Somedays I very seriously question my sanity. Then I switch to questioning why others are such shitty people. More often than not, I bite off more than I can chew. I take on more than most would imagine. But, it’s always worth it in the end. It may be horribly exhausting in the current moment. But when it’s all said & done I never regret the choices I’ve made.
Today I get a random message – From a boy I’ve watched grow up, watched struggle, watched get dealt a pretty shitty hand in life. When I worked at Family Services I had even more interactions with him as he was finally removed from his mom. This kid – He isn’t a bad kid. He’s a teenager. He exhibits normal teenage behavior. He exhibits behaviors I would expect from a child who spent the first 12 years of his life exposed to domestic violence, drug abuse and neglect. Of course he has issues. I would be shocked if he didn’t. Well – His foster family that planned to adopt – Kicked him out. Why? He tried to commit suicide. When he was released from this hospital his worker picked him up and said they didn’t want him to return as they couldn’t handle him or his mental health. Seriously. My hearts broken for this child. How can you do that? Signing up to be a foster parent – you should EXPECT these type of behaviors – you should EXPECT a damaged child. But when the going gets tough you can’t just move on. Would you discard your biological child? Most definitely not. Especially these people. They’d never do that to their OWN teenager.
I think the system is a failure as a whole. They aren’t preparing foster parents for what they’re getting into. Then they get these kids and have no idea how to function, how to help them. They take it personally. They fight the behaviors. They do exactly what the child predicts. They leave. Foster kids often test – push – anticipating these new people will throw them away like the last. Inexperienced foster parents generally do. Those that were not mentally prepared for this horrible roller coaster. It’s not fun. It’s not easy. But some day – it’ll all be worth it. You’ll know you tried. You did everything to help a child who needed you.
So this boy – what does he want – He’s begging, pleading, crying to move in. 🙁 He was placed with a couple with two babies for the next two weeks. Then when schools out he’ll be moved to a different town as there are no open foster homes here. No homes that want him. Seriously. You’ve got to be kidding. They’re so short on homes. It’s sad. Heartbreaking. What do I say to that? After he pours out his soul about his suicide attempt, about how badly he wants to live with someone that won’t just dump him, about how he just doesn’t want to live with more strangers. He wants a home. Just consider it. If you give me this opportunity I’ll do the best I can. I won’t let you down. I’ll do anything you want. Ughhhhhhh – Did I say no? Of course not. Do I have the “time” for ANOTHER teenager? No – not really. I’ll never have the time. Ever. But guess – what – I can make the time. I can do my best. I can give this kid the one thing nobody else is willing to – Stability, love, consistency & I’ll never walk away, even when walking away would be easier. I have the tools, the knowledge, the education to handle the behaviors. First I assured him he didn’t have to be perfect, nobody wants that. That he needs to just be him. To be the best he can be for himself. To remember his goals and remember he can pick any path in life that he wants. And then – Of course I said we’ll talk to the department – I’m not licensed as I planned to wait another year or two before taking kids, but I know we meet the definition of “fictive kin” which means we can begin not licensed in this case if his worker is open to it. We’ll see what they say – If he needs a higher level of care then we can provide or if it was simply the breakdown of the placement which is what it sounds like the most. No, I can’t blame him for not wanting to move right before his Junior year. This kid has goals – To graduate, join the military and then become a police officer when he’s done in the military. Disrupting his life right now won’t do him any good. So, I guess if the department agrees we’ll take him. What’s one more teenage boy with behavioral & emotional issues?
Don’t forget – The foreign exchange student will be here in August for the entire school year. If we get both boys this means we’ll have to move around rooms, make kids share, etc. *sigh* A lot of work – But, as I said – it’ll be worth it. I bought a bigger house to have more room – but really, it means we can just get more kids and dogs to fill the empty space. My husband should have saw this coming. It’s every mom’s dream to spend a school year in a house with teenage boys that are 15, 16, 17 and 17. Yes – I should probably start a go fund me for the grocery bill – Now. (I’m kidding – Kind of!)
There’s never a dull moment around here. I’m assuming we’ll find out this week if this is an option. I did send the caseworker a message who thanked me for letting her know he asked and that she could discuss more this week on it. Which I’m sure means she’s open to the idea.