March 10, 2010

I could write a book

but it would be too depressing.

A book about all the hell my foster/respite kids go through. Not only do most of them have mental/emotional deficits because of their Mother's alcohol/drug abuse during pregnancy. They have so many things that they have to endure, for so many years, it's a wonder they're alive. The older child is always the caretaker. The one trying to keep the family together, making sure the littles get some food, trying to keep the parents happy, and losing their own childhood. Then there are the littles, who are so powerless, unable to even care for themselves, but trying to survive in garbage heaps with no food, clean clothes, etc.
The kids are removed, for only several weeks, and in that time we think people can change. People rarely change. As much as they think they love their kids, they love their habits even more. They squeak along, working on this or that, just to stay out of the radar. The kids are stressed because they know their parents are failing, so they'll run around like maniacs cleaning the house whenever someone enters it. They'll stand in shock, wondering if today is the day. But they know there's a better life out there!
They're torn!
They live for the days that they can come and stay here for the weekend. Some try to be "good" so they "get" to come, and others will be "bad" so they will "get sent" here. (I put it in quotes because these are the things they believe, not the truth) But they still love their parents. And why can't their parents be "normal" like their foster parents????? Why can't they live like we live????? Why can't they have a clean house, food to eat, and someone to pay attention to them. Someone who gives them hugs, asks them what they want to eat, and bakes cookies. Why do they have to wonder when they'll get to eat again. Why do they have to get themselves up and ready for Kindergarten in the morning? Going hungry because there wasn't much supper last night and there's no breakfast.
I remember going to Sam's Club and coming home to find kids in awe of how "rich" we were! HOW do you buy so much food???? "You're RICH with FOOD". They want to know what I use THIS for, and when are we going to eat THAT! Can we have some NOW? They get so overwhelmed that I learn to bring the food in when they're in bed or the other room.
At first they can't eat so much of it. Their stomachs are so small that they can't eat enough to keep themselves full for very long. After a few weeks they're eating great, but it takes time. I have to MAKE these kids finish their food in those first weeks because they get full so fast. They'll feel sick because their bellies aren't used to being stretched. They'll ask when we're going to eat again and what it's going to be. So if we aren't going to eat again they can save some - because they have a hard time trusting that the food's going to keep on coming.
They're skinny! I'm thankful for adjustable waists! Bathing them makes me cry! I feel like I'm going to break them when I dry them off.

What is a toothbrush?????

I help them the fist time and they are scared when they spit and there's blood - or brown stuff. The brown stuff is from rotten teeth. Brown spit and rotten teeth bring horrible breath. I have to take them to the dentist where they are terrified because they've never been there before. Only to find out how many teeth have to be pulled and how many have to be filled. And this child needs to be put under to do it because there's so much work that needs to be done.....
the child is 5!
When baby teeth have to be pulled out before the big teeth are ready to come in, you have very few teeth left.
Kids will have ear infections that are so bad they can hardly hear anymore. How could that be? The child was just in for an ear infection not that long ago..... You ask the child if they took meds for it. No, but they went to the Doctor for it. I look at the medical records and see prescriptions for meds. Ooh, I see, Mom probably took the meds because she's an addict. The child is suffering with pain and hearing loss for months because Mom took her meds. We go see an ENT who sucks out the extensive amount of fluid to see that her drum is deformed and she now needs a tube.
We go to the eye Dr., because one child has a horrible lazy eye and he remembers having glasses but they broke about a year ago. Child is legally blind in that eye and the other eye isn't so hot!!!!!
Child is failing in school!!!!!
Child can't see a DAMN thing!!!!!
But Mom has her drugs!
and her ear infection meds!
We get him some RAD glasses - they're blue :o)
I see the child 6 months later and his glasses are "broken". Probably lost - because they've moved 3 times since then.
Ooh, and another new school next week!

They don't complain!

I KNOW!!!!!

Hard to believe isn't it, but they don't. My own kids complain all the time, but these kids don't complain about anything they've been through. Most of the info I get from them has to be brought out in a round-about way. They are not looking for a pity party. It's almost like the roles get reversed. Their parents complain non-stop. Everyone is out to get them, they've done nothing wrong, they need this and they need that. But the kids just go with the flow.
I hear about how "clean" my house is. (Again, something they believe, but not necessarily the truth :o) They call their house "messy". I wouldn't call a landfill messy, but to them that's normal, and it's actually supposed to be that way.

I told ya I could write a book about it. You'd be surprised to know how many families this is about.....

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