Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hey, That’s My Foster Kin You Are Bitching and Whining About

I have resisted doing my own post about this bloggers wife “Foster Abba” for a long time,I really didn’t want to “go there” with my blog.  Her post on the Layers of Loss, where she outlines the many things she has lost by adopting her child, left my husband saying that next time they should get a dog. And me? I am not kidding when I say it sent me looking for my bottle of Xanax to deal with my full blown PTSD adrenalin overload. All I could hear is my self-screaming in my own head:

“Your Loss…what YOU have LOST!   You didn’t even want kids in the first place? That does not put one high on the list of people who should adopt. You had to jump through hoops to adopt a kid nobody else wanted?  Including YOU.  Your dream of a family died when you sent her to boot camp, Believe me, so did hers! and you had a serious conversation about abandoning your adopted child at the airport…when she came home? Wow, just wow! You don’t think you have a strong enough bound to sacrifice your own life for the life of your child? WTF?  You lost friends and almost the relationship with your wife because you don’t see eye to eye on how to parent your kid? Maybe that should be a clue, maybe not everybody but you has it wrong! YOUR religion, you can’t go to shul, because the kid you adopted as tween can’t act right? I may be WAY of base here, but seeing that I was the ONLY kid I met in care who had a Jewish family, I am guessing (and could be wrong) that Judaism was not her religion of origin. What about the loss of HER religion? You realize her options in life will be limited [based on her observed intelligence] and you “ponder the futility of your actions” [on her behalf]. Her lack of intellectual potential is somehow YOUR loss of YOUR dreams? You lost your ability to connect with people because other people’s problems seem “petty” when you compare them with your own? You got that one right, Missy!

And they think I’ve got it all wrong?  I don’t know what THEY are going through?   That I am so out of bounds by commenting on their PUBLIC blog that I should have a whole post dedicated to how much I don’t know about kids from foster care?  That is where they are WRONG!

Oy Vey!

Here is the cute little post “Foster Abba’s” wife did dedicated to me. I don’t know if they will publish my comment or not since they mediate their comments, and since I really don’t necessarily enjoy writing, I figured I’d also publish my response as a post here as well.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Danger of Assumptions

FosterEema here...I wanted to respond to a comment one of our readers left yesterday and make a meta-comment about the danger of assumptions.

In response to The Return of the Temper Tantrums, a reader by the name of "Sunday Koffron Please Stand Up" wrote:

The Final Maze: The Danger of Assumptions [update 5/14/2011 links removed as Foster Abba, has removed her posts]

Thank you “Foster Eema” for the mention, however I noticed that you failed to include a link to my blog. I have to wonder if that was an oversight or if it is because it would lessen your attempt to make me look like as if I am an outsider with no real insight as to what kind of child you are dealing with. As that is a common practice you use dismantle and dismiss any commenter who has the bad taste to not see things Foster Abba’s way.

Since I have raised other people’s children, including a teenager with FAS Encephalopathy, that I spent the bulk of my childhood as a ward of the state, living in a number of group homes and residential treatment centers I know a whole lot more about kids like Danielle and about being Danielle than you ever will. You have had the pleasure of living with one traumatized youth; I have lived with near a hundred.

When we open our blogs to comments we open ourselves to people who may or may not see things the way we do. And as readers we can only make assumptions based on what the blogger puts IN their posts and we must base our comments on that alone, because that is what you have given us to go on.

I was very excited when I first found foster Abba’s posts on improving the foster care system. But then every time I read her posts about Danielle, my heart sinks just a little bit more [each time]. Not once have I read one of her posts that has anything what so ever positive to say about your child. The posts about Danielle have such a negative and bitterly disappointed undertone that I cannot imagine (well actually I can, been there, done that. Which is why I spoke up) being a child having to live in a house with a parent who held such a negative view of me or my position in the family. (See her post on The Layers of Loss and many more)

I do read blogs by other trauma mommas who mage to talk about the struggles of parenting traumatized children without coming off as bitter or as if they are demonizing their children, Christine Moers at Welcome to My Brain being the first name that comes to mind, maybe you’d like to pop on over and see that it can be done. Of course I think Dr. Karyn Purvis, Director of The Institute of Child Development at TCU, manage to humanize children “from hard places” and has a lot of positive suggestions for dealing with traumatized children as well, however the Christian influence some might find off putting, I would strongly suggest overlooking it for the sake of the true massage about hurt children.

Effective Discipline Strategies for Adoptive & Foster Families - Dr. Karyn Purvis from Tapestry on Vimeo.

"Effective Discipline Strategies for Adoptive & Foster Families" by Dr. Karyn Purvis, presented at the 2008 Tapestry Adoption & Foster Care Conference.

**now you all know how hard it was for me to come out and give a nod to Dr. Purvis and Christine Moers, and since I have not heard, read, seen EVERYthing that they have to say, I am only willing to say for the most part they each seem to advocate, patience, kindness, compassion and respect as ways to help wounded children heal. They may say or do things that I do not completely agree with or buy in to, but I haven’t seen MUCH of that yet. (Now that was said like someone with some real commitment issues, LOL  But once a foster kid, always a foster kid!)

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