Today’s foster series post is brought to you by a wonderful woman who has asked to not be named due to the foster status of her son. This is yet another interesting story about how families come to be in the foster care system. While this child has some obstacles to face, his parents who hope to adopt him, fight for him daily. They don’t dwell on his disabilities but rather allow him to flourish with his abilities. Thank you for contributing to my series. I wish you the best of luck and hope you can welcome your son to your family permanently. He deserves you! – Sarah
PS. This one hit home for a me a little too… My husband, Joe, also has something similar to a lazy eye. I love his googly eyes and the way they look at me. 🙂
It was a two minute phone call about two and a half years ago that changed my life. “We have a pre-adoptive placement. A two year old boy. He has a lazy eye. That’s all we know.” I said yes. No hesitation. No name, no other information, just a lazy eye. I have a lazy eye! Our daughter has a lazy eye! He will fit right in!
The next day a little mop topped Hispanic boy showed up with a social worker. He had been in a relative home for about 10 mos, but was being kicked out with only 24 hrs notice. He was calling the social worker mom, and he called me mom instantly. He was clinging and clearly scared. He liked to dance, and that is how we calmed him, music and dancing. We were about to learn some things…and fast.
His birthmom stopped visits shortly after his placement with us. She will voluntarily terminate her rights. She has AODA (Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse) issues. We have only met a few times in court. I see her love for him, but also see she knows she is doing what is best.
We learned after we had him for several months that he had been born dependent on drugs and had spent his first 5 weeks in the hospital. We learned of his severe neglect as time went on…the information trickled in to us. It took a long time for us to get his full story. I suspect we will find out more when we get his adoption packet. He had very few social skills when he came to us, a store was too much stimulation, and caused him panic. He would hit and kick. I don’t think he had ever seen a park. He has long raging tantrums, they are violent and can last for an hour. We believe he is ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder), and he is currently medicated for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). He is incredibly impulsive. He has very big abandonment issues and will panic if he thinks you are leaving. If you have shoes on before his are on, his world crumbles. It causes panic. This is an improvement from where he used to be. The damage done at young ages is real.
He is very smart though. He may be behaviorally challenged, but he is SO smart. He is already starting to read and is ahead in 4k (4 year old Kindergarten). He started spelling small words even before 4k started. This from a boy who needed speech therapy and was behind in talking when we first met. He has an amazing memory as well. Like most kids with ADHD, he also loves his electronics and video games, and those are great as rewards. His lazy eyes have also been fixed with a regular sleeping schedule.
Because previous caregivers have been woman, he projects a lot of anger onto me, his mom. I understand that, although it doesn’t make it easy. He has never had a positive male figure, so dad is a superhero. He also worships his big sister. He has a typical sibling relationship with his little brother. It’s beautiful.
He has a lot of potential, if we can get his behavioral issues managed. He is challenging, but adorable. He is scared of leaving and that is tragic at his young age. I feel like the system is failing him by the length of time he is in it…and that laws need to change to reflect this.
This is a legal risk placement, adoption isn’t a guarantee. To this day, we are still fighting and its been 28 months of placement with us. He is now four and a half years old. We have just recently gotten a termination of parental rights, but his biodad is appealing. He is in prison and has been since our son was 6mos old. He cannot get out until he is 9. Yet, he is appealing, thinking he should have to wait for him to get out, establish a relationship, since they do not know each other and he can then try to parent. He sees this as fighting for his son. I see it as fighting against him…keeping him as part of a legal system, rather than letting him move on with his life, and with the only family he knows.
He is our challenging little boy. But we love him with his challenges. That two minute phone call, with no information…it was life changing. It brought us our son. We will continue to fight for him, and get him to his adoption day. He deserves his chance at feeling safe, and having happiness. So do we. It’s a long hard road…but we will get there.