Observations by Key Monroe~~Home of Right Opinions, Cynical Viewpoints, and TMI in Hefty Doses
|E-mail: keymonroe [at] alltel [dot] net

May 17, 2004


How can I not link this thread?

I've basically been spending all of my "writing time" the past couple of days in Pam's comment box.

This is a subject near and dear to my heart, as it is hers.

Cheaper by the Dozen is called "the kind of movie that makes you glad you're childless." I left wanting to fill my house with eleven more, and wishing I had the money to do it. If I ever win the lottery, I'll do it, and you guys can hold me to it.

As it stands, I'm looking at adopting a slightly smaller sibling group. After parental rights are severed, all they have is each other, so I think it's particularly tragic when siblings are separated.

I took in Jacob, age three, in May of 2002. (The date is wrong in the last post.) I found out a week later that he had two sisters, an eleven month old and a six year old, in another home.

I marched into the DFCS office and told them how wrong I thought it was that they had been separated. I was asked to sign a pink slip. "What's this?"

"This," she said, "gives you guardianship of all three."

Fine. So for six months, I had four children, including Miss Priss (who is my one and only bio-kid.)

There was much fussing, complete chaos more often than not, and a great deal of baggage. My house became way too small all of the sudden, and everything I touched had somehow become sticky.

But I saw the first steps, and I played tooth fairy to the first lost tooth, and I would have gone to hell and back to keep those children from going back into the hell that they had known only a few months earlier.

Luckily, the parents decided they would rather sign over their rights than go to trial, particularly since things would come out during the course of the trial for which they could be criminally prosecuted.

The children are now living with an aunt...two aunts actually. Yes, they split them up. I hated it, and I would have taken them all. But placement within the family is preferable, and I see the value there. Besides, this is a country cousin family; they all live on the same street anyway.

I won't lie to you. These children were the easy ones. From my experience, the issues seem to compound with age. I'll tell you about some of those stories when I'm not trying to promote foster parenting!

Many of you have written, asking what is involved. First of all, you need not be saint. In case you haven't noticed, I am not a saint.

Second, the requirements are slightly different from state to state, but here's a start.

You do not have to commit for life. Burnout happens. I've been doing this two years, and once I adopt, I may or may not continue for a year or so more. But if new folks don't siphon in, they won't let us out!

Once approved for fostering, you are automatically approved for adoption. Most children are quickly swooped up by their foster parents once parental rights are terminated. Some are not. These children are considered "special needs." They are listed by name and photo, and they are available for adoption now.

Me and my I've-got-to-do-something personality have a hard time navigating away from that page, but I force myself. Most of these children are above age eight, and I feel I owe it to Miss Priss to maintain the birth order, allowing her to be big sis.

This concludes my shameless plug to recruit foster parents. Am I forgiven if it's for a good cause?

posted by Key on 10:13 PM | Comments (5)

All those precious children... :'(

Posted by: pam at May 17, 2004 10:24 PM

The world needs more people like you. Many more.

Posted by: Sam at May 17, 2004 11:12 PM

Key, it must be so heart breaking to let those children go. I was once a social worker in child protective services. I had a large number of children in what was called "relative care".

In some cases, the adults wanted the kids for only two reasons - the foster care money and because they were 'blood' relatives. Which is total bullshit.

I think you know that I was adopted - I had a relative who threatened to challenge my dad's will because I was not "blood".

So, I tend to want children to go to families who will love them the most, no matter what their bloodlines might be.

You are far tougher and better than I will ever be!!

Posted by: Beth at May 20, 2004 01:31 AM

You and your husband are good people. God bless you.

Posted by: Juliette at May 22, 2004 04:30 AM


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