoses. So I found that we are actually on the other side of the problem with foster care– incorrect or lack of diagnoses. With the adoption paperwork we received, I was able to read through the kids’ past mental and behavioral health history. More often than not, they were discharged before I believed that they should have been (granted, without firsthand experience at the time). None of the children actually had intensive, ongoing counseling when we accepted placement. This despite over five years in and out of care with more than fifteen different placements. Call me crazy but any child that goes through that much change should be counseled by a professional. We’ve been fighting an uphill battle since we accepted placement to find the right programs for our kids and get them the help that they need and have needed for years!

With that being said, I am always a proponent of finding alternatives to medication. But I found this article on girls and ADHD and it IS our Anne. Every single bit. Every action they write about, it is Anne. I am going to ask for her to be tested in her current counseling program. Anyone have experience with girls and ADHD?

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/girls-and-adhd-are-you-missing-signs

Birth Certificates and Social Security Numbers

Everything that I read about adopting from foster care recommended that we change social security numbers. Our lawyer for the adoption recommended the same thing. Considering that we don’t know who could have the numbers or on how many documents scattered through old foster homes and the county, it seems an intelligent thing to do. What I did not realize, however, is how long it takes to receive a birth certificate. Our county told us to submit the paperwork for new birth certificates one month after the adoption. I did that. Then I got a call from the PA department in control of vital records, who said that it takes 10 to 12 weeks for them to have the new birth certificates. Well it’s been over 12 weeks now and we still don’t have them. Therefore all of their medical and dental appointments are still under their old last name. I haven’t even made an appointment at the social security office to change their numbers because I don’t have their birth certificates. I guess file this under FYI for all of you adopting!