Friday, September 23, 2011

Foster classes almost ever....or not.

Last night was number 7 out of 8.  Last week we missed class, and evidently it was a doozy.  The ONE class I didn't want to miss was the one on discipline.  From the remarks of the facilitator last night, it was an actual learning experience for some of the participants.  What?  You can't hit already traumatized children to make them tow the line?  No hot sauce or Life Buoy in the mouth?  HOW would one actually make a child comply?  Heavy rolling of the eyes, here.

I mentioned several weeks ago how we were told we would have to wait two months to make up that class.  I was highly pissed.  Now, I am truly ambivalent.  The feeling I have been getting in these classes is that we, the people volunteering to be foster parents, are being done a favor.  As if the advertising for families in our county is some aberration, and really, we are troubling them for a license.

Last night's class was started by a visit from one of the lawyers for the department.  She was there to talk slowly and show on a chart the process of opening a case through reunion/TPR/adoption.  She was none too pleased when I asked where I could find specific statutes about adequacy, and confirmed my deepening suspicion that there are NO actual laws.  No actual statutes protecting the rights of the human children.  I said as much, and she actually groaned a bit.  I am sure, there is now a tick in our file about my not being supportive of reunion, which is not the case at all.  I am just a stickler for rules, and knowing exactly what the expectations are so I can tow them well.

I also ran into a lady I met a few months ago at a gym class with Cam, who was in the class ahead of us to foster.  She was making up a class.  Seems she also had an axe to grind with her social worker dragging her heals on the home study, and repeatedly blowing off appointments with her references (but blaming the, not a bright move, Masters holder!). 

So by the end of the night, I was ready to tell the agency to go fuck themselves, and to give me a call when they 1) got their shit together; and 2) actually NEEDED to get people licensed to offer foster care to kids in need. 

But then, surprise guests arrived:  two white parents who adopted AA kids through foster care, four separate times.  My ears pricked up.  Listening to a couple who had adopted transracially empowered me to stay the course and to give my ego a break.  Had that couple not been monopolized by another couple asking questions, I would have done the same.  The only thing that bothered me is that the four kids were trotted out AFTER the parents told the deeply personal reasons each had come into care.  Rob was horrified.  It didn't occur to me until we were riding home that it might be in the least bit wrong.  I would have LOVED to have talked to each kid individually though.  Especially the first boy adopted.  What it was like to have, at age 6, his position usurped by a new brother, a year older.

It also made me deeply sad that we live in such a small house.  We have two bedrooms, and any potential child/children would have to share a room with Cam.  Last night I was ready to bring all the kids in our county home.

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